Grant Proposal - Geo Web

Project Title

Geo Web


The Geo Web is an open protocol and fair property rights system for anchoring digital media to physical locations.

The Geo Web’s digital land registry creates consensus for a shared augmented reality layer of the metaverse. The experiences it enables will become increasingly important counterweights to siloed apps and algorithmic content as always-on smart devices take over our field of view.

Geo Web land is administered under a partial common ownership system (aka Harberger tax, COST, SALSA, and depreciating licenses). It’s a fair and productive way to bootstrap a decentralized augmented reality network.

All funds generated by the system will subsequently be used to fund public goods through permissionless market incentives and democratic allocation mechanisms.

The Geo Web’s public goods funding focus is not only core to its mission but its competitive advantage.


Whether branded as “the metaverse” or not, the future will include immersive experiences delivered with field-of-view smart devices. We’ve already seen the negative impact that the attention economy (driven by the never-ending pursuit for corporate profits) has had on mental health, public discourse, and society-at-large through smart devices that we at least occasionally look away from. The stakes only get higher with ambient, continuous internet usage.

Our vision starts with making key infrastructure for the metaverse permissionless, credibly neutral, and accountable to the public good. With the Geo Web as a geospatial+web3 version of DNS, we can undercut the power of OS/app store monopolies, harness network effects for public rather than private gain, and ultimately create superior user experiences for AR/VR.

We believe that the Geo Web’s impact on the metaverse and physical world can include:

  1. Helping ensure user-centric experiences, data control, and product choice
  2. Creating more permissionless economic opportunities for builders, creators, and users
  3. Elevating public goods entrepreneurship and funding
  4. Changing the world’s property rights to be more efficient and fair (i.e. inspire the implementation of partial common ownership systems beyond the Geo Web)


For augmented reality to reach its potential, it needs to become a social technology with persistence, hyper-accurate placement, and ultimately consensus.

When we all have smart glasses, it will still look really strange if we’re chasing our own disconnected instances of Pikachu in Pokémon Go. Niantic and the other AR giants are working on technical solutions to enable persistence and accurate AR content placement that allows users/devices to coordinate within their walled gardens. But even when these technologies are fully deployed, each siloed app or proprietary ecosystem will represent a fragmented reality. (Not every AR experience needs to be shared, but the most interesting ones will be.)

Left to their own devices (literally and figuratively), our corporate overlords will battle over winner-takes-most network effects in geospatial AR so they can repeat the story of Web 2.0.

We need a credibly neutral consensus mechanism to create a unified augmented reality. We need to leverage and encourage continued R&D pouring into AR hardware and software, but not at the expense of society.

Solving this coordination failure is a perfect use case for crypto, but naively launching just any land registry as a smart contract isn’t good enough.

The metaverse mostly consists of hype/speculation at this point, and property is only another name for monopoly. First-come-first-serve private property rights result in ghost towns of squatters that squeeze out future productive adopters and/or 3D chumboxes for ads (these dynamics are particularly acute for AR, but can apply to VR too).

Alternatively, trying to mirror existing physical land property rights in a smart contract requires effectively modernizing all of the governments’ related information systems (if they even exist) plus accepting an unhealthy dose of centralization.

The Geo Web’s solution to these challenges is to create a composable digital land registry parallel to the physical world that is administered with partial common ownership. In this system:

  1. Landholders must publicly declare a Always For Sale Price for each of their Geo Web land parcels
  2. Landholders pay an ongoing license fee to the network based on a percentage of their Always For Sale Price
  3. Any market participant can force the transfer of a parcel by paying the current landholder their Always For Sale Price

These rules make honest self-valuation the dominant market strategy and provide a path for the most productive landholder (in most scenarios, the physical land occupant) to control the space. In economic terms, it results in much more allocative efficiency of land while not sacrificing significant investment efficiency. The system will promote productive land usage and positive network effects for users and landholders from the bootstrap phase to global scale.

The Geo Web’s core utility derives from landholders’ ability to anchor arbitrary content within the bounds of their parcels and users’ ability to naturally discover it without explicit action or coordination. Use cases include anchoring art, games, NFTs, data streams, audio, websites, and more.

The portal for these experiences is a spatial browser. Think of it like a 3D web browser that uses geolocation instead of URLs to resolve content. Like a web browser, spatial browsers are use case agnostic and promote the use of open standards (we’ve focused our development on Ceramic + IPFS for a p2p content layer, but adopted standards can/should evolve). Different spatial browsers can be powered by different AR hardware & software display technology. This will promote competition and innovation that benefits users while limiting the fragmentation of reality into proprietary apps and ecosystems.

