Today, open source software is a vital component in the functioning of governments, large and small companies, and non-profit organisations all around the world. Open source software refers to software that is released to the general public, effectively allowing developers to access the source code, modify it, and redistribute again. Soaring interest in open source development has however unearthed growing pains. A lack of incentives for developers to work on open source projects renders many inactive projects.
FundRequest makes it easy to fund open issues on any project, in any language. Inspired by the rise of the gig economy, we bring together developers and organizations requesting open source development.
Blockchain technology and smart contracts provide us with the tools necessary to build a decentralized platform that benefits both suppliers and customers of open source development. We can guarantee that every contract created between parties will be resolved without any third-party interference. Platform upkeep costs are thus drastically reduced. In turn, this allows us to remove the service fee that has become commonplace on existing gig economy platforms. Increased transparency and trustless transactions are two other blockchain features that we feel will aid in our mission to boost the entire open source ecosystem.
In a stylized transaction flow, the requesting organization (funder) allocates funds to an open source issue. These funds are stored in a smart contract, which acts as an escrow to incentivize parties to act in good faith. The smart contract will eventually distribute the funds after a set of predetermined conditions is met. Once the open source issue is funded, the developer (solver) can select it. Since he also needs to have skin in the game to avoid malicious behaviour, he is required to stake funds proportionally to the value of the funded issue. The developer then solves the issue and claims the reward. The smart contract settles the transaction. Naturally, disputes may arise during this process, some of which may need to be solved through human interaction. To this end, we will partner with existing providers that offer conflict resolution flows as their core product.
Open source development is so diverse that one size does not fit all. It is clear that more complex structures are required to serve the entire space. For example, FundRequest will enable combining several issues under a governance structure to support large features and projects. Other projects require a number of distinct skillsets such that a
team of developers is put together to take on the challenge. Finally, different organizations may be interested in identical open source solutions, which would warrant a type of open source crowdfunding mechanism. Our aspiration is to expand the platform in this direction.
The FND token is a catalyst to the platform’s development and user experience. It allows us to create network effects and introduce mechanisms of fair play. Our own utility token also means we can operate independently from a third-party token.
In sum, FundRequest facilitates the funding, claiming, and rewarding of open source contributions through blockchain technology. By addressing some of the key challenges open source is facing today, we aim to boost open source development.