September Ethereum London Meetup — quick round-up

Three fascinating presentations at Imperial College yesterday evening. Attended by a couple of hundred block-heads (that sounds wrong), and not a single ICO question.

First up, we got great demo from Matthew from Matrix https://www.matrix.org. He was a very enthusiastic speaker and braved the demo-demons to show their one-messenger-to-rule-them-all. In the end the demo was so good the alarm went off. Go check out https://riot.im (just one implementation I believe) and see how you can include all your chat channels in one seamless interface, then take it to the next level with a VR video conf! Not strictly-speaking blockchain or Ethereum, but there was a touchpoint in that the conversation records are not stored in a centralised location. Best go to the web site to find out the technical details.

Second, we got deep thoughts on the Banking system from Mathias Grønnebæk of Braveno https://braveno.com. He described his early work with the Ethereum project, before it even had a name, and how he’s gone on to set up a crypto exchange that’s trying to do it right. I think the differences between Braveno and other exchanges might be a little subtle for the casual investor just now, but you can’t disagree with the goal of getting wallet private keys under the end-users’ control. There’s more to it than that, of course. Keep an eye.

And thirdly Nick, who is part of the Ethereum team (the tee-shirt alerted the less discerning members of the crowd) gave us the low-down on the Ethereum Naming Service, ENS, https://ens.domains. You too can be the proud owner of an Ethiopian web address (for it turns out that .eth belongs to them by right), that can point to your wallet or smart contract.

This is the kind of initiative that will help take Ethereum, and crypto, to the mainstream. In ten years time I shall hand my daughter a paper wallet I’ve been hodling for her, (hopefully it will be worth a bob or two) and I fully expect a look of dismay when she sees those keys because the ENS address, that I’m about to grab for her, is all she’ll have ever used.

Finally, we had Makoto showing off his simple but effective Block Party dapp https://github.com/makoto/blockparty. If you’ve missed the message, putting a deposit in here is going to be mandatory (according to Vlad) for future meetups, so make sure you have a little ETH and a Web3 provider at the ready.

Thanks to the volunteers at Imperial College. See you next month.

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