[Discussion series] What does Gitcoin look like if we are successful in achieving our Essential Intents?

We recently ratified our purpose and essential intents. I pasted them here below because I want to star to tease apart what this might mean for the Gitcoin DAO. This post is the first in a series where I want to go a level deeper on what the next 12-18 months might mean for Gitcoin if we are successful. This will serve as an itinerary of things to be on the look out for - these things may help inform workstream focus and may help guide how workstreams plan for the future.

The Essential Intents of Gitcoin

  1. Protocol Adoption
  • Build a widely adopted, modular Grants protocol that creates a flourishing ecosystem of funding mechanisms.
  • Build a widely adopted, modular Pluralism Passport protocol that creates a flourishing ecosystem of network effects around Decentralized Society.
  1. Financial Sustainability
  • Have a comprehensive, diversified strategy for financial stability of the DAO in order to effectively achieve our mission.
  1. DAO Organization
  • Create and promote clear and engaging rituals, communication channels, and messaging that build emergent shared context among GitcoinDAO’s contributors, stewards, and supporters.
  1. Grants Program Success
  • Enable a successful grants protocol launch by dogfooding it internally and supporting ecosystems in adopting it.*
  • Continue to support the Ethereum ecosystem and public goods in web3 and beyond through Gitcoin-led rounds.*

This series will cover a number of topics and I could see spending time talking about at least the following:

  1. Governance evolution to include a protocol
  2. The Gitcoin Grants program evolution
  3. The bull case for GTC
  4. The Gitcoin DAO and how we work (decentralization of power)

To kick things off, let’s start by exploring how governance, and specifically GTC as a governance token might be used in the near future.

Today, GTC is primarily used as governance token to approve workstream budgets, and to both approve and ratify Gitcoin Grants rounds. We often have very vigorous debates on the budget as it impacts most folks who are rewarded by the DAO. We have some debate on the Grants round, but I could see this growing quite a bit as we direct larger and larger sums of matching rewards.

One new area we expect to crop up is the need for more governance process around how changes are proposed, developed, and adopted/shipped to the protocol. We have recently seen an interest in making changes to the product from the community and there is little precedent set for how we might do this once we have a protocol in place where development is further decentralized.

Other Protocol DAOs have made strides in building out governance processes that navigate these next steps and I look forward to learning from those who are leading here. I would expect a more formal proposal process (ie, number proposals, clear format for different types of proposal - protocol improvement, governance process change, operating norms, etc.) will need to come to fruition to help us better manage these things.

I could also see the need for an increase in quality of documentation. We have some great forum posts that highlight changes to the process, but these are often lost in the forums weeks after they are ratified. We also do not have documentation yet on how to interact with the Grants Protocol, or Passport. Optimisms does a great job of consolidating their docs to a single place using a tool that is easy to maintain.

Finally, the Gitcoin Grants program is going to look and feel very different 18mos from now if we are successful. Though Gitcoin will likely still run a “main QF round,” it may be just one grants program among many. Evaluating how to make the review and ratification of grants rounds more engaging and integral to the protocol is going to be very interesting. We are one of a few DAOs who continually deploy millions of dollars to thousands of projects based on community sentiment. Introducing ways to reward those who hold GTC and/or participate in the grants round governance to ensure we reflect the communities sentiment will be critical. More on this to come in the evolution of the Grants Program.

Legitimate governance is one of the core tenets of any DAO. I too am just one node in this network and I don’t think any one person should be prescriptive in how we evolve our governance. I do know that I am excited for our governance to continue to evolve, with the community support and input.

In what ways do you think it’s going to be important for us to explore as it pertains to governance? Are there other topics you’re interested in being part of this series?


Thanks so much for making this post, Kyle. I’d love to be a part of this discussion series, and you pose some very important questions here.

One thing that’s been top of mind for me lately is your fourth proposed topic “The Gitcoin DAO and how we work (decentralization of power).”

This past budget cycle has been intense, and at many points has felt unnecessarily adversarial, as @safder elaborated on eloquently in his comment here.

As S15 budgeting continues to play out, I’ve been wondering how we might emerge from this budget season in a way where people feel safe and cared for? How might we ensure that Gitcoin has one of the best contributor experiences during, and beyond, S15?

I think @loietaylor has left such an important legacy on this DAO by leading with care, and I think when we consider the decentralization of power within our DAO, we need to consider how leadership impacts those being lead. I think it’s important that we ensure our leaders care, not just about our program and protocol, but about the people behind it all.

I hope we can continue to make Gitcoin one of the best places to work, within and beyond web3 - and I’d love to explore this in the context of our essential intents.


Can we define “flourishing” & “ecosystem” with metrics?

  • Number of round owners / ecosystems
  • Number Total Capital Allocated (TCA)
  • Number Value saved from fraud
  • Ecosystem Shared Value (measuring the positive-sum returns of protocolized and marketplace tooling for fraud detection, grant reviews, fundraising, growth, etc)

Let’s define “modular”, “flourishing ecosystem” & “network effects around decentralized society”

  • Total Cost of Forgery for the system (TCF)
  • Average stamps / human user
  • High confidence non-sybil signals
  • Permutations of a k value used by communities (DeSoc Coefficient)
  • Rate of app adoption MoM
  • Number of active Passport forks
  • Shared insights (from data science contests)

Let’s define “comprehensive” “diversified” and “financial stability … in order to effectively achieve our mission”

  • Runway prediction vs change MoM
  • Runway available in stablecoins
  • Diversification Ratio
  • Correlation Ratios to common indexes
  • Create a common understanding of our motive - Are we a j-curve org pumping funds before a redemption post protocol launch?
  • % of CSDO approved outcomes aligned with Financial Strategy

Let’s define “clear and engaging rituals, communication channels, and messaging” and “emergent shared context”

  • Contributor Satisfaction Scores (Multiple scores)
  • Gini-coefficient or similar
  • Attendance at key events - Breakdown to a matrix with Big one off events, Weekly Process (Tuesday) Weekly Product (Wednesday DAO Vibes) and Weekly People (Gathering hour)
    The other axis has separations of Core, trusted, regular, community, etc.
  • Steward Momentum - Are we shifting power inward or outward?

Let’s define “successful grants protocol launch” “dogfooding it internally” and “supporting ecosystems in adopting it”

  • Rounds run growth SoS
  • Internal rounds run!
  • Rounds using Gitcoin generated services (Fraud Detection, Eligibility Reviews, Operations)

Let’s define “support ethereum ecosystem”, “public goods” and “gitcoin-led rounds”

  • NPS of reviewers with x in their wallet or y donations
  • Average grant public goods score in Main/Eth round
  • NPS of funders of Gitcoin led rounds

These are just some quick ideas to continue the convo moving forward!

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