Over the last two rounds of Gitcoin Grants, we’ve brought in a number of grantees and contributors in the community to help us think about how to better fund digital public goods and serve the web3 community, whether by stopping sybil attacks, improving grants discoverability, or more precisely defining the kinds of public goods that can be funded.
Through those conversations, we’ve learned a lot about what we’re doing well, and what we could improve on. One comment that came up frequently was that although we regularly seek feedback from community members and strive to be credibly neutral, we’ve historically had the final say in how Gitcoin Grants operates and have a decent amount of centralization debt.
Now, we want to pay down that debt, and empower the community to govern and to act.
What are stewards?
With that in mind, I’m excited to propose the creation of a new stewards program as the first (hopefully of many) meta-governance proposals. While we want the community to have the final say in even what stewardship means, here are a few key areas we’ve identified that we need support from the previous roundtables we’ve held:
- Setting grants round categories and sizes (how much funding should go to a matching pool for core infrastructure as compared to community or media?)
- Determining what kinds of public goods we care about (e.g. is an open source project with VC funding still a public good?)
- Defining what kind of behavior counts as a sybil-attack or collusion (when is collusion just squads vibing)
- Finding credibly neutral ways to display grantees so that everyone has an equal shot at being funded
How do you know if this is right for you? If the problems above sound interesting, and you care deeply about finding better solutions to fund our digital infrastructure, you’re in! That said, being a steward will definitely take some time, and you should probably be prepared to block off at least an hour out of your week (4-6 hours a month) to sync with other stewards and check out what’s new as this forum grows.
Here are a few of the other duties / workstreams we think stewards might want to consider based on some of the problems we face (synthesizing the areas we identified above):
Meta-Governance: How we define organizational processes for Gitcoin with the community
Public Goods Funding: Helping rally the community to fund public goods, setting criteria for matching rounds, and finding ways to get Gitcoin involved in funding new digital public goods we might have missed
Anti-Fraud and Collusion Detection: Analyzing Gitcoin data and brainstorming long-term identity and mechanism design solutions for Sybil-Resistance
Progressive Decentralization: Finding ways to modularize and simplify Gitcoin’s architecture for the community to use in perpetuity
Special Projects: Finding ways to use Gitcoin’s new architecture to build interesting / novel solutions around public goods funding
These are just ideas, this post is a first step and we have many more to take. If you have any other ideas for these kinds of workstreams feel free to suggest them as a thread in the governance-meta category!
Just so we can gauge interest, please write a short post below and make sure to include the following:
- Gitcoin Username
- ETH Address
- Discord Handle (optional)
- Statement of Intention / Your Values & Reasons for Joining
- Your Web3 Qualifications / Skills
Once we’ve reviewed your application, we’ll add you to our Stewards Health cards so people can start delegating to you, but that’s just the start! Read up here on the next steps in the onboarding process and join our Discord.
My own nomination for reference:
Gitcoin username: ceresstation
ETH Address: ceresstation.eth
Statement of Intention / My Values & Reason for Joining:
I believe that the true potential of web3 is to completely change how we coordinate value, in particular around our digital infrastructure. In the metaverse as many are now calling it, our identities are a core piece of that infrastructure, and so we have to ensure we maintain their integrity collectively, and continue to evolve them in an interoperable way.
This doesn’t only mean funding goods within the ENS ecosystem. There are so many builders in the Ethereum ecosystem that have brought us to where we are today, and that will help us find a path to where we need to be tomorrow. Our task as a working group should be to identify those builders, and the mechanisms that we can use to sustainably fund them.
By helping to steward this workstream, I commit to helping us do that in a transparent, accountable way, alongside any and all ecosystem partners who want to help us on this journey.
Together, we can create a positive-sum world .
What Web3 Qualifications / Skills I have:
- Actively participated in the Ethereum ecosystem since 2016 (and surprisingly, started a DAO project back then as well)
- Co-founded Gitcoin which has funded nearly $50m in Ethereum public goods to date
- Helped push forward one of the first Digital Public Goods Alliance communities of practice
- Served as a volunteer committee member in a variety of community grants programs including Ethereum Foundation Grants
- Helped provide guidance to a number of public goods projects throughout web3 including ENS / Optimism
Excited to start collaborating more with you all, onwards to decentralization.