Home Ethereum Ethereum Freedom and Parisian Psychedelia: Thoughts on EthCC[5]

Ethereum Freedom and Parisian Psychedelia: Thoughts on EthCC[5]

Ethereum Freedom and Parisian Psychedelia: Thoughts on EthCC[5]

Key points to remember

  • The Ethereum Community Conference returned to Paris this week.
  • Vitalik Buterin and other prominent figures from the Ethereum ecosystem spoke at the event.
  • Ethereum fans organized various side events that took place in the French capital.

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Ethereum devotees have taken over Paris for EthCC[5] this week.

EthCC returns to Paris

This week, thousands of cryptocurrency builders, degens and other enthusiasts descended on Paris for the fifth edition of the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC), Europe’s largest Ethereum meet-up. In the years since the launch of EthCC, Ethereum has grown into a sprawling ecosystem holding billions of dollars in locked-in value. It is the main hub for DeFi and NFTs and settles trillions of dollars in transactions every year. Although various competitors have had their moments in the sun over the past year, Ethereum is still the largest and most widely used smart contract network in the world, and its dominance over the blockchain ecosystem is such that several other networks adjacent to Ethereum have branded EthCC. with their own side events this week.

Most crypto conference attendees will agree that the opportunity to connect with others at spin-off parties is as much a draw as the main ticket, but even with dozens of choices this time around, EthCC itself had plenty to keep Ethereum enthusiasts busy. . The three-day event hosted speakers from some of the best projects in the ecosystem at the Maison de la Mutualité, and demand was so high that many industry leaders went without a ticket.

The brutal heat wave in Europe wore many people out long before the talks ended on day one, but the conference only got better as it went. Several Layer 2 projects took the opportunity to announce their various ZK-Rollup Developmentsand beyond the main stage, the room was filled with the usual array of stalls, their hosts handing out Ethereum-branded t-shirts, NFTs and macaroons to anyone who stopped by.

By far the most attended conference of the week was that of Vitalik Buterin himself. Unlike his 2021 presentation on expanding Ethereum beyond DeFi, Buterin used its 40-minute slot to dig deeper into what the future of the network will look like after the merger and other major developments. The creator of Ethereum explained that the protocol needs to overcome a few hurdles to prepare for the future, summing up the outlook as “short-term pain, long-term gain.”

Self-sovereignty on Ethereum

Prysmatic Labs’ Terence Tsao used his slot machine to explain the intricacies of proof-of-stake merging, and PWN’s Josef Je introduced himself as one of the first Silk Road fanboys turned Ethereum settlers. After touting the benefits of the psychedelics he acquired with Bitcoin on the dark web, he then asked members of the public who considered themselves a “crypto native.” Most people raised their hands, and then he presented a list of criteria he thought people needed to meet to earn such a title – large holdings of crypto assets, regular DeFi activity, and habitual use of crypto for payments between them. In other words, it was more or less describing the autonomous, decentralized way of life that Ethereum makes possible.

I was a die-hard fan who subscribed to the freedom-first ideology that sucks people into space forever, and I wasn’t surprised to hear the crowd cheer as soon as he mentioned products mind-blowing chemicals; Blockchain may be a relatively new phenomenon, but it’s not hard to see the parallels it shares with the LSD-fueled counterculture movement of the ’60s.

As for the party program, there was more than enough for those looking to burn the candle at both ends. This was my first Ethereum conference, and I was surprised by the number of ETH enthusiasts I met over the week. It seemed that Ethereum’s native asset was almost everyone’s heaviest bag, as conversations rarely touched on other ecosystems. It wasn’t the kind of goofy maximalist mob you find spreading toxicity on Bitcoin Twitter; most of them struck me as more idealists who turned to Ethereum a while ago and never really left.

A whale I met at MakerDAO’s DAIvinity party told me he wasn’t looking beyond Ethereum or Layer 2 because spending his time elsewhere would be too distracting, then he guided me through some of the most valuable blue chip NFTs he had acquired and the amount of ETH he had spent on each. “I’m annoyed that I didn’t take a hoodie [Crypto]Punk when they were only $200,000 the other week,” he sighed, unwittingly pointing out the staggering returns early birds have enjoyed over the past few years (ETH was priced from $0.30 when it launched in 2014 and surpassed $4,800 at the end of 2021; today, it approximate at $1,600). The OpenSea baller wasn’t the only one who made it clear that his loyalty was to Ethereum. “What do you think of Solana? a degen asked me at a ConsenSys happy hour. “I hate it, but I’m optimistic,” he said.

Paris by night

Another member of our team inadvertently ended up at a party that was mostly filled with venture capitalists and pretentious money types in designer suits rubbing shoulders with each other; Upon arrival, he was greeted by a Palau government employee who told him about the country’s recently launched digital ID program. The guy explained that it was easy to get an ID and change your name to pass Binance’s KYC restrictions. We looked into it before leaving Paris to see what we could dig up; our investigation is still ongoing.

Aside from a super low-key event hosted by Polychain and headlined by Justice, the hottest post-party ticket in town was for rAAVE, Aave’s late-night party was held a stone’s throw from the Sacred Heart. I didn’t hear about Justice until after the fact, but I got into rAAVE because I was quick to access the secret password that was revealed at Stani Kulechov’s Lens Protocol lecture; others were less fortunate. The interior was a testament to Aave’s place at the forefront of Ethereumland, with a sea of ​​Aave-branded t-shirts visible whenever the lights came on in place of the dark dance floor and lasers. At one point I talked to someone else who wrote crypto content and then they left me on the dance floor to search for some psilocybin from their friend. Then I realized it was approaching 2am and I had to be back for my Eurostar in London four hours later. Although I stayed later than planned, rAAVE sometimes felt more like an upscale affair in the 8th arrondissement for people who think clubbing involves bottle service and sparklers than the sweaty tipping it was trying to be (sorry guys, but it’s actually boring when you’re clapping to the beat of house music, and why the hell was there an enclosed VIP area if it was supposed to be a party?)

During the few days I was at EthCC, I heard little about crypto prices. ETH grazed $1,600 during the event after dropping below $900 the previous month, raising hopes of a possible extended Merge rally. But even after days of ETH outperforming the rest of the market, most people seemed more interested in talking about what they were working on or the development updates announced at the event. Maybe it’s the months-long market crash (ETH is still down 66% from its peak) and widespread “macro” fears, or maybe it’s the exhaustion that everyone feels reading about failed Ponzi schemes and reckless leveraged deals. Either way, whether ETH is trading a multiple above, below, or at its current price in July 2023, Ethereumand EthCCwill always be there. The several thousand believers who have flocked to Paris for this week’s conference are probably not going anywhere either.

Disclosure: At the time of writing this article, the author of this article owned ETH, AAVE, MATIC, and several other cryptocurrencies.

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