On the 16th of February, six large-scale Blockchain projects OmiseGO, Cosmos, Golem, Maker and Raiden, which have completed successful multi-million dollar initial coin offerings (ICOs) last year, along with the Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain, have created the Ethereum Community Fund (ECF), to fund some projects and businesses within the blockchain technology and Ethereum ecosystems.
The ECF will start with $100 mln, likely raised by the six Blockchain projects. Some of the members of the Ethereum Foundation which include Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin plans to advise the fund.
Buterin has told TechCrunch:
Ethereum has grown beyond our expectations over the last few years, but the work is not finished yet. Delivering value which matches the hype should be the mantra of 2018; efforts like the ECF which help in organizing the development of the ecosystem will help to make that possible.
The personal goal of Buterin of funding open-source projects.
In September 2017, Buterin has revealed that his advisor shares from $1.8 bln project OmiseGo and $370 mln decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Kyber Network is going to be allocated in the private fund to finance open-source projects building innovative technologies like scaling solutions for the Ethereum Blockchain network.
Buterin also emphasized that he is no longer going to advise any other Blockchain project apart from OmiseGo and Kyber Network and that all of the incentives he received from the two Blockchain projects are going to be used to improve the Ethereum vaule.
At the time, Buterin said:
I am announcing that 100% of my OmiseGo + Kyber Network advisor shares is going to be either donated to charity (AMF, GiveD, SENS and so on) or used to privately fund Ethereum second-layer infrastructure or some combination of the two.
But, Buterin also noted that all of the projects eligible to receive financing from his private fund have to be completely open-source and have no profit schemes in place.
Buterin, emphasizing the open-source projects, especially those that focus on Ethereum scalability, as well as struggling to obtain funding, stated:
Must be 100% open source, no baked-in profit scheme and it also must be good. Open sources infrastructure projects are currently struggling to get funding without the ICO + token route; hopefully, this can also help.
Given the support of Buterin toward open-source projects, the same rule of only open-source funding projects used by his private fund is likely going to be applied to the $100 mln ECF.
TechCrunch also reported that the grants are going to be in the range of $50,000 to $500,000 and some projects may even receive additional funding to complete long-term development of technologies and solutions. Only open-source projects with no profit schemes will most likely be eligible for the grants.
Lack of developers working on scaling.
Previously, Augur co-founder, as well as cryptocurrency venture capital firm chief investment officer Joey Krug has publicly expressed his anxieties regarding the lack of developers, as well as open-source projects working on scaling solutions to enhance the Ethereum network.
Ethereum needs more developers on problems such as sharding, proof of stake, and plasma, right now there simply are not enough. It should also hire some more operations people to help orchestrate it all, for example, Solidity is just now being formally audited.
Without open-source scaling projects, the Ethereum network is going to continue to struggle with scaling problems, and the network is now processing just about a million transactions per day.
Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam has also noted that the Ethereum network is going to have to improve by 100-fold to support decentralized applications with millions of users.
Scaling solutions that are needed to address popular Dapps.
Over the past few months, the entrance of successful decentralized applications like CryptoKitties, CryptoKribs, Bancor, and EtherCraft had led the Ethereum Blockchain network to struggle with scaling problems.
Because decentralized applications such as CryptoKitties can severely congest the Ethereum network by processing several transactions every time, as well as the order is executed, and efficient scaling solution is necessary to address the growing demand.
The development of scaling solutions like Sharding and Plasma which can expand the transaction size of the Ethereum network may be sped up through the funds, as well as grant system such as ECF, and with that, Ethereum could evolve into a better platform for decentralized applications.