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Optimize ETH: New Ethereum 2.0 Grants, Berlin Dreams & Compound Rises

The Ethereum community is buzzing into the new week, as the Ethereum Foundation (EF) just announced another wave of “ETH 2.0” grants, builders are highlighting notable developments from Berlin Blockchain Week, and Compound continues to gain ground on Maker in the DeFi arena.

First up, on August 26th the EF revealed $2 million USD worth of grants for projects working on Ethereum’s Serenity upgrade, which is a multi-phase transition set to begin next year that will see the smart contracts blockchain shift to proof-of-stake, sharding, and Plasma tech.


The grants were spread out across more than a handful of projects, including several developing Ethereum 2.0 clients like Status (Nimbus), Sigma Prime (Lighthouse), and Prysmatic Labs (Prysm).

“In recent months, the Ethereum Foundation granted substantial awards to leading client development teams currently tasked with delivering long-standing multi-client testnets as development approaches the launch of Phase 0,” the EF said.

The foundation also used the announcement to announce a trio of bounties, the foremost being a 5 ETH or 1,000 DAI bounty for “recommendations for substantive changes (bug fixes, optimizations, etc) that make it into the Phase 0 Eth 2.0 spec prior to the Eth 2.0 genesis.”

The latest grants come after the EF said back in May that it earmarked nearly $20 million for the ensuing year for ecosystem development efforts that were building the “Ethereum of tomorrow.” The foundation also slotted $8 million toward current “ETH 1.0” projects at the time.

In recent years, the body’s grants have proved pivotal in helping the Ethereum network progress to its current level of fledgling maturity. The blockchain’s proponents just celebrated the platform’s fourth birthday, as its inaugural version — Frontier — was launched on July 30th, 2014.

Gems From Berlin Blockchain Week

It’s impossible to briefly highlight all of the notable developments that arose out of this year’s Berlin Blockchain Week. Still, as festivities have drawn to a close, a few projects debuted there that the Ethereum community is already buzzing over.

One of those projects is the playfully titled LSDai.

Here’s the context: Compound is a dApp that lets users make cTokens (e.g cDAI for Dai) to thus lend and gain interest on. rDAI is a new development itself that lets someone assign interest from cDai to any Ethereum address they choose. LSDai builds on this stack.

Developed at this year’s ETHBerlin Hackathon, LSDai is characterized by its creators as a “tokenized interest rate swap on Dai interest” that traders can use to hedge against or speculate on Compound’s varying Dai interest rate.

“LSDai creates a Euro-dollar like construct, that is a future on the Compound Dai lending rate over the duration of the contract,” the project’s builders explained.

In this sense, the token system is akin to a “decentralized stabilizer for the DeFi market,” the LSDai team proposed.

Moreover, another interesting project showcased in Berlin in recent days was SelloutDAO. Developed by Mariano Conti, the system allows someone to pay one ether to place a development proposal in front of grassroots Ethereum funding group MolochDAO. Until SelloutDAO, non-members could only watch Moloch or its spinoffs from the outside, donate money, or pay an entry fee.

RateLock also notably shined in Berlin. Using Compound, RateLock lets users create decentralized fixed-interest rate loans.

Compound On the Rise

As the Compound dApp was used as a foundation in many Berlin project demos, the lending platform experienced a fresh uptrend in activity.

Accordingly, the amount of ETH locked in Compound was acutely up by 8 percent on Monday while Maker’s own lending platform was flat on the day.

Compound approaches striking distance. Image via DeFi Pulse

Now, Compound holds approximately half the amount of ETH that Maker has locked up at present. Is a different kind of flippening in store for DeFi’s two most popular dApps? Or can Maker hold its ground?

Only time will tell, but Compound seems to have a shot going forward. In the very least, multiple good DeFi options are better than just one.

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