I am Kevin Owocki. Ask me anything.

12 November 2018, 7:00 pmAsk Question

Kevin Owocki 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. Today, 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.

Ask Kevin Owocki about:

  • Using Gitcoin
  • Developing Dapps in 2018
  • The current state of Blockchain
  • ICOs
  • Cryptocurrencies, in general

thanks for having me!

James Franko's photo

How many open source projects are active members of Gitcoin ecosystem?

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

Checkout https://gitcoin.co/results for more stats

Since its launch in November 2017, Gitcoin has helped 251 funders reach an audience of 15,223 developers. Gitcoin has facilitated 2,212 complete transactions to 633 unique coders.

James Franko's photo

How many US dollar worth Gitcoin tokens have been distributed to Open Source Projects till date?

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

Gitcoin is not a token! I knew I was going to get this question, but I had it coming since I named the project Gitcoin. Gitcoin is a place where you GIT coins, not a token itself. Checkout https://gitcoin.co/not_a_token

Also checkout https://gitcoin.co/results -- we've distributed about $400k this year to OSS devs.

Jill Castro's photo

Why did you start Gitcoin?

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

open source powers billions of dollars a year in economic activity yet has little to no financial support outside of corporate sponsorship. our mission is to grow and sustain open source. heres a little sales-ey page we typed up about this http://gitcoin.co/mission

Jill Castro's photo

Do you think with better projects have started to come to the Blockchain ecosystem? What's your opinion on the current state of decentralised apps?

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

Do you think with better projects have started to come to the Blockchain ecosystem?

what do you mean by 'better'?

What's your opinion on the current state of decentralised apps?

i think we're in the first inning of a 9 inning game. its been forever since i played baseball, am i saying that right ? :)

one thing that needs to improve is UX. theres too many steps to get fiat into ETH and to backup your seed phrase / etc. my friend and colleague, austin griffith, who just joined gitcoin as director of research, is working on this => https://twitter.com/austingriffith/status/1060926859116916737

one question i have is whether users will interact with their private keys or if itll all just be hidden behind a web 2.0 interface. will blockchain be in the front of a browser or in the back? will users have to learn key core primitives, like how when the web came around we learned about the back / home buttons... will users learn what a private key is and how to send coins right in their browser? do they care about decentralization?

Milica Maksimović's photo

Hey Kevin, thanks for the AMA. 🙂

Which are your favourite projects with bounties on Gitcoin?

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

i have a soft spot for metamask. they were the first wallet to get mass adoption, and i use their product every day. https://gitcoin.co/profile/metamask

decentraland has done a few bounties with us and had some good success. i was initially worried that no one on the platform would have unity/VR skills, but i was pleasantly wrong about that! https://gitcoin.co/profile/decentraland

and obviously, it's dope that the ethereum foundation itself has done bounties with us. whatever we can do to support them pushing the ecosystem forward is 💯 https://gitcoin.co/profile/ethereum

Chris C's photo

Do you plan to accept any other currencies besides Ethereum for bounties?

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

we support any ERC20 (ethereum - based) token.

in the future, i'd love to integrate other blockchains, starting with bitcoin. one nice property of ethereum is that gitcoin core never has access to your funds, because they are locked into a smart contract. gitcoin doesnt want to be a money transmitter, so if we can figure out some sort of chain abstraction layer that can do something similar with bitcoin, that'd be preferable.

Wang Y's photo

Hey Kevin,

Can you describe your average day at work?

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

Hey Wang,

Im a big fan of this maker time manager time blog post ( http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html )

I do calls on Tuesday/Thursday (manager time).

MWF is for coding and generally jamming on deep work. (or.. more recently.. responding to zillions of slack/email questions, and coding time is pushed to nights after my kid goes to sleep or weekends)

Rowland's photo

Why do you think ICOs aren't the best funding model?

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

Broadly speaking, I think that the Ethereum community is BUIDLing a world computer and open source financial system, and that ICOs are just the first killer app. I think there will be many more standards and killer dapps, and those with a long time horizon can/should keep their eyes on them as they emerge. I'm excited about ERC 721, 1081, and 1337 specifically.

Specific to Gitcoin, we are privileged to have Joe Lubin / Consensys backing us.. so we don't need to make any moves on the funding side immediately.

In an alternative universe in which we'd done an ICO, we'd have to spend a lot of our raise on regulatory compliance. And many hodlers of our token would be speculators.

Given this wiggle room where we don't have to worry about funding, we've chosen to focus no product. And the members of our slack community are developers, not speculators.

I cover this a little more in depth at :

https://gitcoin.co/not_a_token https://medium.com/gitcoin/why-gitcoin-didnt-launch-with-a-token-f24af0b54ded

Rowland's photo

Makes sense, thanks!

No one's photo

Hey Kevin, Are you still looking for a Content & Customer Experience Manager? I happen to be a Consensys employee starting to look around for an exciting new opportunity.

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

Sup Jimmy.

Yes we are still looking, but I am not the hiring manager for that -- my cofounder Vivek is. Shoot us an email: founders@gitcoin.co

Fay Vor's photo

How do you explain the concept of gitcoins to a newbie, so he understands what he stands to gain alongside the concepts it portrays

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

gitcoin is a place that you can do software development work in exchange for cryptocurrency.

Milica Maksimović's photo

I recently listened to some talks where people claimed that we need regulations in order for cryptocurrencies to become widely accepted. What is your opinion about this? Do regulations mean that there can be no true decentralized system?

Kevin Owocki's photo

Gitcoin.co Founder

i dont know anything about this subject matter, so i'm afraid i can't comment.