It’s always exciting to hear about new grants as they are awarded, but what happens after the announcement? In this series, we will check in on a couple of projects that are already well underway or already completed. Read on to learn about recent milestones and achievements by grantees!
SSZ.dev: Technical Specs and Resources for SSZ – SimpleSerialize
As Ethereum’s core developers prepare for the transition to Proof of Stake, they have taken the opportunity to revamp certain elements of the Ethereum protocol. One such element is SSZ, or Simple SerialiZe, the canonical serialization format for Ethereum’s PoS consensus layer.
Serialization involves converting data into a format that can be transmitted or stored. In the case of SSZ, it involves converting consensus data into bytes that can be represented as a Merkle tree. Although SSZ was originally created for Ethereum, it was designed to be adaptable to other use cases. With that in mind, SSZ.dev was created to make SSZ more accessible to developers inside and outside the Ethereum ecosystem.
SSZ.dev was funded in March 2021, launched in May, and has continued to grow. It offers a wealth of resources, some original and some gathered from previous community efforts, for anyone interested in learning or building with SSZ. Here are some highlights:
Visualizer: Play around with variables across different serialization types and see the output as both serialized values and Merkle tree details.
Implementations: A list of active SSZ implementations and their basic features (language, license, maintainer, etc.).
Testing: Consolidates test suites built by different implementers, along with general information like terminology, output formats, and test configuration.
While there is already a lot of great content available, SSZ.dev is still a work in progress. Whether you are an experienced serializer or simply curious about SSZ, your feedback and contributions are welcome! Visit the Github repo to comment or contribute.
CadCAD Edu for cadCAD Masterclass: Ethereum Validator Economics
CadCAD, a project of BlockScience, is an open-source framework for simulating complex adaptive dynamics (cad), bringing the advantages of Computer Aided Design (CAD) to the design and validation of complex systems like blockchain networks. CadCAD Edu was created to provide educational resources for using cadCAD in systems engineering settings.
The first cadCAD Edu courses, a beginner-level bootcamp and the “cadCAD Hacks” series for intermediate users, focused on teaching the cadCAD framework for modeling and simulation. With their first masterclass, the cadCAD EDU team aimed to help students improve their cadCAD skills through practical experience with a complex system we are all familiar with: Ethereum. Specifically, the course introduces the radCAD library and the Ethereum Economic Model, which students use to model and experiment with Ethereum validator economics.
After receiving funding in early 2021, the Ethereum Validator Economics Masterclass launched in early September. The course includes approximately 3 hours of lectures accompanied by Jupyter notebooks, exercises, and exams, with a certificate available upon completion of all the course requirements. The course is free for everyone, although a solid knowledge of both Ethereum and cadCAD is required to get the most out of it.
The Ethereum Economic Model has also gained significant traction. Originally developed for the Masterclass in collaboration with the EF Robust Incentives Group, it has evolved into a powerful and versatile research tool on its own. The repository provides comprehensive documentation for researchers, engineers, stakers, or anyone else interested in exploring or building upon the model. Alternatively, you can check out the front-end simulator at ethmodel.io to see it in action, no technical skills required.
Are you working on something that could potentially improve Ethereum? Head to our grants page to learn more about the projects we fund and what we are looking for.