Blockchain has been one of the most revolutionary technologies impacting areas such as finance & banking, insurance, supply chain management and management of public documents. Developing a new technology ecosystem is never an easy thing and that is why there is a need for assistance from additional stakeholders in the form of funding and research.
Grants have been one of the best approaches to support the development of blockchain technology. These grants support the creation of cryptocurrency wallets, dApps, and other protocols. The following are some of the top grants in the blockchain space:
Avalanche is an open and programmable smart contract platform for decentralized applications. It allows developers to build low-cost, fast and Solidity-compatible dApps. The same developers can launch private, public and customized blockchains. $AVAX is the native token on the Avalanche network.
Avalanche-X was launched in early 2020 and has been offering grants to developers who create different products. Some of the solutions that can apply for Avalanche-X grants include:
- Decentralized exchanges. The program supports developers who can create decentralized exchanges that are easy to use and also secure
- Stablecoins. Avalanche finances developers who can create next-generation stablecoins on the platform
- Synthetics and Derivatives. The platform supports developers who can create robust DeFi synthetics and derivatives
- Lending. Those who can build a non-custodial lending solution on Avalanche can also apply for funding
The $200M+ Blizzard Fund is the latest fund that has been launched by Avalanche as of this writing
Polkadot is a platform that allows the cross-chain transfer of any type of asset or data. The platform is known for its economic scalability, allowing a common set of validators to secure multiple blockchains.
Polkadot Ecosystem Grants
In 2019, the Web3 Foundation, the company behind Polkadot, launched several grant programs that focus on funding software development and various research efforts related to Kusama, Polkadot and Substrate.
Polkadot also launched its own grant programs to support growth and expand the network. The following are some of the grants programs available on Polkadot:
The Builders Program
This program is designed for both Shiden Network and Astar Network. The Builders Program features early-stage project grants, marketing support, technical support, and connections with ecosystem investors and supporters.
The Acala Foundation Grant seeks to fund software development products and research in the field of DeFi protocols that benefit the Karura and Acala ecosystems. Maximum funding is capped at $50,000, but those who need more can apply for further review. The Acala Grants committee reviews the applications on behalf of the Acala Foundation and notifies the applicants with a decision.
ChainX is a grant program that focuses on community/software development and market expansion. A budget of less than 10,000 USDT passes review as soon as possible. However, a budget of more than 10,000 USDT but less than 50,000 USDT may need more review time.
Polygon, formerly MATIC, is a framework and protocol for building and connecting Ethereum-compatible blockchain networks. The protocol also provides scalable solutions on Ethereum to support a multi-chain Ethereum ecosystem.
Polygon Grants Hackathon
Polygon in partnership with Dorahacks launched the Polygon Grants Hackathon in August 2021. The hackathon’s aim was to support early-stage ideas in the blockchain world. Some of the supporters of the hackathon are Deri Protocol, Chainlink Labs, Furucombo, HashKey Capital, Pocket Network, TOPS LABS LTD, Protocol Labs, Covalent, ParaSwap, Chainstack, Balancer Labs, Unmarshal, Stardust, QiDao, and Biconomy.
Funds are raised through the Quadratic Funding approach which amplifies the donations made by a large part of the community over the contributions made by a smaller group with larger pockets.
The grant pool also matches an additional amount using the quadratic funding formula. $MATIC is the currency that is used to support the projects. Polygon protocol users are allowed to vote for different projects during the hackathon and donate MATIC tokens that go to the pool.
Harmony is a fast and open blockchain whose mainnet runs Ethereum applications with 2-second transaction finality and low fees. It is an open protocol for collectibles, assets, governance, and identity. Harmony also comes with secure bridges that offer cross-chain asset transfers with Binance, Ethereum, and several other chains.
Harmony Grants are meant to drive the platform’s mainnet utility, i.e. cryptographic innovations and decentralized community. The projects need to be aligned with the 2020 roadmap that touches on auditable privacy and cross-border finance.
