Revised Proposal - OpenData Community Funding (and token distribution)

[GCP-00x] - Gitcoin OpenData Community Revision Founding Partnership Final Draft
Version 2.0: July 15, 2023 - version 1.0: June 27, 2023

Thank you for the feedback so far on our proposal. This revision attempts to incorporate the feedback of many folks including Salvador @jengajojo , @thedevanshmehta , @ccerv1 , @shawn16400, @connor , @stefi_says, @b3n b @meglister, @tjayrush and @jon-spark-eco .

Generally, the feedback has been positive - lots of appreciation for the important work of ODC community members including nearly daily efforts at round analysis and Grant screening - and also incisive - such as, please show me the metrics. The overall context is that Gitcoin is much less amenable to funding proposals than it was before the recent drop in the value of GTC. Nonetheless, given the strategic value of the OpenData Community to Gitcoin and the broader community and the positive impact on our sustainability that this GCP will provide we believe this request is warranted and will deliver significant value to Gitcoin.

You can read the entirety of the prior post and comments here:
1st draft

Rather than rewrite the entire proposal, thereby possibly losing the context, what we decided to do was:

  • Republish this proposal
  • Add Q&A at the end
  • Add a link to a metrics subsite we will maintain as well

That said, there are at least three points worth highlighting that both increase the ROI of this proposal and cause it to defy basic ROI analysis:

  1. The OpenData Community works on existential stuff and is a public good
    Without open, credible, effective Sybil analysis - and we would argue grant screening and evaluation and much more as well - quadratic funding will not work. How much should you pay for clean water for example? Well, it should be free, but you’d pay a lot if your life depended on it. Similarly, we need open, transparent data science focused on Sybil analysis or the entire experiment in quadratic funding fails.

  2. The ROI for this “grant” is largely to continue to do good stuff
    Unless you are in certain Telegram and Discord channels, you may not be aware that ODC is working daily on helping with the rounds and supporting efforts by Steffi and others to build dashboards and datasets for round operators; when asked for their feedback about the recent Beta round, in an unscientific survey in yet another Telegram Group a group of Round Operators indicated that Sybil analysis of the sort that ODC members were providing was at the top of their must-have requirements. It’s not hypothetical whether our work is needed. You can see comments from Conor and Jon who are Gitcoin leaders of Round Operator channels in the prior thread as well in support of the value of the ODC and this proposal.

  3. Actually this isn’t a Grant
    We are proposing to provide Gitcoin with erc-20 tokens in order to help lead our Steward Council. The ODC has a great chance to become valuable in the future. It is worth mentioning that Gitcoin may end up capturing value in the future as well via this mechanism. That said, the primary purpose of the erc-20 is governance tokens and normal caveats apply.

This proposal seeks a commitment of $65,000 from the Gitcoin Treasury to support the OpenData Community (ODC), a non-commercial DAO dedicated to protecting public goods funding and supporting decentralization at the data layer. The funding will help the OpenData Community to improve its ability to deliver complementary open-source and free-to-use software, algorithms, analysis, data sets, and data scientists for users of Gitcoin protocols. Gitcoin in turn will receive, when available, erc-20 locked tokens for use in governance as a Founding Sponsor of the ODC.

These complementary goods are important for Gitcoin users including round operators. As an open-source project, the ODC is capable of delivering them less expensively than other approaches. Recently members of the ODC have been active in reviewing the Beta Round, the Citizens Retroactive Funding Round, and the DeSci Round at no charge to any of the round operators.

The OpenData Community (ODC) emerged in late 2022 from Gitcoin FDD, with a mission to leverage data science and software development expertise to protect public goods funding through Sybil analysis and squelching. This proposal outlines our plan for sustainability and the benefits that Gitcoin, as a Founding Sponsor, would gain from supporting our mission.

