Over the past months, we’ve shared some more technical updates on how the DApp has been evolving, but it’s been almost a year (!) since we wrote an overview of what the platform would be capable of when we’d open it up to a larger audience. We bring good news: we are now getting ready to onboard some of the initial Campaigns and DACs that will hopefully Build the Future of Giving with us!
First and foremost, if you are new to Giveth and you don’t know anything about our Donation Application, this is a TL;DR: Giveth is re-engineering charitable giving, by creating an entirely free, open-source platform, built on the Ethereum Blockchain. Our system cuts out bureaucracy and enables nonprofits to create a high level of transparency and accountability towards Givers. At any point until the moment funds are locked for a specific purpose, a Giver can decide to withdraw them, more on this here.
Bridging, testing, and growing our community
What have we been up to? Well, we’ve been busy! We’re very happy to let you know that we recently moved from alpha state into closed beta testing.
During the past year, we’ve been working in constant iterations to improve the platform based on the feedback of the primordial users of the Dapp, our hardcore alpha testers: the Giveth DAC, the people building and using the platform since the very start of this adventure.
The Giveth DAC is comprised of four Circles, four dedicated teams working respectively on social coding, governance and communication initiatives, and of course the development of the DApp itself! This power team consists of Vojtech, Perissology, and Satya. In every team, we have regular contributors and part-time collaborators, who’ve been building and testing alongside us. We’ve been using the system literally every day by creating weekly Milestones for ourselves and others to reward people for their work, as transparency and accountability are key values to us. If you want to have a very concrete look on what this looks like, check out our Campaigns with their respective Milestones live in the DApp!
Before we get to the other good news, a little update on what else we’ve been working on since we last spoke.
- In January 2018 we were actually ready for our mainnet launch, but scaling issues with the Ethereum network (a reality many projects have had to deal with) forced us to go back to the drawing table.
- We came up with an efficient 3-phase solution that allowed us to pay our contributors without compromising on transparency or accountability.
- Meanwhile, the Governance circle went to work with the wider community to collaborate on scaling solutions, governance and an open source blockchain explorer — three elements we believe are essential to the success of the wider ecosystem.
This extra time also provided us with another crucial benefit: more time to test and optimize the DApp functionalities with the support of our ‘inner circle’, people from the Ethereum community who helped us refine some of the basic and essential features of the DApp itself. This eclectic mix of people from the Ethereum and nonprofit worlds is dedicated to building the tools that will make it easy for anyone to build a global community around a cause.
This resulted in us feeling confident enough to participate in Edcon’s Super Demo in Toronto and win first place! If you’d like to see our beta in full action, no better way than watching the super demo by Vojtech right here.
Our ‘Giveth Galaxy’ has kept on growing during this period and we cannot thank all of you enough for your feedback and participation. Oh, by the way, if you are an avid and skilled DApp tester, you should join us, every month we dish out DApp points (=ether) to our contributors to show our appreciation for the community.
The move to beta
In May 2018 the Giveth core team had thoroughly tested and deployed the bridge solution we described earlier, and in June, after a transition period we officially (but quite silently) moved our entire platform to the beta environment. In this beta, the entire flow from the creation of a Milestone to the funds’ disbursements to Recipients happens via our ‘ghetto bridge’ solution, as we love to call it. The bridge has 3 parts: A contract on the Ethereum Mainnet, a contract on the Rinkeby Testnet, and an off-chain service that connects these two contracts. The off-chain service listens for events from these contracts and relays commands from one contract to the other.
The bridge, written by Perissology, solves multiple issues: it helps us scale the platform, reduces fees substantially for both Givers and Makers and acts as a security layer in case of abuse of funds. It bridges two EVM networks and supports native tokens as well as ERC20, ERC223, and ERC777. A new, decentralized bridge is being developed by POA Network (an evolution of their current bridge, specs here) and we will switch to it as soon as possible. Depending on how Ethereum Scales, we may remove the bridge entirely. That’s why the bridge is as much as possible decoupled from the codebase. Below you can find an easy explanation by Vojtech at the Paralelní Polis Unconference.
For the end user, this more technical explanation might be less relevant, as the main flow stays exactly the same: Givers donate funds to a Community (DAC) or a Campaign and funds are further delegated until — after the necessary reviews — they reach the final Recipient. The fact that part of this happens on a side-chain has no impact on the users of the platform, it only adds benefits such as greater scalability, higher levels of security and lower transaction fees.
We are getting ready for you
The main building blocks are still the same as initially described: we have our DACs, Campaigns, Milestones. Next to a more stable, future-ready solution we’ve been working on extra features such as Milestone reporting for built-in accountability and will keep on optimizing the user experience during the next iterations later this year.
So now that we’re in closed beta, the time has arrived to open it up. Our initial step in this process has been to start on-boarding some of the projects that are very close to our heart. Some have been developed by Giveth collaborators, others sprung forth from Governance and Social Coding circle initiatives. These ‘inner circle’ users understand both the technical restrictions and power of what we are building and continuously provide us with valuable feedback. A big shout out to our two ‘biggest’ projects: DappNode and the Aragon DAC, but just as much love goes out to other budding initiatives such as Tennagraph, BrightID and Ethkan who are currently live on the DApp as well as the best burning man camp on the playa DECENTRAL which has been transparently run two years running using the Giveth DApp.
The next step is now to gradually onboard other projects that are not directly linked to the ‘Giveth Galaxy’ (= our ever growing network of projects) yet are still familiar with — and if possible active in — the Ethereum ecosystem. Ideally, these projects have already reached a certain level of ‘maturity’ and come to us with their own predefined, specific goals, angle and project needs. Onboarding this second community layer will help us to further build our platform and tweak functionalities based on their feedback.
This onboarding will be a steady process with various steps and feedback rounds and will be the main focus of Danielle Bellavita, our newest Unicorn. A former corporate project manager of information technology systems, Dani is a published author, educator, and facilitator at The Mobile Office Mystic. She has worked at the intersection of permaculture and festival production organizing art and music, social justice activism and grassroots community building ecosystems from Standing Rock to Costa Rica. We cannot imagine a better match to bring Givers and Makers together on our platform and to facilitate the onboarding process.
The onboarding we envision is multi-phased. We are currently talking to some potential Givers, as we want to be sure that when we onboard more projects, we will also be able to help with funding. Some projects will come with funding, but if not, it’s crucial for us to help out so that the initial projects are immediately viable and become actual use cases from Day One! For this reason, the selection of initial projects will happen in close collaboration with these Givers. If you are interested to become one of our initial Givers please contact us here and we will reach out to you ASAP!
The Giveth DAC, the team of people working on the DApp and many other projects, is funded through the DApp. We ourselves depend on you, on Givers: the people out there who believe a tool like this should be a reality, individuals who want to help us to make the World a Better Place. If you want to be one of our favorite Unicorns, go to donate.giveth.io and claim your space on our leaderboard, or come talk to Griff, Vojtech, Bowen or Kris on Riot, and tell us how you’d like to contribute. ❤
If you are a nonprofit or aspire to become one in the near future, if you are familiar with the Ethereum ecosystem and have time and interest to become one of the initial Makers, to live and work with us on the DApp, please leave your info here, we will be reaching out to you in the coming months.
And if you’d like to talk to us right now make sure to join the #communities room on Riot Chat and ask us anything.
Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Giveth, and we hope you will help us Build the Future of Giving. Join us today.