Part Three: GovSwap is the First Grant of 2024

In part one of our series, we articulated the evolution of our grants program, informed by the feedback and learnings from the community. In part two of our series, we covered what success looks like and how we measure it across these four categories.Today, we’re excited to introduce the first funded initiative under this evolved program.

Increasing Engagement in Governance is a Huge Opportunity

Uniswap Protocol Governance has a delegation engagement problem. Over an 8-month period in 2023, only a quarter of the addresses with significant ($100K+) UNI delegation participated in voting, with an even smaller fraction—just 10%—engaging in forum discussions for proposals. The Uniswap Foundation’s goal is to build and implement a self-sustaining, resilient governance model for the Uniswap Protocol, where delegates have the power to influence the direction of the Protocol, shaping its future through active participation and decision-making. This underutilization of delegate power led to the question: how can we turn passive delegates into active, meaningful participants?

How GovSwap Will Drive Engagement

GovSwap is a delegate-focused initiative with a clear mission: to increase delegate participation in voting from 10% to 75% in 2024 by empowering current delegates with the resources, relationships, and context they need to steward the protocol into the future. The grant will be focused on in person and online events and programming with the goal of increasing participation. The Uniswap Foundation is thrilled to announce a grant allocation of $885,000 USD over 12 months to Edge City and Iris Rising. The grant will be disbursed over time in accordance with the achievement of specific milestones. Erin Koen, UF’s Head of Governance led this grant funding as a cornerstone initiative from the Governance grants budget.

Delegates gather at the first GovSwap event in Denver.
Delegates gather at the first GovSwap event in Denver.

GovSwap addresses three key gaps we’ve identified in governance: a lack of clarity regarding their governance role, interpersonal and technical hurdles impeding information exchange among delegates, and negative effects from in-group and out-group dynamics within the community. At a pilot event last Fall, meaningful conversations unfolded, fostering a deeper sense of community and understanding among the delegates. “We realized these conversations helped to bridge the gaps identified,” says Erin. GovSwap gatherings break down barriers—both psychological and technical—that hinder participation. Each event will be crafted to clarify the governance roles for delegates, enhance the flow of information among them, and promote collaboration. To maximize GovSwap participation, each gathering will coincide with major DeFi conferences in 2024, including ETH Denver, ETH CC and DevCon. Success will be measured quarterly, as the grant recipient will report back on percentage and number of active delegates.

Meet The Grantees: Kristen and Janine

Kristen, Erin, and Janine at a recent GovSwap event
Kristen, Erin, and Janine at a recent GovSwap event

Kristen, the Founder & CEO of Iris Rising, has extensive experience supporting DAOs through outsourced operations in their nascent stages, including Balancer and Seed Club. In her five-year tenure at Coinbase, she built product, engineering, and partnership teams, fueling her drive to create an open-source model for decentralized organizations with an emphasis on the well-being of those in the community. Kristen, reflecting on GovSwap’s mission, emphasizes its importance: “We’re not building the story for Uniswap Protocol Governance. However, we are building the environment: a space to be expansive, creative, and to build collaboration in Governance, honoring our evolving collective consciousness.“

Janine is the co-founder of Edge City, an aspiring society incubator that convenes people working at the frontiers of tech, science, and society in popup villages across the globe. Additionally, she has extensive experience building out programs that foster community interaction within Web3, such as Gitcoin and Zuzalu. Her combination of skills in strategic leadership and community building makes her an invaluable asset to the GovSwap initiative. In her own words: “There’s a reason Uniswap is a leader in governance— the willingness to take the risk in promoting an outside-in approach by creating spaces for these Governance conversations is super admirable, and really awesome to be a part of.”

This thoughtful approach to activating delegates is rooted in a deep understanding of the complexities that come with decentralized communities. Kristen and Janine have demonstrated that their events extend far beyond a party or a conference, but rather, thoughtful creations of space to stimulate ideas and inspire community. With GovSwap, we see the potential to inspire a level of engagement that resonates with the Uniswap Protocol’s delegates for years to come.

Join the Community

This grant will transform delegate participation and establish a self-reliant and robust governance framework for the Uniswap Protocol. The first three-day event in Denver in February 2024 was a huge hit. The 40+ delegates attending got to know one another better, had a ton of fun, identified key areas of governance they’d like to focus on, and agreed on actioning next steps over the coming months. We were blown away by the level of engagement, enthusiasm, and open-mindedness of the delegates who attended. This community is critical to the future of the protocol. If you’re interested in getting involved with governance, contact Erin Koen at

Thank you for your trust and belief in our vision– here's to a year of monumental growth, learning, and community-driven success.

Uniswap Foundation's grants strategy emphasizes metrics-driven grant funding and transparency. Updates on GovSwap's progress in relation to key performance indicators (KPIs) will be shared publicly in upcoming quarters.

Subscribe to Uniswap Foundation
Receive the latest updates directly to your inbox.
Mint this entry as an NFT to add it to your collection.
This entry has been permanently stored onchain and signed by its creator.