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May 28, 2024

Gitcoin Grants 20: Results & Recap

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Gitcoin Grants is a community-driven quarterly funding initiative, aiming to propel high-impact projects forward through the power of Quadratic Funding. Grants = GrowthSince its inception in 2019, Gitcoin Grants has facilitated over 3,500 projects and distributed $60M across 20 rounds, solidifying its position as a Schelling point for seeding and maintaining high impact builders across the ecosystem. GG20, the 20th edition, continued this legacy.

"Since its inception, Gitcoin Grants has been committed to fostering project growth and sustainability while maintaining critical Ethereum infrastructure through novel funding mechanisms. With Gitcoin Grants 20 we refocused on our core mission of supporting open-source software and digital public goods and started a journey to redefine how we continually fund and sustain the digital infrastructure that underpins our modern world. You have our commitment that we will work tirelessly to continue to create a more resilient, inclusive, and thriving future."
Sov, Gitcoin Grants Program Lead

TL;DR

GG20 ran from April 23 - May 7th, 2024 and marked significant milestones, including a $1.6M matching pool, the election of a Community Council, a protocol upgrade, and a greater sybil resistance strategy.

Funding Results

GG20 raised $680,935 overall, with $484,000 exclusively in the OSS rounds—a 36% increase from GG19. While the number of crowdfunders decreased by 20%, the quality of donors improved, with fewer sybils and more substantial contributions. Notable successes in the Community Rounds included TEC, which saw a 65% increase in crowdfunded donations, and OpenCivics, with a 40% increase in donors and a 300% larger matching pool for top grantees.

Major Achievements

Doubling Down on Open-Source Software and Enhancing Community Governance

In GG20, we made significant strides in our commitment to open-source software, community governance, protocol upgrades, and sybil resistance, while also enhancing our platform’s features. Here's a recap of the major highlights:

Doubling Down on Open-Source Software

Reflecting our dedication to open-source software (OSS), we doubled the number of rounds, projects, and matching funds compared to GG19. This substantial increase underscores our commitment to supporting the OSS community and fostering innovation.

Community Rounds: New Governance

For the first time, we introduced community rounds governance, a pivotal move that involved electing a council responsible for allocating matching funds for community-led Quadratic Funding (QF) rounds. This step empowers the community and ensures that the distribution of funds aligns with the collective priorities of our ecosystem. Each of the top 5 communities qualified for an extra $25k in matching from Gitcoin.

Sybil Resistance

To combat sybil attacks, we implemented a two-pronged strategy leveraging COCM (Community-Owned Coin Models) and Passport’s model-based detection system. This dual approach strengthens the integrity of our funding rounds, ensuring that contributions are genuine and that funds are distributed fairly.

Enhanced Features

We expanded our collections feature, enabling better organization and curation of projects. The proliferation of side-apps and the consolidation of program rounds on Arbitrum, supported by a partnership with Thrive Coin, further enrich the user experience and streamline our operations.

Protocol Upgrade

GG20 marked a significant milestone as the first round to operate on our upgraded protocol, transitioning from Allo v1 to Allo v2. This upgrade improves overall user experience, enables experimentation of modular and flexible funding mechanisms, and empowers developers to easily contribute to the protocol to build new community funding experiences. 

These advancements reflect our unwavering commitment to fostering a vibrant, open-source ecosystem and empowering our community through innovative governance and robust technological upgrades. As we move forward, we remain dedicated to continuously improving and adapting to the evolving needs of our community.

“The transition from Allo v1 to Allo v2  makes the protocol much more accessible to other developers. It enables an entire ecosystem to be built around Gitcoin grants rounds, or any customer or partner’s grants rounds. I’m really excited about what we were able to do for GG20 by working so closely with these external builders and the trend that that will set for future grants rounds."
Meg, Grants Lab GM

Return to Roots

For the past four years, Gitcoin has been at the forefront of supporting open-source projects. From their pivotal role in building early-stage software to catalyzing the success of the web3 ecosystems, OSS rounds have supported countless developers across the Ethereum ecosystem that have started highly successful projects.

For GG20, we returned to our roots with a deep focus on OSS funding. We created a clear objective of channeling $1M through the matching pool to support 4 OSS rounds. The idea: do less but do it better

Round Structure

Traditionally, Gitcoin featured one open-source software round that accepted a variety of projects as long as they were OSS, alongside a web3 core infrastructure round, which exclusively focused on projects involving deep technical infrastructure.

