On March 5th, the Ethereum Denver Developer Conference was drawing to a close. The conference was an unprecedented event with more than 4w attendees and more than 300 projects participating in the early hackathon. Encryption researcher Will @FinanceYF5 Shuttle to more than 20 venues, interview 75 participants, on the feelings of the conference and industry trends for simple exchange. Let's take a look at what investors, developers, and crypto enthusiasts have to say about the current state of the track.
BlockBeats has compiled and edited excerpts from Will's interview with these attendees, hoping to help readers find the next trend.
1) How it felt to attend the conference in Denver: I am an entrepreneur and I really like the feeling of being a developer. It's a really big community of developers here, seeing the core blood of ecology. I love sitting next to developers. I love it.
2) Investment direction: Many middleware industries are in regression, evolution, acceleration, vertical integration in the past, but now we find that many industries are mature to division of labor, industrial value chain, api, sdk, developer access, and the industry is highly mature.
3) But the challenge is still playing with yourself, 50-50, no broken circle, it is more difficult to come in, we like to play by ourselves, their praise has no impact, broken circle is very important, compare to see how to break the circle.
1) For individuals, unless it is the founder of the project side or the relationship is very good, the information gap equalization is too fast, it is not cost-effective to do the first level, unless it is the American computer, in fact, very volume.
2) There are no new things in narrative. Many of them are developer tools, not ETH level, but the narrative of ETH tools. Therefore, it is difficult to capture value at the economic level, and only the old things can be captured.
3) The overall ecological niche of Chinese has improved, and the quality is much better than that of the bear market in 19 years. But the Chinese have no voice. You still need a foreign head mechanism,
4) Still feel that application layer development is in the early stages.
5) I don't know if what I thought was good at that time is now even better. Including MEV, LSD, ZK, middleware all feel this way, the track is very crowded. Go around doing 3 or 4 projects at the decentralized executive level. The API, the safety, the track feels the same way. Sounds a little fatigued.
6) The Internet is vertical, get through the user, Web3 bottom is horizontal, we are almost paved, the same layer in competition, all know, but which do not know.
1) Many core are creators and fans. With the rise of fan economy, it is worth thinking about how to be better for fans. Earn a lot of supervision, a lot of consumers have a hard time getting in.
2) Domestic entrepreneurs should speak up more. Should speak out, do not say, for example, dream journey to the West can find out coaching games or coaching applications, more confident, more vocal.
1) Experience of attending the Denver Conference: The overall quality is much higher than Consensus and Token2049. The founders and developers will be able to directly connect with the founders at the booth platform. It will be very efficient for organizations to sit in the BOOTH Booth here.
2) Focus of discussion: L2/ZK/ wallet/security/storage /DEFI is still the main theme of the overall Ethereum ecology, and the developer tool platform is mainly API and SDK middleware. Last year, the financing was very good, AI and Social entrepreneurs who speak SBT and reputation system are coming out.
1) Experience of attending the Denver event: overall satisfaction of the event, finding many new, high-quality and innovative projects, willing to actively express ideas, and feeling different from online.
2) From the perspective of investment, the narrative changes are not so different. There are some differences in wallet and ecology. LSD, the new fast and bright project, ZK is the feeling of the light of Chinese people.
3) Personal perception trend conclusion: In the next two years, there will be opportunities in social layer, application or bring some application chain opportunities, bring downstream industry opportunities. Denver is friendly, safe, NFT mobile, AMM and DeFi have opportunities.
1) Smart contract application is very important, Layer 1 and Layer 2, Layer 1 has finished, Layer 2 is close to completion, although there are some problems in layer 1, such as Polygon's second block reallocation, which is a great threat to the bridge, but the eth main network has no problems for several months, Layer 2 chain and rollup are waiting. There are also many centralized and semi-centralized Bridges, just waiting for zk, the second floor will end, application explosion, based on smart contracts, to build some infrastructure above the dapp layer. So there's a lot of focus on unlocking value in this area. The most important thing about blockchain is that it is useful, and that there should be a user-oriented product.
