HomeEtherumPrograms offering subsidies for Ethereum scalability research and development

Programs offering subsidies for Ethereum scalability research and development

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The Ethereum community, key developers, and researchers have always recognized scalability as perhaps the single most important key technical challenge that needs to be solved in order for blockchain applications to reach mass adoption. Blockchain scalability is difficult primarily because a typical blockchain design requires every node in the network to process every transaction, which limits the transaction processing capacity of the entire system to the capacity of a single node.

There are two main paths to improving blockchain scalability. The first (“sharding”) involves creating better-designed base-layer blockchain protocols, which still maintain most of the desired decentralization and security properties of a blockchain that we see in the simple designs available today but only require a small percentage of nodes to see and process every transaction, allowing many more transactions to be processed in parallel at the same time. The second involves creating “layer 2” protocols that send most transactions off-chain and only interact with the underlying blockchain in order to enter and exit from the layer-2 system and in the case of attacks on the system.

We view the two strategies as complementary with each other and we believe in supporting a multi-pronged strategy toward Ethereum scalability that engages both strategies and treats them as complementary with each other.

Technical reading materials on Ethereum scalability technologies

Sharding:

With the Ethereum blockchain reaching 1 million transactions per day, and both Ethereum and other blockchain projects frequently reaching their full transaction capacity, the need for scaling progress is becoming more and more clear and urgent. To that end, in addition to ongoing and upcoming work that is happening on scalability internally, we are starting two experimental subsidy schemes that we hope will empower more independent teams to collaborate with the Ethereum Research team’s base-layer scalability research and development efforts as well as building independent layer-2 projects that can tie into and improve Ethereum’s scalability.

Independent teams of developers, companies, and university and academic groups are all welcome to apply; we recognize that different types of applicants may require different formats and processes and we are willing to be flexible to accommodate individual teams’ needs.

Sharding client subsidy program

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Layer-2 scalability solution subsidy program

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Closing notes

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How to apply

The first step is to send an email to apply@ethereumresearch.org, with the following information:

Official name of project, applicant and core developers
Further information on the team, including previous activity if any in the Ethereum or blockchain space or distributed systems, mechanism design or cryptography
Proposal and impact on scalability
Estimated timeline for development milestones and completion, request for grant amount and estimated total overall budget

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