In this episode, Bobby Ong, co-founder of CoinGecko is joined by Scott Moore, Co-Founder and Community Lead of Gitcoin. Bobby interviewed Scott on the background of Gitcoin, their products, their GTC token launch, as well as Gitcoin’s upcoming plans for 2021.
[00:02:31] What is Gitcoin?
[00:05:17] Differences between Gitcoin’s products
[00:10:55] What is Quadratic Funding?
[00:15:16] Steps for preventing Sybil attacks on Gitcoin
[00:19:58] Application process to receive matching Grants
[00:25:29] Reasons for GTC token launch
[00:30:09] Funding needs for Gitcoin
[00:34:48] Upcoming plans for Gitcoin in second half of 2021
Quotes from the episode:
“That's partly why we ended up talking a lot with Vitalik and like trying to get us feedback on what we're up to with Quadratic Funding, because I think he really understands the vision for that.” [00:11:33]
“The token itself was really meant to be a governance token first and foremost, which is really critical to note. The token itself for now, has no real economical rates. We don't intend for it to have an economical rate.” [00:26:06]
"So I think the biggest thing for me is to really hone in on how we run rounds and run basically Gitcoin Grants through the community. My view is that we've so far done a good job of like the community ratified Grants rounds.” [00:35:01]
Watch the Podcast on YouTube
Gitcoin - https://gitcoin.co/
CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/
Gitcoin on CoinGecko - https://www.coingecko.com/en/coins/gitcoin
Bobby Ong [00:00:00]:
Welcome to the Coingecko podcast. I'm your host, Bobby Ong. Each week we will be interviewing someone from the blockchain industry to learn more about this fast moving cryptocurrency economy. If this is your first time listening then, thanks for coming. CoinGecko podcast is produced each week to help you stay ahead of the curve. Show notes can be found at podcast.coingecko.com. I highly encourage you to join our newsletter, where we send out top news in the crypto industry every Monday to Friday. Come back often and feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow us on Twitter and Telegram at CoinGecko.
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Bobby Ong [00:01:41]:
Welcome to the CoinGecko podcast. For today's episode, we are very honored to have Scott Moore, Co-founder and Community Lead at Gitcoin. My name is Bobby. I'm the co-founder and COO at CoinGecko. If you're watching this on YouTube, we at CoinGecko really appreciate if you hit the subscribe button below and yeah. Let's jump into our podcast. Yeah, so a little bit of background about Scott. Scott is a Co-founder and Community Lead at Gitcoin, a platform and DAO focused on building sustainable digital public goods. Scott also plays a supporting role in a variety of other organizations focused on this mission, including KERNEL, Seed Club, UNICEF's Digital Public Goods Alliance, and SustainOSS. To date, Gitcoin has distributed over $20 million to developers and creators around the world. Very happy to have you on the show and welcome to the podcast, Scott.
Scott Moore [00:02:29]:
Thanks. Great to be here.
Bobby Ong [00:02:31]:
Yeah. Let's kickstart with an introduction, right? So Scott, maybe, can you give us an explanation of what Gitcoin is for the listeners who are not really familiar on what Gitcoin is actually about?
Scott Moore [00:02:40]:
Yeah. So, well kind of in your intro, right, like let's unpack what a digital public it is. And that's going to be the best place to start. So Gitcoin is aimed at trying to grow and sustain open source software first and foremost. And when we talk about digital public goods, we're principally talking about open source software. So the kinds of libraries, tools, overall sort of like code that everyone uses to run their applications both in Web 3 and Web 2. The goal of kind of framing these as digital public goods kind of goes back to almost, you know, state-like, nation-like concept of like the public or like a public space. And that has a whole history, which is too much to get into here, which goes back to like, 17th, 18th century, like philosophy and like political science. But the overall understanding that people should have is that these are ultimately things that we all share that we all rely on. Like the Uniswap or Ethereum itself wouldn't exist if not for these kinds of public goods. And so what we're trying to do is create a series of experiments around how we build and fund these things. We started that with a bounties platform, which was like, funny enough, not the most novel idea. There's lots of bounty platforms in that too. Lots of projects have tried this and fail. And I think the reason that we actually got traction, partly, it comes down to the fact that Ethereum and this sort of like, community currency layer adds those relevant incentives for people to actually bother getting involved, both on the project side and on the developer side.
