Gitcoin’s GR14 Matching Fund Partners Motivated By Public Good

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Matching fund partners in the just concluded Grant Round (GR) 14 by Gitcoin have said that their contribution to public good by providing capital for Web3 projects would help build infrastructure that will support the growth of the ecosystem.

The event held on the final day of GR14 had representatives of some Web3 companies, including Coinbase, Filecoin, Anoma Network and Figment. These representatives were providing over $3 million matching funds to projects in the main round, ecosystem rounds and cause rounds in three areas: climate solutions, crypto advocacy and diversity, equity and equity (DEI).

Red Ransil, team lead for Filecoin Green, a Protocol Lab initiative, said the project which was initially created to ascertain Filecoin’s environmental footprint now seeks to ensure there is an infrastructure to track data about the environmental impact of what people build on Web3.

And that mission only succeeds if we have this robust infrastructure of public goods, Ransil said.

“So we really believe that we should build in Web3 the best tools for looking at environmental impacts and trying to give people the ability to see what their impacts are, how they can reduce those impacts, and then how they can mitigate those impacts.”

The bearish mood of the crypto market did not discourage community members from donating to projects that interest them. Gitcoin said that over 44,700 contributors donated over $1.7 million in more than 595,900 contributions in GR 14, surpassing contributions to GR 13 which amounted to $1.45 million.

Through the Quadratic Funding Mechanism, said to promote democratically fair funding, the contributions by community members would influence how much of matching funds from partners would go to projects.

Panelists were excited by the attitude of community members to contribute despite the downturn in the market. Comparing efforts to build infrastructure during economic downturns in the traditional economy, some panelists said the bearish mood in the crypto market is the right time to build.

So what is really amazing is watching people be very committed to watching this stuff grow, figuring out, iterating, being okay with failure, growing incredible ecosystems, said Pan, head of protocol at Figment.

“To me, it’s a huge part of why I am committed to keeping Figment really involved with Gitcoin, as well as just our individual involvement with growing public goods throughout the entire crypto space.”

Marc Johnson, environmental solutions architect at Filecoin Green, described public goods as the bedrock of the society and that it impacts the ability of a society to recover from unfortunate situations.

And the state of public goods really impacts not only how well a society functions on a day-to-day basis, but also how well society may rebound or react to unexpected situations or scenarios, Johnson said, adding that “we are kind of creating that rising tide that lifts all boats.”

Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform in the United States by trading volume, wants its participation in the GR14 ecosystem round to go beyond investment in infrastructure. They want to facilitate financial freedom for everyone by relying on the Ethereum infrastructure’s connection with the crypto economy to achieve this.

Our business depends on the crypto economy and ecosystem growing and a big part of that is Ethereum, operating as a foundational settlement layer and security layer for the ecosystem, said Jesse Pollak, Protocol lead at Coinbase.

“And so we want to make sure that we are supporting that infrastructure and other chain infrastructure to build the foundation that we are building our business on top of.”

In Web3, founders depend on venture capital firms’ funding to launch and scale their projects. Many times, the idea of public good does not drive the operations of the projects after they secure funds from private funders as they are bound by contract to fulfill conditions that may be driven primarily by profit and less by public good.

Christopher Goes, one of the panelists and representative of Anoma Network, said public good funding efforts should be done with credible neutrality, further advocating for public good funding to be normalised in the ecosystem and not limited to special events only.

I think public goods should be the norm and instead of needing a special label, it’s the other goods that we should relegate to a corner to be dealt with appropriately, which they should be, but I think public goods should become default, Goes said.

For many projects and protocols in the Web3 space and the human society in general, stating goals and objectives is the easy part. Coordination could impede successful execution of tasks. Anoma Network’s contribution to GR14 is to support projects that build mechanisms for humanity to solve coordination problems.

We just need to build tools that allow humanity as a whole but also smaller groups to actually be able to coordinate among themselves,  said Awa Sun Yi, co-founder of Anoma Network.

“Generally, we are interested in collaborating with the team and exploring ideas of how we can build mechanisms like private funding in a more decentralised way.”

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