During conferences you often get asked “Which talk did you enjoy the most?”. There were so many excellent talks at Ethereum Community Conference and even more amazingly the all videos are already up on YouTube.
I would like to introduce a couple of talks which were relevant from my eyes.
“Managing a legacy Dapp” by me :-)
Well, it’s a bit cheeky to put my talk on the top, but I do so to give you a bit more context of why I was interested in other talks.
In this talk, I talked through the journey of developing and using BlockParty (a simple party and meetup management Dapp) including gas usage history, some optimisation and my (embarrassing) account compromise story. I also talked about how you can learn quickly by making mistakes but without risking too much.
In the end, I promoted my post conference lunch party which (I think) went pretty well, too.
“Compliance issues” by Simon Polrot
Blockchain conferences are a bit strange as a tech conference where you see as many lawyers as developers. This is because smart contracts handle the flow of money directly so it is necessary for any developers to be aware of the consequences of what you have been building.
My favourite part was this diagram where Simon categorised tentative legal scales into four bucket.
- Dapp not dealing with value (eg: provenance, proof of …)
- Dapp dealing with simple exchange of value (eg: cryptokitties)
- ICO / Token sales & DAOs
- Financial Dapps (eg: exchanges, derivatives, gamblings)
Until his talk, I was worried that the risk of BlockParty is #4 as we are betting on the behaviour of people’s attendance and get rewards based on other people’s loss, but having a chat with Simon gave me some relief that my Dapp is more of #2.
Another thing Simon said was that it is very important not to upset customers who have suffered loss through your Dapp as they are the ones who could potentially sue you. Who would this “Angry customer” be? It’s actually Simon himself, as he did lose 1ETH a year before when he ended up not coming to my party.
I asked him if he is going to sue me, but he said he won’t.
“Scaling now with Parity Bridge” by Bjorn Wagner (@bjornwgnr)
Scaling was one of the hottest topics during the conference and people must be overwhelmed by so many different approaches available, such as generalised state channel, µRaiden, plasma MVP, plasma cash, and so on.
Each approach has various pros and cons. As for BlockParty, to have its own child chain like Plasma seems like overkill, and having a state channel (such as µRaiden) would also be too much as BlockParty participants are only required to send two transactions, one to RSVP and another to withdraw, which is equivalent to opening and closing the channel.
What I would like to solve is to save gas cost for admin to check in each participant.
This is the same problem that Giveth and Colony have. They require mainnet to transfer value from sponsor(donor) to people who achieved certain milestones, but they do require a lot of intermediate transactions to log the progress of each task, for which they want to avoid paying a high gas cost.
For that purpose, it seems agood idea to use existing testnet to log non value incurring transactions, and commit the result into mainnet in batch. Giveth wrote a detailed blog post for their custom solutions but Parity’s bridge solution seems the closest alternative to achieve the same result.
“Scalable spanking” by Ameen Soleimani
(The YouTube video and its thumbnail photo includes very explicit content, so replaced with my lovely T-shirt )
The talk was probably a bit controversial.
I actually left the talk in the middle because even I felt a bit uncomfortable seeing so much explicit content during a technical conference. However, one of his talk slides had a photo where he was on boarding users with mobile wallets called Cipher browser at an event, which was very intriguing as an event management Dapp creator so I decided to talk to the speaker after the talk and it turned out to be very interesting.
What he said was that during the trial period he rewarded the volunteers by paying in three different methods, the first $100 in cash, the second $100 in Ether, and the last $100 in SpankCoin so that the participants were encouraged to explore how to use the wallet and convert each assets.
Many people still treat Ether as “store of value” and not many people have their Ether easily available on their mobile phone, so this is definitely a great on-boarding method.
I hope this blog post gave you a quick introduction to some of the talks of Ethereum community conference in relation to legal, scalability, and mobile user experience. Also the last talk demonstrated that you often end up having very interesting conversations outside of lecture rooms.
Lastly, but not least, a special thank you to jerome de tychey for organising such a wonderful event as well as inviting me as a speaker which was a great honour.
(Special thanks to Zoe Aldington for reviewing this post )