Ecosystem Support Program: Allocation Update

As we embark on a brand new decade(!), the Ecosystem Support Program staff needed to talk to among the current development, transition and studying across the program, and share particulars of our 2019 monetary allocations.

What’s ESP?

The Ecosystem Support Program (ESP) is the arm of the Ethereum Basis targeted on offering help to groups all through the Ethereum ecosystem. This contains monetary and non-financial help. ESP is an growth of the Grants program, which beforehand targeted totally on financial help.

Bettering Our Processes

The 2019 Ethereum Basis Spring Update first previewed a few of our plans for evolving from Grants to ESP. Since that transition, we’ve continued to award simple grants, and helped make connections to different potential sources of funding the place an EF grant was not a match. We’ve got additionally facilitated recommendation from business consultants, neighborhood publicity, entry to cloud companies and different infrastructure, and extra.

During the last 9 months we’ve included suggestions to refine our utility course of and made numerous modifications, together with:

  • A standardized course of for reviewing ESP purposes
  • An expanded group of area consultants accessible to assist with peer evaluation of purposes, or to advise candidates on their initiatives
  • Elevated concentrate on offering candidates with 1:1 suggestions
  • Labored extra carefully with accepted initiatives to create clearer objectives, roadmaps, and mutual expectations

Increasing Communications

With these stronger processes in place, we’re making an effort to extend visibility and to draw extra high-quality purposes. To that finish, we’re making some modifications to how we talk, from bettering present channels to including some shiny new pages to the ESP website.

Some modifications are modest, however we hope that they’ll be useful in each protecting the neighborhood knowledgeable and higher getting ready potential candidates. On the entrance web page now you can comply with the newest information about ESP and see which occasions we’ll be collaborating in, whether or not nearly or in individual following the present and ongoing well being disaster.

We’ve added to our FAQ, improved our inquiry types, and most significantly debuted some new web page banners that we expect actually tie the room collectively 😎. Maintain an eye fixed out for much more additions within the coming months, and common updates to present content material!

We’ve additionally added a Wishlist to carry consideration to particular areas like safety, Eth2, and privateness, the place we’d prefer to see extra purposes. This checklist is not a declaration of what is vital to the ecosystem, or perhaps a assertion of ESP’s priorities. Nevertheless, we hope the checklist serves as inspiration for anybody seeking to get entangled! As all the time, we wish to strike a steadiness between demonstrating the vary of efforts that ESP helps whereas additionally embracing potential contributors working outdoors of the precise areas we have outlined.

On the reporting entrance, we will likely be publishing common weblog posts to announce new grant recipients, however a grant is barely the start. Shifting ahead, we’ll even be highlighting what supported groups go on to perform. On the brand new Featured Projects web page, we’ll highlight initiatives which might be months or years into the work that was enabled by these grants. We’ll additionally use our weblog and broaden our use of social media to have fun grant recipients as they obtain milestones and make progress towards their objectives.

Monetary Support in 2019

Whereas we labored to enhance the Ecosystem Support Program all through 2019, we continued to help initiatives throughout the ecosystem. Awarding grants is just one means that we offer that help. There are numerous wonderful groups that aren’t EF grant recipients, both as a result of they’re already funded or as a result of their explicit focus is simply not the proper match for EF funding. Nevertheless, we work to help these very important contributors in no matter means we will (for instance, as a bridge to new alternatives or as an amplifier of community results for his or her initiatives).

That mentioned, monetary help continues to be a serious a part of how we help the broader Ethereum ecosystem. Over 70 initiatives obtained monetary help in 2019. What’s listed under particulars newly distributed grants to groups in 2019. It doesn’t embody recurring help, tranches for newly achieved milestones from prior recipients, or funding for different EF groups. For extra particulars on the entire Basis’s work, we’ll share a 2020 Spring Update within the coming days.

We’re together with names and summaries for every funded venture under. You will discover a searchable spreadsheet together with hyperlinks to be taught extra about particular person initiatives right here.

Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum 2.0 improvement is in full swing, with many groups working collectively to make Ethereum extra scalable, resilient, safe, and naturally introduce Proof of Stake! We’ve helped to fund a various bunch of two.0 shoppers, in addition to efforts towards interoperability, bettering reliability and creating developer tooling. Along with the grants listed under, Ethereum 2.0 work has been supported via recurring funding and different channels.

Eth2 Shoppers: $1,695,000

Grant Description Extra Information
Concord Shopper Support for the Concord staff to develop a beacon chain consumer in Java.
Lighthouse Support for Sigma Prime’s continued improvement of the Lighthouse staking consumer, written in Rust, for the Ethereum 2.0 community.
Nimbus Support for Standing’s continued improvement of the Nimbus consumer for Ethereum 2.0, designed to carry out properly on embedded programs and private cellular gadgets, together with older smartphones with resource-restricted {hardware}.
Prysm Shopper Support for Prysmatic Labs’s continued improvement of the Prysm staking consumer for the Ethereum 2.0 community written in Go.

