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Understanding the GitcoinDAO's Regen World with Azeem and Ben

Crypto Sapiens: Season 8, Episode 10

You should be taking this technology as seriously as you should have been taking the development of the Internet in the early 1990s. – Blythe Masters

Too Long: Didn't Read;

The article explores a recent episode of Crypto Sapien S8E10 featuring Azeem Khan, Head of Impact, and Ben West, Head of Grants from GitcoinDAO. It covers GitcoinDAO's evolution from funding web development to becoming a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

In this episode, we explore the ins and outs of the project, reviewing why the DAO was formed, exploring grants, and partnerships, and why the choice was made to operate as a DAO. We also break down concepts such as quadratic funding, and Ben defines what it means to be a “regen”, and what it means to be “green pilled”!

The organization's commitment to public goods, regenerative crypto-economics, and innovative partnerships, including one with Shell for climate projects through quadratic funding, is discussed. This also delves into the challenges and advantages of being a DAO, the importance of effective communication, and GitcoinDAO's role in community building and fundraising. The final section highlights the partnership with Shell, its community reactions, and the broader implications for a greener future. Our guests touch on Shell's role in the transition to cleaner energy, the counterculture aspect of crypto, and the Regen ecosystem, emphasizing the potential positive impact of decentralized finance. The conversation concludes with a call to action for community engagement and exploration of blockchain applications for a better world.


In a recent episode of Crypto Sapien S8E10, Azeem Khan, Head of Impact, and Ben West, Head of Grants, key figures at Gitcoin, shared insights into their roles, motivations, and the transformative journey of Gitcoin. The episode covers various topics, from the organization's roots as a platform for open-source web development projects to its evolution into a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) with a focus on regenerative crypto-economics. Let us get right into the key points discussed in the episode, exploring GitcoinDAO's vision, innovative partnerships, and the challenges and advantages of decentralized decision-making.

GitcoinDAO's Evolution: From Funding Web Development to Decentralized Autonomy

Our guests, Azeem and Ben, shed light on their roles within GitcoinDAO and how chance encounters led them to become integral parts of the organization. Azeem emphasized the give-back aspect and positive use cases of crypto in the real world, while Ben highlighted his role in leading the Grants program, dedicated to funding impactful projects and raising community awareness. Their alignment with Gitcoin's values and belief in the organization's role in the flourishing of Web 3 and creating regenerative crypto-economics set the stage for the conversation.

Watch the full episode:

Public Goods, Regenerative Crypto Economics, and Gitcoin's Mission

A significant portion of the conversation explores GitcoinDAO's commitment to changing the funding landscape for essential projects. The concept of public goods, defined by Azeem as an alternative to the Web 2 world dominated by large corporations, takes centre stage. GitcoinDAO's progression from funding open-source web development projects to embracing regenerative crypto economics and decentralized methods like quadratic funding demonstrates its commitment to creating a more equitable allocation of funds for impactful projects.

Innovative Partnerships and Climate-Focused Initiatives

One of the highlights of the conversation is Gitcoin's groundbreaking partnership with Shell, a Fortune 10 company, to address climate change through quadratic funding. The partnership, while receiving varying reactions from different communities, underscores Gitcoin's commitment to making a positive impact. The discussion also touches on Gitcoin's growth and its focus on climate-focused projects, showcasing its ability to adapt and innovate in response to emerging challenges.

Challenges and Advantages of Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)

Operating as a DAO provides unique advantages, such as the ability to pay people globally without friction, but it also presents challenges. Azeem and Ben openly discuss issues like tax implications, regulatory clarity, and the need for a more sophisticated legal infrastructure for DAOs. The conversation reflects the ongoing exploration of the legal nuances and individualized laws required for the effective functioning of decentralized organizations.

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The Role of Self-Criticism and Community Building

The importance of self-criticism in decentralized decision-making processes is highlighted, acknowledging the challenges that may arise within the system. The speakers encourage learning from historical struggles and fostering shared responsibility and liability. A proactive approach is encouraged for those looking to participate in GitcoinDAO or open-source communities, emphasizing the pivotal role of the community in Gitcoin's success.

Future Initiatives and Community Engagement

Azeem shares insights into the benefits of platforms like Gitcoin for community building and fundraising. The Gitcoin team's participation in various events and the recent partnership with Shell is indicative of the organization's commitment to ongoing initiatives and community engagement. The conversation concludes with a call to action, encouraging individuals to get involved in various capacities, including setting up grant programs, becoming a grantee or donor, and actively participating in the Gitcoin community.

