Recurring payments for your work in open source We’re excited to kick off 2019 with the announcement of Gitcoin Grants! Our newest product focuses on providing recurring funding for your work in open source software. https://gitcoin.co/grants
We’re excited to kick off 2019 with the announcement of Gitcoin Grants! Our newest product focuses on providing recurring funding for your work in open source software.
Want to receive funding for your open source project? We think creating a Gitcoin Grant is a great path forward.
If you’re interested in supporting a project, Gitcoin Grants — powered by the EIP 1337 standard — is a fast, easy, and secure way to provide recurring token contributions to the best OSS maintainers in your community. Your contribution is amplified by the signal it provides to other (potentially, larger) funders on important infrastructure projects.
Gitcoin launched on the Ethereum blockchain a year ago as a bounty platform, making it easy to get paid for completing Github issues. A year later, we’ve seen $500K of bounties completed, representing 2,000 issues solved across 225open source projects.
Along the way, we’ve seen some amazing developers who do so well on bounties that they end up being hired to work full time for great projects like MetaMask, uPort, MARKET Protocol, and the Ethereum Foundation.
We also saw many open source developers who simply… enjoyed working on on bounties. One such example is Gitcoiner iamonuwa, who has had an unbelievable year.
This year, iamonuwa did 26 bounties worth over $5,000. This included work on Livepeer, MARKET Protocol, Bounties Network, and Gitcoin itself.
We wondered if there was a way for people like Onuwa to continue their great work on bounties, while also providing the support to be full-time in Web 3, without having to worry about a recurring stream of income.
We also interacted with many open source maintainers in 2018. We supported many via Gitcoin Requests, a feature allowing maintainers to request funding for bounties. Some of these projects included slither and echidna by Trail of Bits, web3swift by Matter Inc, and blockscout by POA Network, along with larger repo’s like Solidity, Parity, Vyper, and more.
These developers were working on open source Ethereum projects which could positively impact the whole ecosystem, potentially for years to come.
In each case (for developers, and even more so — for maintainers), we wondered:
Is there a way to bring recurring funding to developers who want to maintain projects in the open source ecosystem?
As we worked on Gitcoin Grants, we saw funding allocated in the Ethereum community via the Ethereum Foundation, the Ethereum Community Fund, Status Incubate, MakerDAO’s Stable Fund, and even via YOLO grants from Vitalik.
We think highly of these grant programs, who play a critical role in funding Web 3’s open infrastructure. We’re hopeful we can help provide signal to these foundations by showing them where developers and individual contributors are crowdfunding support for projects.
Gitcoin Grants is the first platform built on Ethereum’s blockchain which allows for recurring, on-chain payments to be made. The primary three use cases we see are as follows.
Initially, we anticipate each of these use cases to be built around the Ethereum ecosystem. Developers will be paid in ERC-20 tokens. Public grant applications will be shared with the Ethereum Foundation, the Ethereum Community Fund, and other funding bodies as a tool for them to learn about projects and their traction.
Grants utilizes the EIP-1337 standard for subscriptions on Ethereum. The standard makes use of meta-transactions, which allows for a transaction to be made on behalf of a paying subscriber on a recurring basis. This makes it easy to support projects in open source on a recurring basis, only confirming one initial subscription transaction. For more on EIP 1337, see below.
On the surface, Gitcoin Grants looks like another crowdfunding platform. However, there are a few key things at play which make Gitcoin Grants unique.
We’re excited for many experiments we can run using Gitcoin Grants as a mechanism for open source sustainability.
One such experiment involves research on Liberal Radicalism, a mechanism specified by Zoë Hitzig, Glen Weyl, and Vitalik Buterin in a recent paper. The paper introduces a mechanism called ‘CLR’ (Capital-constrained Liberal Radicalism), designed “to allow near optimal provision of a decentralized, self-organizing ecosystem of public goods.”
The paper goes on to describe an interesting setting where 1) crowdfunding from individual people alongside 2) large, philanthropic donations can be combined to create interesting opportunities to fund public goods.
We have more details on the ideas in our Discourse, and are open to ideas. Join the conversation!
The alpha list of Gitcoin Grants is live! Projects include:
Check out all eleven live Gitcoin Grants applications, and — if interested — see if you’d like to offer your support.
Have a project which deserves funding? To be included in the next batch of Gitcoin Grants, fill out this form and we’ll be in touch.
We wouldn’t be here without the work of the amazing Gitcoin Grants team. We needed a bit of all of these skills to make Grants happen.