So that led to practicing, well, if I can pay people my native token, I can actually get those people as members of my community too, and they'll become participants, not just speculators. And then similarly you can get like, people who otherwise may not want to perstate in traditional bounties saying, "Well, you know, I'm getting, $500, $1000 worth of tokens now, but I don't know what those will necessarily be worth in the future. If I believe in this project then theoretically, like there's reason that those might be worth more than now. That's true for some tokens and not for others. Some tokens aren't aimed at having any economic value at all. And so that's, you know, obviously consideration. But the bounties product was really a starting point for us to kind of experiment with these ideas. That led us to get giving Grants, led us to KERNEL and other things that we can get into but, you know, ultimately those experiments all being around this idea of open-source software, being being the lifeblood of the ecosystem and how we can sustain that.
Bobby Ong [00:05:17]:
So I think you brought up a few different products in Gitcoin, right? You brought up the bounties, the KERNEL, couple of other things, like, I guess from a layman's perspective, what are the differences between this product? So I kind of understand digital public goods, kind of like source code like, that is maintained by developers and so everyone uses them, but the developer have no way to monetize it. You have a, I guess, I suppose there's a grant you kind of pay to kind of support the developers. I guess the bounties on the other hand will be like, you would like some sort of a feature to be built. So you set aside a bounty and that's kind of how you get started. Like a $500 bounty to build a set of feature for a certain libraries, I suppose. Is that kind of a good way to simplify things?
Scott Moore [00:05:53]:
Yeah, exactly. So the goal of bounty is really like, getting people involved in the ecosystem is difficult. It's hard to know where people can start and one way that people can start is just with very granular, very targeted tasks. And those targeted tasks tend to be better because people don't need to have the context on like every single thing that the project has been working on over the last, you know, maybe even, five, 10 years. And so bounties are really meant to be a starting point for someone to, eventually like, either build up to become a core maintainer, sustaining the project alongside the team. We've had to happen actually quite a few times with people who have actually been hired through the platform. Sushi actually has worked with a few people recently that they were talking, seeing the crisis of who ended up going on to do a lot of really good work down the road. And then Grants are really about like people creating their own projects. And those projects don't necessarily have to be infrastructure. Those projects can be on top of another ecosystem. So an example might be, on the infrastructure side, WalletConnect is really cool infrastructure, Rainbow, other wallets rely on that to work. But we also have projects like Uniswap, which created Grants early on in their life cycle and eventually, of course, ended up becoming sustainable sort of projects, maybe like, I can say billion dollar projects at this point. And that was a huge win for the entire ecosystem. So like the fact that they started as a Grantee and started bootstrapping before they really had any kind of clear path to sustain themselves through other capital is still perfectly valid. So people kind of like start off with bounties. They get a sense of whatever they wanna work on and that hopefully leads them to creating new projects or other relevant initiatives for the ecosystem down the road.
Bobby Ong [00:07:39]:
Scott, I'm interested to find out from you, right, I mean, there's so many ideas around in crypto, right? You can build like a DEX, you can build like, I mean, a lending protocol, anything, but like, of all the ideas in crypto, why do you end up choosing to build Gitcoin to fight for digital public good? Like, I'm just curious to know the why.
Scott Moore [00:07:56]:
So it's a good question. Like, Kevin and I actually came at it from different perspectives that like both shared the sort of like reverence for the history of open source software had. And it goes back to really, like both of us have had careers in the past where we used open source software on our day to day work. I know personally, I wouldn't have been able to do any of the work that I, I previously, before crypto worked with a lender doing the sort of machine learning stuff. And all the libraries I used, every single, like kind of tool I used was open source. And you know, Kevin also comes from actually probably a more robust engineering background and really just like, has been using that his whole careers. So that's part of it, but actually like, it's a problem I've been thinking about in the context of DAOs for a while too. And the concept is basically, so in 2015, 2016, I worked on this idea called um, [inaudible] Exchange, which is a really weird like niche project, but it was actually, funny enough, like kind of around the time, like MakerDAO and like DigixDAO, we're doing some stuff around this too. And we were trying to do this sort of like equity swap, kind of like collective funding sort of arrangement, where founders could go in, like basically create their own sort of founder collectives. And, uh, yeah, eventually it never have happened, you know, obviously no one wants to talk about DAOs for awhile. But the overall idea that like kind of was, if we create these kinds of shared goods, we can actually all sort of win together. And like, you get a sort of like positive some multiplayer game that like we all talk about in crypto, accelerated to like the next level.
