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2 minute read / Feb 25, 2024 /

The Secrets to Building Vibrant Communities in Web3 Open-Source

The Community Source licenses may be the future of open source software.

With closed-source software, the code isn’t shared outside the company that wrote it. Open-source code is freely available to examine & use. Open-source companies like Elastic ($13b), Confluent ($10b), MongoDB ($33b) have been phenomenally successful.

Along the way, many of them have changed their licenses to shield themselves from copycats.

Arbitrum, an open source project with 1m Twitter followers & worth about $20b, implemented a “Community Source” license with these key features :

Today, more than 300k people belong to the community. They vote on technical roadmap, compensation, & their own operations, governed by this license & manage a treasury with $3b of assets.1

During Office Hours on Friday, [Steven Goldfeder, founder & CEO of Arbitrum, explained these benefits of the Community Source license.

In addition, Steven shared the principle guiding the building of Arbitrum’s vibrant community : all developers are treated equally whether their projects originated from the titans of the space or a two-person team.

Arbitrum today captures about 50% of marketshare in its space across three products that enable developers to select the best chain for their purpose : the original Arbitrum Rollup Chain that accerelates Ethereum transactions, Arbitrum Nova which is designed for games & social applications, & Arbitrum Orbit, which enables developers to customize chains to their needs.

Steven’s perspective on the future of web3, the deliberate developer relations strategy, & the Community Source license can be found here.

Thank you for joining us & sharing your insights, Steven!

1 The Community Source license is implemented as a Business Source License with the governance clauses mentioned above & some others.

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