ETHDenver 2022 Recap and Reaction

Source: ETHDenver

The reactions are mixed as the crypto world descended on Denver this past week. As the 5th annual ETHDenver convention came to a close it’s clear how much the community has changed since its first event 5 years ago.

The annual event saw more than 12,000 attendees from over 100 countries. Reports stated this year’s event was 5x larger than any prior gathering. ETHDenver is not only an event to gather the leading minds in blockchain and Web3 technology but also a competition, where participants look to win over $1.5 million in prizes and $2 million in investment capital.

ETHDenver Founder and Executive Steward John Paller described the event by saying, “teams come from all over the world to build these next-generation applications, protocols, currencies, whatever it might be, that have different use cases around things like social impact, mobile phones, decentralized finance, digital communities.”

It originally started as a “hackathon” but has now developed into a meeting of the minds in crypto. In previous years, coders showed up with specific goals in mind and cranked out code to win prizes. However, the mood has shifted as ETH is a burgeoning mainstream field. While some were turned off by the commerciality of the event this year, it couldn’t help but also bring about some bullish vibes.

Five years in, this year marked a new evolution in the community as many members of the “old guard” mingled with the up and coming “newbies.” The trajectory of the crypto community from “coding nerds” to “finance bro’s” has many on their heels, but the confluence of these two worlds has people believing that opportunities are endless. There is an excitement not felt before.

“ETHDenver successfully recaptured the rigor and irreverence of the Ethereum community, combining deep technical work with silly events and hardcore parties,” Jehan Chu, Managing Partner at Kenetic, a proprietary trading and venture firm, told The Defiant via text message.

In other words, the coders and technicality that built ETH of yesteryear are now mixing with the commercialism and money of today. The community has gone from math and coding to art and parties.

“It feels like we are no longer niche but not yet mainstream, so somewhere in this weird middle phase,” Kline said over Telegram. “There are many different tribes in the crypto space, the newest being the NFT tribe and the DAO tribe.”

However, it is not all coding and parties. The event also looks to empower crypto literacy and build a community around the space. With the news that Colorado will now accept Bitcoin to pay taxes being announced this past week it makes sense that Denver is the hub of such an event. As well, the event looks to make Denver the first digital currency state in the union.

The keynote speaker during the event was Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder and outspoken head of Ethereum. Buterin wrote Ethereum’s whitepaper when he was just 19 and has watched his brainchild grow to be the second-largest cryptocurrency and number one Defi, D’app platform in the world. Although there is much criticism around high gas fees, virtually making Ethereum unusable, it remains the standard-bearer of blockchain technology.

Source: Yahoo News

Buterin continued his ongoing transition as the foremost public intellectual in the cryptocurrency community. His talk was titled “E-Theory-Um Blockchain” and he discussed recent developments and the intellectual foundations that drive development on the blockchain.

Buterin used the opportunity to brought up the intersectionality between social theory and the impact of decentralization

“Crypto, specifically, because of its decentralization, is decidedly on the theory side,” Buterin concluded, arguing that new technology impacts social structures. He said that in order for us to properly use new tech such as crypto, we should also be looking at it from theory-based development. In short, we can’t develop this technology without understanding the theoretical impact it could have on societies.

One last takeaway from Buterin’s speech dealt with the recent volatility and specifically the dip in the market, which he described as a blessing in disguise. Buterin said, many people who have been in crypto for a long time welcome a bear market and that these dips allow the community to weed out less viable projects.

At the end of his speech, Buterin did not miss the opportunity to plug his upcoming book. A collection of essays titled, “Vitalik Buterin: Proof of Stake.” He has moved away from actively developing and writing code for ETH and instead has dedicated time to writing and education as the technology has progressed. The release date has yet to be announced.

By: Greg Gentile

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