So having spent, you know, when I joined Kevin about like two, three years in crypto, I started to realize that a lot of the projects that people were working on starting to represent, like maybe to a degree that I wasn't as interested in like a lot of traditional companies or a lot of traditional financial institutions. And so, I wanted to really just try and emphasize this [inaudible] currency narrative, and the fact that like people could actually build charity ecosystems, not just necessarily walled gardens. And I think, I don't credit us with this, I think this was just a thing that happened on its own, but like, I think people have moved towards this direction now, especially in the recent cycle of thinking more about those positive some multiplayer games and less about like walled gardens and the reason this is really important is because if you look back to Web 2, standards we're pretty much captured, like the entire idea of this sort of semantic web was captured by Facebook's like button. And then like that like button is just like all we have left of this idea of this mutable, like ever-present interface for like community feedback across the web. And there's lots of examples of that work standards just fail. So having that kind of like shared belief in and kind of like value set, I think is really important for us to actually make it to a point where we're really improving on what to not just kind of like creating a new, but maybe like equally questionable system.
Bobby Ong [00:10:55]:
One of the things that I was looking at in Gitcoin was that, you guys use this thing called the Quadratic Funding with the matching Grants that you collect from donors in distributing funds to the projects. I think Vitalik came up with this paper for Quadratic Funding and I guess my question is, do you guys kind of draw inspiration from Vitalik Buterin and maybe you can explain a little bit for us, what is Quadratic Funding and why is it better than other sort of matching Grants formulas.
Scott Moore [00:11:22]:
Yeah, definitely. We, so we actually started the platform obviously way before that paper was written. But the paper was a large inspiration for doing the Gitcoin Grants, actually. And like, that's partly why we ended up talking a lot with Vitalik and like trying to get us feedback on what we're, what we're up to with Quadratic Funding, because I think he really understands the vision for that. You know, at least at the beginning, I think he understood the vision for that much better than we did. We just sort of saw the paper and we were like already building out this Grants mechanism. The Grants mechanism at the time, I think was really just focused on like being crowdfunding platform. There was no real like matching component. And we looked at the paper, we read through it and we thought like, "Wait, this is like a bigger deal than we think." And so the overall idea of project running for folks that aren't familiar is like, suppose you have, it's effectively a more democratic way to distribute some pool of funds based on community sentiment or signal. And so supposed you have two Grants, like Grant A and Grant B. Grant A raises $4 from two people. Grant B raises $8 from eight people, the former one getting a matching amount to about 20% of whatever matching pool is ready. We're at $60. The latter is $64. [inaudible] 64 out of 80 is the [inaudible]. And you would end up with effectively this matching pool distribution, that's entirely based on community interests and what they care about. And that's good for two reasons. One is that now you're multiplying money that, you know, matching partners put forward through the community's donation.
So we often see like, double the amounts of, or even triple the amount of funding coming in in terms of community donations versus what's in the matching pool. Although that's changing now that matching pool is growing as more people are going into it. And then two, you actually get the community involved in the process. I think that problem with a lot of brands programs today, although I've seen in the last six to 12 months, a lot of improvements on this, like a lot of Grants programs are kind of opaque and, and they don't really allow the community to like, have a say in what they're doing. I don't think that's necessarily bad in all cases to be sure. Like, I think there's cases where you need really strong expert opinions to make sure that you're actually delivering funds to things that are going to be useful. But I think there's also cases where you can end up shutting out the community in a way that like is unnecessary. And so having this balance and I actually, this is how we worked with a lot of the projects that work, you know, having your centralized Grants program, but then also having that sort of community Grants program that you run in tandem, is really like useful for like kind of balancing these two, those two sort of like methods and goals. And so yeah, we've been running that for, actually the 10th round of Gitcoin Grants is active right now, till the end of the month. And we run them forward to be periods. There needs to be a bound on the time just to make sure that we have like sentiment over and kind of like snapshot period. And then we have been running these with partly the goal of, you know, obviously raising funding for the community.
But one of the interesting second order effects of Vitalik's mechanism is that you have real identity, anti-civil kind of like data that you're gathering. Because in that example I gave, you could imagine that someone just tries to grade eight identities split up their votes, the same dollar amounts in both cases, they just split up their votes. And now they've gained the system through this sort of civil attack. And I think that eventually you want to get to a point where we actually have some level of kind of competence with this anti-civil research that we can export to other projects that need this sort of solution. And I think if we can solve that identity problem critically in a pseudo anonymous way, we'll get to a really like, I think next level state for the ecosystem.
