As we enter a new round of Gitcoin Grants, we wanted to take some time to shine a spotlight on projects which we believe are adding strong value to the wider DeFi ecosystem.

For those unfamiliar with Gitcoin Grants, $100k worth of matching is distributed to Tech projects (this article will only focus on the Tech track) using quadratic funding. This means that those who receive donations from the most individual accounts will receive the largest portion of the matching pool.

 

This article will be segmented by our top picks, along with a series of sleeper picks flying under the radar which are definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Top Picks

White Hat Hacking

As one of the more altruistic hackers in the space, samczsun has long saved many of the top DeFi projects from millions of dollars in loses by pointing out exploits in code prior to them being attacked. Some of the projects which Sam’s hacking has helped protect include but are not limited to Synthetix, Kyber, Nexus Mutual and 0x Protocol, just to name a few. The community suggest that he put together a grant, and we’re here to tell you it’s worth supporting!

DeFi Pulse Registry

For frequent readers of our site, it’s no surprise that we commonly cite a popular ranking metric called Total Value Locked (TVL). This metric was spawned by DeFi Pulse – the creators of the much sought after DeFi leaderboard which ranks projects relative to their capital growth. In this round of Gitcoin Grants, DeFi Pulse is collecting funding for a Registry similar to DeFi Score – effectively helping users make better decisions by understanding different levels of centralization and points of potential risk. We believe that a community-owned registry is a great way to ensure projects are being properly vetted, and further believe DeFi Pulse is the right team to get it done!

DeFi Snap

One of the biggest barriers to entry for new users in DeFi is that of visibility. More often than not, capital is scattered across various products with limited tools to manage and oversee those contributions. Whether it be lending protocols like Compound or Vaults on Maker, DeFi Snap is curating a unified, user-friendly dashboard to provide better visibility across the larger DeFi spectrum, effectively making it easier to keep track of where your money is at. The project currently supports a number of features such as historical data and will further use grant funding to optimize the product. Best of all, contributing to this round of grants lands you a spot on their coveted “Wall of Fame”!

DeFi Saver

When it comes to managing important DeFi positions, projects like DeFi Saver have continually delivered products which benefit users such as yourself. In the past few weeks, they’ve shipped the capacity for Vault management using Flash Loans from Aave to aide in collateralization and a user-friendly Maker auction interface to make it easier for non-technical users to participate in liquidation auctions. This grant will go towards development costs so that the team can keep shipping amazing new products.

Sleeper Picks

Now that we’ve covered the projects which are towards the top of the leaderboards, let’s dive deeper into those projects we believe have a lot of potential but may not be very well known in the larger round.

  • Blazar – A fixed lending protocol which recently won the ETHLondon hackathon. Check out our interview with their team!
  • Dune Analytics – A very well respected project providing transparency to Ethereum data through an open-source portal in which anyone can easily query and visualize crucial on-chain data, metrics and insights.
  • iEarn – A yield aggregator providing access to different DeFi profit opportunities like Synthetix sUSD stablecoin liquidity incentives thanks to Yield Protocol by Curve.
  • Loan Shark – An NFT lending protocol leveraging Sablier to lease non-fungible assets for a fixed period of time.
  • Burn Signal – On on-chain quadratic voting mechanism in which users burn ETH to signal their opinion towards controversial issues like whether or not Maker Black Thursday vicitms should be compensated for the loss of their collateral.

Closing Thoughts

Across the board, this round of Gitcoin Grants is packed with talent. What’s most interesting is that most of the top DeFi grant recipients from Round 4 have actually decided to opt-out of requesting donations in favor of letting new projects shine.

 

It’s this sentiment that perfectly describes the wider DeFi ecosystem – namely that of collaboration. As we continue to dive into different areas of composability, it’s worth recognizing that what’s being built is a largely unified economy in which the tide raises all boats.

For a better view on how different grants are stacking up against one another in Round 5, be sure to check out the newly implemented stats tracker.

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