The final time ETH Denver was held in particular person, ETH’s market cap stood at $30B, DeFi hadn’t had its breakout summer season, and few individuals outdoors 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 12 months the place Ethereum did extra transactional quantity than Visa, a file crowd of 12,000 in Colorado have been met with a wholly completely different power.
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 primary occasion was principally 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 power was sky excessive. The place Ethereum was nonetheless discovering its footing throughout final ETH Denver, this 12 months’s occasion featured heavy dialogue throughout the entire new verticals thriving at present: DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, gaming, and extra.
It was additionally obvious simply how a lot non-public capital remains 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 would possibly 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 Get together’s Andrew Yang. With crypto and Web3’s rising reputation, it appears many in authorities are seeing the upside to embracing this rising constituency.
Along with posing with Vitalik, Gov. Polis introduced through the convention that Colorado will settle for crypto as fee for taxes along with making Colorado, “the primary digital state” with favorable laws 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 biggest anti-povery opportunity of our time.” His look got here on the heels of his Lobby3 initiative, which can advocate for considerate regulation in Washington to assist crypto innovation.
The entire whereas, Biden’s government order on crypto regulation loomed massive (nevertheless when you ran into CoinCenter’s Neeraj he would have informed 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 have been in every single place 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 specific occasion by scanning a QR code, have been notably pervasive. The ingenious methods completely different tasks discovered to have interaction through POAPs means that they will be the subsequent mainstream crypto group use case.
For those who have been mingling at any of the NFT centric occasions, odds are you bumped right into a former FAANG worker newly getting into the NFT area. An indication that regardless of the macro market downturn, NFT mania remains to be in full swing and the mind drain from Web2 to Web3 continues.
Indicators of DAObt
Following a 12 months that noticed ConstitutionDAO seize world consideration, DAOs have regained a lot of the crypto limelight. Convention cubicles have been filled with tasks constructing DAO infrastructure and discussions on how decentralized autonomous can rewire the world have been prevalent.
Whereas DAO enthusiasm was evident, many famous that DAO members have been beginning to present signs of fatigue with many DAOs struggling to retain contributors. Joseph Delong, former CTO of SushiSwap who notably left the decentralized mission, gave a memorable discuss on why DAOs merely want extra construction to be efficient (additionally mentioned in our current podcast with Orca Protocol’s Julia Rosenberg).
With over 1B in startup fairness for DAO tooling and below 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 remains to be grappling with how precisely DAOs ought to perform. Provided that there’s no standardization round DAO operation, it’s arduous to know what tools they actually need. As such, the DAO infrastructure sector will possible see numerous 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 12 months. As a fast refresh, Ethereum’s PoS chain (the beacon chain) has been operational since December 2020, nevertheless all functions nonetheless dwell on the proof of labor chain. The merge principally consists of migrating these functions to the PoS chain.
As such, the merge was a serious level of dialogue for devs this 12 months. If all goes effectively, ETH holders received’t need to do something, however builders and infrastructure suppliers are in preparation mode. This consists of operating testnets and conducting dry runs in anticipation for the true factor.
The Ethereum ecosystem is making a giant guess on PoS together with layer 2 scaling options (rollups). In a post-merge world, Ethereum will transition to turn out to be a settlement layer for big transactions whereas most consumer exercise is pushed to layer 2. This may create an setting 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 area. Cloud builders confirmed up in power internet hosting a hackathon, a wide range of panels, workshops, and a celebration for over 500 attendees. Study extra about how Coinbase Cloud is considering shopper range forward of the merge here.
A builders market
Within the days since ETH Denver wrapped, the market drawdown intensified as Russia escalated the scenario in Ukraine. Whereas crypto has rebounded, markets will possible stay shaky given the uncertainty of the present geopolitical scenario. Regardless, groups constructing the subsequent 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 12 months’s convention, what will get constructed on Ethereum will maintain venturing out in a myriad of latest thrilling instructions.