Bobby Ong [00:15:16]:
Yeah, I think you mentioned some interesting points there, right? I mean, just because a project gets more funding from more people, it by definition will get a higher number of matching Grants. So there is a lot of incentive to sort of manipulate the number of donors. So I'm not so sure if you, I mean, I remember when I was donating to Gitcoin. I was using Gitcoin, like the first time many months ago. I was like, wondering why on earth do I have to sign up? And you know, have my identity. I remember I have to tie in my GitHub account I think and it was kind of annoying that, and I guess that was kind of the reason, I suppose, why you guys do that? So that because of the matching Grant, I didn't really understand it back then, but I was kind of a bit annoyed back then, but I kind of see it. But even with those things, I mean, what are the steps that you guys use to kind of prevent Sybil attacks? Like what sort of verification do you use? Do you see these being effective? Do you see people sort of manipulating these things and try to create more accounts, sort of have larger matching Grants for projects. It's interesting because these things that you've talked about, like if you find a solution for them, you could kind of see how projects can sort of, I mean, a lot of people are sort of manipulating airdrops, right? I mean, like every account that has interacted on Uniswap once, every address will get a 400 UNI airdrops. So if you're smart and you just like farm these addresses, you get quite a lot of airdrops I suppose. And I mean, that's, what's happening now, right? Everyone in crypto they know what's coming with like the Uniswap models. So they kind of farm more these addresses, but Gitcoin, I suppose it's really hard to farm addresses. I think everyone only had one address or one account to kind of get GTC airdrop. But yeah, I would like to hear from your point of view on what I just asked just now.
Scott Moore [00:16:50]:
Yeah, just doesn't know. I mean, like, we don't think GitHub is like the best longterm uh, IMC solution. It's just what we happen to start with. And to be honest, we, we have a lot of work we're doing to like improve the number of options. And yeah to answer to your question, like some of those options right now are Web 3 options. So for Grants, people can verify their identity with Bright ID. They can verify their identity with even things like Idena, which like can't believe yet you're in community is like not [inaudible]. Like there's like some even niche ones there that we've even funded that we just want to have, like there, because we want a broad swath of like options for people to try out and to do experiment with. Because I mean, we don't even know which of those will be long-term with the best solutions, but the ultimate goal of, you know, having in that case, like five, 10 different like verification options, pull-out and ENS being same examples as well, is to kind of like eventually form this, almost network of different identities which have like, some of them are web of trust. Some of them are Web 2 authentication based like GitHub. Some of them are entirely based at like, you know, we've thought about the idea of either implementing like those sorts of Web 3 on-chain activity metrics, like the degen score, like those sorts of things, on Ethereum like, how people are actually acting on-chain and ultimately all those different types of reputation have different almost fingerprints.
And if we can combine them together, I think we can get like a really strong picture. Like what someone's activity is without really knowing who they are, which I think is really important. Personally, I don't want to end up in a world where everyone has like their photo ID on the blockchain and like, I just think that's like going to be a world that we'll come to regret in some way, and like, it worries me, like as a privacy advocate to some degree at like a deeper level. But I think that the alternative of having this kind of like constellation of different options has been pretty successful so far. So we've done a lot of like internal analysis alongside Block Science and others and using these sort of metrics, you know, some of these come from just on data in the actual round itself [inaudible] from pairing that with the identity solutions data. But together we've done some announces on like collusion tax and figured out sort of roughly what the kinds of collusion attacks we want to review in more detail look like. It might be that there are others we haven't caught. Like it's very possible if there were more sophisticated attacks that we're missing, but we do know that like there's a reasonably, probably about like, there's a 5% tax probably approximately in terms of collusion on the platform right now.
And that 5% tax, we have like good solutions in place for, and we're actually working with the community to ratify, like implementing those solutions. We don't want to be the only ones of course, to decide these things laterally. That's part of like the goal of GTC and like this governance platform and kind of ecosystem to be created. But ultimately, we think that's a really important experiment, not just for us, but for the broader ecosystem, because I, again, other people being used these tools will be, I think, critical for us to get to the next stage of development.
