Ethereum Protocol Development is a public good, and it’s possibly the closest one to the ecosystem that gave Gitcoin life.
Because Ethereum Protocol Development makes a secure, reliable, and performant Layer 1 possible, it is the foundation of the entire Ethereum ecosystem.
Here is a photoshopped xkcd comic that iillustrates this point. All of the Ethereum ecosystem rests on these public goods.
This infrastructure is considered by many to be underfunded. Here is a graph from @vbuterin 's article The Most Important Scarce Resource is Legitimacy which shows the relative amount spent on R&D (Protocol Development) relative to PoW spending (spending on security)
Anyway, this came to a boiling point last week. I’m not sure if you all saw, but over the last days a debate has resurfaced around protocol developer compensation, burnout, and retainment issues in the Ethereum ecosystem.
This conversation is of course relevant to us, because our mission is to build and fund digital public goods.
We actually started off in Gitcoin Grants Round 1 funding the Ethereum ecosystem, and grew that heavily from Round 1 to Round 7. Around Round 7, we started scaling out to Gitcoin Grants Side Rounds and Gitcoin Aqueduct .
As the debate around Ethereum Protocol Dev Comp was brought up, there was some constructive criticism around Gitcoin’s offering that I think is worth taking seriously. The debates were not about Gitcoin, they are about creating a better outcome for protocol devs (which retains them), but I do think the commentary about us and our offering towards that goal is worth taking seriously.
I want to invite the Gitcoin community to participate in the above debates.
Here is my prompt: Ethereum Protocol Development is a public good, and it’s possibly the closest one to the ecosystem that gave Gitcoin life. Can Gitcoin be doing more to support Ethereum Protocol Devs?