Hypercerts Foundation: The web3 standard for impact certification and interconnected funding systems

1. Project Name

Hypercerts Foundation

2. Project Description and why it’s classified as a Public Good:

Mission

The mission of the Hypercerts Foundation is to advance the development and adoption of open-source protocols for funding and rewarding positive impact.

History

Research on hypercerts was first presented to the public by David A. Dalrymple at the conference series Funding the Commons in March and July 2022 (watch). However, the concept of “impact certificates” has been a recurring theme at conferences and in online discussion forums since at least 2014. In late 2022, a small team of research scientists, developers, and practitioners began implementing hypercerts as a set of Ethereum-based smart contracts that could be used to assert and fund impact claims. The Hypercerts Foundation serves as the home for this work and for the emerging ecosystem built on top of the hypercert protocols.

Where are we headed?

Imagine a world where positive impact was one of the most highly valued creations in our society; where entrepreneurs who pursued high-uncertainty, high-upside moonshots to radically improve society were rewarded directly for that impact; where becoming a patron of impactful causes was something people aspired to and displayed proudly; and where the methods used to evaluate impact were credible, transparent, and independently verifiable.

That world might seem a distance away, but it’s one we can build towards. Specifically we’d like to see more impact markets, retroactive funding and innovation in the way we fund public goods. In order for this to occur, we need protocols to track and fund impact.

What are hypercerts?

A single hypercert is a semi-fungible token that accounts for work that’s intended to be impactful, and whose ownership can be fractionalized and even transferred under specific conditions. Each hypercert represents a unique impact claim capturing the following basic information:

  • Who: Set of contributors
  • What: Scope of work
  • When: Time of work
    hypercert_example-f611fc75f592dc0f4d5d1e47a2b20696

Hypercerts disentangle the contribution accounting from the evaluations, such that multiple evaluations can be submitted towards each hypercert. This makes visible competing evaluations and thereby enables a dynamic open evaluation system (consider the challenges around low-quality carbon credits that are difficult to expose).

As an extension of ERC 1155 semi-fungible tokens, hypercerts create a single, open, shared, and decentralized database for different impact funding mechanisms.

While hypercerts may be useful for any impact funding mechanism, they’re particularly valuable for retroactive funding as they provide baseline invariant guarantees impact claims will not be forgotten.

Crucially, hypercerts don’t create a new funding silo, but avoids these as they can be integrated into any existing funding platform creating an interconnected funding ecosystem.

The work so far

The work ahead

  • Release the core protocol on additional EVM-compatible chains
  • Enable attestation, evaluations and supplementary information using existing tools like the Ethereum Attestation Service
  • Build out hyperboards, such that any project and event can create them
  • Create marketplace tools to sell and transfer hypercerts and add to SDK
  • Cooperate with funding platforms and projects to integrate hypercerts
  • Build new applications like prize competitions with hypercerts

3. Main Project Funding Sources:

  • Protocol Labs has funded the initial research as well the creation of the Hypercerts Foundation via grants (ongoing support).
  • We want to add additional funding sources via Optimism’s RetroPGF, Gitcoin, and hopefully Octant to fully build out the interconnected funding ecosystem.

4. Seeking project-specific funding or funding for general operations:

We seek funding for the general operations of the Hypercerts Foundation. Some of the work ahead is described above.

5. Team Information, including backgrounds and roles:

As the Hypercerts Foundation we are working with collaborators and contractors on specific projects to further our mission. Holke Brammer serves as official director and chairperson of the Hypercerts Foundation. Below you find the background of the main people involved.

Main contributors

Advisors / collaborators

  • Juan Benet, Founder & CEO of Protocol Labs
  • Kevin Owocki, Founder Gitcoin
  • David ‘davidad’ Dalrymple, Programme Director ARIA

6. Social Credibility (development progress, awards, notable GitHub commits, referrals):

Referrals (Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.)

  • Juan Benet: “We are proud to be an early supporter of the Hypercerts Foundation, which will bring even greater focus and resources to this important area of innovation,” said Juan Benet, founder and CEO of Protocol Labs. “The Hypercerts Foundation is helping build a more transparent and interoperable environment for funding public goods. We are excited to contribute to its mission in any way we can.”
  • Kevin Owocki: “This is an exciting moment for the Hypercerts Foundation and for the future of impact funding,” says Kevin Owocki of Supermodular.xyz, another early supporter and steward of the new initiative. “We are committed to advancing the development of decentralized protocols and novel coordination mechanisms.”

Progress

Eligibility Criteria

Do you have a commitment to open-source (i.e. every open-source license accepted by the Open-Source Initiative) technology and sharing results publicly?

Have you provided transparency about how exactly funding will be used?

  • We have described the “work ahead” above, which we will realize together with collaborators that are paid as contractors. If more details are useful, please let us know.

Are you advancing values of freedom and privacy (no surveillance and handling of personal data)?

