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.
To aid this community effort, in 2020 we launched our Crypto Community Fund, and in 2021 we’ve allocated $2M through Coinbase Giving, our philanthropic arm, to expand the program. Today, we’re officially seeking applications for our 2021 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:
- Scalability: 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).
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
We encourage all blockchain developers and prospective developers to apply for a Crypto Community Fund grant here, by September 15, 2021.
Proposals will be shortlisted by current crypto developers and important community members. Coinbase will make the final decision.
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