From Grantee to Funder: Push Protocol

Decentralized notifications have the potential for a robust notification ecosystem without the centralized drawbacks of web2 notifications. Applications need better methods to communicate with users quickly and in response to events other than Twitter, Discord, or email. Users deserve to control what notifications they receive and should benefit from the open-source nature of web3 by requesting notifications about protocol behavior.

Push Protocol (previously EPNS) is a decentralized and blockchain-agnostic communication protocol for web3 that aims to provide users with communication - notifications (for on-chain or off-chain activity) and messaging. Push allows web3 actors (users, dApps, service providers) to create notifications based on any off-chain or on-chain logic triggered via smart contract, backend, or dApps and provide a secure messaging protocol. The team believes that fostering open collaboration and an open-source development ecosystem is critical to building the web3 infrastructure of tomorrow. The team found valuable support in its early days from the web3 ecosystem and believes in paying it forward to build an open, accessible, and secure web3 infrastructure.

The journey

Push was born out of an ETH Global hackathon and later selected for Gitcoin KERNEL, with their first Gitcoin Grants campaign in GR7 being a top 5 project with over 210 contributors. This success helped launch Push forward in realizing the mission of bringing decentralized communication to web3.

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In the last year, Push Protocol has made great strides, launching on Ethereum mainnet and powering notifications for several well-known web3 applications, including Uniswap, dydx, Oasis, and MakerDAO. They've also made important updates to the Push ecosystem, rebranding Ethereum Push Notification Service (EPNS) to Push Protocol, launching on Polygon as their first multi-chain, and releasing the alpha version of Push Chat, which enables P2P, web3-native communication.

To foster the community's growth, the team has also started the Push Grants Program to fund builders in the web3 space. With feedback and learnings from the program's first iteration, PGP v2.0 went live last year. 

The transformation from grantee to funder

Within nine months of creating the EPNS proof-of-concept at HackMoney in April 2020, the team found significant support from the Gitcoin community in GR7 that led to a seed round of $750K in funding. Push Protocol was able to launch, grow, and scale quickly and confidently, leveraging the support of the Gitcoin community through Gitcoin Grants. This experience has motivated the team to give back to the community and support other projects in similar positions. Push Protocol transitioned from a Gitcoin Grants grantee to a funder, starting in GR11.

The team believes supporting early projects in web3 through platforms like Gitcoin Grants is crucial for staying true to the vision and mission of web3 and building a stronger and more collaborative web3 ecosystem. As a funder, Push Protocol is committed to giving back to the community and helping others launch, grow, and scale. The team encourages others to do the same and supports projects that align with the web3 vision.

They say, "We want to see more people building in web3 — whether within the Push ecosystem or elsewhere."

As a funder, Push has demonstrated to its community that it is committed to building in an open, collaborative, and mission-driven way. Being a funder has also allowed the team to provide support, funding, inspiration, and collaboration to other projects, just as they received in the early days of their own project.

The road ahead

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The company rebranded to reflect its intention to move beyond Ethereum and expand its services beyond push notifications. The team has been true to their word, launching on Polygon and releasing Push Chat within a month after rebranding.

Looking forward to 2023, they plan to continue building on their multi-protocol, multi-communication vision, expand to more L1s and L2s, and roll out Push Chat to the community and technical partners. They also plan to continue engaging with their community through in-person and digital events. Beyond just community growth, the team also aims to better involve the community in improving Push. To streamline feature requests, they have launched Push Improvement Proposal to create an open forum to discuss proposals for standardized, community-driven improvements in the Push ecosystem.

The Push Protocol will share early exclusive access to Push Chat (secure and instant messaging protocol) with all their supporters from GR6 and GR7.