Overview of grant programs for blockchain developers

    Grant programs for blockchain developers are a fairly common practice. Their essence in the general case boils down to one thing - monetary incentives for active community members for participating in the development of the project ecosystem (in this case, it is primarily about blockchain platforms for creating decentralized online services such as Waves or Ethereum).

    Under “ecosystem development” can be meant the identification and solution of problems existing on the platform, the development of missing services and tools, the creation of educational materials, the integration of platform products into real business or something else.

    The principle of the grant programs on different platforms does not have significant differences. The blockchain company determines the most priority areas for itself and allocates a budget for the payment of grants, as a rule, in its own cryptocurrency.

    Most often, the priority areas of companies include launching solutions and conducting research that promotes the growth of the ecosystem of the blockchain platform, such as infrastructure solutions - development tools, frameworks, customized wallets, blockchain explorer, etc .; Cases on the implementation of blockchain technology in the real economy - asset tokenization, stablecoin issuance, cryptocurrency integration, etc. The development of dApps - decentralized applications is a separate large area of ​​support.

    According to the siteDapp.com , until April 2019, more than 2,400 decentralized apps have been released. Of course, not all of them are active, only 1300 are supported by developers, the rest are abandoned or closed to users. Nevertheless, 68 thousand unique addresses that conduct 1.5 million transactions access applications daily. The ecosystem supports almost 6 thousand smart contracts, and the general trend is that in the near future the number of dApps will only grow. Blockchain platforms actively support the launch of new applications, including grants.

    dApp is an application that runs without a backend on blockchain nodes. Such an application is being developed using smart contracts.

    The most popular categories among dApps released today aregame and gambling projects. However, each platform determines its own priority direction. For example, for Waves, these are games, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), auctions, prediction markets, payments, solutions for STO (Security Token Offerings) and stablecoins.

    Any interaction on the grant program, as a rule, begins with the application of the developer. The grant applicant must apply to the grant program and provide detailed information about himself and his idea. After that, a dialogue begins with the developer. If the platform is interested in the proposed solution, the grant will be approved, and the developer will be able to proceed with the project.

    A grant can be issued in advance, before the start of development, in parts, as the idea is implemented or upon completion of the work. But you need to be prepared for the fact that most often platforms require a report on the work done. The format of reports on different platforms may vary.

    One way or another, both parties benefit from such cooperation. The platform receives new, loyal users and the necessary service or application. And for a blockchain developer, this is an opportunity to attract additional funds for the development of his project or to realize the idea that he wanted to implement, but for which he previously did not have enough time or money.

    Therefore, if you are interested in blockchain and have long wanted to try yourself as a developer of decentralized solutions, but did not have the opportunity to do this, then the grant program is a great way to get financing for the project and enter the blockchain industry.

    For more specifics, I suggest going through some grant programs open to blockchain developers.

    Waves grants

    Waves Grants is a grant program from Waves. The program was launched to support developers working with blockchain platform products. Waves Grants focuses on tools and services that can make Waves products and technologies more efficient and user-friendly and benefit the Waves ecosystem.

    The Waves Grants program was launched in January this year. In February, the first grant batch was distributed for a total of 16.665 WAVES. In total, 31 grants totaling more than 81 thousand WAVES have been issued to date. Of these, 15 projects have already been completed , the rest is planned to be completed in the near future.

    Waves Grants participants can be either teams or individual developers with ready-made projects or just an idea. The only condition: even if the project is at a very early stage, the team should already have a developer with at least minimal experience and portfolio. The exception is cases that are not related to programming, for example, the creation of educational materials or research.

    To set the general direction, the Waves Labs teamoffers several specific cases that a developer can take as a basis for his project. Here, for example, are a few of them: a Shapeshift-style crypto exchange service for tokens issued on the Waves platform, using Waves Keeper for authorization, tools to easily run oracles, cryptocurrency payment solutions, detailed instructions for integrating payments in WAVES and tokens released on the platform, to any site, solutions for STO, escrow services. All this is proposed to be implemented using the updated programming language RIDE .

    The developer can implement one of the presented cases or offer his idea of ​​a service based on the Waves platform, in both cases the chances of receiving a grant will be equal. Having experience working with Waves tools is also optional, the program works both with developers from other ecosystems and those who do not even have experience with the blockchain.

    Grant applications are accepted through a public form . They are examined by the Waves commission, which includes representatives from Waves Labs (the Waves division in charge of the grant program), representatives from the developer relations department and company management.

    The grant size is determined individually, depending on the complexity and scale of the task, the needs of the developer / team and the importance of the project for the Waves ecosystem. The total amount of financing is 1 million WAVES.

    By the way, one and the same project can count on several grants - or on the development of several solutions, or at different stages of work on one solution.

    As a report on their work, grant recipients in most cases provide a demo, source code and instructions for the Waves community, in which they will tell how to use the solution and apply it in other projects.

    Another important point - when issuing grants, Waves does not claim intellectual property. All development rights remain with grant recipients.

    Waves incubator

    Waves Incubator is another area of ​​developer support from Waves. Unlike the Waves Grants program, which focuses on small projects with implementation periods of up to 3 months, the Waves Incubator is a larger and longer-term initiative.

