I am thrilled to publicly announce that Gitcoin has joined the ConsenSys Mesh.
From the press release:
ConsenSys, the world’s largest blockchain venture studio, is announcing today that it has added the Gitcoin project, the first blockchain-based network for funding contributions to open source software (OSS), to its mesh of companies and projects. Gitcoin was launched in September.
Gitcoin will be running pilot projects with the following ConsenSys teams:
– ConsenSys Security Best Practices
Neat, huh? ConsenSys has some amazingly smart people in its mesh. They sponsor infrastructure projects, businesses, and in general, things that are going to push the blockchain ecosystem forward.
ConsenSys and Gitcoin will be performing some experiments together to see how incentivization mechanics can be leveraged for the good of the Open Source Software (OSS) community.
Gitcoin’s first partners are core infrastructure of the budding web3 ecosystem. While the mainstream financial news has been abuzz with hype about token sales lately, the projects that have quietly enabled their success have been largely taken for granted.
I am honored to have the opportunity to work on incentivization mechanics for sustaining these Open Source Infrastructure tools. These tools are important pillars of success for the entire ecosystem.
We expect that some of these Pilot Project Experiments will fail. Experiments require intellectual honesty and a long term view. You’ll notice that there is no token sale associated with these pre-product market fit experiments. The ethos of the Gitcoin community is designed to be one of intellectual honesty and experimentation. We are building a community where it is okay when hypotheses don’t pan out or a pilot project needs to go to the shop for some re-tooling.
Pilot Project Hypothesis #1: Tips Build Relationships
OK, so the Pilot Projects are a big science experiment. The first hypothesis we will be testing is: Do tips build relationships, improve quality of ‘service’, or help show appreciation?
Tips on Gitcoin are fairly self-explanatory. The two steps are:
- Send a ETH/ERC20 tip to any github username.
- The recipient can claim that tip.
Pilot Project Hypothesis #2: Bounties Accelerate Open Source
The second hypothesis we will be testing is: Do liquid financial rewards accelerate open source repos?
We’ll see what happens when ether and ether-based tokens are staked against issues in open source software. In particular, I’m interested to articulate the results across the following dimensions:
- Are bounties good for core or auxiliary tasks?
- What is the optimal level of complexity for tasks?
- How much overhead is associated with scoping tasks?
- Is ETH or an ERC20 token a better reward?
- Are bounties perceived differently by those who are extrinsically vsintrinsically motivated?
- Do bounties provide value for teams that are recruiting?
- What is the optimal price point for a bounty?
Listening to Generate New Hypotheses
It is very likely that we will be performing additional experiments to observe what happens as the blockchain and OSS communities increasingly overlap in the coming weeks & months.
I am hyper-focused on listening to smart people who are working to build value in web3, with the endgame of helping to solve their problems. If you are in the ecosystem, I want to talk to you.
Open Source Community First
Open Source Software is like manna from the heavens, insofar as OSS has delivered so much value to so many people; what’s good for the ecosystem is good for careers, lifestyles, and the products that we all love.
Someone is going to figure out how to build a double-sided market for talent with sustainable funding, and I sure hope that it’s one of the “good guys” in the ecosystem. The downside is too high for something as pure & good as Open Source Software. Too many sharing-economy jobs out there are exploitative. We owe it to ourselves to optimize for the long term benefit of the ecosystem, and _every_ actor in it .
Gitcoin’s backing by ConsenSys is a burst of fresh momentum for projects building with Ethereum + Open Source.
If you want to help solve the problems of Open Source Software developers( or if you just want to follow along) drop a 👋 in the #general channel of the Gitcoin Community.