  • Yes, we are committed to advancing values of freedom and privacy. For some use cases we will need zkHypercerts for contributions and/or evaluations.

Are you supporting decentralization in various fields (for example building Web3 projects)?

  • Yes, hypercerts are a new web3 primitive (an extension of the ERC-1155 standard) and we believe that decentralization is especially important for contribution accounting and impact measurement and evaluation. Nobody should have centralized power over how a person or group is tracking their own contributions.

Have you provided social media channels to the extent that we can confirm social proof of your project?

GM :sparkles:

Here is an update from the work at the Hypercerts Foundation as we are approaching the end of the year and Epoch 3 in January. We are grateful for the support of the community throughout 2023 :pray:

New developments

  • Release on Celo: Hypercerts can now be minted on Celo or Optimism. The deployment on additional EVM-chains has been simplified.
  • Marketplace contracts and frontend: We have forked the LooksRare v2 contracts to develop hypercerts marketplace features, such that hypercerts can be bought and sold directly. We are currently building a first frontend for these marketplace features.
  • Security audit: The marketplace strategies have been audited externally.
  • Hyperboard prototype: We built a hyperboard prototype, incl. admin panel, such that users can create their own boards (to be released).
  • ZuConnect Retroactive Fund: We piloted a retroactive fund, collected 17 ETH and distributed them via hypercerts to contributors of ZuConnect.

Roadmap

  • Pilot of marketplace features: We’ll enable a deeper integration of hypercerts into funding flows.
  • Pilot of hyperboards: We’ll pilot how to encourage funding by recognizing who contributed financially and non-financially to projects or events.
  • Evaluations: We’ll build on the Ethereum Attestation Service (EAS) and the work of https://gitcoinreviews.co/ who have already started a review application for hypercerts. The goal is to allow attestations and evaluations for hypercerts, such that they can be used via user-generated templates for any impact domain.
  • Integrations: We’ll support funding platforms to integrate hypercerts. If you are interested in using hypercerts, please write us at team [at] hypercerts.org
  • Maintenance and user support: Not a usual roadmap item, but included here to appreciate the work that goes into this, especially as the code-base and use cases increase :slight_smile:

Use of previous and potential future funds

  • Funds from epoch 2: The contractor costs for building the marketplace contracts and the security audit were the main costs that we covered with the funds from epoch 2. In addition we were able to cover some of the maintenance and support costs.
  • Potential funds from epoch 3: The evaluation features are overdue; ideally the development costs on the backend and frontend could be covered. Additional funds could be used for integrations with existing platforms.

For transparency: Other funding sources

  • Gitcoin GG19: We received ~18 ETH from retail funders. Matching funds are still outstanding (thanks to everyone who has contributed via Gitcoin!)
  • Optimism’s retroPGF: Results are outstanding. We are on 50 ballots :slight_smile:
  • Non-grant-funding: We have received no non-grant funding

If you have any comments or questions, also feel free to reach out directly (@holkeb on telegram).

With gratitute,
Holke for the Hypercerts Foundation

2 Likes

GM :sparkles:

Here is an update from the work at the Hypercerts Foundation as we are approaching Epoch 3. We are grateful for the support of the community throughout :pray:

New developments

Roadmap

  • EasyRetroPGF: We plan to integrate hypercerts with EasyRetroPGF to enable projects to apply for retroactive funding with hypercerts and funders to be recognized by receiving hypercerts. Ultimately, we aim to allow rewarding early financial and non-financial contributors by later retroactive funding and use hypercerts to make this process transparent.
  • Multi-chain support: Implementation of full multi-chain support - currently work in progress: [HIP-2] WIP: Graph & SDK multichain support · hypercerts-org/HIPs · Discussion #2 · GitHub
  • Marketplace features: VoiceDeck release in the coming weeks
  • Evaluations: Extending the evaluations as described in HIP 1 above to allow evaluators to submit data based on specified templates for their impact domain.
  • Flexible metadata: We plan to allow any EAS attestation to serve as the metadata for a hypercert, such that the metadata is more flexible, EAS tooling can be used, and integrations become simpler: EAS as metadata · hypercerts-org/HIPs · Discussion #4 · GitHub
  • Revamp front-end: We are updating the website and split the general hypercert content from the web3 app: [HIP-XXX] Revamp FE and harmonize apps · hypercerts-org/HIPs · Discussion #5 · GitHub
  • Integrations: We’ll support funding platforms to integrate hypercerts. If you are interested in using hypercerts, please write us at team [at] hypercerts.org

Use of previous and potential future funds

  • Funds from epoch 2: We used the funds for three aspects of the new developments above: Bringing evaluations to hypercerts, supporting VoiceDeck integrating the hypercerts marketplace features and building the new functionalities for hyperboards.
  • Potential funds from epoch 3: We plan to use any potential funds for the full multi-chain support, revamp of the front-end and ideally the integration with EasyRetroPGF…

For transparency: Other funding sources

Since the last update:

  • Optimism’s retroPGF: 96k OP :pray:
  • Non-grant-funding: We have received no non-grant funding

If you have any comments or questions, also feel free to reach out directly (@holkeb on telegram).

