The last few days have been eventful, eye-opening and wonderful for the Ethereum Community Fund (ECF).Not only was there fruitful dialogue between founding members, more importantly we witnessed a new direction and message from the Ethereum Foundation. This new approach is more focused on social impact, raising awareness about the need to grow the community and get more people on research initiatives. In line with the Ethereum Foundation, the ECF concluded that there is a much-needed urge for consensus in our activities to grow the ecosystem.
We are proud and honored to announce that the Ethereum Community Fund is an entirely non-profit initiative. The ECF is committed to providing grants to support critical infrastructure, augment developer tooling, advocate for education and open source development and support the Ethereum community.
ECF Founding members: Maker, OmiseGO, Global Brain, Cosmos, Web3 Foundation, and Golem with with Aya Miyaguchi and Vitalik Buterin (Ethereum Foundation), Wendell Davis (ECF)
Our days in Tokyo were hectic, we must admit we are tired, but we return home hopeful and pleased with what’s in stock for the fund and the participant projects that conform it.
There is an outstanding Ethereum community forming in Japan. We witnessed its birth during the Ethereum Japan meet up at Tokyo University. Aya Miyaguchi, the newly-appointed Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation, took the stage and explained how Ethereum and blockchain sparked her interest due to the high social impact potential that they bring the world.
“Blockchain has ways to maintain the balance, and Ethereum has the community that cares”
This was a breath of fresh air, a much-needed shift of focus. The social impact element has always been there, but it’s now resurfaced stronger than ever as a result of Aya’s bright leadership.
Notably, during the event, there was focus on aiding war-zone migrants. GiveDirectly, a non-profit that provides cash transfers to refugees and people in extreme need; received a generous donation from Vitalik Buterin and the OmiseGO team.
The researchers that are making the future of Ethereum also took on the stage and through their inspiring and dedicated presentations, they urged the community to get involved. In the words of Karl Floersch, Casper Researcher: “it is critical that we can spread the decentralized vision”. Then David Knott, researcher for Plasma, came up to the stage and asked everyone to “talk about what matters, do research and build.” Lastly, Joseph Poon spoke about the theory of the firm and how our decentralized movement can fundamentally shift the way future organizations behave. It is inspiring to see the researchers aligned, determined and becoming more and more vocal to raise awareness through the impact of their words and work.
Then the ECF’s big day came along: we presented the first five grantees of the Infrastructure Grants program.
The grantees, tireless builders, and researchers answered Wendell Davis’ questions and introduced their projects for the ECF audience in the Japanese capital. As an initiative from ECF, we decided to launch a podcast to highlight their voices, and their interview series will be available soon. In the meantime, here’s the event video, where you can learn more about the first winners: Prysmatic Labs, Reality Check, XLNT Protocol, EthPrize and Swingby Protocol.
Josh Stark, from EthPrize accepted the grant and stated: “Once we have solved these critical infrastructure problems, we can change the world in a more meaningful way.” While Rahul from Prysmatic Labs, that got a grant for their Sharding client said: “I highly recommend that those who want to join initiatives, take a deep dive into the material that’s online, do their research, explore the community, and join us.” The message is crystal clear.
The day closed with a panel with the founding members, that offered insights into their projects, collaboration and why Ethereum enables the community to believe in the technology enough to work tirelessly to improve it. Jae Kwon, Cosmos and Tendermint Co-Founder and CEO, remarked: “the collaborative spirit of the members make the ECF a unique forum for solving real problems for the Ethereum community as well as the cryptocurrency ecosystem at large.”
In the past few months, we have seen a crescent number of funding initiatives coming into the scene. We are glad to join them and to work alongside them. As Dr. Gavin Wood stated during his short but determined speech before introducing Aya to the ECF invitees, this is nothing but a “Conglomeration of goodwill. Only in a decentralized ecosystem like Ethereum, it is possible to align to create something of great value”.
Moving forward, we will continue to build the foundations of the ECF. As we aid the ecosystem to become more robust, we will also strengthen our structure and the means to provide the assistance we are working on.
As the title for this blog states: what happens in Tokyo, does not stay in Tokyo. We are determined to continue these actions, and provide the necessary information to become better and more transparent day after day. We look forward to the community’s feedback, suggestions and we keep the ECF’s doors open for projects that need funding and those who would like to join us as well.
Vitalik Buterin – Founder, Ethereum Aya Miyaguchi – Executive Director, Ethereum Foundation Jae Kwon -Cosmos Wendel Davis – ECF with Grantee Panel QJ – Advisor to MakerDAO Julian – Golem / Dr. Gavin Wood -Web3 Foundation)