The History of Giveth
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Giveth has a rich history, from humble beginnings to grand visions, building the Future of Giving. Here we share our story in hopes of inspiring other communities that want to work in a decentralized way.
In the second half of 2016, Giveth is founded by Griff Green, Jordi Baylina and a couple of other members of the White Hat Group. They wrote the MiniMe Token contract, Vault contract and MilestoneTracker contract. Near the end of the year Vojtech Simetka and Grace Torrellas join to round out the team and the Giveth Slack is created.
A first project website is published under https://giveth.io
A first version of the Donation Application (DApp) is launched on the Ethereum mainnet.
Meeting of core contributors in Berlin to talk about the concept and vision behind Giveth.
On July 19, the White Hat Group was finishing up a Giveth Product meeting when they heard that a hacker had stolen the equivalent of $32 million of ETH by breaching a wallet. The Giveth Devs immediately began protecting 500 susceptible wallets by taking advantage of the same vulnerabilities and emptying the wallets’ cryptocurrency before the other hacker could.
In the only first account, they rescued a staggering 47,000 ETH! They went on to empty each of the 500 vulnerable wallets, siphoning the funds into a secure Giveth account. The Giveth team maintained transparency via Reddit so the wallet owners knew they would see their funds again.
By July 31, the Giveth team had created new, secure wallets for each of these accounts, and gave access back to their rightful owners. At the time, they rescued over $208 million worth of crypto, and stated they would not be accepting any donations for their work.
Team meeting in Barcelona to set a governance structure for team organization and to talk about the Giveth culture and the technology that has to be built.
The Giveth team declares itself to be a Decentralized Altruistic Community of Unicorns finding their way to #maketheworldabetterplace.
The team decides to be organized in a holacratic way. Circles are created and governance meetings are held every week.
The Reward DAO (a system to reward contributors for their work) is reworked and given stronger focus.
The Dev Team lays the groundwork for the new Giveth DApp in architecture and re-organization of code.
Team meeting in Barcelona is held to organize and align the team efforts for
Devcon3, where we want to present the DApp to the Ethereum developers community.
Reorganization of roles and Circles commences and the resulting structures are getting clearer. This is still an experiment; the team is not yet at the “end” of its exploration.
Devcon 3. The team concentrates on organizing and preparing for the event, every Circle is contributing in its own way and the team is making a big effort.
Governance meetings are maintained, the general structure of Holacracy is working well.
Giveth introduces it’s new logo to the world.
Devcon 3 - The team is doing an amazing job representing and promoting Giveth at Devcon. The effort is amazing and inspiring. We feel the full transcendence of every single team member and the Giveth DAC radiates as the sum of our parts align.
Discussions about Governance structure, projects, and budgeting that had been initiated before Devcon are discussed in the aftermath of the conference. A consolidation and reduction of roles is considered.
A reduction of roles occurs - especially of those requiring regular rewards. The team is still in the process of finding the right way to organize themselves. For now the team is organized in four Circles:
- Governance (modeling the DAC, organization & administration of the team, Reward DAO)
- Communications (for the external communications of Giveth)
- Dapp Development (all aspects concerning the Giveth DApp and its integration with the Ethereum blockchain)
- Social Coding (as a laboratory for open source culture, tool and infrastructure-focused software development)
Due to the new budget, certain people have to change their roles within the team. Governance meetings are ongoing and holacracy is still the preferred organizational structure. The team's effort as a decentralized community is ongoing. In finding what works best, we realize it takes a whole lot of adaptability and trust when structures are in a constant flux (in our case established through familiarity between members). It takes bravery to look upon emerging technologies and dive in, looking for consensus. Alas, this is the nature of an exploratory venture.
The Flagship Giveth DApp is released at the height of the Ethereum bullrun - which unfortunately means the system we built is not affordable anymore for those seeking funding. At the time of release, the gas fees rise to a point where starting a campaign costs around USD 80 in gas fees.
Therefore Giveth becomes one of the first DApps trying out new approaches. Because no really usable sidechains exist at this point, we decide to try an experiment: to let most interactions occur on the Rinkeby testnet and bridge them to the Ethereum mainnet.
Some members meet up in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to stay and hack together.
Inspired by Truebits "Merry Merkle" a small, easily forkable donation app is deployed - the "Donation Leaderboard".
Edu realizes a portal to record contributions as videos, called the "Wall of Fame".
Although the market entered a bear phase, gas cost remains high enough for us to be prompted to organize an initiative around scaling Ethereum mainnet. We invite the most promising teams in Ethereum to meet up and talk about different ways to increase transaction throughout and reduce fees for users. The mini-conference is called "Scaling Now" and takes places over two days, featuring workshops and speakers from projects such as:
Spankchain and many more.
We meet an enthusiastic young engineer who calls himself Dapplion. He will become one of the driving forces of the DAppNode project.
Giveth participates in Edcon’s Super Demo in Toronto and wins first place!
Another, smaller scale, meetup follows. We discuss many internal things and try to resolve differences about the direction Giveth wants to take going forward.
