Algorand Pushes for Ethereum Compatibility With $20M Incentive Program

In a bid to court app developers, $10 million is earmarked for making the network Ethereum Virtual Machine–compatible.

Feb 18, 2022 at 8:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 18, 2022 at 8:29 p.m. UTC

Tracy Wang is a senior reporter at CoinDesk. She owns BTC, ETH, MINA, ENS, various stablecoins, and some NFTs.

Algorand is putting up $20 million in funding to accelerate development in its ecosystem, according to a Thursday evening announcement by Algorand Foundation CEO Staci Warden at the ETHDenver conference.

Foundation officials said $10 million in grants would go to developers that can provide solutions for Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility, a key cog for emerging networks looking to woo established projects. For Algorand, EVM compatibility means applications that are built on Ethereum or other Ethereum-compatible chains can also execute on Algorand.

The announcement comes as token-rich blockchain projects increasingly turn to funding incentives to lure developer talent into building out their ecosystems.

“We’re committed to a multichain world,” Algorand Foundation CEO Staci Warden told CoinDesk in an interview at ETHDenver. “We’re inspired by the depth of talent and activity in the Ethereum network.”

Warden told CoinDesk the other $10 million will go toward projects that can build robust developer tools for Algorand. Developer tools are suites of products that make building applications on Algorand easier, such as compilers and debuggers.

“We’re not going to dictate what the solutions are,” said Warden. “Our goal is to get the best minds working on this.”

Both programs are expected to increase the number of projects on the chain. The twin objectives would allow Algorand to tap into the robust and existing Ethereum-based developer community and also onboard new developers by making building on Algorand simpler.

“The pitch is the tech,” said Warden, when asked about Algorand’s appeal against a sea of base blockchain layers competing for developer talent. “We simply have the best tech.”

Algorand claims to be able to execute up to 10,000 transactions per second, costly only fractions of a cent per transaction. Last year, cheap and fast layer 1s experienced an influx of interest as Ethereum users complained about high transaction fees.

Warden told CoinDesk that Algorand is also spearheading “state proof” technology, a feature that would allow developers to take a snapshot of a blockchain in time. The snapshot or “state proof” would serve as a source of truth, allowing transactions to be completed via a smart contract instead of a consensus bridge.

“In the medium term, our goal is to be the layer 1 that can enable financial inclusion,” said Warden. “We believe in a multichain world, but if there’s only one settlement chain it’ll be Algorand for sure.”

According to data from Messari, Algorand is among the top 30 blockchains, with a market capitalization of nearly $6 billion.

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Tracy Wang is a senior reporter at CoinDesk. She owns BTC, ETH, MINA, ENS, various stablecoins, and some NFTs.

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Tracy Wang is a senior reporter at CoinDesk. She owns BTC, ETH, MINA, ENS, various stablecoins, and some NFTs.

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