OpenData Community
The ODC’s mission is twofold:
Defending Web3 from Sybil attacks and other types of Fraud: We aim to protect public goods funding, airdrops, DAO governance, fair and transparent markets, and other public squares from Sybil and similar attacks.
Preventing centralization at the data layer: We strive to protect the decentralization and resistance to censorship of Ethereum and other well-designed blockchains by supporting decentralized approaches to data access and analysis.
To achieve these goals, the ODC hosts quarterly hackathons, develops open-source software projects, and curates useful data sets and decentralized data infrastructure for the broader community. We also help to recruit and train data analysts and data scientists.

Governance and the Role of a Founding Partner such as Gitcoin
As a Founding Partner and member of our inaugural Steward Council, Gitcoin will receive a leading position in the governance of the OpenData Community and will be in a position to participate in a growth in the value of the OpenData Community.

The governance tokens that Gitcoin receives will be locked for a period of not less than one year, with the option of the DAO voting to unlock tokens after that period.

In addition, the OpenData Community is implementing on-chain governance via the use of the Hats Protocol as outlined in our forums in a discussion entitled People Pipelines. These are ERC-1150-based tokens and are used to establish roles - and hence accountability.

Use of Proceeds
The funding will be used to execute a plan that will result in the sustainability of the OpenData Community. The budget breakdown is as follows:
1.5 full-time equivalent staff: $7,500 per month
Ongoing bounties: $2,500 per month
Legal expenses: $2,500 per month
Total: $12,500 per month

While it is difficult to be certain during a bear market, there are a number of DAOs making grants and other stakeholders that have expressed interest in similarly supporting the OpenData Community.

Benefits to Gitcoin
By supporting the OpenData Community, which provides complementary software, data sets, analysis, algorithms and experienced data scientists and developers that Gitcoin users can use in running their grants rounds and other activities with the aid of Gitcoin protocols, Gitcoin stands to gain:

  • Increased market for the Allo protocol and Gitcoin enabled public goods funding
  • Increased market for Gitcoin Passport
  • Additional relationships with a diverse set of web3 stakeholders
    Many would-be users of the Allo protocol and related software such as Grants Stack and Gitcoin Passport are in need of credible data analysis and related software. For example:
    Automation: Automation of aspects of Grants review and Sybil squelching
    Reporting: Dashboards for Grants review and grants funding allocations including the impact of Sybils; these reports increased credibility and trust
    Customization: For example, whether a given community should use default Gitcoin Passport thresholds
    Screening of known Sybils: For example, the recent ODC Hackathon revealed that Sybils that had been identified in another community were present in the Gitcoin Beta Round
    Turn-key services: As a non-commercial organization, the OpenData Community does NOT provide turn-key services however members of the ODC work with professional services organizations to deliver services as needed
    In addition, the transparency provided by the ODC can be useful in building the credibility of allocation decisions; as discussed recently in collaboration with Gitcoin teams, whereas Gitcoin and other round operators as they emerge must make the ultimate call on which potential Sybils and Grants are allowed, the ODC can play an important role both as a provider of important complements, including data sets, data scientists, algorithms and software and also as a check and balance that can be used by the community to validate results.

Potential Risks
While we are confident in our mission and strategy, we acknowledge the following potential risks:
Gitcoin dependency: We need to continue to demonstrate value to non-Gitcoin supporters to broaden our support and achieve our mission. We believe this grant and the role of Gitcoin as a Founding Partner will help to catalyze similar relationships with a number of other stakeholders.

Competitive responses: It may be the case that individuals within a particular round operator or within proprietary providers of analysis and data services would feel threatened by the OpenData Community. Over time we expect the positioning of the ODC as a non-commercial provider of Research and Development, tooling, skilled analysts, and data sets will be more clear and less likely to elicit a competitive response.

Public good dependency: Thus far our algorithms, software, and members have applied themselves primarily to protecting public goods funding; while we are planning to collaborate with leading marketplaces and others such as investors concerned about wash trading, we have focused our first three hackathons on the public goods ecosystem.

Lack of governance decentralization: We need to put our on-chain governance into production to enable us to grow and allocate our scarce resources credibly and in a way that resists capture. This is a primary outcome of this funding.

