In retrospect, it was inevitable: A team of blockchain developers has forked GitHub and come up with a system for collaborating on open source software. There’s even a decentralized finance (DeFi) twist.

Announced Thursday, Radicle, a fully decentralized code repository, has raised $12 million in funding, integrated its peer-to-peer network with Ethereum and launched the RAD governance token

The funding round was led by NFX and Galaxy, with participation from Placeholder, Electric Capital and ParaFi Capital; Naval Ravikant, Balaji Srinivasan and Meltem Demirors were also involved. Notably, it’s the first crypto investment from NFX since Libra co-creator Morgan Beller left Facebook and joined the VC firm in September 2020.

“We think about Radicle as infrastructure for decentralized communities,” Diakomichalis said in an interview. “When it comes to value, these communities are very used to interacting with value flows; think about things like DeFi protocols on Ethereum. So we are bringing these two worlds closer together – the code collaboration world with the world of DAOs – and this new financial infrastructure is being built on Ethereum.”

NFX’s Beller said the existing situation – Web 3 developers building under the possibility of Web 2 censorship – “makes very little sense.”

There’s a pattern among community-owned networks like Uniswap and Compound, Diakomichalis pointed out. All of them have some kind of treasury, some with as much as 50% of the network translating into billions of dollars.

“All these networks are looking to incentivize developer activity around their code bases, such as with Uniswap’s grants program,” said Diakomichalis. “We see Radicle as a way users can start off with our decentralized protocol for controlling repos and then explore other funding-related protocols.”

“It’s interesting that GitHub understands the power of this and wants to play there, but they have this kind of old-school, Web 2.0 angle, like now they keep 10% of every transaction that passes through GitHub Sponsors,” said Diakomichalis. “Of course, they are also the trusted gatekeeper. We are already worried about censorship, but imagine that your income could also be blocked.”


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Libra Co-Creator's VC Firm Co-Leads $12M Round in ‘Decentralized GitHub’

by Mario Herndon
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