What is Gitcoin?

The Gitcoin Platform is a revolutionary platform engineered for coders and developers to earn by working on open-source software through initiatives such as quadratic funding and grants.


Originating from the belief that open-source is the bedrock of modern computing, Gitcoin, launched in November 2017, provides a means to monetarily appreciate these unpaid developers.

By funding “public goods” projects, the project addresses non-rivalrous, non-excludable benefits akin to clean air and privacy but majorly targeting blockchain initiatives in the Ethereum ecosystem.

It introduces a sustainable model for developers, encouraging participation through hackathons, bounties, and funded community grants.

Through Gitcoin, developers can introduce their own projects, seek crowdfunding directly from contributors, and reap benefits from the innovative quadratic funding system.

How Does Gitcoin Work?

1. Quadratic Funding and Gitcoin Crypto Grants: This unique funding mechanism prioritizes community support over monetary contributions.

Quadratic funding matches individual donations with larger donation pools, but not in a straightforward 1:1 ratio. Instead, it uses a proprietary formula optimized for rewarding projects with higher community engagement.

This democratizes the funding process, balancing the scales between small and large donors.

Users wishing to fund their projects through quadratic funding must present a clear project blueprint and indicate if they’d prefer contributions in a specific ERC-20 token.

Gitcoin’s funding matching pools are refreshed mostly via user donations, and as of October 2021, a whopping $35 million has been channeled towards open-source public goods projects through Gitcoin Grants.

2. Gitcoin Bounties: Gitcoin’s bounty system lets users allocate funds to tech development issues, inviting developers on the Gitcoin Platform to address these.

Funders have to outline the project details on GitHub, and interested developers then pitch their proposals.

Both permissioned (requiring funder approval) and permissionless (open-to-all) bounties are available.

Participating developers can engage with any public project bearing a “bounty”, with the size of the bounty influencing potential hourly rates.

3. Community Governance via Gitcoin Token (GTC): An ERC-20 token, GTC, facilitates community governance on the platform.

Distributed as 15% to platform users, 35% to stakeholders, and 50% to the Gitcoin DAO, GTC tokens promote a decentralized community-led treasury.

The DAO-driven community governance model has “stewards” guiding the platform towards full decentralization.

Why is the Gitcoin Platform Important?

  • This platform fundamentally reshapes how open-source projects receive funding, unlike traditional models where developers often work on open-source projects for free, and the platform guarantees compensation.
  • Its quadratic funding mechanism ensures that popular projects backed by community support receive adequate funding.
  • Furthermore, its governance model with GTC provides a blueprint for decentralized platform management, allowing community members to have a say in the platform’s future.
  • With its focus on public goods projects, the Gitcoin platform also has broader social implications, helping fund projects that aim for collective benefits.

The Bottom Line

The Gitcoin platform is not a fleeting curiosity; it’s a movement driving a paradigm shift in open-source development.

It redresses the imbalance of unpaid labor in open-source projects, ensuring that talented developers are compensated.

Its unique funding and governance models are also pioneering, laying down a model for decentralized platform management.

As the future unfolds, this platform stands at the forefront of fostering Web 3.0, underpinning a decentralized web with community-driven initiatives at its core.


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Sam Cooling
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Sam Cooling is a crypto, financial, and business journalist based in London. Along with Techopedia, his work has been published in Yahoo Finance, Coin Rivet, and other leading publications in the financial space. His interest in cryptocurrency is driven by a passion for leveraging decentralized blockchain technologies to empower marginalized communities worldwide. This includes enhancing financial transparency, providing banking services to the unbanked, and improving agricultural supply chains. Sam has a Master’s Degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics and has worked as a Junior Research Fellow for the UK Defence Academy.