154.2 million tokens from Harmony Foundation go to the protocol and ecosystem development every month. Details about the grants and projects are always transparent to everyone. The Harmony Grant website provides information such as application materials, community discussions, funding amounts, wallet addresses, and governance decisions. Harmony Community, elected validators, Harmony Angels, Pangaea Captains, and Harmonauts are members tasked with grant approvals and governance on this protocol.
Several months ago, Harmony launched a $300 million ecosystem fund targeting 10,000 builders.
Solana is one of the fastest-growing blockchain protocols that some people have termed as the “Ethereum-killer”. Despite being launched in 2020, Solana now has over 400 projects spread across different niches such as NFTs, DeFi, and Web3.
The Solana Grants Program is meant to help new end-user applications and new infrastructure projects launch to democratize the global financial system and the internet. The following are some of the grant opportunities from the Solana Foundation.
- Stake Pool Delegation UI. Grant is awarded to those creating on-chain stake pools. Solana Foundation funds projects that create a web application that allows users to delegate their SOL to stake pools through a ‘one-click’. Those who win the grants receive $12,500 in USDC-SPL or SOL.
- Stake Pool Ecosystem Dashboard. In a bid to support on-chain stake pools, the Solana Foundation supports teams that can develop analytics and public monitoring tools for various stake pools. Depending on where the winners of the grant are located, they can receive either 300 SOL or $12,500 USDC-SPL.
- Stake Pool. This grant targets teams that will deploy stake pools to Mainnet Beta, those who educate the broader community and innovate on delegation of bot algorithms. Depending on where the applicants are located, grant winners are awarded either 250 SOL or $10,000 USDC-SPL.
NEAR is a protocol that empowers millions of developers to invent and explore new experiences through technology that is scalable, secure, and simple. NEAR has created a platform where business, community, and creativity are being reimagined as evidenced through its tagline ‘reimagine your world’.
NEAR Grants Program
NGP or Near Grants Program, worth $250 million, was launched in February 2021. $45M was allocated across 120+ projects and the funding is spread across the next four years. The streams that can apply for grants from NEAR Foundation include:
- Startups. Entrepreneurs seeking to bootstrap a decentralized app on the NEAR ecosystem
- Education initiatives. Educators who want to create videos, workshops, tutorials, write docs for builders
- Open-source and public goods. Developers of open source components can apply for grants irrespective of whether they are standalone or part of a project
NEAR recently announced an $800M fund which is meant for its protocols’ ecosystem growth.
Binance is the largest Cryptocurrency exchange based on daily trading volume. There are more than 500 crypto-crypto trading pairs and virtual tokens on the platform. Binance Coin ($BNB) is Binance’s native token.
Binance X Fellowship
Binance X is a program that supports talented researchers and developers that create free and open-source applications that will benefit the crypto space. As a Binance X Fellow, developers and researchers have access to a wide network of researchers, founders, developers, and portfolio companies for meaningful mentorship and guidance.
BSC Accelerator Fund
BSC Accelerator Fund is a fund meant to accelerate or grow projects created on the Binance Smart Chain Ecosystem.
Blockchain for India Fund
Blockchain for India Fund is a fund that focuses on crypto projects and ideas from India and is run through Program Polaris.
Billion Dollar Grant
Binance Smart Chain recently launched a $1B grant fund, the biggest ever in the crypto industry.
The fund is spread across four different categories:
- $100M for talent development pool for research & development and academic scholarships
- $300M for liquidity incentive programs
- $300M for hackathons on builders programs and incubation of 100 VC-backed decentralized apps
- $500M as an incubation and investment fund for new BSC projects and startups
Fantom is a highly scalable blockchain protocol for crypto dApps, DeFi, and enterprise applications. Developers can create blockchain products using Solidity and various tools such as Truffle, MetaMask, and Remix.
The 370 million FTM (approximately $314M at the time of inception) fund
The Fantom Foundation announced the launching of a $314M fund distributed to both existing and new projects and aid protocol teams in developing new products on Fantom.
Ecosystem grants have become common in the blockchain space. Even though there are many such grants at this point, the above grants are the most notable. We will keep updating this article whenever we come across good ecosystem grants.
Also published here.