[Workstream] Decentralize Gitcoin

Hey Gitcoin Community,

Philip Hutchins here to propose a new workstream focused on decentralizing the core Gitcoin platform: the Decentralize Gitcoin Workstream! This post serves as my resume for the lead position and as a means for you to hold me accountable to the high bar you would expect from a workstream this critical to Gitcoin.

Though I am relatively new to Gitcoin, I am definitely not new to open source or the decentralization space. My intro to crypto and decentralization was when I joined BitPay in 2014. Reading Satoshi’s whitepaper was an eye opening experience for me just as it has been for many of us in this space. I later went on to work for Storj Labs transitioning into the CTO role and leading the effort to redesign the product and rewrite the codebase to be scalable and decentralized. I later joined a team in the supply chain space designing and building a POC to enable competitors to turn into collaborators, and work together through sharing and utilizing excess resources.

Now, a “Decentralize Gitcoin Workstream” sounds super cool but what does it actually mean?

Well, Gitcoin is focused on growing and sustaining open source software, much of which is decentralized technology. The whole mission of Gitcoin is centered around giving back to and sustaining the communities around open source software. These are foundational parts of our internet infrastructure, and to promote antifragility, credible neutrality, and to grow funding for public goods it makes perfect sense to decentralize Gitcoin!

Currently Gitcoin is built like a web 2.5 app. It’s built on top of a few web3-era technologies utilizing smart contracts on-chain where possible, but also hosted in a centralized manner like a web2 app. For this reason, Gitcoin cannot yet be credibly called decentralized from a technical perspective.

Starting with Gitcoin Grants, I propose we work to make the grants system permissionless so that anyone can participate and fork the project, and be credibly neutral to ensure that no one person or entity directly controls the outcomes or direction.

The goal of the Decentralize Gitcoin Workstream is to guide and drive the project that will result in us not only being able to call Gitcoin itself a DAO, but Gitcoin Grants (and perhaps even other products) fully decentralized protocols.

I could see this workstream evolving in these phases

  • Phase 1 (we are here) - Gitcoin APIs are available but centralized.
    • Theme: Design & Documentation
    • This working group’s focus is on
      • Decentralized Grants Protocol and Architecture Design
      • Formally documenting API, and Protocol
  • Phase 2 - Decentralized protocol and API is designed, documented, and documentation released
    • Theme: Implement and release Beta Decentralized Grants API
    • This working group’s focus is on
      • Decentralizing and documenting data availability. (in a privacy preserving way, of course)
      • Decentralizing the Grants API
  • Phase 3 - Gitcoin Grants Beta APIs are available, well documented, and decentralized.
    • Theme: Iterate and move Decentralized Grants from Beta to Production and begin decentralization of Hackathons
    • This working group’s focus is on
  • Phase 4 - Decentralized Gitcoin Grants in Production.
    • This working group’s focus is
      • building a well oiled DevRel machine, which means on evangelizing the mission + APIs + documentation as widely as possible, enabling developers worldwide to create value by building on Gitcoin’s dataset and protocols.
  • Phase 5 - Serenity - Decentralized Gitcoin Grants tech is humming.

Get involved by joining the discussion here on the Gitcoin forum.


I made a very rudimentary start at something similar for the last round here: GitCoin Data Pouch


Looking forward to this regarding Grandiose. At the moment I have to periodically fetch the entire Gitcoin Grants database which is cumbersome and fragile. Having on-chain grant would be a blessing.


The goal of the Decentralize Gitcoin Workstream is to guide and drive the project that will result in us not only being able to call Gitcoin itself a DAO, but Gitcoin Grants (and perhaps even other products) fully decentralized protocols.
Cannot agree any more.


Helpful,looking forward to this




Looking forward to it : )

I’d love to hear where everyone thinks decentralization in the Grants stack would have the most impact. Thoughts?

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Looking forward to it guys

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Hey, I am a web developer, looking forward to this!

Looking forward to it, great idea.

Lemme know anyway I can help move this along. Business marketing major with a fire for changing the world with decentralization.

Looking to hear and learn more about this topic. I’ve to say that in the past I’ve used ‘dapps’ that were not available in my country for some reason, at the time I was wondering why was that the case if it was a decentralize app, then I realized that there are several layers in the app stack that were not decentralized at all, and just bcuz it’s barely using smartcontract built on ethereum doesn’t make it a ‘daap’ living in a web2.5 ecosystem, it’s still the good old web2 :). I might do a meme about this tbh lol.


follow it! :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


I am very excited for this, I believe Gitcoin could be the natural born successor to Diaspora.

I believe we two things need to happen to effectuate this transition.

  • Firstly, we need to ordain the current Gitcoin team as the the maintainer of Production and the current stack.

  • Secondly we need to incentivize an entirely new “radical” dev team that is working an entirely new stack that tears Gitcoin apart and rebuilds everything mobile first.

Finally, I believe strongly that Gitcoin should become a protocol where our data(social, professional, economical) is allocated for stewardship and subsequently mined for value that is redistributed back to the owners of the data and community.(opt in of course)

I think this area is quite ripe for exploration, the internet is going back to the edge from once it came, as we radically decentralize more and more of our applications and stacks, decentralizing the social layer become increasingly clear.

Count me in for the journey!


Excited to see how this project continues to grow and be a success

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Hey there im fairly new to gitcoin and developing but i am very eager to learn lots and help contribute, i am a firm beleiver in crypto currency and decentralized ecosystem as awhole

Hi @phutchins, please let me know if I can join this workstream as a developer. I’m a Software engineer and passionate about web3. I would really like to contribute to decentralize Gitcoin.

Interesting. Looking forward to it :upside_down_face:

Looking forward to it, great idea.:red_car::red_car::red_car: