One of the most important Ethereum meetups happened this past weekend. ETHDenver took place from February 15th to the 17th, with its main features being workshops, talks, and a hackathon. I went there with my company, Ethex, and had a wonderful time talking Ethereum with like-minded folks. The following is a recap of what took place, and my thoughts on the Ethereum community.
The building in which it took place, Denver’s Sports Castle, may have been one of the ugliest building’s I’ve ever seen — inside and out. But the looks of the place quickly became ancillary to what was going on within: progress and #BUIDL.
The first day of ETHDenver, the primary component of this day are the workshops — which by and large are more like technical talks.
The hackathon also begins this night, which meant programmers were drinking coffee at 2:00 in the morning.
Less technical talks are the focus of Saturday, including a talk on proof of location, “Blockchain Solutions to Climate Change,” and “Bank Without Banks: Loans on the Blockchain”. To end the day, Andreas Antonopoulous gives a (very entertaining) talk on the main stage. Buidling is in full swing.
Buidling submission deadline is in the morning, and judging begins thereafter. Finalists present their content on the main stage, and after a short closing ceremony the after party begins.
- Sponsor Expo: A company fair for supporters of ETHDenver. They had tons of free stuff.
- Various services like: Bodega, Relaxation room with yoga and childcare, Chill room
- Maker Space: An area to make art, play music, etc.
- Food Trucks
And for a complete list of events, you can view the event schedule here.
Although these events were certainly important, and what brought us together, what ETHDenver represents is more important than talks from experts, a hackathon, and some free stuff.
The definition of conference is “a meeting of two or more persons for discussing matters of common concern.” Although ETHDenver doesn’t like to call itself a conference, the meaning of the word fits. The people most interested in Ethereum and its development came together from all across the world to confer — to communicate — ideas to one another. The mass transfer of ideas, only made possible by breaking down the barriers of time and distance, is the most important thing about ETHDenver.
For those who were active in the conference by going to talks, hacking, making new connections, or simply embracing the spirit of #BUIDL, the event served as a significant info dump and perception adjustment.
We Speak the Same Language
For those of us who work in the cryptospace, we can easily believe that it is incredibly important. But if you’ve tried, like I have, to explain it to someone who’s never heard of it, or worse, has only heard about it from (centralized) news sources, then you quickly realize that we are a very small, very tight knit group. With that said, Ethereum projects continue to get more interesting, complex, and legitimate.
If the market cap of Ethereum at 15 billion USD excites you, if the fact that Ethereum recently (and rightfully) overtook the centralized nightmare Ripple, don’t bust out the party hats just yet. In the grand scheme of things Ethereum is just a sapling in a jungle of economic activity. However, going to ETHDenver reassured me that Ethereum will end up being one of the biggest trees in the economic jungle of the future.
The current culture of Ethereum was reflected by the atmosphere of the conference — lighthearted, optimistic, and cutesy (seriously, the official mascot was a buffalo-unicorn hybrid affectionately called a “Bufficorn”). However, Andreas Antonopoulous pointed out that this carefree attitude wouldn’t last forever. In the world of crypto, Bitcoin has taken most of the flak from governments, but as Ethereum develops and becomes a greater threat, centralized institutions will try to put a stop to it all.
Ethereum is in its infancy. There will be more forks, more controversies, and many more projects. But if this conference shows anything, it’s that there is hope for the future of Ethereum and cryptocurrency.
We are at the dawn of the decentralized future.