Moonshot Bots NFTs Fund Gitcoin Ethereum Grants, Raise $1.8M So Far

In brief

  • Moonshot Bots is a new NFT series designed to raise money for Gitcoin’s grants for Web3 projects designed for the public good.
  • The initiative has already raised more than $1.8 million. Each subsequent NFT costs more to mint than the previous one.

The NFT market has produced eye-popping figures of late, as billions of dollars are flowing through the ecosystem in just August alone. Gitcoin, a decentralized funding platform focused on open-source projects, is the latest in the crypto space to launch its own NFT project—albeit with a unique plan for how to spend the funds.

Earlier this week, Gitcoin founder Kevin Owocki and Gitcoin DAO Steward Austin Griffith announced Moonshot Bots, a limited-edition NFT collection with a maximum supply of just 303 pieces. An NFT acts like a deed of ownership to a digital item, including images, video files, and more—and in this case, it’s for a pixel-based robot avatar (or profile picture).

The NFTs launched with pricing on a bonding curve, which means they start cheap and gradually become more expensive as more and more are minted on the Ethereum blockchain. The first one sold for a tiny fraction of an ETH—0.0033 ETH, or about $10—although the final NFT would be priced at just under 3,038 ETH ($9.8 million), should it ever sell.

Already, 196 of the Moonshot Bots NFTs have been sold, generating more than $1.88 million in the process. All funds will be added to the Gitcoin Grants matching pool, which is used to fund open-source Web3 projects designed for public good.

“I don’t expect that people will keep buying them, but I’d be pleasantly surprised if they did,” Owocki told Decrypt today via email. “I said at the start that if we raised $50K for public goods then the project would be a success, so I’m completely thrilled that the project raised $1,881,161 so far and took over Twitter for a couple days!”

Owocki said that he and Griffith were motivated by seeing the work of the builders in the Gitcoin DAO’s recently-launched Moonshot Collective, which is designed to rapidly prototype tools for DAOs. (A DAO, or decentralized autonomous organization, is a type of formalized community in which decision-making processes are flattened out across the group, rather than made hierarchically.)

“Austin and I wanted to be in the trenches building along with the builders of Moonshot Collective, and we wanted to reward these builders for their participation with access to the bots as soon as they launched,” said Owocki.

Anyone can buy one of the Moonshot Bots NFTs now via the website, although the bonding curve has pushed the minting price of the next one to about 26.8 ETH ($86,900). Given how much this project has already raised for grants, Owocki plans to explore other experimental funding mechanisms for Gitcoin. “We will be taking the learning from this project and iterating towards the next moonshot,” he said.

Gitcoin has helped fund a wide array of crypto projects through grants and bounties, including decentralized exchange Uniswap, popular crypto wallet MetaMask, decentralized finance publication The Defiant, and the Prysm testnet for the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 launch. All told, the firm has facilitated $29.2 million worth of funding for open-source projects to date.

In April, Gitcoin raised $11.3 million in funding of its own to further decentralize and spin out from Ethereum studio ConsenSys, which funds an editorially independent Decrypt.


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Gitcoin Submits To Akita Inu Threats Over Donated Coins

Key Takeaways

  • Gitcoin has changed its plans to sell 100% of the AKITA tokens it received from Vitalik Buterin.
  • The Akita Inu team threatened Gitcoin with a token fork to prevent a liquidation.
  • Under the new plan, Gitcoin will be set up a contract to sell and also burn Akita tokens simultaneously.

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Popular dog coin Akita Inu aggressively strong-armed Gitcoin to dissuade the organization from selling tokens donated by Vitalik Buterin.

Akita Inu Threatens Fork 

The team behind the Dogecoin clone project Akita Inu told Gitcoin that they would fork their project to prevent the organization from selling tokens it had received from Vitalik Buterin.

On May 12, Buterin sent Gitcoin 49 trillion AKITA tokens that he’d unwittingly received from Akita Inu’s creators. Half of the project’s token supply was sent unsolicited to one of Buterin’s Ethereum wallets after its genesis in February.

Gitcoin is a community-focussed project that relies on donations to fund future development. The tokens Buterin sent had a value of $374 million. Gitcoin’s DAO passed a vote to sell the tokens on the open market over a period of two years, but Akita Inu’s creators went against the proposal. According to prominent Ethereum evangelist Andrew Redden, the Akita Inu community “threatened to fork” the project before Gitcoin could use the tokens.

A screenshot of Akita Inu’s Telegram group shows the project’s team urging the community to sell AKITA tokens “right now” in exchange for stablecoins. The same message also detailed a tentative token fork that would block Gitcoin from benefitting from any token sales.

