EDCON, WalletConf, Magicians & Summer in Berlin

At the beginning of May I spent an amazing handful of days in Toronto around EDCON, one of the Ethereum community development conferences.

  Matt Lockyer ,  Bob Summerwill , and me. All from Vancouver, meeting in Toronto.

Matt LockyerBob Summerwill, and me. All from Vancouver, meeting in Toronto.

The energy around EDCON was fantastic. While there were lots of great talks, all livestreamed so the global Ethereum community could follow along live or catch up later, the people there in person were the reason to go to Toronto.

I’ll skip to a couple of great post EDCON / post WalletConf tweets which mirror my thoughts on the Ethereum community — a great community who are building together:


WalletConf

I had been given a heads up that there was a semi-private wallet / UX workshop that was going to take place on the Sunday after EDCON. In fact, I had the idea to organize just such a thing, and luckily connected with the organizers and didn’t have to run such an event myself!

It was a great opportunity to connect with many great people working on a wide variety of projects, realize there is so much more room for collaboration, and understand that all of the pieces are very close to coming together.

Wallets are a complicated topic, including what a wallet even means, as it is used to describe everything from apps to multi-sig smart contracts to a single Ethereum address. I have a full post I still have to write on this topic, teasing apart logins, identity + metadata, addresses-where-Ether-and-tokens-are-stored, and the apps that access these things — aka “wallets”.

I tweetstormed the day, here are some selected tweets from me and others:


Can “wallets”, which are today the main user interface and login system to decentralized apps (dApps) have a business model?

Richard Burton, founder of Balance, saying exactly what I’ve been thinking — we can include the world, including the developing world, as part of building out blockchain communities:

Lots of great stuff from the Status team. They talked about principles of decentralization — including opting out of analytics & tracking by default, patterns from Web2 to Web3, shared user research, and working on common design patterns together.

From Aragon project lead Luis Cuende, pointing out that despite lots of open source activity, not enough working together and pooling of resources:


All of the presentations were great, and lead to good Q&A in the room, and extended discussions in hallways and over meals. Being the first one, we had a bit of the “wall of presentations” issue — where after EIP0 and EDCON and this 9am to 8pm day — the people in the room just had full brains from processing so much stuff. The key lesson: more whiteboards and discussions, less front of room lecturing.

Lots of opportunity to do more deep dive Working Groups in all areas going forward. There are so many meta-problems at various levels of the Ethereum ecosystem that projects are grappling with individually, but need a high level of coordination to solve. The Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) process is one way to do this — but we do need to get to interoperability of implementations, which means working together on buckling down and writing lines of code.

Here’s the wrap up wiki post from the event. Thanks again to Derek from Thunder Token & Dan from Kyokan for organizing & running the day, and L4 Ventures / Stable Fund for sponsoring.

Magicians

My experience at WalletConf and other meetings around EDCON has led to me joining the forum that represents the Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians, a community group dedicated to improving the technical excellence of the Ethereum platform.

 The UTF8 “sparkle” emoji is the logomark for the Magicians, which is meant to speak about standards *

The UTF8 “sparkle” emoji is the logomark for the Magicians, which is meant to speak about standards *

This is a primarily technical group, whose vision is stated as:

The Goal. To keep Ethereum The Best It Can Technically Be.
The Mission. To Nurture Community Consensus on the technical direction and specification of Ethereum. 
The Work. Primarily, high-quality Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs), accepted by a consensus of the Community.

The full proposed mission statement makes for good reading to understand what the Fellowship is.

I realize for a community that is just booting up, and setting itself very hard goals about remaining decentralized with no central leader or lead organization, that I can contribute some of my community learnings, event organizing skills, and reflection on how we might do things differently this time around.

I also contributed was a “How to Run a Working Group Event” wiki post first draft, reflecting on the WalletConf experience, and left a long comment on how things were in the early Drupal community.

It’s great to see that the Smart Contract Security & Audit community is already well on its way to organizing their first Working Group session, which will take place in September alongside ETHBerlin.

I’m now volunteering with the Magicians to help organize the Berlin Council in mid July – the second of planned Tri-Annual meetings to gather the Magicians together in person (and via Livestream) to have the face to face discussions that lead to “Rough Consensus and Running Code”.

If you’re interested in community & technical excellence, join the forum, and join us in Berlin for extended discussion.

Or, since we’re decentralized – organize your own local meetup, Working Group, or other event to make the Ethereum community better.

Summer in Berlin

bjorn-grochla-598480-unsplash - Edited.jpg

I’m spending the summer in Berlin. Rachael and I both needed a bit of a reboot, and Berlin is a great city for both us: lots of tech activity and seemingly the center of a ton of Ethereum activity for the next little while, and great arts & culture scene for her.

I’m doing research on the local Berlin community and events that are happening on the Frontier Community under the ‘berlin’ tag.

I’ve been introduced to a number of people already and am looking forward to learning more about the local community. If you’re in Berlin, or have connections or tips, please leave me a comment or edit my Berlin Research wiki.