Announcing May 2018 Cohort of EF Grants

Thank you all for applying, and weโ€™re excited to announce the latest Ethereum Foundation grants! We funded 22 recipients for a total of $2.84M.

Apply here for the next round! ๐Ÿฆ„


The Ethereum project seeks to support useful dapps and smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, and the goal of the Ethereum Foundation is to empower developers with best-in-class R&D, developer experience, and education. Despite the early promise of the ecosystem, we still have a long way to go, and we are here to work with the community to drive concrete progress.

These grants will fuel the teams working hard at research & development to support the entire ecosystem and help make Ethereum more scalable, useful and secure. These projects have no ICOs, no token sales, and focus simply on building useful products and experiences.

Scalability can be in the form of 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. Usability is for improving the developer experience (e.g. static analyzers, linters, dev frameworks, mobile SDKs) or the user experience. Security can range from auditing existing contracts to providing tools that prevent error-prone programming patterns to contributing to alternative second-layer languages that focus on security. We are also beginning to engage with the product/design community to help solve product and UX design problems, including areas like key management, Ethereum payments UX and onboarding flows.

Lastly, we would like to remind ourselves of how the Ethereum project began: passionate open-source developers contributing to the project on their spare time. In that spirit, weโ€™ve begun a โ€œhackternshipโ€ grant for community members that propose an impactful Ethereum side project.

What we provide for grantees

  1. Non-dilutive funding
  2. Technical advisory
  3. Connection to more users
  4. Platform to share your work

We hope to provide Ethereum teams with more runway, advice and resources to focus simply on building useful products and experiences.

Also, many of these grants may be followed on with additional funding and/or collaboration when milestones are achieved. We believe this will provide tight feedback loops for impact to the ecosystem.

Grantee List: May 2018


Perun โ€“ $250K. State channels R&D.

PISA (by Patrick McCorry et al.) โ€“ $250K. State channels R&D.

Sprites Implementation (by Enuma) โ€“ $200K. Payment channels implementation.

General Computation on Plasma (by Parsec Labs) โ€“ $50K. Plasma implementation.

Plasma (by Kyokan) โ€“ $50K. Plasma implementation.

Plasma (by Fourth State) โ€“ $32K. Plasma implementation.


DevEx grants*:

WalletConnect (by โ€“ $150K. ย Interoperability for web dapps and mobile wallets.

iOS Dev Kit (by Ackee) โ€“ $50K. iOS + Ethereum starter project (MVVM support).

EtherKit (by โ€“ $50K. iOS development framework (Swift).

vipnode – $35K. Light client incentivization.

BrowsEth โ€“ $25K. Typescript library for browsers.

#buidl grants**:

ENS Foundation โ€“ $1M. To date, the Ethereum Foundation has supported ENS via hiring developers internally, but now ENS is mature enough to become its own independent organization. Weโ€™re excited to continue working with this great project/team going forward.

Pop Wallet โ€“ ย $100K. Open-source browser wallet.

Trust Wallet โ€“ $30K. Open-source mobile wallet.


Zeppelin โ€“ $430K. Solidity compiler audit (co-sponsored with Augur)

Cedille โ€“ $50K. Smart contract formal verification R&D.

SecureEth โ€“ $30K. Smart contract development standards.

Gitcoin โ€“ $25K. Bug bounty platform.


Flint Programming Language โ€“ $10K. Safety-focused smart contract language.

Richard Littauer โ€“ $10K. Developer onboarding documentation.

Chris Spannos โ€“ $10K. Developer onboarding documentation.

Chinese Academy of Sciencesย (Yi Sun et al.) โ€“ $5K. Sharding R&D.

* DevEx Grant โ€“ Improves developer experience (โ€œusefulโ€ for developers).

** #buidl Grant โ€“ Builds for the end user (โ€œusefulโ€ for users).


Wishlist for future grants

In future rounds of grants, we would like to see more applications in these areas:

  1. Scalability

    1. More payment and/or state channels implementations ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™
    2. More plasma implementations ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™
    3. More sharding implementations ๐Ÿ’š
    4. Improving efficiency of existing clients such as geth & parity ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™
    5. A tokenless โ€œLightning Networkโ€ for Ethereum ๐Ÿ’™
    6. Tokenless Casper staking pool contracts ๐Ÿ”ฅ
    7. WebAssembly R&D ๐Ÿ”ฅ

  2. Usability

    1. Improve private key management and transacting in Ethereum ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™
    2. Alternative wallet / client designs ๐Ÿ’™
    3. Standards and portability between wallets ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ”ฅ
    4. Tooling that improves developer experience ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™
    5. Improved documentation & developer/user education videos ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™
    6. Tokenless end user products ๐Ÿ”ฅ
    7. Vyper development ๐Ÿ”ฅ
    8. More security focused high-level languages ๐Ÿ”ฅ

  3. Security

    1. Security audits for Solidity and Vyper ๐Ÿ’™
    2. Smart contract audits ๐Ÿ’š
    3. Specifically, audits for ERC20, ERC223, ERC721, multisig wallets, vaults ๐Ÿ”ฅ
    4. Tooling that prevents vulnerable code ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™

  4. Hackternships

    1. You already have a job (or school)? No problem! Suggest a problem you want to solve and weโ€™re happy to fund a 10-week $10K externship for your spare-time working on Ethereum. ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™(Successful projects will be featured at a developer conference. We are also looking to hire and fund from this pool of side projects. If youโ€™re looking for where to start, look at the list above.)

๐Ÿ’šโ€“ Funded in March 2018 cohort
๐Ÿ’™โ€“ Funded in May 2018 cohort
๐Ÿ”ฅโ€“ New to wishlist


Next steps

This is an ongoing grant program, and weโ€™d like to invite the rest of the community to approach us with your ideas (application link).

Ethereum is built by the community for the community, and weโ€™re here to support you. Thank you for building!

Ethereum Foundation Team

(Mostly paraphrased from first post)

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