The Ethereum Foundation has handed out another round of grants to help the blockchain platform prepare for its eventual upgrade to Ethereum 2.0. It awarded $2 million in funding to eight projects within the ecosystem, and has created three bounties offering at least $15,000 in total for various security-related challenges.
The overarching theme appears to be a focus on getting Ethereum ready to scale—one of the core principles of the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 release. This issue was recently highlighted by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin who said the blockchain was “almost full,” indicating that its development needs to step up a gear—and fast.
The largest chunk of money, some $725,000, went to Prysmatic Labs, led by Raul Jordan, a research partner at Token Daily, and Preston Van Loon, who previously worked at Google. Its goal is to implement proof-of-stake, a way for the blockchain to operate without computationally exhaustive mining, as well as sharding, a method to increase the number of transactions the blockchain can handle. Both are designed to help the blockchain scale.
Similarly, the second biggest grant went to Australia-based Sigma Prime, to help continue its development of Lighthouse, a version of Ethereum 2.0 that’s written in Rust—a popular programming language. This should open Ethereum up to a wider community of developers, not just those who can speak its native programming language, Solidity. It received $485,000 from both the foundation and ConsenSys (which funds Decrypt).
On top of this, crypto wallet provider Status received $500,000 to work on Nimbus, another implementation of Ethereum 2.0, but this time designed to work on resource-limited devices, including mobile phones. The aim is to help make running Ethereum more accessible.
Other grants include $217,500 to Chainsafe, to research a light client called Lodestar and $189,000 to Harmony, to work on the beacon chain—the core of the redesigned blockchain platform.
The three bounty programs on offer are designed to help keep the blockchain network secure in light of the various innovations and developments. The foundation is willing to part with five ether ($940), or 1,000 DAI ($1,000)—whichever is the larger at the time—for substantial bug fixes or improvements to Ethereum 2.0 code.
The other two bounties focus on computational functions, one of which focuses on “an extremely MPC-friendly one bit PRF.” If you have any idea what that means, it might just be worth your time.