In a departure from the most recent rounds, GG20 expanded from two OSS rounds to four, increasing the matching pool from $400,000 to $1 million. This nuanced approach allowed for a more detailed focus on the specific needs of the OSS ecosystem, benefiting developers and builders.

New Rounds: Developer Tooling and Hackathon Alumni

Two new rounds were introduced:

  1. Developer Tooling: Designed to support projects creating essential tools for builders, enhancing their efficiency and productivity.
  2. Hackathon Alumni: Focused on nurturing projects that originated from hackathons, providing a platform for new builders to continue their innovation journey.

“The idea here is that what builders need are better tools so that they can build more. With the two new rounds We’re going to help the young new builders keep going with their projects, and we’re going to sponsor the tools to help builders accelerate even more.” - Umar, Gitcoin Data Analyst 

OSS Program Rounds

GG20 featured four dedicated rounds, each with a specific focus and matching pool to support various aspects of the open-source software (OSS) and web3 ecosystems.

The Hackathon Alumni round had a matching pool of $100,000 with a matching cap of 10%. This round was dedicated to nurturing OSS development by supporting projects that have demonstrated initial success at recent hackathons. It aimed to bolster initiatives tackling immediate and significant challenges within the OSS landscape, providing a platform for promising hackathon projects to continue their development and impact.

The dApps & Apps round had a matching pool of $300,000 with a matching cap of 5%. This round was designed to accelerate the growth and widespread use of decentralized applications (dApps) and apps. It supported projects offering innovative utilities or services within the web3 ecosystem, focusing on enhancing accessibility, usability, financial inclusion, education, and social impact.

The Developer Tooling & Libraries round also had a matching pool of $300,000, with a matching cap of 10%. This round focused on improving developer efficiency in the OSS and web3 ecosystems by funding projects that provide essential tooling and libraries. This included development environments, frameworks, and testing tools for web3, as well as libraries that enable secure and efficient smart contract development.

Lastly, the Web3 Infrastructure round had a matching pool of $300,000 with a matching cap of 10%. This round aimed to strengthen the foundational infrastructure of the Ethereum ecosystem by supporting projects crucial for its development, scalability, and security. It included funding for core client development, staking infrastructure, decentralized identity solutions, security and scalability solutions, wallet security and privacy, and efforts to standardize solutions such as account abstraction and statelessness.

Result Highlights

From our OSS Rounds

The “total matching” list highlights those who received the most support overall, while the “matching per voter” list showcases those who received the most diverse support, benefiting from the use of COCM. The projects on this list are the ones with the most diverse bases of support, regardless of the size of the base.

Developer Tooling & Libraries - Top Projects

Hackathon Alumni - Top Projects

Web3 Infrastructure - Top Projects

dApps & Apps - Top Projects

Running Rounds on Arbitrum

In response to feedback from GG19, we consolidated all rounds on Arbitrum, enhancing user experience and benefiting from additional funds through the ThankARB partnership. This partnership supported OSS rounds and selected community rounds, incentivizing strategic participation and rewarding meaningful contributions.

The Impact of Thank ARB

ThankARB, funded through Arbitrum DAO, provided extra incentives for projects building on Arbitrum and participants in the round. It strategically rewarded contributions, fostering innovation and community engagement. An additional $100k was earmarked for top-performing projects to boost accountability and transparency.

Gitcoin Passport & Sybil Resistance

Feedback from GG19 highlighted the need to simplify the qualification process for donors’ donations being eligible for matching. The Passport team implemented changes to reduce user friction while enhancing sybil resistance. This data-driven model effectively identified and excluded sybils, ensuring a fairer and more accessible process for genuine participants.

For GG20, a two-pronged sybil resistance strategy using COCM and Passport’s model-based detection system was rolled out. COCM reduces matching for donors who look similar, increasing sybil resistance. Passport’s model-based detection analyzes on-chain history to identify sybil wallets, enhancing our ability to filter out bad actors without user friction. This combined approach yielded the most sybil-resistant results to date.

In Conclusion

GG20 was a landmark round for Gitcoin, showcasing significant advancements in OSS funding, sybil resistance, and community governance. Once again, we enhanced Gitcoin Grants by incorporating lessons from previous rounds, rewarding the builders, researchers, and educators at the core of Gitcoin, and gained valuable insights to further improve the next iteration.

With the continued support of our partners and community, we are committed to driving innovation and supporting impactful projects in the web3 ecosystem. Stay tuned as we build on this momentum and continue to shape the future of decentralized funding.

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