Gitcoin Grants Round 8 Governance Brief

The below post is our first Governance Brief about Gitcoin Grants, and was sent on 12/22/2020 to the community multi-sig owners to request facilitation of r8 payouts:

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Dear Funders League Multi-Sig Key Holders,

The time has come, it is time to take the journey to the Quadratic Lands + to honor our sacred agreement to support public goods in the Ethereum ecosystem, by transferring money from the Grants MultiSig to a new non-custodial deployment contract [etherscan][announcement].

Thanks to the work of the Justice League + the Ethereum community, this multi-sig has over $1mm worth of assets in it.  

Golf clap for @iearnfinance, matic, Ethereum Foundation, @DefianceCapital & Three Arrows Capital, #FerretPatrol, @future_fund_, @rleshner, @bantg, @nanexcool, $MEME, @Synthetix, @optimismPBC, @YAMFinance, @BalancerLabs, tenQkp, $BASED, $UNI, @BalancerLabs, econoar, chainlink, 1337 working group, Binance, chainlink, harvest.finance, Andrew Keys, @bc_workshop, Kraken, SNX, 1kx, 1inch, EF, Splunk, BadgerDAO, Auryn

As we all agreed to when we formed this multi-sig, “the social contract here is that these funds are to be used for public goods in eth; specifically gitcoin grants”.

Stats 

The latest Gitcoin Grants Round (GR8) was our largest yet!  26k contributions from 5k contributors rolled in from 12/2 – 12/17, and $571k was raised from the crowd (in addition to $500k from the matching pool and over $100k in GR8 hack prizes)   

Full Stats Below:

We’re excited to see a steadily growing cohort of contributors who come back round over round (usually 20%-33% of a previous round’s contributors will come back the following round).

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A Culture of Public Goods Funding: Returning Users to Gitcoin Grants

Governance Briefs

Rules for this round were displayed on https://gitcoin.co/wiki/grants/ during the round. I’ve said in the past that “Gitcoin Grants is a giant red team / blue team exercise for battle testing Quadratic Funding in the real world”, and these rules are where the rubber meets the road. Every iteration, we try to muscle up the blue team, prevent attacks against the ruleset, so that we can scale Quadratic Funding to larger & larger grants rounds. 

In this spirit, before we get to the top funded projects, I want to talk briefly about the disputes that came up this round (which can be viewed on @gitcoindisputes on twitter)  