With gratitude,
Holke for the Hypercerts Foundation

2 Likes

Amazing to see Hypercerts apply to Octant! I see lots of synergies between both projects and hope that Octant would one day itself use Hypercerts to evaluate impact of its funding.

I am working on VoiceDeck, which is referenced as one of the first apps to launch with the Hypercerts marketplace.

Just wanted to jump in and say the level of support we have received from the hypercerts team has been unparalleled! we’ve had bitbeckers their lead dev join in our weekly calls and troubleshoot issues with us too

As the marketplace launches on mainnet later this year, its a critical time for hypercerts and i hope it receives the support it needs.

1 Like

GM Octant community :wave:

First of all: Thank you for your continued support. This allows us to build and really focus on creating useful infrastructure with a long-term view :pray:

Here is an update from the work at the Hypercerts Foundation as we are approaching Epoch 4.

New developments

  • Hypercerts Ecosystem: 35 projects were part of the first ever Hypercerts Ecosystem funding round along the Gitcoin Grants Round 20. It is amazing to see how many projects are building on top of the hypercerts protocol. We distributed 60K USD from our matching funders: Gitcoin, Arbitrum and Protocol Labs :pray: You can see all project and the results here: Hypercerts Ecosystem Round | Gitcoin Round Report Card Now we are curious about the progress of these projects. We published a retrospective in the Gitcoin forum: Retrospective of the Hypercerts Ecosystem Round during GG20 - 🌱 Gitcoin Grants - Gitcoin Governance
  • Multi-chain support: Implementation of full multi-chain support, which required updating our infrastructure a bit. Now all hypercerts can be viewed from all chains, no matter what chain the user is currently on. Updates will roll out this and next week so builders can rely on our indexing service, API and updated SDK for an easy and reliable developer experience.
  • Revamp front-end: The revamp of our frontend is almost done. We are integrating the five components: Hypercert minter, indexer, marketplace features, evaluators and hyperboards. We will share it here as soon as it is ready, which will be before the next round, so make sure to check in again here :slight_smile:
  • Marketplace contracts: Bug fixing time! In collaboration with VoiceDeck a bug was discovered and fixed in the marketplace contracts. Thank you to everyone involved.
  • Adopting VoiceDeck for Edge City: Edge City is organizing a one-month pop-up city in California, called Edge Esmeralda (https://www.edgeesmeralda.com/). We are adopting the infrastructure and front-end of VoiceDeck to support the creation and retrospective sale of hypercerts from contributors to the event. This work shows how the components in the Hypercerts Ecosystem can be used across use cases, bringing us closer to the vision of an interconnected, dynamic funding network built on top of the hypercerts protocol.

Roadmap

Next releases

  • Beginning of July: Release of revamped front-end. We are so excited for this :crossed_fingers::star_struck: As mentioned above, we will share it here as soon as it is ready.
  • Mid June: Release of “VoiceDeck for Edge City”

Next use cases

  • Use cases for the marketplace: With the marketplace going live in July, we will be able to support projects to fundraise directly through the sale of their impact in the form of hypercerts.
  • Use cases for VoiceDeck-like platforms: After piloting the VoiceDeck adaptation at Edge Esmeralda, we want to enable other use cases to easily reuse the infrastructure.

Next developments

  • Hypercert collections: Hypercert collection will enable projects to easily bring together their hypercerts and display them via our hyperboards integration.
  • Integrations: Supporting integrations with existing funding platforms, for instance via hyperminter.xyz
  • Marketplace widget and Farcaster frame: Hypercerts enable every project to sell their impact wherever their potential funders are. The marketplace widget will be easy to integrate a hypercert sale on every website. The same is planned for the integration into Farcaster.
  • Evaluations (ongoing): Extending the evaluations to allow evaluators to submit data based on specified templates for their impact domain.
  • Web 2.5: Users have requested to allow credit-card payments in addition to crypto payments. We want to enable this and also allow users to collect hypercerts just with an email address, such that they can transfer the hypercerts to their wallets at a later time. This allows projects to sell their impact to a larger audience.

Use of previous and potential future funds

  • Funds from epoch 3: We used the funds for the full multi-chain support, revamp of the front-end, as well as the adoption of VoiceDeck for Edge City.
  • Potential funds from epoch 4: We specifically want to use the funds for the marketplace widget, the improved evaluations and the Web 2.5 features.

For transparency: Other funding sources

Since the last update:

  • Gitcoin GG20: USD 6k :pray:
  • Non-grant-funding: We have received no non-grant funding

If you have any comments or questions, also feel free to reach out directly (@holkexyz on telegram).

With gratitude,

Holke for the Hypercerts Foundation