Crypto Comes to the City of Light: EthCC Recap

Blockworks gathered alpha about the Ethereum ecosystem from EthCC attendees

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The Eiffel Tower in Paris | Source: Shutterstock

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key takeaways

  • ETH prices have been on the rise all week, marking a 35% increase since July 15
  • Ethereum Classic also soars, outperforming ETH with 80% returns in the past seven days

The Ethereum community returned to Paris, France this week for one of Europe’s largest annual blockchain conferences in anticipation of a post-Merge ecosystem. 

The Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) followed the Metaverse Summit from July 16 to 17, also in the French capital.

In stark contrast to massive events such as Bitcoin 2022 in Miami, which had around 30,000 attendees and exhibitors, EthCC capped its attendance to 2,000 registrants. This four-day conference included headline speakers such as Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, and Eli Ben-Sasson, president and co-founder of StarkWare. 

Vetted blockchain startups also pitched their concepts to top venture capitalists working in the space. Blockworks spoke to some attendees who shared their insights and observations on the Web3 and Ethereum ecosystems.

“If you didn’t read the news and just showed up at EthCC, you would have no idea we’re in a bear market,” said Alan Chiu, CEO of Enya, a core contributor to Boba Network, who also noted an uptick in gaming projects and high interest in cross-chain liquidity compared to last year.

“The projects that will thrive through this cycle and beyond are the ones that deliver real utility for users, coupled with a sustainable revenue model, and we’ve seen a number of those here,” he added.

Many of those projects shared a mission to advance the adoption of Web3. Sangmin Seo, representative director at the Klaytn Foundation, specifically noted a strong focus on the core components of technological infrastructure, UX/UI and governance models. 

“Improving underlying technologies, educating new builders, and attracting more builders to participate will be key success factors for the future growth of the Web3 movement,” Seo said, adding that “demystification and the simplification of user experiences” should be priorities.

Ethereum developers ready for a post-Merge ecosystem

Conferences such as EthCC provide a space for community members to debate, create and play with people from other sides of the globe. According to Shaban Shaame, founder of the Spell of Genesis game producer EverDreamSoft, the metaverse also serves to unite distant people to connect around common objectives in cyberspace. 

The current challenge within the Web3 metaverse industry, however, is finding a balance between centralization and decentralization. “The consensus is that the metaverse should be run by the community. The formula for the right governance allowing co-creation while protecting users from scams and intellectual property theft, is yet to be found,” Shaame said.

As many developers and builders are looking into scalability, gaming, privacy and governance within Web3, the much-anticipated Ethereum Merge dominated a large portion of conversations at EthCC.

The Merge intends to replace Ethereum’s proof-of-work mining protocol with proof-of-stake, allowing a potential energy reduction of 99.95%. The estimated date is slated for September 2022. Ethereum recently passed the “Grey Glacier” hard fork upgrade without incident.

Vitalik Buterin presented his long-term vision for the Ethereum protocol in a Thursday presentation, placing emphasis on security, stability and decentralization. Part of the blockchain’s transition to becoming a “robust and powerful system” includes upgrading its monetary policy, Ethereum virtual machine improvements, reforming gas cost rules and its quantum resistance, according to Buterin.

Buterin also said Ethereum will be 55% complete as a result, comparing it to the perception of Bitcoin as being 80% complete. “By the end of its roadmap, Ethereum will be able to process 100,000 transactions per second,” Buterin said.

Those who listened to Buterin could also opt to drink a free Vitalik Cocktail, which was made up of 85% green tea and 15% red wine, a combination Buterin tweeted in April was “underrated.” 

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Starkware’s Ben-Sasson told Blockworks in a phone call how “exciting” Vitalik’s speech was. “Vitalik has a knack of reading what the community is thinking about, so when he put emphasis on [layer-2s] in his speech, this said it all.”

He also said “it was wonderful to see the Ethereum ecosystem so full of energy, despite current conditions. It was a time to go connect and reconnect with people, with a great atmosphere.”


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