Gitcoin Fighting COVID-19 With Quadratic Finance
On 11 March, the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic. The full social and economic repercussions of the spreading virus cannot yet be predicted, but it is clearly an unprecedented crisis that calls for a radical, open exchange of social as well as biomedical ideas.
Gitcoin is using Quadratic Finance to fund COVID-19 research and relief as part of Gitcoin Grants Round 5.
By way of background, Gitcoin is a platform that enables open source developers to monetize their work. They have previously run two grant programs based on Quadratic Finance, funding technology and media projects related to the Ethereum community. You can find out more about Gitcoin Grants Rounds 3 and 4 in these reviews by Vitalik Buterin.
Quadratic Finance (also called CLR) is a novel matching fund design that was introduced by Vitalik, Zoë Hitzig, and Glen Weyl in 2018. (Here is a short but rigorous explanation of the mechanism.) The Quadratic Finance formula puts more weight on many small donations than on a few large ones, mitigating incentives to “free ride” on the contributions of others. In so doing, it addresses two crucial problems in traditional public goods financing:
- The funding problem: if people will not fund public goods voluntarily, where does the money come from?
- The decision problem: how do we decide which public goods are most valuable to the community?
Biomedical solutions to the COVID-19 crisis are public goods.
Given the COVID-19 crisis, Gitcoin is running a special public health track as part of its Grants Round 5 – starting March 23rd. The projects seeking grants on this track are dedicated to ideas and research for solutions to the current public health crisis. Any project working to combat COVID-19 should apply – it is a simple and fast way to find funding.
People from around the world can register on Gitcoin and contribute to the selected projects using Ether or the stablecoin Dai. The matching funds will bolster individual contributions according to the Quadratic Finance formula.
A powerful tool for global humanitarian challenges.
If you know someone who is working on solutions to the COVID-19 crisis or might be willing to contribute to a matching fund for such projects, please refer them to the Gitcoin Grants program. You can reach the Gitcoin team through social media or its website. Otherwise, send us an email and we would love to help you get set up.