Web3 Foundation Grants. What projects received the grants?

Acticle by Polkadot News and PromoTeam

Web3 Foundation is an organisation founded by Dr. Gavin Wood and aimed to deliver Web 3.0, a decentralized and fair internet where users control their own data.

To reach this goal Web3 Foundation supports research and development teams with grants. There are two grants programmes: Open Grants and General grants. While Open Grants direction has a max cap of 30k USD, the General Grants are not limited (previously 100k USD).

Recently Web3 Foundation has celebrated the 10th wave of Open and General grants and 27 teams were funded. Let’s look through several of them!

Phala Network is a Web3.0 computing cloud that supports data privacy while remaining trustless. Unlike centralized cloud service, Phala doesn’t own any server or data center. Anyone can provide permissionless servers into Phala Network, and because of a clever combination of blockchain and trusted execution environments (TEE), it can make sure the servers can’t be evil even when they are in an edge network situation. Together, this creates the infrastructure for a powerful, secure, and scalable trustless computing cloud.

The new Web3 Foundation grant was received by Phala to build the Open Node Framework.

Open Node Framework is an end-to-end DevOps (SRE) solution to deploy a Substrate node network for staking and other purposes. It’s designed to address high availability, scalability, and flexibility, using the modern technology stack.

While developing a Substrate based blockchain, Phala team found it challenging to operate and maintain different types of nodes. Validators (or collators in the future) require high availability and key security. Bootnodes and RPC nodes require high performance and flexible scalability. So Open Node Framework has the following design purpose:

  • High Availability: Add redundancy to nodes (validators & collators) for higher security and robustness;
  • Flexibility: Integrate with any Substrate based blockchain easily;
  • Multipurpose: Run validators, collators, full nodes, bootstrap nodes, or RPC nodes

The company received its first Open Grant in Wave 9, all milestones were delivered.

Polkadot Play aims to be a relay chain for games. Game Relay Chain provides the

game creators with an API and a gaming & token economics toolbox to easily connect any game to the blockchain and add a tokenized incentive layer, leveraging the Polkadot ecosystem.

The goal for us is to provide what Polkadot does for parachains, Polkadot Play does for games. We work towards that goal by initially solving integration challenges that exist for game devs when it comes to blockchain gaming in the Substrate ecosystem; this will benefit the whole ecosystem and can be used independently of Polkadot play.

As an example we created a simple matchmaking pallet which allows you to queue up for ranked games in different brackets, in a first in first out type of storage. This can be used and is fully integrated already in the UnitySDK that we are working on, allowing devs to just use it in the pallet code. We also created reference implementations for challenges that you need to solve for games. Mostly they are of a simple kind, but having a reference implementation just helps to improve your time to market, and can be used as a discussion base. (Example: hiding your move till the opponent has done his turn, like Rock Paper Scissor).

We currently have some of the code already open source, so everyone can contribute and help.

GamePower NetworkNFT Collectibles Wallet

GamePower will be the first fully decentralized game publishing platform built on Kusama and Polkadot. In the coming months to follow the app release, GamePower Network will continue development on the game publishing platform including enhancements to the NFT Wallet, ongoing limited time loot drops, and its own line of NFTs that will grow over time.

The platform will provide gamers a way to play and earn crypto for completing certain tasks, manage their game library, and shop for more games or NFTs. Game developers will be encouraged to use the platform out of ease and low cost publishing. With the platform launch, various artists and NFT owners will be able to publish, buy, and sell NFTs using the intuitive (free to download) NFT Wallet mobile app. The NFT Wallet app has a target release date by the end of the 3rd quarter this year.

The first product to launch will be an NFT wallet that makes tracking and NFT management an easy thing. GamePower creates an open source mobile wallet app that can be customized and branded to any substrate blockchain entity. The app will provide a way for blockchain entities to connect to any substrate based blockchain for their users’ NFT wallet management needs.

Find Signal PTE.: YieldScan Phase 2

YieldScan is a portfolio management platform for NPoS (nominated proof-of-stake) networks like Kusama and Polkadot developed by BUIDL Labs. With its simple and user-friendly interface it simplifies portfolio management to make yield optimization easier and more accessible, for technical and non-technical users. This grant is the second one, the first one was received in the 6th Wave of Grants.

