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Allocation Update: Q4 2020

Posted by Ecosystem Support Program Team on March 22, 2021

Allocation Update: Q4 2020

2021 is just getting started, but it's already been quite an eventful year! We've got the list of Q4 funded projects below, but we also want to share some updates from the ESP team. We're always looking for more ways to support the ecosystem as it grows and evolves, so we've tried a couple of new things in recent months. Read on to learn more and see how you can get involved.

Office Hours

Earlier this month we ran our first office hours, with an open signup for teams or individuals to request a one-on-one call with the ESP team. We hope these will act as an efficient and accessible pathway to certain types of support such as high-level feedback, resource recommendations or guidance on applying for grants. Our first round of chats covered a wide variety of topics: some people had questions about ESP or were trying to decide whether to apply for a grant, while others were looking for feedback on a particular aspect of their project or help figuring out the next steps in their Ethereum journey. We're looking forward to round two - signups are open now for calls taking place next week, March 29-April 2.

Focused Grant Rounds

You may have seen the recent blog post on Staking Community Grants, which was a call for proposals to improve the Ethereum staking experience. The current Rollup Community Grants round is a similar format, this time inviting proposals for growing the rollup ecosystem: anything from infrastructure to research, UX, interoperability, tooling and hopefully some things we haven't thought of yet! Applications are open through April 16th.

Q4 Grants

And now, the main event: let's take a look at the projects that received funding in the final quarter of 2020.

Community & educationETHTerakoyaEducational initiative by Couger organizing public meetings, workshops, and working groups producing prototypes and standards.
Community & educationEthereumCNChinese language resources and community building, including eth2 resources and a program for university students.
Community & educationTruffleSponsorship of the TruffleCon 2020 virtual developer conference.
Community & educationCreacion de Contratos Inteligentes con EthereumScholarship for 11 independent developers to attend the National University of Bogota smart contract development course "Creacion de Contratos Inteligentes con Ethereum."
Community & educationDescubriendo BlockchainSpanish-language Ethereum education course with each lecture given by a different speaker, primarily featuring experts from LATAM communities.
Community & educationIndia Ecosystem Development EventsOrganization of virtual developer events targeting students from top engineering colleges in India.
Community & educationDevfolio Fellowship8-week mentorship and education program with separate tracks for seasoned Ethereum developers, and web developers with no experience in Ethereum.
Cryptography & zero knowledge proofs4byte.directorySupport for students from the ETH Summer program to continue work on 4byte.directory, a tool for mapping the 4-byte function selectors used by the EVM back to a list of known canonical function signatures.
Cryptography & zero knowledge proofsScaffold.eth ProjectsSupport for students from the ETH Summer program to continue various projects on scaffold.eth.
Cryptography & zero knowledge proofsBlaine Bublitz, Ivan Chub, Jacob Rosenthal for Dark Forest and ZK ToolingImprovements to zero knowledge tooling and infrastructure based on learnings from continued development of Dark Forest.
Cryptography & zero knowledge proofsKautuk Kundan for BLS Hubble FrontendCreation of a frontend allowing users to create accounts and interact with Hubble and other applications which use BLS signatures.
Cryptography & zero knowledge proofsGeoff Lamperd for MPC Phase 2 UIWebsite and other components for browser-based trusted setup ceremonies, including server application, browser-based client and Firebase backend for core fuctions.
Cryptography & zero knowledge proofsRiya Singh for Anonymous Login with SemaphoreA proof of concept using Semaphore for anonymous login, allowing a user to prove they belong to the list of KYC'ed users without revealing their validated properties (eg. phone number) or notifying the KYC provider of the login purpose.
Cryptography & zero knowledge proofsCory Dickson for MACI 1.0Continued development of the Minimal Anti-Collusion Infrastructure MVP toward the specified v1.0 implementation.
Cryptography & zero knowledge proofsIgor Gulamov for Hubble AuditSecurity audit of Hubble, an optimistic rollup hub allowing creation of multiple chains with the same interface for increased interoperability between ORU chains.
Cryptography & zero knowledge proofsChance Hudson for Zkopru InfrastructureImprovements to Zero Knowledge Optimistic Rollup tooling and developer ecosystem, including a testnet to analyze zkopru's performance under realistic conditions, with multiple coordinators competing for batch creation via burn auction mechanism developed by Iden3 for the Hermez network.
Developer experience & toolingUmbraProtocol for Bitcoin-style "stealth addresses" on Ethereum, allowing a payer to send to a public identifier (e.g. an ENS name or public Ethereum address) while creating a fresh address, controlled by the recipient, each time funds are sent.
Developer experience & toolingObsidian on EthereumResearch and proof of concept by a group of students and professors from the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science to demonstrate that key features of the Obsidian smart contract language can translate successfully to Ethereum.
Developer experience & toolingYul-IsabelleWriting of Yul's formal semantics in the Isabelle theorem prover, with the goal of verifying compiler transformations.
Developer experience & toolingETH LearningContinuation of ETH Summer, a program for students to learn about and build on Ethereum.
Developer experience & toolingChainsafeAudit of GSN v2 contracts.
Ethereum 1.xNethermindContinued support to Nethermind for work on eth1 and .NET client hardening.
Ethereum 2.0NimbusContinuation funding to Status for development of the Nimbus eth2 client.
Ethereum 2.0ConsenSys Automated Verification TeamContinued work on formal modeling and verification of components of the eth2 specs.
Ethereum 2.0ethereum2-docker-composeWork by Rock Logic to extend the ethereum2-docker-compose staking node toolbox, including support for the Teku and Lighthouse clients as well as additional features, articles, and documentation.
Ethereum 2.0LighthouseContinued development of Sigma Prime's Lighthouse staking client, written in Rust, for the Ethereum 2.0 network.
Ethereum 2.0Staking Community GrantsSpecial grants round focused on tools for improving the staking and validator experience.
Ethereum 2.0Medalla Data ChallengeHackathon-style competition for blog posts focused on data tools, visualizations, analyses or other ways of making data from the Medalla testnet.
User experienceENS on L2 with general approachStandard for securely retrieving verified information from off chain, including subdomain records from ENS domains stored on L2 but generalized for use with any data outside the Ethereum mainnet.
User experienceEtheriscSupport for the integration assessment phase of a pilot project led by Etherisc and Acre Africa to provide blockchain-based agricultural microinsurance for smallholder farmers in Kenya.

Total awarded in Q4: $4,091,000

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