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Introducing the Ecosystem Support Program

In the beginning, most Ethereum-related development and research occurred within the Ethereum Foundation. Today, the Ethereum ecosystem has grown from a small garden to a vast, vibrant rainforest. Along the way, the Ethereum Foundation’s role within the ecosystem has changed almost as much. However, supporting Ethereum to the best of our ability has remained constant as our number one goal.

From DEV Grants, to scalability-focused grants), to general purpose support, grants have long been a large part of how we support Ethereum. Increasing the leverage of our grants program has compounding benefits. Accordingly, it’s one of our top priorities.

This year, the Ethereum Foundation grants team built up its capabilities, and shored up its weaknesses in order to become a true Ecosystem Support Program. Along the way, we have:

  • expanded the ways in which applicants may receive support
  • incorporated a much wider base of experts as part of the evaluation process
  • improved the applicant experience
  • proactively identified and established collaborations with people, projects, and entire domains where the Ethereum Foundation can be of help
  • … and more (such as our Local Grants Programs)!

Soon, we’ll debut an expanded Ecosystem Support Program website. It’ll provide more details on all of the ways in which we can provide support, and make it easy for those details to be found in the future (after all, for every person in the Ethereum ecosystem, dozens more are on the way 😎). Using future blog posts and the Ecosystem Support Program website, we’ll provide a 2019 review of the projects and people that we’ve supported, how much money we have allocated, how we perform evaluations, and more.

Call For Applications

Within the Ecosystem Support Program team is a group dedicated to supporting applicants by helping them to refine their applications, directing them to advisors or potential collaborators, among other assistance offered. Today, we’re kicking things up a notch with this Call For Applications. We’re excited to help a wider range of projects, and to test and refine our support-giving capabilities.

The following is a list of application types we’re especially interested in.

  • Light clients for eth2
    • Including if you are interested in forming or joining a team dedicated to building industrial-grade eth2 light clients.
  • Bridges between Ethereum and other blockchains
  • If you are a mathematician interested in learning about problems relevant to Ethereum or the cryptoeconomics space more broadly that leverage your skillset, we’d love to hear from you.
  • Explorations of the security-usability tradeoff space for cryptoassets.
    • For example, social recovery mechanisms for wallets, or rules that vary depending on asset type / value / other attributes.
  • Anything with a credible case to improve Ethereum developer experience (at any level of the stack).
    • We look for applications that clearly articulate what problem(s) you are trying to solve, as well as demonstrating a grasp of how many people are affected and expounding on what options they have today.
  • Translators
    • Bonus points for sharing past translations, and/or sharing a list of your top targets for translation, along with an explanation of how you prioritized your choices.

The above list aims to convey the range of the Ecosystem Support Program, but this is far from a complete list of what’s important for Ethereum. We continue to be interested in applications pertaining to other areas, such as our prior categories of scalability, usability, education, security, and more. As always, we look to the community and its active contributors to help us expand our understanding of the ecosystem’s evolving needs.

So please, don’t be shy if your project or idea doesn’t fall under one of the above application types. Whether it’s a big project, a small and precise idea, a team that knows exactly what they want to do, an individual with a rare skillset looking to apply it in the best way, or something that we haven’t even thought of yet, we’re interested in hearing from you.

Head over to https://ecosystem.support to submit an inquiry.