Tezos Foundation Requests Proposals for Developer Grants
The Tezos Foundation announced today that it is seeking proposals for developer grants for the Tezos ecosystem. It appears the ambitious project is ready to deploy the war chest it built during its ICO, which is currently valued at around $700 million USD.
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Tezos Foundation Looking to Fund Development Work
Proposals for development grants to build on Tezos will begin being accepted in August. The foundation says it is targeting three main areas of work: research that furthers the protocol and related technologies; tools and applications that support the ecosystem; and efforts to strengthen the community.
After the initial proposals are made, select candidates will be asked to make a full grant proposal. The news signals that the foundation is looking to the future after a period of intense conflict between founders Arthur and Kathleen Breitman, and its former President, Johann Gevers.
Tezos pulled off one of the largest initial coin offerings (ICOs) to date last year, raising around $232 million. However, since then the project has been engulfed in conflict and confusion, primarily due to differences between the Breitmans — who created the technology behind Tezos and own its intellectual property (IP) through their company Dynamic Ledger Solutions (DLS) — and Gevers, who ran the foundation and thus controlled the funds raised in the ICO.
Chaos, Confusion, and Class Action Lawsuits
Additionally, Tezos faces a class action lawsuit brought by those who bought Tezos tokens during the ICO and who, among other things, objected to the fact that the foundation would be purchasing DLS’s IP in a transaction they claim wasn’t disclosed to them.
Raising the stakes over the dispute is the fact that the boom in cryptocurrency valuations means that the ether and bitcoin raised in the ICO are now valued at around $700 million. Gideon Lewis-Kraus wrote an exhaustive piece on the Tezos conflict for Wired last month that details what happened.
In the end, Gevers and another board member resigned from the foundation in February, paving the way for Ryan Jesperson to become President. But there were still delays due to the decision by Tezos to conduct retroactive AML/KYC checks on those who had purchased Tezos tokens.
Adding to the clouds hanging over the project is the fact that Tezos founder Arthur Breitman was fined $20,000 in April by the United States’ Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for failing to disclose his work on Tezos while he was an employee at U.S. bank Morgan Stanley.
Better Weather Ahead?
The question is whether this announcement means that Tezos has turned a corner. Its call for grant proposals comes several weeks after it announced that the beta version of its network had gone live on the 30th of June.
There has also been some other recent news that appears to augur well for the troubled startup. An unconfirmed report last month held that the Kin token, the native coin of Kik Messenger’s Kin Ecosystem, may be moving to Tezos when its mainnet launches. The report based those assertions on the fact that the Kin Foundation was hiring developers using the OCaml programming language, which is currently unique to Tezos.
Bitsonline’s William Peaster interviewed the startup’s Apps Engineer Martin Pospěch back in February. During the interview, Pospěch said of the foundation’s development community that:
“The community is still very small, but there’s high degree of competence. There are a few groups of people building delegation services — the people who don’t want to take part in the consensus algorithm on their own can decide to delegate that responsibility and share the gains with the delegate. Other people are building block explorers, wallets, and even extensions that enable browser interaction (similar to MetaMask).”
Pospěch also revealed a proof-of-concept automated insurance system that would let users hedge against unforeseen events like rainy weather. Tezos knows that if it is to establish itself as a serious competitor as a smart contracts platform, it will need a lot more engineers like Pospěch. With the announcement of the grants, it may be beginning to accelerate that process.
Have your say. Is Tezos finally on the right track?
Images via Pixabay