[March 2023] Gitcoin's Progress and Future

I am really excited to pull back the curtain and share a bit more of how things are going at Gitcoin, walk you through the progress we are making, and also highlight where we have stumbled. The org wide overview is often necessary and confidence building, it offers us the ability to share how Gitcoin works, and we love that it open sources details for others to review.

There is certainly a trend to work in public at Gitcoin, but the transparency YouTube channel, the public DAO wide weekly updates, the CSDO call notes, the open Notion, the continual discussion of great and meaty topics on the forums, the budgeting process with with clear outcomes that each workstream is working towards may not be enough (or is arguably too much to wade through to sense make).

The Inspiration

Vitalik posted a really great Roadmap outlining where he/the EF felt the Ethereum network was going. This has really helped “bring along” the ecosystem to understand and plan their work for what is coming up next. I want to do something similar for Gitcoin, but I want to call out that we are still early in our lifecycle stage. Gitcoin’s v1 of the Allo Protocol is being audited as we speak, and our official v1 launch will be in April with our Grants round. So a hardened, modular, fully fleshed out, waterfall style Roadmap is not yet viable.

First a quick detour in our planning process and what we are focused on as an organization. This will help anchor why we are building the things we are.

Defining Success

Remember in June of last year, we defined our Purpose and Essential Intents (EIs). EIs are 12-18mo goals and we are nearly 9mos into those intents. They are here:

At Eth Denver, we had an incredible opportunity to get together as a DAO, nearly 65 of us joined up for a couple days of coordination and meals. Ahead of the time, the CSDO met for a half day to cover some critical topics. As I have talked about before, Gitcoin recently aligned on its “most important things” - this has been a really strong focusing lens for how to allocate resources (projects, money, our time) towards the areas with the largest opportunity.

The goal of the CSDO session was to take these “most important things” and then go three steps further:
1 - Define what success meant for these most important things
2 - Define metrics for how we will measure success
3 - Discuss how we might organize to make rapid progress towards those success metrics (more on that to come soon!)

Looking at Allo’s launch and success first:
The launch and success of Allo is the DAO’s most important priority right now. Here is how we are thinking about success for Allo:

Gitcoin has magic numbers, and if you ask anyone at Gitcoin what :crystal_ball:13 5 5​:crystal_ball: means, you should get the same answer. It’s where we’re focused and it’s what will have a tremendous impact to our success over the next 6mos.

The Gitcoin Grants Program - what we called “the Soul of Gitcoin” is second most important thing.

We started by defining the outcomes we care about, and then refined to just a couple key metrics:

  • Community funding more than matching pool funding
  • Grantee Quality improves each round (this is due to support for more information in the app, and also the sheer quality of project submitted).

The Soul of Gitcoin is thriving (because of our tremendous community!), and we will continue to be Public Goods Maxis here at Gitcoin. Moving the Grants rounds to the permissionless protocol is the only way we see us achieving the global impact we seek. To spread QF as broadly as we would like, we need to ensure there is a beacon of funding hope – our Grants Program will serve that goal.

The third most important focus area is Gitcoin Passport. :passport_control: Passport is near and dear to my heart given I am co-leading this workstream, but that is going to be changing soon as we just onboarded a new product lead for Passport. For Passport, success is really defined by a few keys areas today:

  • A Plurality of scoring mechanisms solving 80% of the use cases we encounter
  • The size and quality of the dataset is growing (and 100% of the dataset is decentralized)
  • The number of passport holders increases while the average number of stamps also increases.

I expect Passport’s key metrics to really start to shift towards attestations and reputation in addition tot eh already defined identity focused metrics, but we are a couple months away from that.


The success metrics for these three Most Important Things will only continue to improve over time as we really define success and put in the effort to hone our hypothesis and experiments. Here’s the deck CSDO used to share the details at EthDenver with everyone - it’s not pretty. It was the first time, we had 6mo Org wide goals as a DAO. This idea that we would tolerate defecting over coordinating is quickly fading. Gitcoin is a coordination machine. We have stumbled in the past not unifying our work and making sure we were driving towards intentioned goals.


