Ethereum Foundation Spring 2019 Update

1. Introduction

Ethereum Neighborhood,

Ethereum’s future is vivid. Over the past 12 months the Ethereum group — a worldwide assortment of builders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and passionate customers — has made super progress. Each week, new purposes constructed on Ethereum launch to mainnet, scalability options come on-line, and ETH 2.0 strikes nearer to key milestones. Ethereum stays the de-facto platform for decentralized purposes, and is used on daily basis to safe billions of {dollars} in digital property.

The Ethereum Foundation’s group is thrilled to see the progress occurring throughout the group. We’ve labored to help the ecosystem since Ethereum’s earliest days as a non-profit devoted solely to doing what’s finest for Ethereum.

Because the ecosystem has matured, the Ethereum Foundation has refined its focus. “Doing what is best for Ethereum” doesn’t imply making an attempt to do all the pieces — it means specializing in the place we will add essentially the most worth, and leaving house for others so as to add worth within the areas that they would be the only.

So what’s the Ethereum Foundation’s function at this time?

The Ethereum Foundation is a useful resource allocator, a voice within the ecosystem, and an advocate for Ethereum to the world.

Useful resource Allocator

Immediately, the Foundation holds roughly 0.6% of all ETH, in addition to reserves held in money. These assets are meant to lower over time, as they’re invested in essential work throughout the ecosystem. These are vital quantities of capital however they aren’t infinite. It’s our accountability to make sure that each final greenback and wei is spent successfully.

We’re additionally working to develop the Ethereum ecosystem’s funding base. This implies encouraging different organizations in addition to the Foundation to help high-priority tasks, and supporting revolutionary mechanisms for funding, together with Gitcoin grants and MolochDAO. Efforts like these give us higher leverage from our present assets, and assist construct a sustainable path for funding important tasks far into the longer term.

A voice within the ecosystem

We perceive that many look to the Foundation as a valued voice at the same time as we transfer to proactively empower others. That voice is a useful resource that can be utilized successfully to advance Ethereum. We’re in a position to, as an example, carry consideration to essential however comparatively unknown tasks, share precious details about Ethereum’s progress with the general public, and encourage the expansion of regional Ethereum communities.

Shifting ahead, anticipate the Ethereum Foundation to be a extra lively voice within the Ethereum group.

An advocate for Ethereum to the world

To the skin world, Ethereum might be complicated — and that’s most likely an understatement. Many newcomers don’t perceive our vibrant and decentralized ecosystem as a result of they’ve by no means seen something prefer it earlier than.

When somebody (a serious firm, a authorities or a daily particular person) finds their method into our world, the Ethereum Foundation is commonly their first cease. The very first thing we have a tendency clarify is that the Ethereum ecosystem is distributed and never owned or operated by any basis or group. Our Foundation helps to symbolize Ethereum to the skin world as an efficient portal that individuals can cross via to the ecosystem itself.

We additionally acknowledge a have to take extra initiative in rising the Ethereum ecosystem, on-boarding builders and bettering the developer expertise. As mentioned in additional element beneath, we intend to deploy vital assets in the direction of these objectives.

2. Our Philosophy

Ethereum is just not a typical open-source venture, and the Foundation is just not a typical group. Efficiently fostering a vibrant decentralized Ethereum ecosystem requires a specialised method.

Whilst we deploy vital assets throughout the ecosystem to enhance Ethereum, we should accomplish that in a method that maintains the core spirit of decentralization. We’ve intentionally adopted a philosophy of subtraction, which informs all the pieces that we do.

In plain language, following a philosophy of subtraction means resisting the pure tendency of organizations to develop and accumulate worth inside themselves, and guarantee as a substitute that this worth is created outdoors the Foundation within the broader Ethereum ecosystem.

As an alternative of capturing alternatives for ourselves, we distribute these alternatives to the group. As an alternative of pulling all the pieces in-house, we push our assets out to groups throughout the ecosystem. We don’t compete with the ecosystem — we’re thrilled when different organizations create worth, as a result of meaning Ethereum is turning into extra decentralized and sustainable.