Bobby Ong [00:19:58]:
With regards to the matching funding and all like, can any project just kind of get on to Gitcoin and be involved with the, and get like matching funds? Can it just easy to register without or is there an application process to receive some of these matching Grants?
Scott Moore [00:20:12]:
Technically. yes. Technically anyone can be involved, but we've actually implemented a community review process for Grants. And the reason for that is actually funny enough after the round, I think it was around eight MaskBook donation back to their community, which was like really good to see what happened effectively was MassBook airdropped people who had donated to Gitcoin Grants a certain amounts of their token when they launched, and just sort of as a thank you for donating. And ultimately what that resulted in was a lot of people in the next round spamming contributions, trying to like see if they might get into like another airdrop. So we've started thinking about like how do we make those kinds of improvements? But we've as a result of that also seen a lot of people kind of like randomly putting up new Grants and trying to spam the Grant creation in hopes that creating a Grant will also somehow impact this. So we have implemented a community review process, which is really just to detect things that are obviously fraudulent. Like "I'm Uniswap, I want to put the Grant". Like, "No, you're not. You're clearly not Uniswap." and like, similarly we've tried to remove things that are clearly like, it's just random strings. It's not even like, sensible, like what it is. But aside from that, we haven't really done much curation of Grantees and that's intentional like, for Vitalik's mechanism to work, it needs to be incredibly neutral. That's something that we've entrusted the community to decide as well. And so the community might start putting Grantors that restrict things a bit further which I would be really interested to see. We're trying to like, as much as we can stay out of that.
But for example, one of the stewards, stewards are kind of like the folks who, when we get the sort of like token launch, were delegated sort of responsibility. That was all based on the way that we did, like the actual launch on. Everyone who wanted to claim tokens had to delegate to one of, I think there were about 50 stewards up at the time. And it was an open process, like anyone could post on the forum and still can post on the forum to become a steward, to have their name on that list by the way, if anyone's interested is listening. But the overall goal of this proposal was one of the stewards realized VC funding was not really, potentially relevant for a Grants program. Like if you have a lot of VC funding, why do you need a Grant for this [inaudible] question. And we've had a lot of data on the forum about it actually. Some people are saying, well, you know, how do we measure what too much VC funding is? How do we measure it, whether or not someone has actually taken in VC funding? And like, I actually having a strong opinion on this, I can't have a strong opinion on it. It's really up to me to decide whether they want to do with this boat. But like, I think that's one really interesting question. And I think there'll be more questions like that, like as the community starts to determine these new Grantors, there probably will be more restrictions on the kind of Grants to be graded. But I don't think any kind of core public good, like a WalletConnect or with ether.js really has to be too worried about that.
Bobby Ong [00:23:20]:
Yeah. I mean, was there a conclusion from the debate? Because, I mean, I remember using Gitcoin trying to find some projects, interesting projects to give some donation over the past couple of months. And I saw some projects that have a token trading in the markets. And I was wondering if you guys have a token, why do you need to get a Grant from the community? Doesn't make much sense to me. And then some of these projects, especially the most annoying one to me was project with tokens. Like that was kind of red line for me, I suppose. I don't think projects with token should be asking for Grants, but I mean, was there a conclusion from the discussion forums and all?
Scott Moore [00:23:50]:
So I think there hasn't quite yet gone to vote, but I would expect, it looks like generally from the thread and other people can verify this, like that people are leaning towards removing sort of Grant category. And yeah, there's been other Grantees that have been in this, as I mentioned, like that have tokens, that have like a large community that have been in the situation. The good news is we've got the funding only works as well as someone's interest in donating. Like if a project is up there and clearly doesn't really deserve funding, usually, you know, for the most part, we haven't seen a lot of projects that if they're really, really like clearly not in need of the funds, we haven't seen receive a lot of matching pool. There has been one exception to this, which was MassBook. But actually projects like MassBook, and the good news is they actually sunset their Grant. They realized, wait, we're getting a ton of matching funding. That wasn't our intention in this next round, after the airdrop. And they sunset their Grant, they remove it from the matching pool as a result of that. And so even in those cases, I guess like the good news is we're seeing about some amount of like self-restraint and like self-policing. But again, like, as the community starts to take over more of these roles credible neutrality becomes sort of like contextual in you know, we have our own public, which is representing me through the community, which is the stewards, which is this board delegates. And like that pool and incredibly neutral within their own norms and sort of like cultural values um, about what kind of Grants are part of the pool. So we couldn't really do anything, but we believe the community has a lot more recovery to do that.