  1. Impersonation.
    1. Someone impersonated NFTi, and got away with 324 DAI of contributor money
      1. Action taken by Gitcoin: Disabled the grant. Reassigned contributors to commonstack at NFTi (the real NFTi’s request)
    2. Someone impersonated T3RN and got away with 845 DAI of contributor money.
      1. Action taken by Gitcoin: Disabled the grant.
    3. For Round 9, we want to handle this better by:
      1. Stiffen Twitter verification rules (which we require from all grants) to have at least 50 followers and have a creation date some reasonable time in the past – making it harder to forge a grant identity.
  2. Quid Pro Quo
    1. Someone offered kickbacks on these projects
      1. Ethgang
        1. Action taken by Gitcoin: Disabled the grant’s participation in matching.
      2. Synergy of Sierra
        1. Action taken by Gitcoin: None, Matic (matching fund partner for matic round) didn’t want any action taken
      3. EtherDrops
        1. Action taken by Gitcoin: Removed contributions immediately following the kickback campaign from the Grant’s matching calculations.
  3. Not Public Good
    1. For these projects
      1. Food Bag Delivery Help
      2. Paylock Escrow
    2. Action taken by Gitcoin: None, Team Gitcoin believes the market should decide what is a public good, not Team Gitcoin (except in the case of outright fraud).
  4. Sybil Attacks / Collusion Attacks
    1. Sybil attacks (also called sock puppet attacks) are a vulnerability of Quadratic Funding
      1. Gitcoin has built SybilScore – an algorithm that checks for signs of sybil attacks. Here is a scatterplot of SybilScore (x-axis) vs amount raised (Y axis).  Grants in the top right are the most suspect.
      2. We’ve combed through many of the grants in the above scatterplot, analyzing contribution patterns, and Kevin’s take is this:
        1. It’s really hard to tell the difference between a new user and a sybil attack, but as users mature it becomes easier to ensure their humanity. Further fingerprinting techniques are needed to identify sybil attacks vs new users.
        2. There are some instances of low-weight/inconsequential sybil attacks against grants (enough to move matching amounts by a couple dollars, but nothing over $100) – we don’t want to take any action against them in order to maintain credible neutrality. In the future, we may present findings of our sybilscore to the Funders League, and ask for consent to take algorithmic action against a subset of participants (example proposal: users with sybilscores of 5+ count 95% less in matching). More details will be coming if we take this step.
    2. Collusion takes place when multiple agents act in their mutual interest to the detriment of other participants. 
      1. We deployed Vitalik’s Pairwise-Bonding matching algorithm to algorithmically respond to collusion.
      2. We recently announced an engagement with BlockScience to help build collusion resistance into Gitcoin. In future rounds, we hope that the work we’re doing with BlockScience will be helpful in isolating instances of collusion + building governance (algorithmic or otherwise) into Grant distribution calculations.  This engagement is already starting to yield results.
  5. TrustBonus Participation
    1. Over the past 2 rounds, Gitcoin has offered (and added new services to) a TrustBonus for contributors
      1. The higher the TrustBonus a user has, the more confident we are the user is a single human. Higher Trust Bonuses come with benefits, such as higher CLR match for grants.
      2. TrustBonus ensures that Gitcoin is sybil-resistant, which is important for Quadratic Voting (and many other voting applications in web3!).
    2. Misc Stats:
      1. – 10 Idena Verified Contributors/4844 Total Contributors (0%)
      2. – 166 POAP Verified Contributors/4844 Total Contributors (3%)
      3. – 797 Google Verified Contributors/4844 Total Contributors (16%)
      4. – 358 Twitter Verified Contributors/4844 Total Contributors (7%)
      5. – 389 BrightID Verified Contributors/4844 Total Contributors (8%)
      6. – 904 SMS Verified Contributors/4844 Total Contributors (19%)
    3. Governance Recommendation
      1. Crank up dat TrustBonus to get higher participation percentages, start introducing penalties for not participating.
  6. Discoverability
    1. We have done a handful of experiments to determine how to scale discoverability of Grants.
      1. An A/B Test where we tested a hypothesis that Gitcoin’s default sorting algorithm would affect which grants got the highest match. [results]
      2. The addition of collections, which drove 20% of all cart additions
      3. The addition of the ‘related grants’ tab on the Grants profile, which drove 5% of cart additions.
      4. In the future, more experiments in driving discoverability of quality grants will be necessary.

The Data

Here is the leaderboard of top funded projects of round 8.

Full design leaderboard collateral is here.

How Payout Works

In Round 8, Gitcoin Grants went non-custodial (the matching pool management at least, the crowdfunding portion has always been non-custodial!)

Grants Round 8 will be the first round where Gitcoin never ever touches the matching funds. Here is the updated trust architecture.

As such, the match ranking entries have been loaded onto the distribution smart contract. When that contract is funded, and when Gitcoin calls enablePayouts(), Grant admins will be able to call claimMatchPayout()  (either via the Gitcoin.co website, or via Etherscan) to receive their matching funds.

The smart contract, which has been designed for security via simplicity, and has been run by top contract auditors, but has not had a full formal audit — read more about security here.

We don’t expect that anything will go wrong, but if it does, the Grants multiSig (and only the Grants multiSig) can call withdrawFunding() to claw this funding back to the multiSig.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Ask: Fund the payout smart contract

If you agree that this payout is within the social contract of the Grants MultiSig, I ask that you kindly please sign this transaction to 0xf2354570bE2fB420832Fb7Ff6ff0AE0dF80CF2c6.

The Gitcoin Team.

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