What Went Down at ETHDenver 2023

blocto at EthDenver

Team Blocto’s Hao shares his experiences at ETHDenver 2023!

ETHDenver 2023 was held in the heart of the Mile High City, Denver, Colorado. We had a great time with the sunshine, blue skies, and temps that made you want to ditch your coat and stay outside all day long — a welcome change for our subtropical Taiwanese @BloctoDevs fellows, I’m sure 😛. Of course, Colorado weather can be crazy, but we didn’t let a little snow or rain ruin our fun. It just added to the excitement and kept us on our toes! ETHDenver 2023 was an epic event that left us with unforgettable memories and new frenzzzz!

Here come the key takeaways from our team 👇

BUIDLERs are still here!

ETHDenver 2023 provided a unique opportunity to see the Ethereum community’s developer-centric nature in action. Despite the recent market downturn, the conference showed that the Ethereum community’s focus on building remains steadfast. The event was buzzing with BUIDLers, collaborating and sharing their latest projects and ideas. The ETHDenver hackathon was particularly impressive, with teams working around the clock to develop innovative blockchain solutions. The commitment to development and innovation was palpable, emphasizing that the Ethereum community is here to stay and remains dedicated to building a better-decentralized future.

More infrastructure, less application ⛏️

We saw a wide range of blockchain infrastructure and tools, demonstrating the continued growth and maturity of the Ethereum ecosystem. But while exciting infrastructures were showcased, there seemed to be fewer applications that stood out as particularly groundbreaking, which we speculate may be due to the recent bearish market. Nonetheless, ETHDenver 2023 served as a reminder that building necessary infrastructure is just as important as developing innovative applications, and that the Ethereum community remains committed to advancing the technology— regardless of market conditions.

Layer 2 is on fire 🔥

Numerous projects joined the party and showcased their innovative layer 2 solutions.

These platforms are gaining increased attention from both users and developers due to their ability to solve Ethereum’s scalability issues, enabling faster and cheaper transactions while maintaining high levels of security. Additionally, major players in the blockchain industry have recognized the potential of these solutions and are beginning to cooperate and integrate them into their platforms. As more platforms adopt layer 2 solutions, we can expect to see an increase in the use cases and adoption of decentralized applications —something that is already

happening right now. This will open up opportunities for new players to enter the market and for existing players to expand their offerings, ultimately increasing the impact of blockchain technology on various industries. Overall, the progress made in layer 2 solutions has the potential to revolutionize the blockchain industry by enabling faster and more affordable transactions, making decentralized applications accessible to a wider audience.

zkEVM is coming!

The zkEVM is a layer 2 solution that aims to provide increased security and privacy for smart contract execution on the Ethereum network. It has been making strides in development and implementation, and we’re excited to see a few leading zkEVM, Polygon zkEVM, Scroll, zkSync, Starknet, make big progress launching testnets and mainnets for the general public. The once fancy buzzword, zkEVM, is really happening and further shaping the blockchain industry!

DeFi protocols and infrastructures are still evolving 🏦

Decentralized finance (commonly referred to as DeFi) is one of the most important, and if not the first, applications in the blockchain industry. After the DeFi summer market hype, DeFi protocols continue to evolve and have become the building blocks of the whole blockchain ecosystem. Although the crazy yield rate and explosive growth have gone, we still see that TVL is kept, and more blockchain native use cases are coming out, such as LSD (Liquidity Staking Derivatives), and MEV(Miner/Maximal Extractable Value). This time around at ETH Denver, we saw the further breakdown of modularized infrastructure and business, like MEV network and RPC services, such as Flashbots, Pocket Network, and BLASTAPI.

Social applications and NFTs

CULT.DAO mask (Image by Holly Heart via Twitter)
Lens Protocol Swag ( Image by Lens Protocol via Twitter)

The Ethereum community and industry have traditionally been dominated by finance-focused applications, such as DeFi protocols and payment networks. However, in recent years, we’ve seen a growing focus on developing applications outside of finance, particularly in the social vertical and NFTs. This shift is driven by the desire to leverage blockchain technology in order to create a more decentralized and equitable social landscape, where users have greater control over their data and online interactions. Leading projects like Lens Protocol still show good BUIDL momentum, pushing the blockchain-based open social platform—with amazing swag to boot!

As the industry continues to evolve and mature, we can expect to see even more innovative and impactful applications emerging in this space, ultimately leading to a more diverse and vibrant blockchain ecosystem.

Account Abstraction & EIP-4337

One of the most exciting topics at ETHDenver 2023 was around account abstraction and EIP-4337. Account abstraction has been around for a few years, aiming to solve the bad user experience caused by the very early EC-based technical implementation of EVM. During the WalletCon side event, Yoav Weiss surprised attendees by announcing that EIP-4337 had been deployed on mainnet, marking a major milestone for the protocol. EIP-4337 is a pure smart contract solution with an alternative mempool, supporting customized authorization logic, sponsored transactions, aiming to make web3 mass adoption a reality. (For more details, check our previous article about unlocking wallet potential.

At ETHDenver, we saw and met a lot of projects, working really hard to make EIP-4337 happen, sharing the same vision to promote Web3 mass adoption and build a more friendly user experience.

Crypto Wallet UX is Important

Speaking of user experience, during WalletCon, we saw a notable shift towards prioritizing user-friendly interfaces and features such as human-readable transactions, sponsored transactions, nocoiner onboarding, multi-sig, and social recovery. This trend demonstrates a clear understanding that the success of blockchain technology is heavily reliant on making it accessible and easy to use for everyday users. Blocto’s emphasis on user experience has been evident from the day one, and as we continue to BUIDL, we will stay on track to make it simple for anyone looking to get started with blockchain technology.

Crypto Wallet Infrastructure

This year, we have seen a rise in the number of wallet infrastructure solutions available. Apart from WalletConnect, RPC services such as MEV-boosted RPC services have gained traction in the market. MPC service providers like Web3Auth and intu are improving overall wallet security with MPC technology. Furthermore, we have also seen specific service providers such as ZeroDev and Stackup focusing on implementing EIP-4337-related infrastructures. All these infrastructure developments are shaping the future of the wallet ecosystems and opening new opportunities for innovation and collaboration in the blockchain space.

Frenzzzz 🙌

GM, frenz! As a relatively young industry, it’s amazing that we always see more cooperation than competition. We met and made so many new friends in Colorado, and it was a pleasure to talk in-depth about how we in the industry can work together to build a more decentralized future. The synergy was great so let’s keep BUIDLing!