Dependency on key volunteers: A limited number of individuals are dedicating substantial time and may be unable to continue to do so if the ODC does not receive funding or for other reasons.
Lack of coordination across web3: Systemic barriers to effective cross-project coordination could hamper our efforts to protect web3. We are often overlooked by projects clearly in need of our capabilities; again, becoming more sustainable will presumably help here.

Lack of regulatory clarity or good faith: Regulatory uncertainties could impact our operations.

Our key performance indicators include:
Initial governance on-chain launch by August 15th via the Hats Protocol
Receipt of additional funding and contributions, including additional Founding Sponsors and Steward Council members by September 30th
Hosting quarterly hackathons with continued growth in participation including sponsors who assist in designing the Hackathons
Additional KPIs - including those listed below in response to feedback from reviewers - will be published at least monthly and available on our website at: (to be published in July 2023)

FAQs (added in response to feedback):
Q: What services will the ODC do for this funding?
A: The ODC primarily will continue the work it is already doing, organizing hackathons and increasingly working between rounds on useful projects including Grants review dashboards and R&D about better approaches to Sybil identification and explainability.

Q: What commercial services does the ODC provide?
A: The ODC does not compete with community members and others providing commercial services that can often be based on the open source data sets, algorithms, dashboards, and more developed by the ODC. There are ODC members providing comprehensive round operations services as well as software solutions that score Sybils. The ODC DOES however tune its hackathons and other efforts to be aligned with the needs of supporters including Gitcoin. Additionally, successful ODC projects agree to pay a portion of their revenues back to ODC, likely between 5-10%. We are seeking to avoid the situation that Gitcoin encountered where many of the most successful early web3 projects were supported by Gitcoin without something like an Aqueduct in place to return value to Gitcoin.

Q: Will ODC ask for more funds for hackathons?
A: Yes, the benefit to Gitcoin is more that hackathons and the incubation of Sandbox projects and ODC R&D will continue to be largely targeted to their needs - assuming Gitcoin engages and spends the time to provide feedback. We would still request bounty support for hackathons. The amount requested here enables us to persist and grow our operations.

Q: Is there interest from non-Gitcoin communities?
A: Yes, we have received support from other communities already in our short history, and there are statements of support on this proposal from Benr from POKT, and TJ Rush from TrueBlocks. We understand Ocean Protocol will post their statement of support shortly. There are many others that have been supportive of our support for open data science in particular as a public good in support of public goods funding.

Q: Has ODC helped to onboard data scientists to web3?
A: Yes, and whereas most efforts of using data in web3 are about DeFi, in our case we are fairly unique in that we are focused on protecting web3. One such data scientist @stefi_says offered her perspective in the comments thread.

Q: Won’t Passport just fix Sybils once and for all?
A: Maybe this is the unspoken elephant in the room, however despite the understandably optimistic marketing for Passport, it is simply impossible for even an amazing attestation-based project like Passport to completely defeat Sybils. A well-run round needs something like Passport to increase the cost of Sybil attacks proactively, and then analysis from the likes of ODC members, to assess and report upon the overall effectiveness of anti-Sybil efforts and to squelch those that have gotten through. Currently something like 15-35% of funds in a Passport protected round - based on Beta and Citizens Round results - are misallocated due to Sybils. We believe getting this down to approximately 5% or less should be our collective goal, otherwise, the credibility and effectiveness of public goods funding will erode. Again, this is an existential question for public goods funding, making ROI analysis somewhat tricky and potentially moot.

