Interchain Foundation 2020

Introducing Interchain GmbH and a new ICF Funding Program

Today we’re excited to announce the Interchain Foundation Funding Program is re-opening after implementing a new organizational structure to streamline application review and project administration. The two entities who will be supporting this restructured program are Informal Systems, recently spun-out from the Research and Development group at the ICF, and Interchain GmbH, a new fully-owned subsidiary of the ICF.

Interchain GmbH (IG)

In March 2020, Interchain GmbH was founded in Berlin, Germany. The new home for a group of former All In Bits (d.b.a Tendermint Inc.) employees, where these specialist engineers and protocol architects could focus on the core technologies driving a fast expanding Interchain ecosystem. As maintainers of Tendermint Core, lead architects of the Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) Protocol, and contributors to the Cosmos SDK, they envision a more connected, open, and self-sovereign world, made possible through the Cosmos Network. Keep an eye out for our upcoming post introducing members of the new team!

New Funding Program

In collaboration with Informal Systems, the new Interchain GmbH has been busy implementing a multi-stakeholder organizational structure, while catching up on funding applicants from the end of 2019. The result is a new, plaintext-enabled funding pipeline that opens today! Changes to the program include a simplified application form, improved review process, and VCS contract automation tools created by Informal Systems. Make your submission today at!

From this point forward, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed quarterly by the Foundation Council. The first two months of each quarter will be receiving periods, while the third month will be dedicated to completing reviews and performing follow-up interviews before final decisions are made at the end of each quarter.

We will continue accepting requests for funding in the form of grants, service agreements, and investments from the following categories: Engineering/Product, Research and Community/Social Good. We anticipate funding amounts to range from under $10k to over $100k, depending on the scope of the project. For more detailed information about how the program works take a look at the program website and github repository.

External Experts

As part of the Funding Program’s new review process, this quarter the ICF Board of Management will be soliciting more advice from external experts. This limited group will be comprised of individuals from across the ecosystem, invited for their unique and valuable perspectives on the Internet of Blockchains. They will have the opportunity to review and comment on all applications, contributing their expertise in the topics of Research + Engineering, Business + Product and Community + Social Good to inform funding recommendations made by the ICF Board of Management to the Foundation Council. We look forward to announcing details about the first group next month.

Billy Rennekamp, ICF Grants Manager on the Board of Management

While work on designing the new funding pipeline began last year, much of the implementation only began with the installment of a new Grants Manager, billy rennekamp. Billy will hold a joint role, as part of the Interchain Foundation’s Board of Management and member of Interchain GmbH. He works across these two organizations to support entities and contributors throughout the ecosystem.

Q1 2020 Grant Recipients

Before re-opening applications for Q2 2020, we’ve been able to finalize a series of funding recipients who applied as far back as Q3 2019, amounting to roughly $680k to finance important work within the Cosmos ecosystem. We’re excited to announce our support of the following projects and look forward to publishing more details about their contributions as they develop.

Engineering (~430k USD allocated)

  • B-Harvest — Improved trusted peering, validator consensus key rotation, double signing risk reduction, Tendermint mode
  • Figment — Income reporting tool for Cosmos Hub
  • ImToken — Mobile wallet, desktop browser, hardware wallet
  • Iqlusion — Go IBC Relayer and E2E testing for Game of Zones
  • UseTech — .Net Full Node endpoint

Community & Social Good (~70k USD allocated)

  • Chief Nyamweya & Anne Connelly — Trust graphic novels
  • Coin Center — Policy advocacy

Research (~180k USD allocated)

  • Confio — Proof of Engagement
  • Stevan Ognjanovic, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Consensus graduate research
  • Galois — Fork accountability in Ivy
  • Fernando Pedone, University of Lugano — Towards planetary scale trusted systems

Next Steps

Keep an eye out for upcoming profiles of the members of the Interchain Foundation, Interchain GmbH and the External Experts. We’ll have new funding announcements and more detailed dives into the tools and technology developed as a result of previous funding partnerships. To stay up to date, subscribe to our blog and follow our twitter.

The ICF ( is the Swiss foundation funding and pushing the frontiers of blockchain-related infrastructure.