The final time ETH Denver was held in individual, ETH’s market cap stood at $30B, DeFi hadn’t had its breakout summer time, and few individuals exterior of the 6,000 attendees knew what an NFT was. Quick ahead to 2022 and a 10x in ETH’s market cap, the rise of NFTs, a DAO resurgence, and a yr the place Ethereum did extra transactional quantity than Visa, a file crowd of 12,000 in Colorado had been met with a wholly totally different vitality.
What had traditionally been an occasion for hackers and coders acquired an infusion of artists and creatives, in addition to a governor, a former presidential candidate, and a heavy dose of EDM — a mirrored image of Ethereum and crypto’s rising consciousness inside the mainstream.
Regardless of the brand new faces, ETH Denver retained its genuine quirky disposition, full with vivid neon colours and Vitalik dressed as a “Bufficorn”. Past a lone Doge Lambo, the principle occasion was largely freed from flash and nonetheless felt authentically Ethereum.
Even amidst a 50% market drawdown from late November highs and multi-hour lengthy check-ins within the frigid chilly, builder vitality was sky excessive. The place Ethereum was nonetheless discovering its footing throughout final ETH Denver, this yr’s occasion featured heavy dialogue throughout all the new verticals thriving right now: DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, gaming, and extra.
It was additionally obvious simply how a lot non-public capital continues to be flowing into crypto, undeterred by macro market headwinds: with seed stage offers elevating at a minimal $50M and seed token rounds going for $100M+ (no shipped code wanted), one may argue an excessive amount of. In both case, it’s clearly a builders market.
Along with investor and builder pleasure, there was additionally a noticeable presence from mainstream politicians: most notably, Colorado Governor Jared Polis and the Ahead Celebration’s Andrew Yang. With crypto and Web3’s rising recognition, it appears many in authorities are seeing the upside to embracing this rising constituency.
Along with posing with Vitalik, Gov. Polis introduced in the course of the convention that Colorado will settle for crypto as cost for taxes along with making Colorado, “the primary digital state” with favorable rules for the crypto financial system. This mirrors the positions of different crypto-forward governors like Miami’s Francis Suarez and New York’s Eric Adams.
In a shock look, Andrew Yang took the stage with Bankless’s David Hoffman, sharing his ideas on why Web3 represents “the most important anti-poverty alternative of our time.” His look got here on the heels of his Lobby3 initiative, which is able to advocate for considerate regulation in Washington to help crypto innovation.
All the whereas, Biden’s govt order on crypto regulation loomed massive (nevertheless if you happen to ran into CoinCenter’s Neeraj he would have instructed you that the EO is nothing to panic over). Both manner, it’s clear that crypto has entered the fore of the American political dialogue.
Past the bullish builder sentiment, non-public investor froth, and political participation, NFTs had been in all places in Denver. NFT artwork installations, musicians performing with their NFTs on show, and a few occasions even requiring NFTs to achieve entry (shoutout ecodao).
POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol) NFTs, which give individuals digital mementos commemorating attendance of a selected occasion by scanning a QR code, had been significantly pervasive. The creative methods totally different tasks discovered to have interaction through POAPs means that they will be the subsequent mainstream crypto neighborhood use case.
In case you had been mingling at any of the NFT centric occasions, odds are you bumped right into a former FAANG worker newly coming into the NFT house. An indication that regardless of the macro market downturn, NFT mania continues to be in full swing and the mind drain from Web2 to Web3 continues.
Indicators of DAObt
Following a yr that noticed ConstitutionDAO seize world consideration, DAOs have regained a lot of the crypto limelight. Convention cubicles had been full of tasks constructing DAO infrastructure and discussions on how decentralized autonomous can rewire the world had been prevalent.
Whereas DAO enthusiasm was evident, many famous that DAO members had been beginning to present indicators of fatigue with many DAOs struggling to retain contributors. Joseph Delong, former CTO of SushiSwap who notably left the decentralized venture, gave a memorable speak on why DAOs merely want extra construction to be efficient (additionally mentioned in our latest podcast with Orca Protocol’s Julia Rosenberg).
With over 1B in startup fairness for DAO tooling and underneath 200 DAOs, it begs the query: is there sufficient DAO to go round?
The long run outlook of DAOs appears to be vivid, however the business continues to be grappling with how precisely DAOs ought to operate. On condition that there’s no standardization round DAO operation, it’s laborious to know what instruments they really want. As such, the DAO infrastructure sector will possible see a number of turbulence over the close to to medium time period.
After years within the making, specialists said that Ethereum’s transition to proof-of-stake is predicted to occur in Q2 or Q3 this yr. As a fast refresh, Ethereum’s PoS chain (the beacon chain) has been operational since December 2020, nevertheless all functions nonetheless stay on the proof of labor chain. The merge mainly consists of migrating these functions to the PoS chain.
As such, the merge was a significant level of debate for devs this yr. If all goes effectively, ETH holders received’t need to do something, however builders and infrastructure suppliers are in preparation mode. This contains operating testnets and conducting dry runs in anticipation for the true factor.
The Ethereum ecosystem is making an enormous wager on PoS along with layer 2 scaling options (rollups). In a post-merge world, Ethereum will transition to develop into a settlement layer for giant transactions whereas most consumer exercise is pushed to layer 2. It will create an atmosphere the place all EVM appropriate layer 1s compete with ETH L2s for customers and developer mindshare.
Additionally prepping for the merge, is Coinbase Cloud, which powers a portion of Coinbase’s ETH staking product in addition to node infrastructure for a lot of gamers within the house. Cloud builders confirmed up in drive internet hosting a hackathon, quite a lot of panels, workshops, and a celebration for over 500 attendees. Be taught extra about how Coinbase Cloud is considering consumer range forward of the merge right here.
A builders market
Within the days since ETH Denver wrapped, the market drawdown intensified as Russia escalated the state of affairs in Ukraine. Whereas crypto has rebounded, markets will possible stay shaky given the uncertainty of the present geopolitical state of affairs. Regardless, groups constructing the following era of Ethereum and Web3 stay effectively funded and the constructing will proceed.
As evident by the elevated range of each tasks and members at this yr’s convention, what will get constructed on Ethereum will preserve venturing out in a myriad of recent thrilling instructions.