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ETHDenver 2/29 Day in Review

Lincoln Murr

Summary: ETHDenver, the United States’ leading Ethereum conference, officially kicked off on Thursday, 2/29, as thousands of blockchain enthusiasts, founders, and developers converged in Denver, Colorado. On the first day of the weekend-long event, there were numerous side events, speakers, and company announcements that make ETHDenver a can’t-miss event. Let’s recap everything important that happened on ...

ETHDenver, the United States’ leading Ethereum conference, officially kicked off on Thursday, 2/29, as thousands of blockchain enthusiasts, founders, and developers converged in Denver, Colorado. On the first day of the weekend-long event, there were numerous side events, speakers, and company announcements that make ETHDenver a can’t-miss event. Let’s recap everything important that happened on opening Thursday.

Since 2/23, ETHDenver has been technically in its “Buidl Week,” focused on the development and practical application of blockchain before opening up to the weekend and its networking and partnership-making orientation. Now that the conference has truly begun, there is traffic around the Denver area and the cryptocurrency crowd is making their presence known, whether through the constant stream of young people wearing backpacks walking around the city or the billboards from Injective protocol on almost every corner. 

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The primary conference center, hosted at the National Western Complex, is filled with companies and their booths. It offers compelling opportunities for people to interact with products, understand the inner workings of mechanisms from those who created them, and get free swag like t-shirts. One particularly engaging booth was from XMTP, a messaging protocol that allows users to send and receive messages through their Ethereum address. They created a general store where people could get free gum, shirts, or even a Lens profile address by sending a “gm” message to their address. Another fun booth was from Matcha, the decentralized exchange aggregator from 0x - if you swap Matcha in front of them, they give you a free matcha tea drink. The last notable and quite large booth was from NEAR, highlighting NEAR’s suitability for a wide variety of tasks, including data availability, AI, and general user and developer experience.

The biggest side event of the day was, without question, Berapalooza, the event hosted by the Berachain team. The event opened at four, and there was almost immediately a 30-minute line to get into the venue, where the anonymous Berachain founders and other thought leaders in the space, including Polygon founder Sandeep Nailwal, spoke about Berachain and other related topics. The event was primarily focused on networking, though, and several notable industry names were present, including Solana influencer Ansem. The amount of interest surrounding this event was staggering, demonstrating excitement about Berachain from the general cryptocurrency community. With a mainnet launch expected sometime this year, Berachain is shaping up to be a project on which to keep a close eye.

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Many protocols took ETHDenver as an opportunity to announce new partnerships or product releases. For example, Starknet unveiled Stwo, a new open-source zero-knowledge prover that will make processing Starknet cheaper and more efficient. After its airdrop, Starknet seems to prioritize user needs and aims to compete with cheaper L2s like ZkSync. 

Another impressive partnership involves the Arbitrum Layer 2 and Robinhood Wallet, the crypto wallet created by the Robinhood exchange. The wallet will now natively support Arbitrum decentralized exchange swapping, giving users easy access to tokens they cannot get on regular Robinhood with low fees.

Coinbase rolled out two new wallet solutions - the smart and embedded wallets. The smart wallet introduces account abstraction, meaning users need not rely on private keys to custody their assets. Instead, they can have two-factor authentication or social recovery features. It also allows for more custom features, such as paying wallet fees directly from the Coinbase app. The embedded wallets will be able to integrate directly within products or services and remove the difficulty of self-custody.

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The first official day of ETHDenver did not disappoint, and the rest of the weekend holds more interesting events, speakers, and discussions that will shape the future of Web3.

By Lincoln Murr

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