Things are looking up for Ethereum. Now that The Merge is complete, a huge weight (measured in tonnes of CO2) has been lifted from the Ethereum community’s collective conscience. And the world-at-large is watching to see what this community does next.
Right now the ecosystem has a unique opportunity to show the skeptics what Ethereum can do — how a foundational layer of trust on the open internet can be used to tackle the big coordination problems that we have yet to solve.
The road to Serenity is long, and Ethereum’s impact is still small on the scale of human institutions, societies, or economies. In recent years we have collectively grown quite fond of the term public good, but we must remember that “public” means all 8-billion of us, give or take.
This is why the EF Fellowship Program was created: To give a platform to people working towards the long-term vision of Ethereum as a public good for all humans.
If Ethereum is to be the future of human coordination, we must make sure that future is equitably distributed. With that said, we’re happy to announce seven outstanding individuals who are thinking and working with that long view in mind.
Meet the Second Cohort
If you missed the first cohort, you can read about their projects here!
Each EF Fellow has been selected because they are on a personal quest that represents a possibility for Ethereum-enabled flourishing.
What exactly that means is a bit flexible. Some are expanding Ethereum’s usefulness to a new group of people, or learning firsthand from a community why Ethereum is not useful for them (yet). Maybe the fellow is researching broader challenges that will affect the existing Ethereum community, now or long into the future.
Whatever the project, whomever the fellow, over the course of the next 6 months, they will be driving forward their learning, implementing their project, and generally helping to move Ethereum outwards into this messy, complicated world of people.
Abhishek is a co-founder at Whrrl. Whrrl is primarily targeted at agricultural loans for small and medium-holder farmers, providing harvest-time loans to 18,000+ farmers across India. Whrrl currently runs on a permissioned blockchain, with bank-provided liquidity, but for his Fellowship project, Abhishek will be expanding to the public chain, and exploring what this system could look like at a global scale.
Gabriela founded Bloinx, a startup that implements blockchain-based tandas (also known as cundinas, susu, hui, arisan, quiniela, stokvel, and others around the world) – informal savings circles. Gabriela is convinced that blockchain can have real benefit for the unbanked population of the world, and that savings circles are one good starting mechanism. During her Fellowship, Gabriela will conduct pilots in Mexico and Venezuela and use the research to help improve Bloinx for larger scales.
Geoffrey is co-founder of startup Poko. He has extensive experience working on the legal and regulatory side of the blockchain, as well as in an entrepreneurial education initiative and the burgeoning field of DAOs. For his fellowship project, Geoffrey will be exploring the interface between DAOs and governments, specifically how governments looking to create new frameworks and legislation can learn about the unique needs and capabilities of decentralized organizations.
Karam is an entrepreneur, fintech visionary, international development professional, and human rights policy advocate. Karam founded ZeFi, an educational platform and community focused on fostering blockchain education and research custom-fit for the Syrian context. For the Fellowship, Karam will conduct research that increases practical and culturally-sensitive understandings of how blockchains can solve problems in conflict settings.
Marcus Alburez Myers
Marcus is a Guatemalan entrepreneur working to address today’s pressing challenges. He is currently a Founder-in-Residence at Europe’s leading accelerator, Entrepreneur First, where he is drawing on the power of web3 to empower marginalized communities. Through his work with Lamina POP, a low-cost housing design project in Guatemala, Marcus will be exploring the real-world barriers to physical asset financing for DeFi, and will apply his findings to develop a possible solution for housing finance.
As a legal researcher and technologist based in the Cayman Islands, Mary has been exploring a pressing question: If life-extension technology doesn’t pan out over the next few decades, what happens to your crypto when you die? Currently there is no trustless or decentralized solution to this question, and this presents a problem. Mary’s fellowship will explore what new cryptographic mechanisms might enable us to trustlessly transfer assets after death, in a way that is legally compliant.
Mihajlo is leading the digital transformation journey of one of the world’s biggest non-formal educational youth movements – the World Organization of the Scout Movement with 57+ million members from around the globe. To get the Scout Movement ready for web3, he is embarking on an ambitious project involving digitalising badges, exploring DAOs for different levels of the Movement, and how the scouts might employ novel coordination mechanisms for grassroots organization.
Team Next Billion at Devcon VI
If you’re interested in what the fellows are working on, we hope you’ll check out the Fellow’s talks in person or on live-stream. If saving the world (or trying to) is something you’re into, get in touch with us or tag us on Twitter @EFNextBillion
P.S. No, it’s not the Ethereum Protocol Fellowship — that’s another fellowship initiative on the other edge of the same frontier. Maybe in the future we’ll do a crossover episode.