Today I’ll spend most of my day in Radiant Orchid and Prism/Spectrum (the two main rooms). Tonight we’ll have the Blockchains LLC announcementThese are the talks I’ll attend. I’ll provide updates throughout the day. I share a quick impression and encourage you to watch the sessions yourself.  

Building self-sustaining ecosystems through governance

Presentation on 0x’s governance model regarding grants, and core protocol development in the future. Their solution includes the electing of a committee for more complex decisions.

High-stakes decision making: how to maximize your impact

Nothing blockchain/ethereum related. A presentation on effective altruism, and their organization, Effective Giving. I thought it would be similar to Annie Duke’s poker lessons, but that was only half of the talk (by Liv).

Melonport will not exist by Devcon 5.

Jenna from Melonport about how they’ll open up the development and governance of the protocol. I’m not sure if I really understood what they’re all about, changing the dev team as decision makers for a “technical council”? Their product is cool.

The Social and Economic Fabric of Decentralized Space Development

Yalda from Space Decentral talks about opening up global collaboration on space projects. They’ll use Aragon to raise funds, reward contributors, choose projects, and more. I don’t know the space (pun intended) so I cannot comment on its viability.

Decentralize, Democratize, or Die

Easily the best talk I’ve attended so far. If you only watch one talk, check Cory Doctorow’s from EFF.

Open Financial Systems & the Road to Socioeconomic Mobility

Skipped this one, was too hungry. The food is truly great.

MakerDAO: A New Hope for Financial Reform

High level talk about MakerDAO. Big audience. Easily one of the most exciting projects built on Ethereum.

How will nations remain relevant in the 21st century?

Casper Kaspar Korjus from the Estonian eResidency program with a high level overview. I recommend reading last year’s New Yorker piece instead.

Unscrambling an Egg: Decentralization and the Zcash Foundation

Check this if you want to learn the difference between the Zcash Company and the Zcash Foundation. Or why you’d start a 503 non profit.

CBC Casper Design Philosophy

Insight into the CBC philosophy and some breakthroughs on sharding. Too complex for me (I speak four languages but I’m afraid I’ll never understand Vlad), check it for yourself.

Human-Centered Identity: We are more than keys.

I had high hopes of this talk (uPort), but I didn’t really learn anything new. It’s interesting to see the development in self-sovereign identity.

Meta lesson from DevCon

  • Literally nobody is talking about price. I haven’t heard a single talk about ETH in dollar terms. Not even one nervous joke (as opposed to a banking event I attended earlier this year, where the host made “fun” of Bitcoin). It leads me to question my time spent on /r/ethtrader and the asymmetry between negativity here (a few people causing major confusion) and development in the real world (thousands of attendees here and hundreds of thousands of people involved in the ecosystem). I don’t know. I get the feeling that “all will be well for those who wait.” I mean, if we got to $1400 on speculation, think about where we could get with the additional infrastructure (and dApps) being build.
  • I’m still waiting for the killer app idea. I’ve attended many sessions but so far I haven’t had that “this is earth moving” moment. Of course, I’m looking at a non-linear beast through my linear eyes.

I’m reading Paul Graham’s Hackers and Painters book, which I highly recommend. It connects me to Devcon’s average attendee in ways I didn’t think of before.