Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, sent three $100k donations to startups building scaling tools for Ethereum. Buterin's decision came as a result on a Twitter thread, in which Spankchain founder Ameen Soleimani expressed his concerns about the speed of Ethereum's development. "Where are the current ETH 2.0 teams losing/wasting time?" Soleimani tweeted.
Replying to Soleimani's tweet, Preston Van Loon, co-founder of Prysmatic Labs, a startup building an open-source client to scale Ethereum, tweeted that his company's biggest distraction was that its employees were still working full-time at other jobs. In response, Buterin sent 1,000 ether (~$100k) to Prysmatic Labs. Following this donation, Buterin also sent two more sets of 1,000 ether to ChainSafe Systems and Lighthouse. Both of these startups are also building solutions to scale Ethereum.
Scaling Ethereum has been a significant concern for members of the community. In a keynote conversation at Multicoin's Fall 2018 Summit, venture capitalist Fred Wilson stated that Ethereum is "blowing it" referring to the first mover advantage Ethereum has over other smart contract development platforms like EOS.