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ETHDenver 2024 Recap

We’re Back!

After some delayed and canceled flights, our team is finally back from ETHDenver 2024 and we’ve got so many reasons to be hyped after this great event. The number of times the terms “data availability”, “restaking”, and “zk-rollup” were heard is unfathomable.

ETHDenver 2024 main entrance
ale ETHDenver 2024

Everyone there seemed to know that when it comes to emerging tech and trends in the Ethereum space, Denver is the place to be.

The focus on infrastructure was strong, with many projects presenting their work on cross-chain infra and modular L2s, two very hot topics at the moment. Everywhere you went, there was always someone talking about modularity, DePINs and parallelized EVMs.

Everyone we talked to was super excited about this influx of new ideas and how they have the potential to add value to the entire industry, no matter if they were more involved in Bitcoin, Solana or others.

And speaking of Bitcoin, Bitcoin L2s were on everyone’s lips and since we actively work with the Bitcoin L2 ecosystem, we can’t help but to be excited for this new narrative to really kick in.  

Ale & Artur ETHDenver 2024

Ethereum Denver was a wake up call for many that didn’t know much about the growing number of DEXes and other DeFi products that are being developed on Bitcoin. We might soon enter the era where Bitcoin is used for more than just holding or trading as a digital currency, and can support more complex onchain applications as well.

The best thing about the Bitcoin L2 community is that everyone just wants to build to expand Bitcoin’s capabilities beyond its original scope, and Ethereum serves as an inspiration for this, hence there is a mutual respect between the two communities, which is very nice to see.

New Narratives

We started hearing about Chain Abstraction back in January and I’m so glad it had its own moment at the stage (and its own side-event as well!) at ETHDenver.

Chris Donovan from NEAR went straight to the main challenge we all know this industry faces: making blockchain technology accessible and usable for billions of people.

He pointed out how all these different projects are focusing on specific layers of the technology (settlement, execution, and data availability) and while this modularity is beneficial for scalability, it also leads to a fragmented experience for users and developers.

Enter chain abstraction: an initiative that aims to create a more interconnected ecosystem and a more user-friendly experience, where the distinctions between different chains are not an issue. To address this, he advocated for more collaboration among different blockchains. The idea is that by working together, different chains can overcome shared challenges, benefiting the entire industry. 

NEAR’s participation didn’t end there, as Illia Polosukhin went over two of my favorite topics: the concept of digital self-sovereignty in this new AI-driven era and the need for systems whose primary goal isn’t to extract value out of users.

Chris Dixon echoed similar sentiments, stressing the danger of an internet dominated by a handful of companies, far removed from the open, decentralized internet envisioned by its pioneers.

According to Illia Polosukhin, the solution is clear: we need decentralized, transparent digital systems that enable open collaboration and allow everyone to participate, innovate, and benefit fairly. Music to my ears.

Many at Ethereum Denver suggested we’re entering an “AI x Crypto cycle,” and we heard a lot of discussions on how these two fields can amplify each other.

Doug Petkanics from Livepeer touched on this too, focusing on the fact that with AI’s acceleration, the demand for computing power is skyrocketing and being hoarded by big tech companies, leaving smaller players out in the cold. And with increasing government regulations around AI, the need for an open and decentralized approach is more urgent than ever.

DePIN can offer a solution here, providing a decentralized way to access the necessary compute power for AI, making it available to everyone.

Have you ever heard the term “community-powered infrastructure” before? This is how Dermot O’Riordan from Pocket Network defines DePIN. The only other large-scale event where I remember DePIN being such a hot topic might have been Breakpoint 2023, but it was honestly great to hear so much about it this time at ETHDenver, as the range of real-world applications it could support is very promising.

Everyone was Welcomed at ETHDenver 2024

Even a presidential candidate made an appearance at the event. Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who claims that “transactional freedom is as important as freedom of expression” (wow!), participated in a fireside chat with Caitlin Long and even chatted with Bankless afterwards. 

Kennedy is positioning himself as the only pro-crypto candidate, claiming he’s already in talks with leading figures in the crypto world. His agenda, according to his own words, is to tackle the SEC’s aggressive stance against crypto and promote cryptocurrency ownership in the U.S. as a safeguard against inflation.

Kennedy didn’t hold back on criticizing the SEC’s actions. And speaking of the SEC, Hester Peirce was also present at the event. Her presence seems to be like a breath of fresh air to most Americans in crypto, or that’s at least how it looks from the outside.

Our Security Highlight

In the security arena, Charles Guillemet, Ledger’s CTO, brought up a topic that we have been following closely: clear signing. He pointed out how signing a hash isn’t acceptable anymore and instead of pretending that it’s ok, Ledger is on a mission to tackle this issue

The initiative that they are working on helps users understand the details of what they’re truly signing. This includes clarifying the input data and the actions that will be executed.

If you’ve been following CoinFabrik for the past year, you know this is a subject we like to bring up in security debates.

Until Next Year, Denver!

We at CoinFabrik had the chance to chat with tons of people, some of them pretty big names working on exciting projects.

The event coincided with a surge in crypto prices so you can imagine the vibes there were pretty optimistic. Companies were busy building and pulling in investments during the bear market and that already started to show. So, as this year unfolds, we’re expecting to see some very cool developments.

Even when the market was down and some folks were quick to say crypto was done for (again), a lot of people were just rolling up their sleeves and getting to work. But hey, at this point we already know that’s just how the crypto world rolls—never really down for the count, always cooking up something new.

Now off to ETHGlobal Pragma London this week!