The final time ETH Denver was held in individual, ETH’s market cap stood at $30B, DeFi hadn’t had its breakout summer season, and few folks 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 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 totally different power.
What had traditionally been an occasion for hackers and coders obtained 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 vibrant neon colours and Vitalik dressed as a “Bufficorn”. Past a lone Doge Lambo, the principle 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 all the new verticals thriving right this moment: DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, gaming, and extra.
It was additionally obvious simply how a lot personal 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 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 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 throughout the convention that Colorado will settle for crypto as cost for taxes along with making Colorado, “the primary digital state” with favorable laws for the crypto economic 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 (nonetheless if you happen to 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, personal 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 realize entry (shoutout ecodao).
POAP (Proof of Attendance Protocol) NFTs, which give folks digital mementos commemorating attendance of a specific occasion by scanning a QR code, have been notably pervasive. The ingenious methods totally different tasks discovered to have interaction by way of POAPs means that they stands out as the subsequent mainstream crypto group use case.
When you have 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 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 international consideration, DAOs have regained a lot of the crypto limelight. Convention cubicles have been full of 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 individuals have 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 challenge, 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 beneath 200 DAOs, it begs the query: is there sufficient DAO to go round?
The long run outlook of DAOs appears to be vibrant, however the business remains 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 probably see a variety of turbulence over the close to to medium time period.
After years within the making, consultants 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, nonetheless all purposes nonetheless dwell on the proof of labor chain. The merge mainly consists of migrating these purposes to the PoS chain.
As such, the merge was a serious level of dialogue for devs this 12 months. If all goes nicely, ETH holders received’t must do something, however builders and infrastructure suppliers are in preparation mode. This consists of operating testnets and conducting dry runs in anticipation for the actual factor.
The Ethereum ecosystem is making a giant 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 person exercise is pushed to layer 2. This can 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 house. Cloud builders confirmed up in drive internet hosting a hackathon, quite a lot of panels, workshops, and a celebration for over 500 attendees. Study extra about how Coinbase Cloud is considering shopper 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 scenario in Ukraine. Whereas crypto has rebounded, markets will probably stay shaky given the uncertainty of the present geopolitical scenario. Regardless, groups constructing the following era of Ethereum and Web3 stay nicely funded and the constructing will proceed.
As evident by the elevated range of each tasks and individuals at this 12 months’s convention, what will get constructed on Ethereum will preserve venturing out in a myriad of recent thrilling instructions.