Devcon4 — Highlights, Lowlights & Hanging Lights
The yearly reunion for the decentralized family of Ethereans
Once a year, Devcon, the biggest conference for blockchain developers, rolls around. And distinctly, it’s unlike any other crypto conference. It’s really just a big family reunion.
Devcon attracts representatives from almost every project in the space building innovative technologies both within and without the nuclear family of Ethereum. It’s the watering hole where the weird cousins twice removed, the uncles you’ve never heard of, and the foster kid from the neighbors next door congregate to catch up and learn about the new things that the other guy is building. A big happy distributed family! And nobody seems to know how to spell “build”.
This year, the foster kid from next door showed up — and he brought a scaling solution to the potluck.
Cosmos gave a talk presenting its SDK for building Web3-compatible pegged sidechains, with an added bonus — interoperability. Ethermint is an Ethereum Layer 1 horizontal scaling solution which allows dApps to run dedicated EVM instances across multiple interoperable blockchains. The talk by Christopher Goes articulates the details of how Cosmos SDK provides the technology to do this:
Slideshare of Ethermint deck: Ethermint 2.0 — An Ethereum Scaling Solution
As a precursor to the main event, Status held a hackathon back-to-back with the Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians’ Council of Prague Meetup. Vitalik came onstage to answer the crowd’s burning question about the roadmap involving Ethereum 2.0, Serenity, the beacon chain, and Shasper.
Team DADI won the dishonorable mention award at the end of the Status hackathon. The standout project hijacked a bluetooth dildo, hooked it up to the Ethereum blockchain, and gave users the ability to bid to control the speed of the dildo in one block intervals.
DADI — Decentralized Autonomous Dildo Interface. Bidding happens at: dadi.auction.
The 10,000-person venue, tucked away at Prague’s heart center in a 140,000 sq. ft. exhibition hall, hosted roughly 3,600 attendees.
An impressive lineup of heavy hitters from outside of the blockchain sector gave the conference a dose of fresh air from beyond our little echo chambers.
Ethereum 2.0 has officially been renamed to Serenity. More on this by Raul Jordan of Prysmatic Labs.
Devcon4 was a swag hunter’s dream.
Cosmos gave out dogemos tokens at their booth, sending 1,337 $DAWGs per ETH address submitted to our survey.
If you submitted your ETH address in the survey at the Cosmos booth, check your wallet balance in MetaMask by inputting this Custom Token Address (0x56272815e522f54771576a23f34b4fece7c87ac3) when you go to Add Tokens to your wallet.
Note that Dogemos tokens were given out purely for fun and are in no way related to ATOM tokens.
Mainframe dApp Awards
One of the standout production pieces of the year — at least in my opinion — was premiered at Mainframe’s dApp Awards during Devcon. It is a must-watch and gives the community of builders much to look forward to, as we each realize that usability is created in incremental steps.
The other extracurricular events also yielded impressive turnouts.
Art Installation — Neptune Room
You couldn’t help but think you walked into the middle of a Burning Man camp instead of a blockchain conference upon entering the Neptune Room. But it’s exactly the kind of experience you’d stumble into at an Ethereum event. Something about the hanging lights reacting to the sound of a didgeridoo, mbira, and a Hang drum playing in concert created an atmosphere fit for a meditation or a nap after a long day of dense talks.
Special Guest Appearances
At Devcon4 and especially during Halloween, nothing really needs context. Some of the more unique characters who made appearances were:
The Pied Piper
’Twas the night before DevCon, when all through the chain Not an Etherean was stirring, not even Vlad’s brain. The blocks were all hung on the blockchain with care, in hopes that Vitalik soon would be there. — Lane Rettig
A Caped Shapeshifter
The people at Cosmos thought it was a good idea to give away Dogemos tokens as swag. And so, Dogemos — the ERC-20 — was born at Devcon4.
The Closing Ceremony
Aside from doge, the cats made equally high profile appearances.
Stewart Brand was brought on as the closing keynote.
Finally, the court jester closed out the 4-day conference with a sing along where he asked the crowd to participate.
What made this year’s Devcon feel particularly like a big family gathering was summed up in a photo montage at the closing ceremony. Following the Thank You cat pawing at the screen in anthropomorphized appreciation was a series of moments consisting of the faces of the attendees themselves who tweeted #devcon4 during the event.
The tone throughout Devcon paid homage to its attendees of “buidlers”, as they’re called — that you are the ones who give the technology meaning and relevance for the people who use it. Because absent the human element, decentralization technology in and of itself is relegated to the realm of empty promises.
Find the Cosmos Network through its various social channels:
Cosmos is building the Internet of Blockchains, a web of interoperating blockchains which enables a deep integration of token economies.