[Workstream] Fraud Detection and Defense Working Group Assemble!

It began with a call…

Gitcoin was under attack…

With the weapons of knowledge, many from the ecosystem came to defend…

They built a machine learning algorithm to flag fraud…

But algorithms must be tuned to serve the needs of the community, else we risk punishing the innocent…

And now, the Gitcoin Galaxy needs your help to decide friend or foe… the best of machine learning with the social discretion of humans, to restore peace and justice to the Quadratic Lands of the Gitcoin galaxy…

About the workstream

The Anti-Fraud & Collusion Detection working group is analyzing Gitcoin data to explore mechanism design solutions for Sybil-Resistance.

Origins of this initiative

After GG Round 6, Gitcoin leaders reached out to BlockScience to engage in modelling and simulation work to examine the quadratic funding system for attack vectors, and how to defend them to create a more resilient system. That work opened the opportunity for a multi-disciplinary research initiative and discussions around the algorithmic governance design of the grants sybil and collusion-detection ecosystem. The research group was formed out of an #OpenScience collaboration between Gitcoin, BlockScience, Token Engineering Academy & Token Engineering Commons Labs, which ran an eight week study of grants data. You can read more in this notion library of the Co-Lab.

This work will now be carried forward in this workstream, and will take the initiative through the next steps of the process - getting the stewards up to speed on the work that has been done so far, and empowering them with computer-aided policymaking tools. With these tools, they will provide critical feedback to help decide on appropriate boundaries and values in line with the Gitcoin community. Stewards will help to build appropriate governance processes and manage modifications, community feedback integration and other needs as they arise to improve fraud and collusion prevention.

Exploring the data: Gitcoin Grants Round 7 on Kumu.
Red nodes are donors, green nodes are grants.

Workstream Ops

The workstream has two pipelines:

1. ML/Data Science

2. Governance Education

The initial workstream team is made up of members of the BlockScience and Gitcoin teams, and stewards will be invited to participate.

Danilo Lessa Bernardineli

Disruption Joe, Gitcoin

Dr. Michael Zargham

Jeff Emmett

Jessica Zartler

Jesse Tao

JiaJia H

Kyle Weiss

Scott Moore

The Rollout

The two pipeline teams are working side by side to develop the technical frameworks and two educational workshops that will begin to further decentralize decision making in governance of gitcoin grants in relation to anti-fraud and collusion detection. There are several choices that need to be made i.e whether to tune the algorithm for sensitivity - to widen its scope (more false positives), or narrow its lens for specificity (less positives get flagged) and how to handle edge cases. For the process, we will work with sample data to see how this works in reality, and transition from “the spirit of the law” to the “letter of the law” in application and policy making.

We have sketched out the initial discovery process and what we will need to determine to get this initiative off the ground:

  • Define the mandate
  • Education of Stewards
  • First Policy Considerations
  • Defining the appeals process
  • Defining the sanctions process
  • Establishing processes to modify the processes
  • Defining KPIs and feedback loops
  • Defining operations considerations

The Road Ahead

“The Boston #TE Party” - #TokenEngineering

Most algorithms that affect our lives are black boxed, and we have no say over the policy decisions or tuning of systems we engage with every day. This is among the first initiatives in history to empower collective decision making in computer-aided governance.

The road ahead is long, and we are charting new territory, but together, with the light of knowledge and taking conscious steps, we can build towards a grants system of the people, by the people (with algorithmic assistance), and for the people.

If you would like to answer the call and are interested in participating in this workstream, reply to this thread below with your interest and any related experience.

You can follow all of the developments of this workstream and the others emerging by staying tuned to gov.gitcoin.co

A special thank you to Jeff Emmett, Disruption Joe, Kevin Owocki and Scott Moore for feedback, and Dr. Michael Zargham, for the “Boston TE Party” meme inspiration.


Interested in ML/Data Science pipeline.
I have an education aimed at data science / modelling and a (mostly academic) career in modeling and methods for model tuning


Hey there,
I would like to contribute to the Governance pipeline. I’ve been contributing for some time to a Governance Lexical Standardization effort and could help in educating about governance, or in any other way required


Hi! I’m a researcher investigating anti-Sybil systems. Here’s a paper I co-authored last year: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fbloc.2020.590171/full

I’m interested in both pipelines, and super excited to collaborate! =)



I’d like to participate in the ML/Data Science workstream. I’ve been involved in the TECommons and a few TE study groups and I believe I can give something back to the comunity if I get involved in this initiative to foster Computer-aided governance on Gitcoin


I’ll put my hand up to be educated :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: and then pass along the good vibes.

I learnt a bunch at Maker, built a curation system which specifically avoids governance, am generally against governance as thought about and practiced across most the ecosystem, and am always willing to have my mind changed.


I’ll like to join the ML/DS work-stream based on experiences in Data mining and ML Dev and applications in different fields. Though this background is an unfamiliar territory for me, I’m sure I’d impress upon the team toward getting results.


Hi I want to participate in this idea how can i get involved. Please let me know.


i want make with team build community, build a community for startup


Did anyone say Delegated Proof-of-Personhood or Proof-of-Knowledge? Looking forward to this work group.


Hi I have been in ML from last two years. worked with scikit and afast.ai frame works. want to participate in this stream.



I am a student studying Artificial Intelligence and modeling/simulation.
I have worked with AI models for Computer Vision, and Reinforcement learning.
I have worked with distributed memory parallelism in MPI.

I am pretty new to crypto, but I am interested in learning more.


I’d love to learn about it so i could help contribute, i know next to nothing about this topic!


I’m afraid you and I are on the same boat …

I wouldn’t mind educating my self with first-hand information gotten about this grate proposal.


I’m a beginner and I am interested in anti-Sybil. Come and learn from you guys. At present, in addition to using Idena, brightID, POH, etc. to verify real people, what methods will gitcoin use in the future?


Hey! I am interested in this Workstream.
I am a Data Scientist, even though I just started out my career. I would like to help if possible.


I’m interested, after reading the intro…looks like a great start and would like to contribute. My background is Database Administration.


Hi @Crewis @robin-rrt @paulaberman @santteegt @cryptowanderer @Vee @Raghav078 @nguyenvillas @jaywake @durgaamma2005 :pray:

Thank you so much for your interest!! We are working on organizing and preparing to open the group for participation.

Can you please kindly fill out this sheet with your contact and other info promptly so we can add you all to the calendar invites for upcoming events and meetings:

In addition to data science and ML algo tuning experience, we are looking for one or more folks who can support in the operations/admin of the group going forward including:

  • Call scheduling
  • Promotion
  • Taking meeting notes
  • Recording meetings, uploading and cataloguing the videos
  • Communicating with and reporting back to the MetaGovernance Workstream/Stewards group
  • Etc.

Please indicate on the sheet above as well if you are interested in taking on any of these tasks.

Thank you again and will continue to update this thread with information as it emerges :pray::newspaper:


Hello also to @Krakitten @CWin @duduhunters @xxs @codec @vjgithub :pray:
Please see above :point_up: (post limited to 10 @mentions)


Hi Jessica,

Thanks for the Welcome Letter today!