Public Goods Enthusiast Pushes the Green Pill in Crypto Development

Kevin Owocki is the founder of Gitcoin, an Ethereum-based funding marketplace and author of “GreenPilled: How Crypto Can Regenerate The World”.

Why is this important: What gets funded on Gitcoin, with its democratized project funding model, is actually a snapshot of priorities within the crypto software developer community. And his solarpunkian the founder is optimistic about a future of crowdsourcing.

The context: Gitcoin has provided $65 million in funding to the industry through bounties, grants, tips, and other products since launch, generating approximately $6 million per quarter to fund various projects over the past six quarters , according to Owocki.

  • Its counterparty pool has attracted participation from major investors including Coinbase, a16z, Polygon, Starkware, and Aave Grants, and helped decentralized exchanges like Uniswap and 1inch get off the ground. (He is also endorsed by Vitalik Buterin.)

What he says : “The [original] The idea was to create a place where open source software developers could ‘git coin’ – a pun – for their work,” Owocki tells Axios. Now the main offer on the website is funding for subsidies.

The big picture: Owocki is a proponent of “taking the green pill” – a push back from the “degen” culture of meme tokens and gambling – while advocating the use of cryptography to create an economic system that increases the ability of resources over time.

  • For Owocki, the Internet is a good audience, the metaphorical tree that everyone can benefit from.

To note : Ethereum’s move to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism from a proof-of-work mechanism is important for Owocki, in particular, because it makes this blockchain more sustainable.

Between the lines: Gitcoin Grants augments crowdfunding with quadratic funding, using math to automatically allocate capital into matching pools based on the number of backers. Simply put, Gitcoin emphasizes the interests of the many rather than, say, the wealthy few.

  • Here’s how it works: Two projects are seeking a $100,000 matching pool. They collect the same amount, $500, one from five people and the other from one person. The old draft’s match would be $8,333 compared to the second draft’s $1,667 because it got more votes.

Backtrack: Gitcoin’s success is, in part, due to the sensitivity of Owocki, who he describes as: “flexible on the details and dogmatic on the mission”.

  • “We were starting from the general thesis that there would be trillions of capital in the open source financial system and some of it would go to developers,” he said. “What we didn’t know was the mechanism by which this capital would reach software developers.”
  • Indeed, Gitcoin started with bounties and landed on subsidies, but it also dabbled in other offerings like ads and NFTs, Owocki said.

What is happening“Bounties and grants reflect the current state of the market from a technology perspective. Many Ethereum 2.0 clients are funded on Gitcoin grants,” Owocki said.

And after: A Cycle of Crypto Advocacy on Regulation Focused on Building Support for Organizations “Leading in Good Crypto Policy and in Defense of the Open Web.”

  • “The advocacy round will be the largest we’ve seen in the history of Gitcoin grants,” Owocki said.

The context: Advocacy has become more important lately as regulators clamp down on the industry. For example, the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, sanctioning Tornado Cash brought the issue of privacy to the fore.

  • “The real question for me is [if] you have a regulator in a jurisdiction that’s going to ban addresses on the global network, does the network then change the infrastructure,” Owocki said, “Or do they circumvent that sanction or do you think they it’s about censorship, censor it.
  • Coin Center, a Washington DC-based research and advocacy firm, will challenge this action in court on the grounds that you cannot regulate speech.

Dates to Watch: The 15th funding round of Gitcoin Grants is scheduled for September 7th. 22. Fusion will take place at the heart of it.

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