I just ran a QF round for greenpill.network, and this post is an overview of it & how it fits into my strategic thinking.
For the unfamiliar, Greenpill is a self-published book I released in Feb 2022 about how crypto could regenerate the world. (heavy emphasis on could, I don’t think its happening yet).
The book has become an attractor for regens and over the last 18 months, I’ve been connected to 1000s of regens who have a similar vision of using web3 to fund public goods + create pro-social movements + build protopian social networks.
Over this time, I’m happy to say that regen web3 has grown into a bona-fide movement. This movement is working to take “how crypto could regenerate the world” to “how crypto IS regenerating the world” and… there’s a lot of work to do.
TLDR - Greenpill v1, which launched in 2022, was a book. Greenpill v2 is a network.
Greenpill.network launched 2 weeks ago, checkout the last 5 minutes of my Refi Summit talk for the announcement of Greenpill v2. We’ve now got ~ 24 local chapters across the world ( Checkout https://greenpill.network/ for a local chapter map) and are working with chapter leads to bring regen web3 to these local communities.
The beauty of the network model is that each chapter is composed of people who are embedded in local communities who have local relationships and context on local needs & constraints. But many of them also have global scale technology knowledge and ability to leverage world class web3 tools.
I’m very bullish on the idea of local control and world-class software! Local context/governance x World-class mechanisms = This is the opposite of how Facebook Groups and other FAANG products build networks (a monoculture of mechanisms deployed everywhere and governance & value extraction out of Silicon Valley)
While each chapter will have it’s own organic growth path and challenges, I see each chapter falling into roughly the following categories of maturity.
|0 - Inchoate||just begun and so not fully formed or developed; rudimentary.|
|1 - Solid Social Layer||chapter is having regular meetups, building trust/rapport among network members, following basic impact network principles, and has stable/legitimate structure.|
|2 - Using Web3 to Regenerate Local Chapter||chapter is receiving funds from Gitcoin + other web3 funding mechanisms + is using web3 tools to plan/organize local chapters.|
|3 - Using Web3 to Regenerate Local Community||chapter is receiving funds from Gitcoin + other web3 funding mechanisms + is using web3 tools to solve local problems in their local web3 community|
(Important note: this maturity level may not be strictly linear, as activities in the real world sometimes are 2 steps forward & 1 step back, or sometimes 1 step forward & 3 steps back.)
At scale & at maturity, I think the flow of funding to these chapters looks like this:
A key aspect of this flow of funds is that we have a low overhead way of sending funding to the most legitimate & impactful chapters + people in local communities.
Since this funnel hinges on finding reliable ways to measure legitimacy and impact, I’m relying on Quadratic Funding (at least initially).
An aside: The whole reason I’ve been investing so many mental cycles into using crypto to regenerate the world in the first place is that I believe that crypto provides a better substrate for capital deployment. We now have a programmable, transparent, incorruptible substrate for coordination that works anywhere in the world. This is a better foundation to deploy impact funding than opaque, unaccountable, inefficient/high-overhead ways that have existed in the past. This has been “theory” for years, since Virgil published Ethereum is a game-changing technology, literally in 2019. Quadratic Funding is one of the first working examples of the fulfillment of this vision. But let’s not confuse the means with the ends. Quadratic funding is a means to deploy capital to the most legitimate & impactful chapters + people in local communities. The end is regeneration of the communities that have been left behind by the old system.
Ok lets get to the QF round itself.
We ran a $5k Greenpill QF Round on Gitcoin Grants Stack. Applications were open 5/12 - 5/24, and the crowdfund was available from 5/25 to 6/6.
The round was focused on the following grants:
- Ppl who provide infrastructure for Greenpill.network
- Ppl who are building local chapters.
- Ppl who are working on any aspect of Greenpill v2.
While there are ~24 chapters in the Greenpill Discord, we received the following grant applications.
