Skale said Friday it has created a $100 million ecosystem program to give developers incentives to build on its platform.
Launched in 2018, Skale is a decentralized network of blockchains built on Ethereum, with a focus on running decentralized applications with speed and low cost.
“We’re lucky to have the opportunity to raise a $100 million financing round right now,” Skale co-founder Jack O’Holleran told CoinDesk in an interview at the ETHDenver conference. “We could have used the money to hire hundreds of people. We thought it would be better to issue it to teams that are building on Skale.”
Ecosystem funds – which often reach nine figures in size – play an important role in luring engineers to build on a particular blockchain project. Enterprises ranging in category from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols to non-fungible tokens (NFT) to decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) can apply for a grant. The funds are also typically awarded in both cryptocurrency and/or fiat, and usually stipulate vesting periods.
Skale’s first $5 million in grants will be awarded to projects focused on the rapidly-growing blockchain gaming sector, including play-to-earn (P2E) games and the metaverse. For the kickoff program, Skale is partnering with Network of Decentralized Economics (NODE), a Liechtenstein-based foundation.
Instead of a single entity awarding the $100 million in funds, Skale will feature a number of different groups collaborating around the issuance process, which includes prominent corporations, DAO and nonprofits.
"It’s a very modern, crypto-native model of issuing grants,” said O’Holleran.
The new ecosystem initiative will commence in March, coinciding with the launch of Skales new upgrade, Skale version (v) 2. O’Holleran told CoinDesk v2 will allow users to hop between Skale chains in under a minute and without having to pay high gas fees. He also estimates hundreds of applications are currently waiting to go live on the network upon rollout of the upgrade.
“We’re at a real inflection point across the entire industry,” said O’Holleran. “There’s so much demand for developers to deploy Web 3 products. Our team has never been as busy as we are now.”
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