SubDAO Labs: SubDAO Chrome Extension

SubDAO is a DAO infrastructure based on Polkadot, where any decentralized organization is allowed to conveniently create and manage a DAO. SubDAO does not only connect DAO with DApps to realize DAO’s cross-chain management but also bridges Web 2.0 and Web 3.0.

The founding team of SubDAO is composed of the former Technical Team leader of the IBM Group and many early well-known developers from Polkadot. All team members have rich experiences in Internet companies such as IBM, Tencent, and Alibaba. Jack Platts, former Director of External Cooperation of the Web3 Foundation and Partner of Hypersphere Ventures, serves as a strategic contributor to SubDAO. So far SubDAO has completed multi-million dollar financing including Hypersphere, Huobi Ventures, and other institutions.

CryptoLab: Staking Reward Collector

CrryptoLab’s Staking rewards Collector is an alternative to Polkadot JS app tool where users can easily stake KSM and DOT in a few steps, analyze and monitor validator/nominator performance and track stacking rewards.

Astar Network is a dApp hub on Polkadot that supports Ethereum and layer 2 solutions like ZK Rollups. Astar aims to be a multi-chain smart contract platform that will support multiple blockchains and virtual machines like EVM and WASM. Stake Technologies is a company behind Astar and Shiden Networks.

Astar received a new Web3 Open Grant to implement a Zk Plonk pallet. The ZK Plonk is originally created by Aztec. Implemented by Astar, the plonk will be a core technology in terms of scaling and privacy solutions.

The ZK proofs are a type of proof where users can prove a statement without disclosing any information. There are some famous ZK systems like zk-SNARKs, zk-STARKs. In terms of ZK proofs, there are two different main procedures: sender’s proof generation, and prover’s proof verification.

The ZK plonk is called a “Universal zkSNARK” because the verification times are constant, and the original reference string can be used to build proofs with any type of Circuit. This means that the reference string is universal, and there’s no need to re-create a trusted setup for every circuit created. These features bring significant benefits to both users and developers. Read more about ZK Plonk by Astar here.

Subspace Labs: Proof-of-Capacity Consensus for Substrate

Subspace Labs has delivered the second milestone for Web 3 Foundation Open Grant to bring Proof-of-Capacity (PoC) consensus to Substrate. Proof-of-Capacity (PoC) is the leading alternative to Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) based consensus. In a PoC blockchain, compute-intensive mining is replaced with storage-intensive farming. The key benefit is that farming is energy-efficient (and environmentally sustainable) while having security properties more similar to PoW than PoS. Farming also has the potential to be ASIC-resistant, allowing ordinary users to participate in consensus with commodity hardware, although this depends heavily on the implementation of the underlying proof-of-capacity. More about PoC in this article.

Dora Factory is a Substrate-based DAO-as-a-Service infrastructure for on-chain governance and open-source ventures. It offers key pallets such as quadratic funding, curve auction, on-chain voting and incentive mechanisms to support open source blockchain ventures from global developer community and decentralized organizations in general.
It’s the second grant Dora Factory have received. The first grant was implementation of quadratic funding, the second is implementation of MolochDAO. Both of these grants create pallets that will work with important on-chain governance functions that will help organizations (developers, communities, and other parachains) perform governance and fundraise / fund management tasks on-chain. The pallets are open source, people can use it directly on their chain. Dora Factory is currently working on the DAO-as-a-Service infrastructure, once it’s ready, any other parachains or communities can use the DAO-as-a-Service on Dora Factory Substrate chain from our frontend.

Ruby Protocol: Cryptographic Infrastructure for Data Monetization

Ruby Protocol is the Privacy-centric Data Monetization Framework for DeFi and Web3.0 Powered by Polkadot.

Ruby Protocol is a data monetization framework based on functional encryption powered by Polkadot. It designs and implements a fine-grained data monetization framework serving as a privacy layer interacting with smart contract platforms. It enables end-to-end encrypted data monetization on public blockchains (e.g. Ethereum, Polkadot) and decentralized data solutions (e.g. IPFS).

And in Web3.0 Technical Stack Overview below, Ruby lies in the Privacy Layer of Middleware Stack, between Query Layer and Data Storage Layer. Ruby proposes a Fine-Grained Data Marketplace by leveraging a functional encryption algorithm, and users could use any Web3.0 end user client, like Metamask, to interact with Ruby Data Marketplace. All the data of users are safely encrypted and stored on the Data storage layer like IPFS. Therefore, Ruby could also be seen as a layer 2 privacy solution for Data Marketplace.

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