Roadmap

So let’s talk a little bit about how these metrics are translating to roadmap for Gitcoin.

Allo First

We have growing certainty over what the roadmap looks like for the next 3-6mos. We have details we plan to share on the next 6mos as part of the next budget cycle. The important item to call out is, we are laser focused on developing and launching a complete and permissionless, end to end, QF protocol. Communities will be able to spin up their own QF round (integrate Passport with that round!), and run grants rounds without any intervention from Gitcoin (I know!! Thanks!! you can hold the applause – dad joke). This will be live when we run our Grants round in April. :partying_face: :partying_face: :tada:

We are working to accelerate development on our QV and Direct Grants functionality soon. We could use help in building and scoping these! Recall Gitcoin’s magic number of 13 5 5 - well over the next 6mos, we want to run 5 direct grants programs on the protocol. We need a dApp to do this :sweat_smile:

Longer term, we continue to see opportunity for Allo to be the allocation protocol for the world. We are evaluating if moving into web2 (fiat on/off ramps) is the best place to spend time, or to pursue more web3 native avenues (think funding raising like JuiceBox or Mirror) with interoperability.

We know there is great value in a universal project registry, which is on chain and available to all to access, append, extend. We have some partners already working to improve the amount of information about projects that we will be sharing soon. If you have a use case for a project registry, we would love to chat with you! We are working increase the ways projects can showcase their reputation over the next 3 mos and will have more to share soon.

We will go deeper on Allo in another post soon. I wanted to seed some of the progress and focus areas, but don’t want to steal the team’s thunder for their budget request.

Gitcoin’s Soul - our Grants Program

There have been lots of great topics posted lately on the future of the Gitcoin Grants program. I will link to those and encourage folks to go check them out. Annika’s early thoughts, Janine then followed up,, and Ben’s recent details are really crystaling the strategy.

The team is really flourishing and Gitcoin’s Soul is thriving, in large part because of the tremendous community we have and the support each of you continues to offer :pray: Public Goods are Good.

Passport

Passport is an identity and reputation aggregator really going through an explosion of adoption given the dramatic Sybil attacks we have witnessed. But Passport is much more than just “Sybil Defense.” Over the next 3-6mos we will be brining Passport onchain with Attestations – and we want to Attest everything! The current Roadmap, as defined during our Time in EthDenver is here. We expect there to be changes as we prioritize partner opportunities and new technology, but it should offer some details on where we are going.

If you want to help accelerate our roadmap, let us know! We have some budget available for Bounties and I would love to see us make progress on onchain attestations faster, additional scoring mechanisms, etc. Passport is going to quickly transition to the default identity solution to the default reputation and identity solution. More to come during out budget as well.


Okay, so not as elegant of a roadmap as the splurge, purge, merge, etc. But this is because we are still much earlier in our lifecycle. For our Season 18 budgets, I am going to work on getting something with a slightly longer time horizon for us to then encourage lots of collaboration.

One thing that was slipped in (in the Allo Roadmap Screenshot) but that I want to be explicit about - Gitcoin will be focusing on our value capture and token utility over the next 6mos. We don’t ever want to be extractive – we do want to sustain our mission and ensure we have decades of life ahead and more utility for GTC holders. You can expect some juicy details soon on where we see adding value that also introduces new token utility.

Finally, if you are interested in partnering, helping us accelerate our roadmap, or generally have encouraging feedback, we would love to hear it. I know this organization is hyper focused on Launching Allo and making sure it is successful, Growing the impact of the Grants program aka, our soul, and growing Gitcoin Passport, and its ability to offer legitimacy to outcomes.

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Great summary and overview update.
Thank you!
Also, you’ve no doubt seen this already. Just leaving a link here for others who may come across it. Fun to see Gitcoin listed in most categories 2nd only to MakerDAO. :+1:t3: :robot: :green_heart:
State of DAO Funding by Messari
https://messari.io/report/state-of-dao-funding

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Thanks for sharing! I did not see this report. :pray:

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