The Ethereum Foundation succeeds if Ethereum succeeds, and Ethereum succeeds with a robust decentralized group. That understanding governs how we work.

3. Highlights from Ethereum Foundation-supported groups

The final 12 months have been an important interval for Ethereum, and we have now labored extraordinarily onerous to help groups throughout the ecosystem. Encompassing all of the progress made by groups supported by the EF on this letter is inconceivable, however here’s a chosen pattern:

ETH 2.0 consumer groups

ETH 2.0 is a reputation given to a set of transformative upgrades for the Ethereum protocol. Final 12 months, this effort moved from a analysis venture to an engineering effort. Shopper groups supported by the Foundation together with Nimbus, Prysm, Sigma Prime, and Substrate Shasper are amongst these working to show ETH 2.0 right into a actuality.

Over the previous couple of months the Nimbus, Prysm, and Sigma Prime’s Lighthouse testnets have launched. These groups and others at the moment are stabilizing and optimizing their purchasers, preparing for multi-client testnets.

Many assets are shifting into testing, fuzzing, and audits over the approaching months. We engaged Runtime Verification to formally confirm the deposit contract and to formally specify the Beacon Chain. That is along with appreciable effort by the analysis, improvement, and safety groups concerned in ETH 2.0 towards reliability and safety.

ETH 1.x

The ETH 1.x initiative, which began final 12 months, focuses on bettering Ethereum’s quick time period scalability and sustainability with an eye fixed to easing the transition to ETH 2.0. Efforts we’ve funded embody Alexey Akhunov’s analysis into stateless purchasers and state charges, and Andrew Ashikhmin’s analysis into sync protocol improvements.

Work continues on important tasks like Geth and Solidity as effectively, and common updates from all supported groups are on the way in which.


ZK-rollup makes use of succinct zero-knowledge proofs to allow Ethereum to achieve a whole lot of transactions per second. We’ve supported Barry Whitehat and Matter Labs’ collaboration, which has led the way in which on analysis, improvement, and implementation.


ETHGlobal hosts Ethereum hackathons all over the world, centered on on-boarding new builders into the ecosystem and facilitating venture and firm creation. At a latest occasion, ETHCapeTown, 70% of attendees had been from South Africa and 40% of attendees had been new to Ethereum.

Ethereum Tutorial and Analysis Collaboration

The Ethereum Foundation hosted three analysis workshops at Stanford and MIT, via which dozens of proficient mathematicians, laptop scientists, and economists had been launched to analysis issues originating in Ethereum. Many have continued engaged on these issues, resulting in progress in areas important to the way forward for Ethereum together with Casper CBC, VDFs, Plasma constructions, succinct zero information proof based mostly programs, liveness, and security bounds for Ethereum 2.0 amongst others.

Moreover, the Cryptophage collaboration between the Ethereum Foundation, Supranational, and Protocol Labs produced an answer to famend cryptographer Ron Rivest’s LCS35 time capsule crypto-puzzle that required solely two months, versus the projected 35 years.

Working with distinguished organizations to encourage their engagement with the Ethereum ecosystem

In our function as an advocate for Ethereum to the skin world, the Foundation has labored to encourage excessive profile organizations to have interaction with Ethereum in ways in which strengthen the entire ecosystem.

Notably, we have now been working carefully with Microsoft in a long-term dedication to help the Ethereum developer expertise via Visible Studio Code and the brand new Azure Blockchain Service.

We’ve additionally linked with massive entities like HTC and Opera, encouraging them to have interaction with the Ethereum group and help Ethereum-based purposes, and with non-corporate organizations like UNICEF to assist discover methods to make use of Ethereum for social good.

There’s a lot extra being achieved by Foundation-supported groups than simply the examples listed above. Keep tuned for extra updates coming from these groups within the subsequent few weeks.

4. Allocating Sources over the subsequent 12 months.

An ecosystem-level view for Ethereum help

Immediately, we’re excited to share extra details about the Foundation’s priorities for the subsequent 12 months, and the way we anticipate to allocate assets throughout the ecosystem.