- GreenPill - Ottawa Chapter
- GreenPill Global
- Green Pill Nigeria
- GreenPill México Local Chapter: “Regeneración Comunitaria Mexicana”
- GreenPill Denver - Nurturing Symbiotic Communities
- GreenPill Germany
- ReFi Phangan
- Green Pill Boston
- GreenPill Los Angeles
You can view the explorer for this round (and drill into any of the grants) here.
Some high level stats:
- Unique contributors: 40
- Number of contributions: 119
- Avg contribution: $27.91
- Est Donations Made: $1116.40
Here’s what the results of the round looked like:
|Projects||No. of Contributions||Est. Matching %|
|GreenPill - Ottawa Chapter||19||29%|
|Green Pill Nigeria||17||16%|
|GreenPill México Local Chapter: “Regeneración Comunitaria Mexicana”||13||10%|
|GreenPill Denver - Nurturing Symbiotic Communities||10||9%|
|Green Pill Boston||10||4%|
|GreenPill Los Angeles||10||3%|
(Note: These results are not yet final + may change as we analyse the sybil/collusion data)
All in all, I think the round was a successful pilot, because it supported the local chapters. But there is much work to be done + learnings to be had to build out greenpill.network to it’s fullest potential. This is only the first iteration. I anticipate the following challenges in the future.
- Grants Stack works great for helping to fund local chapters, but I think it’ll be tough to distribute funds within local communities this way (most local community members are not crypto native, and further study is needed to know if QF even would help them).
- As greenpill.network grows, we will surely encounter sybil attacks + would like to have some added sybil protection beyond the Gitcoin Passport defaults.
- QF is good for some things + not good for others. I’d love to experiment with other coordination mechanisms beyond QF. Especially Quadratic Voting.
- While Supermodular.xyz provided some initial funding for the greenpill rounds, we will need to solve for long term funding sources. Perhaps greenpill.network will enter the main Gitcoin rounds + fund the remaining QF rounds from there. (It’d be a fun/interesting experiment to have a QF caterpillar, QF => QF => QF, fanning out funding fractally). If you want to fund future rounds you can send some ETH on optimism to 0x62101902aA08D00B1D3d2e66CD77e2A4F4D18c51.
Here is the economic/social structure of the recent greenpill round. each red dot is a contribution to a grant. View it here.
Pasting some feedback from grant owners below:
Hey Kevin! For the QF Round I think it might be nice to coordinate more between chapters and start some joint marketing campaigns besides the individual grantees plans. For example a GP marathon where we will go live 100% and then communicate this properly to get as many people on board as possible other than that I think it was a good Round - by Manu (GP Germany)
I’d say the process was fine for us at GreenPill Boston, but looking at comparisons across chapters, I’m seeing we’re of the lowest contributions, and I’ve shared our Gitcoin Grant links among web3 focused TG groups, and on Twitter with pretty wide audiences, so it does feel a bit disheartening to know only 10 folks donated, but that’s still a really great thing for a nascent group.
Here’s my brief take.
I think there’s a reticence to doing things we’re all not already doing in web3. It’s easy to pitch a grant ask to people who already use optimism and understand the process, but it’s hard convincing many people who 1.) have never left ETH mainnet to try it 2.) are risk averse with their spending in a bear market.
I think I convinced under half of my more active web3 folks in my chapter to donate, where the other half of donations were altruists who supported GP broadly across network via Twitter discovery. I’m glad the QF mechanism exists, I think it works well however it still feels like a steeper learning curve for most to “open up their wallets”.
Hey Kevin! I’m Lana, the Ottawa chapter lead/grant applicant
First off thank you for hosting the last QF round, it will absolutely help me make more onboarding resources for non-crypto native folks and kick start laying the ground work to get local QF rounds started.
My feedback for the round - while I am so thankful to be able to access funding, it also felt weird to almost ‘be in competition’ with my fellow chapter leads. I am not really sure how to solve this. With smaller amounts of funding and smaller groups it’s common for that feeling to arise. Even when you’re working towards the same goal, funding makes things easier for your group. Maybe having funding secured where if you unlock x milestones your chapter is able to unlock X in start-up funding. That would make the QF round more of a bonus/ways to fund larger projects/ideas your chapter has vs just startup.
