Kevin Owocki

Gitcoin – Aligning Incentives in Open-Source Development

Building open source software is a collaborative process which relies on good faith and willingness of volunteers. While most of the software we use daily relies heavily on open-source libraries, incentive models are broken. Repo maintainers are eager to see their projects evolve, but have little leverage to encourage developers to contribue. And projects contributors create enormous value by dedicating their time and expertise while getting little in return. Both open and closed-source projects utilize bountied to source engineering talent. Combined with blockchain technologies, there is a potential to create efficient, two-sided markets which align incentives for all participants.

We’re joined by Kevin Owocki, who is the Founder of Gitcoin. The Ethereum-based platform leverages the open source community to incentivize and monetize work, remunerating developers for pull requests made to projects. Gitcoin was itself built using Gitcoin and is today facilitating bug bounty payments for dozens of blockchain projects. At the time of writing, over 200 projects have used the platform to distribute over $340,000 in bounties to developers. As Gitcoin continues to grow, the goal is to expand its reach to the broader open-source ecosystem.

Topics we discussed in this episode
  • Kevin’s background as a software engineer
  • The fundamental challenges in open-source development and funding
  • What is Gitcoin and how it addresses incentive alignment
  • How Gitcoin works from the perspective of both project funders and contributors
  • The platforms usage statistics (projects funded, contributors, bounties paid, etc.)
  • How Gitcoin may be used to fund closed-source bountied and public goods
  • Kevin’s proposal for recurring payments in Ethereum (EIP1337/ERC948)
  • How Gitcoin is funded and the project’s business model
  • Gitcoin’s roadmap moving forward
Sponsored by
  • DutchX: The open, decentralized trading protocol for ERC20 tokens using the Dutch auction mechanism. More at epicenter.tv/dutchx.
  • Microsoft Azure: Deploy enterprise-ready consortium blockchain networks that scale in just a few clicks. More at aka.ms/epicenter.