GTC - After 2 years

Though it may seem as if Gitcoin, our DAO, has been a part of the digital landscape for ages, we’ve just marked our second anniversary. Our journey commenced in the latter part of 2020, when we first began to shape, build, and strategize for the birth of the org. Just a refresh on the DAO - we have roughly fifty consistent contributors with another twenty five who often support the quarterly event we call the Gitcoin Grants round. We have launched our decentralized, and permissionless protocol (Allo) and are just beginning to see other communities run Quadratic Funding rounds without our involvement on Grants Stack. We now also have one of the leading identity and reputation aggregation mechanisms in the crypto space (Passport) due to the neutral and pluralistic approach we have taken to measure one’s unique humanity. These last two years have really enabled us to focus our vision, mission and work effort on transitioning from an impact organization to a protocol organization that measures its success by the impact our protocols have enabled (ie, a protocol impact dao).

Going back to the beginning, it was in late 2020 we were designing, developing and planning for the launch of our DAO. During this time, lots of questions began to surface around the Gitcoin Grants program, our community and the approaches we were taking. We knew we wanted those most vested in Gitcoin’s success to help us make rather important decisions. Simple things like “How much money should we allocate to what category of public goods?”, “what even is an eligible public good?”, “how often should we run quadratic funding rounds?”, and more — these questions had rather reaching implications for the livelihood of many people/projects in our industry.

GTC was launched as a governance token to enable and empower our community to govern the Gitcoin’s Grants program. And now, two years later, I could not have imagined the progress and ways in which our DAO and community have supported and expanded our possibilities. With GTC, all of those questions above are answered in a public, transparent and decisive way. Our DAO presents and encourages discussion, with token holders becoming the ultimate deciders. Having, voting with or delegating GTC enables Gitcoin’s Grants program to remain “for the people, by the people.”

Gitcoin has evolved from a platform for experimentation to the decentralized protocol and community it is today through the mentorship, feedback, criticism and genuine love of our community and those who chose to contribute to our mission - whether occasionally, consistently, part time or on their nights and weekends. We are reinforcing a movement to reliably and sustainably fund public goods that benefit all that was set in motion with green pills and regen vibes. As I look back on the progress we have made, I am just smitten.

The evolution of our DAO, and specifically of GTC is no different. GTC started as a governance token that enables decision making within our organization. It is used for ratifying formal decisions, directing Grants money and now, securing our Public Goods.

GTC is taking on a new form, not just one of governance, but utility. We are starting to use our token to not only ratify budgets, and determine how to allocate funding for public goods, but to also enable Identity verification and pledge to one’s unique humanity.

Gitcoin Passport enables web3 citizens to attest to their unique humanity. Staking GTC to attest to one’s unique humanity (and intentions!) is a growing use case of GTC because of its ease, but also the importance of us building a web of trust. We envision a world where we might permissionlessly trust one another through the pledge of someone’s unique humanity. And if we find that citizen is not truthful, that staked GTC can be slashed and awarded to those who prove the malicious intent of that citizen. Today, we have nearly 750k unique passports created, with almost half a million GTC staked. Soon, we will have a micro ecosystem where sybil hunting may be performed and those found to be bad actors can have that staked GTC slashed. While for those who are good actors, the value of the staked GTC will grow.

Gitcoin Allo, and the apps that make up Grants Stack are just beginning to weave GTC into their DNA. The first mechanism we are exploring is to empower those with GTC (dondors, grantees, community members) to curate and specifically elevate where in the UI Grants are “featured” during a grants round. Public goods are good, and there are many public goods projects that have had an outsized impact in our ecosystem. By enabling GTC holders to use GTC in the curation and promotion of grants we hope to amplify the best public goods projects so that their funding is bountiful and prolific. We will have more info to share on that mechanism soon.

One area of the Allo protocol I am particularly excited about is the permissionless registry that is being built. Having a profile on Allo, and joining Grants Rounds, will compound the opportunity for emerging and existing projects as the funding they receive, the legitimacy of their work and the outcomes they deliver will be verifiable to all. Great innovations like Impact Certificates, retroactive funding rounds and more will showcase those who are delivering actual outcomes communities care about. The GTC curation mechanism described above will make it easier to elevate these projects from the noise of thousands of projects asking for funding. We hope that building feedback loops (do good work → get elevated in grants round → receive more funding → do more good work), or regenerative cycles will inspire more adoption and usage of our public goods funding mechanisms.

Two years after the DAO launched, we have a similar purpose: empower communities to build, fund and protect what matters. We have a similar ethos - to fund public goods through novel and democratic funding mechanisms. We have a diverse and flourishing community, and most importantly, we have all made a tremendous number of friends who share the same belief that public goods are good.

