Ethereum Foundation Releases Fourth Wave of Grants

The Ethereum Foundation has announced its fourth wave of grants, awarded to startups that develop the ecosystem.

The Ethereum Foundation has announced the fourth wave of grants awarded to 20 different persons and entities working on the Ethereum blockchain, it revealed in a press release Oct. 15.

According to the release, the total amount of awards is over $3 million. The biggest grants worth $500,000 were given to Prysmatic Labs and Status. Both companies are working to develop the Ethereum 2.0 ecosystem first announced by co-founder Vitalik Buterin in November 2017.

Grant recipients were divided by the manner in which they contributed to the development of the network, such as scalability, usability, and security. Adult entertainment platform SpankChain received a $420,000 grant for working on the open-source software developer kit (SDK) for a non-custodial payment channel hub.

Other large grants went to Prototypal and Finality Labs for front-end state channel research and the development of forward-time locked contracts, respectively.

In the announcement, the Ethereum team has also expressed its gratitude to members of community, promising to increase their involvement in the network’s development:

“Thank you to all the fantastic community members that have applied with creative ideas on how to bolster our ecosystem. We would not exist without the time and energy that you put into Ethereum. While the program continues to grow, we will increasingly continue to involve more community members in the decision making process.”

In February 2018, six large-scale blockchain projects created the Ethereum Capital Fund. OmiseGo, Cosmos, Golem, Maker, Raiden, and Japanese venture capital firm Global Brain announced they would grant a cumulative $100 million to different projects that developed the Ethereum blockchain ecosystem. Buterin subsequently announced he would join project as an advisor.
Buterin himself also donates money to open-source projects building innovative technologies such as scaling solutions for the Ethereum Blockchain network. In September 2017, he announced that his advisor shares from OmiseGo and decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Kyber Network would be donated to charity or used to fund Ethereum second-layer infrastructure development.

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Former Economic Adviser to US President Trump Joins Blockchain Startup Board

A former economic adviser to U.S. Pres. Donald Trump has joined the board of blockchain-related tech company Spring Labs.

Gary Cohn — former chief economic adviser to U.S. Pres. Donald Trump — has joined the board of advisers of blockchain-related tech company Spring Labs, according to a press release published, Oct. 12.

In addition to serving in the Trump administration, Cohn has previously worked as COO of American banking giant Goldman Sachs, and most recently served as a director of the U.S. National Economic Council. In the release, Cohn states that he has been “very interested in blockchain technology for a number of years.”

Working as Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser in 2017–2018, Cohn was responsible for the administration’s tax reform, which came into force last December. Moreover, Cohn was oversaw the administration’s international and domestic economic policy agenda.
Chairman and CEO of Spring Labs Adam Jiwan says his company expects Cohn to implement his knowledge of financial markets in the blockchain sphere:

“Gary brings a wealth of experience in understanding the complexities of the global financial markets and an unparalleled network….”

Spring Labs is a U.S.-based tech company that uses blockchain solutions to swap identity and assets information between banks and companies. The company is in the process of building its Spring Protocol, which it claims will “[enable] network participants to exchange valuable information without sharing underlying source data.”  

As Forbes revealed in March, Spring Labs managed to raise $14.7 million in early-stage investment just four months after it was founded.

Spring Labs also managed to attract Brian Brooks — a chief legal officer at crypto exchange Coinbase — to its advisory board. Brooks previously worked as general counsel at the U.S. Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae.

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ETC Labs Launches Startup Incubator Pilot as Applications Exceed 100

Six projects are currently under the wing of Ethereum Classic incubator entity ETC Labs.

The director of Ethereum Classic’s investment branch ETC Labs revealed in an interview Thursday, Oct. 11, that it will work with as many as 24 startups each year.

Elizabeth Kukko confirmed that six selected projects were currently involved with ETC Labs in a pilot scheme, with the full incubator to launch in Q1 2019.

“The goal of this pilot program is to put the incubator model to work and get feedback from these initial teams before going live,” she explained.

The move comes as Ethereum Classic (ETC) continues to lose its position as the overall cryptocurrency market slump continues.

In June, ETC’s prices jumped 25 percent after U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced it would add the token to its orderbook.

At press time, ETC/USD traded around $9.55, its lowest since May 2017, but the altcoin’s market cap still remains at over $1 billion.

“[We chose] Ethereum Classic because there is a lot of security on the main layer, and it doesn’t really matter what sidechains are used in conjunction to this,” Kukko said when asked about the decision to work off the network.

“Also, the Ethereum Classic space is very competitive, with a lot of good ideas and startups with immense potential for growth.”

To that end, Kukko did not reveal the identity of the projects under supervision, but added that “technical capabilities of the team and their ability to build on the ETC blockchain” were priority requirements for consideration of candidates.

ETC Labs claims to have so far received 120 applications.

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Forbes Partners With Blockchain-Based Journalism Platform to Publish Content

Major business media outlet Forbes joins the Associated Press in exploring blockchain, plans to use smart contracts for its contributors.

International business media outlet Forbes has partnered with blockchain-based platform Civil to publish its content on a decentralized network, Civil’s co-founder confirmed on Medium on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

According to Civil co-founder Matt Coolidge, Forbes is integrating Civil’s software into its own content management system (CMC). From the beginning of 2019, journalists will be able to upload their data to the Civil network while posting it to the Forbes website simultaneously.

Forbes, a U.S. business news outlet founded in 1917, reaches more than 120 million people globally through its main and local editions.

According to U.S. news outlet Axios, the new process will initially apply only to crypto-related news items. However, if Forbes considers the experiment to be successful, other pieces will be posted on blockchain as well.

Forbes is also going to extend decentralized solutions to its vast contributors’ network. Axios writes that through the use of smart contracts, Forbes authors can upload their articles to Forbes’ CMS and then share them on other platforms, such as LinkedIn and Medium.

According to Coolidge, Forbes is also planning to “experiment with new methods of reader engagement.” He also states that the use of a decentralized platform can help the media to ensure no third party can remove or alter the content.

Civil has previously partnered with major news agency Associated Press (AP). The global media agency plans to use blockchain for intellectual rights, tracking its content usage, and supporting ethical journalism. The AP is also going to store its content in the Civil network as a part of the trial so that news agencies can have immediate access to the reports.

As Cointelegraph wrote earlier, Adblock Plus developer eyeo GmbH created a blockchain-based browser extension Trusted News to detect fake news and label websites accordingly. Adblock reportedly plans to move the database for the project to the Ethereum blockchain, and to issue MetaCert tokens to track rewards and prevent manipulations.

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