On Mar. 7, We invited four guests mainly from the fields of blockchain technology, infrastructure and DeFi to join us in a Twitter Space to share their experiences and insights about ETHDenver.
Host: Poerain(Editor @Foresight News)
Speaker: Steve (Partner @DoraHacks)
Marcin (COO @Redstone)
Ebru(Eco Lead @Space and Time)
Spencer(Marketing @Space and Time)
Editor: Kean, Poerain
Audio for this episode: ForeCast Episode 2 – Foresight News | Podcast on Spotify
Poerain: What’s your overall experience at ETHDenver and what are the things that have impressed or inspired you most?
First of all, I would like to mention how big ETHDenver was. I didn’t expect that many people to come over to one city. I’ve heard that it was between 20,000 to 25,000 people, maybe even more. The biggest thing that surprised me was that almost every key opinion leader or high-profile individual in Web3 space was over there, so you could easily go through the main venue or the side event. It was really developer-focused. The majority of the conversations I had were about truly building staff-like technologies and ecosystems, not necessarily delivering the promise. The quality of builders that join the event was very high.
A couple of things on top of my mind are people from the Canto community, so it’s a chain on Cosmos with EVM compatibility. I saw the potential in that ecosystem. Another thing I’d say is all the alternative ecosystems that were quite hot. There is still some but not that much hype and it’s way more chat about Layer2, especially Coinbase announcing its Layer2 Base. There was a lot about Base, Optimism, zkSync, Scroll, and Starkware.
I feel like this year’s ETHDenver is quite different from last year’s. I think the people who are participating are slightly different . It’s actually smaller than last year but I had actually a better experience participating. This year I do see that this year is more multichain than before and there’s more competition between different Layer1s and Layer2s for early developers. I went to a lot of side events that are hosted by the Cosmos ecosystem and I saw some exciting early-stage projects. There were teams building Web3 combined with ChatGPT protocols, there were projects trying to pay gas in any token and there are developers building tools. Some build a new version of the notion that integrates a lot of APIs in Web3, including doing athletics and the graph and much more. I would say there were fewer storytellers but more really good and solid teams building useful Web3 products.
I want to say that my favorite part was SBF face on the toilet paper, it was hilarious. I feel like victory community sponsors and builders have grown exponentially. It shows us that it’s working right, we have a lot of adoption and then I was really happy to see the companies where they were just trying to figure out their testnets, they are trying to figure out what they were building, there were established companies and booths everywhere. There were so many communities and people that I met with from Solana, Cosmos, Polka Dot, Sui, Aptos and so I think it’s like a festival. We are becoming more and more bigger as a community which I’m very excited about. I finally meet all of our partners and I put a face to their voices because we are a remoted team. I was excited to see first hand what they’re building and what they’re doing. I love to sit down and build with the hackers.
I just want to echo everyone here, I just think the energy this year was amazing. Ebru and I were running around like chickens with our head chopped off just from Uber to Uber trying to go to as many events and walked all these events. I’m from California so it was a bit chilly but other than that it was it really was a great time I think just the sheer amount of early stage projects you just don’t see that quantity of early stage projects. It was really a good time to talk to all these developers and you know see what ecosystems people were joining. It was really cool to see Chainlink release their functions right before and see them be able to go in depth and describe and they did a great presentation as well. I met so many people who are building on Avalanche. There was such a good gaming presence this year at ETHDenver. They had a substantial chunk over the floor dedicated to gaming spaces and games and I’m extremely bullish on blockchain gaming and it was really amazing to see games like Moonray and a few others debuting a demo for the first time and just seeing a bunch of people on the floor playing the games and using products. It was a bit of a wild experience.
Poerain: What are you most looking forward to about the future of the Ethereum ecosystem? Has this outlook changed before and after your participation in ETHDenver?
ETHDenver has always been a multi-chain event. From what I can tell, the major L2s are all participating, and there’s a lot of excitement around this. One big topic is the launching of ZK EVMs and other ZK layers. I’m not sure whether they’re launching this year or next year, but I do know that their teams have been getting stronger and their ecosystems are growing. Each approach is different, with some being stronger in institutional BD and others being stronger in grassroots community building. There are also more ecosystem projects that support different ZK ecosystems now, and institutions are getting really hyped about them.
Another part is liquid staking, and there are more competitors now competing with Lido. I’ve noticed that different teams are building on different ideas before rushing into the space, and more material projects are providing services in this realm. Some other projects are even providing royal business services, which can help you launch Ethereum L2 and L3 really fast.
In my opinion, this is one of the key trends where applications will transform from the form of smart contracts to the form of a very specific chain to solve a specific problem. There’s also a lot of construction in the AA (Account abstraction) wallet, more professional teams are joining this space, and last year, this was only a concept. This year, there are already 10 different professional teams building AA wallets and different kinds of solutions.
