Vitalik Buterin Highlights Grants for Open Source Projects

Vitalik Buterin Highlights Grants for Open Source Projects

Ethereum visionary and co-founder Vitalik Buterin has taken to social media to shine a spotlight on the latest and largest round to date of grants, open to developers of open source software, via the Gitcoin platform.

Thanks to the initiative, almost 90 projects, focusing on blockchain aspects as diverse as scalability, security, UI/UX, DeFi, and education are inline for a financial injection.

Having distributed over half a million dollars to date, Gitcoin Grants with support from Ethereum and ConsenSys in correlation with individual donations, are now using a quadratic funding mechanism to distribute funds of $100,000 to coders with a community-valued open source repository.

Radical Solutions

Quadratic funding was proposed in a paper, titled Liberal Radicalism: A Flexible Design For Philanthropic Matching Funds, by Buterin, Zoë Hitzig and E.Glen Weyl last year and was intended to be “…a design for philanthropic or publicly-funded seeding to allow (near) optimal provision of a decentralised, self-organising ecosystem of public goods.”

The paper itself is no light read for, as well as finance and technology, it draws connotations in a number of areas of concern including philosophy and political debate with the authors suggesting their solution “…may furnish neutral and non-authoritarian rules for society.” 

Concentrating on the philanthropic side, quadratic funding permits supporters of a project to contribute funds but “The amount received by the project is (proportional to) the square of the sum of the square-roots of contributions received” which equates somewhat to allocating funding according to the number of participants and the level to which they are committed to the goals of the project.

As observers, such as Coinmonks, noted at the time of paper’s publication, the proposal appears to provide a means to “…avoid the tyranny of the majority and to provide goods with better funding mechanisms less reliant on central authorities.” This is possible because of subsidising “…those less able to contribute to minimise the dominance able to be achieved by the those with the most, therefore incentivising the least resourced to still contribute (because the value of their vote is worth more proportionally and can have impact) whilst still allowing the well resourced to contribute larger amounts to the causes they deem most important.”