Radical Results: Gitcoin’s $25K Match

Results and lessons learned from our first $25K in matching

A few weeks ago, we announced a radical experiment in Open Source Funding. Using the matching method outlined in Liberal Radicalism — a paper by Glen Weyl, Vitalik Buterin, and Zoë Hitzig, we announced a $25K fund to match any contributions made to 25 Ethereum infrastructure projects.

Immediately, the community responded with support and feedback.

We’re excited to announce the (radical) results.

The Gitcoin Grants Matching Leaderboard

Gitcoin’s CLR Matching, By The Numbers

  • The top three projects in matching funding for this round were Prysmatic Labs, Moloch DAO, and Uniswap
  • $13,242 was contributed by 132 unique contributors across 26 projects
  • The top 10 projects all received over $1,000 in matching donations from the CLR fund
  • A total of $38,242 was contributed to Ethereum OSS infrastructure in two weeks

As described in the CLR paper, projects which receives more unique contributions would likely receive a higher portion of the $25,000 pool than projects which receive a few large contributions.

This means that a project that receives $275 from ten contributors will earn much more than a project that receives the same amount but from only one contributor.

For example, Lodestar received 10 unique contributions, on the higher end within these two weeks. This resulted in a higher match of $1,702 (the 4th largest), even though they only had $368 contributed by the community.

Lessons Learned

In our experiment, we originally set the contribution matching period from 2/1–2/15. While at ETHDenver, we announced the extension of matching to 2/17. However, the results in this period skewed towards one project, which we believe was the result of collusion. Likely unintentionally, this undermined the CLR matching mechanism.

For this reason, we decided to retain the results through 2/15, which we felt were a more accurate depiction of the match. This was a decision we unilaterally made, and one which ideally could be more transparent & decentralized in future rounds.

In our post-mortem, we’ll be considering stronger mechanisms for sybil and collusion resistance. Thus far, we use aged Github accounts to ensure one person cannot break their identity into multiple accounts. In the future, we may require stake or suggest a penalty to CLR matching if collusion can be proven.

Radical Experiments To Come

In the public goods space, the Liberal Radicalism represents a refreshing mechanism to combat to the ‘tragedy of the commons’ problem, using the Categorical Imperative as a backdrop.

Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it become a universal law.

We are encouraged by the results made in the first round of CLR matching and are hopeful for the emergence of new mechanisms to enable funding to public goods. We’ll explore a few of these in future rounds, and are especially interested in inflation funding mechanisms to fund public infrastructure. If you’re interested in contributing to our experiments, join the conversation here!

We hope to announce a second round of matching soon. Get in touch if you want to be involved.

Resources For Further Reading