Before the advent of distributed version control systems like Git in 2005, Open Source was a fringe phenomenon. The launch of Github, several years after Git become a standard, further pushed open source forward by making it easy for developers to share ideas, get feedback, and distribute their code. Today, Github has 5.8 million active users, 331k active organizations, and enabled 815k new users to make their first pull request in 2016 alone.
In a way, Open Source principles have always been a part of the scientific community, and the principle of sharing ideas pre-dates the open source movement. But the speed, non-linearity, and connectedness of the Web 2.0 world has led to unprecedented breakthroughs in geographically distribute communities creating value together — from the invention and subsequent standardization of TCP/IP to the distributed Astrobiology project SETI@home, to the open source financial tool Bitcoin.
As far as Open Source has come, there is still a disconnect between the _value_ that the open source ecosystem provides to the modern economy, and the compensation provided to developers for that impact. The Oracle’s and Red Hat’s of the world have built successful businesses built upon open source, but the small and mid-caps of the world have not yet unbundled those business models.
The launch of Ethereum and the smart contract infrastructure built upon it has the potential to change all that. By tokenizing value and making it programmatically easy and secure to exchange value, there exists an opportunity to push open source forward with borderless, secure, easy payments.
Gitcoin Core is a team of developers that believes each of the follow actors in the Open Source ecosystem have a lot to gain by removing middlemen, creating new opportunities, and introducing efficiencies into their workflow:
So what exactly is Gitcoin? Gitcoin is a distributed network of Smart Contracts, based upon Ethereum that enables:
By facilitating the transfer of value through this ecosystem, Gitcoin solves for the inefficiencies in this triple-sided market:
Gitcoin is based upon Ethereum, which means that it’s free, fair, and open forever. By eliminating recruiters and other middle, Gitcoin allows software engineers to focus on what they love — building things.
At the center of it all is the Gitcoin Bounty Explorer. The Bounty Explorer is an index of all of the funded tasks available immediately worldwide. Here is what it looks like (and hey, there’s an API also!)
Its important to note that, while the Bounty Explorer is hosted on gitcoin.co, it is completely Open Source. And the data about tasks themselves and their funding is stored securely on the Ethereum blockchain. In contrast to any web2 application, where an economic incentive exists to horde data, Gitcoin is designed to never, ever, be in a position profit economically from your data.
I invite you to join me in Gitcoin’s mission to Push Open Source Forward, and check out the Gitcoin Bounty Explorer today at https://gitcoin.co/explorer. If you have feedback or just want to nerd out, I am more than happy to respond to your tweets at @owocki.