Kivach presents an open donations platform tailored to the needs of open-source developers

Donations aren’t uncommon in crypto. Some altcoins and Dapps were created with that purpose, indeed. A lot of NGOs and several good causes have benefited from crypto donations. However, perhaps the ones behind free open-source software are a little bit neglected, to say the least. 

“Open-source software” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a free product. It means that the code of that software is publicly available for review and open to collaboration. But usually, it is free. Quite popular open-source software like LibreOffice, VLC Media Player, and Bitcoin itself rely on the goodwill of developers worldwide (and donations from users). 

This is like a hobby for them because nobody pays them for it, in most cases. The situation is even more critical because the software needs constant maintenance and updates to survive. As a result, according to Open Hub (Ohloh), around 83% of open-source projects are abandoned after a year. 

Funding is a great problem in the open-source community. The only realistic option for most open-source developers to be rewarded for their work is donations. It may not sound like something sustainable in the long term, but it’s a great start. 

Kivach and cascading donations

“Kivach” is originally a cascade waterfall in Karelia, Russia. Now, a “cascade” is a type of waterfall in which the current descends in a series of rock steps or stages. That’s why the donation platform Kivach took the name. Kivach is an application on Obyte to donate any amount to any open-source project on GitHub —but not just that. 

By using this tool, the recipients of donations can donate a part or a total of the coins to any other project(s) they want. Either because they use those tools for their own project (like libraries), because they share the same ideals, or just because they like it. So, the donation can flow as a cascade across multiple repositories and collaborators.

The platform uses the Obyte sovereign identity feature “attestations”, which can link any GitHub account to its owner’s Obyte address. The donor can use the native Obyte token (GBYTE) to donate or use the Counterstake Bridge to donate in USDC, ETH, WBTC, and any other supported token on Ethereum, BNB Chain, and Polygon.

Only legitimate recipients can claim donations here. They add their Obyte wallet, verify their identity, and set the distribution rules —if they want to share the donation with other repos. If they want to take the whole donation, they can keep it. The “cascade” is always optional. 

A real use case: Core-js and zloirock

As it turns out, Core-js library by the Russian developer Denis Pushkarev (known as zloirock) is a vital part of the infrastructure of at least half of the entire web.  He shared some astonishing stats about it recently.

Sites like Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft, Instagram, Reddit, Twitch, Adobe, PayPal, Binance, and even Pornhub use this “small” tool on their sites. A search by Pushkarev showed that Core-js is present in at least 54% of the top 10,000 websites around. Over 13.5 million repositories on GitHub depend on this tool and it currently has 42.5k weekly downloads.

To sum it up: Core-js is BIG. A lot of people depend on it, even if it’s not visible at all to the final user. Now, the saddest part of all this. Denis Pushkarev is a full-time open-source developer, with little to no rewards from Core-js. At the beginning of this project (in 2014), he received around $2,500 in monthly donations, but that decreased to barely $400 over the years.

In addition, he has real-life problems to solve, like sustaining his own family and some legal issues in Russia. So, he’s planning to make Core-js a commercial software or abandon it, unless he gets meaningful collaborations to keep the library alive.

Kivach for zloirock

Thanks to Kivach, zloirock (like any other developer on GitHub) now has a donation alternative without limits and fees. So far, this repository has received around $176 in GBYTEs from several donors after the publication of the zloirock post on February 14, 2023. The maintainer can use these funds in the Obyte network, take the Counterstake Bridge to send it to BNB Chain, Polygon, or Ethereum; or exchange them for fiat money in any of the available markets.

For now, the repository is keeping 100% of donations, since the developer hasn’t set any other distribution rules. His repository has millions of direct and indirect dependents, and donations to any of them could trickle down to Core-js. This way, Kivach keeps helping known and unknown but vital projects like this one.

Media Contact
Company Name: Kivach
Contact Person: Tony Churyumoff
Email: Send Email
Country: Liechtenstein