2) Views on the storage track: storage is in short supply, and storage is a vacancy that needs to be filled. For existing projects, it can be divided into 3-4 levels. The most original storage is in the smart contract of Ethereum, which is in the kitchen bowl. Ethstorage is equivalent to hot storage, things in the desktop, AR is equivalent to things in the refrigerator, cold, can not be particularly large, take high efficiency. ipfs belong to the warehouse and hard drive track. Similar to garage, is a hierarchical solution, and similar to computer theory, Ethereum solves the problem of computing, storage has not been solved.
1) There are a lot of Builders, which is very different from that in China. It is difficult to see original projects in China. There are more copies in China, and more people talk about the development of technology and implementation. Something must be going on here. There is no media here. There are a lot of domestic media, but few real projects. And other foreign will feel, also big, and Lisbon style. Another difference between China and the country is the team. Here, there are many people working alone, but few grassroots people. They just do one idea and are led by someone. At home for money, abroad for freedom. Asian culture is all about empiricism, induction, superficial things, logic will dominate here. There's not so much hardcore development in Lisbon, it's massive hardcore over here. Lisbon is small, it's tough, it's not afraid of anything. Lisbon is a little more relaxed, a little softer. Impressive project, not too impressive, micro innovation.
2) See two directions, privacy, the public chain with privacy as the main force, and ecology, very brave to do the thing of the head. They didn't take the rules seriously. There is also a Desci, feeling that the next DeFi can advance the industry after the next thing, but far away, no detailed study, but the vision is very good, but difficult to land.
3) Several projects will be pushed forward, micro innovation is also meaningful, haven't seen before, defi micro innovation is normal, because the big problem has been solved, has moved traditional finance. I prefer to pay more attention to DeFi.
Investment perspective advice and feedback:
1) Must find their own positioning, domestic and foreign market changes, business location, behind the driving capital, see where their own point.
2) See some bad projects, Web2 is very bad, and Web3 is far-fetched, some hardware, software. Web2 losers come again, more complex than web2, how to succeed.
3) This time, I looked at two of them in depth, and I was disappointed with the ones with large positions. The starting point and technical ability of the team were good, but the landing was difficult. After that, the story could only be told in one round, and the second round was still difficult. Cosmos is the exception to ETH Good, good consensus, a lot of builders up, a lot of project parties, two other rollup will have new projects, but that's part of ETH abi DeFi is progressing very fast. BNB resources are also good, but in my heart, I don't think it is a public chain and an extension of Binance, so it will bear the risk of Binance. Sui and Aptos were less interested.
4) Doing things and making money are two different things. Doing things must be difficult. I must hope that the whole ecology will develop.
1) How it felt to attend the Denver Conference: Second time in Denver, last year, twice as many people, much bigger, 35,000 people participated, 7500hackers. Last year it was just presenting, but this year I was a mentor, I barely got on it. I spent all my time talking to Hackers, talking to everyone, about technology, not selling my product. It was great to be a mentor.
2) Opinions on zk track: For narrative, zksnark is finally, it has been talking for 5 years, and finally it can be used, L2 is also useful, AA field finally has a standard, on the main network, every year progress, zk, L2, cheaper, faster, more people can interact, so it is a good thing. AA is very useful. I spent a day tutoring and had no time to study. Developers face very small, very specific problems. This hackathon emphasizes new people on the road, 2 weeks, usually 3 days, there are a lot of courses, a lot of tutorials at the beginning, very good things. So a lot of people are new.
3) Feelings as a developer: Many Web2 developers have a hard time understanding Web3, and it takes a while to understand the differences. It was a huge learning curve. This year is not the same, last year VC throw money, this year a lot of austerity. There are millions of Web2 developers, tens of thousands of web3 developers, and some of the best developers are on Web3 because it's easier to make money. I talked to a few developers, all of whom were quitting because it was easier to raise money and make money building things straight away. You can build things very cheaply. As an investor myself, I will invest in some familiar companies I have come into contact with, and I know the CEO or CTO very well. Usually an experienced CTO. I run the business section.