Eth2 Tooling & Different: $1,459,000

Grant Description Extra Information
Educational analysis on CBC Casper Analysis by Ryuya Nakamura of College of Tokyo and Dominik Harz of Imperial Faculty London to determine the theoretical basis of CBC Casper together with the evaluation of safety, efficiency, and incentives.
Beacon Fuzz Differential fuzzer for Section 0 of Eth2.
Cryptonext Survey and report on doable approaches to aggregatable post-quantum signatures in Eth2.
Dmitry Khovratovich Cryptoanalysis of the Lengendre PRF and Proof of Custody development.
Herumi Deliver the Herumi BLS library according to the IEFT spec.
Lodestar Work by Chainsafe on Eth2 light-client R&D inside their Lodestar javascript consumer; in addition to persevering with to supply help to the Eth2 JS/web-browser ecosystem by growing libraries, tooling, and academic sources.
Nimbus Grant to Standing, co-funded with Protocol Labs, to construct nim-libp2p, a networking stack in Nim.
Runtime Verification Formal verification of the Eth2 Deposit Contract; constructing the Section 0 Beacon Chain spec in Ok Framework for the needs of formal verification; and formally verifying Accountable Security and Believable Liveness towards the Ok Beacon Chain.
VDF analysis—hybrid prover Analysis on the soundness and efficiency of a hybrid Wesolowski-Pietrzak VDF prover.
VDF: Quantity Idea Assertion Show a quantity theoretic assertion which suggests an data theoretic decrease sure for modular squaring.
Whiteblock Ethereum 2.0 community testing and testnet/interoperability help: evaluation of the libp2p gossipsub implementation, working with implementors to assist refine the networking stack and specification, and advancing interoperability efforts.

Eth 1.x: $487,000

Important work continues on bettering Ethereum because it exists right this moment, with upgrades being labored on by 1.x contributors to assist enhance Ethereum within the fast time period. Targeted upon areas embody Stateless Ethereum, bettering developer expertise, rising node consumer variety, guaranteeing that working a full node stays sustainable, and getting ready a path to the two.0 rollout. As with Eth2, these are simply the allocations that took the type of grants. We’ll share extra about different supported efforts – together with Geth, extra 1.x and Stateless analysis, and extra in later organizational updates.

Layer 2: $1,211,000

Layer 2 options allow all kinds of purposes which may in any other case be too costly, sluggish, difficult, or simply not doable to implement immediately on the Ethereum base layer. 2019 was an thrilling yr throughout which groups and people throughout the neighborhood got here collectively to make large strides towards making Ethereum extra helpful and scalable. This work is essential within the close to time period, however simply as useful for the longer term. Eth 2.0 will nonetheless profit from the improved privateness, scalability, and adaptability supplied by Layer 2.

Grant Description Extra Information
Connext Aligning Connext fee hubs with generalized State Channel unification venture.,
Cryptoeconomics Labs Plasma Chamber, an OVM-inspired, common goal layer 2 utility framework
LeapDAO Plasma Leap: a Extra Viable Plasma design which permits execution of sensible contract performance on plasma utilizing EVM enforcer, a computation verification engine that enables for enforcement of off-chain execution.
Matter Labs Productionizing Plasma Ignis, a SNARK-driven zk-rollup implementation.
PISA Analysis Normal accountable watchtower system for state channels and decentralized finance protocols, which permits events to rent an accountable service to look at the off-chain protocols and on-chain contracts on their behalf.
Plasma Group Analysis into generalized plasma, Optimistic Rollup, and OVM (Optimistic Digital Machine).
Twitch Performs Pokemon on Plasma Check suite for educational establishments and researchers to check financial and coordination theories of decentralized governance fashions.
Unified State Channels A joint grant to Prototypal, Magmo and L4 analysis aimed on the unification of State Channels efforts. Along with merging efforts already in progress, contributors labored collectively to rewrite, optimize and do formal modeling of the underlying protocol; design a demo app; and design a resilient consumer that gives fund restoration ensures to customers.

Cryptography and Zero Information Proofs: $426,000

There’s extra work than ever going into analysis and improvement on cryptography and nil information proofs. These efforts strengthen the elemental constructing blocks of the protocol, opening up new prospects for scaling, privateness, and safety. 2019 was all about sensible steps ahead, with instruments being constructed that make developments extra accessible to builders with out requiring a sophisticated understanding cryptography.

Grant Description Extra Information
AirAssembly Language for encoding Algebraic Intermediate Illustration (AIR), making STARK programming extra accessible by enabling succinct proofs of computational integrity in zk-STARKS.
Aztec Cryptographic development which permits nested composition of a batch of Aztec vary proofs inside a zk-SNARK circuit, to allow future improvement of privateness preserving rollups.
Circom A strong and scalable language for complicated arithmetic circuit design.
FPGA Snark Prover Bettering effectivity of zk-SNARK proof creation by offloading operations to an FPGA (area programmable information array).
Kestrel Institute ACL2 Ethereum consumer and AXE equivalence checker to formally confirm cryptographic primitives (together with MiMC, PiMC, Edison hash, BLAKE2) relevant to varied makes use of of zk-SNARKS.
Legendre PRF Bounty The Legendre PRF (pseudo-random operate) is required to allow secret-shared validators utilizing multi-party computations. These bounties encourage extra analysis on key restoration assaults, to extend confidence in utilizing this cryptographic primitive.,
MACI Minimal Anti-Collusion Infrastructure: a collusion resistance scheme that drastically will increase the danger concerned in shopping for or promoting votes.
Platon Validation and implementation of the “Proof of Custody” scheme, which permits secret shared validators by way of multi-party computation, enabling trustless staking swimming pools in addition to redundancy to lower the danger of getting slashed on account of compromised {hardware} or software program.
Statebox Analysis into utilizing class concept to show diagrams, securely and compositionally, into zk-SNARK circuits.

