The Ethereum Foundation announced today, January 7, it has given Parity Technologies a $5 million grant.
Since the first Ethereum Foundation grants were bestowed exactly 10 months ago, the foundation has publicly announced $17.8 million toward projects that contribute to at least one of its three focus areas: scalability, usability (first referred to as usefulness), and security. Parity, the foundation says, does all three. Calling it "a major technical contributor to the Ethereum project," the foundation praised the company for its "pinpointed focus on next generation advancements like proof-of-stake, sharding and WebAssembly."
In fact, although Parity receives some of that $5 million immediately, the remainder is contingent upon its ability to keep advancing those projects, specifically, by completing eWASM compatibility, delivering a light wallet for use on the Ethereum mainnet, and finalizing sharding phases 0 and 1.
Parity has already made strides toward some of these. In November it released an alpha of a light wallet, Parity Fether, that allows users to interact with the Ethereum network without running a full node or relying on Infura.
Sharding, meanwhile, has been a point of interest across the ecosystem. In short, it's a way of scaling the Ethereum blockchain that involves breaking up the network into smaller pieces so that every node doesn't have to process the entirety of every transaction. Phase 0 involves developing a proof-of-stake beacon chain. Phase 1 serves as something of a proof of concept, using sharding to collate blobs without transactions and without the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
According to the announcement and Parity Technologies' blog, the company is self-funded.
In addition to the core areas of scalability, usability, and security, the Ethereum Foundation has also given considerable sums over the past year toward the categories of client diversity ($1.15 million), hackternships ($75k), BUIDL ($50k), and education ($35k).