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Proof Of Steak at Devcon3 BlockParty

As previously announced, I organised Devcon3 Blockparty dinner for Ethereum meetup organisers around the world and I would like to share how it went.

When I first decided to do it, I wasn’t sure how many people actually will sign up so I used Doodle to gauge interest. It took almost 5 weeks to have over 20 people signed up (at this moment, people were not depositing anything).

When I actually deployed the contract and contracted everybody who was on the Doodle, the first 5 signup took a while but when it reached over 10 people, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) started kicking and the last 5 spot was filled within a few hours.

The biggest number we hosted using BlockParty has been 15 so the number 20 is the new record. On top of that, people who missed out the registration started contacted me if they can still come along. I explained to them that they can come to the same restaurant and have a table near our booked area as long as there are some space.

Interestingly, Unicorn Party, which was going to happen during the same time announced to slash off their entrance fee to make it free. If I was using normal ticketing system ,I would have been worried but not with BlockParty because my participants already put ETH 0.05 at stake.

Like last time, I expected everybody turn up but this time there was a trap (I didn’t mean it, I promise!).

According to Alex who initially suggested the restaurant, it used to locate in the area close to the conference area (in the ZONA HOTELERA).

However, the restaurant was moved into the “La Isla Shopping Village” at certain point but Google Map kept showing the old address.

This turned into the dinner event into a bit of challenge. When we all arrived at the start of the event, more than half haven’t arrived yet. Even worse, half of the people who appeared were actually people who didn’t register. Luckily the restaurant had extra 5 seats so we increased our capacity to prepare for more people to come.

Half empty at the start of the dinner

There were 4 people missing even one hour after the start time so I finally declared the payout.

(ETH0.05 deposit * 4 missing) / 16 attended = ETH 0.0125 (around USD 3.76).

This may not worth much now but who knows. When we organised last party in Paris, 2 out of 7 people did not turn up ended up getting ETH 0.4

Was the event successful?

In terms of the variety of participants and quality of the food, yes.

However, it left a few issues.

First of all, checking each participant attendance has lots of area to improve.

I wasn’t even sure if the venue will have a decent wifi so I printed out the list of twitter account and full name. The twitter accounts are shown to public but full names are encrypted by public key which only I (organiser) can decrypt. Many people’s twitter avatar does not always correspond with their real name so checking against their full name is a very casual way to check their identities (from time to time there are actually participants who don’t have twitter accounts).

Manually checking in with a piece of paper. All the hand written names were the party crashers

The current smart contract does not let you undo the marking of the attendance so I had to be very certain of who to mark as attended.

Admin page which allows to mark everybody in “batch” mode.

I actually went from table to table showing my laptop to each participant to make sure that they are marked.

The second problem resulted from this lousy and cumbersome checking process that I could not spend enough time having conversation with everybody as much as I wanted.

As far as I know, there were meetup organisers from Vienna, Boston, Detroit, Holland, Chile, France, Tokyo, Cape Town, and Barcelona. However, I didn’t capture everybody’s detail well so would be great if you can fill in the form below.

I’ve discussed with a couple of other organisers about ways to connect among organisers so meetup organisers who did not to attend the event is also welcome to fill in (as well as these crashers) so that I can contact you when such community is formed.

If you did register and come however, It would be great if you can fill in another form giving me feedback of usability of the BlockParty .

So what happened to the participants who did not come? I couldn’t get response from all of them but here is what happened to some.

@ingamx could not find the venue so ended up going to another party

Don’t be sorry. Everybody was happy to get your ETH

Lasse Clausen also could not make it due to jet lag. Funny enough I later met him at another party he organised himself.

Are we finished? Not yet.

When the party is over (= when organiser press “payout”) each user is either marked as “Won” or “Lost”, but the deposit is not returned automatically (The original contract used to send to each participant but it is changed following the “withdrawal from contracts” pattern).

Users are supposed to withdraw within one week or there is a “clear” function which allows contract owner to clear up all the deposit.

I added this “clear” function as a rescue method in case some participant lost their private keys but also a way to encourage people not to forget the withdrawal but it does not seem working well. It’s been almost one week since the party but there are still 4 people who haven’t take the money back (hence ETH 0.25 still on the contract). I would be keen to find out when the last person withdraw from the deposit. The longest time deposit kept on the contract was almost 9 months after my first BlockParty at Devcon2. I also found a critical vulnerability on the previous contract after the end of the event, so I wouldn’t leave your precious ETH in this honeypot for too long.

[UPDATE] a response after publishing this post.





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