Say Hello to the ConsenSys Discord

Jump into our new server and build alongside the top teams in the Ethereum ecosystem.
by Billy LuedtkeJuly 14, 2020
Join the ConsenSys Discord

TLDR: Join the ConsenSys Discord. This is the latest step in our journey to break down our walls and work more closely with all of you to keep pushing Ethereum and the decentralized web forward.

There’s something magical that happens on ConsenSys’ internal channels. You can message the company:

  • Is anyone working on X?
  • Can someone help me with Y?
  • What is the state of Z?

Wallet integrations, state channels, costumes for Devcon, Eth 2.0 Phase 2 research, architectures for central bank digital currencies, zero knowledge proof circuit performance—whatever. And, without fail, someone will speak up. Today, we want to extend the ConsenSys agora and water cooler to you.

We Are Dev Rel

ConsenSys has gone through some profound shifts over the past few years. A few months ago, a new group formed inside our company—a motley, skunkworks crew of developers, technical trainers, and product designers. Our mission: facilitate Ethereum “aha” moments for the non-Web3 developer population at large. Show developers all of the amazing things they can do with Ethereum, and then assist them in their journeys towards making their products a reality. Understand the community’s wants and needs, and communicate those needs back to our product teams— so that we as an organization can better serve the Ethereum space. Connect the dots of the Ethereum ecosystem, making sure that everyone is aware of what everyone else is doing, talking to the people they need to be talking to, and working with the people they need to be working with.

We recognized that underpinning all of this was a single tenet: establish closer relationships with developers. As such, our team was appropriately dubbed, “Developer Relations.”

ConsenSys Developer Relations
That’s us.

Growing the Ethereum Ecosystem

As we audited our relationships with devs, both in the Ethereum space and beyond, we found that, in our haste to fill a significant role in propping up the ecosystem early on, we (ConsenSys) had somewhat shut ourselves in. During the height of our activities as a venture production studio, the doors of ConsenSys (physically (our office doors), digitally (the ConsenSys Slack), and figuratively (our minds and hearts)) were open to literally anyone and everyone building on/with Ethereum. Everyone was welcomed as a collaborator in the quest to usher in a better, decentralized web.

However, we saw that ConsenSys had begun to veer down a different path—towards the direction of heads-down product and protocol development. And what was once a borderless Mesh of individuals, ideas, projects, and communities that helped give Ethereum its competitive edge of open innovation had begun to trend more in the direction of a slightly more traditional software products company. In a sense we had taken on some characteristics of a walled garden—the very thing we were fighting against.

Walled garden = bad
Yeah this walled garden might look nice, but DON’T FALL FOR ITS TRICKS! wall = bad

We also concluded that this was not at all intentional on our behalf—we were just caught up doing A LOT, and in this deluge of activity, found ourselves being swept downstream and falling out of touch with the people we needed to be closest to. 

ConsenSys helping to build the foundation of the Ethereum ecosystem.
That’s us, helping to build the foundation of the Ethereum ecosystem (not to be confused with the Ethereum Foundation). Also this isn’t actually us. It’s just a random picture of some construction dudes.

For reference—from day one, ConsenSys sought out the best and brightest technologists and entrepreneurs to explore the solution space broadly to iteratively define and refine increasingly sophisticated incarnations of aspects of the Ethereum ecosystem. In 2014, when ConsenSys formed, the infrastructure did not yet exist to support the flourishing community of open innovation we have today. We needed the tools to be able to build the future.

So we got to work.

We built MetaMask. And Infura. And Truffle. And Gitcoin. And Hyperledger Besu—the third Ethereum client we had a large role in developing. And started auditing smart contracts. And helped form the EEA. And tokenized projects, networks, and assets. And started working with enterprises to educate them and guide them on the trajectory of the new decentralized, digital world.

We built a grants program and an incubator and a digital identity team and ConsenSys Academy and the BUIDL Network and an open venture investing platform. We explored the Future of Work. We launched one of the most philosophical, open-minded, and forward-thinking conferences in the ecosystem (Ethereal). We’ve been building next-generation Ethereum clients. We’ve been doing state channels research and layer 2 scaling research and Eth1.X research. And so, so much more.

A quick glance at some of our activities (and this was ~2 YEARS AGO). Source: “Understanding One of the Most Important Firms in Crypto”

And here we are today. 

We’ve found our footing.

Ethereum is growing and prospering like never before.

Innovation is happening at a ludicrous speed

Every day, there is another incredible project, launching another incredible thing.

It feels like Ethereum has matured to the point where it is on the precipice of bringing about real, systemic change.

Yo slow down Ethereum!! (j/k don’t). Also this is from December 17, 2019, so there’s probably ~9000+ more projects not listed here.

Open Communication and Collaboration

And so, with our footing beneath us, we at ConsenSys finally have some breathing room to take a step back. To evaluate where we stand, and where we want to go. In this reflection, we realized that we should do a better job of living the same values that guide our engineering—that we should be more open, transparent, and “meshy” with the ecosystem at large. (“Meshy” is a term used internally to describe ConsenSys culture—see also: Mesh, Meshian, et al). 

But we’ve also come to the realization that, as the Ethereum community, we ALL need to be better about sharing information. We ALL need to be better about allowing our progress to escape our echo chambers and silos. We need the brilliant minds and voices of our ecosystem to be heard, and to be given the opportunity to interface with the other brilliant minds around them—which are often so close, yet so disconnected.

And so, our first step on this path is a public-facing chat. The ConsenSys Discord. We truly hope this server—though just one very small piece of the puzzle—changes the way we work  with the community at large. And we hope you’ll join us in this journey as collaborators.

Opportunity in the Ethereum ecosystem is not scarce. It’s a profound idea when you really think about it. The more we build, the more we can keep building. So why not build together?

The Mesh is more than ConsenSys—it’s all of us.

Join the ConsenSys Discord
Let’s push Ethereum and the decentralized web forward—together.