Survey of distribution mechanisms in Ethereum

I want to start with a very simplified description of how monetary value is generated:

Value and redistribution

A group of investors make a pool of money to finance a new operation. The money is used to pay the salary of a group of employees, equipment, and services. The operation generates new money that is then distributed.

(can we simplify and generalize this even more?)


There are many ways to distribute this new money:

  • Salaries
  • Payment for services
  • Dividends
  • Grants: people apply presenting a project, a budget, and scope. They are usually rewarded partially at the start and fully upon the completion of the project.
  • Donations: passively received, with no requirements for receiving the funds other than the reputation of the organization, but new funds are conditional on their use.
  • Retroactive funding: checks an already executed project and pays for it after it shows to be successful.

Should we add shares? cheap fees? loans?

(can we make a list that is comprehensive and clear?)


Now, let’s make a list of the organizations in the Ethereum ecosystem and describe how they distribute money.

In progress: Flashbots, Ethereum Protocol, Ethereum Foundation.
Next: Lido, Rocketpool, Uniswap, Gnosis, Coinbase, Optimism, Giveth, Gitcoin, zkSync, gtceth, golem.

Ethereum Protocol

  • Block proposer reward
  • Token burning

Ethereum Foundation

The Ethereum Foundation is a non-profit that supports the Ethereum




  • personal communication with @McNut.


(last update: 2022-03-23)

Gitcoin is an organization that supports funding projects through a platform for grant allocation using quadratic voting.

  • Full time collaborators: 54
  • Part-time collaborators: ~20
  • Volunteers: None. They make sure that anyone working is paid, to not take advantage of anybody.
  • Grants paid: 3,715 projects
    • Money paid in grants: >$50,000,000
    • Unique donations: 3,800,000
  • Public donations: None. They are a vehicle to allow it to happen, though they’ve started to explore ways they can do donations.
  • Token: GTC -
    • Distribution:
      • Retroactive Airdrop: 15%
      • Gitcoin DAO: 50%
      • Existing Stakeholders: 35%
    • Governance:
  • Services fees: None. They are looking to change that in the near future, but there’s been a lot of conversation as to how they will meaningfully do that


(which are the organizations with interesting distribution roles?)

A questionnaire to collect useful information from the organizations:

  • How many full-time collaborators are in the organization?
  • How many part-time collaborators are in the organization?
  • Are there any volunteers in the organization?
  • Does the organization have a grants program?
    • How many grants have been paid?
    • How much money has been paid in grants?
  • Has the organization made any public donations?
    • How much money has been donated?
    • Who are the recipients of the donations?
  • Does the organization have its own token?
    • How was it distributed?
    • Does it give access to the organization governance?
    • Does it give access to the organization profits?
  • How much does the organization charge for its services?
  • Does the organization have a redistribution plan?