Vitalik Buterin, the creator of ethereum, has just donated $300,000 in cryptocurrency to three blockchain startups – apparently making the decision in response to a Twitter thread.
The three projects receiving the 1,000 ETH grants are Prysmatic Labs, ChainSafe Systems and Sigma Prime.
All are projects working to build the blockchain network’s next iteration, ethereum 2.0. Sigma Prime is building an ethereum 2.0 client called Lighthouse, Prysmatic Labs is working on ethereum scalability and ChainSafe is also building an ethereum 2.0 client.
The move came in response to a twitter thread in which prominent members of the ethereum community discussed ways in which the technology might be improved, with many citing inadequate funding as a reason for slow development.
Preston Van Loon, co-founder of Prysmatic Labs and a software engineer at Google, tweeted that, even with recent grants, “it’s hardly enough to take the whole team full time with significant pay cuts and it’s certainly not even for us to scale the team to where we need it.”
To that, Buterin replied:
“Just sent 1000 eth. Yolo [you only live once].
The comments followed a tweet from Ryan Sean Adams, founder of crypto investment firm Mythos Capital, that cited “tough love” comments from VC investor Fred Wilson, and wrote that ethereum is “missing ship dates [and] are lacking basic operational leadership.”
Ameen Solaimani, CEO at SpankChain, replied in the thread, stating that: “Ethereum has taken its lead for granted for too long (2 years). Needs increased focus and urgency on scalability to reclaim its narrative. Move fast or die slow.”
A second grant was awarded to Sigma Prime, when co-founder Paul Hauner tweeted that his project has “been knocked back for a couple of grants recently. We can certainly turn 1k ETH into more developers!” Buterin responded with another 1,000 ETH.
The third donation went to Canada-based ChainSafe, after project lead Mikerah Quintyne-Collins tweeted: “I will quite literally drop out if we got $100k in ETH.” Buterin accepted the pledge and donated to the project, stating: “I expect results!”
Buterin, who (now perhaps ironically) describes himself on Twitter as a “Non-giver of Ether” in response to the many crypto scammers on the social media platform, also provided three transaction links confirming the transactions, which come from his known ether address.
Prysmatic Labs and Sigma Prime have previously received donations from Ethereum Foundation. Prysmatic Labs was granted $500,000 in October and $100,000 in March, and Sigma Prime got $150,000 in October.
The current price of ether, ethereum’s native cryptocurrency, is about $103 at press time, as per CoinDesk’s price index.
Vitalik Buterin image via Centre for International Governance Innovation/YouTube