1. Views on the activity: This activity is very good, most of them are Builders, very global, Asian, African, many developers, it is a feast, the project is very diversified, all aspects of the ecology are involved, the whole pavilion has been greatly optimized, everyone has enough space to show themselves.
2. Views on storage track: With the release of BTC NFT, there is a strong demand for ETH on pure chain, but ETH native storage is still a big problem. The eth Foundation just announced its support for Ethstorage, which shows that they are also working on this layout.
1) zk is very popular, I believe in its future, I personally believe in it.
2) Distributed tracks are a turning point.
3) The ETH Foundation has not done any activities.
4) Personally, I think eth has set a precedent. It is not certain whether eth is eth or not. Bitcoin is a promise. btc addresses trust issues, but it's a very, very expensive thing. eth solves many problems relatively cheaply. The most frightening is that it is simple and can achieve human coordination without relying on the state. Therefore, it is a revolution, just like personal computer, printing, writing and other tools.
1) Views on the track: track, no views, Web3 is a very good bear market, this cycle will not vote regret, infrastructure is still very good, dead is dead, survive the next cycle is good.
2）丹佛活动参会感受：活动以 Builder 为主，技术出身觉得很好，很多机会，大家都是懂的人，没有商业互吹，存储，大市场，FIL. 头部，也会有新的， 目前还是 Arbitrum 生态 量不够大，看好 BNB Greenfield，有实力，但是不一定能占据生态为，很难说市场认可度，zk 早起投资不算过热，中间件很看好。
1) Experience of activities: This activity is more focused on dev, and the conversation is diversified, but the currency and discourse are much bigger, and the projects are more diversified. On con, I saw mining or projects that don't need dev very much, and here I focus on web3 topic, although it is called ETH. However, projects that do not actually belong to eth can also appear.
2) Experience of DID track: I did ID track, which was very hot. When AA appeared, everyone looked up to it. Last year, many people didn't think it was sexy, but this year, there are more and more projects.
3) Opinions about other tracks: besides ID, I also expect NFT utilitys (nft except PFP) to have better wallet experience, as well as fan economy, which will lead to web3 very well, because Kols will be able to transfer fans to Kols if they give them benefits.
1) What do you think of your Defi and NFT tracks: Defi is mature and still has room. NFT's newest track, only two years old, has plenty of room to grow. The industry pattern is different every year, we think that everything can be NFT, the early industry is mostly pictures, PFP play, but the degree of concentration in the next few years slowly talk, now there are multiple media NFT, such as sports, music, Defi in the application of NFT, relatively very early. The market has brands that offer intuitive services and lack many financial formulations, such as derivatives, leverage, and liquidity agreements.
As the industry continues to diversify, there will be many different types and dimensions of NFT in the coming years. For example, in the second half of 2022, many major web2 companies are launching their NFT as a way to motivate their users and give back to the community, as well as a way to bring confidence and endorsement to the industry. The whole industry NFT gradually returns to rationalization, increase functionality, although there is still speculation, but the market will gradually develop to a healthy, at the same time NFT is a good channel into the circle, many people do not understand the currency, but like NFT intuitive visual impact, to enter the circle. This is a good entry point into the Web3 debacle. This is one reason why the bearish NFT world is more resistant.
2) Activities: The activity is good, there are enough people, the project is extensive, because of the epidemic, people fly to each track, there are people to try, it doesn't matter whether they succeed or fail, hot zk is very hot and intense, cex is under great pressure, there are not many people to come, venture capitalists, we talked about a few, feel warm, see more, invest less, there are a lot of Chinese.
Public chain is very active, VC investors, not so active, more and more cooperation between projects, American projects are interested in Asia, it is difficult to get the money, or build, can not get before, now it is quite difficult.
