Vitalik Buterin Donates $300K to Crypto Startups in a Bid to Push Ethereum 2.0 Development

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 6 min read
Vitalik Buterin Donates $300K to Crypto Startups in a Bid to Push Ethereum 2.0 Development
Photo: Unsplash

It looks like Christmas came early for Sigma Prime, Prysmatic Labs, and ChainSafe Systems.  Vitalik Buterin, self-described as a Non-giver of Ether gave away ETH and announced it on Twitter. Unlike all the fake giveaways by scammers, this time it is real.

The genius creator of Ethereum has donated 3000 ETH worth over $300,000 to developers to focus on scaling solutions for Ethereum 2.0. He donated 1,000 ETH grants to three projects: Prysmatic Labs, ChainSafe Systems and Sigma Prime.

Prysmatic Labs is working on the sharding client for Ethereum 2.0 whereas Sigma Prime is working on an Ethereum 2.0 client named Lighthouse. Chainsafe systems are also focused on the research and development for Ethereum 2.0.

The conversation began when Ryan Sean Adams tweeted about a statement from Fred Wilson – co-founder of Union Square Ventures who criticized Ethereum for its lack of proper leadership and the supposed lack of progression in scaling solutions.

Buterin immediately responded:

Prysmatic Labs is a group of blockchain developers who got together to tackle the challenge of scaling the network. According to the team’s Medium blog, it chose to embrace the idea of sharding to scale the network.

This particular approach will split the Ethereum network into multiple components that communicate and collaborate as opposed to having the tough structure of full nodes. It has the advantage of being more responsive to transactions added to the ledger, but it also requires an overhaul of the current protocol topology that the Ethereum network uses.

Buterin went on to donate 1,000 ETH to ChainSafe after one contributor claimed he would drop out of university for a grant. The final 1,000 ETH donation went to Sigma Prime after one developer promised to hire new team members.

Buterin confirmed all transactions with a link to the Etherscan block explorer with a warning:

Crypto donations are not a new thing that just has become popular. They were big also in 2017, the year of the crypto boom, but also in 2018 when the market was (and still is) pretty bearish.

Each time donation happens, whether it’s in cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies, it’s proof that not everyone in the crypto space is there for only themselves.

According to a survey by WeTrust, as much as 77 percent of crypto holders are interested in making charitable donations. Perhaps it’s the holiday spirit, the fact that giving away a few ETH today doesn’t come at such a high price-tag, or maybe it’s for tax reliefs. It could also just be that the crypto community is largely made up of millennials and this generation simply likes giving to charitable causes.

The drop in the price of Ethereum has not been easy on many projects, many companies like Consensys, Spankchain, and Steemit have laid off many of its employees. Despite the price collapse, the developer interest in Blockchain has been increasing consistently with a lot of smart people from reputed companies quitting their jobs to go full time on Crypto.

Even though he calls himself non-giver, this is not the first time he actually donated Ether. In February this year, the SENS Research Foundation, a charity funding research for treating-age related diseases, has received a $2.4 million Ether donation exactly from Buterin.

The foundation was co-founded in 2009 by Aubrey de Grey, a gerontologist who is researching rejuvenation therapies to extend people’s biological ages, hoping to permit humans to live much longer than ever before.

Buterin, who is quoted in the press release as a “fan of Aubrey’s work since [he] first read Ending Aging (de Grey’s book) as a teenager”, then said:

“I am happy to have been blessed with the opportunity to personally support SENS’s efforts. Their focus on creating solutions to the diseases of aging, one of the greatest problems facing humanity, is very much in line with my goal to positively impact the lives of millions of people around the world.”

In April, together with OmiseGo, Buterin donated  $1 million worth of OMG tokens directly to refugees living in extreme poverty. The donation will be made to GiveDirectly, a nonprofit organization operating in East Africa which will deliver the funds.

ETH/USD retreated from recent high registered at $109.2; however, the coin managed to stay above $100.00, which is a positive signal for the bulls. Ethereum is changing hands at $102.39 at the time of writing, down 1.8% since this time on Wednesday, but up 1.7% since the beginning of the day. With a market capitalization of $10.6, Ethereum takes the third position cryptocurrency rating.

ETH/USD created a bottom at $82.18 (on December 7) and recovered 24% since this time. Moreover, a sustainable move above $100.00 handle has improved the short-term technical picture and opened u the way towards the next important hurdle at $142 (DMA50).

Ethereum Developers Planning a Surprise Upgrade of the Network

Last month we wrote how one of the most important issues for Ethereum developers is addressing the scalability problems. Due to the scalability hurdles, several ICO projects are moving away from the Ethereum platform to other emerging ones. Other decentralized platforms like EOS and Stellar Lumes pose a formidable challenge to Ethereum at this moment.

However, the latest report suggests that Ethereum developers are considering a surprise upgrade to boost the network capabilities in short term.  The document suggests that Ethereum developers are currently under pressure to unveil the public roadmap. Thus they are looking for ways to add improvements at an accelerated timeline. The document highlights the defining principle of the project as having a “sense of urgency”.

Days after, Buterin criticized the proprietary nature of enterprise blockchain solutions saying that they don’t provide 100 percent guarantees of things, especially in the real world.

“Sometimes it is for marketing hype. Sometimes it is just people who are genuinely excited about blockchains and want the thing they are personally excited about and their job to align more with each other, which is a totally legitimate, human thing to want to do,” he then said.

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