Round 0 Review

By most measures, Round 0 was small.

Really small.

There were ten recipient projects vying for a share of a ~$1,000 matching pool (generously provided by the Ethereum Foundation), the allocation of which was decided via quadratic funding from seventeen contributors who collectively contributed ~$500 to the various recipients, for a total of ~$1566.20 distributed.

While the round itself was small, the milestone it represents is nothing short of huge.

Over the past year and a half, quadratic funding has steadily gained popularity in the Ethereum space (and beyond), due almost entirely to Gitcoin Grants’ (and Kevin Owocki’s) heroic efforts to champion this radical new fund allocation mechanism and mobilize it and the community towards the goal of funding Ethereum’s public goods.

But, to this point, participating in quadratic funding has been a largely permissioned and trustful endeavor. Round 0 was the first (hopefully of many) non-custodial and trust-minimized real-money quadratic funding round.

To be clear what we mean by this, in round 0:

  • Recipients were permissionlessly curated by a TCR.
  • Funds were contributed to and held non-custodially in a smart contract that could only distribute them via quadratic funding.
  • While each contributors total contribution to the round was transparent, how they allocated their contributions (to which projects and how much) was opaque to everyone except themselves and the coordinator.
  • Quadratic funding results were computed in a zero knowledge proof (courtesy of MACI), the inputs of which cannot be proven by anyone except the coordinator.
  • Matching funds could be claimed by anyone on behalf of recipients, sending them directly to the recipient’s receiving address.
  • Contributors to the round were manually whitelisted by a multi-sig of contributors, in lieu of a more robust Sybil resistance mechanism.
  • Recipients that were approved by the TCR were manually added to the round by the same multi-sig.

Round 0 worked as expected. This is certainly a case where no news is good news. We’re happy to report that each of the recipients have received their share of the matching pool, along with their direct contributions, and no one has any idea how the contributors allocated their funds.

Zero knowledge proofs really are magic.

Round 1 Preview

As we progress into Round 1, our main priority is to reduce dependence on the contributor multi-sig, making the system more permissionless and less trustful.

To that end, Round 1 introduces BrightID for Sybil resistance. Rather than contributors being explicitly whitelisted by the contributor multi-sig, any verified BrightID user can permissionlessly sign up to contribute to the round.

Along with BrightID integration, recipients can now be added mid round (a few recipients missed out last round because they signed up a little too late). The contributor multi-sig will still be responsible for keeping the round recipients in sync with the TCR. In future rounds, this process will also be made permissionless.

The matching pool will be similarly small for this round (assuming no one YOLOs into the matching pool) as we continue to stress-test the system, ~$1,000 of matching funds have been provided by STAKEhaus (a moloch DAO on xDai sponsored by RaidGuild and xDAI).

Round 1 is starting now!

If you have or know of an Ethereum public goods project in need of funding, please add them to our TCR, and if you would like to support Ethereum public goods, you can sign up as a contributor at

To learn more about or contribute to, check out our constitution and join our forum or telegram.