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Exploring Public Goods Data with Gitcoin: Insights from Onchain Alpha Podcast

Onchain Alpha Episode 2: Exploring Public Goods Data with Gitcoin

TL;DR: Key Takeaways from Onchain Alpha Podcast with Umar Khan of Gitcoin

In this episode of On Chain Alpha, Humpty and Umar Khan discuss the importance of public goods, Region Data, and its implications. The conversation highlights Gitcoin Grants' future, the role of open-source software, and data in Web3. They also touch on data distribution and platforms like Dune and Farcaster. The importance of on-chain data, including data labelling by Arkham Intelligence for human-readable insights, is discussed. Umar also mentions Gitcoin Passport's role in civil resistance and its potential for universal basic income and airdrops. The conversation ends with insights into the Ethereum Account System (EAS) and its use in passport stamps.

  • Public goods and region data are essential for building a sustainable and regenerative crypto ecosystem.

  • DAOs provide opportunities for anyone to contribute and participate in the crypto space.

  • Leadership development is crucial for the long-term success of DAOs.

  • Gitcoin Grants and the Allo Protocol enable funding for open source software projects.

  • Open source software and data sharing are key components of the Web3 movement.

  • Data distribution platforms like Dune and Farcaster facilitate access to valuable data for analysis and insights. Creating collaborative spaces in the Web3 community is crucial for learning and collaboration.

  • On-chain data, such as Proof of Stake (POS) systems, is valuable and widely used in the Web3 ecosystem.

  • Data labeling as a service, provided by Arkham Intelligence, helps make on-chain data more human-readable and enables wallet owner identification.

  • Gitcoin Passport plays a role in civil resistance and has potential applications in universal basic income and airdrops.


00:04 - Introduction to On Chain Alpha

02:45 - Umar's Journey into Crypto and Gitcoin

09:25 - Challenges and Opportunities in DAOs

11:35 - Funding and Leadership in DAOs

23:23 - The Importance of Open Source Software and Data

36:00 - Gitcoin Grants and the Allo Protocol

39:58 - Regen Data and Data Distribution

49:40 - Creating a Collaborative Space for Web3

50:39 - The Value of On-Chain Data

51:19 - Differentiating Humans from Bots

52:47 - The Role of Gitcoin Passport in Civil Resistance

54:12 - Exploring Ethereum Account System (EAS)

54:00 - Using EAS for Passport Stamps

56:29 - Incentivizing Resistance with Tiered Rewards

57:17 - Gamifying Web3 with Tangible Goals

58:08 - Closing Remarks and Where to Find Umar Khan

Hosted by Humpty Calderon, Featuring Gitcoin with Umar Khan

The Onchain Alpha podcast recently featured an illuminating conversation between Humpty and Umar Khan, a distinguished data researcher and analyst at Gitcoin. The episode went in-depth on the topic of public goods data and Gitcoin's critical role in encouraging innovation in the cryptocurrency market.

Umar Khan's Crypto Journey 

Umar, a data researcher and Analyst at Gitcoin, discusses his entry into the crypto world and his current role, as well as Gitcoin's work with public goods data and Quadratic Funding. Umar Khan became interested in cryptocurrencies because he wanted to use them to create and share knowledge in a way that was private and unaffected by censorship. His encounter with Gitcoin during a hackathon marked the beginning of his advocacy for utilizing crypto to drive the creation of public goods. 

Mint on Zora:

Gitcoin's Evolution and Emphasis on Public Goods

Gitcoin's evolution from a centralized crowdfunding platform to a permissionless protocol, Allo, underscores its commitment to democratizing access to funding for public goods projects. The transition reflects Gitcoin's unwavering dedication to promoting open-source software development and facilitating grants within the Web3 ecosystem.

Challenges and Solutions in Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)

The podcast also addressed the challenges plaguing decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), such as operational complexities and declining participation. They discuss the declining excitement and participation in Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), specifically DAOs, and the reasons behind it. They ponder over whether it is the operational complexities, proposed solutions, tokenomics, or a competitive mindset that is causing the issue. 

They suggest exploring the idea of creating permanent onboarding solutions, considering the trade-offs between speed, quality, and decentralization in decision-making processes. They also mention the emotional aspect of individuals' psychological security and the concept of switching to an abundance mindset for funding valuable work in the DAO ecosystem. These discussions point towards the need to address various challenges to revive energy and engagement within decentralized autonomous organizations.

Humpty discusses the importance of fostering leadership in decentralized organizations (DAOs) to prevent reliance on a few individuals and maintain morale. He suggests creating systems for onboarding and guiding young leaders, comparing it to an easy top-of-the-funnel process. 

Humpty discusses the need for flexibility and dynamic systems in governance, particularly in the context of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) like Dune and Farcaster. Humpty highlights Joke Race's successful integration of gamification and user experience (UX) elements into their governance mechanisms, making participation more engaging and accessible. They also praise Farcaster for its protocol-centric approach, which allows for interoperability and the creation of various user interfaces, making it an enabling force for open-source software development. 

Umar expresses excitement for the potential of these dynamic governance experiments and the innovative projects emerging from them, including Farcaster, which is currently the hottest project in the LA crypto scene. Humpty concludes by expressing bullishness on Farcaster due to its interconnected data layer, which enables users to transition seamlessly between different user interfaces while keeping their data consistent.

