Ethereum Devcon4 in Czech Republic (I) — Introduction of Devcon|Ethereum Devcon4 捷克行 上篇 — Devcon 介紹

有關注我們粉絲專頁的朋友,上週應該都看到秘銀副總 Wilson 在 Ethereum Devcon4 的連線直擊了吧!今天 Wilson 要來與大家介紹這個盛會的特色與價值,一起來看看吧!


今年以太坊基金會的 Devcon4 舉辦在歐洲捷克的布拉格會議中心,身為與會者的我,參加以太坊開發界,甚至說區塊鏈圈內如此重量級的會議,勢必要來分享一下這次會議有哪些內容和心得。在分享之前,有鑒於幣圈成長之快,有非常多近幾年才加入這圈子的新手根本不知道 devcon 是什麼,所以會分成上下兩篇,上篇會先介紹一下 devcon 的歷史以及我認為的 devcon 的定位,他扮演什麼角色、參加的都是哪些人或哪些單位、活動內容會是什麼,等等等的問題,都會在這篇得到簡單的解答以及延伸閱讀的 Ref 和連結。

Ethereum Devcon 的歷史和介紹

以太坊最一開始的開發是由三位:Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood, and Jeffrey Wilcke 所帶領的非營利組織 ETH DEV 進行,一路都是由社群驅動的方式開源貢獻開發,從 2014 年 6 月募資結束後到了 11 月,舉辦了第一場 Devcon0。所以今年的 Devcon4 其實是第五場了,在 Computer Science 的世界裡我們開頭都是由零開始而不是一。

Devcon0 所探討的事情大多都是以太坊的技術主題,如何讓以太坊更可靠、更安全以及可擴充性更好,參加的人大多都是社群開發者齊聚一堂互相給 talk 和交流。那時的 Vitalik 和 Vlad 非常青澀,有種偉大事物的創辦人早期在車庫的感覺:

Vlad and Vitalik at devcon0, image from youtube

第二場 Devcon1 舉辦在 2015 年 11 月的倫敦,為時五天的活動,已經比 devcon0 成熟許多,超過一百場的演講和 Panel,四百多人參加,組成已經不只是開發者,還包含了企業家、思想家和不同的商業人士。幾個大型企業 UBS、IBM 和微軟都在那時表示對以太坊和區塊鏈的技術非常有興趣,微軟甚至宣布了會直接支援 Blockchain as a Service 在他們的雲服務 Azure 上。

Devcon2 舉辦在 2016 年 9 月的上海,參與者大概八百多人,那幾天還被駭客攻擊,當時的以太坊開發者還進入 war room 修 bug:

War room, image from infoq.com

Devcon3 在 2017 年 11 月初的墨西哥舉辦,這場已經兩千人參加了,贊助商更多更完整,也有很多志工來自社群和學生以及以太坊狂熱者。這場我就開始在關注了,Joseph Poon 的 Plasma、Thunder Token 的 Thunderella 以及 Raiden 不同種的 scalability 解法和新技術分享都有影片紀錄。以太坊生態越來越強壯,更多贊助商的加入讓能租借的場地變大,能開的場次也變多了,以太幣的價格也在這場之後的幾個月爬上高峰。

Devcon3, image from blog.ethereum.org

結論:Devcon 是什麼?

接下來就是 Devcon4,我會在下一篇介紹和分享,基本上以我現在對 Devcon 的認知,我會說是基金會主辦的以太坊生態圈的技術社群大會,以開發者為主探討和發表各種技術進展與相關應用,有點像 Apple 每年的 WWDC,像使用 iOS 或 mac OS 作為產品的公司會來分享內部技術和產品,devcon 也有很多使用以太坊智能合約作為產品和服務的公司前來發表。有開發者就會有其公司,有公司就會有投資人,尤其幣圈投資盛行,不同的資本風投與 Crypto Fund 也會在其中參與。但是這幾年今年這一場,Devcon 有點昇華到除了區塊鏈精神和技術之外,也討論哲學、經濟學、賽局、教育和人文,就像下面今年的 Cryptoeconomics 其中一張投影片:

Cryptoeconomics, image from Wilson

虛擬貨幣經濟學包含了分散式系統、密碼學、經濟學以及哲學,至於物理學就被講者拋棄了,剩下 Devcon4 的詳細內容就期待下一篇吧!

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原文連結:

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Ethereum Devcon4 (I) —Introduction of Devcon

Devcon4 was held in Prague Congress Center in Czech Republic by Stiftung Ethereum (Ethereum Foundation). As a participant, it is imperative to share with you the most significant event in the Ethereun developer community or even the blockchain world as well as my experiences. Before sharing, in sight of how fast the blockchain community is growing, many new comers to this community have no idea what Devcon is, so my article will include two parts. Part I introduces the history of Devcon and its position in my opinion, including its roles, participants setup, and activities planned. Your questions about what Devcon is will be answered in this part where I will also provide a few more links and references.

Ethereum Devcon: History and Overview

At its inception, Ehtereum was built by ETH DEV a nonprofit led by Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood, and Jeffrey Wilcke. The open source development was driven by the Ethereum community. The first event, Devcon0, was launched in November 2014 after fundraising closed in June that year. Devcon4 in 2018 therefore is the fifth in this series. In the world of computer science, we start from 0 instead of 1.

At Devcon0, participants talked about technical issues, for example, how to make Ethereum more reliable, more expandable and safer. Most participants were developers who got together for
talks and exchanges. Vitalik and Vlad were unpolished. They were like great founders at their garage phase:

Vlad and Vitalik at devcon0, image from youtube

The second event, Devcon1, was held in London in November 2015. The 5-day event was obviously much more organized than Devcon0. It included over 100 keynotes and panels. More than 400 people attended the event, including not only developers but businesspeople, thinkers and professionals from various fields. UBS, IBM, Microsoft along with other big enterprises showed their interest in Ethereum and blockchain. Microsoft took a step further to announce that it will support Blockchain as a Service on their cloud service Azure.

Devcon2 was held in Shanghai in September 2016 with over 800 participants. The event was attacked by hackers. Ethereum developers had to debug in the war room:

War room, image from infoq.com

Devcon3 was held in Mexico in early November 2017 with over 2000 participants and more sponsors. Several volunteers at the event were students, community members and Ethereum enthusiasts. I have started following the event since Devcon3. Plasma by Joseph Poon, Thunderella by Thunder Token, different scalability solutions for Raider and new technologies were documented with films. Ethereum ecology has become stronger as the involvement of more sponsors allows the organizer to rent larger venues for more sessions. The price of Ethereum peaked in the following months after Devcon3.

Devcon3, image from blog.ethereum.org

Conclusion: What is Devcon?

I will introduce Devcon4 and share my experiences in the next post. In general based on my knowledge of Devcon, I will describe it as a technical congress on Ethereum ecology organized by Ethereum Foundatikn centered at developer conservation on technology advancements and applications. It is a bit similar with WWDC held by Apple where companies that develop products and services based on iOS and Mac OS. At Devcon, many companies that develop products and services with Ethereum smart contracts launch their new products. Where there are developers, there are companies. Where there are companies, there are investors. Now that cryptocurrency investment is trendy, venture capitalists and crypto funds are involved. This year however the Devcon was elevated to include more than blockchain principles and technologies, such as philosophy, economics, game theories, and humanity. Here is a slide from Cryptoeconomics this year:

Cryptoeconomics, image from Wilson

Cryptoeconomics includes decentralized systems, cryptography, economics and philosophy. Physics discussions were left by speakers. Read Part II for details about Devcon4!

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