Ethereum Foundation’s refusal to disclose funds granted raises questions in the community

Ethereum Foundation, one of the main powerhouses behind Ethereum [ETH], the second largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap and leading smart contract platform, released details regarding its first grant for 2019. This announcement has raised some questions within the community itself.

The Foundation’s main purpose is to support and promote Ethereum and base layer research. Along with this, the Foundation also encourages development and education that leads to the inception of decentralized protocol and tools. In order to serve this purpose, the Ethereum Foundation introduced a grants system, under which the Foundation funds programs that facilitate the development of the Ethereum ecosystem.

In a recent announcement with respect to this year’s initial grant, the Foundation stated that the program is an “ongoing and continually improving experiment into how the Ethereum Foundation can best invest the Ethereum community’s resources for the highest long-term impact on the Ethereum ecosystem.”

The main focus of the program at the beginning was Ethereum’s scalability. This list grew over time with the addition of security, usability, privacy and education as key focus areas. However, according to the Foundation’s latest announcement, scalability will be the core focus for this year, in light of the upcoming Ethereum 2.0 and Level 2 scaling.

A total of nine projects received a grant from the Ethereum Foundation, including The Matter, LeapDAO, Py-libp2p, Ethereum on ARM, Goerli Testnet, Shadow Lands and DeepSEA.

However, the Foundation refusing to reveal the amount being granted resulted in several members of the community questioning its claims of being an Open Source community. The Foundation claimed that the reason for the same is that the Foundation does not want “applications to be prejudiced by previous wish-lists and award amounts. Instead […] seek innovative ideas & detailed budgets.”

Bitcoin1776, a Redditor said,

“I am very disheartened to see the EF moving away from participation in the “Open Source” community and moving toward a Privatized Ownership. The increased obfuscation, and the repeated representations that the EF is not a charity and is not open and is seemingly not bound to support ETH, aside the good graces of the Signing members (VB, et al), creates significant public confusion.”

He further added,

“Is the EF part of the Open Community or a Privatized Club? From the representation of their management, it is clear. But the general public, sadly, still thinks of them as Open and part of Ethereum. This to me is going the way of Ripple, and not the inclusive direction I would have preferred for Ethereum, but c’est la vie: it’s private property, they can do with it what they want.”

The Foundation had previously granted $5 million to Parity Technologies for its work on scalability, usability and security of the Ethereum network, with respect to Ethereum 2.0. The Foundation, citing Parity’s contribution to technological advancements for Proof-of-Stake, Sharding, and Web Assembly had stated that they could not “think of a more applicable fit for a grant.”

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