PGN Shutdown - A Recap


  • PGN is shutting down as planned; over the last 4 months, no viable proposals have been presented to take over.
  • Gitcoin is focused on funding public goods through our quarterly rounds + building software to allow people to run their own rounds.
  • PGN was an experiment in a new way to fund public goods. While it didnt work the way we’d hoped, we learned a lot. We are proud to be a place where bold new experiments are tried, even at the risk of failure.
  • We are actively collaborating with partners to help users retrieve their funds. The PGN team is currently working to ensure that all assets will still be available and claimable post shut down. Users can sign up to an email list here to stay updated on the latest: Form

It seems some clarification is still needed on the shutdown of PGN. I want to address any confusion about our lack of detailed rollout on the Gitcoin Foundation’s end. As we reflect on the Public Goods Network (PGN) journey, it’s essential to understand both the successes and challenges we’ve encountered and why we’re not especially excited to hand over the keys given the community’s communication and the challenges we encountered. I want to reiterate notes that Kyle, Nicole, and Sophia have surfaced in their posts here, here and here.

The goal of PGN was to create a network dedicated to funding public goods through low transaction fees and innovative mechanisms like Contract Secured Revenue (CSR). Despite incredible community and partner support, we faced significant hurdles. Critical infrastructure was missing at launch, leading to high costs and a subpar user experience. Expensive bridging fees and the absence of essential tools like decentralized exchanges (DEX) made it difficult for users, particularly those with limited resources, to fully engage with the network. Some issues have been fixed, but the overall challenges remain relevant. I’ve talked with partners who have done deep dives into the numbers, mechanisms, and apps to be built on PGN much more intelligently than I have, and ultimately, they also agree that keeping the network alive is not worth it.

We still plan to shut down the network by June 2024. In the interim, we are working diligently to ensure a smooth and affordable migration of user assets off the network. This experiment helped us establish meaningful partnerships with organizations like Zora, Base, and OP. It’s those partnerships now that will be helping us get funds back to the users of the network.

We encourage all users to bridge their assets off PGN and will provide detailed instructions and support throughout this process as well as double down on sending out comms.

Reiterating important learnings

Many have taken the time to detail PGN’s shortcomings and the learnings we took from this experiment, and what would need to be true for it to be successful in the future. I’ve summed up some of these + other takeaways below for transparency and for the benefit of us learning together:

  • We launched PGN without critical infrastructure, which led to high costs and a poor user experience.
  • Expensive bridging fees and the lack of essential tools like decentralized exchanges (DEX) made it tough for users to fully engage with the network.
  • We struggled to attract the necessary resources to compete with established networks.
  • The costs of running PGN exceeded our initial estimates, and we couldn’t provide the high-quality, reliable, and affordable platform users deserved.
  • Integrating Contract Secured Revenue (CSR) was harder than we thought, and attracting users without a fully functional network was a challenge.
  • Missing essential components like improved wallet integration and a functional DEX created significant barriers for our users.
  • Even with strong community and partner support, we couldn’t sustain the network due to these foundational issues.
  • Running the experiment at the Foundation level allowed us to iterate quickly but left a bad taste in many mouths due to communication and execution issues.
  • We learned that having a dedicated and well-resourced team is crucial to ensure consistent progress and user satisfaction.
  • A lack of a detailed and transparent roadmap is essential for communicating shutdown plans led to mis-aligned communication w/ the community.
  • This experience underscored the importance of decentralization and involving the community in decision-making processes for future projects.

Despite this, we haven’t seen substantial proposals submitted to our DAO that include a detailed approach to solve the challenges and meet the necessary qualifications. Key criteria include (as noted by Owocki) but aren’t limited to:

  • Financial Backing: Who is going to pay for it?
  • Team: Who will make it successful? What combination of skillsets and time commitment?
  • Unique Selling Proposition (USP): Specifically, why will builders deploy here and why users will bridge?
  • Feasibility: Why will this succeed when the first PGN experiment failed?
  • Support from Gitcoin: What do you need from Gitcoin, and how will this ensure the successful separation from Gitcoin’s brand?

Given that the PGN shutdown was announced in January, and it is now May, we believe that we are unlikely to see any legitimate proposals.

Given these gaps, we will not be planning to pass off any PGN assets in the near future. The future of public goods funding remains central to Gitcoin’s mission, and we must consider all aspects of the organization and its mission, including the pairing of Gitcoin’s name with any further work on the PGN network.

A note to our community

We appreciate the enthusiasm of our community and hear your calls to revive PGN. While we don’t always agree with the approach taken by some community members, we recognize the underlying passion for securing the future and funding of digital public goods.

We deeply value our community’s role and acknowledge that our wind-down process, including a detailed roadmap of our plans, wasn’t thoroughly communicated. Moving forward, we are committed to decentralization and involving the community in more decision-making at the DAO level. We aim to be more transparent and inclusive in our processes, ensuring that the community has a voice in shaping the future of public goods funding.

Again, we are working with our team and partners to ensure everyone can get their funds off the network smoothly. We expect to have some updates in the next day or two regarding the migration process and will keep everyone informed through our official channels.

While PGN itself is winding down, the vision of sustainable public goods funding continues to guide us. We are committed to supporting public goods through our core initiatives, and likely other future experiments. The lessons learned from PGN will inform future projects, ensuring that we build on this experience to create more robust and resilient funding mechanisms.

Users can sign up to an email list here to stay updated on the latest: Form


Thank you @deltajuliet for this clear explanation of this decision. Everyone who believes in public goods wanted this to succeed. Building in public is hard. I appreciate your clarity and vision.


Could you expand on this?

Would this proposal be viable?

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