The Ethereum Foundation has launched what has been dubbed the Client Incentive Program to encourage software development teams to continue to maintain the core network.
Client teams will each receive 144 validators totaling 4,608 ETH to operate on mainnet. The teams can unlock rewards as they continue to build software that meets performance and security requirements. Ownership of the funds vests over several years as the team maintains clients and meets performance benchmarks on mainnet. The first tranche unlocks at the delivery of Beacon Chain — Ethereum's proof-of-stake solution — withdrawals.
Validators will earn transaction fees after the merge, so the program will act as a revenue stream. Teams can use the vested grants as they see fit, whether by staking to earn further rewards or withdrawing and liquidating.
The Ethereum Foundation announced the opportunity in a blog post yesterday, naming the following teams as eligible for participation: Besu, Erigon, Go-ethereum (geth), Lighthouse, Lodestar, Nethermind, Nimbus, Prysm and Teku.
"The structure of the program aligns teams with the long-term health of the network and ensures they are incentivized to build secure and performant software," said the post. "It was designed to be backwards-looking and reward teams who have already delivered production-quality software."