At the time of writing, Ethereum is close to its yearly lows versus both Bitcoin and the US dollar.
However, regardless of its current price, the Ethereum Foundation has been making strides towards a better future.
Let’s take a look at the latest news coming out of Ethereum and where the project is heading in both the short and long term.
Grants awarded to key projects
In recent months, the Ethereum Foundation has awarded substantial grants to leading client development teams currently tasked with delivering multi-client testnets as the project approaches the launch of Ethereum 2.0.
Client grants were awarded to projects like Harmony, Sigma Prime, Status, WhiteBlock, and Chainsafe. There were a number of bounties given to individual developers and smaller organisations as well.
It seems as though the Ethereum Foundation is helping community projects to grow in order to leverage certain parts of its network.
By awarding grants to various projects, Ethereum is distributing its core tasks among different teams with diverse backgrounds and experience.
Instead of having its core and surrounding teams focus on everything, the Foundation has been directly funding projects to outsource development.
Devcon Scholars Program
The Devcon Scholars Program is an Ethereum Foundation initiative designed to provide an opportunity for Ethereum ecosystem members from underserved communities, unique circumstances, or developing areas to attend the largest annual Ethereum community gathering – the Devcon5 conference, to be held October 10-12 2019 in Osaka, Japan.
In collaboration with ecosystem leaders including UNICEF Innovation, ConsenSys, and Bounties Network, the Ethereum Foundation selected 50 plus scholars from around the world to participate in the program.
The selected scholars represent various walks of life as well as wide-ranging levels of blockchain knowledge. Their skill sets include design, software engineering, academia, and policy experience, among other key fields of expertise.
Recipients are provided with free travel and accommodation, professional networking opportunities, and individual guidance from a group of volunteers. The goal is to invite scholars to publish articles on the transformative potential of blockchain technology and later on their experiences at the conference.
In addition, tickets to the conference can be acquired and distributed using an NFT contract (non-fungible token contract) through a partnership with ether.cards. There will also be a paid raffle for tickets, with donations going towards the Devcon Scholars Program.
Upgrades towards Ethereum 2.0
Geth v1.9.0 was released in July, and we should expect some improved performance on the “Go” Ethereum implementation as a result.
Core development team member Peter Szilágyi recently mentioned:
“Over the past six months, we’ve tried to dissect the different components that are on the critical path of block processing, in an attempt to identify and optimise some of bottlenecks.”
Some of the key optimisations ranged from CPU and disk IO complexity reduction to serious improvements in accounts and storage. The EVM code was also optimised and some database schemas were also improved.
With the positive level of progress over the past six months, Ethereum could start picking up some steam soon.
If the teams behind the various projects are able to come together and release a strong version of Ethereum 2.0, ETH may well become the king of altcoins, rivaling Bitcoin in terms of adoption.
However, there are still too many ‘ifs’, and only time will tell whether all teams are able to deliver.