In the beginning, it was all about survival. Sergej Kunz and Anton Bukov thrived on the competitive atmosphere of blockchain events and hackathons. They participated in 17 hackathons worldwide, using their winnings to fund their travels and often sleeping at the venues or not sleeping at all. At the 2019 ETHNewYork hackathon, the duo built and released the first version of 1inch in just 18 hours.
After the hackathon, they applied for a Gitcoin grant and were awarded $50,000. Sergej expressed gratitude for the support they received from the Gitcoin community during their early days.
“Gitcoin played a huge role in shaping our destiny.“
This financial boost marked a turning point for 1inch. They could finally pay their team, allocating everything towards development and not pocketing a cent.
The decentralized exchange (DEX) aggregator that Sergej and Anton created at the 2019 ETHNewYork hackathon flourished. As of this article, 1inch has facilitated over 25 million trades and processed more than $250 billion in trading volume.
Recognizing the significance of public goods funding and its impact on their success, Sergej and Anton decided to give back to the Web3 ecosystem. They've allocated $3m in funding to the 1inch foundation's grant program, and contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars back to the Gitcoin Grants program, helping to sow the seeds for the next generation.