In 2018 Vitalik Buterin, Zoe Hitzig, and Glen Weyl introduced quadratic funding to the world. Building off of quadratic voting, they showed how any grassroots community could self-organize to democratically fund its shared needs. A month after A Flexible Design for Funding Public Goods was released, Gitcoin came across the paper and began working on implementing the model. Shortly after, it ran its first round to support its own local community: the Ethereum community.
Now, five years later, Gitcoin has helped allocate over $50m to that ecosystem and helped ensure that projects like Optimism, Prysm, Uniswap, and WalletConnect were able to not only go on to reach sustainability, but even become matching funders themselves.
Beyond just web3, quadratic funding has now been used to fund groundbreaking scientific research, to help fund organizations at the forefront of internet activism, and to push back against climate change. It’s been used to help organizations like UNICEF experiment and iterate on their approach to funding humanitarian projects.
In the future, we hope that quadratic funding will help some of the largest philanthropic organizations understand the value of open, participatory, and decentralized approaches to creating real-world impact.
To everyone who has been part of this journey so far: to all of the donors and grantees who have given us their time and attention, to the matching funders that have supported our ecosystem’s shared needs, and to the authors of the paper that brought Gitcoin Grants to life, thank you.
Public goods are good.
None of this would be possible without them.