2022 Developer Grants Call for Applications

By: Trent Fuenmayor, Program Manager, Coinbase Giving

Coinbase’s mission is to increase economic freedom in the world through the crypto-economy. To achieve this, it is essential to develop common infrastructure that is transparent, safe, secure, and benefits all participants. The open source community has provided critical support for Crypto development, with some support from donations from industry organizations and academic institutions. Our goal is to similarly support developers who are committed to growing and maintaining the Crypto ecosystem.

We launched our Crypto Community Fund in 2020 to aid this community effort, and in 2022 we’ve allocated up to $5M through Coinbase Giving, our philanthropic arm, to expand the program. Today, we have officially opened applications for our 2022 developer grants focused on blockchain developers who contribute directly to a blockchain codebase or researchers producing white papers addressing one or more of the following themes:

  1. Scalability and interoperability of blockchains: Scalability is a huge barrier to adoption. Current development varies between layer 2 protocols, and has different consensus mechanisms and layer 1 structures. While much of this work has high monetary value, we are specifically looking to fund novel approaches and applications which are not so easily monetized (for example: rollups that originate in math/graph theories).
  2. Privacy, Identity, and Zero Knowledge research: Financial privacy is a critical and necessary development for a widespread, safe adoption of crypto. In a world where personal privacy is increasingly at risk, we recognize that the public and permanent broadcasting of transaction history can be concerning. We are open to any applications related to this area, but we are particularly interested in development related to composable privacy — privacy preservation which can be combined with smart contract ecosystems. For example, this may lend itself to academic zero knowledge research.
  3. Protocol security, audit research, developer experience, and other foundational infrastructure: The crypto-economy should be safe for all users, and this is only possible when the protocols themselves are verifiably safe. This could take the form of a better developer experience, so that common bugs are easier to avoid, better audit tooling, or even work like Solidify, our static analysis tool. To this end, we’re looking for projects which improve the foundational security of contracts, prevent exploits, and otherwise do the needful, inglorious, sometimes non-monetizable work.
  4. Environmental footprint: For the crypto-economy to have a place in the mainstream, it must be sustainable. While there is still much to understand about the scale of impact, there’s no debate that mining is energy-intensive. We’re excited to see applications with innovative solutions to address this generational challenge.
  5. Wild card: If you are working on a foundational improvement and are finding it hard to get funding, we want to hear from you!

Eligibility and Preferences

  • We welcome applications across any blockchain.
  • We are open to submissions for any time frame, although our default is year-long grants.
  • Our primary focus is to fund initiatives that maximize community benefit (and that is typically harder to monetize) and/or research that advances the industry.
  • We seek diversity in applicants and projects.
  • Some examples of previous recipients can be found here.

Process

We will consider these applications on a rolling basis. Proposals will be shortlisted by current crypto developers and important community members. Coinbase will make the final decision.

We encourage all blockchain developers and prospective developers to apply for a Crypto Community Fund grant here.

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2022 Developer Grants Call for Applications was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Announcing our second developer grant winners

By Trent Fuenmayor, Program Manager, Coinbase Giving

In August, we made a call for applications through our Crypto Community Fund focused on blockchain developers who contribute directly to a blockchain codebase, or researchers producing white papers. Today, we’re excited to announce the Fund’s second batch of developer grants to 6 recipients: AMIS Technologies, Josie, Escanor Liones, WeFuzz Research, and two developers funded through a partnership with Brink.

All candidates demonstrated a consistent history of contributing to blockchains, as well as innovative ideas, and provided the Fund’s advisory board with a clear, actionable outline of the projects they intend to work on. They will both be funded to work on their projects for all of 2022, with their grants funded in BTC or USD based on the recipient’s preference.

AMIS Technologies (github, blog) will be providing various digital signature protocols based on multi-party computation (abbrev. MPC) in the blockchain including ECDSA, Schnorr Signature, Bls Signature, and Bip32( i.e. Hierarchical deterministic wallet). The audited Library will continue to open to developers. They believe that MPC will be an alternative option for private key management.

Josie (github, twitter) will be working on the unit, functional, and fuzz testing in Bitcoin Core by focusing on improving test coverage and refactoring for performance and clarity. He will also be supporting three researchers on a project centered around analyzing bitcoin transactions, specifically on fees and privacy when used as a means of payment. Last but not least, he will be performing code review and testing PRs in Bitcoin Core.

Escanor Liones (github, twiter) will be designing and implementing a sequence of blockchains to promote the study, advancement and improvement of mathematics, cryptography and digital security. The present grant will fund one of those blockchains. His previous published work focused on Information-Theoretical Private Information Retrieval (IT-PIR) in the form of a practical Postgres C/C++ Extension using Quantum Resistant Lattice-based Cryptography; see the open sourced implementation here. A paper will be published with the details about the design in early summer; and, a blog or a paper towards the end of the year speaking to the implementation and the experience of designing, building and deploying a blockchain.

WeFuzz (github, twitter, website, discord) plans to build a, fully decentralized, crowdsourced security audit and bug bounty platform: a set of smart contracts that allow developers and companies to get their smart contracts, blockchains, web3 applications etc., audited by the decentralized auditors’ and hackers’ community and makes it easy for everyone to secure their assets. WEFUZZ (Chaitanya and Ranjeet) aims to become the *Hacker DAO*.

Brink (website) is a 501c3 that exists to strengthen the Bitcoin protocol and network through fundamental research and development, and to support the Bitcoin developer community through funding, education, and mentoring. They support and mentor new contributors to open source Bitcoin development through their fellowship program, and support the work of established Bitcoin protocol engineers through their grants program. Coinbase has funded two Bitcoin core developers through their partnership with Brink.

The Crypto Community Fund grantees will provide periodic updates about their work through public blog posts. The Fund will also be placing an additional call for developer grants later this year, and encourages future applicants to subscribe to updates here.


Announcing our second developer grant winners was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.