This proposal suggests a policy change to Gitcoin Dao grant eligibility criteria. This policy change suggestion arose from the BrightID appeal request - Grant 191.
This policy change is recommended by the Fraud Detection & Defence workstream of the Gitcoin Dao.
A Gitcoin Grant eligibility criteria reads “The project should not have its own token…)”
This criteria is interpreted as mandatory by reviewers. FDD grant reviewers are trained to deny projects with tokens.
The FDD proposes this criteria be revised to apply to non-governance tokens only.
The suggested revision reads “The project should not have its own token, other than a governance token,”
Full analysis of the novel situation is here in this forum post.
This change will empower FDD grant reviewers to use judgement and discretion to make a decision about whether a token is a governance token, or a token meant for generating revenue.
Currently all projects with tokens get recommended ‘denied’ from the FDD. By making the suggested change we will likely increase the number of quality public-goods-focused projects that are eligible for grant funding.
Gitcoin uses a set of eligibility criteria that has evolved over the grant rounds to determine which projects are aligned with Gitcoin values and goals. The goal is funding public goods and open source software creators/maintainers.
The fifth current eligibility criteria for the Gitcoin Platform reads:
“The project should not have its own token or have raised VC funding…”
The proposed change reads:
“The project should not have its own token , other than a governance token, or have raised VC funding…”
The core benefits of this revision are:
- Increased funding to public goods and open source software creators and maintainers
- Increased number of projects participating in Gitcoin Grants Rounds
- Increased positive public relations/advertising for Gitcoin, via word of mouth of grantees (less unhappy denied project teams)
- Empowering Gitcoin Dao Grant Reviewers with more autonomy and decision-making power. Giving them the power to evaluate a project’s public token
- Improved communication with grantees. Giving them advance notice of accurate criteria will help them stay within limits, and help non-eligible projects stay clear.
- Increasing overall Dao efficiency and reducing unproductive time spent denying grants with tokens, plus managing the possible appeals.
The potential drawbacks of this revision are:
- Some Grant Reviewers are not experienced enough to accurately evaluate a project and its token to determine if it is a governance token or otherwise
- There are no established metrics which quickly indicate the nature of a project’s token. Evaluation will require deep inquiry into a project’s background. For example, locating and reading archived forum posts from the founding team near the time of the token launch. This takes more time than the average review.
- Token evaluation, which is really a financial audit,can involve technically challenging research and analysis skills.
- Projects may be tempted to falsely categorize their tokens to gain access to grant round funding
The official 3 day Steward vote will happen on Snaphot if enough signal is shown in this post (poll below). In 3 days, on March 20th, we will either move to vote or dismiss the appeal and consider alternatives. The vote is a straightforward choice between two options. Either we make the suggested revision, or we do not, and continue with our current policy.
Yes, revise the Gitcoin Grant eligibility criteria to read:
“The project should not have its own token, other than a governance token, or have raised VC funding…”
No the Gitcoin Grant eligibility criteria should not be changed.
While this will not solve all the problems it is a step in the right direction. Revising our criteria will send a clear message to all potential applicants. A message that signals our alignment and values around public goods. This is an improvement from our current state, which has a blunt general policy not reflective of the reality in the web3 space. The reality that tokens have become a common governance tool for web3 projects.
Tokens are likely one of the best tools for governance. We should not deny projects funding opportunities because they have token based governance. Following 3 days for debate and polling we will either move this to a snapshot vote or dismiss the appeal.
Proposed Revision to Grant Eligibility Criteria Poll v.2
- Yes - Go to Snapshot for a 3 day Steward vote. We want to revise the Gitcoin Grant eligibility criteria as described in section 7.
- No - No changes at this time and no need for a Snapshot Steward vote.