Developer Expertise: $1,322,000

Ethereum opened up an entire new design house for purposes. As builders have explored this house, inevitably they’ve found new ache factors and required new instruments. We’re making vital investments in enhancing developer expertise on Ethereum, from bettering the vary of programming languages, software program libraries, dev tooling, node infrastructure, decentralized storage, messaging, and extra. These developments allow builders to do extra, extra simply, to allow them to concentrate on their merchandise fairly than on constructing their very own customized tooling. In the end we would like it to be simple – and enjoyable – to construct on Ethereum.

Grant Description Extra Information
Buidler Extending capabilities for Buidler, a activity runner for Ethereum sensible contract builders.
DeepSEA Analysis at Yale and Columbia on DeepSEA, a language producing coq proofs to compile formally verified code to the EVM guaranteeing no bugs are launched.
Ethereum on ARM Customized Linux photos to mechanically flip useful resource constrained gadgets into full Ethereum nodes. (for ARM32 repository, Raspberry Pi 4 picture), (for ARM64 repository, NanoPC-T4 and RockPro64 picture)
Moon EVM and WASM runtimes for formality language in addition to associated libraries, documentation and tutorials.,,
NomicLabs Developer expertise analysis, prioritization, and roadmapping.
Play Decentralized database for verified Solidity code.
py-libp2p Capstone venture by 4 College of Pennsylvania seniors to develop a python implementation of libp2p, utilized by IPFS and Eth2, and accompanying easy-to-use toolsets
Shadowlands Framework for constructing terminal-based Ethereum apps with a textual content UI, as an alternative choice to apps with web-based UI.
Solhint Continued improvement and added plugins for Solhint, a device for linting solidity code to determine unhealthy coding practices. github:, Firm profile:
Solidity Protection Enhancements to the solidity-coverage device, which offers a means for Solidity builders to measure the accuracy of their javascript check suites, obtain protection reporting and extra.
SOLL Second State’s LLVM based mostly compiler, a yul different to assist transition Solidity to eWASM.,
Swarm Analysis and improvement on Swarm, a decentralized storage answer.
Tenderly Enhancements to Buidler’s console.log performance.
Web3J Improvement and upkeep of the Web3j library with the intention to present an improved expertise for Java, Android and Kotlin builders.,,

Person Expertise: $213,000

We’re all the time looking out for common instruments and upgrades that cut back friction for the top person with out compromising decentralization or any of the opposite issues that make Ethereum particular. Addressing widespread ache factors like fuel prices, id administration, tackle readability, and interoperability makes it simpler for dapp builders in all places to onboard customers.

Grant Description Extra Information
Eauth Oauth2 appropriate authentication service framework based mostly on Ethereum.
ENS Basis Continuation funding for Ethereum Identify Service, decentralized Web naming infrastructure on Ethereum.
Ethereum Pockets SDK Abstraction layer which permits dapp builders to simply combine with a number of wallets.
Everest Identification and credential system which permits id claims akin to KYC standing to be securely revealed, shared, and verified on Ethereum Mainnet.
Gasoline Station Community Meta transactions commonplace and decentralized community of relay nodes to deal with fuel charges on behalf of customers.
POAP Subsidization of Proof of Attendance Protocol fuel prices at Devcon.

Group and Training: $422,000

Merely put, Ethereum wouldn’t exist with out its neighborhood and the those that work to develop and enrich our ecosystem. These groups carry folks collectively each in individual and on-line, improve the variety of our world neighborhood, and assist to construct a common information base by making instructional supplies free and accessible to all.

Oblique Funding $484,000

A brand new type of ecosystem wants new methods of excited about funding! The Ethereum ecosystem depends on open supply builders and impartial thinkers to thrive. To this finish, we glance to help novel methods of funding proficient contributors outdoors the standard buildings of firms and organizations; grants and VCs; contracts and salaries. This class is all about entrusting sources to the neighborhood.

Grant Description Extra Information
Gitcoin Funding for operations, bounties and CLR matching.
MolochDAO Funding for the launch of MolochDAO in an effort to diversify improvement funding.
UNICEF ETH and BTC donations to UNICEF’s Crypto-denomintated Fund to help blockchain improvements within the growing world and encourage using cryptocurrencies (with out changing them into fiat).

We’re happy with every part our 2019 cohort achieved, and we’re forging forward in 2020 with renewed power and goal. As all the time, massive due to the neighborhood to your ardour and help, and we stay up for protecting you updated with the newest from the ESP staff! 🦄

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