One thing I found interesting is that in last year’s December, ZK applications were in the top 30 projects. I think there were at least three of them building ZK native applications. This year, I see even stronger teams being on this trend. They didn’t end up in the top 15 projects ETHDenver this year, but I do see many stronger teams building directly consumer-facing zero knowledge applications. Some are on DID, while others are on some other topics.
Overall, I’m still very excited about Ethereum. The goal is to scale Ethereum and try to bring massive options to Ethereum on different levels. These are just my observations.
As I look into the future, I am becoming more and more convinced that Ethereum is the leading ecosystem. when it comes to Metamask adoption of web3 applications, especially with layer2s becoming increasingly performance-optimized, it seems that other ecosystems will be left behind. I see a lot of confirmation in the actual usage of optimistic rollups, such as Arbitrum and Optimism. Even Coinbase is releasing Base based on Optimism as well. In my opinion, the next ETHDenver will be all about applications that are already deployed on ZK rollups and are thriving, showing that the transaction cost and finality can be even more accurate and optimized.
Of course, ZkSync and Scroll are leading the EVM way, but it will be interesting to see Starkware and its Cairo release in about a month. Layer3s are a very interesting topic to me because even in layer2s, we still have the question of centralized sequencer and how the process of opening an app will look like. If we manage to solve that trilemma, then layer3s can have a very high potential use case.
I really like the graphic on ZkSync websites. If you go to ZkSync’s website, you will see a tree graphic that starts with Ethereum, followed by ZkSync as a layer2, and then specific parts going into different directions of industries and other use cases.
One thing that I personally did not see much of but believe will be big this year is modular blockchains such as Celestia. They had a booth at ETHDenver, but you cannot experience everything there. However, I am still very bullish about what these guys are going to deliver. Fuel network is also a huge ecosystem with a few layers today, and they had amazing top voices present speaking on the panels, it is also one to look at this year.
I think that scaling systems like Optimism and Polygon, as well as other ZK-based EVMs, are going to be key in helping the ecosystem grow and expand beyond its current limitations.
One thing that did surprise me at EthDenver was the lack of AI and ML projects being showcased. I expected to see more projects in this area, AI and ML would be great combinations with web3 applications. However, looking ahead to the future, I’m just excited to be a part of everything and see where the Ethereum ecosystem goes next.
Over the past few years, conversations about blockchain have centered around various concepts like layer1, layer2, bridges, DeFi, NFTs, and decentralization. It’s been challenging for people to understand what these terms mean and how they fit into the larger blockchain ecosystem.
We now have a better understanding of the purpose of the blockchain, and we can work towards making it more stable, secure, user-friendly, and with better designs. I agree with previous speakers who have mentioned that we will see more layer1s, layer2s, and scalability solutions. However, I also want to point out I have seen two excellent projects focused on security, which is crucial given the rise in hacks in the last year. These projects are bringing cyber security experts into the web3 space, which is impressive and much needed.
As more and more layer1s and layer2s come out, I feel like we’re going to see more enterprises jump into the space. There will be more growth, which means we need to handle more data. I believe that I made the right decision joining industry at the right time.
While the blockchain technology community is still relatively small, I predict that we will see amazing growth in the upcoming years. I’m excited to see more community building through DAOs, DeFi, and new bridges and swaps.
Poerain: Would you like to share with us what you think are major contributions with your projects to Ethereum or even the overall ecosystem? what are the most exciting things we can expect from your projects in the near future?
I’m responsible for leading our partnership efforts, particularly when it comes to integrating our company with other companies. Over the past year, we’ve been fortunate to work with a number of amazing partners.
We’ve built an incredible data warehouse that can index the entire blockchain history. This allows users to easily search for information using just one API, without having to worry about complex infrastructure. They can even bring on-chain and off-chain data. In April or May, we’ll be making Space and Time publicly available for everyone to use.
With Space and Time, users will be able to query existing blockchain data, including Avalanche, Polygon, BNB chain, and Ethereum. We’re also planning to have all the major blockchain data available, making it easy to decode contracts with just one click. We’re also going to have a fantastic UI in upcoming month.
We will have a presence at this year’s GDC(Game Developers Conference). We will be partnering with Stardust and setting up a lounge called the “Cantinet,” powered by Space and Time. After GDC, we will be attending Consensus, and we plan to have a significant presence there as well.
Looking further ahead, we are considering attending other events such as Smart Con and Dev Con. While the hot topic of the events we attended are ZK infrastructures, I am hoping that AI and ML will be the next hot big topic.
Regarding our product, RedStone’s Oracle, I am confident that it will be a hot topic this year. After attending EthDenver, many major DeFi projects reached out to us to ask if we could create solutions for data feeds or high-frequency feeds they require. We are currently preparing a solution for Olympus DAO and finalizing integrations with Matter Labs. Many reasonable projects on Arbitrium ecosystem are going to use our feeds.
In terms of events, we will be attending the Avalanche Summit in Barcelona, and many other events.