A partnership announced Tuesday between the Gitcoin project and Polkadot will help the developers of the interoperable blockchain platform find community support and funding.
Gitcoin’s current role could be seen as an experiment in a new way of financing public goods based on the concept of „capital-constrained liberal radicalism“, or CLR, advocated by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. This works through Gitcoin Grants, a hybrid public financing mechanism that relies on both community contributions and multi-million dollar donors.
CLR is similar to the concept of matching grants, but they are not individually supported. Instead, a quadratic funding system shifts the weight of each individual donor. As Scott Moore, Gitcoin’s developer relations leader, explained to Cointelegraph, matching changes are based on how many people have participated.
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According to their simplified example, if two people donated $4 each, the system would match them for $16. On the other hand, if eight people donated $1, the match would be $64.
The sum of the donations has not changed, but the quadratic formula gives much more weight to smaller amounts.
„That’s really just meant to provide a community signal. We want there to be a real feeling from any candidate involved in this … that their voice is important and that it’s not just a central entity that controls the funding.
Attracting Web 2.0 developers
So far, Gitcoin has mainly partnered with Ethereum projects and its community, „although that is changing,“ Moore said. While most initiatives historically have come from the Ethereum Foundation, ConsenSys and large individual contributors, Gitcoin aims to provide a platform for all open source developers.
The integration of the Polkadot community is an important step in that process, since its blockchain development ecosystem is based on WebAssembly, a framework for bringing low-level languages like Rust and C++ to web applications. Moore noted that „much of our growth is coming from Web2 and not Web3, and that’s a big priority for us.
Moore believes that the number of Web 3.0 developers, especially Ethereum, is low, citing estimates of between 10,000 and 200,000.
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„I think that given how small our ecosystem is, we really need to consider how we can work together to achieve wider adoption, rather than just focusing on our respective projects,“ Moore added.
Polkadot, with its choice of more traditional languages such as Rust, can be „really helpful when it comes to attracting new people from the Web2 Rust community,“ Moore concluded.
Ethereum will also move to a WebAssembly based system with 2.0, but that is still a long way off, while Polkadot has already launched a candidate for its mainnet.
Going against „chain maximalism
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Chris Hutchinson, the Web3 Foundation’s community and growth manager, described Polkadot as a „bet against the maximalism of the network as a whole.
Moore noted that a significant portion of the Ethereum community began to feel that „Ethereum is really the only project“ after being on the receiving end of similar treatment from the Bitcoin community.
„I think we’re such a small ecosystem that it doesn’t really make sense,“ Moore added.
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Polkadot is primarily a product of Parity Technologies, a company created by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. Cointelegraph previously reported that, in preparation for the launch, Polkadot began to integrate with many ecosystem actors traditionally associated with Bitcoin Trader, such as Chainlink and Celer Network. But that comes as part of Polkadot’s overall interoperability vision, which also includes Bitcoin.
As Hutchinson revealed, Polkadot does not really consider itself a competitor of Ethereum, and points out that this thinking is part of a competitive side to cryptographic systems. „All that goes out the window, as long as you have systems that work