For the longest of time the one thing that the EOS community wanted was investments made into the growth of its ecosystem. The last four years of EOS’ history has been a struggle to see this funding for EOS projects as this would be a great way to grow the network’s participants - developers, applications, and users.
Since the community took its destiny into its own hands things are starting to turn around. There is currently a lot of development of the EOS ecosystem from various initiatives and in different sectors. Some of these developments are technical ones focused on the core infrastructures of the EOS blockchain, while some are focused on the growth of the EOS ecosystem and its participants.
For this article, I’d like to focus on the funding aspect of things as this is one of the more direct and deliberate ways to grow an ecosystem.
There are currently several funding initiatives on EOS today, compared to when there were virtually none just two years back. Today there are initiatives like Pomelo Grants where the EOS community gets to decide on which projects they’d like to see built and supported on the EOS blockchain. And then there are partners and stakeholders that also contribute towards the funding of the EOS ecosystem’s growth.
To date, Pomelo Grants has helped fund hundreds of projects, dApp developers, and entrepreneurs with over a million dollars since its launch a year ago. Some of these projects include leading EOS projects such as Defibox, EOS Support, and Anchor wallet, to name a few. Recently, Pomelo announced that it will be upping the stakes for its next season with the introduction of multi-pools in order to provide funding opportunities for dApp developers in different sectors of the blockchain.
Unlike in previous seasons where there’s been a single matching pool fund to be distributed across all qualifying projects, Season 6 introduces multiple pools that will target specific sectors for funding. This is to encourage the growth of sectors that matching pool partners deem to be more important in terms of further development.
The EOS Network Foundation (ENF) is funding three of the four matching pool funds for Pomelo Grants Season 6, namely, EOS EVM, EOS GameFi, and Everything EOS for a total contribution of $128,000. The fourth matching pool fund of $24,000 is sponsored by the Telos Foundation to benefit projects that are building on the Telos blockchain. The fact that Pomelo Grants is facilitating funding for projects on multiple sectors and multiple chains highlights the potential EOS and the Antelope ecosystem have in attracting more developers and users.
Furthermore, in terms of funding initiatives, two months ago the ENF announced that its VC arm EOS Network Ventures is committing to invest $20 million directly into EOS EVM and GameFi projects. The investments into these sectors are yet to be announced but, coupled with Pomelo Grants’ funding initiatives, this suggests strong growth in GameFi and EOS EVM in the coming months. Not overlooking how this would greatly benefit EOS stakeholders as its ecosystem grows stronger.
In addition to this; the ENF’s recent strategic partnership with DWF Labs, will see an additional $15 million invested into EOS projects. In the past, DWF Labs has shown an inclination towards making investments in the artificial intelligence (AI) and gamified finance (GameFi) sectors. DWF Labs has proved it is committed to the success and growth of the EOS ecosystem through its partnership with the network, and through its efforts to improve EOS’ economic accessibility.
Then there’s the ENF Grant Framework, a milestone-driven grant investment framework. Since launch the initiative has received more than 77 applications, of which 15 milestone-driven projects have been approved and four of them already completed. The ENF Grant Framework is open to individuals, small teams, and companies, with grants scaled to fit the scope of each initiative.
The three levels for funding are $10,000 for individuals and small teams, $50,000 cap for medium-sized teams and companies, and over $50,000 for large-sized teams and companies. To date a total of $654,915.57 has been committed to contributors in the EOS ecosystem.
It seems as though, for the coming year, many of the funding initiatives for the growth of the EOS ecosystem will be heavily concentrated between GameFi and the EOS EVM. As such, it is likely that the next generation of GameFi development in the industry will migrate to the EOS ecosystem to take advantage of the many funding opportunities afforded to developers.
In its ambitious endeavor to become the home of GameFi, EOS looks to onboard millions of new users to its ecosystem. EOS stakeholders such as the ENF believe GameFi to be the next major blockchain and/or crypto narrative to go mainstream leading up to the next bull market cycle.
Similar to ICOs in 2017-18, DeFi in 2019-20, and NFTs in 2020-21, the craze that these sectors created during their respective years helped onboard millions of people around the world and introduced them to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Many in the industry believe GameFi to be the next craze that will onboard the next millions of users to blockchain, and are better positioning themselves to benefit from it.
At the moment it seems as though the EOS ecosystem will edge out everybody else with its deliberate funding. As well as the consideration of the advantage it has when it comes to the scalability and affordability of its industry leading blockchain.