Title: Op-ed: Let’s Talk About Gitcoin – The Silence Around Open Source Funding is Deafening
Since 2020, the world of cryptocurrencies has experienced significant price fluctuations, adoption rates, and growing attention. However, one crucial aspect that seems to be stagnating is the concept of “open-source funding.” Surprisingly, Google News articles relating to open-source funding, including information about the prominent player Gitcoin, have remained at a consistently low level. This lack of coverage does not accurately reflect the thriving ecosystem that Gitcoin and other organizations have created. It is essential to address this silence and shed light on the flourishing open-source funding initiatives that are redefining the possibilities for public goods.
The Need for Change
As a journalist deeply immersed in Bitcoin, crypto, and blockchain technology, it is alarming to discover the limited coverage of open-source funding initiatives. In the face of the potential emergence of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), it becomes more critical than ever to protect and preserve the decentralized and open ethos of Web3 within our community. Uniquely open-sourced funding initiatives, such as the Quadratic Funding (QF) used by Gitcoin, can play a vital role in achieving this mission. By providing resources to empower the community and maintain democratic principles, these initiatives are essential elements of the blockchain ecosystem.
Open Source Quadratic Funding
Gitcoin has been silently making strides in fostering an ecosystem of public goods. According to information shared with CryptoSlate, the organization has successfully distributed over $50 million across more than 100 Quadratic Funding rounds. These initiatives support institutions like UNICEF in funding blockchain-based public goods. Gitcoin’s focus on regenerative initiatives, including grants for nature-based solutions, clean energy, and indigenous communities, sets an inspiring example. One notable initiative is the Universal Impact Pool, which ensures that funding is directed towards projects that truly matter.
Quadratic Funding is a distinctive crowdfunding approach that encourages community involvement. Contributors “vote” with their contributions, pooling together small donations that are then matched with a more substantial amount from a central fund. The unique aspect of QF lies in its emphasis on the number of contributors rather than the total donation amount, fostering shared ownership and community involvement. Although there may be challenges such as collusion or misuse of funds, the QF method empowers the community and has the potential to shape the future of cryptocurrency projects like those on Gitcoin.
Public Goods Network
The Public Goods Network (PGN) is a prime example of the innovation made possible through quadratic funding. Led by core Gitcoin members and powered by Conduit, the PGN operates as a low-cost Layer 2 (L2) OP Chain that directs the majority of net sequencer fees towards public goods. Transaction gas fees on the PGN are pooled to support various public goods initiatives, with Ethereum (ETH) acting as the native token for generating community funds through on-chain transactions.
The PGN serves as a cost-effective alternative to the Ethereum mainnet, allowing users and developers to run dApps while automatically generating funding for public goods. Its mission, supported by an alliance of public goods advocates, including Gitcoin, aims to create a credible and sustainable funding source for the growth of public goods organizations.
Although open-source funding may not gain mainstream news coverage, the sector is undeniably thriving. It is crucial to acknowledge and commend the entities involved in fostering an environment that supports the sustainable funding of public goods. The efforts of organizations like Gitcoin and their open-source funding initiatives pave the way for a future where supporting the greater good through open-source funding is paramount. As a journalist, I am committed to bringing more visibility to these initiatives and underscoring their significance in preserving the fabric of a decentralized and open Web3 in a rapidly changing landscape.