Public Goods = Positive-Sum Games
Gitcoin Grant Round 10 is live today through July 1st 6PM (UTC-6)!
The Geo Web grant is off to a strong start in the NFT category. Especially since this is quadratic funding (QF), every supporter can make a huge difference. We appreciate any contribution you can make. As we’re going to talk about today, we hope that you see more aggregate value in return than your nominal donation!
Gitcoin has helped fund millions of dollars ($20M+) in open source work on the internet since its inception. The Gitcoin “experiment” has been a huge success, but as impressive as their funding total is, it pales in comparison to the economic surplus that open source software creates.
I’ve heard Kevin Owoki, CEO/Founder of Gitcoin, cite an estimate of $500 billion in economic value per year from OSS. Gitcoin clearly isn’t the only OSS funding source in town (shout out fellow QF project clr.fund), but the total funding doesn’t come close to touching that $500 billion number.
There are two levels at which open source and digital public goods create their economic impact:
- OSS helps raise the tide for all economic boats instead of just concentrating the wealth with a private few.
- Digital public goods create a positive sum game because of the compounding effects of permissionless innovation (i.e. standing on the shoulders of giants).
If you focus just on the first item, it can sound like redistribution of a fixed pie of economic value. Although open source projects forego some hypothetical profits by offering their work/ideas for free, there’s a strong feedback loop from the second item. In the long game, we can all be better off in an absolute sense by choosing to be open and collaborate.
If there’s a core tenant of blockchains and crypto though, it’s that individual incentives matter. We can’t wish our way to game theory coordination. That’s why it makes me so happy to hear from friends that they received GTC airdrops nominally in excess of all their previous public goods donations on Gitcoin.
GTC isn’t intended for speculation. There are no future profits tied to the coin, so the dollar value isn’t the point. The recognition from the market is “worth” something though. It’s validation that those able to commit to the long game of public goods and positive sum interactions can experience the rewards in more tangible, direct ways too.
As crypto-economics and ideas like quadratic funding continue to mature, I’m bullish on our chances of convincing more and more individuals to play the coordination game. There will be success stories like Gitcoin and the projects it spans to point to. We can lower the mental hurdles and time horizon commitment needed to see the world as a positive sum game. In the end, we come to see our competition as Moloch and change how we drive economic prosperity.
On to the updates…
- The Geo Web is live on the Ceramic mainnet! The Ceramic team and we will be writing more in depth about the integration and why we’re so excited the Geo Web is one of the first projects on their mainnet soon. In the meantime, the net effect is that p2p content linking from our testnet Cadastre is going to be more stable, performant, and scalable.
- We released the Geo Web’s alpha Spatial Browser. It uses an iframe to display traditional web content and Model Viewer for it’s 3D media gallery and augmented reality (on compatible phones). Because it’s just a web app, there are limitations (e.g. GPS accuracy/updating, AR limitations), so our roadmap includes native apps. We will be adding more features to this web app version in the coming weeks.
- We pushed a lot of clean-up items and UX improvements on the Cadastre. Hopefully the experience is a lot more intuitive.
- We reset the digital registry smart contracts as part of this big release week. We migrated to using kETH (native token for Kovan) for land transactions to make the UX smoother (license and tx fees in the same currency) and align with our long-term view on the network/ETH economics. With the move to Ceramic mainnet, we don’t anticipate resetting testnet any time soon, so go claim some land parcels and start experimenting!
- Zenft is a cool AR/VR bonsai NFT project that I recently came across. The team has a great outlook and community focus. Hopefully we’ll have some beautiful bonsai’s planted on Geo Web parcels soon.
- The HackMoney hackathon put on by ETHGlobal starts on June 18th. Our team has previously participated in ETHGlobal events and have always enjoyed/benefited from the experience. Whether you’re just getting started in Web3/DeFi or a seasoned pro, it’s definitely worth your time to check out this event.
- ETH L2/Roll-Up smart contract exploration
- Additional features on the Spatial Browser
- More wallet integrations to the Cadastre