Owocki rejoins Gitcoin amid shifting landscape and open-source funding needs

In a recent Gitcoin forum post, Kevin Owocki, co-founder of Gitcoin, outlined his intentions for the platform following significant changes within the company. Owocki announced his departure from Supermodular, now Buildbox, with plans to refocus his efforts on Gitcoin and its Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).

Owocki’s decision to return to Gitcoin, albeit in a different role, comes after resigning in June 2022. During his time away from Gitcoin, Owocki expressed his intent to stay involved with the platform and its operations, albeit from an arms-distance position.

Various voices from the Gitcoin community have expressed positive feelings about Owocki’s potential return and the platform’s future. However, while some believe Gitcoin is moving forward, others feel the market has surpassed it. The possible future of Gitcoin remains in the balance with differing views on what the subsequent significant development will be, with options ranging from Allo, Passport, and Public Goods Nnetwork to the Grants Stack.

Owocki’s approach to his return is to function as a network catalyst, seeking to create a synthesis between these varied groups and their differing perspectives. In doing so, he hopes to provide value to the DAO, fuelling progress and facilitating growth. He also expressed interest in helping to document and articulate the path forward for the DAO.

Owocki’s potential return and announcement signal an ongoing commitment to decentralization, a cornerstone of Gitcoin’s culture and operation. His intention to continue contributing to Gitcoin, not as a leader but as a facilitator, mirrors the ethos of DAOs, which emphasizes peer-to-peer collaboration and decentralization of power.

Why we need open-source funding.

I wrote an op-ed in July about the lack of coverage for open-source funding projects such as Gitcoin. Despite the remarkable swings in crypto prices, adoption, and attention since 2020, discussions around open-source funding, a crucial element to Web3’s success, have not seen the same level of interest. For example, Google News articles and searches related to the most significant player in this space, Gitcoin, have remained relatively flat. While ‘web3’ has maintained an average interest level of 50% since 2021, open-source funding terms struggle to break 25% even once a month.

However, this lack of coverage doesn’t accurately reflect the sector’s dynamic reality. A closer inspection reveals a vibrant ecosystem, with organizations like Gitcoin and the Public Goods Network (PGN) redefining open-source funding’s possibilities with significant implications for public goods.

Gitcoin, in particular, has made noteworthy strides in fostering this ecosystem, distributing over $50 million across over 100 Quadratic Funding rounds, even supporting institutions like UNICEF with blockchain-based public goods funding.

The Public Goods Network (PGN), a collaborative project backed by core Gitcoiners, exemplifies the innovative potential that quadratic funding can bring. Operating as a low-cost Layer 2 (L2) OP Chain, the PGN directs most of its net sequencer fees towards public goods, with gas fees from PGN transactions pooled to support these initiatives.

The success of such efforts brings to light a thriving sector despite its low media presence and underscores the critical role of open-source funding in supporting the greater good.

The future of Gitcoin, under the stewardship of its constituents, now awaits further development and growth. As Owocki figures out the specifics of his contribution in the coming weeks, the Gitcoin community will undoubtedly watch events as they unfold.

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