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Ethereum Foundation (EF)

Ethereum Foundation (EF) is a non-profit organization focused on supporting and its associated technologies. [1][2]

Ecosystem Support Program

The Ecosystem Support Program (ESP) is the public-facing allocation arm of the Ethereum Foundation. ESP provides funding and support to eligible projects aimed at improving Ethereum, focusing on developer tools, research, community building, infrastructure, and open standards.


The Ecosystem Support Program aims to offer both financial and non-financial assistance to projects and entities within the broader Ethereum community, with the goal of fostering the ecosystem's development. It builds upon the foundation laid by the original Ethereum Grants Program, which primarily emphasized financial aid. [2]

In 2019, represented by a small succulent plant, ESP allocated $26.9 million to 136 projects. By 2020, symbolized by a medium succulent plant, the program supported 397 projects with $30.0 million. In 2021, depicted by a large opened succulent plant, ESP funded 498 projects with $61.1 million. [3]

Grants

In the Ethereum Foundation, "grants" refer to direct funding provided after a formal application, review, and decision process by the Ecosystem Support Program (ESP) team with input from technical advisors. These grants support projects essential to Ethereum's success without requiring commercialization, ensuring resources remain freely accessible to all. [4]

Grant Types

  • Small Grants: Capped at $30,000, intended for smaller, experimental, early-stage projects or those with shorter timelines.

  • Project Grants: Undergo a more intensive review process with no fixed funding limit. These grants are for projects with multiple phases or components, longer timelines, complex needs, and higher financial or operational overhead.

  • Event Sponsorships: Accepted through the small grants program for events focused on Ethereum's technology and community.

Other Support

The “support” in the Ecosystem Support Program includes more than grants. The Ethereum Foundation offers visibility, access to a vast knowledge base, a dedicated team, and connections to leading developers, researchers, and community members. These resources are deployed primarily through Office Hours, the main channel for non-financial support. [4]

Examples of Non-Financial Support:

  • Feedback and guidance
  • Facilitating collaborations
  • Connections with mentors and advisors
  • Information about events like hackathons and conferences
  • Introductions to community members in the same area
  • Platform access
  • Identifying other resources or funding opportunities

Devcon

Since 2014, the Ethereum Foundation has organized , an annual conference for Ethereum developers, researchers, thinkers, and makers. [2]

Fellowship

The Ethereum Foundation Fellowship Program is an initiative aimed at addressing gaps in representation across cultures, nationalities, and economic classes. It seeks to bridge these gaps by identifying and supporting talented individuals who contribute to Ethereum’s relevance and by breaking down barriers to entry for underrepresented people and communities in the Web3 space. [2]

First Cohort 

The Ethereum Foundation Fellowship Program was a pilot project launched by Next Billion, a team within the Ethereum Foundation that focuses on opportunities in emerging economies. The program collaborated with change-makers whose projects had significant potential to create an impact in these regions using Ethereum. Fellows received mentorship, expertise, and access to leaders within the Ethereum ecosystem. [5]

Unlike regular grant support, the Fellowship Program aimed to extend its impact beyond funding specific projects. It sought to inspire others to learn from the cohort's work and to undertake similar initiatives in their own communities or develop enhanced solutions. [5]

Benson Njuguna, formerly of Acre Africa, worked on using solutions for a microinsurance product aimed at protecting small-scale farmers in Kenya from extreme weather events, showcasing Ethereum's potential for sustainable products targeting lower-income individuals. [5]

Chuy Cepeda, from OS.City, provided a platform for municipal and national governments to issue digital identities and blockchain-based documents. He collaborated with the Argentine government to promote blockchain adoption in the public sector in Latin America. [5]

Kuldeep Bandhu Aryal, representing BRAC, developed a blockchain and crypto strategy for the NGO, which serves over 100 million people annually. His project involved multiple blockchain experiments, potentially serving as a model for other social enterprises and the development sector. [5]

Naroa Zurutuza, from Giga, explored Ethereum-based solutions to help connect every school to the internet. She aimed to enhance the accountability of service providers, finance connectivity infrastructures, and provide access to the global economy and marketplaces through blockchain technology. [5]

Second Cohort

In the second cohort, EF Fellows were chosen based on their individual quests representing possibilities for Ethereum-enabled growth. [6]

Selection criteria were somewhat flexible. Some fellows aimed to broaden Ethereum's utility to new demographics, while others sought firsthand insights from communities where Ethereum might not yet have been applicable. Additionally, some fellows investigated broader challenges impacting the current Ethereum community or its future trajectory. [6]

Fellows included:

  • Abhishek Bhattacharya, co-founder of Brú Finance, oversaw the transition of a harvest-time loan system from a permissioned private blockchain to a public chain, aiming to incorporate decentralized liquidity for farmers globally.

  • Gabriela Guerra, founder of Bloinx, piloted blockchain-based tandas (informal savings circles) in Mexico and Venezuela, exploring blockchain's potential to benefit unbanked populations.

  • Geoffrey See, co-founder of Poko, delved into the interaction between DAOs and governments, investigating how governments can understand and accommodate the unique needs of decentralized organizations.

  • Karam Alhamad, founder of ZeFi, researched blockchain applications in conflict settings, seeking culturally-sensitive solutions to problems faced by Syrian communities.

  • Marcus Alburez Myers, working with Lamina POP, explored real-world barriers to DeFi-based housing finance in Guatemala, aiming to develop solutions for marginalized communities.

  • Mary Davies, a legal researcher, investigated trustless and decentralized mechanisms for transferring crypto assets after death, addressing legal complexities.

  • Mihajlo Atanackovic, leading the digital transformation of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, explored integrating web3 technologies like DAOs into the global youth organization's operations.

Third Cohort

The third cohort of the Next Billion Fellowship at the Ethereum Foundation introduced five individuals who started their fellowship. These fellows offered unique perspectives on how Ethereum could empower individuals to shape collective futures. Through their stories, the Fellowship aimed to uncover the nuanced contexts in which the protocol was utilized for coordination. [7]

Brian Limiardi, co-founder of Copra Finance, researched the needs of workers and small businesses in Indonesia who use cryptocurrency for invoicing and bookkeeping to improve access to financial tools like loans. [7]

Devansh Mehta, co-founder of VoiceDeck, explored methodologies for documenting the impact of investigative journalism and other subjective public goods to find funding mechanisms valuing positive social outcomes. [7]

Masahiro “Masa” Fukuhara, from ONGAESHI DAO, investigated mechanisms for retroactive solidarity payments in education and employment to reward contributors to education initiatives when businesses hire their students. [7]

Mulenga Kapwepwe, co-founder of the Women’s History Museum of Zambia, collaborated with the Zambian community to create a tokenized artifact registry, exploring museum revenue sharing for community documentation of African art and crafting methodologies. [7]

Valeriia “Ria” Panina, an advisor to Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation, researched the adoption of cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications in Ukraine, aiming to map emergent use cases and behaviors during times of crisis. [7]

Fourth Cohort

Applications for the fourth cohort opened on June 2, 2023. From over 400 applications reviewed, 35 participants received a stipend. Additionally, 5 retroactive stipends were awarded to permissionless participants. During the 4-month period, fellows collaborated with 27 core developer mentors from various client and research teams within the ecosystem. Their progress was documented in nearly 600 weekly updates. [8]

Executive Board

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Ethereum Foundation (EF)

Commit Info

Edited By

0xfaF91FF28393Cf9292A351DbEa5FA6DCF34538D3
yena

Edited On

June 2, 2024

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