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Ventures’ Takeaways from ETH Denver

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 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 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 principally freed from flash and nonetheless felt authentically Ethereum.

Attendee sentiment

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 12 months’s occasion featured heavy dialogue throughout the entire new verticals thriving right this moment: DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, gaming, and extra.

It was additionally obvious simply how a lot personal 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.

Actual Politik

Along with investor and builder pleasure, there was additionally a noticeable presence from mainstream politicians: most notably, Colorado Governor Jared Polis and the Ahead Occasion’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 fee for taxes along with making Colorado, “the first digital state” with favorable rules 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.

Picture credit score: Westword

In a shock look, Andrew Yang took the stage with Bankless’s David Hoffman, sharing his ideas on why Web3 represents “the biggest anti-poverty opportunity of our time.” His look got here on the heels of his Lobby3 initiative, which can advocate for considerate regulation in Washington to help crypto innovation.

The entire whereas, Biden’s executive order on crypto regulation loomed giant (nonetheless in the event you 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.

NFT Mania

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 achieve 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 creative methods totally different tasks discovered to interact by way of POAPs means that they could 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 coming into the NFT area. 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 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 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 recent 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 continues to be grappling with how precisely DAOs ought to operate. On condition that there’s no standardization round DAO operation, it’s exhausting to know what tools they actually need. As such, the DAO infrastructure sector will doubtless see a number of turbulence over the close to to medium time period.

The Merge

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 reside 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 debate for devs this 12 months. If all goes nicely, ETH holders gained’t should do something, however builders and infrastructure suppliers are in preparation mode. This contains working testnets and conducting dry runs in anticipation for the true factor.

The Ethereum ecosystem is making an enormous wager on PoS along side layer 2 scaling solutions (rollups). In a post-merge world, Ethereum will transition to change into a settlement layer for giant transactions whereas most consumer exercise is pushed to layer 2. This can create an surroundings 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. Be taught extra about how Coinbase Cloud is considering consumer variety 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 doubtless stay shaky given the uncertainty of the present geopolitical scenario. Regardless, groups constructing the subsequent era of Ethereum and Web3 stay nicely funded and the constructing will proceed.

As evident by the elevated variety of each tasks and individuals at this 12 months’s convention, what will get constructed on Ethereum will hold venturing out in a myriad of latest thrilling instructions.

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