DAOs are bringing an extraordinary conflict into the grants ecosystem.
The main Ethereum ecosystem rounds have a precedent that previous token sales can disqualify a grant from being eligible for participation. Having investments over $500k is not a policy, but a norm that has been repeatedly followed.
A DAO might have released a token giving it a $100 million market cap and a large treasury. This would make the DAO ineligible for the platform or Ethereum ecosystem according to current policy.
There are some edge cases and logical conflicts that make the current policy model unsustainable.
BanklessDAO has a token and plenty of funding to go around. But there are still plenty of Bankless grants being created.
EXAMPLE: BANKLESS AFRICA | Grants | Gitcoin is a grant for an organization that is starting up and would like to use Gitcoin Grants to get enough traction to get a proposal into BanklessDAO.
It could be argued to be a public good. It could be said they aren’t part of BanklessDAO if they didn’t receive direct funding from the DAO.
This is difficult to adjudicate because I look at GitcoinDAO workstreams and see that there are many substreams & squads. Each collective level of organization is searching for resources to further it’s mission.
These three grants all involve Token Engineering Commons. However, they are distinct projects & entities.
The difference of these three is that TEC does not have a token and treasury available to fund their projects. Bankless could choose to run a side-round where they supply the matching pool to support the grants in their round.
But let’s say TEC released a token and had a large treasury. Would we even know if the Governauts was a part of it?
In my view, every individual and collective level of organization has independent and autonomous rights.
The collectives maintain the right to choose what collectives and individuals may participate in the collective. A policy based solution is not scalable in the long term.
We need to move towards governance via curation. Each collective level needs a model to say 'Who has a voice in this curation" & "How much weight does their voice carry"
GTC as a decentralizing force
GTC governance token is the metric we can (and probably will) use to curate “What is acceptable to appear on the Gitcoin UI”
GTC governance token is also used to incentivize curators for the Ethereum ecosystem via the FDD Grant Eligibility stream.
For new ecosystems, especially as we move to decentralized grants, the platform curation will separate from the ecosystem curation.
This round we added “thematic” rounds. These may have a sponsor who will independently whitelist acceptable grants, but the main gitcoin round should be spread to every public good in the ecosystem.
GTC from the DAO can be used to incentivize curation in any rounds with curators being verified non-sybil accounts past a certain threshhold of trust, reputation, ecosystem holdings or whatever threshold we will find in discovery.
This takes the single point of failure out of the curation model.
I believe we need two things to scale this out in the future:
We need to distinguish the main Gitcoin Grants round from the Ethereum Ecosystem Rounds. As more integrations have been built, it is impossible to say that the rules for the Eth ecosystem and main round should be the same:
EXAMPLE 1: A climate change 501c3 grant in the thematic rounds. Should they receive funding from the Ethereum ecosystem’s funders league donors?
EXAMPLE 2: A Zcash ecosystem project. Again, should they receive funding from the Eth Ecosystem sponsors?
Both “Ecosystem” & “Thematic” rounds are simply collections of grants with a dedicated matching pool. The grants included in either are always a subset of all the grants on the platform. This should be the “main” round with it’s own matching pool (which might be smaller than the eth ecosystem pool!)
We need a dynamic tool for gauging an ecosystems criteria for grant participation & a way for their stakeholders to participate in curation.
Using the graph, we can identify stakeholders of an ecosystem. All GTC holders would be curators of the thematic rounds.
FDD Grant Investigation Agency is a new squad tasked with adjudicating the Grant Disputes that come up during a round. They are using a tool called Ethelo with consultation from the PG Grants Operations stream, Ethelo team, FDD Policy stream, and the FDD Grant Eligibility squad.
They are determining criteria for the Eth Ecosystem, which is now synonymous with the “main round” although it is logically impossible to align these two things with our current trajectory.
This post is designed to spark conversation, inform the community, and serve as a precursor to a proposal to potentially have steward ratification of the main round being separated from the Ethereum ecosystem rounds at a technical level and their guidance towards governance via curation.
This move would benefit all stakeholders.
Matching Pool Funders: Knowledge that their funds are going to the intended collective of grants
Grant Funders: Knowledge that the matching funds they are signaling are not diluted by grants unrelated to the specific ecosystem. More options for ecosystems and themes.
Grant Creators: Less dilution of matching funds to unrelated grants
PG Grants Operations: Reduced complexity
FDD Grant Eligibility: Opportunity opens up for more people to earn by participating in the communities they hold stake in
FDD Policy: Less policy to maintain
Stewards: Reduces policy questions needing attention to a simple YES/NO should any ecosystem or theme be allowed on the Gitcoin UI and included in the main round?
GTC Holders: GTC decentralizing the rewards for “curation mining” on the platform turns would be based on users staking GTC to participate in curating grants lowering the velocity of the token.