The Ethereum Foundation has awarded 20 different blockchain startups and developers nearly $3 million in its ongoing grant program round. In a post on its official blog on Monday, the Ethereum Foundation Grants Team released its fourth wave of grants. A total of $2.86 million was awarded to 20 different developers or startups for work on client diversity, scalability, usability, security, and simply for building tools.

Security, Scalability and Usability

According to previous reports, the grant program was initially for supporting development on the ethereum blockchain in order to assist in the development of decentralized applications (dapps) and smart contract technology by improving security, scalability, usability and diversity of application.

The largest grants were awarded to Prysmatic Labs and Status . They both received $500,000 each so they can build ethereum 2.0 clients. $420,000 went to Spankchain, Kyokan and Connext to work on an open-source software developer's kit (SDK) for a non-custodial payment channel hub.

Other recipients of awards included TrueBlocks , which received $120,000 to develop an open source block explorer, Gitcoin​​ – $100,000 to fund bounties on Gitcoin, VulcanizeDB ​​which received $75,000 to develop a “community sourced” block explorer, Buidler , which received $50,000 to develop a modular alternative to Truffle based on Ethers.js, and Ethdoc​​ which received $25,000 to develop an open source tool for organization and interaction of smart contract codebases.

Reaction from Ethereum Foundation and Community

In the awards announcement, the Ethereum foundation promised to keep on improving the awards process with the help of the community in keeping with its desire to encourage community-led innovation.

An excerpt from the announcement reads:

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. The Grants Program today is vastly improved from just earlier this year, thanks to all the helpful feedback from the community, allowing us to provide better public tools and infrastructure.

In his reaction to the news, Status COO Nabil Naghdy told CoinDesk that the firm is proud to have been chosen by the Ethereum Foundation, adding that Status is pleased to align its vision and values to the benefit of all stakeholders in the blockchain research ecosystem.

In his words:

The grant brings us closer to other client teams and ensures collaboration with brilliant minds working on similar problems. The challenges facing Ethereum are not project or team specific, they face us all.