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Hackathons How It Works
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Getting Started


Welcome to Gitcoin! Join a vibrant community of builders getting paid in open source. Gitcoin gives builders like you the opportunity to work on a wide variety of blockchain and web3 projects, with some of the top organizations in the ecosystem. And a great way to get started is by joining a sponsored Hackathon. Team up with new friends to tackle new challenges and learn new skills together, while earning in open source. You don’t even need to be a developer! Often hackathons feature bounties for other digital creatives like artists, designers, community builders, and more.


As a first-timer, onboarding might seem a bit daunting. That’s why we created this easy walkthrough guide to get you up and running in open source in no time.


Open Source Software

Software for which the original source code is made freely available such that it can be redistributed and modified. Often open source code for projects can be found on Github. Here’s where you can find Gitcoin’s code.



An open source blockchain technology that runs decentralized applications and powers the cryptocurrency ETH. Whereas Bitcoin is a single-purpose blockchain used to power BTC (a digital currency), Ethereum is a general-purpose blockchain. It can be used for a wide variety of decentralized applications, from finance to data storage and commerce. For more information please visit



In general web3 refers to the open web, where data and applications are stored and operate in a decentralized way.



A digital currency in which the transactions are verified and records stored by a decentralized system using cryptography, instead of a centralized authority. Projects on Gitcoin pay in cryptocurrencies like ETH or DAI. In order to accept payment in crypto, you must create and provide an Ethereum wallet address.



Hackathons are sponsored events hosted by some of web3’s most innovative projects. Usually they last between a couple weeks to a couple months and feature several to many open bounties centered around a unifying theme. Hackathons can be stand-alone with one sponsor, or stacked events with many sponsors. For example each quarterly grants round is accompanied by a stacked Hackathon event.

Onboarding Steps

Step 1: Create a Github account and sign in to Gitcoin


In order to sign up on Gitcoin, you must have an active Github account. Gitcoin uses Github profiles to authenticate login credentials. By using Github as an authentication provider, there’s no need to manage multiple usernames and passwords. You’ll simply login with your Github account. You’ll also need to create a repository in Github where you’ll store your code for later review.


Sign in with github


Here’s a quick video guide that goes through setting up your Github account, creating a repository, and uploading work.


Step 2: Explore open Hackathons


Explore open Hackathons


Navigate to the Gitcoin Hackathon list here. Select a hack event you’re interested in learning more about to view their list of prizes and view their onboarding guide under the “Guide” tab. Once you’re ready to get started, select “Join” from the Hackathon List page. This will allow you to start working on the project’s open bounties.


Step 3: Search open Bounties


Navigate to the Hackathon sponsor’s bounty list to view their open bounties. Select a bounty to read its description, prize amount, and submission criteria.


Search open Bounties


Step 4: Start work


Once you’ve found a bounty you’re interested in, select “Start Work”. Fill out the short form and choose “Submit”. The form will require your project name, summary of your goals, your Github repository, and the names of your team members (including your own). If your project requires approval, keep an eye out for a confirmation via email. Otherwise, get started! If at any point you can no longer continue, select “Stop Work” on the Bounty page.


Step 5: Join the community


Through Gitcoin you can find a vibrant builder community, and we encourage you to make connections and team up on challenges with your peers. But you always have the option of working solo. Either way, Hackathon sponsors typically host workshops and livestream events for participants.


This is a great opportunity to get to know the project better, as well as meet new people in the community. Also, please make sure you follow their socials to keep up on any announcements, and join their communities in discord or Telegram. Often Hackathon support can be found through one of the sponsor’s community channels.


Step 6: Submit work 


Submit work


You’ll notice on the Bounties page, the “Start Work” button has been replaced with a “Submit Work” button. Select it and fill out the short form including your project link to your Github repository. Add your video demo link if applicable. Add your payout wallet address and your approximate hours worked. Rate the bounty, and make sure both terms and conditions boxes are checked. Once completed, select “Submit Work”. Please do not choose “Stop Work” unless you are planning to move on from the bounty without submitting.


Step 7: Create a Metamask wallet where you’ll get paid


While waiting on feedback, go ahead and setup your online Metamask wallet. Metamask is a browser extension and wallet that enables your browser to interact with web3 apps. Learn about Metamask here. Go here to setup Metamask.



Once installed, connect Metamask to Gitcoin.


Connect Metamask


Step 8: Review and payout


Your submitted work will be reviewed by the Hackathon sponsor. If asked, you may need to revise your work, which could take several rounds. Once your work is approved you’ll get paid directly into your online wallet. Hurrah! The review process can take up to a couple weeks, but make sure to check the bounty details for the review time frame.


Then you’ll be asked to rate your Hackathon experience. Please do! Your feedback helps the Gitcoin Team and Hackathon sponsor improve while building reputation on your Gitcoin profile.


Project Types

Cooperative Project


Who: Teams or teamed-up individuals where multiple contributors with different skill sets are needed.


What: Bounty funders looking to complete more complicated projects will set up a Cooperative Project. Expect guidance on how the project can be broken up to allow contributors with varying skill sets to onboard.


Contest Project


Who: Multiple contributors, but potentially only one paid.


What: Contest projects are created by bounty funders looking for several-to-many creative solutions to a problem - for example a “bug hunt”. The funder reserves the right to pay only one or more than one contributor at their discretion. Please read the bounty carefully for details.


Cancelled and Expired Bounties


Cancelled Bounty: It is possible for a bounty to be cancelled by the bounty funder. If you’ve already started work, you will be notified of the cancellation, and the bounty funds will be returned to the bounty funder.


Expired Bounties: Every bounty has a time limit for work submissions. Work completed and submitted after the expiration date will not be considered towards the bounty.


Things to note

You’ll need some ETH to send funds from your wallet


To move your bounty payment from your wallet you’ll need a little bit of ETH to power the transaction. This is called “gas”. How much depends on a number of factors including how busy the network is. To learn more about gas and fees, take a look at this article on To check current gas fees, go to


Reach out to the Hackathon sponsor directly with any questions


The Gitcoin Team is here to help, but often we won’t know accurate information about a specific bounty. Reach out to the listing project directly with questions. You may find the best way to contact them on the bounty page itself, but usually web3 projects use Discord and Telegram.


Join the Gitcoin Discord


The Gitcoin Discord is where our community gathers. Connect with your peers, find work, get support, or reach Gitcoin Team members all in one place. Plus if you’re interested in learning more about Gitcoin governance, you can find that in Discord as well. Join here.


You’re ready to go!


By participating in Hackathons you are helping us fulfill our mission to build and fund the open web. And the best part? All you have to do is work on cool projects and get paid. Go here to explore Hackatnons and get started right away!

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