TLDR - What is Gitcoin? 🤖 [Updated Oct 2021]

Hi frens,

I’m writing an overview post about Gitcoin, so that prospective DAO participants know the why/what/how of GitcoinDAO. I plan to update this post every month as the DAO evolves.

Mission First

The first thing to know about Gitcoin is that we are mission first. Our mission is to build and fund digital public goods.

We believe that Open Source Software is a digital public good that creates $400bn/year in value, but that creators of OSS don’t have great ways to monetize their work on this digital infrastructure. Our goal is to correct this asymmetry.

We believe that it’s all coordination. Public goods failures are coordination failures, and we see an opportunity to solve coordination failures with blockchains - a novel, immutable, global, programmable, transparent substrate for coordination. We can be successful by deploying these novel technologies in innovative ways to solve problems in a DAO-era world.

How we support our mission.

Gitcoin is community first, and our software products a double sided market that connects digital creatives to the people who want to fund their work. And visa versa. So far we’ve created $35mm worth of funding for OSS devs. Specifically, the way we do that is:

  1. Giving members opportunities to earn.
  2. Giving members opportunities to learn.
  3. Giving members opportunities to connect with one another & prospective career opportunities.

How do we do that?

Product-wise, we are building coordination tools for a DAO based world. We do that with

  1. Bounties - gig-based work for web3 projects.
  2. Hackathons - Build w the coolest web3 projects.
  3. Grants - Crowdfunding for Open Source.
  4. KERNEL - A web3-native, community centric accelerator.
  5. - a small, modular tool for engaging people for showing up.
  6. Quadratic Diplomacy - a decentralized tool for engaging contributors.

Community-wise, we do that by being mission-first, producing results, by cultivating our culture and vibes in community.

More on how we achieve our mission here.

The DAO that governs Gitcoin

In order to make sure that Gitcoin is serving its mission and community first, Gitcoin is governed by the community. In May 2021, GTC was released. GTC is a governance token with no economic value that governs Gitcoin Grants + GitcoinDAO.

What is GitcoinDAO?

  1. On a human layer, GitcoinDAO is an egregore - a group of humans who coordinate to achieve our mission.
  2. From a product perspective, we are building a suite of tools for DAO-era coordination of capital & culture.
  3. From a governance perspective, we are governed by GTC.
  4. We are progressively decentralize Gitcoin from a company to a DAO.

There are 3 important concepts to know to understand how to interact with GitcoinDAO.

  1. Most of the action happens on discord,, or on twitter.
  2. Stewards are ultimately responsible for governing GitcoinDAO.
  3. Workstreams are the primary mechanism through which work is organized in the DAO.

DAO Workstreams

Workstreams are the way work is organized in the DAO. Workstreams have their own budget, leadership structure, tools, and processes on a per-workstream basis. Anyone can propose a workstream by following the proposal process. The current active workstreams are:

  1. Moonshot Collective is the DAO rapid prototyping workstream
  2. Public Goods is focused on our mission of funding public goods.
  3. Fraud Detection & Defense is in charge of preventing fraud on Gitcoin Grants.
  4. Decentralize-gitcoin is the mechanism through which Gitcoin is progressively decentralizing.
  5. Memes, Merch, & Marketing is the DAO marketing division.

If you want to learn more about the GitcoinDAO, read this post here.

DAO’s Quarterly Cadence

Gitcoin operates in a quarterly cadence. Every quarter, the Gitcoin ecosystem revolves around a quarterly stacked event - a combination Gitcoin Grants round, Hackathon, and KERNEL block - where millions of $$$ of funding are deployed to the community. Typically a quarter looks like this:

  1. Plan for quarterly stacked event.
  2. Execute quarterly stacked event.
  3. Learn from the quarterly stacked event.
  4. Repeat

The next quarterly event is GR12 (short for Grants Round 12) starting in December 2021.


Right now the DAO is focused on:

  1. Creating more ecosystem impact (measured in $$$ distributed to devs).
  2. Decentralizing Gitcoin.

Ongoing discussions on these KPIs here.

Gitcoin is a vessel for humanity to get to the Quadratic Lands!

The GitcoinDAO is a vessel that we would like to take us to the Quadratic Lands - a place where open source software (and other public goods) are well maintained + healthy. In the quadratic lands, public goods are funded by quadratic funding + other web3 native funding mechanisms. The quadratic lands is a north star, we are still discovering what exactly it is and how to get there; checkout this song that was written about it or this overview video.

How to get involved.

As of October 2021, here is the way you can get involved in the DAO.

  1. Read the weekly Week in DAO posts by @ceresstation .
  2. Get engaged on discord,, or on twitter
  3. Apply as a Contributor
  4. Checkout see available openings on the stream.
  5. Explore any workstreams (use links above).
  6. Use Gitcoin to earn, learn, or fund. (use links above).
  7. Explore any of the links below:



Gitcoin Grants is establishing itself as a significant pillar of the Ethereum ecosystem that more and more projects are relying on for some or all of their support. ~ Vitalik Buterin

I LOVE IT…The community has been outstanding. I have made contact outside of slack w a couple of people. William Schwab was kind enough to ZOOM w me for an hour and tell me his story, letme pick his brain, and as he shared some valuable resources with me. - John Wilkinson

KERNEL is the greatest thing to ever happen to my crypto/business/personal life. I have made plenty of new friends, connected with people who believe in me and want to work together on other projects, and of course learned a lot from other seedlings, mentors and speakers. - Ethan Chiasson

Gitcoin gave me the first break into Ethereum and the crypto space. It helped me find bounties that I could work on and get paid in crypto. After my first ever bounty I got paid a lot and I felt euphoric. - Sebastian TF

I am amazed on a daily basis at the incredible projects and communities in this space. The Gitcoin team and quadratic funding is an invaluable catalyst to bring it all to fruition. Thank you! - Hishamaru Konkon

Gitcoin grants quadratic funding is not just for funds allocation, it’s also a great signaling tool! For the last few rounds, going to Grants | Gitcoin has led me to discover a lot of really cool Ethereum projects I previously did not know about. - Vitalik Buterin

What Gitcoin is doing with public goods funding is absolutely incredible. Nothing but respect to the team and the larger community for the contributions made. - Frobo

Thanks to @gitcoin it has helped us to discover our earliest talent and supercharged @KodaDot development. - Matej

People ask me all the time how I got into Solidity and NFT dev. The answer is @gitcoin! Beginning of the year I just started doing bounties for a bunch of different projects (@synthetix_io @akashnet_ @SovrynBTC etc) and found the NFT ones were my fave. Such a good way to learn! - sarasioux.eth


Great post, Useful links.

Complete, fresh, easily understandable and readable.

This post should be more visible!

I always enjoy to read some testimonials, thanks for sharing them.