people talking in eth denver

Ventures Learned a Lot from ETH Denver

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The Takeaway:

  • ETHDenver is a yearly Ethereum-centered hacking and business event held in Denver, Colorado.
  • The multi-day symposium drew lawmakers and politicians, famous people, royalty, and some high-profile personalities in the development community. They speak about non-fungible tokens (NFTs), web3, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and Ethereum’s significant boost coming later this year on the main stage of the Sports Castle.
  • Vitalik Speech
  • Ethereum’s shift to proof-of-stake is projected to occur in Q2 or Q3.
  • Ethereum’s and Web3’s future generation

Ethereum is the second-biggest cryptocurrency globally, behind bitcoin, in market capitalization. It is well-known for its smart contracts, which are essentially programmable pieces of software that have the potential to eventually replace intermediaries such as banks and litigators in certain sorts of business transactions.

The Sports Castle is located in downtown Denver, only a few streets from the Colorado state capital. The six-story structure was built in 1927 as a Chrysler automobile dealership. Instead of steps, sweeping ramps wrap around the circumference of each level. The degenerate grunge design is purposeful and fits nicely with the vibe of ETHDenver. This biannual two-week event attracts some of the most inventive brains in the Ethereum community.

Over 20,000 people attended the formal gathering, while over 13,000 more poured on Denver for over 350 subsidiary activities. According to the organizers, ETHDenver has grown to become the most significant and lengthiest Ethereum affair in history.

Ethereum is the critical building element for various crypto initiatives, including NFTs, DeFi, and web3, a relatively vague phrase for a decentralized, blockchain-based third generation of the internet. According to the web State of the dApps, most NFTs and 74percent of DeFi applications, or dApps, are built on Ethereum.

ETH Denver preserved its unique quirkiness despite the new faces, replete with brilliant, vibrant colors and Vitalik costumed as a “Bufficorn.” Apart from a single Doge Lambo, the major highlight was devoid of glamor and had an authentic Ethereum feel.

And ETHDenver has a reputation for having robust – if not impenetrable – hype protection. It is populated by builders, technologists, and rigorous critical thinkers, not by hypebeasts. While a thorough environment will not shield you, it will significantly increase your chances of connecting with non-sociopaths.

Additionally, events like ETHDenver will expose you to much more technical material than you are likely to find anywhere else online. The lectures and dialogues are primarily directed toward developers, not the general public. While non-devs will often find themselves inside the dark, close listeners will have a much-increased understanding of technical detail. And, ultimately, with crypto, if you don’t understand the technology, you’re simply blindly tossing darts.

Politicians and Famous People Demonstrate Growing Interest

Politicians, most prominently Colorado Governor Jared Polis and former presidential aspirant Andrew Yang, made their cryptocurrency debuts at ETHDenver.

Gov. Polis, a liberal, has long supported bitcoin while serving as a congressman. During a primary address on the main stage, he stated that Colorado would begin accepting cryptocurrencies for state fees and taxes this summer.

Andrew Yang made a surprise appearance with Bankless’s David Hoffman, offering his ideas on why Web3 provides “the greatest anti-poverty potential of our generation.” His presence coincided with the launch of his Lobby3 campaign, which will lobby for prudent legislation in Washington to foster crypto development.

Cryptocurrency has undoubtedly moved to the forefront of American political discourse.

DAO Infrastructure Sector

Following a year in which ConstitutionDAO garnered worldwide prominence, DAOs have reclaimed a large portion of the cryptocurrency spotlight. The conference floor was packed with groups developing DAO infrastructure and frequent ideas about how decentralized autonomous organizations may rewire the world.

While excitement for DAOs was evident, many participants expressed exhaustion, with many DAOs failing to retain donors. Joseph Delong, SushiSwap’s former CTO who recently departed the decentralized project, delivered an enlightening discussion on why DAOs need more structure to be successful.

While the long-term picture for DAOs seems to be favorable, the sector is still dealing with how DAOs should work precisely. Given the lack of standards around DAO functioning, it’s challenging to determine which tools they truly need. As a result, the DAO construction sector is anticipated to see significant volatility in the immediate to medium future.

The Fusion

Ethereum’s shift to proof-of-stake is projected to occur in Q2 or Q3 of this year, according to experts. Ethereum’s proof-of-stake (or beacon) chain has been active since December 2020, but all apps continue to run on the proof-of-work chain. Merging these apps entails transferring them to the PoS chain.

The merging was a hot topic of conversation among developers this year. If all goes according to plan, ETH holders will not be required to take any action, but programmers and network operators are gearing up. It involves using testnets and dry runs in preparation for the real deal.

The Ethereum community is placing a significant bet on the Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm combined with layer two scalability solutions (rollups). Upon completion of the merger, Ethereum will move to be a settlement layer for significant transactions, with most user activity delegated to layer 2. Thus, all EVM compliant layer 1s will compete with ETH L2s for consumers and developer mindshare, resulting in a more competitive ecosystem.

Coinbase Cloud, which supports a piece of Coinbase’s ETH staking service and also node infrastructure for several companies in the industry, is also preparing for the merger. Cloud developers were out in force, organizing a hackathon, a range of panels and seminars, and a party with over 500 guests.

The massive effort of switching the Ethereum network from proof-of-work mining akin to Bitcoin to far ‘less energy-intensive proof-of-stake mining’ is anticipated to be completed later this year. The process is pretty well documented. However, there’ll still be a great deal to learn about the implications, especially how Ethereum-based projects will need to adjust to the new world. Then there are the potential enhancements to ETH 2.0, most notably sharding, which is scheduled to be implemented in 2023. How much more capacity will we get, and most importantly, what will these crushing transaction fees become?

Hackathons Schemes

The Sports Castle is lined with rows of desks and beanbags crammed with developers working frantically to create new blockchain-based companies during the weekend.

Thousands of programmers from across the globe are coming to Denver, pulling days-long all-nighters, teaming up to construct projects from the ground up — and jointly vying for the $1.5 million rewards on offer.

Over 170 teams fought for $1 million in bounties, prize money, investment capital, and $2 million in investment capital. Five finalist projects were chosen, including DustSweeper, which aims to mitigate Ethereum’s skyrocketing transaction fees for users sending small amounts of value.

While hackathons are nothing new in the blockchain ecosystem, many communities believe ETHDenver to be the preeminent location for Ethereum developers.

Vitalik Takes the Lead

Vitalik Buterin, 28 Ethereum creator who has developed a reputation as crypto’s critical philosopher over the last decade, was the conference’s star. Buterin, who delivered two presentations, has a meandering and sometimes extremely theoretical speaking style, which makes extracting particular and pithy theses from his talks challenging. He first discussed how blockchains depend mainly on theory; developers should also use more empirical approaches when building up their systems.

In his second session, titled “Steps to the Digital State,” he discussed the need to start small with crypto initiatives in governance, such as municipal tokens and the City DAO. He also addressed several environmental criticisms leveled at the blockchain space, describing them as “fair.” However, he said that Ethereum’s transition from ”Proof of Work to Proof of Stake” — a procedure that ostensibly maintains the blockchain operational and safe — will significantly minimize the blockchain’s environmental effect.

The Market is Undeniably a Builder’s Market

While crypto has recovered, markets are expected to stay fragile in light of the present geopolitical concerns. Regardless, the teams developing the next iteration of Ethereum and Web3 continue to be well supported, and development will proceed. Web3, like Ethereum, will be about equally spreading online power and wrestling authority away from Big Tech platforms.

As seen by the expanded range of projects and attendees at this year’s conference, what is developed on Ethereum will continue to go through fascinating new routes.

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