Ideas for Evolving Ethereum -


How Ethereum Could Evolve, where I propose a further decentralization and distribution of what the Ethereum Foundation is currently doing / or not doing…


Let’s start with the Ethereum Foundation (EF). If its current annual burn rate of $20 million supporting 100 employees is correct, there is definitely room for improving what’s being delivered, and how its resources could be more efficiently managed.

You don’t substantiate this statement. So, it’s a 20M burn rate, and we see what’s the output. Is this a lot for that budget? Or not? I don’t know. Personally, I think the progress isn’t bad for 20M. What’s the baseline for performing efficiently?

We’d all like to see faster development, but personally, I have no reference. Block chain tech is relatively new, so the development expectations are unknown to me. Maybe we can compare it to operating systems? Microsoft takes years for every os, with thousands of employees. Android is yearly, what’s their budget? How’s the Linux kernel doing this?

Apart from this, I do agree with your proposal, and the budget/value/weight that you attach to it also feels reasonable to me.

So, I was so free to take your numbers and calculate back. 20M burn, 100ppl, average cost per employee: 200K/year.
It’s all very loosly paper napkin…

  • Ethereum Research Foundation : 37,5 ppl
  • EthDev : 37,5 ppl
  • EthMarket: 5 ppl.
  • EthEducation : 5 ppl
  • EthBizDev : 5 ppl

You actually have 2M left, since your budget totals to 18M, we’ll keep it for office supplies :wink:.

I like the diversification in the teams, and think this could help in decentralization, I think it could also help with communication to the different audiences, nd serving the needs of the communities, developers and integrators better.

I think, to assess this change, we need to have an oversight on the current structure, we need to know what the proposal would change compared to the current situation.
Are there internal teams? What is the headcount of those teams? Hows the internal communication flow at the moment?
For example, how many people are working in research now? Would that number increase or or not?

Also I think some people should work for different teams, this will help bridging them.

The risks may be alienating teams from one-another, creating too much middle management, communication overhead, and too much enterprise-clutter so no-one feels happy nor productive any more. Too much cathedral and not enough bazaar can kill projects.

Maybe other members with more knowledge on the current way of doing things can chime in.


Strictly speaking for myself, if EthHub was spun into EthEducation I certainly wouldn’t take 200k a year

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“The risks may be alienating teams from one-another, creating too much middle management …” - that’s not correct. Bigger risks are present today.
I’ve proposed a very balanced evolution that doesn’t add middle management. where did you get that part from?
we need more accountability and yes, managing people for results is a thing.
if researchers want to stay in lala land and do research, that’s fine. but you need to move the product into the market at some point.
i wasn’t too detailed on the actual budget, as it depends how it gets implemented.


Well, it would enable you to hire people the dedicate their time to it. Volunteering is good and is needed, and thank you for your efforts so far, but -to put it bluntly- volunteering doesn’t scale well on demand.

@ChazSchmidt: would @wmougayar’s idea work? Hypothetically, if the foundation offered you access to 1MM to build and support ‘EthEducation’, would you do it? If so, what might we expect from this project?


Hi Chaz.
well, imagine what could be done with a few more helping hands.
you’ve started a great thing.


I understand. I has half-joking that 200k overvalues my time. If I was offered that kind of money to work on EthHub, I’d take a fraction of that amount and use the rest of it to hire as many translation leads as possible.


In my experience, if you take one whole, and split it up, the overhead of ‘running the business’ is larger than before you split it.

Does your experience differ?

Personally I don’t like the tone, and proposition of this quote, and don’t find it fitting in a constructive debate.


Hypothetically, if the foundation offered you access to 1MM to build and support ‘EthEducation’, would you do it? If so, what might we expect from this project?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I would be willing to work full-time on EthHub if the opportunity presented itself and I felt I was the best fit for the position. However, I would imagine that with that kind of money we could hire someone who has more experience leading an international translation effort.


There’s nothing wrong with having researchers dream-up outside of the possibilities. That’s where the innovation comes from.
Actually, the opposite is true. When the whole becomes too big or isn’t well managed, then you break it up into smaller pieces. And you repeat that process as growth continues to happen. Managing people is not overhead. It’s human nature. Very few people can be self-managed entirely. If you resist that, then it takes longer to produce results, you waste a lot of time and money, and you end-up accepting different degrees of productivity levels.


Interesting blog post @wmougayar. To summarize, I view your structure as a mostly functionally-oriented mesh, which I believe is appropriate to help scale Ethereum and its adoption. Over time, we could look to alternative models to sustain Ethereum once we get there.

Overall, I agree with most of your points- especially with respect to focusing on Ethereum development in a more coherent and coordinated manner- a role which the Ethereum Foundation seems to eschew. I have heard many reports of Eth 1.x dev being fragmented and not having sufficient funding, although I await a more complete analysis and response from the Ethereum Foundation before accepting this claim.

I am not entirely sure I agree with the notional split of $20M to research, and $7.5M for development. Would you care to elaborate upon your thoughts there? I assume you expect that all of these funds would come from proceeds of the EF hoard, combined with some form of community funding (charitable contributions, or elective altruistic tx-fees / validator rewards)?

Regarding spinning EthHub as EthEducation, I think this actually reduces the impact of EthHub as a user community- a function which I think is critically important and may form another hub/spoke in your model. While I greatly respect the work of devs working on the Ethereum protocol, the forum that EthHub creates for users (and the accessibility to Ethereum it creates for users, power users, and new devs) offer functionality which goes beyond education.

Also, do you view EthBizDev as similar to the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance?


@wmougayar This is a very good idea However, my own obsevation(Link1, Link2 show that a governance council should reflect the eco-system as a whole, and not only the foundation ( project building dapps, groups involve in the core infrastructure or who interact with the protocol outside of the managment of the Ethereum foundation, tocken holders, miners/validators, active users of the protocol ( service providers) and so on…
I would suggest that the Ethereum Governance Council should be representative of all the groups or stakeholders stated above.
Ex: service providers should form their own council and then send deleguate to the Ethereum Governance Council.
Devs building dapps should have their own council and send deleguate to the Ethereum Governance Council.
The same for Miners/Validators…
What do you think?


Hello @wmougayar,

I really enjoyed reading your proposal for how Ethereum could evolve on an organisational level. I think it should spark a much needed discussion. I see that your piece was also posted on r/ethereum but has not received much traction. Do you know of any discussion going on inside the EF on this topic or do you have contact with any key figures within the EF on the piece you wrote?



I’m also very interested in the difference between @wmougayar 's proposal and the current way of doing things. I’m sure there must be departments in the EF, or some other structure? Does anyone have any insights in this or where to get it? At the moment, the proposition feels a bit like guesswork to me.


Why does a Foundation need 100+ people?