Listen on Podbean:

  • If you prefer a podcast format, the episode is available on Podbean. Tune in while on the go to absorb the insights shared by Avril DuThiel on the challenges faced by Neutron and the solutions implemented for success.

GitcoinDAO's Unique Partnerships and the Road to a Greener Future

As the Crypto Sapien S8E10 episode continues its exploration of GitcoinDAO with Azeem and Ben, this section delves into the groundbreaking partnership between GitcoinDAO and Shell, a Fortune 10 company. The collaboration aims to address climate change through an innovative approach known as quadratic funding. While the deal received mixed reactions, Azeem and Ben provide valuable insights into the intricacies of the partnership and its potential impact on mainstream adoption.

Quadratic Funding for Climate Change

GitcoinDAO's collaboration with Shell involves the distribution of funds to climate projects through quadratic funding. Notably, the funds provided by Shell are not tax-deductible, and the recipients were not compelled to accept the money. Azeem and Ben emphasize the voluntary nature of the funding, debunking notions of greenwashing or forced participation. This approach aligns with GitcoinDAO's commitment to transparent and ethical practices in its partnerships.

Challenges and Opportunities in Mainstream Adoption

The speakers acknowledged that communication surrounding the Shell partnership could have been better. Despite being a small crypto company, GitcoinDAO has seized opportunities to collaborate with major organizations such as UNICEF and the International Rescue Committee. Azeem and Ben express their hope that the Shell deal will contribute to GitcoinDAO's mainstream recognition. The challenges faced in closing the deal with a Fortune 10 company are seen as valuable experiences that can propel GitcoinDAO to greater heights.

Community Reactions and Effective Communication

The contrasting reactions to the Shell partnership in different communities highlight the importance of effective communication. Azeem shares positive feedback received on LinkedIn while acknowledging negative reactions on CryptoTwitter. Ben, a lifelong climate activist, emphasizes the need for context and nuance in conveying the motivations behind such partnerships. The speakers reflect on the significance of clear communication, particularly with corporate communications teams, to avoid misunderstandings and foster positive community engagement.

Shell's Role in the Transition to Cleaner Energy

The conversation goes deeper into Shell's involvement and its role in the transition to cleaner energy. While Shell's focus is not directly on renewable energy, the company supports projects that contribute to regulatory environments and real-world impacts. The financial and legal complexities tied to large corporations' obligations to maximize profits are discussed, emphasizing the need for public demand and regulatory pressure to drive the shift toward renewable energy.

The Counterculture Aspect of Crypto and a Greener Perspective

Azeem shares his perspective on being "green-pilled," embracing a worldview through the lens of regenerative cryptoeconomics. The discussion touches on the benefits of decentralized community energy projects funded by crypto, particularly in the southern hemisphere. The counterculture aspect of the crypto world is highlighted as a driving force behind financing projects that make a positive difference.

The Regen Ecosystem and Solar Punk Movement

The final moments of the episode bring attention to the Regen ecosystem, focusing on social and environmental impacts while empowering individuals financially. Azeem and Ben express enthusiasm for the Solar Punk movement, envisioning a future with regenerative systems and technology that minimizes environmental impact. The concept of the "green pill" is emphasized, allowing individuals to do good while thriving financially without a win-lose mentality.

A Call to Action and Community Engagement

Azeem and Ben express gratitude to projects like Bankless and OPIS for supporting Crypto Sapiens and providing links for audience involvement. The speakers encourage viewers to explore the potential of community currencies and blockchain applications to positively impact the world.

Stay Connected: Final Thoughts and Resources

Crypto Sapiens S8E10 episode provides a comprehensive overview of GitcoinDAO's journey, values, and initiatives. Azeem and Ben's insights offer a glimpse into the exciting possibilities and challenges associated with decentralized funding and the role GitcoinDAO plays in shaping the future of regenerative crypto-economics. As the crypto community continues to evolve, GitcoinDAO stands as a testament to the potential impact of decentralized decision-making in financing projects that make a real difference, especially in crucial areas like environmental sustainability.

The partnership with Shell marks a significant chapter in GitcoinDAO's journey, showcasing the organization's commitment to addressing climate change through decentralized means. As GitcoinDAO navigates the challenges and opportunities that come with mainstream recognition, Azeem and Ben's insights offer a glimpse into the transformative power of regenerative crypto-economics in fostering positive change on a global scale.

Season 8 Resources:

Bankless DAO:

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Join Opolis:

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Episode Resources:

Support Gitcoin Grants:

Connect with Ben:

Connect with Azeem:

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