How to Raise Money for Open Source Software with Gitcoin

Open source software is arguably the most powerful movement enabling rapid innovations in the web1.0 that ultimately led to the currently existing application space on the web2.0. While such open source software is often times foundational to huge value creation, it is usually hard to monetize or even just fund your own development hours. So what are ways to sustainably fund these new digital commons?

Meet Gitcoin — a convenient way of funding open source development by donations. The tool is already in use to support development of various blockchain projects for issues that are posted on the Github page which is commonly used for open source code repository hosting and management. For example, Gitcoin was used to fund development of a client for the decentralized exchange Etherdelta for 0.55 ETH, to fix a configuration issue for 0.01 ETH or to translate parts of the Gitcoin page itself for 0.1 ETH. Beyond funding specific issues via bounties, Gitcoin introduced grants to support longer-term development of open source projects. Supporters are able to provide one-time donations or make longer-running subscriptions to support projects e.g. on a monthly basis.

How we use Gitcoin

We develop HOPR — a decentralized and privacy-preserving point-to-point messaging protocol with incentives. HOPR would allow you to build decentralized chat applications or investigative journalism platforms that do not just protect the message via end-to-end encryption but also protect the privacy of sender and recipient. You could also protect your staking node or wallet by having it send transactions in a privacy-preserving fashion through HOPR because maybe your ISP or wifi provider does not have to know that you were just interfacing the ZCash network.

This desperately needed piece of infrastructure for the web3.0 is available open source on Github and thus is eligible for Gitcoin grants. Here we are asking for support via Gitcoin grants to ensure a sustainable development of this open infrastructure. We are grateful to also have the support of Binance Labs — the funding of our Fellowship is of course also paid out via Gitcoin, see for yourself here.

The experiment: Liberal Radicalism

The token bubble of 2017 fueled by magic internet money has not only led to get-rich-quick schemes but also to a few projects that are interested in delivering sustainable value and leading us out of the centralized web2.0 to a more resilient, decentralized and open web3.0. We are happy to see that a new wave of innovation in this web3.0 is fueled by more transparent funding means using the blockchain-based crypto assets that constitute a large fraction of current web3.0 projects.

Beyond having a new means of funding via crypto assets, Gitcoin is involved in fairly sophisticated socio-economic experimentation with real money and projects: The matching contributions for Gitcoin grants are utilizing the method developed in the Liberal Radicalism paper authored by Vitalik Buterin, Zoë Hitzig and Glen Weyl and actually achieved an arguably fair means of allocating matching donations. This is why we count on your support: The more supporters we get, the larger the matching contributions — this is about people and not just about the depth of their pockets.

  • Contribute to our Gitcoin grant
  • Learn more about HOPR at

Founder HOPR

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store