Gitcoin Grants Side Rounds

Hi all,

As Gitcoin Grants Round 11 comes to a close, I wanted to give you all a heads up about a new development we are seeing with Grants Rounds.

We’ve begun running side rounds as of Grants Round 11. These are typically for ecosystems that are Ethereum-adjacent, and they are run during the same time as the main Ethereum round every quarter.

Here are the side rounds that we’ve run for GR11:

For these rounds, the matching pool is typically put up by an ecosystem development DAO - typically 3rd party who wants to build their ecosystem in a way that derives value from Quadratic Funding:

  1. bottoms up, led by everyday ecosystem members - not a central grant administrator
  2. creates a signal of what their ecosystem cares about
  3. their community co-founders their ecosystem public goods with them

What I love about these side rounds is that it allows us to scale Gitcoin Grants by expanding its surface area. As opposed to doing bigger matching pools for the main rounds (vertical scaling), scaling via side rounds scales Gitcoin Grants horizontally - by adding more ecosystems to the matching pools.

Whats really cool is that a grant can be a public good for more than one ecosystem, so the matching from each round for that grant multiplies on itself. For example the DefiPrime Grant is in both the community round + the uniswap round, and will get matching from both.

In my opinion, it would be interesting to scale Gitcoin Grants from 3 side rounds in GR11 to doing 6-8 side rounds in GR12 (in December).

I’m open to feedback on how people think this went in GR11, and whether this is a good idea for GR12. If you are a part of a DAO that could benefit from Quadratic Funding to help build its ecosystem. Please feel free to get in touch here or via founders@gitcoin.co

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I’m a fan of side rounds and support another one for GR12. I really like the idea of an advocacy side round (education, advocating among policymakers, etc) that @ceresstation had suggested.

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Imo it feels risky - for a project to be rewarded from more than one ecosystem (network). I only have two rationale for this. I am open to all discussion and options.

  1. This will incentivize gaming and manipulation of the grants system.

  2. This will give large established projects an advantage over small ones because smaller projects are less likely to be multi-chain.

After further thought and discussion, I do see significant PR advantages to Gitcoin Dao from conducting side rounds. The benefits to the side-round candidate are huge, as seen with the recent Uniswap round. Side-rounds are clearly a very useful tool.

We are blazing trails in foreign lands here and there are no easy answers. I participate in the FDD and I believe we are becoming good and talented at detecting the fraud attempts. I am confident the new Gitcoin Dao can successfully deal with the challenges associated with an increased number of side rounds.