In 2017, a group of technologists set out to re-imagine free and open source software collaboration with protocols, not platforms. They started Monadic, a Berlin-based software company with a home base in the heart of Kreuzberg. Monadic spawned the open source projects Radicle and oscoin that from inception, were both meant to become a new kind of open-source project — built, governed, and financed on the internet. Over the next couple of years, the projects merged, and became known as solely the Radicle project.
In 2021, the team began the decentralization of the project with the initialization of the network’s native governance token ($RAD). With this, the RadicleDAO was formed, granting the community of $RAD holders the ability to make decisions on how to govern the project’s Treasury and smart contracts. All Monadic contributors transitioned to the Radicle Foundation, a Swiss entity formed in 2020 to support the development of resilient and humane software infrastructures, such as Radicle.
The Foundation funded and coordinated all core development of the Radicle project up until May 2023, when the project split into two products: Radicle (code-collaboration) and Drips (drip-down funding). Both products were successfully spun out into their own, autonomous entities - known as "Orgs" - which are directly supported by the DAO - now known as Radworks. Today, the community continues to collectively govern the Radworks treasury, funding Orgs that do work in line with the Radworks purpose.
A History of Radworks
The oscoin manifesto goes live
The initial mission & vision of the project are released out in the wild.
Monadic GmbH is born
The Berlin-based, venture-backed entity that supported the early stages of the project.
Radicle, a language for peer-to-peer collaboration, is created
A language developed to be the basis of open source coin.
Radicle (code collab) launches in alpha
The initial version of the code collaboration platform that was built on IPFS.
Oscoin whitepaper is released
The whitepaper formally defined the oscoin protocol and network.
Radicle Foundation is established
A Swiss Foundation that acts as Radworks’ trusted real-world entity that stewards the progressively decentralization of the project.
Oscoin merges under the Radicle brand
The project combines a dual-market vision - decentralized code collab & funding for open source - under one roof.
Radicle Upstream is released in beta
A desktop application built on Radicle.
With this, the RadicleDAO is established and v1 of the Radicle Governance Process is released.
Contributors transition to the Radicle Foundation, Monadic is dissolved
All core contributors who were previously employed via Monadic began contracting with the Radicle Foundation.
The Drips Project is born
A decentralized, token streaming tool-kit that allows anyone to generate ongoing support using subscriptions and NFT memberships.
The DAO funds the Radicle Grants Program
With the passing of the Radicle Grants Wave 1 proposal, the Grants Program started to find, fund, and guide research and development of any projects within the Radicle ecosystem.
Radicle launches a web client
The Radicle network moves to the web, with a CLI and complementing web interface.
Ecosystem Growth Fund proposal passes
The Radicle Ecosystem Growth Fund (EGF) was set up to fund initiatives that drive awareness, engagement, and adoption of the Radicle stack.
The project begins its “transition to the DAO”
A coordinated effort defined by four workstreams to transition funding & coordination of core development from the Radicle Foundation to the community.
Upstream is sunset to shift focus to the web client. The Radicle team starts re-architecting the third iteration of the Radicle Protocol: Heartwood.
The Foundation — which was funding & coordinating core development work of the Radicle project independently from the DAO — comes under the purview of DAO governance. This completes the first phase of the project’s “transition to the DAO”.
The EGF is sunset until a clearer path towards PMF for development teams is apparent.
The Heartwood protocol launches in April 2023 and addresses usability and performance concerns we faced during the previous iterations of the protocol, while doubling down on Radicle's secure and resilient primitives.