ETHDenver 2023: Recap

It’s hard to overstate how productive, fun, and educational was ETHDenver last week. We’re still coming down from our post-conference high — the inevitable fallout from a week of unabated excitement and dopamine depletion. Call it the ETHDenver detox.

While it’s true that all good things must come to an end, we can at least ease last week’s passing with some of the highlights in an attempt to make the glow last just a little bit longer.

So, what’s ETHDenver all about?

This is an annual event that brings together developers, builders, and other members of the Ethereum community to collaborate and build decentralized applications and features talks, workshops, and hackathons. (And it’s a huge event — this year’s ETHDenver attracted over 30,000 attendees from around the world.)

What we worked on

Our focus was all on connecting to builders, scouting for opportunities, and presenting the value proposition of reNFT as the leading protocol for NFT rentals, and it’s safe to say that we met incredible and very intelligent people building amazing products.

Moving throughout the week we had great conversations with the good people from G7, Hyperplay, Summon, MoonStream, Worlds, Cronos, Wagyu Games, ChainStack, Axie Infinity, Raylights, World Wide Web, Aavegotchi, The Fabled, Wolves DAO… uffff, just to name a few.

We had the opportunity to try out Hyperplay launcher and some of the gems coming with it, such as Uldor, Smashverse, Beacon, GridIron, Bornless, Dark Throne, and others.

We recorded a live stream with Playconomy, and attended a bunch of networking events from friends and partners such as Animoca, Game On by Gumi, Impact Happy DAO, Avalanche Lodge, Gam3ers Event, among others.

We all know the current status of the industry and all our projects suffered from the impact of the Terra and FTX collapses during last year. However, the energy was extremely positive: all the conversations were about the future and the amazing projects that great founders are brewing out there.

Some Key Takeaways

We heard two things during the event that illustrate our general impressions about the current status of Web3:

The drive to innovate and change the space was always present. Alongside connecting with a variety of builders all working to enrich Web3 space with new and diverse projects, we have to admit, one of the best things about attending ETHDenver was seeing on-site the cool projects that are being built. The energy was unreal. We also re-learned the value of in-person events. While many people are now more comfortable with online/remote meetings, there is still nothing that beats getting to meet and interact with people in real life. You encounter those you may never have met otherwise, and you get to have a more meaningful discussion because they are more open and there to actively learn.

Web3 has outgrown its roots. The most immediate takeaway from the event was simply the scale. There seemed to be plenty of people when we arrived for builders' week, but that was dwarfed by the thousands who turned up over the course of the following week. Web3-native and web3-curious, the well-known and the anons, those from gamefi, defi, and from tradfi, all worked their way from event to event, trying to avoid the multi-hour queues that formed. The breadth of attendees and events was a clear demonstration of how far the ecosystem has come, and both the positivity and the understanding and acceptance of current limitations were refreshing — giving a real sense of a community growing and driving towards a common goal.

And how about that cool McLaren covered in doges? — just what the doctor ordered!

Web3 is eating the world. Okay, we know it’s still early days. Our banks, our hospitals, our schools, and our governments don’t yet run on Ethereum. But the sheer breadth of projects being built and talent even at this early stage is astounding. There was a clear sense of talent accumulating and increasingly curious about how they could find their place in Web3; ideas bouncing around, like games, fashion, NFTs, AI, etc.

Diversity is awesome! Blockchain is all about building a better, fairer, more equitable, and more diverse system. Diversity comes in many forms and means different things to different people. It was exciting seeing teams from around the world.

Blockchain for good. One of the most exciting, powerful aspects of blockchain is the fact that it’s an equalizer. Old or young, wealthy or poor, north or south, everyone has equal access to the Ethereum network and no one needs a license or permission to use it. This combined with censorship resistance and several other unique properties makes Ethereum an ideal platform for applications that could have a huge degree of social impact.

Mobile-first Web3 is coming. Many wallet providers were actively exploring and expanding their mobile offerings, a somewhat overdue and necessary step for wider adoption. Teething issues remain, however; there was a craze around the opportunities ZK presents and Account Abstraction, definitely the most heated topics!

DAOs. When CULT.DAO was not stealing the show, DAO tooling and DAO treasury management were popular propositions. With many DAOs sitting on large treasuries, overwhelmingly in their native tokens, there is a demand for financial products both to service the day-to-day expenses, and to generate some sort of yield rather than sitting in cash. There still remain outstanding questions around how much risk it is appropriate for a dao to take in search of a reasonable yield, and the complexity of the structured products on offer, but this is an area of growth the space is watching with increasing interest.

It’s all about games baby! No need to say that gaming, a $200-billion industry, is the way forward to onboarding the next billion users into Web3. Was great seeing the variety of games and gaming projects presented. The blockchain gaming market has undergone significant changes over the past years. Developers are looking at blockchain as a tool to improve gameplay, prioritize the free-to-own model, aim to create fun games, and offer ownership and immersive experiences. 2023 will see the launch of many projects that leverage technological improvements and player-first methodologies. New models that reward user-generated content, exciting gameplay, and free-to-own systems.

It’s Been Real, Denver!

With ETHDenver, reNFT kicked off a series of IRL events and conferences for 2023! However, we must admit the energy and excitement of ETHDenver 2023 set a high watermark. We left it feeling more bullish, hopeful, and more excited than ever.

We had the opportunity to get face-to-face with partners, builders, and an amazing community, with too many interesting people and conversations to count.

So there you have it. ETHDenver 2023 was absolutely off the hook. Thanks for making it one for the ledger and we can’t wait to see you at the next one!

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