Q: What are current ODC R&D priorities?
A: There is a lot emerging from the community and, again, this will be determined in part by the needs of Gitcoin and other round operators and supporters. Some ongoing work includes:
Meta-analysis of many efforts in protecting recent rounds, from which we can all learn better ways of analysis

  • The @stefi_says project Mirall0x in Grant screening
  • Research into the use of AI approaches to learn and compare graphs of Sybil behavior; some of these techniques are already in use by individuals within the ODC
  • Curation of Sybil lists and other training sets
  • Use of compute on data to preserve privacy; a proof of concept of using the datasets on Ocean in situ as read-only, as opposed to allowing their download
  • We are interested in supporting at least the quantitative aspects of Grant analysis. In addition to supporting Mirall0X the Grant screening dashboard mentioned above, we are looking at ways to collaborate with others in this important domain; for example, it may be the case that Hypercerts themselves could become components of some of our analysis and that the ODC could support efforts that use the Hypercerts for impact analysis; this may align with our mission, our capabilities, and our reputation for independence and open source.

Yes: Support the OpenData Community with $65,000 in funding in return for to be issued initially locked erc-20 tokens.

No: Do not support the OpenDataCommunity in this way.
Abstain: I am missing context or this proposal needs more refinement.

OpenData Community website:
OpenData Community Regen Rangers hackathon: buidlbox
OpenData Community Forum:
OpenData Data Portal (beta):
OpenData on Ocean Protocol including access controls on curated lists of Sybils:
The mirall0x project for Grant Screening and other work from the ODC and related communities can be found on the OpenData Community Github: [ODC Github](https://[GCP-00x] - Gitcoin OpenData Community Revision Founding Partnership Final Draft)
Working with the OpenData Community (forum post): A (draft) guide for engaging with the OpenData Community - #3 by epowell101 - General - OpenData Community, home of the Regen Rangers
OpenData Community remains non-commercial (forum post): OpenData Community will NOT be a commercial enterprise & other thoughts on revenue models - General - OpenData Community, home of the Regen Rangers



Sorry I wasn’t able to weigh in on the first proposal! Before I jump into the details, I just wanted to say that I appreciate all of the time, effort, and partnership the ODC has provided under your leadership!

A few questions:

It doesn’t look like the metrics dashboard is up (or works externally), I’m getting a 404 error.

The $65k of funding is roughly ~26% of the total funding you’ll need for the next 18 months, if I’m reading both proposals correctly? If so, what’s the plan to get the additional funding? Or the risk if you don’t get it? My interpretation (might be totally incorrect) is that this would get you ~4.5 - 5 months of funding and the ODC DAO launched with this proposal?

I know others have commented on the $2.5k in legal fees. Is that required for the DAO to launch and won’t be ongoing? It just jumps out as it’s 20% of your budget!

What are the ongoing bounties and how does that differ from the hack-a-thon sponsors? In addition, how much would you require from the work streams in Season 19 for those hack-a-thons? We’re working on those budget updates as we speak so it’s very timely.


  • I think the most valuable item in the lists above for Gitcoin Passport at this time is “Curation of Sybil lists and other training sets” we continue to need to update both our Human and Sybil lists for training.

  • I’m working on mechanism design where ODC could potentially identify Sybils among identity staking addresses and capture value. I think that could lead to some form of value capture to help with long(er) term sustainability. This will likely take a few months to finalize and roll out.

  • As a lead for Passport, I agree, we don’t think Passport will overnight eliminate Sybils. We’ll continue to evolve the product as the environment changes. I do think strong partnership from the community will be essential to iterate rapidly and improve our capabilities.

  • I’m uncertain how we’re treating larger GCPs in this more budget conscious environment and the impact that will have on this request.


Found the data! Grant Rounds – ODC Data Hub

But there are no Jupyter notebooks with the analysis linked to that data, and I am not quite sure that’s worth $65k. Just my 0.02 GTC.

Thanks @abitrolly - thanks for checking it out! Yes, we don’t see just the publishing of some of the data sets on Ocean as the primary source of value. That said, I do think improving the Sybil lists and enabling them to be used without becoming compromised by Sybil attackers is something that is valuable for the broader community.

@epowell101 if Open Data is not your focus, maybe the group should be renamed to something that better reflects the group primary goals. Open Data is a well-known term, so if you’re not going to disclose the data, that means you’re using it just to gain more attention. And you’ve got it! :smiley: