Hello, Streaming Quadratic Funding!

Streaming Quadratic Funding can be thought of as running a full quadratic matching round every second:

  • Real-time QF matching based on community donation streams

  • Sustainable engagement with long-term donor-grantee relationships

  • Capital efficiency & composability to maximize public goods impact

  • Live pilot at https://geoweb.land/governance

Geo Web, Superfluid, and Gitcoin’s Allo Protocol are excited to announce the first-ever Streaming Quadratic Funding Round starting today, February 21st.

This pilot program will run for ~60 days (ending Sunday, April 21st). It will allocate a matching pool of ~6 ETH and growing—funded by the Geo Web’s streaming partial common ownership land market and generous support from Public Nouns.

The first grantee cohort includes a diverse set of public goods from the industry: RadicalxChange, Coin Center, AW House, web3.js, Public Goods Wavepool, and the Geo Web core.

This is a first-of-its-kind experiment and a step toward a powerful new tool for communities, DAOs, and protocols to democratically and effectively fund public goods.

So, what is Streaming Quadratic Funding?

Streaming quadratic funding (SQF) is a novel implementation of quadratic funding (QF), the public goods funding mechanism introduced by Vitalik Buterin, Zoe Hitzig, & Glen Weyl and popularized in web3 by Gitcoin.

As the name suggests, SQF is QF with a streaming architecture. Donations are structured as open-ended money flows rather than one-off transfers. A quadratic matching formula continuously allocates pool funds based on these streamed “votes.”

Real-time quadratic matching visualized on the SQF Pilot UI
Real-time quadratic matching visualized on the SQF Pilot UI

People sometimes describe quadratic funding (and quadratic voting) as high-bandwidth democracy. In QF/QV, participants express not just the direction of their preferences but also the degree of these preferences. These additional bits of information help improve the collective decision-making process by optimizing how voices are heard.

Streaming quadratic funding extends this informational advantage by embracing the dimension of time. Participants can change their donation streams with new information or preferences anytime. These changes will immediately (and gas-efficiently) update the corresponding quadratic matching streams going forward. Put another way, SQF’s democratic outputs adjust to changes in preferences in real time.

Why get excited about SQF?

SQF isn’t just a faster QF.

By eliminating time discontinuities of the periodic round, SQF becomes a different QF—creating new dynamics for grantees, donors, and outcomes while maintaining QF’s core democratic principles and effectiveness.

SQF rounds can be open-ended or longer than practical for periodic rounds (with traditional QF, the matching pool is distributed only after the round ends). This shift can relieve structural pressure to consolidate grantee discovery and donor/voter participation.

SQF grantees won’t need to compete for donor mindshare during constrained voting periods the same way and can stay focused on their core missions. Donation widgets in dapps, websites, code repos, and on social could become the primary and decentralized method to discover worthy grants.

The periodic round structure also asks a lot of donors/voters. It’s difficult to make informed decisions across numerous and broad rounds. With SQF, there’s an opportunity for higher signal and sustained donor-grantee relationships that evolve naturally on the donor’s timeline.

SQF’s continuous model can also provide more funding predictability for grantees. Funds streamed through an SQF pool immediately hit the grantee’s account with incremental shifts in receipts.

This velocity means amplified impact and efficiency with limited capital for funders. For example, the Geo Web protocol generates ETH streams from its PCO land market. Before SQF, these funds would idly accumulate in the treasury until being periodically dispersed. Now, the Geo Web’s ETH can immediately help grow the network (i.e., grow the ETH revenue the land market generates) and drive a public goods flywheel. This is how scrappy public goods can outcompete lavishly-funded behemoths.

Ultimately, the killer feature of SQF may be composability. SQF/SQV’s ability to adjust according to changing preferences in real time means that communities can layer them with and across groups to deliver delegated governance without sacrificing efficiency.

A top-level SQV round could continuously allocate a DAO budget across several functionally scoped rounds and mechanisms. Rather than a multi-week voting cycle at each level, streaming allows the funds to reach their final destination instantaneously while applying multiple layers of localized collective intelligence. Stream-based governance can be more agile and cultivate a positive bias toward action.

What’s under the hood of SQF?

Streaming Quadratic Funding is a proof-of-concept allocation strategy in Allo v2. It integrates with Superfluid’s Streaming Distribution Pools feature.

The strategy manages the SQF pool’s member units according to incoming donation streams and the quadratic matching formula. The matching pool funds are streamed proportionally to these units.

While a reserve of Super Tokens can be deposited at round initialization, the native functionality of the Superfluid protocol allows the matching pool to be funded in real-time by one or more streams (e.g., by the Geo Web land market & other individuals). These streams only require small buffer deposits rather than full collateralization–unlocking SQF’s capital efficiency and composability.

In the coming weeks, we’ll share a technical deep dive into the pilot architecture and the considerations faced in constructing it. We’ll explore how the vision for Allo and Gitcoin Passport aligned with Superfluid’s new Distribution Pools to make SQF a reality.

What’s next for SQF?

We need to run the pilot before getting too far ahead of ourselves.

If you’re excited about the mechanism or public goods, the number one thing you can do to make this experiment a success is to participate in the round at https://geoweb.land/governance.

Open donation streams directly to your favorite grantees or add to the ETH matching pool permissionlessly. More funds. More eyeballs. More impact. We can demonstrate a powerful use case for crypto that Web 2.0 can’t even deliver, but people need to hear about it.

We can’t wait to see how the round evolves, to engage with users, and to elevate these public goods grantees. We will share data on Twitter and Farcaster throughout the round, so stay tuned.

Several of us will be at ETHDenver helping onboard people to the round and giving talks about SQF (11:50 am on 2/25 at the Spork Castle - Submarine Stage & 5:30 pm on 2/29 at the Greenpill Governinit Summit). Swing by if you’re around, or reach out on social if you want to share ideas and ask questions!

There will be many lessons learned during this pilot and challenges unique to SQF that we’ve yet to take on (streaming loops+Sybils/collusion!). We hope that more than a few of you will help push this community effort forward. Join us in the #sqf channel of the Geo Web Discord if you’re ready to dive in!

A Moment of Thanks

Because there’s not an uncorny way to say this: streaming quadratic funding stands on the shoulders of giants.

We’re proud to attempt this new evolutionary branch of QF and know it is thanks to many others who paved the way. From the origins of theory (Vitalik, Zoe, Glen, & RadicalxChange) to the practitioners who first brought these ideas to market (Gitcoin, clr.fund, and many others) to the technical collaborators that helped launch this experiment, each step included contributors dedicated to advancing the public good with public goods. That’s the most powerful way we can work. We hope this mechanism directly catalyzes even more of that.

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