Ethereum Foundation Awards Grants to Scalability Researchers

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The Ethereum Foundation frequently gives out grants to projects and causes it believes are beneficial to the Ethereum ecosystem. One of the biggest flaws that Ethereum currently faces is scalability. When the network gets swamped with transactions, gas fees rise astronomically, as we saw back in July 2018 when a rogue dApp pushed gas fees to a record high of $5.50. To help combat this – and in the name of scalability – the Ethereum Foundation has awarded the majority of its grant money for this round to Eth2.0 projects and second layer scaling solutions.

Plasma Projects Getting Big Bucks

For the uninitiated, Plasma is very similar to the Lightning Network that runs over on the Bitcoin network, in the sense that it uses off-chain payment channels while relying on the underlying network to ensure its security. The Matter received a sum of cash to productionize its Plasma Ignis code that can support up to 500 transactions per second using a SNARK-driven roll up.

In addition to The Matter, LeapDAO received funding for its Plasma Leap which is essentially a more efficient and viable Plasma design and offers smart contracting functionality.

Constantinople Set to Help

The Constantinople upgrade is due to go live today, but there is still a slight chance that it could get postponed yet again. The Constantinople upgrade has been fraught with errors and bugs, originally crashing the Ropsten testnet back in October 2018. These issues were eventually worked out and Ropsten was brought back to life, but just days before its launch date in January, a major bug was discovered that would have prevented a consensus from being achieved.

Allegedly the issues have been fixed and Constantinople should be rolling out at some point today. If all goes to play, Constantinople should help improve scalability, delay the difficulty bomb, adjust block rewards, and add in a handful of other new features.

Parity Received Prior Funding

While this new round of funding focuses mainly on Plasma, the last batch of funding helped Parity produce its node client. However, earlier this month Parity discovered a major bug that could have caused chaos had a hacker utilized it – bringing the Ethereum network grinding to a halt. Parity found the bug before it was exploited and issued a quick fix. Hopefully, these two Plasma related projects don’t suffer a similar fate.

The Ethereum Foundation has refused to disclose funding amounts to remove any prejudice from recipients. While this means we don’t know how much each project was awarded, we can be sure that it was a significant amount that will help the two projects build and test their Plasma integrations.