Gitcoin Launches Crypto Funding Round for Longevity

Here's how you can donate to longevity through the Ethereum cryptocurrency.



Gitcoin is a platform dedicated to supporting the development of open-source Web3 software – decentralized architecture based upon blockchain technology – and the funding of  “public goods” projects that are intended to benefit everyone.

The longevity literacy project with VitaDAO.

Of course, one such public good is the extension of healthy human lifespan, and accordingly, in its 12th funding round, the Gitcoin community has chosen to raise cryptocurrency donations for projects supporting longevity research – including several projects related to Lifespan.io.

What sets Gitcoin apart is its use of Quadratic Funding, an algorithmic crowdfunding approach championed by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, designed to support many projects at once, and allocate larger matching funds to the projects with the most individual contributions. This rewards the projects with the most community support, elevates the power of smaller contributors, and creates a sense of camaraderie between each donor and the larger contributors in the “matching pool”.

You can learn more about Quadratic Funding, and explore a calculator to see how it works, at the website wtfisqf.com.

The Lifespan.io team was happy to work together with the community at VitaDAO to curate the projects in this Gitcoin round, and we are excited to see the growth of Web3 and the potential of decentralized, blockchain-enabled innovations to support longevity research.

We also look forward to continuing to work with the Gitcoin and VitaDAO communities in these areas, so keep an eye out for similar features to make their way into Lifespan.io — you can even help us do so directly by contributing to the related Gitcoin project.

Finally, for people who are unfamiliar with the technology and find it a bit daunting to make cryptocurrency donations, we’re including a step-by-step guide below – using an example of starting with $100 and desiring to support 2 projects:

  1. Get a MetaMask wallet
  2. Acquire $100 (or whatever you like) worth of ETH via Coinbase or other methods. You may need more than you think do to gas fees (see below).
  3. Send this ETH to your MetaMask from Coinbase (or wherever): this may incur a significant gas fee.
  4. After the likely-harsh gas fee you now have ~$70 worth of ETH in your MetaMask wallet.
  5. (Optional but recommended if supporting multiple projects) –  Connect your MetaMask, and transfer your ETH to zkSync
  6. This will trigger another gas fee, so maybe you try to transfer $50 in ETH; leaving the remaining for that gas.
  7. Create a Gitcoin account if you haven’t already.
  8. If you’d like to magnify your matching effect you can do verifications such as verifying your account with SMS, Facebook, Google – the more ways the more your power to pull in matching funds increases.
  9. Finally go to Gitcoin and explore longevity projectssuch as Lifespan.io’s research projects.
  10. Select “Connect Wallet” at the top of Gitcoin once logged in to connect your MetaMask wallet to the site.
  11. Select “Add to Cart” for the projects you want to help.
  12. Let’s assume you select 2 projects to add to cart. Now scroll up to the cart button at the top and click it to go to the checkout
  13. Choose ETH as your currency in the upper left
  14. Put reasonable amounts in for each project maybe .0025 ETH for each (about 10 dollars). Select a % for “Give back to the Gitcoin match pool” if you want to support the Gitcoin platform itself.
  15. Select “I’m ready to check out”, and select zkSync check out if you did step 5 above
  16. Go through the checkout steps and it should ask you to sign a few steps on your Metaask wallet, finally saying “complete payment”. Click that and then just wait for confirmation.
    1. Note: if it gets blocked it likely means you put in more money than you had, so just go back and reduce to .002 ETH for each or some such.
    2. Note: if you did not use zkSync here you’d get charged with the large ETH gas fee for every project, instead of just one fee here for a few bucks. This benefit compounds if you are donating to more projects at once.
    3. Note: The matching amount you pull in diminishes after 10 dollars and 100 dollar thresholds. So if you are not looking to donate a large amount, donating about $10 to each project you care about will still yield a large-size matching effect.
    4. Note: If you are planning on supporting just 1 or 2 projects: the above starting amount is likely sufficient.
    5. Note: Yes; the ETH gas prices are currently crazy!
  17. Thanks for doing this!

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About the author

Keith Comito

Keith Comito is a computer programmer and mathematician whose work brings together a variety of disciplines to provoke thought and promote social change. He has created video games, bioinformatics programs, musical applications, and biotechnology projects featured in Forbes and NPR. In addition to developing high-profile mobile applications such as HBO Now, MLB At Bat, and most recently Disney+, he explores the intersection of technology and biology at the Brooklyn community lab Genspace, where he helped to create games which allow players to direct the motion of microscopic organisms. Seeing age-related disease as one of the most profound problems facing humanity, he now works to accelerate and democratize longevity research efforts through initiatives such as Lifespan.io. As president of LEAF, he is a leading advocate for the increase of healthy human lifespan, participating in numerous speaking engagements and press appearances around the world, and working to produce high-impact media projects to inform and engage the public regarding this critical topic. He earned a B.S. in Mathematics, B.S. in Computer science, and M.S. in Applied Mathematics at Hofstra University, where his work included analysis of the LMNA protein.
  1. akrome
    December 12, 2021

    Gas fee atm 60-70+ bad choice imho

    • Keith Comito
      December 12, 2021

      Hi Alexander, For most projects right now even $1 in donations after gas turns into several hundred, and $10-100 can bring in over a thousand -> so even in the worst-case gas scenario it does multiply significantly. That being said if you are planning on donating to at least 2 projects and are using a layer 2 solution – like Polygon or zkSync (see step 5 above) – this greatly reduces the overall gas involved as well. This is what most of the Gitcoin community does: donates a little to a group of projects using zkSync and paying little gas. It’s also worth noting that transferring some amount of cryptocurrency to zkSync is a good idea in general for whatever else you might want to do in the future.

  2. Neil
    December 13, 2021

    I am no expert, but I was able to purchase ETH directly on my Metamask app and I was only charged $5-10. There was no gas fee to get ETH on Metamask, just a small fee for using my bank card through ApplePay. I assume the app on Android has something similar. I agree with Alexander, these gas fees are a major turn off.

    • Keith Comito
      December 13, 2021

      Yes; no one is a fan of the large gas fees currently in effect, and forthcoming upgrades to the network are on the way to reduce them. In the meantime the most typical practice is using a layer 2 solution like Polygon or zkSync (as described above), which works quite well.

  3. Marc Smeehuijzen
    December 21, 2021

    Thanks for the clear and comprehensive list of steps Keith. I just went through all of them and it worked. I can imagine though that for many people, especially those not familiar with cryptocurrency, the whole process might be too complex (and scary) to go through. Would be nice if the world of crypto became more accessible and easier to understand.

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