I think a combo of QF + RetroPGF in the future could work - where individual people and chapters can access funding for upcoming project ideas and then people also receive support for things they’ve already created to help those things go further. That, with milestone-based start-up funding could create more oxygen points to help the greenpill network really catch fire.
This all requires funding which is a whole other topic lol.
Hi, I’m Joshua chapter lead of GP Germany!
First of all, this was a great round and it was really fun participating. The funding is going to help a lot! I’m going to focus mainly on things that could be improved though.
I agree with Lana from Ottawa that there is a feeling of competition. Securing funding after milestones seems like a nice workaround but also changes the way quadratic funding works a bit. I believe that if communication between the chapter leads during those rounds were better we could advertise together on different channels (eg. retweeting each other) so we grow faster organically and even get more funding over all.
Also this round and the means we chose to get donations felt a bit anorganic this time. We usually connect with people via twitter and as there weren’t that many Twitter Spaces this time we also did DMs. Would be nicer if we had a community that just loves helping our chapter out. So a longer preparation time for the grant round would be nice.
I believe my main takeaway is that we should know each other more personally so the feeling of competition goes away and everyboddy can share their best practices.
Having that said it was a wonderful erxperience and we send lots of love to everybody reading this. Thanks for being so dedicated!! <3
I was a lead participant in the Gitcoin grant beta round, representing GreenPill Nigeria.
The theme for this chapter is to grow a better future together. With the current turmoil that is surrounding politics at this time in Nigeria, this is the perfect time to set aside any differences and work together, in order to focus on the important things such as the progression and sustainability of our future. With the Web3 tools provided by GreenPill Global, crowdsourcing and environmental sustainability can now be done peer to peer without blaming or waiting for entities that may not be able to meet expectations.
I believe that the concept of quadratic funding, mixed with “the tender of on chain voting,” is the solution to resource allocation. This could be implemented on a micro and macro level within a network/organization.
The issue I see is that individuals have to be educated in the matter and process. This is why one of GreenPill Nigeria’s purpose is to educate younger generations in this subject matter so they can be better equipped to handle and solve issues that arise in the future.
My overall say in the Gitcoin grant round is that I would give it an 8.5 due to the fact that more people could be involve if eduacated and message conveyed affectively.
~ Decentralized CEO
Hola, this is Rodrigo. I believe that the 1st GreenPill QF was an excellent experiment. We need to scale our efforts gradually, homogenization of marketing is essential for all the chapters, as well as proper divulgation effectively on social media with genuine elements and certain incentives or collaborations with well known brands like giveth, or ReFiDAOists for example. The GreenPill philosophy is essential and a key element to mitigate the various challenges we face in this Anthropocene era. In Mexico, we will establish coordination gradually for onboarding, promotion, and migration or creation of regenerative and sustainable projects in every state of the Mexican Republic. In the short-term, we will enable two nodes: Yucatán Peninsula - Resilience and Biodiversity, and Mexico City - Sustainable Green City Hub. I want to express my gratitude to everyone involved in these efforts. Your dedication and commitment to building a more sustainable future are truly commendable. Together, we can make a difference and create a positive impact.
Gracias ü !
Photos from Greenpill Chapters Follow, intended as “Proof of Its Happening!!!” and vibe check.
I’ve blurred a few faces bc I dont have express consent to show chapter member faces, but if you’re in one of the photos (or want to add a photo), pls DM me (Owocki#1337 on discord) on let me know.
Go to https://greenpill.network/ to learn more.
- I cofounded gitcoin but I have been disaffiliated from leadership of the DAO for about a year.
- The DAO is now in charge 100 pct.
- I am passing along “consider” feedback. None of the feedback is directing any work in the DAO.
- I hold GTC.
- All of the information about Gitcoin in this post is public information.
- Nothing in this post is financial advice.