What Is Gitcoin and What Does It Mean for Longevity?
Gitcoin is an online platform that provides the digital community with an opportunity to work on open-source software projects for pay. Additionally, the platform acts as a crowdsourcing platform for community fundraising, giving its supporters the space to present and acquire financing for various projects of interest. In recent years, the platform has helped fund a number of longevity projects, such as those by VitaDAO, including the Longevity Prize. This has made Gitcoin a recognizable tool in the longevity sphere.
What is Gitcoin?
Launched in the fourth quarter of 2017 by Scott Moore, Vivek Singh, and Kevin Owocki, and soon joining Consensus as a portfolio project, Gitcoin’s mission is to “build the future and fund the open web together.”
This collaborative effort intends to help its community develop digital goods and products while accelerating the growth of the open web.
Powered by Ethereum blockchain technology, the platform allows its community to connect, develop projects together, and receive payment for their efforts. Some of its best-known projects to date include Uniswap, Yearn Finance, and the Longevity Prize.
Essentially, Gitcoin seeks out projects through its “public goods” initiatives, which aim to add something positive to the world around us. For example, these can be projects that seek to develop infrastructure, improve online privacy, or even develop longevity initiatives, which are funded via crowdsourcing and the platform’s quadratic funding financing structure.
How does Gitcoin work?
As an innovative, open-source platform, Gitcoin’s focus is on democratic funding. To this end, it seeks to support projects that are non-rivalrous and non-excludable to ensure further sustainable growth without unhealthy competition. To do so, it incorporates a patented technology known as ‘quadratic funding’ or ‘quadratic financing’.
This form of funding allows donations to projects to be matched from alternative sources, but unlike general one-to-one financing, it does so using an algorithm that rewards projects based on community support. For example, the donations given to a project might be relatively small due to the participants’ lack of funds while the levels of community support and interaction are high. This scenario can trigger more quadratic funding to be issued from Gitcoin’s wider funding pool to support the project. The reverse is also true: a large donation by a single donor, even if it is worth more than an alternative project, will receive less matched funding than one that has community support.
As a mechanism for voting, contribution, and governance for its community, Gitcoin developed GTC, the platform’s native token, which allows it to operate. Essentially, GTC is an ERC-20 token that allows holders to participate in decision-making, governance framework decisions, matching pools, fund allocation, and more within Gitcoin’s ecosystem.
What does Gitcoin have to do with longevity research?
Recently, Gitcoin has renewed its focus on anti-aging projects and longevity initiatives. Its GR13 funding round, held in March 2022, featured proposals from longevity organizations, such as Lifespan.io and VitaDAO. For example:
- Lifespan.io meets Web 3.0 involves crowdsourced clinical trials. In this initiative, Lifespan seeks to develop its interaction with Web 3.0 technology and enhance its already significant integration with the online community. For example, it plans to implement new models of crowdfunding and engage its audience with decentralized games that fund longevity initiatives.
- Halting Alzheimer’s Disease with light and sound. This Lifespan.io project seeks to develop a therapeutic solution to Alzheimer’s based on light and sound frequencies. Initial project success has led the team to seek additional funding in future Gitcoin Grant rounds.
- Driving awareness with Life Noggin. A Lifespan.io-supported YouTube channel focusing on longevity awareness issues, Life Noggin has over 3 million subscribers. Funding via Gitcoin grants seeks to boost this and further improve awareness about longevity issues by collaborating with top-tier celebrities.
- Longevity Prize by VitaDAO. This prize provides funding, supported via Gitcoin grants and VitaDAO partners, in order to support early-stage longevity initiatives with an outlook towards further DeSci research potential.
- Student grants for longevity. This VitaDAO initiative financed over 21 students with amounts between $500 and $3,000 for activity related to longevity research.
These are just some of the successfully funded projects. As of August 2022, Gitcoin has funded grants for 56 longevity-related projects. The latest round, Gitcoin Grants Round 15, known as GR15, is set to launch on September 7, 2022.
Gitcoin and longevity summary
Gitcoin is a collaborative, Web 3.0, open-source focused platform that provides funding for a number of ‘public goods’ projects, including longevity research. Its mission aligns with the aims of longevity organizations, making it a prime solution for initiatives seeking to collaborate or receive funding.