Applications are open for the Merge data challenge and Semaphore grants. See the details and apply.
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About ESP

We provide grants and other support for open source projects that strengthen Ethereum's foundations, with a particular focus on builder tools, infrastructure, research and public goods.

People reading about the ESP

Supporting Builders

ESP funding is generally directed toward supporting builders rather than directly impacting end users. We don't often fund dapps or front-end platforms, although this is not a hard rule and there are exceptions - for example, where an application serves as a research or educational tool, or a reference implementation of a new standard.

Our grantees come from all over the world and represent many different backgrounds, disciplines and levels of experience. We have supported individuals and teams of all kinds - companies, DAOs, nonprofits, institutions, academics, developers, educators, community organizers and more.

Our blog also features monthly roundups which showcase grantees' progress after their grants are awarded and go into more detail about their background and work.

Latest Grantees

This is only a small sample – we'll highlight a few at a time and rotate periodically, so make sure to check back once in a while for updates!

Community & education

Road to Devcon Meetup and Event Grants
Round of small grants to virtual and in-person meetups around the world.
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Community-focused conference in Lisbon, Portugal.
Research into approaches to third party allocation via programmatically defined DAOs (based on on-chain traction) which could leverage the domain knowledge of individuals and communities in the Ethereum ecosystem to serve as resource allocators.
ETHAtlanta 2021 by ETHAtlanta
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Enterprise-focused community event in Atlanta, Georgia, US.
Monthly meetup in Torino, Italy, with a project-focused agenda.
Conference in Lagos, Nigeria covering a variety of topics including making the switch from Web2 to Web3.
Kickstarting community growth in Cuba.
Support for Ethereum community development in Honduras including meetups, developer events and Spanish-language Ethereum content.
Organization supporting applied cryptography research and development.
Maintenance and extension of the web3.js Ethereum JavaScript API and development of a website to serve as a hub for web3.js documentation, educational content, and community.
Nonprofit promoting sensible regulatory approaches to cryptocurrency technology through research, advocacy and educating policymakers.
Nonprofit dedicated to promoting digital privacy, free speech, and innovation.
Three month online course aiming to familiarize Nepalese developers with the key elements of blockchain technology through instruction and project-based learning.
Community talks and meetups in Colombia's Coffee Region.
Grassroots activism group that fights for a future where technology is a force for liberation and not oppression.
Ethereum Medellín by Platohedro
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Community development in Medellín, Colombia.

Consensus layer

Development and continued support of Wagyu, a multi-client, desktop UI automating the setup and management of staking infrastructure.
Beacon Chain Network Stress Testing by CryptoManufaktur
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Beacon chain network stress and scenario tests on cloud instances distributed across the globe; initial tests will be performed against small 32-node networks to assess viability, refine test tooling, and formulate a methodology for subsequent, larger tests.
Validator Load Testing by Ethereum on Arm
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Mainnet load testing on restricted capacity ARM devices, and publication of metrics and reports regarding load capabilities of Ethereum validators on many different client and hardware choices.

Cryptography & zero knowledge proofs

Advancing Tree-Based Vector Commitments
Exploration into approaches to tree-based vector commitments, including RSA groups, multilinear and lattice-based constructions, to address challenges such as aggregatability and post-quantum security.
Foundations of hash-based SNARKs book by Alessandro Chiesa and Eylon Yogev
Book covering the information-theoretic foundations of hash-based SNARKs, with a focus on mathematical correctness, comprehensiveness and clarity of results.
API to manage MACI proof generation using messages signed with the coordinator's private key, a more straightforward and scalable interface allowing users to construct correct proofs by running commands in the cli.
Content sharing platform demonstrating the use of a prediction market mechanism for collaborative curation.
Identity, Reputation and ZKP research by Justin Martin
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Development of proofs of cryptographically-verifiable truth claims, such as ownership of web2 identities or government issued credentials.
Contributions to research and development on the zkEVM project, which aims to build both a zk rollup that directly supports smart contracts, and a proof of validity for the EVM that could verify Ethereum's entire history in one proof.

Execution layer

Mempool Research & Data Support - EIP 1559 by Blocknative
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Provision of historical mempool data for backtesting and simulations of how EIP-1559 would have behaved under past scenarios.
Continued maintenance and development of the Besu execution client.
APIs and front end interface for the open-source Ethereum node crawler available as part of go-ethereum.
Maintenance of the OpenEthereum client as needed until the merge, and contribution to development of the Erigon execution client.

Developer experience & tooling

Ongoing development and maintenance of TypeChain and other Ethereum developer tools.
Rethnet is a native, flexible, extensible, fast, and language-agnostic EVM local development network, distributed as a Rust library, that is designed to be the back-end for tools that provide debugging information to developers.
Collection, publishing, and categorization of MEV-rich data in order to bring further visibility to MEV and promote understanding of the problem.
Improving JS Ethereum Cryptography by Paul Miller
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Security & auditability improvements to the widely used js-ethereum-cryptography library.
Open-source toolkit for facilitating contributions and bounties across the Ethereum ecosystem.
Formally verifying key Ethers.js modules in Kind-Lang, and support for Kind-Lang community development.
Continuation of research and proof-of-concept development by a group of students and professors from the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science to demonstrate that key features of the Obsidian smart contract language can translate successfully to Ethereum.
Formal Verification of Contracts Library by OpenZeppelin
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Formal verification by Certora of OpenZeppelin's library of template contracts for commonly-used components and standards.
ZK Rollup and L2 Developer Tools by Ryodan
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Work on Layer 2 and zk rollups including a zk rollup design that eliminates transaction history data for contract execution and zkCloud, a service which aims to help developers use zero-knowledge proofs to write smart contracts and programs more easily.

General Research

Protocol Research by Daniel Perez
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Sponsorship of PhD research at Imperial College London, including L1 actual transaction throughput and DeFi contract vulnerabilities.

Consensus Layer

Continued support for ETHStaker, a community group promoting and supporting Ethereum staking through education, advocacy, technical support, tooling, etc; and funding of a mainnet ETHStaker validator to be used for demonstrations, client metrics, and more.
Continued development of ssz.dev, a website documenting and demonstrating the SSZ serialization standard, including a visualization playground and React-based SSZ implementation.
Continued development of the Lodestar JS consensus client, with goals including light client R&D, improved tooling and documentation, and Merge readiness.
Research and optimization of the DiscV5 service discovery mechanism; current goal is the publication of a report including performance evaluation of the proposed mechanism and an evaluation of its resistance against attacks.
Continued development of the Prysm consensus client.
Continued development of the Stereum "one click installer" for solo stakers to install a beacon chain client and dependencies in a single setup, with support for all production clients on testnet and mainnet.
Continued development of the Lighthouse consensus client.

Layer 2

Maintenance and expansion of L2BEAT, a website offering statistics, analysis and risk factors for comparison between Layer 2 scaling solutions.

Other

Infrastructure that assures the reliability, authenticity, and traceability of both physical and digital artworks by recording complex data.

User experience

Ethereum-based authentication and authorization of usage rights to physical devices.
People gathered around the Ethereum tree
People gathered around the Ethereum tree

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