Request for Feedback: When, and How, Should the Arbitrum Foundation Issue a Licence for the Arbitrum Technology Stack to a New Strategic Partner

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The Arbitrum Foundation plans to issue licenses for the use of the Arbitrum technology stack to strategic partners, with a potential for an ecosystem license in the future. The community has largely reacted positively, with suggestions for multiple licensing tiers and a score-based system to ensure beneficial contributions to the ecosystem, though concerns about open sourcing risks and flexibility for Orbit chains have been raised.

What is this about?

The discussion revolves around the Arbitrum Foundation's plans to issue licenses for the use of the Arbitrum technology stack as a layer-2 solution. The foundation is in contact with strategic partners interested in obtaining these licenses. The current licensing arrangement is a Business Source License, with Offchain Labs as the license owner. The Arbitrum DAO has the right to issue a license to new projects, and the Arbitrum Foundation can request Offchain Labs or the Arbitrum DAO to issue a license on its behalf1.

The foundation plans to issue licenses to strategic partners who meet predefined criteria and agree to conditions that benefit the wider Arbitrum ecosystem in the short term. In the medium term, the foundation is considering the creation of an ecosystem license, which would allow any project to use the Arbitrum technology stack, provided they adhere to the specified license conditions1.

The foundation is also working on a score-based system for granting licenses, with criteria including financial capability, potential for mass adoption, commitment to giving back, up-to-date software stack, explicit MEV strategy, and independent branding3.

How is the community reacting?

The community's reaction to the idea of the Arbitrum Foundation issuing licenses to strategic partnerships has been mostly positive. Delegates suggest that the strategic partnership should offer something back to the community, and that the DAO should have an opportunity to provide its feedback before the Foundation begins issuing licenses1.

Frisson supports the idea of issuing licenses to strategic partners in the short term and the development of an ecosystem license in the medium term. They expressed a desire for a system where anyone could deploy their own version of Arbitrum One or Arbitrum Nova, but still contribute to the Arbitrum DAO in terms of revenue, development, and go-to-market resources2.

ModalQuant suggested the idea of multiple licensing tiers to increase the proliferation of Arbitrum among strategic partners. They also questioned the meaning of "opportunity to utilise the Arbitrum technology stack" and suggested a more modular approach to the licensing process4.

Why this is positive?

The licensing of the Arbitrum technology stack to strategic partners and the potential creation of an ecosystem license could lead to a wider proliferation of the technology. This could result in increased adoption, more diverse applications, and a stronger community. The score-based system for granting licenses ensures that only partners who can contribute positively to the ecosystem and meet certain criteria are granted licenses1,3.

Why this is negative?

There are concerns about the risks of a licensee open sourcing the code or deploying it in a way that removes the benefit to Arbitrum. Scalene suggested a trustless decentralized manner to deploy these side chains to mitigate these risks9. There are also questions about the flexibility and options available for Orbit chains6.

Posted 4 months ago

Last reply 2 months ago

Summary updated a month ago

Last updated 09/12 13:53