合作比较好国内和国外对于一个事情看法非常不一样，国内碰的海外一般，比如某些新公链华人之光海外声量很小，很弱小， 中国人更多决定 defi 还是主流，用户，项目方也好，都围绕 defi，非常核心，离钱太远就会被甲方关注远。
1) Experience of attending the Denver event: In order to participate in Hackerhouse, I felt that the standard was high, while that in East Asia was worse, and many good developers in mainland China, the audit started at half time and could not be rewritten at the end. It would be better if it was earlier. The only way to get in early, talk to CTO's, have good ml's, use quick Hacker events right after you've done it is good, especially the github event, which has 100 rooms, is better than the main venue, the overall number of participating companies is good,
2) Views on zk track: The best, participated in, pay attention to devs, better than 2049 and nyc con, are investors, too many investors, few projects, imbalance, looking for developers, trend, last year was all dao, all hung up, zk is the biggest, everyone is doing something, zkevm, public chain, do not think is overheating, From the perspective of security, zk and upgrade are a big theme. This year, there are many security audit problems. Looking back at the problems in these two fields, I will be more optimistic about the technical perspective that it is possible to achieve, and there will be a lot of development opportunities.
1）对赛道看法：Gamefi 赛道，游戏资产的去中心化协议，可以用游戏资产抵押，释放贷款，业务本质是 Defi，但是涉及到 NFTfi，Nft，gamefi 和 Infra，行业处于大爆发的前期，就像互联网 mass 的原因是游戏，web3 也是一样的。 从 2017 年的加密猫到 2021 年的 axie。现在 gamefi 处于第三波浪潮的前期，前两拨都是像素级别的游戏，体验不好，但是影响力有目共睹。
2017-2021 年开始，有很多厉害团队开始开发 3A 游戏，兼顾经济模型和可玩性，特点是 freetoplay，游戏的可玩性很好，但是不需要花钱，成为高阶玩家或者资深玩家，需要氪金，因此一部分增量价值是以 NFT 形式去呈现的。这是从商业逻辑推理。 另外从第一性原理，为什么游戏是下一个大爆发，人们玩游戏是为了逃离现实生活，而不是喜欢现实。
未来元宇宙会成为镜像或者平行的存在的，现实世界的产权制度，会在虚拟世界中重建一次，包括无权，产权，抵押，借贷，衍生物，都会重新做，所以我们可以看到个人资产的大部分，都会以虚拟资产形式存在，为虚拟资产提供借贷抵押方案，就成为了应用之一。 根据调研，未来 3-12 个月，会有很多 3A 游戏发行，可以遇见只要有 1-2 个游戏被追捧，则是游戏甚至下一个牛市会被引领。
2）对活动看法：对丹佛活动给的感受和哥伦比亚 devcon 很像，是一个真的面向开发者，尊重 idea 的盛会，无论是波哥大，还是丹佛，环境有点简陋，吃的也很一般，场地也是大工厂，但洋溢着创新和去中心化思想的火花。
1) Experience of attending the Denver Conference: After coming to Denver from Tsinghua University, I felt that the industry information that Chinese and overseas students can access is very different, and the degree of participation in the industry is also very different. For example, in the aspect of Web3 entrepreneurship, Chinese students will face more resistance, and it is difficult for them to directly obtain the most cutting-edge resource support in the industry. Therefore, we need to constantly motivate ourselves to get out of the comfort zone of Web3 Chinese and take the initiative to learn and participate in English activities.
2）清华校友资源丰富：另一方面，清华在 Web3 的校友资源的丰富度其实远远超出我自己之前的预期，清华本身就在诸多传统领域有十分浓厚的师兄师姐传帮带精神，而且在，我能感受到这样的宝贵精神已经延续到了加密行业。 我个人衷心地希望，清华区块链协会可以做好传承，在世界范围内走的更远。