Bobby Ong [00:25:29]:
A couple of weeks ago, you guys launched the Gitcoin, GTC token. Congratulations on that! Airdropped to anyone who has contributed to Gitcoin Grants in the past. And I'm one of the recipients of the airdrop. So very happy for that. I'm just curious though, kind of surprising to receive the token as well. So what's kind of the reasoning behind releasing this GTC token? I mean, you, you mentioned it a few times a little bit about the voter delegation, the stewards that you talked about. Yeah. And then it's this kind of like this stewards and all that you've talked about is it a bit similar to the representative democracy that the US has at this point in time. So it's good to hear from your point of view on the token DAO and so on. Yeah.
Scott Moore [00:26:05]:
Yeah. So the token itself was really meant to be a governance token first and foremost, which is really critical to note. The token itself for now, it has no real economical rates. We don't intend for it to have an economical rate. So that kind of stuff. I think one thing that's really important that we did get a lot of questions about was, you know, "Oh, when can I buy this token?" Or you know, things like that. And like there's no intention for that to be part of GTC and the way it was airdropped was actually very intentionally around donating back to people who had previously provided some kind of value to the ecosystem. So either they had, you know, the bounty or funded a bounty, whether they created the Grants or, funded the Grants. They even credit KERNEL which is an incubator program, that we sort of like ran alongside folks like Andy Tudhope and others in the community who act as mentors. And together with all those sorts of you know, results, all those sorts of like actions, we were able to like get a pool of stewards and sort of like basically delegates that represent the values of the community that have actually been participating in the community for a long time. And so having those people govern the community just seemed like a really strong opportunity to us. Like those people can actually make decisions that we can't make in incredibly neutral way, like for example, one other problem, in addition to the anti-civil stuff, or in addition to who gets to put up the Grants in the first place, is Grants discoverability. So we have you know, the ability to order Grants on the platform.
And the Grants are ordered according to how much matching funding they received. They're ordered in terms of how many contributors they've had with this run so far. All of those sorts of ways of objectively ordering Grants doesn't really take into account the actual interests that community has in those Grants, through, or the expert opinions like relevant insights the community might have into this Grant. So an example might be, we have this concept of collections and like Danny Ryan bringing ETH 2 collection would be like to me much more valuable than me creating an ETH 2 collection. I don't know anybody as much, obviously as Danny Ryan too. And there's lots of examples like that, where we want the community to figure out better discovery mechanism, where the community has more say in the kinds of things that they want to see surfaced. That extends the idea of categories. So like we have the infrastructure category, we have the community category, we have the like application level category. All of these categories are just like randomly defined by us. We have not like given really any, there's no reason that these should be the categories, essentially. Aside from the fact that we just said that these are our categories. So ultimately figuring out that discoverability problem in a more community centric way is a big part of it. And then the other part of it is like, we don't want to be, you know, I keep using the word platform, we don't want to be a platform forever. We eventually want us to be a public good sort of protocol.
And the reason for that is partly related to the identity conversation earlier. Like all of these sorts of ideas around identity can be used to better sort of understanding of [inaudible] public goods together. And all of those things can be wrapped into almost like dataset and like set it up sort of like, potential, like anyone who wants to create a CLR project or wants to create a public goods funding project in the future, can leverage everything we've been doing, hopefully, to make their projects better. And whether that's the identity sort of solutions or whether that's like the data from previous rounds for collusion detection, whether that's just getting a sense from our community as to what the community believes as a public good in the first place, all of those are open questions that we want to propagate to the ecosystem at large. So that's sort of like a long answer, but yeah, there's a few components. There's sort of like, obviously short-term governance over these like key decisions around Grants and what is a public good. And then there's this longer term decisions as well around exporting this to the ecosystem.
Bobby Ong [00:30:09]:
Interesting that you brought up about, I mean, how you think about Gitcoin as not really a platform, but more of a public good. Which brings up some interesting question, right, how do you guys fund your operations? Right. So when you got started, you guys raised a fund, raised round from VCs, so you kind of bootstrapped it and then kind of I knew every Grant that you make there's like a line at bottom where you can kind of pay I think 10% or 20% to Gitcoin to kind of fund operations. But now that you guys have a token is there sort of treasury and are you guys, I mean, you can always put on the tabs, I suppose. So to say, like percentage of the Grant donation goes to the treasury for example, and then that funds operations. But would be interesting to hear how you think about the funding and the long-term operation needs, I mean, the funding needs for Gitcoin?
