On Monday, October 15, the Ethereum Foundation announced the recipients of its fourth wave of grants. Grantees range from Prototypal and Finality Labs to TrueBlocks and Gitcoin. Although the foundation routinely funds research and development (R&D) into scalability, security, usability, and education, the most recent wave features double the amount of scalability grantees (six compared to three in the previous wave).
Another key distinction this time around is a focus on "client diversity" initiatives (or projects exploring different approaches to Ethereum 2.0 client development). About one-third of the wave's approximately $3 million worth of funds was allocated to these projects, which includes clients being developed by Sigma Prime, Prysmatic Labs, and Status. The latter two organizations were awarded the largest portions of the funding pool, both receiving $500,000 to further develop their clients.
Status noted that this grant will allow the team to take "a more focused development" approach regarding scalability and Ethereum 2.0 implementation. As ETHNews previously reported, Status' scalability project is called Nimbus, which uses the Nim programming language. The crew believes its scalability work is compatible with the overall goal of the Ethereum Foundation, that of mass adoption for the Ethereum network.
Status Chief Operating Officer Nabil Naghdy told ETHNews about some of the specific issues the team is working on:
"Translating the latest Ethereum 2.0 research like BN [Barreto-Naehrig] curves, BLS [Boneh-Lynn-Shacham] signatures and RANDAO [random number generation] games into practical, performant and reusable libraries to provide fertile exploration ground for further R&D.
Ensuring the design of Nimbus as a common good with liberal licensing to allow the widest deployment of Ethereum 2.0 possible.
Exploring the technologies like libp2p [a peer-to-peer networking stack] and mesh networking, broadening the reach of Ethereum to restricted networks and limited connectivity setups."
The Status team also emphasized the importance of collaboration for future scalability R&D. The crew's recent award brings it "closer not only to the Ethereum Foundation" but also to "the other brilliant teams and recipients" of the foundation's grant program.
Applications for the foundation's fifth wave of funding are currently being accepted.