The Significance of Open Source Software

A pivotal discussion point revolved around the importance of open-source software in driving innovation and fostering collaborative ecosystems. The conversation highlighted the challenges faced by open-source developers in monetizing their work and the transformative potential of decentralized platforms like Gitcoin and Farcaster in promoting openness and inclusivity.

Humpty reflects on the importance of open-source software, drawing inspiration from Chris Dixon's book, "Read, Write, Own." He acknowledges the book's accessibility and its emphasis on open-source values that were lost during the Web 2 era but are being revived in Web 3. He highlights the role of open-source software in creating engaging platforms and ecosystems, such as Twitter's early days. The conversation also touches upon the challenges faced by open-source software developers in monetizing their work.

They discuss the challenges of monetizing open-source software in Web 2.0, their bullishness on Web 3.0, and Gitcoin's role in funding such projects. They explain how Web 2.0 centralized models made it difficult for open-source software developers to earn money, leading some projects to go closed source or rely on altruism. In contrast, Web 3.0 aims to promote open-source software by aligning incentives and making it easier for developers to earn their first dollar, usually within a few months. Gitcoin, specifically, has been a leader in funding open-source projects for the past five years, and in 2024, they plan to focus more on grants. Gitcoin grants are seen as a valuable tool in the Web 3.0 ecosystem and are expected to continue evolving and playing a significant role in the funding of open-source projects and the growth of the ecosystem.

Gitcoin's Role in Funding Open-Source Projects

Gitcoin's pivotal role in funding open-source projects over the past five years underscores its commitment to advancing the Web3 ecosystem. Through initiatives like Gitcoin Grants, the platform continues to empower developers to innovate and contribute to the growth of the decentralized landscape. 

Umar discusses Gitcoin's transition from a centralized crowdfunding platform to a permissionless protocol called Allo, which allows anyone to create quadratic funding rounds. The user interface for this protocol is provided by Grand Stack. The speaker also mentions the potential for others to fork the Grand Stack client and create their own, as the data layer is shared. The discussion then turns to the importance of data in the project and the potential for Gitcoin to push its data to Dune, a data analytics platform, for easier access and analysis. The speaker, who is a data enthusiast, then expresses a desire to discuss region data and Dune in more detail.

Data Accessibility and Insights

A significant portion of the discussion centered on the importance of data accessibility in driving informed decision-making within decentralized organizations. Gitcoin's initiative, Region Data, aims to democratize access to valuable data related to Gitcoin grants and projects, thereby empowering analysts and enthusiasts to derive meaningful insights.  

Umar discusses a new initiative called Region Data, which aims to make valuable Gitcoin data accessible to anyone. This is a permissionless cloud instance where users can create accounts and access data related to Gitcoin donations, projects, and their GitHub repositories. The challenge with blockchain data is that it exists both on-chain and off-chain, and this new platform combines the two by leveraging tools like indexers to make a connection between the two. The data is then made available in an SQL database on Dune Analytics, allowing users to perform analysis and build dashboards. Humpty is excited about this distribution of data, which will enable more people to utilize it and build their insights. Additionally, Mosaic is looking to amplify its work by using the data shared on Dune.

They express their excitement about Dune, a data aggregation platform that simplifies data engineering and analysis, especially for those with SQL skills. They praise Dune for making shared data easily accessible and building on top of it, contributing to the interoperability of the space. The conversation then focuses on Gitcoin's region data, which processes and makes Gitcoin data readily available for analysts. Region data also includes information from other sources, such as "poop data," which can provide insights into communities people are a part of for quadratic funding matching. Umar emphasizes the value of having this data easy to access and the community contributions it enables. Additionally, they mention a monthly meetup, Regen Learnings, for individuals interested in collaborating and learning together using Region Data.

They discuss the use of various data sources for identifying human users in Web3 projects. They mention Gitcoin's EAS (Ethereum Authenticator Signature) and how it is used for issuing digital stamps to verify human identity. The speakers also use Arkham Intelligence for data labelling and mapping addresses to real identities through social media. They find this valuable for their work in quadratic funding, social graph building, and discerning humans from bots. They express a desire to explore opportunities for EAS in impact measurements and attestations but acknowledge that the data is limited due to the user action required for on-chain verification.

Stay Connected: Final Thoughts and Resources

In conclusion, the Onchain Alpha podcast provided invaluable insights into Gitcoin's role in shaping the future of public goods data and fostering innovation within the crypto space. Umar Khan's expertise and passion underscored the transformative potential of decentralized platforms for driving positive change and empowering communities worldwide.

As we navigate the complexities of the digital landscape, platforms like Gitcoin serve as beacons of innovation, democratizing access to funding, promoting open-source values, and catalyzing the growth of the Web3 ecosystem.

In the words of Umar Khan and Humpty, let us embrace the spirit of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity as we embark on this transformative journey towards a decentralized future.

Follow Gitcoin and Umar Khan on social media channels to stay updated on the latest developments and join the conversation within the vibrant Web3 community


Gitcoin: Website | Twitter

Umar Khan:

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