Ethereum Foundation Extends Grants Program to Address Scalability
The Ethereum Foundation recently announced it was extending a Grant program to support several developments on the Ethereum platform. The Ethereum Foundation opened the program 2 months ago and already announced the recipients of its first wave of development grants.
According to the Foundation, a total of 13 projects already received more than $2.5 million combined to work on scalability, security, development experiences, user interface study and other derivatives of the Ethereum blockchain. Now, the non-profit is announcing the extension of the program. With this program, the non-profit looks to further develop the platform’s capabilities.
The Ethereum Foundation is a Swiss non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and support the Ethereum platform through base layer research, development and education. These efforts are directed at bringing decentralized protocols and tools to the world that empower developers to produce next-generation decentralized applications (Dapps). This is done to bring the international development community closer together to build a more globally accessible, more free and more trustworthy Internet.
Furthermore, the Ethereum project aims to support useful Decentralized Applications (Dapps) and smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. In order to achieve this, the Ethereum Foundation seeks the best-in-class R&D, developer experience, and education. As so, the Foundation decided to open a Grant program to provide support to teams working hard at research & development and to support the entire ecosystem.
The Foundation believes these grants will be an incentive that will speed up development. The aim is to make Ethereum scalable, useful and secure. As such, although this grant program was announced two months ago as a strictly scalability-focused program, the Foundation decided to expand the support to projects that are doing successful work across scalability, usefulness and security.
According to the Foundation, these projects focus simply on building useful products and experiences on the Ethereum platform, but have no kind of support, meaning no ICOs, no token sales. and no way of getting financial support which can delay the development. The grants will act as a support mechanism for these projects. The non-profit is also looking to hire and fund from this pool of side projects. The Foundation further noted that many of these grants may be followed on with additional funding and/or collaboration when milestones are achieved.
The Foundation explains that it plans to provide teams that win a grant with non-dilutive funding, technical advisory, connection to more users, and a platform to share the final work.
As for the wish list, the Foundation is basically looking for developments in the areas of:
- Scalability: Mainly developments on alternate sharding implementations, Alternate plasma implementations; Improving efficiency of existing clients such as geth & parity; and the creation of a tokenless “Lightning Network” for Ethereum.
- Usefulness: UX design studies to improve private key management and transacting in Ethereum; development of alternative wallet/client designs; creation of tools that improve developer experience; designing improved documentation and developer/user education videos.
- Security: Schedulee security audits for Solidity and Vyper; smart contract audits tools; development of tooling that prevents vulnerable code.
- “Hackternships”: Developers can suggest a problem they want to solve and the Foundation is happy to fund a 10-week $10K externship for the spare-time working on Ethereum. Successful projects will be featured at a developer conference.
Scalability can be in the form of implementing sharding, plasma or state channels with existing teams or on your own. It can also be in the form of optimizing geth/parity or building alternate clients. Usefulness is for improving the developer experience (e.g. static analyzers, linters, dev frameworks, mobile SDKs, documentation, Solidity/Vyper development) or experimenting with new dapps that provide utility to the end user. Security can range from auditing existing contracts to providing tools that prevent error-prone programming patterns to contributing to alternative second-layer languages that focus on security.
The Foundation stated:
“We are also beginning to engage with the design community to help solve product and UX design problems. For example, key management, Ethereum payments UX and onboarding flows are all areas that need major improvement for mainstream adoption. We would like to fund more design studies, hire, and connect talented designers with exciting teams in the space.”
By developing these financial support programs, the Foundation intends to provide Ethereum teams with more runway, advice and resources to focus simply on building useful products and experiences. Ethereum is built by the community and for the community, that is why this project will be an ongoing grant program and all the community is invited to participate.