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A snapshot of the 20+ open source software projects in Octant's Epoch 2

· 11 min read
Carl Cervone

Open Source Observer is a platform for measuring the impact of open source software (OSS) contributions. We are one of the 24 projects in Octant's Epoch 2 funding allocation.

We used our dataset to take a quick snapshot of the collective impact of Octant's funding on the OSS developer community. In Epoch 2, Octant is helping support:

  • 23 projects with at least some OSS component to their work
  • 322 GitHub repos with regular activity
  • 542 developers making regular code commits or reviews

In the last 6 months, these 23 projects:

  • Attracted 556 first-time contributors
  • Closed over 5,608 issues (and created 5,962 new ones)
  • Merged over 10,817 pull requests (and opened 12,443)

Note: The 24th project, Funding the Commons, is also a pillar of the OSS community -- its events bring together diverse sectors such as web3, web2, AI, government, institutional philanthropy, and academia -- but it does not have an OSS component of its own.

Project specific metrics

We can go a level deeper and look at some of the metrics across projects. These are NOT rankings, just context on the maturity, size, and developer activity associated with projects.

Project maturity

Let's start with some of the oldest projects in the cohort.

The Tor Project is a volunteer-run network, older than any of the projects on this list (and even older than GitHub). Protocol Guild and Ethereum Cat Herders are two of the most critical initiatives in the Ethereum ecosystem, providing direct support to protocol research, development, and process improvement. Giveth is a long-standing fixture of the web3 giving economy, helping nearly 3,000 projects receive zero-fee donations and pioneering a variety of novel funding mechanisms.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have younger projects that have only been around for about a year (or less).

Pairwise is building tools for better group decision-making and decentralized governance. Hypercerts is a leading web3 standard for making and rewarding positive impact claims. Glo Dollar is a fiat-backed stablecoin created to lift people out of extreme poverty. And Open Source Observer (that's us!) is an open data platform that helps communities and funders measure impact.

Here's a complete table, showing when projects received their first pull request as well as some indicators related to contributors, forks, and stars for all repos in a project's namespace.

ProjectFirst PR Opened (Years Ago)Total Contributors (All Time)Fork Count (Top Repo)Star Count (Top Repo)
The Tor Project10.94859624220
Protocol Guild10.149131978144606
Ethereum Cat Herders8.2778534812264
Public HAUS4.46981136
Shielded Voting3.4171451
Token Engineering Commons3.2531110
DAO Drops2.13014
Glo Dollar0.7813
Open Source Observer0.5141425

Team size

Next, we we can look at the team size and number of developers working on these projects.

Gitcoin has one of the largest developer teams represented here -- over 30 in the past 6 months. It's been shipping big releases for Allo Protocol, Gitcoin Passport, and Grants Stack, in addition to keeping its quarterly grants rounds humming. L2BEAT is a top source of analytics and research on the state of Ethereum's Layer 2 scaling solutions. As the L2 scene taken off over the past year, the number of developers making regular contributions to L2BEAT has doubled to over 20. Rotki is a local first, fully open source crypto portfolio management tool that gives its users peace of mind knowing all their data is in one place and under their control. It has a close-knit and highly productive full-time developer team of around 7.

Other projects are leaner and focused on doing one thing extremely well.

Shielded Voting is an encryption solution for onchain voting that shields individuals' votes, so they can vote confidentially and without groupthink. is an essential app that helps keep users safe from scams and exploits and revoke their token approvals. Praise is a tool that's easy to integrate with and helps organizations praise and reward each other's contributions. is a quadratic funding platform that communities can use to fund their public goods in an efficient way. DAO Drops is a retroactive funding platform that leverages the wisdom of the crowd to distribute a pool of funding across a set of projects and individuals.

There are also projects that are more focused on building human connections rather than software. Kernel offers eight-week "blocks" for cohorts of up to 250 people, blending structured course material, with conversation and individual exploration. Many of web3's leading builders and voices are proud alumni of a Kernel block. Token Engineering Commons is a transdisciplinary community of engineers, scientists, researchers, educators, philosophers, and edgewalkers. They work on hard incentive problems that can be improved by engineering pro-social token economies.

The table below captures some of the developer-related metrics for the projects in Epoch 2. Again, these numbers only capture one dimension of the work that is happening on most of these projects.

ProjectNew Contributors (Last 6 Months)Full-time Developers (Avg Last 6 Months)Part-time Developers (Avg Last 6 Months)Total Developers (Avg Last 6 Months)
Protocol Guild321.021.7334.0304.9
Ethereum Cat Herders64.00.071.861.6
The Tor Project12.00.220.317.6
Public HAUS3.
Shielded Voting3.
Open Source Observer14.
Glo Dollar0.
Token Engineering Commons3.
DAO Drops0.

A full-time developer is someone who contributes code more than 10 days in a month, whereas a part-time developer is someone who contributes code fewer than 10 days in a month.

Developer activity

So far, we have focused on projects that are either at the high or low end of the distribution on various OSS indicators. Now let's turn to the middle: modest-sized teams that have been around for at least a few years and are continually shipping new things.

EthStaker is a 50,000+ person community that primarily consists of solo stakers and projects that aim to reach solo stakers. It is a keystone species in Ethereum's decentralization and sponsors a range of initiatives including software development and educational content. Drips is a radworks initiative (see also: Radicle) that makes it cheap and easy for software projects to fund their FOSS dependencies. The team is both building the intrastructure and onboarding a network of projects to identify and drip funding to their dependencies. BrightID is an alternative to nation-state and biometric identities, helping communities build a web of trust across an anonymous social graph. It is instrumental for a variety of identity-based use cases, including UBI, digital democratic voting, social media without bots, and sharing anything more equitably. PublicHAUS is founded on the belief that protocols should support humans, not the other way around. It's one of the most well-established and active DAOs building in the decentralized governance and accountability arena. MetaGame is a massive online coordination game in the making. It's both an educational and social platform and a place for freelancers to work.

This table captures some of the day-to-day work artifacts of OSS projects, from commits to merged pull requests, over the last 6 months.

ProjectIssues Created (Last 6 Months)Issues Closed (Last 6 Months)PRs Created (Last 6 Months)PRs Merged (Last 6 Months)Commits (Last 6 Months)
Protocol Guild180417595325418312581
Public HAUS2753290281907
Open Source Observer435312446432616
Glo Dollar101121135129612
Ethereum Cat Herders142156684507610
The Tor Project35182810522
Shutter Network14107163397
Token Engineering Commons1246654
DAO Drops00000

Future impact

The Octant Epoch 2 pool of projects is a diverse, well-curated group. Each of these projects has already had an impact on the Ethereum ecosystem. At Open Source Observer, we look forward to charting the continued projects of these projects and gathering metrics on new projects that join in future Epochs.

For more information about Octant and the current set of projects, go here. If you are interested in contributing to analysis like this, we invite you to join our data collective. You can also view the queries and analysis Notebook behind this report here.