Ethereum’s MolochDAO Gets Major Donation Boost from Big Backers

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MolochDAO, the decentralized autonomous organization hellbent on funding Ethereum development, just received a major donation boon from some of Ethereum’s most influential figures.

SpankChain chief executive officer and MolochDAO creator Ameen Soleimani announced the high-profile donations on May 10th during a presentation at the ConsenSys-sponsored Ethereal Summit in Brooklyn.

Moloch DAO

There, Soleimani revealed Ethereum co-founders Vitalik Buterin had both respectively donated 1,000 ether (ETH) to join the DAO, with another 2,000 ether being donated from members of the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys, Lubin’s ETH-centric venture capital studio.

The 4,000 ETH windfall marks a serious advancement for MolochDAO, which was created earlier this year with just north of 20 participants. The founders collectively put up 2,200 ETH as “tribute” to gain the right to vote on how the funds should be used for development projects in the Ethereum ecosystem.

MolochDAO’s current members will now have one week to vote on whether to accept the new prospects into the fold, though presumably the round will lead to a landslide of votes in favor: if accepted, the donors’ 4,000 ETH would effectively triple the group’s current development budget.

As for the prospective entrants from the Ethereum Foundation and ConsenSys, the two organizations respectively chose 10 individuals to express their voting interests in the DAO.

During his reveal, Soleimani described the collaborative effort as a grassroots cause to better Ethereum:

“Moloch is a grassroots effort across the ecosystem of people who joined with their personal funds because we care and want to see Ethereum succeed.”

MolochDAO Gets Its First Fork, And It’s Totally Amicable

MolochDAO’s first rejected prospect, the pseudonymous pet3rpan, decided to take things into their own hands by working with the MetaCartel group to begin forking off the decentralized fund’s open-source code into a new, separate DAO.

As pet3rpan explained in an announcement post this week, the new DAO will be focused on accelerating the development of decentralized apps on Ethereum:

“MetaCartel will be launching a grant based DAO that will fund application layer products to coordinate the sharing of product insights and user data […] However, the catch is that participating projects must then share their data with the rest of the DAO in return for funding.”

It’s all love from the originators, too, as the MolochDAO Twitter account gave MetaCartel a shout-out on Twitter on the heels of the announcement of Buterin’s and Lubin’s ether donations.

To that end, MetaCartel may be only the first of many such forks to come.

Ethereum Community Grappling with Open-Source Funding Recently

The rise of MolochDAO and MetaCartel come as efforts to solve how best to fund open-source development in Ethereum, a subject that’s been considerably debated in the blockchain’s ecosystem in recent months.

Back in March, Gitcoin co-founder Kevin Owocki gave a talk for CoinFund where he outlined some of the more prominent open-source funding routes Ethereum’s stakeholders could explore. The major possibilities he noted were as follows:

  • DAOs (e.g. MolochDAO and MetaCartel)
  • block issuance funding
  • microdonations
  • Gitcoin
  • CodeFund

Block issuance funding, which has proven fairly controversial in community discussions to date, would involve allotting a small portion of every ether block reward to a development fund.

For his part, Vitalik Buterin recently conjectured on how Ethereum clients and wallets could charge a 1 gwei transaction fee to contribute to a microdonation scheme, the proceeds of which would go to paying for Ethereum development initatives.

Gitcoin, co-founded by Owocki, can be likened to a decentralized Patreon, whereas CodeFund is a ConsenSys-backed project that accrues development funding via ethical, privacy-respecting ads on developer websites.

Of course, there’s room for all of these solutions to coincide under Ethereum’s umbrella, but whether they’ll be further pursued or become increasingly popular will remain up to the community.

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William M. Peaster is a professional writer and editor who specializes in the Ethereum, Dai, and Bitcoin beats in the cryptoeconomy. He's appeared in Blockonomi, Binance Academy, Bitsonline, and more. He enjoys tracking smart contracts, DAOs, dApps, and the Lightning Network. He's learning Solidity, too! Contact him on Telegram at @wmpeaster

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