#ForTheBuilders at ETHDenver. How it went and what excites us about the future of web3.
ETHDenver is so much more than a hackathon, conference, meetup, zen zone, or party. These are all amalgamations of the community-run innovation festival we’ve come to know and love, ETHDenver – where decentralization is the culture. And there are no gatekeepers.
This #YearOfTheSpork, our teams at MetaMask and Infura showed up #ForTheBuilders in full force to inspire the builder in everyone. From hacking, to our escape room, an exclusive meetup, and everything in between, ETHDenver23 was an unforgettable experience that left us inspired and ready to ship web3’s next round of innovation. Here’s how it went.
Ready, Set, #BUIDL
You’ve heard it time and time again, the moniker was even plastered on a billboard in downtown Denver this year— build market, not bear market. We’ll let John Paller, founding steward of ETHDenver describe it himself, “If you wanna measure by buidling, very much bull.”
To incentivize the builder attitude and the developers and creators behind it, MetaMask Snaps and Infura awarded a total of $40K in bounties this year. Despite the Wi-Fi being a thorn in the side of ETHDenver’s venues, the builders made it work.
Kudos to everyone who pushed code. New projects formed over the course of just 10 days, with the top 18 emerging from 5 tracks:
We’d like to give a special shoutout to the projects who choose to build with MetaMask Snaps and Infura. 🤝
There were many talks and stages set up this year, all aligned with the various themes: Impact and Public Goods, Infrastructure, Metalance, DeFi, and DAOs and Communities. Keep an eye out for MetaMask and Infura presentations on ETHDenver’s YouTube channel and check out a curated playlist of our ConsenSys team members that presented on stage here.
One thing we heard over and over from builders as they described the goal of their dapp was, “We wanna look like web2 but be web3.” While we agree with the intention of this statement, we believe our goal is to elevate the “web3 look” to higher standards. And this takes a multi-pronged approach: not just the developers coding the smart contracts, but the UX/UI designers, product managers, marketers, and more.
As our very own MetaMask content designer, Corey Jansen proclaimed in her talk, lead with empathy above all. Consider how your audience feels and why so that you can understand and build with them in mind.
Unlock the Block to kick off ETHDenver
Our exclusive event was attended by some of the brightest minds in the web3 space. With local refreshments, artistic talent, and great music sets, we kicked off ETHDenver with a bang!
Having DJs that work at ConsenSys is an underrated perk of being part of the team. Shout out to our vibe setters and dance floor ambassadors: DJs Simulacra, Naél, Miami Slice, Jack Mono, Nick Nelson, and James Wicker. And thank you to our stellar events team that crafted a night to remember. Share your favorite moments from the evening with us on Twitter by tagging us @ConsenSys.
Interactive Artist Stations
We invited local Denver artists to showcase their talents and collaborate with some Unlock the Block revelers in creative ways throughout the night. The end result? A community-generated canvas and film. All dropped as NFTs to those who contributed. Check out the collection:
If you contributed to any or all of these pieces, find your name in the listing description! 👀
This follows our exciting artist potluck in Miami during Art Basel last year where, instead of bringing a dish to share, each artist came to the table with an NFT gift for one another, leaving with a unique piece of art. You can check out the stunning Constellation collection from that night here: https://opensea.io/collection/constellation-artist-potluck
The ETH Enigma Escape Room
A mind-blending reprieve from the shill village, the ETH Enigma was an immersive mystery that fortunate participants got to experience IRL. Over a hundred people put their Sherlock hats on to follow the clues and save their friend Hiro who went missing. Those that participated and cracked the code with fellow sleuths received rare illustrative art dropped to their wallet as NFTs, exclusive swag (how soft is that sweatshirt!?), and the usual, bragging rights.
The not-so-little things that made ETHDenver special
Besides the insightful talks, earnest conversations, and sometimes over-stimulation, it was the not-so-little moments of delight that shaped the experience…
While the Wi-Fi didn’t really work, we’re grateful the bathrooms did. IYKYK.
The baristas that served free cappuccinos and lattes throughout the day also use MetaMask so we could tip them in crypto!
And a personal favorite of the venue was the zen zone. Replete with masseuses, giant bean bags, a fun selection of teas, yoga/meditation instructors, and artists—it was needed to escape the sometimes frenzied energy of the main space. There was even puppy therapy one day. Well played, ETHDenver.
What ETHDenver taught us about the growing web3 ecosystem
You may have heard the saying, “competition is for losers.” A less pointed way of describing the same thing is a positive-sum mindset that the web3 community more often than not adopts. (Web2 on the other hand, doesn’t.) In web3, collaboration and composability are the norm. That’s the real pocket of aces.
Different parts are built by different people. This is iconized in MetaMask Snaps where the ethos is around bringing the features and APIs you would like to see in the wallet, to the wallet. Infura enables developers to seamlessly connect their dapps to Ethereum and nine other networks with a suite of high-availability APIs part of a comprehensive blockchain development platform.
Besides flooding crypto Twitter feeds, zkEVM and account abstraction technology were top of mind during ETHDenver. EIP 4337 was announced, the ConsenSys zkEVM public testnet will go live on March 28th, and we’re still figuring out the state of interoperability in Ethereum today. As Joe Lubin mentioned at his ETHDenver talk, “The pace of innovation at the L2 layer and account abstraction shows a smooth trajectory if you ignore the waves of speculation.”
We believe we’re on the path to continue becoming a healthy ecosystem. ETHDenver was a real immersion. Thank you all for the memories! We can’t wait to see you in 2024!
Follow us on Twitter to stay updated on where MetaMask and Infura will be next. Till then, keep #BUIDLing.