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A Summary of

Ethereum scalability research and development subsidy programs

by
Vitalik Buterin
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Scalability is perhaps the single most important technical challenge for blockchain applications to reach mass adoption.

Paths to blockchain scalability

  1. Sharding
    1. Creating better-designed base-layer blockchain protocols
    2. Maintain most of the desired decentralization and security properties
    3. Only require a small percentage of nodes to see and process every transaction
    4. Allows for many more transactions to be processed at one time
  2. Layer 2
    1. Send most transactions off-chain
    2. Only interact with underlying blockchain to enter and exit layer-2 system

Ethereum's need for scaling

  1. Looking for independent teams to collaborate with Ethereum Research
  2. Need teams for 2 projects including base-layer scalability research and layer-2 projects
  3. Ethereum Foundation will subsidize independent groups that want to help build and participate in sharding testnets and mainnet
    1. Subsidy amounts will be from $50,000 to $1,000,000, potentially higher for successful projects
  4. Layer-2 subsidy program is also available for those who want to build scalability and latency-reducing platforms
    1. Subsidies will be structured like the sharding scheme with $50,000 to $1,000,000
  5. Both programs are in the early stage
    1. Grants will be identified by core leadership of Ethereum
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