Scott Moore [00:30:53]:
Definitely. We and this is something I haven't really talked about too much in terms of my own personal vision. You know, again, all this is just like my opinions and I don't want to speak for the community, like we don't want to like that's the ultimate goal here is that like, we don't have the same sort of decision-making, but one of the things that I think is missing from the community is almost a DAO DAO, if that makes sense. Like, it sounds very nebulous, but like...
Bobby Ong [00:31:17]:
A DAO of a DAO.
Scott Moore [00:31:19]:
Yeah, we have a lot of different kind of like public goods DAO's been spinning up and tools for like infrastructure for DAOs they're spinning up. Solike MolochDAO. Moloch V3 is an example of this. NowDAO is an example of this. Obviously, you know, there are other examples of core infrastructure that we need but like the overall, like DAO DAO's narrative should be broader than that. So KERNEL for example, is our incubator, but like KERNEL is also in some ways philosophically a DAO. It's a DAO in the sense that people are coming together in these cohorts, 200 people or so per cohort, and they're learning together, they're sharing knowledge together. They're building companies together, and then they're going out into the world. Seed Club very similarly uh, is sort of a DAO and is focused on like a very similar sort of like mission of how do we empower creators? How do we get them to build their own companies, their own projects? And then you've got like things like curator DAOs. Like these are how you've got like all these sorts of different models coming up, investor DAOs, like Syndicate DAO and all these different models, I think ultimately rely on some sort of shared public goods. And so one of the things that I'm very interested in is how to even start to find that infrastructure. And like, to your point, how do we find that? The treasury that was, started to be generated from you know, the multisig of matching funders. The VC funding that we do unfortunately have, like the history of. Can go towards that rather than go towards us as a company.
And then eventually, you know, right now we just have governance rights. There's no real, like value to token treasury, but we do want to reward people with governance for participating in the ecosystem. And so from my perspective, there is sort of three layers to this. There's the existing donations from the community. There's VC funding going from us to the organization back to the community, rather than us like holding that in sort of like a cave somewhere and just like pretending that's only the [inaudible] money, the ecosystem's money. And then kind of like these governance rights, which over time are going to provide ways for the system to decide what in a token swap sort of arrangement looks like or other sorts of arrangements look like. Even if the token has an economic value, there's companies and projects that want to be involved in the sort of like building the public goods radical as an example of this that it's also very mission-aligned. And ultimately those are swaps that because they're token tokens do have value, could end up having a positive income. So, you know, there's a lot of open questions around like, how do we sustain this longterm? And partly it's an open question. Like all these broken questions, because we're really early, like this only launched about two and a half, three weeks ago. And so, we still have to figure out a lot ourselves, but ultimately that sort of DAO DAO method of like potentially, you know, going back to the venture [inaudible] exchange thing, with being able to bring these kind of collectives to me would be really exciting. Like that's what I would love to see what this DAO DAO's narrative. And if we can find a shared infrastructure around that particular niche, in addition to obviously the broader mission. Personally, for me, that's a really interesting area. So I know that's like a not complete answer, like, because we don't have the information until [inaudible].
Bobby Ong [00:34:41]:
Figure it out as you go along, right.
Scott Moore [00:34:43]:
But like, that's the, from my perspective, one with really exciting like possibilities.
Bobby Ong [00:34:48]:
Cool. Last question that I have for you today on the podcast would be, I mean, you guys had a phenomenal first half of the year, many matching Grants, many projects. I mean, your token launch, what can we expect from Gitcoin the second half of the year?
Scott Moore [00:35:01]:
So I think the biggest thing for me is to really hone in on how we run rounds and run basically Gitcoin Grants through the community. My view is that we've so far done a good job of like the community ratified Grants rounds. And they dealt with this for whole Akita DAO token situation, which is a lot to like dive into. But in short, Vitalik gifted something like, I think it's spot price, it was originally like $500 million of [inaudible] multisig. That obviously like, you know, liquidity is not that high on, on those tokens. And so but he donated a bunch of SHIB's to a COVID-19 initiative in India. He donated to a lot of life extension causes and then, the Akita tokens were what, what we ended up getting and it ended up causing actually like a lot of really interesting like game theoretic, like kind of DAO between like, interDAO sort of like politics because our community is very public goods focused and we want to see like how these funds can be used for like public infrastructure. The Akita community originally we thought, or at least the communities towards tended to like, you know, vote this way. They thought the Akita community was like, mostly just like pump-and-dump sort of thing. They didn't think it was like very valuable. And we've actually through a lot of conversation and kind of like shared sort of understanding realized that we actually care about some of the same things in terms of just like finding ways to basically sustain public goods together.
