Proposal: Supporting Ethereum Public Goods via Gitcoin Grants


Authors: Azeem Khan, Kevin Owocki, and Scott Moore

Useful Links:


For the last four years, Gitcoin Grants has helped create a sustainable and fundamentally nounish way for the Ethereum ecosystem to fund itself; to collectively signal their preferences and distribute matching funds according to their shared needs. As we get closer to the merge and to GR15, our 15th funding round, we’re excited to ask the Nouns community to become a key long-term sponsor in this ritual by contributing 500 ETH to public goods.


We think it’s very clear from the actions the community has taken that Nouns cares deeply about innovating on models for value distribution, open source (e.g. cc0), and public goods on the whole. Prop 108 in particular helped confirm that supporting our shared infrastructure is fundamentally Nounish.

These are all values Gitcoin also deeply believes in, and has lived by through our use of quadratic funding infrastructure and by helping to promote the open source ethos. We want to see Ethereum succeed not just as a technology but as a movement.

By working together over the long run we can make this happen. We want to deepen our relationship, starting with a matching pool donation for the upcoming grants round.

Why Gitcoin Grants?

Gitcoin Grants has a track record of funding some of the most critical public goods in the space, before they were recognized by larger stakeholders. These projects include: EIP-1559, etherjs, Hardhat, Plasma Group (now Optimism), Prysm, Uniswap and WalletConnect. Crucially, many of these are projects that the Nouns community relies on for its own success.

We believe our success so far is fundamentally because quadratic funding is open and community driven. Although it sounds complicated the way it works is simple: over a period of two weeks, the community donates to over 5000 grantees, across multiple “categories” (e.g. infrastructure, education). At the end of the round, the donations are tallied and we distribute funds we’ve raised from groups like Nouns according to those preferences.

Fundamentally, by doing this we are improving the community’s collective sense-making and getting new information about what we might not be funding that we should be. This is why often after projects go through Gitcoin Grants they’re funded by other major grants programs, DAOs, or even, for better or worse, VCs.

Funding via Gitcoin Grants also allows us to multiply the impact funds have. On average, the community donates 1.8x what matching funders contribute.

Choosing Pluralism

We believe that there is not one best way to solve a problem, but that the way problems are solved should be up to local communities. Given that, we want Nouns to have a say in which specific pools funds go towards and over what number of rounds.

Gitcoin Grants runs on a quarterly cadence, which means that if we split funds over four rounds (GR15-18) we will be able to trial a 1 year collaboration that we hope can lead to even greater opportunities down the road. In each round, the Nouns community will have the option to choose between funding Ethereum matching pools related to infrastructure, zero-knowledge tech, policy advocacy, and more.

Ultimately, we want these rounds to be curated by key stakeholders to ensure it’s driven in an outside-in way from start to finish.

Next Steps

We’ve intentionally kept this proposal short to be mindful of everyone’s time, and hope that we can find ways to work together. Please let us know if there are any questions, we hope to see you in the quadratic lands.


Thanks for the proposal @ceresstation ! For people who may not know, when does the GR 15 start?

How do you imagine us best formalizing this each quarter? Who would decide for Nouners?

Right! So the round begins September 7th, although contributions don’t need to be in until the end of the month. In any case, only a small fraction of the total request needs to go towards GR15 itself.

In terms of formalizing which rounds to focus on, we’re happy to put it towards zero knowledge tooling + ethereum core infra by default (which are probably the least controversial). Then, if the Nouns community wants to nominate 2-3 people to make those decisions moving forward, we’re happy to discuss, for example, the regulatory advocacy round (to help fight against the current attack on Tornado Cash).

Appreciate the questions and let me know if there’s anything else I can answer.

Mott Scoore, we meet again…