5 min read

Open Source Justice on Resolvr.io

Open Source Justice on Resolvr.io

This is a guest post by the Resolvr Project, which deploys dispute system designs and alternative dispute resolution theories on open-source protocols (like Bitcoin and nostr). The result is Open Source Justice.


Resolvr is building Open Source Justice by empowering sovereign communities to peacefully and voluntarily resolve their own disputes with open-source tools.

Our first product is designed for a community close to home: the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) development ecosystem. We've built a peer-to-peer bounty marketplace that:

  • gives developers assurances of payment for solving bounties,
  • decentralizes and grows FOSS funding sources,
  • unlocks access to the global talent pool,
  • provides a frictionless on-ramp to earn Bitcoin (₿).
Resolvr.io homepage

Resolvr does this by:

  • limiting discretion of bounty grantors through reputational stakes and a Bitcoin (₿) escrow powered by Discreet Log Contracts🔮,
  • resolving disputes through crowdsourced review of bounty solutions,
  • using nostr🦩 for interoperable and censorship-resistant bounty discovery,
  • using Lighting⚡ zaps for instant bounty payouts.

The alpha webclient is now live at resolvr.io.

The Problem

The root problem with conventional bounty marketplaces is all the trust that's required to make them work.

Satoshi Nakamoto (probably)

1. Centralized Custodians are Security Holes 🕳️

❌ Centralized bounty marketplaces that hold bounty funds can exit scam or go bankrupt.

  • This year, BountySource (5,445 listed bounties worth $406,425 in 2019) stopped paying out bounties to developers.

❌ Existing bounty marketplaces, like Replit, don't have instant or free payouts:

  • Devs are rewarded in Replit's 💩-coin and must request USD conversion by email.
  • Replit charges a 25% withdrawal fee and requires a minimum withdrawal of $350.

❌ Knowledge workers in developing countries, many of whom rely on mobile wallets, have lost their funds via bank and telco attack vectors ($3M USD via 2,000 SIM cards, lost).

❌ Centralized bounty sites can censor posts for projects the site-owners disagree with or find unsavory.

2. Bounty Grantors are Judge 👩‍⚖️ and Jury 🏛️

❌ Bounty grantors have unlimited discretion over whether a solution meets their bounty criteria. And they can change the criteria after the dev has satisfied the original bounty.

❌ The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) recently changed its criteria on a nostr bounty after a dev provided a solution to the originally posted bounty. HRF decided to pay the dev only half the bounty.

❌ This is inherently unfair and inefficient!

Resolvr's Solution ✔️

  1. 📡 Distributed, interoperable, censorship-resistant communication protocol for bounty posting and discovery,
  2. (₿) Peer-to-peer lightning payouts and non-custodial escrow system,
  3. ⚖️ Decentralized Dispute Resolution

How it Works

Walkthrough Video

Zap Payouts and Crowdsourced Dispute Resolution 

  1. Login to resolvr.io with your existing nostr keys (or let resolvr.io generate keys for you - remember to back them up!)
  2. Set up your profile by
  1. Maker (entrepreneur, foundation, FOSS project) - post a bounty with a detailed criteria and amount.
  2. Taker (freelance developer) - find a bounty to solve, apply to the bounty.
  3. Maker - assign a Taker to solve your bounty.
Ideal Path
  1. Taker - solve the assigned bounty and provide a link to the work product in the comments (e.g., github repo or PR)
  2. Maker - click “pay” to zap bounty reward.
Ideal Outcome
Happy Path 
  1. If either party disputes the bounty: Taker or Maker clicks “poll” to initiate a nostr zap poll,
  2. Community members (other Makers/Takers) review bounty/solution and vote to resolve the dispute,
  3. Maker - if community votes in favor of Taker, zap payout.
Happy Outcome
Sad Path 
  1. Maker does not comply with community decision, burns reputation and cannot find developers for future projects.
Sad Outcome (Reputational Destruction)


Resolvr's success is aligned with the success of nostr🦩 and bitcoin. We're advancing the tech with novel applications:

  • Authored NIP-43: bounties over nostr
  • Discovered new use-case for NIP-69 zap polls: dispute resolution
  • First p2p bounty marketplace with instant payouts over lightning
  • First p2p bounty marketplace with integrated dispute resolution
  • New frictionless onramp to earn bitcoin, grow circular economy

What's Next for the Resolvr Bounty Marketplace?

The next dispute resolution feature on the roadmap for the Resolvr bounty marketplace is on-chain DLC🔮 escrow. We're putting DLCs🔮 on nostr🦩 and building a desktop client to do it!

The desktop client will allow Makers and Takers to post, apply and assign bounties just like the web client. But it will also create and broadcast DLC🔮 escrow contracts. In the event of a dispute, the Resolvr oracle will attest to the results of the crowdsourced zap poll to release the funds to the winning party.

In the future, Resolvr will allow Makers and Takers to select their own oracles, and communities can be listed as "review association" oracles, earning bitcoin for resolving disputes over bounties (think: foundations, hackerspaces, bitdev meetup groups).

For more details about our DLCs🔮 on nostr, check out the Resolvr's escrow repo on GitHub!

In addition to DLCs🔮, Resolvr's roadmap includes:

  • Decentralizing the default Resolvr oracle through FediMint🔅 protocol and FROST🥶.
  • Scaling escrow through Lighting⚡ DLCs🔮
  • Bounty review and code testing with AI🤖 (DVMs)

Beyond Bounties...

The Resolvr Project is building an open-source dispute resolution system on bitcoin and adjacent protocols.

Resolvr will revolutionize dispute resolution on a global scale, offering secure, open-source, customizable, decentralized, and radically cost-efficient mechanisms for infinite use cases.

The Resolvr Multiverse

Dispute Resolution is a big opportunity, with increasing demand driven by AI services and microtransactions.

Dispute Resolution TAM

Thanks for joining us on this journey to make FOSS funding more fair and efficient, expand access to Bitcoin, and provide communities with the tools to peacefully resolve their own disputes!

Visit resolvr.io to post and claim bounties today!

The Team

  • Dave Schwab (🦩 | 𝕏): Chief Product Officer for a legal tech SaaS.
  • Aaron Daniel (🦩 | 𝕏): Appellate attorney and dispute systems designer. Author of the Bitcoin Brief newsletter and regular contributing author to Bitcoin Magazine.
  • Chris@Machine (🦩 | 𝕏): Nostr developer and creator of Blogstack.io, a longform nostr platform. Streaming nostr programming workshops on Zap.Stream and Youtube.
  • Utibe Essien (🦩): Product designer and web adventurer.
  • Ras (𝕏): Bitcoin hacker. Founder of Bitcoin Grove, a community accelerator and physical hacker space in Miami.
  • Brian: Front end web developer and crypto enthusiast.
  • Tommy (🦩): Google Software Engineer who enjoys making the State obsolete in his free time
  • Randy (𝕏): Full-stack developer currently working on Greenlight at Blockstream
  • Derek Hinkle: Backend Developer for a legal tech SaaS; machine learning and AI powered automation.
  • Justin Moeller (🦩 | 𝕏): Spiral and HRF grantee working on Fedimint.

Connect with Resolvr!