Lit Protocol Network Participation


  • Gitcoin has been invited by the Lit Protocol team to participate in the launch of their testnet and mainnet by operating a Lit Node.
  • Lit Protocol is an important key management protocol integral to the privacy features of the Gitcoin Grants Stack.
  • While there are costs to operating a Lit Node, we expect the network participation rewards to offset these costs and to generate a surplus that we would return to the treasury.
  • Because this is being funded by the Foundation, we aren’t putting this forward as a GCP, but rather as a post to inform the DAO about an ongoing project.
  • Beyond the rewards, we’re excited to participate because Lit Protocol is an important technology that underpins the privacy features of the Gitcoin Grants Stack.


Lit Protocol is distributed cryptography for encryption, compute, and programmable signing. As a generalizable key management layer, Lit provides developers with a comprehensive toolkit for managing sovereign identities on the open web.

The Lit network is run across a distributed set of nodes that perform a process called Distributed Key Generation (DKG). DKG creates a public/private keypair without fully revealing the private key. Instead, each node only has a private key share. With this key share, nodes can do everything they would with a normal private key, like sign and decrypt. The user must collect these decryption or signature shares from the nodes to create the final decryption key or signature. This is known as Threshold Cryptography – a mechanism that allows Lit to keep its data secure and decentralized.

Integration with Gitcoin Products

We’re incredibly happy to be offered this opportunity and are huge fans of the Lit protocol. In fact, it’s critical to the new Gitcoin Grants Stack and our Grants Program. We make use of Lit protocol to encrypt grantee data in, which is revealed only to the round operators in Lit allows grantees to safely share PII (Personally Identifiable Information) such as email, country of residence, etc., safely and consensually with the grant rounds they apply to without revealing this information publicly.

Lit protocol is key to our users’ privacy. It allows us to rely on publicly readable decentralized data storage such as IPFS without the risk of compromising our user’s data or needing to rely on centralized infrastructure to manage and protect sensitive user data.

Motivation - Value to the Ecosystem and Gitcoin’s Evolution

Sharing encrypted data between systems is a difficult problem often solved by issuing and managing private keys or controlling private data with centralized infrastructure.

Lit Protocol enables the decentralized and programmatic sharing of encrypted data through their implementation of threshold cryptography, allowing for the decryption of sensitive data to trusted parties without revealing the entire private key to any single entity or relying on a centralized custodian.

Beyond the rewards we receive as a node operator, partnering to support the decentralization of other ecosystem technologies is an important part of our evolution at Gitcoin. Our mission has been to transform into a technology-first protocol DAO and initiatives like this one give us the opportunity to lead by example. Our choice to use our resources this way signals that Gitcoin is a trusted provider of infrastructure and that we are committed to the values of privacy and decentralization.


Costs for the operation of the node will be borne by the Gitcoin Foundation.

Rewards will be returned to the Gitcoin Treasury.

Next Steps and Timeline

We are working with the Lit team to get our node up and running to participate in the testnet as soon as possible.

Mainnet is currently scheduled for an August launch.


These are the exact kinds of things we need to be doing more of and I’m super excited you worked at making this happen. Very much in favor of it.