Product Features

  • Core Smart Contracts (Github repo)
    • Partial common ownership land market administration
    • Superfluid-based streaming fee payments and “owner-forgiving” auction system
    • EVM-efficient parcel boundary definition
    • Fair launch Dutch auction
  • Cadastre (Github repo)
    • Map-based interface for claiming, trading, and managing Geo Web land parcels
    • Parcel name, URI link, and AR media gallery publishing tools
    • Integrated Ceramic content stream management
    • Free, automated IPFS pinning+Filecoin archive for content
  • Spatial Browser (Github repo)
    • Proof-of-concept for geolocation-driven content discovery
    • Web content view
    • 3D model carousel view
    • Augmented reality content view (on applicable devices)
  • Other
    • An extensible data model for arbitrary content and use cases
    • Geo Web Subgraph
    • 100% of Geo Web land market funds will be used for public goods and social impact funding through market mechanisms and democratic allocation mechanisms


We began development on the Geo Web in 2020. We’ve been quietly, but openly, iterating through the last crypto bull run and metaverse hype without taking shortcuts.

For value-based and technical reasons, we were/are committed to launching on an ETH L2 rollup. Waiting for the rollup ecosystem to mature has tested our patience and led us to tinker with our feature scope more than we anticipated. But, it has given us time to get irreplaceable hands-on learning with the intricacies of the system.

We’ve gone from simple proof-of-concept to our current Optimistic Kovan testnet which we think represents one of the most ambitious full-stack web3 experiences out there. We’ve settled into a modular architecture and sound incentive mechanism structure that will support future scale and success.

Along our journey, we were the first project to launch on Ceramic mainnet, received tremendous support through Gitcoin grants, paid out over 100k DAI via SourceCred to contributors with that support, sponsored RaidGuild’s Season IV cohort, and grew our community of contributors and early supporters.

Differentiation (from other projects)

We have proven our commitment to the public good through our actions to date (transparency, patience, open participation, & never taking the quick money path). We believe this is not only the optimal approach to accrue legitimacy for a new form of property rights, but it will also prove to be an unassailable competitive positioning.

No other metaverse project is using partial common ownership (PCO) to our knowledge—although we’d love to see a VR-focused one. We believe PCO is the optimal solution for allocating scarce resources that “ought to be in the commons” (like land). It also promotes the flourishing of an open ecosystem through a perpetual public goods funding mechanism embedded in the protocol.


codynhat - Co-Founder & Technical Lead

gravenp - Co-Founder & Ops/Business Lead

tnrdd - Front-End Engineer

AR Engineer (Recruit new and/or spread across existing part-time contributors)

Grant Request $


What the Funds Are For

We are applying for funding to jumpstart the Geo Web’s public goods flywheel.

Funding will allow core contributors to focus full-time during the critical period leading up to and through our mainnet launch. Our bootstrapped budget hasn’t been able to support this to date. (Note: We’re not raising VC because this protocol should be ownerless/unconflicted. We do not plan on launching a token.)

We believe we’ve laid the foundation for the Geo Web to have a big impact, but we need to start turning potential energy into kinetic energy. The requested grant funds will be applied to the following areas:

  1. Obtaining a professional security audit of our core contracts
  2. Advancing the application layer of the Geo Web
  3. Building awareness of our project/mission with builders and users

Our budget breakdown is as follows:

  • Total Request - $150,000
    • Security Audit - $25,000
      • Establish a baseline of trust for users/builders to invest their time and money
      • Don’t become a negative to the ecosystem
    • Application Layer Development & Platform Tooling - $65,625
      • 3.5 FTE for 12 weeks
      • Polish the Cadastre’s land claim and publishing UX
      • Improve performance of the web3 parts of the stack (Subgraph indexing & IPFS content pinning/retrieval are currently too slow)
      • Implement new AR template use cases (Cadastre publishing & spatial browser)
      • Create a mechanism for landholders to individually allocate their network fees to a whitelist of public goods (more advanced mechanisms will follow)
    • Community Building - $9,375
      • .5 FTE for 12 weeks
      • DAO and media outreach
      • Writing, speaking, and presenting
      • Social media and Discord community engagement
    • Public Goods Development Fund - $50,000
      • Reserved for community builders, creators, & entrepreneurs (i.e. not the Geo Web team)
      • Incentivize development of open source Cadastres, browsers, use case templates, art, and tooling
      • Create a bridge to market-based incentives like those envisioned for Cadastres and Spatial Browsers

Help Requested

Help us create the open metaverse and fund more public goods–maybe we can even change the world’s physical property rights in the process.

Our partial common ownership system and resulting public goods funding mechanisms can become powerful coordination tools in the battle against Moloch. MolochDAO was a pioneer in this fight, and we’d be honored to have your support even if it’s not financial.

Join our community and provide ideas, questions, & critiques. Spread the word about what we’re doing. If you’re really digging what we do and want to become a contributor, our doors and code are always open.

Additional Resources, Links, Portfolio

Website -

Github -

Discord -

Testnet Cadastre -

Alpha Spatial Browser -

Dework Bounties -

Forum -

Docs -

Twitter - @thegeoweb

Newsletter Signup -

Blog -

Project SourceCred -

appreciate the proposal, but this application layer project doesn’t seem like a good fit for Moloch to fund.

Thanks for taking the time to review, @trent.eth.

No doubt our development efforts are focused in the application later, but I would note that our mission is to provide sustainable support for the protocol layer and other public good infrastructure with our land market funds in alignment with Moloch’s mission.