GTC is the token that binds us together, and enables us to further our mission through collective decision making. We will continue to experiment with novel governance models to govern our grants program - to introduce the governance of our protocol, and to secure our public goods. GTC is our governance token that is evolving into our community utility token. As we expand GTC’s use, it will continue to be used for governance over our most important things, but we have an opportunity to ensure those who are most vested in our ecosystem (ie, GTC holders) can also reinforce the outcomes that matter most to them (ie, protecting their community, funding what they care about, and encourage the building of novel mechanisms).

You can read more about the impact Gitcoin has had in our Impact Report. You can also join our discord and participate in the governance of Gitcoin on these forums. I want to thank everyone who has helped shape this decentralized organization into what it is today. If you are interested in exploring token mechanisms with us, or have ideas of your own, drop them below! I will be coming back to review and invite folks to offer comments on the new designs soon.


Hey Kyle - incredible progress indeed. Somehow amidst all the craziness of DAO ideologies (and well-meaning idealogues) and the scams and regulatory idiocy of crypto, Gitcoin is delivering.

Along the lines of token utility - definitely intrigued in the OpenData Community about the idea of slashing. We are a diffuse open source community and definitely get overlooked a lot - however it feels like once we get included we demonstrate value even in fire fighting whereas our focus has been on R&D to prepare the data scientists, datasets, algorithms, and open source dashboards as opposed to delivering squelching as a service for example.

Speaking of R&D and the question you pose - the OpenData Community could of course build some slashing analysis into a future hackathon, maybe collaborating with token engineering or someone on bounty design. What if we used compute on data via Ocean Protocol to enable models to be developed and tested without making the underlying Sybil or non Sybil lists publicly available, where the evaluation would include attempting to quantify the cost of forgery and thereby the optimal level of slashing presumably? That connection between cost of forgery vs. slashing levels would be something we would want to collectively discuss ahead of time I think so our assumptions are not off about what might be useful to investigate.

Anyway, TL;DR - raising the hand of the OpenData Community here and also cheering on the leadership and ability of Gitcoin to get stuff done.


Hi Kyle, awesome post. DAOs are the topic that really brought me down the web3 rabbithole and Gitcoin seems like one of the best examples. I continue to be amazed at how this organization has brought together so many great people under the mission of funding public goods (and has succeeded at this in many ways!)

Some of the GTC utility ideas you mentioned are touched upon in my recent proposal to explore/develop/implement a subDAO framework for the DeSci community to continue running regular grant rounds within the Gitcoin Grants Program.

Some ideas that have been discussed in the DeSci community include:

  • Being able to lock in some capped amount of GTC in a subDAO contract, thus granting you a voting point within the subDAO. Whereas you could also receive a voting point by being a grantee or a donor to the round (each potentially having different weights). This is to move away from a pure “1 token = 1 vote” system and to give community members governance rights based on participation, but still offer the option to commit to the community via a nominal financial stake. This is of course inspired by the passport stamp :wink:

  • Retroactively rewarding our elected round managers with some GTC that is locked for a year, but still available to be used for governance/delegation within Gitcoin.

We’re still far off from implementing something like this, but I would love to discuss technical feasibility sometime soon! Perhaps the first idea (locking GTC to participate in subDAO governance) could qualify you for the staked GTC passport stamp, or be a separate stamp altogether.


Hello Kyle, appreciate your response to this post about predictably promoting value accumulation/accrual or, alternatively, minimizing value loss to output a stablecoin like asset by splitting, stacking, and churning GTC & Hypercerts into short-term bonds.

Below is a rough schematic of such a mechanism design that can drive Utility towards the GTC token.

More details can be found here: Split, Stack & Churn: Stabilizing Value with Rebase, Tranche, & Rotations in Decentralized Finance

GTC can be converted into a rebasing “buttonGTC” which can be similarly parametrized to not lose more 8% of its Supply per 24 hours. The entire set of configurations can be modified. E.g., A/Z ratio can be 25/75 or 15/85 or 30/70; Maximum loss of A-Tranche can be n% depending on favored risk profile; bond length can be 90 Days to match the length of staked GTC - in which case, the G-Stable asset can be even more robust, as market participants are guaranteed to have their G-Stable backed by GTC after 90 days (there is no “bank run” type scenario). There are roughly 400k GTC tokens in the staking contract at this time.

Zooming out, if certain assurances are made to be clear, then Hypercert NFTs can be integrated into such bond-like instruments so that the Positive Impact they represent can be converted into Digital Value on Ethereum’s Distributed Ledger. E.g., by lumping Hypercerts with GTC into a Tranche that backs a G-Stable like asset. This is basically how MBS and CDO like instruments are created in TradFi. But things are safer when everything is transparent and capable of being audited in real time on-chain.

Numbers in, Numbers out. If the inputs are “legit,” then the output(s) (G-Stable) will be as well.