Source: AKITA Network Telegram

After debating heavily what to do with the tokens gifted by Buterin and the impending threat from Akita Inu, the Gitcoin community changed its approach.

In order protect the value of the acquired tokens, the Gitcoin DAO began talks with Akita Inu team, which led to a new liquidation plan. In a proposal, Redden wrote:

“After some conversations with the Akita community it has become clear that the best path to maximize our ETH outcome is to enable some form of participation with them.”

Under the newly modified proposal, a new Balancer pool will be set up to simultaneously sell and burn AKITA tokens.

To prevent AKITA’s price from collapsing, for every token purchased, 10 tokens will be burned. The pool will initially allow anyone to purchase AKITA with ETH at a 30% discount from the market rate.

After all the ETH proceeds are collected, only 40% will go to Gitcoin. Another 40% will go to the AKITA Ecosystem Fund, and the remaining 20% to a charity to be chosen by both communities.

The change in plans indicates that Gitcoin’s governance was influenced by Akita Inu’s creators leveraging a fork threat. Unsurprisingly, some Gitcoin members are unhappy with the new decision.

Lefteris Karapetsas, a Gitcoin steward and founder of privacy-focused portfolio manager Rotki, told Crypto Briefing:

“There were threats on [Akita Inu’s] side of forking their coin, to fork the Gitcoin coins out and also their Telegram pinned message to all holders to sell so that Gitcoin gets nothing. But the second vote did happen and the Gitcoin governance participants have spoken.”

Nick Johnson, the lead developer of Ethereum Name Service, expressed similar concerns in regards to Gitcoin’s governance being influenced by an outsider.

On the other side, Akita Inu’s creators argued that the proposal was made to protect the community and that they had done “what any dog backed into a corner would do.”

Akita Inu did not address why AKITA tokens were sent to Buterin in the first place if they were not meant to be liquidated. As Buterin suggested on a recent Lex Fridman podcast, it’s possible they were sent as a publicity stunt.

Between Mar. 1 and May 12, AKITA’s price increased by more than 50,000%. It began to crash once Buterin had made the donation.

The token is currently trading at roughly $0.000029 after a 96% drawdown from its May peak, according to CoinGecko.

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Hermez Network Preps $825K Airdrop for Gitcoin Donors

Key Takeaways

  • Hermez Network will airdrop 10 HEZ tokens to 12,700 accounts that participated in Gitcoin Grants round 9.
  • The airdrop goes live on May 4. Users who donated at least $1 will be eligible.
  • Hermez Network is a ZK-Rollup solution built to scale Ethereum. It recently launched on mainnet.

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Users who made at least a $1 donation in the latest round of Gitcoin Grants are now eligible for an exclusive airdrop.

Hermez Network Rewards Donors

Hermez Network will reward 12,700 Gitcoin Grants donors with 10 HEZ tokens on May 4. 

The Layer-2 solution announced details of the airdrop today. It will send 10 HEZ tokens to every Ethereum address that donated $1 or more using a MetaMask wallet during Gitcoin Grants Round 9.Hermez Network currently only supports MetaMask.

10 HEZ is worth about $65 today, which puts the airdrop’s total value at $825,500. 

Jordi Baylina, technical lead at Hermez Network, spoke of the important role Gitcoin Grants play in supporting the Ethereum ecosystem. He said: 

“Community is at the heart of the decentralized revolution and those who seek to further the development of the Ethereum ecosystem should be celebrated. No one can create the future of finance alone, but Gitcoin Grants allow us the opportunity to support projects that create long term and sustainable growth for all to enjoy.”

Hermez Network is part of a group of Layer-2 solutions focused on helping Ethereum achieve scalability. It leverages ZK-Rollups and works by bundling transactions together to reduce traffic on the base chain. In doing so, it provides a way to execute transactions at a higher speed and lower cost. With ETH trading at record highs, much of the conversation in the Ethereum community has focused on the urgency for Layer-2 solutions. 

Kyle Weiss, COO at Gitcoin, said that he was “grateful” for Hermez Network and other Layer-2 solutions. In a statement, he added: 

“During Gitcoin Grants Round 9 we saw more than 85% of the ~165K contributions happen on a Layer 2 network. Growth and support from solutions like Hermez are both vital and necessary for the expansion of Gitcoin Grants, and the Ethereum network.”

Hermez Network runs its own “Proof-of-Donation” mechanism that ensures 40% of each coordinator’s bid gets sent to Gitcoin Grants. It supports a range of assets, including ETH, COMP, DAI, HEZ, SUSHI, UNI, USDC, and USDT. It launched on mainnet last month. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies. They also had exposure to COMP, SUHI, and UNI in a cryptocurrency index. 

This news was brought to you by Phemex, our preferred Derivatives Partner.


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