We've been hard at work getting to know so many amazing people and projects, and are extremely excited to announce the recipients of the Wave III of the Ethereum Foundation Grants Program!
We kicked off 2018 with a blog post to galvanize scalability research for first and second-layer solutions. Since then, we've committed over $11M to 52 projects dedicated to advancing the Ethereum ecosystem. Grants have funded multiple plasma and state channel implementations, diverse client research, enhanced developer frameworks, security audits, and so much more (find them all in the previous posts: Wave I & Wave II)!
A Look into the Selection Process
Since the Grants Program has picked up, we've received feedback requesting greater transparency into our processes and a deeper look into the various types of projects considered. Here's a funding snapshot and grant process update:
The EF Grant Program provided more than $11M in support to 52 projects since early 2018 (Waves I, II, and III).
Our funding allocation remains true to the program's original purpose, awarding nearly $7M to scalability projects. After this, security has been granted almost $2M, #buidl projects (projects that improve user experience) received $1.6M, and DevEx projects (projects that improve developer experience) received $744K. While dollar allocation remains heavily focused on scalability, the number of projects funded are more evenly distributed between categories.
Grants Process Update
The EF Grants program is constantly evolving. With this round, we've refined our internal processes to ensure timely fund disbursement. We understand how quickly the space moves and believe in the importance of expedient fund dispersal to the front line. Eventually, we aim to award grants on a rolling basis in order to provide more immediate support to the projects and teams leading the charge for decentralization and transparency.
Ideal applicants come with strong technical knowledge, project roadmap, and show a commitment to fostering collaboration within the ecosystem. For more information about applicant expectations and process workflow, please see our Applicant Expectations and FAQs.
With each round, the grants program evolves. Our goal is to effectively grease the wheels for projects building the critical infrastructure of our young community. There are many tracks to lay down before Ethereum "makes it" and it's been incredible to see all the projects working to lay down these tracks.
The applicant pool for Wave III offered a record number of strong teams and innovative ideas. It's fascinating and humbling to see the diversity of projects from around the world with a shared interest in fostering the development of Ethereum. These are folks spending their free time reading ethresear.ch, developing new libraries and wallet designs, and engaging in communities discussing the latest in DApp usability and security...and we love them for that.
Without further ado...
🎉 We are proud to announce our Wave III Finalists! 🎉
- StarkWare -- $4M with 6K ETH Performance-based Bounties. Development of standards report and production-quality software for optimized STARK-friendly hash functions and tooling
- Force Move Game Framework -- $300K. Force move games state channel framework
- Harmony -- $90K. Minimal sharding and random beacon chain
- Kestrel Institute -- $400K. Formal verification of cryptographic primitives
- ICE Center at ETH Zurich -- $185K. ICE Center research and tooling development
- Pyramid -- $30K. Smart contract language
Developer experience (DevEx grant)
- Yakindu IDE -- $95K. Eclipse-based IDE
- Solidity Resolver Engine -- $50K. Universal API tool
- Etheratom -- $45K. Atomized solidity IDE
Building for the end user (#buidl grant)
- DappNode -- $250K. Mass full node adoption
- Uniswap -- $100k. DEX framework
- Nethermind -- $50K. .NET client implementation
- thaEth -- $20K. Gnosis Safe UI Design
- Cryptoeconomics.study -- $35K. Buidling a textbook and coursework
- Pseudo-randomly selected committees -- $10K. Sharding R&D
- Etherlinker -- $10K. Unreal Engine 4 API for Ethereum
Scalability will continue to be a focus of EF grants, but we also look to fund other critical work. This includes better UX, new clients, high-level languages, better developer tools, and efforts to make Ethereum applications more secure. With Wave III, we expanded into education and community efforts in order to help bring new talent into the ecosystem.
Want to #BUIDL with us? See the dev wishlist below and follow links to learn more. If you can imagine a project relating to the topics listed, submit an application and talk to us!
Wishlist for the next grant round
- More payment and/or state channel implementations 💚💙💜
- More plasma implementations 💚💙
- More shasper implementations 🔥
- Improving efficiency of existing clients such as geth & parity 💚💙
- A tokenless "Lightning Network" for Ethereum 💙
- WebAssembly R&D 🔥
- Improve private key management and transacting in Ethereum 💚💙
- Alternative wallet / client designs 💙💜
- Standards and portability between wallets 💙
- Tooling that improves developer experience 💚💙💜
- Improved documentation & developer/user education videos 💚💙💜
- Tokenless end user products 💜
- Vyper development 💜
- More security focused high-level languages 💜
- Non-transferable ID tokens 🔥
- Security audits for Vyper 💙💜
- Smart contract audits 💚💜
- Particularly, audits for ERC20, ERC223, ERC721, multisig wallets, vaults 💜
- Tooling that prevents vulnerable code 💚💙💜
- IDE with a visual debugger 🔥
- Privacy Solutions
You already have a job (or school)? No problem! Suggest a problem you want to solve and we're happy to fund a 10-week $10K externship for your spare-time working on Ethereum. 💚💙💜(Successful projects will be featured at a developer conference. We are also looking to hire and fund from this pool of side projects. If you're looking for where to start, look at the list above.)
💚 -- Wave I / 💙 -- Wave II / 💜 -- Wave III / 🔥 -- New to wishlist
For more inspiration...
- Read the original DevGrant post.
- Read the post that kicked off the current program.
- Find the grantees from Wave I and Wave II.
- Keep up to date with research here and here.
Bonus: Grant Ops Contest!
With the growing number of applicants, we'll be needing to create an official website for the Grants Program. Do you have any ideas on how to make the website fun, transparent, and useful to future grant applicants? (mmhmm) Great! Because we will be running a contest and crowdsourcing ideas from all of you. Selected ideas will receive some unicorn love and some ETH. Stay tuned for details on how to participate!