DAppNode is being split off the core Giveth team as a separate team with Edu leading development, Dapplion coding full stack and Jordi as a guardian angel and first product owner.
After thoroughly testing and deploying the bridge solution, Giveth officially (but quite silently) moves the entire platform to the beta environment.
A collaboration with Aragon begins (which will be short lived) and is a great learning experience for both teams involved.
Camp Decentral is erected at Burning Man, Black Rock City - giving talks about crypto, blockchain and digital sovereignty all week.
Devcon 4, the Ethereum developers conference, is coming to Prague and Giveth is present again with a huge delegation. Many new and old acquaintances are made and important connections within the blockchain space are formed. A blockchain enthusiast called Willy is handed a T-shirt by Lorelei and Dani - this is actually a significant event as demonstrated later in our history.
We meet up at our headquarters in Barcelona because it is time to move to a bigger place! Together we empty the big apartment and move to a huge inner city house that is still known and operated as
the Giveth House. To this day it stands as a place open to all friends of Giveth.
A delegation from Giveth and other friendly Devs tramp to the biggest hackathon in the world (they claim) - ODYSSEY in Groningen, NL - to hack together on some core concepts of the newly imagined "Commons Stack".
The Giveth team has a big meeting at their new headquarters in Barcelona. We spend almost a week reshaping roles and goals for Giveth. The agenda is seemingly endless and we touch on all the points that are important to us: the DAO, the DApp and how we want to shape the future of Giveth and the Commons Stack.
The crypto bear market takes its toll. It has become more and more quiet with the Giveth team as funding continues to be scarce. The decision is made to continue in "maintenance mode" - essentially quitting all of Giveth's non-essential operations. Feature development on the DApp is halted and Comms Circle goes into submarine mode, emerging only to sparsely tweet from time to time.
Amin - a contributor to the DApp who surfaced through Gitcoin is starting to "freshen up" the DApp little by little.
Griff attends EthDenver 2020 as a judge where he meets Willy who, together with a couple of friends, realize their own donation platform during the hackathon. Their app is called "Coz" (Cause) and wins the "Impact Track". Full of enthusiasm, Griff captures the crew with the idea to build a new DApp - a new Giveth together with the Coz team.
The pace is picking up again. The first design phases for "Giveth 2" (later called Giveth.io) are finished by Marko.
Some old team members flock back to the mother goose to work on developing the new DApp (Giveth.io). Organizational patterns are re-introduced and more people are sought after to grow the team again.
Amin was able to make the original Giveth DApp (now Giveth TRACE) beautiful, functional and stable within the last year. He now assembles a team of rockstars to help him make it even better. Two distinct teams form to work on the two distinct DApps.
Dani brings in a bunch of enthusiastic people to build out the Community and Communications Circles. Giveth is now in "full swing" again.
Hiring spree on full time contributors. The Costa Rica Team emerges, significantly improving community outreach, communications and the organizational fabric of Giveth.
“Giveth 2” officially launches with the name Giveth.io. Boasting a simple UX, easy project creation and peer-to-peer donations with functionality on both Mainnet and xDai network.
Amin’s team of developers become a force to be reckoned with, dubbed the Middle East team. Their main focus is still, at this time, to take the original Giveth DApp (now called “Giveth TRACE”) to the finish line and launch it out of beta.
Work begins in earnest on the next big Giveth project, rumours emerge about designing an “Economy of Giving”....
The Costa Rica team meets Griff face-to-face and there is a gathering of Giveth minds to revamp the Giveth Vision, Values and Roadmap. The Middle East team meets in person across the puddle and the two groups connect over the web.
The OG Giveth DApp from 2017 officially launches, with tremendous contributions from the Middle East Team. The flagship DApp sheds the husk of “beta” taking its final form as Giveth TRACE.
Another localized gathering of Givethers occurs at EthCC in Paris. It’s a special moment for Giveth and the Ethereum community, having been the first large gathering since the beginning of the pandemic.
Griff drops the bomb at The DAOist conference, also in Paris, announcing the GIVeconomy to the unsuspecting attendees and subsequently broadcasted to the world at large. The plot thickens.
Integration begins on the technical level between Giveth.io and Giveth TRACE, both teams of developers begin merging into one.
Quarterly, most of the team meets in person at a dedicated team meeting or a very big conference. The list below shows our past events.
- 2021/07 Paris, France EthCC4
- 2021/06 Nosara, Costa Rica
- 2021/06 Somewhere in the Middle East
- 2019/08 Black Rock City
- 2019/06 Barcelona
- 2019/04 Cardona, Catalonia
- 2019/02 Barcelona
- 2019/01 Chiang Mai
- 2018/10 Prague Devcon4
- 2018/08 Black Rock City
- 2018/06 Barcelona
- 2018/04 Toronto Edcon
- 2018/03 Barcelona
- 2018/01 Chiang Mai
- 2017/11 Cancun Devcon3
- 2017/09 Barcelona
- 2017/07 Barcelona
- 2017/05 Berlin
- 2017/01 London