The Ethereum Foundation is the non-profit organization dedicated towards ensuring Ethereum’s software development and maintenance is going on smoothly. The organization holds a number of funds from various investors and investments which it grants to developers and programmers from time to time which helps ensure that innovation on the Ethereum network keeps going on. In a major funding drive the Ethereum Foundation has now given away millions of dollars for the benefits of those developing Dapps and Smart Contracts.

The organization provides these funds and grants from time to time, but this is one of their biggest grants ever sanctioned. These grants will help the developers with research and development, education as well as with accessing various resources. The Ethereum Foundation announced these grants in a blog post, saying:

These grants will fuel the teams working hard at research & development to support the entire ecosystem. Furthermore, we hope that these grants will signal to the community what we think are the missing pieces in the ecosystem that need more support. Said in another way, the Foundation is here to serve teams and individuals that are working to prevent a tragedy of the commons..

While the foundation usually provides grants for improving the scalability of the system, this time they have focused on three things - scalability, usefulness and security. The Ethereum Foundation defines ‘scalability’ as  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.

The second parameter, usefulness is all about improvement of the developer experience, in the form of static analyzers, linters, dev frameworks, mobile SDKs, documentation, Solidity/Vyper development, etc.  Security, as per the Ethereum blog, ranges 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 grants are as follows:

  • L4 Research – Scalability Grant – $1.5M. State channels research.

  • Runtime Verification – Security Grant – $500K. Casper contract formal verification.

  • ETHGlobal – DevEx Grant – $200K. World-class developer conferences for Ethereum.

  • Prysmatic Labs – Scalability Grant – $100K. Sharding implementation.

  • DDA – #build Grant – $100K. Tokenless decentralized derivatives network + state channels R&D.

  • Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Scalability Grant – $50K. Sharding simulation.

  • Plasma Taiwan Dev – Scalability Grant – $25K. Plasma implementation.

  • Ethers.js – DevEx Grant – $25K. Web3.js alternative.

  • Turbo Geth – Scalability Grant – $25K. Geth optimization.

  • Solium – DevEx Grant – $10K. Solidity static analyzer.

  • Alex Komarov – Design Grant – $10K. Key management UX study.

  • (Anonymous) – Hackternship – $10K. Deterministic WebAssembly.

  • Ankit Raj – Hackternship – $10K. Technical writing for Geth and Solidity.