ETHDenver at a New Venue for 2023; The Sports Castle Too Small?

In February, cnbc.com’s MacKenzie Sigalos reported that ETHDenver is now the largest and longest-running Ethereum event in history. According to the cnbc article, John Paller, the founder of ETHDenver, disclosed that more than 20,000 people registered to attend this year — and he estimated that more than 13,000 descended on Denver for the official gathering. There were also more than 350 ancillary events this year. Thousands of ethereum coders bring their grunge-hacker vibe to Denver, but are they having to leave the Sports Castle and find a new venue in 2023?

ETHDenver 2023 will start on February 24th and end on March 5th, with the virtual BUILDathon presumably continuing throughout March. The ETHDenver website does not specify the venue, but the CT chatter indicates that we should expect a new venue. While rumors are buzzing, I haven’t heard a peep about where the event could be moved to, but I hope it brings the same great atmosphere it has been reported to have since beginning in 2017. The Sports Castle has provided the perfect cypherpunk vibes and helped to make Denver, Colorado a buzzing year-round hot-spot for people to live (and visit) and create innovative blockchain solutions together. I haven’t personally been yet, but I plan to make ETHDenver 2023 my first in-person blockchain event.

When I spoke with nico186, a speaker at ETHDenver 2022 and a contributor to the Threshold Network, he seemed nostalgic about having to leave the castle behind. He told me stories about all the great times he had there, but he also mentioned that the one thing he wouldn’t miss were the small bathrooms. “I’m going to miss the Sports Castle. Jessica Angel’s distinct and vibrant art installation was one of the first images I saw when registering in 2019. ETHDenver is always an unforgettable experience, regardless of the building. It’s about the people, the community, that fill the space and innovate together when we gather in Denver.”

Joshua Lapidus, an ETHDenver steward, says that there will in fact be a new venue in 2023. This year was packed and the lines wrapped around the building with people who were waiting to get a COVID test and gain entry. Oddly enough, the reason for the venue change doesn’t entirely seem to be the long lines this year or the huge turnout, but rather a matter of the Sports Castle being sold to a real estate developer, Hyder Construction Inc., who is looking to redevelop the building. On Twitter, NukeManDan broke the news to me that 2022 might have been the last year EVER for ETHDenver to be hosted at this iconic Broadway building, with a link to a story that explains the redevelopment plans. Tom McLagan, the executive chairman of Hyder, hopes to get the property placed on the National Register of Historic Places after renovations are done. The plans for the redesigned Sports Castle include ground-floor retail space and upstairs office space, according to McLagan. Denver city records show that there could also be a top-floor event space and a rooftop deck. Many renovations are being planned along Broadway that will make the skyline much taller and denser and support the immense population growth that Denver has seen in recent years. Perhaps, once the renovations are finished and the Sports Castle reopens, it will host the best ETH after-party events in the world!

Disruption is coming. There will be losers. You are the future. These are the bold messages displayed on Shannon‘s website.

Shannon Ewing, who is on the Board of Stewards at ETHDenver, believes that it is through human flourishing that we will solve the world’s problems. Whether through tech innovations (ex: self-sovereign ID for refugees) or traditional tools (ex: building more toilets), Shannon is an advocate of grassroots approaches to creating more good in the world. Shannon says that “the world is ready for more community, more benefit. And if you’re working to contribute to the common good, it definitely needs more of you in it.” Shannon’s views accurately capture the ethos of ETHDenver, and we know that even with a new venue, the incredible Ethereum community will continue to bring their best to Denver each year.

The news of a new venue came as a shock to me as I was just trying to get a special event lined up with the ETHDenver crew for Justin Holmes to entertain the crowd with another one of his legendary performances. If you’ve been to more than a couple of ETH events over the years, or to ETHDenver just once, you most likely know Justin, who is a cryptographer working on the NuCypher client team.

The NuCypher and Keep networks merged on January 1, 2022 to form the Threshold Network, in what Cointelegraph dubbed “The World’s First Decentralized Merger.” The NuCypher and Keep client teams now both contribute to the Threshold Network, which offers a suite of threshold cryptography services that power user sovereignty on the blockchain.

Justin boasts a shining personality, a keen ear for both performing and composing original lyrics and tunes, and frequently fashions himself in a bold and memorable way. If you haven’t had the opportunity to catch one of Justin’s performances, our friends at ETH Barcelona captured an epic performance with his new songs from his EP released in June.

Do you know where #ETHDenver2023 will be hosted? Drop me a line on Twitter at @mrsThreshold and be sure to follow the official @EthereumDenver Twitter account for the latest news!

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