The initial iteration of the Critical Bounty process started in Q4 2022 with a survey that was used to solicit high-impact ideas from the developer community. From this survey, we identified that Decentralized Mining Pools were both a critical need for the continued healthy decentralization of the ecosystem and an activity that would be unlocked by the upcoming Stacks 2.1 upgrade.
Upon converging on this Critical Bounty idea, a team of advisors was assembled to help shape the RFP. These later went on to help review proposals, select the grant recipient, and sit on a working group overseeing the execution of the project, which is still underway. The bounty was awarded to the StacksDegens team.
The Degens were presented with a very challenging problem that will require the development of several chunks of new and novel technology. During the application process, the Degens reached out to the members of the advisory board and other relevant core engineers to ask questions, test their theses, and have holes poked in their technical and business logic prior to submitting their application. The result of this high level engagement was a comprehensive solution that can at once: solve the stated problem, be consumer-ready, and be open-source and ready for other builders to fork and build on.
If you would like to follow along with their progress, please visit their documentation here