    The incubator supports projects with a development period of up to one year. Particular attention is paid to the development of dApps in the RIDE programming language .

    The ultimate goal of the initiative is to go beyond the technical side of blockchain solutions and make them full-fledged profitable businesses, while promoting the use of Waves technology in everyday life.

    Among the proposed Waves Labs cases: the development of a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) or a framework for simplifying the creation of DAO; decentralized games; platform for launching auctions; gambling dApps that combine the transparency and reliability of the blockchain with the excitement of online casinos; prediction markets. But as with the Waves Grants initiative, other ideas are also welcome.

    But since the projects supported by Waves Incubator are larger, the amount of financial support is higher: up to 100,000 WAVES per project. The total funding for the Waves Incubator program is 1 million WAVES.

    Finally, in addition to financing, the Waves Incubator provides technical support from the Waves team under the supervision of the development department, as well as marketing and PR support.

    Like Waves Grants, the Waves Incubator program is open to both individual developers and teams, and funding can be provided on a long-term basis - either at different stages of one project, or for different projects of one developer.

    To participate in the incubator, you need an idea and a strategy for its implementation: what stages of development will be required, what kind of result will be obtained, etc. Applications for participation are accepted through a public form .

    Zcash Foundation Grants

    Zcash Foundation is a foundation created by Zcash developers to develop the project ecosystem. Twice a year (2nd and 4th quarters), the fund launches a new wave of its grant program .

    Anyone can submit their idea for a grant. The Zcash Foundation team gives program participants the freedom to choose a development direction. And for those who are just looking for inspiration, Zcash offers to get ideas on GitHub or on the project website . Among others, the priority areas include: Zcash custom wallets, Zcash network security solutions, mining solutions, and more.

    Grant applications are accepted by mail: contact@zfnd.org. In a letter, the organizers of the program are asked to indicate the most complete information about the project or idea presented for the grant. In particular, justify the importance of development for the Zcash ecosystem, prescribe technical details - how the project will be implemented, how it will work, how safe it is, describe the experience of the team, what successes the developers expect after launching the finished product, in what time the team will be able to implement the idea, and also on how much grant the team expects with justification for this amount. The grant recipient will also have to submit monthly progress reports.

    Grants are paid in Zcash cryptocurrency through the ZF Grants platform . The fund laid a budget of $ 500 thousand for grants in 2019.

    Ethereum Foundation Grants Program

    The Ethereum Foundation Grants Program is an initiative of the Ethereum Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting developers in the Ethereum ecosystem. The main Fox program is the creation of Ethereum 2.0 solutions, second-level solutions for network scaling (like Plasma ), as well as other studies related to the transition of the ecosystem to the Proof-Of-Stake consensus algorithm.

    Both teams and individual developers are allowed to participate in the program.

    ConsenSys Grants

    ConsenSys is a global community of developers and businessmen involved in creating blockchain infrastructure and decentralized applications. In November 2018, ConsenSys founder Joseph Lubin launched the ConsenSys Grants grant program to support Ethereum-based projects.

    The total budget of the grant program for 2019 is $ 550 thousand and is divided into categories:

    • Infrastructure projects - $ 200 thousand
    • Compatibility and tools for developers - $ 125 thousand
    • Research and educational materials - $ 75 thousand
    • User experience - $ 75 thousand
    • Security - $ 75 thousand

    Subsequently, the categories will be determined by the Ethereum community.

    Any project aimed at developing the Ethereum ecosystem and blockchain technology can take part in the program. Grants are issued through the GitCoin service in amounts of 10 and 25 thousand dollars.

    Zilliqa Ecosystem Grant Program

    Zilliqa is a blockchain infrastructure designed to create smart contracts and decentralized applications. The project was founded in June 2017. The launch of the Zilliqa main network took place relatively recently - in January 2019. In order to encourage developers to create tools, libraries and dApps for the platform, the company announced the launch of the Zilliqa Ecosystem Grant Program grant program .

    Zilliqa Ecosystem Grant has 3 areas:

    1. infrastructure projects (development tools, frameworks, SDKs, mining tools or basic level applications - Wallet / Explorer / Miner / Analytics tools, etc.);
    2. innovative products (a track for entrepreneurs who want to create decentralized applications on the Zilliqa blockchain - asset tokenization, stablecoins, gaming, reputation and other applications);
    3. a research direction in which participants in the grant program are invited to identify and study the most important problems of the Zilliqa ecosystem and the blockchain in general.

    The maximum grant amount for infrastructure and innovation projects is $ 20 thousand. The size of the grant in the research area is determined individually. Payments can be made in the cryptocurrency ZIL, ETH or USD.

    As you can see, blockchain platforms provide a good opportunity for developers to try themselves in the blockchain direction or receive funds for the development of the project. And even if you do not have blockchain development experience, you can still count on a grant. All that is needed is to present the idea and show its benefits for the platform ecosystem. So, in any case, things are in Waves. We are waiting for your applications .

    If you have questions about participating in Waves Grants or Waves IncubatorI will be happy to answer them in the comments.

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