Why Gitcoin Could Substantially Impact the Status Quo

This piece was written as part of my application for a content writer position at Gitcoin. I also wrote the Spanish version and created a content pipeline that I plan to use for my next writing pieces, aligned with the G.A.C.C Content Briefing framework by MKT1

Posting it here to share my thoughts, welcome some feedback, and other perspectives/ideas on how to upgrade the status quo.

There are at least two kinds of games. One could be called finite, the other infinite. A finite game is played for the purpose of winning, an infinite game for the purpose of continuing the play.

OSS (Open Source Software) is an infinite game energized by collective intelligence, with a shared belief in continuous improvement and a shared culture: knowledge belongs to all of us. Like OSS, other digital public goods that favor collaboration over competition can be used and modified by all, and are also often neglected or unrewarded; these include data sets, AI models, educational programming, and media such as articles, videos, podcasts, and images.

Maintaining a codebase for general public use quickly becomes an exercise in futility you can’t quit, as the energy and resources required to keep the lights on don’t correlate with the compensation or reward accrued. But money is only a part of this problem, if the value of maintaining code fails to outpace the rewards, many of these OSS developers quietly retreat into the shadows. Some developers handle user demand without financial compensation, eventually opting to work for siloed companies in hopes of better economic upside, which often results in finite or Zero-sum games; producing a one-dimensional growth approach due to the need to compete to stay relevant.

Gitcoin believes that digital public goods have the potential to solve some of our toughest challenges now and in the future. There are a number of reasons to believe that Gitcoin could have a substantial impact on the status quo.

  1. Gitcoin is an Ethereum Foundation-backed hyperstructure (i.e Crypto protocols that can run for free and forever, without maintenance, interruption or intermediaries) whose aim is to grow and sustain the OSS ecosystem by incentivizing meaningful contributions to a variety of projects, on a mission to build an Open Internet and empowering economy by funding projects, building community and making learning resources accessible. Gitcoin ensures OSS developers meet their monetary needs without compromising on their altruistic morals

  2. Gitcoin combines existing technology in a novel way to facilitate a vibrant and prosperous future for all. Quadratic funding—the mechanism implemented in the Gitcoin Grants program—is described as the mathematically optimal way to fund public goods in a democratic community, this system gives more weight to projects with the most diverse backers, ensuring that a wider range of projects are funded, and that projects with a large number of small backers are not put at a disadvantage.

  3. Gitcoin is solving a problem—a real pain point—The fact that many open source developers suffer from a lack of support is indisputable. The same is true for other types of knowledge workers that are not directly paid for their work; like writers, physicians, scientists, design thinkers, editors, and academics, whose job is to "think for a living” and find themselves in the absence of additional reputational or financial benefits, despite generating trillions of dollars in economic value. Gitcoin is on a mission to allow freelancers to make a living from contributing to the open internet.

Additionally, These novel technologies can deliver on the organization’s vision—not just within the product but also the infrastructure, platforms, and systems that support it. Gitcoin is both an impact and protocol DAO that is curating and helping other impact DAOs, as a self-fulfilling prophecy of net positive externalities; not only building the narrative, but also providing the infrastructure to fund public goods, regenerative cryptoeconomics, and forming positive-sum relationships while helping other communities build and fund their shared needs via collectivized cross-pollination.

Finally, its leadership structure is not dogmatic about what the solution looks like and is willing to adapt to the ecosystem needs. After 5 years of leadership, Kevin Owocki—Gitcoin’s founder—has passed on the torch, opening up opportunity for the DAO to become its own independent legal entity, and for it to be driven fully by the leaders within the DAO who also believe in the value of public goods, and will continue to drive it forward to success.

In order to remain honest and encourage decentralization, inclusivity and diversity of thought; the DAO empowers Gitcoin citizens to co-create what they need from a web3 regen community and play a part in effectively deploying funds in support of their own community’s needs while continuing to innovate on Community Curation, Token Curated Registries (TCR), the Gitcoin passport and other initiatives that leverage wisdom of the crowd by aligning incentives among token holders.


Nice! Thanks for sharing @gaoa97. Love the James P. Carse reference to frame the piece upfront.

But I wonder about your description of Gitcoin as hyperstructure. If you’re thinking of this definition, then perhaps it does not qualify. After all:

Gitcoin is proud to be the default ecosystem flywheel through the use of our quadratic funding (QF). … QF is a form of crowdfunding that matches donations from everyday people with a pool from larger donors. [reference]

and this seems at odds with the definition to me. ??