The following is the first edition of our new Gitcoin Grantee Showcase, a new production of the GitcoinDAO‘s content marketing team. Our goal is to highlight stories from grant recipients and inspire the next generation of critical community projects!
Ethers.JS & the Genesis of Gitcoin Grants
Ethers.JS, the complete and compact library for interacting with the Ethereum Blockchain, participated in the genesis of Gitcoin Grants in February 2019.
Richard Moore, who would soon become well-known within Ethereum circles as the author of Ethers.JS, remembers hearing about Gitcoin and thinking, “That sounds dumb. No one’s going to contribute.” Who would give to something like this, he thought, when there’s nothing received in return? Fortunately, he couldn’t have been more wrong.
On the other hand, he was very right about the increasing importance of three key themes: decentralization, code as law, and self-sovereignty. Richard attended several local crypto meetups in Toronto where these and other topics were regularly discussed.
At one of these meetups, he ran into fellow Canadian and crypto aficionado Scott Moore, who had recently co-founded Gitcoin. In their introductory conversation, Scott suggested Richard could use Gitcoin’s new grants functionality to raise money for his new project, Ethers.JS.
Richard was skeptical but couldn’t turn down this exciting opportunity to find a sustainable source of funding without sacrificing his independence or that of his project.
The Rise of Ethers.JS
As an early Ethereum developer, one of Richard’s biggest problems was that every time he started a new Ethereum project he had to tediously import and stitch together several different libraries. This made his software bloated and inefficient.
So, he began pulling out small components from each dependency into a reusable toolkit. With an eye for elegant minimalism, he built himself a “simple, compact, and complete library” for developing almost any web application on Ethereum. Then, as he later described, “ I just threw it up on Github in case anyone wanted to use it.”
The reception from the community was positive, but certainly not overwhelming. Users slowly but surely began trickling in. At every hackathon or conference he attended, Richard presented his library and shared how it could be used to streamline almost any Ethereum application. Eventually, he found himself flying around the world to places like Osaka in Japan, Prague in the Czech Republic, Cancun in Mexico.
Just a few years later, the Ethereum developer ecosystem has grown exponentially, and with it, Richard’s library has surpassed even Ethereum Foundation’s own Web3.JS. With over 45M+ cumulative downloads and over 3 million downloads each month, Ethers.JS is the trusted backbone of many blockbuster projects, including Optimism, ENS and Metamask.
Ethers.JS has been a critical piece in the monumental rise of Ethereum and its burgeoning developer ecosystem, which, as Richard acknowledges, was due in no small part to sustainable funding & market validation from Gitcoin Grants.
Sustainable Community Funding for Ethers.JS
From the very first Gitcoin grant round in early 2019, RicMoo (as he goes by online) has run one of the top 5 funded projects on Gitcoin Grants.
When he raised just over $3k in Gitcoin Grants Round 1, RicMoo gained more than that first few thousand dollars, he received priceless market validation: he confirmed that his project solved real problems for his target customer, core Ethereum devs like himself.
RicMoo has returned to Gitcoin Grants every quarter since GR1, and can now comfortably say that he has fulfilled his initial goal of finding a sustainable source of community funding. He has raised close to $300k on Gitcoin Grants, which along with funding from the Ethereum Foundation, has enabled him to work on Ethers.JS full-time.
Even more importantly, it has allowed him to maintain independence for himself & his project.
RicMoo continues to work on Ethers. JS full time and says “I love Gitcoin! I love Ethereum…so I’ll keep writing Ethereum things.”
We’re incredibly grateful to have been a part of Ethers.JS and your incredible journey since the very beginning, and look forward to building together in the months & years to come.
– Team Gitcoin
Thanks to Richard for his enduring support & participation in this showcase and to Armando, Umar, Sean and Mathilda for capturing and recounting his story.