Build for Plural Identity: The Gitcoin Passport Hackathon

Gitcoin ran the first hackathon on its platform in 2019 and has now facilitated over 98 hackathons. As a result, we’ve had 300,000 builders from all kinds of open-source ecosystems participate and compete in prizes worth more than $12m. The Gitcoin Passport Hackathon is a special edition for us because it invites builders to advance the Gitcoin Passport, our new identity verification application. 

Register for the event here.

Social organizations online, e.g., Gitcoin Grants, have difficulty ensuring that every participant is a unique human and does not have multiple participating accounts. Most existing digital identity solutions are either centralized (e.g., national identity cards) or individualistic (e.g., most “self-sovereign” identity models). However, identity is naturally intersectional and social; everybody shares different data and relationships with a unique set of others. While we’ve already experimented with a more plural identity concept through the Gitcoin Trust Bonus, the Gitcoin Passport aims to provide a more collaborative and decentralized infrastructure for this paradigm.

The Gitcoin Passport is an application on the Ceramic Network that enables:

– People to grow personal ledgers of verifiable credentials about themselves, and

– Organizations to assess their identities and coordinate rights and responsibilities. 

The organizations define, verify, and utilize identity as functions of the networked records of the individuals. While building the Passport agnostic to specific applications, we actively explore its benefits for personhood proofs and plurality in organizational designs.

As we’ve launched an alpha version of the Passport for Gitcoin Grants Round 14, alongside an open-source software development kit, we want to start the Passport paradigm with our builder community. Builders should become first-class citizens of the Gitcoin Passport ecosystem. 

We are grateful for our launch partner, Ceramic, supporting the Passport Hackathon. Together, we aim to encourage collaboration among identity owners, issuers, researchers, and field experts to find solutions to identity verification issues with the help of the Gitcoin Passport.

Edward Snowden said in 2019: “The one vulnerability being exploited across all systems is identity.” We believe a plural representation of identity is more cohesive and sustainable than centralized and individualist approaches at present, which are so prone to exploitation. Additionally, the Gitcoin Passport might enable more pluralistic voting procedures like Quadratic Funding in Gitcoin Grants.

We invite builders to work on two challenges: Education and Building. The Education track looks for projects that inform communities and builders on the Passport paradigm, its applications, and the software development kit. The Building track is for the prototypers who take theory into practice, e.g.,

  • Integrating new credentials into the Passport,
  • Utilizing it for identity verification, or 
  • Developing unique personhood and plurality scoring methods.

For each challenge, we have a prize pool of $USDC 11,500 that a dedicated judging committee from Ceramic and Gitcoin will distribute through a Quadratic Voting process. In addition, top projects will also receive unique hackathon merch gifts and NFT winner badges. The winners will also meet the Gitcoin team to explore ways to collaborate further. For more details on judging and rewards, check out the links to the hackathon tracks above.

In any case, we’d encourage you to collaborate with other builders on the Gitcoin Discord and discuss the event. Go to #👋start-here and select the “Hackathons & Events” role, and please feel free to discuss and ask for help in the #🎫passport-hackathon channel.

Time to buidl.