As we’ve discovered and iterated, we’ve made needed adjustments to our processes and priorities. When the Ethereum ecosystem was a lot smaller, it made sense for the Foundation to prioritize a number of “in-house” groups to work on essentially the most elementary tasks. Because the group grew, we started a Grants program that enabled us to help extra groups all through the ecosystem.

Immediately, it shouldn’t matter to the Foundation whether or not a venture is “internal” or “external”. What issues is that we’re spending assets successfully, and that Ethereum’s objectives are completed. For this reason we’re shifting towards an “ecosystem level view” when allocating assets by wanting on the entire image quite than at a subset of it.

Over the subsequent 12 months, the Ethereum Foundation plans to spend $30 million USD on key tasks throughout the ecosystem. This finances is insulated in opposition to downward ETH value motion.

We imagine that it is a essential time for Ethereum, justifying vital investments in essential work throughout the ecosystem.

Allocating throughout such a big and vibrant ecosystem is a considerable optimization problem. We’re continually re-evaluating and optimizing our choices, and new alternatives for leverage seem on daily basis.

To assist make clear how we outline our highest priorities, we describe beneath three main classes of useful resource allocation: (i) Constructing the Ethereum of tomorrow, (ii) Supporting the Ethereum of at this time, and (iii) Developer Progress & Consciousness.

i. Constructing the Ethereum of tomorrow

$19 million earmarked over subsequent 12 months

Ethereum stays a extremely formidable technical venture, and vital assets are required to fund the R&D that may notice the Ethereum group’s ambitions. Vital work is underway throughout the ecosystem on lively engineering tasks like ETH 2.0, and on extra long-term investments like rising the educational group’s involvement in Ethereum expertise.

This consists of:

  • ETH 2.0: Shopper groups, Analysis, VDF, documentation and communication
  • Layer 2: State channels & Plasma
  • Persevering with work on eWASM
  • Sensible contract languages
  • Formal verification, auditing, and specification work
  • Zero-knowledge R&D, together with ZoKrates
  • Ethereum “Phase 3 and Beyond” R&D
  • Working immediately with educational establishments and attracting distinctive analysis expertise

ii. Supporting the Ethereum of at this time

$8 million earmarked over subsequent 12 months.

Ethereum is utilized in manufacturing at this time to safe billions of {dollars} of property and as a base layer for a lot of a whole lot of reside purposes. We imagine that it’s important to proceed supporting these efforts to make sure that “Ethereum 1.0” continues to be the world’s dominant smart-contract platform.

This consists of:

  • Many initiatives below the banner of “ETH 1.x”
  • Geth
  • Solidity
  • Web3.js and Ethers.js

iii. Developer Progress & Consciousness

$3 million earmarked over subsequent 12 months

Builders, builders, builders.

Ethereum is a platform and the builders who construct on it are a key a part of our future. It’s essential to spend money on developer relations, schooling, and on-boarding at this time as a way to develop the Ethereum group and to make sure our continued success. That is particularly essential in Asia, the place vital alternative exists for Ethereum to develop.

This determine additionally consists of extra conventional efforts to develop consciousness of Ethereum, via advertising and marketing efforts at each technical audiences and at customers of Ethereum-based purposes.

This consists of:

  • Developer schooling & on-boarding
  • Supporting group occasion organizations centered on builders, like ETHGlobal
  • Persevering with to run Devcon as a yearly gathering for the Ethereum ecosystem
  • Supporting regional Ethereum group organizations
  • Developer expertise enhancements and developer tooling
  • Attracting distinctive developer expertise
  • Encouraging browsers and different mass shopper applied sciences to seamlessly combine Ethereum into their consumer experiences
  • Continued enhancements to

5. Thanks!

Ethereum’s progress during the last 12 months is price celebrating, and as we glance forward we’re extra excited than ever earlier than.

The whole lot we describe above, each technical enchancment, occasion and initiative was completed by one in all you. This can be a letter from the Ethereum Foundation, but it surely’s a letter about the Ethereum group. Whether or not you might be new to all of this otherwise you’ve been round since Genesis, thanks for your whole help and contributions. We’re excited to maintain constructing the Ethereum ecosystem collectively.

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