Based on market capitalization alone, Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency in the entire world, and it is supported majorly by the Ethereum Foundation. Recently, the foundation released information about the first grant of this year, though there are many community members that have some concerns.
Overall, the point of the Foundation is to support Ethereum and offer base layer research, while providing the means for development and education on their platform. Their education makes it possible to advance decentralized protocols and tools, but the Ethereum Foundation introduced a new grants system that helps these processes along. The grants system also funds the programs that make it possible to develop upon the Ethereum ecosystem
The announcement of the grant states that the program is an “ongoing and continually improving experiment into how the Ethereum Foundation can best invest the Ethereum community’s resources for the highest long-term impact on the Ethereum ecosystem.”
The scalability of Ethereum has been a major concern since the beginning, though the list of priorities has grown since then. Now, the foundation highlights the importance of improving security, usability, education, and privacy in their infrastructure. This year, the attention will be on scalability as the Foundation implements Ethereum 2.0 and the Level 2 scaling.
There are nine projects that have received grants this year from the Ethereum Foundation, which include The Matter, LeapDAO, Py-libp2p, Ethereum on ARM, Goerli Testnet, Shadow Lands and DeepSEA. However, what is concerning the community is the fact that the Foundation is not revealing the amount granted, which has led to concerns that they may not be as open-source of a community as they claim.
Responding to these assumptions and rumors, the Foundation stated that the reason is an effort to ensure that the application isn’t, “prejudiced by previous wish-lists and award amounts. Instead […] seek innovative ideas & detailed budgets.”
A Redditor with the username Bitcoin1776 said,
“I am very disheartened to see the EF moving away from participation in the ‘Open Source’ community and moving toward a Privatized Ownership. The increased obfuscation, and the repeated representations that the EF is not a charity and is not open and is seemingly not bound to support ETH, aside from the good graces of the Signing members (VB, et al), creates significant public confusion.”
However, that was not the end of the frustration. Bitcoin1776 added,
“Is the EF part of the Open Community or a Privatized Club? From the representation of their management, it is clear. But the general public, sadly, still thinks of them as Open and part of Ethereum. This to me is going the way of Ripple, and not the inclusive direction I would have preferred for Ethereum, but c’est la vie: it’s private property, they can do with it what they want.”
Some of the community did not like the statements that Bitcoin1776 made about the community, but he has a point. Another Redditor, Introspectre, pointed out,
“[T]he inner circle is afraid of these arguments. I don’t recognize the Ethereum Foundation anymore. They’ve shifted from some of the core principles of this community’s general philosophy, betraying an implicit social contract. I’m seriously concerned they’re being deformed into a private company behind the scenes under the influence of Parity Tech and/or ConsenSys.”
Parity Technologies was recently the recipient of a $5 million grant from the Foundation for improving the usability, scalability, and security of the Ethereum network. The Foundation said that considering the way that the tech firm helped with the advancement of sharding, web assembly, and proof-of-stake, they could not “think of a more applicable fit for a grant.”
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