IOTA: External projects get new grant program

IOTA has launched a new program through its Abu Dhabi office that allows external projects to apply for financial grants. Is this how IOTA finds ideas to advance the ecosystem?

The IOTA Foundation is entering the competition for promising crypto projects. To this end, the IOTA Ecosystem DLT Foundation, based in Abu Dhabi, has launched a program to attract external developers with their projects. Grants ranging from small amounts to over 50,000 US dollars are available. Information on the total amount of the program has not yet been published.

IOTA wants to focus on Web3 with this initiative. Projects from four categories are eligible for funding: Events (e.g. hackathons, workshops or meet-ups), Education (e.g. video and text material), Research (e.g. scientific publications) and Open Source (e.g. wallets and utility programs). In an accompanying blog post, IOTA promises that applications will be processed quickly.

The proposals will be evaluated by an unnamed committee. Its members will scrutinize six criteria, ranging from expertise and usefulness for the IOTA ecosystem to security and scalability. IOTA has created three pots in the call for proposals, one for grants of up to 10,000 US dollars, one for 10,000 to 50,000 US dollars and one for projects that want to receive more than 50,000 US dollars.

Compared to foundation programs such as Avalanche (AVAX) or Solana (SOL), the sums seem manageable. But at least IOTA can once again offer funds for external projects. This was made possible by an artificially induced increase in the total number of all IOTAs, which was implemented as an “inflation hammer” in the fall of 2023. Prior to this, the future of the IOTA Foundation seemed to be on shaky ground financially.

Conclusion: IOTA’s search for meaning continues – will new ideas be found?

IOTA is working hard to develop new use cases for its technologies and cryptocurrency. Involving external experts and founders makes sense. However, it remains to be seen whether top talent will really be attracted by IOTA’s outdated centralized base. After all, the upward trend on the crypto markets means that many projects are once again vying for ground-breaking ideas and experienced experts, usually with deep pockets. Anyone familiar with the inner workings of the IOTA Foundation, which is dominated by chairman Dominik Schiener, might fear that the grants will once again end up in the narrow circle close to Schiener. But let’s wait and see whether there will soon be a transparent report on the first recipients of the new IOTA grants.

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