Gitcoin-Style Grants for Solana


Problem to Solve:

The biggest challenge in the current process of grants and hackathons is, it’s way too CENTRALISED!

There are pros and cons to it. The biggest pro is, faster turnaround time and hence, faster decision-making. For instance, Superteam Instagrants are disbursed within just ~48 hours, if approved. Implying, the Solana Foundation or any central organization responsible for grants is better suited for shortlisting and judging deserving projects. However, the lack of a decentralized grants program also leads to more closed-source programs, as the projects are not incentivized enough to open-source their programs with very low community participation in them.

Possible Solution:

The Open Grants protocol will be similar to Openbook [fork of Project Serum], but for matching grants instead of matching trades. This can be entirely on-chain i.e Solana and will be accompanied by an SDK and a reference open-source frontend implementation for easy integrations.

A few components of the Open Grants architecture:

- Frontends/UIs: There can be as many as Frontends possible and they can compete against each other to attract more sponsors, funders, project creators, and so on. They will be independent to decide their own fees, filtering mechanisms, and so on. However, since all of the funds and data are aggregated into a single protocol, the liquidity will be concentrated and will avoid any fragmentation of grants - making it truly composable as well.

- Protocol: Once collected by the frontends, all the metadata and funds of the various stakeholders like Projects, communities, and Sponsors finally get aggregated into the protocol. All the logic and calculations of Quadratic Funding, Funds disbursal, and Milestones can be embedded in the protocol itself. The changes can be governed by the community, which can even be a DAO and for an obvious reason, all this will be open-source.

- Governance: Similar to Gitcoin, a governance token would make sense to decentralize the community into a DAO. However, a token isn’t necessary and it can be very well governed by a set of trusted multi-sigs, who can make decisions and signs on behalf of the community. For instance, few members can be appointed from Solana Foundation or any major community voices can be elected to be part of the multi-sig group.

Find more ideas in this essay, co-authored by me and Sitesh.


  1. WTF Is Quadratic Funding?
  2. Gitcoin Grants
  3. Understanding Gitcoin & Envisioning Gitcoin-style Grants for Solana
  4. Check out Cubik, a decentralized funding tool that enables organizations to conduct fair quadratic funding rounds (s/o to Irrfan and Dhruvraj for building it!)
  5. A list of DAOs and Communities projects that have won Solana global hackathons in the past

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