There's a long history of like, anyway, like they ended up, the community voted to sell all the tokens. The community for the Akita folks in turn pull their community to sell all the tokens. And it created this prisoner's dilemma where we were defect-defect sort of state. So we moved back to a cooperate-cooperate sort of state and now part of the funds are going towards an Akita ecosystem fund. Part of them are going towards the giving grants multisig, and part of them are going towards a charity, which will be determined, jointly between. Both organizations. And so the reason I say we kind of came to this agreement that like public goods are important is because that ecosystem fund they're creating extensively will be used for actually building for infrastructure that supports things like their ecosystems you know, needs and the Doge coin sort of like that whole like ecosystems needs. And there could actually be some interesting bridge technology that comes from that similar sort of ideas and being discussed. But what was super interesting about these decisions like the Grants [inaudible] decision and the Akita decision is that the community actually kind of self-defined a process and they figured out how to vote.
And they actually went forward with those votes in a relatively like streamlined sort of like, I think relatively prompt fashion and like that whole process was very high engagement. It was like 80 to 90% turnout. And that's really like optimistic for me because there are a lot of DAOs where there's no turnout, where people aren't building, where the people that are voting are kind of just shareholders and the company, and all the people that are voting, all the people that were pursuing this process for us are just people who were using the platform or part of the community from the start. And so that kind of, I guess, to answer your question like that sort of is my eventually hope or what we're doing in Q3, Q4 is that the community will continue to sort of like iterate on these ideas, how they can improve their process and then like how they can improve the level of proposal that they're building up. Because, you know, the Akita proposal was actually probably a higher level of difficulty than we were expecting for almost [inaudible] DAO. We thought, okay, Grants around ten will probably be the first thing that they ratified. It won't be that like challenging to do. Right. Because people will generally agree on that idea.
But now I think we have like, a much broader scope. But I would love to see more votes happen around like, not just Grants ratification, but like maybe like one example would be, what would an entirely new interface look like for you from Grants? So what would it look like for joint round between CLR funding? What would it look like to integrate things like radical identity or like radical, like authentication into Gitcoin and our ecosystem. What would it look like to run a new swaps specific rounds? Like only for the Uniswap ecosystem. Those sorts of things are really interesting to me because they're like harder questions. Like, I don't know the answer to this questions and there are things that we will eventually need to figure out if the goal of this is to collaboratively like fund the public goods with the rest of the ecosystem. And, you know, it's been a long road. We have, historically, I didn't talk about this too, too much, but like we started in ConsenSys. That was like, where Gitcoin got it started, got its initial funding. And now we're an independent thing. But like we've slowly been able to have more and more freedom around how we, how we sort of act in the community. And I've been, you know, really hard and just to like, see that process unfold. And like now we're really at that point where it feels like anything's possible. So. That's a long answer, but hopefully that helps.
Bobby Ong [00:40:01]:
Yeah. I think that sums up very nicely for the podcast that we have today. I think Vitalik, I mean, gave you guys a tough time by giving you all the Akita tokens. I definitely would not want to be in that situation, having to deal with that, how to distribute a Grant that you have angry dog token owners coming to you. But yeah, I think, I think you guys, I'm very happy to hear that you guys found a good solution to that donation from Vitalik and I think that will probably take up a lot of your time in Q3, Q4, and your summary up there just now was perfect. So thank you very much, Scott, for spending the past hour with us on explaining what Gitcoin is and sort of things that you've done, the reason why you're doing it. And very happy to have you on the CoinGecko podcast.
Scott Moore [00:40:41]:
Thanks so much, Bobby.
Bobby Ong [00:40:42]:
That wraps up the show. Thank you for listening to the CoinGecko podcast. with Bobby. If you like our show and want to know more, check out podcast.coingecko.com. Or please leave us a review on iTunes. If you have any feedback, do drop us an email at email@example.com. Join us for more next week. See ya!
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