We just returned from Devcon Bogotá. We had a busy week that left us feeling energised and inspired about where Ethereum and tokenization is headed, so we felt it made sense to share our experience in full detail.
After suffering from two years of delays due to the pandemic, the Ethereum Foundation’s flagship developer-focused event took place from 11-14th October in the Colombian capital. The main proceedings happened at the Agora Bogotá Convention Center, but a long list of side events meant that Ethereum devotees spilled across the entire city for the week. Ethereum events always have a big buzz on the ground, perhaps because the top smart blockchain is home to the token ecosystem’s most active community. But after such a long wait, it felt like everyone was more excited than ever to be back at Devcon. Many of those in attendance have been part of Ethereum and Devcon since the blockchain’s early days, but there were just as many new token adopters this time around—proving Ethereum’s enduring appeal in Latin America and beyond.
It’s always difficult to catch everything you intend to at conferences like this, especially when the bill is stacked with so many top-tier talents presenting on pertinent topics in the ecosystem. Still, we did our best, and there were some clear highlights. A key focus to this year’s event was on how the ecosystem can improve, the technological breakthroughs that could be on the horizon, and ways to prepare for onboarding the next generation of users.
In what should be a surprise to no one who’s followed the crypto space closely this year, The Merge got another nod at this year’s Devcon. While previous Devcons have anticipated how Ethereum’s upgrade to Proof-of-Stake will transform the network, this year was the first time attendees could look back at the landmark event. The Devcon opening ceremony kicked off with a celebration of The Merge’s successful deployment in September, applauding the various Ethereum development teams who worked tirelessly to make the remarkable technological feat happen.
But while there was some talk of how Ethereum has helped make tokenization a reality over the past few years, the main focus was on the future. Vitalik Buterin opted to focus on Layer 2 ZK-Rollup technology during his main presentation, arguing that zero-knowledge proof scaling solutions could be “at least as important to technology as blockchains.” With the early success of Ethereum itself, Buterin has consistently proven that he has a prescient vision for how tokenization could change the world, so when he makes a statement like this, it’s worth paying attention to (we also believe in ZK-Rollups and other scaling solutions, as evidenced by our support for Loopring and Optimism in the token.com app).
We need clear teaching on the possibilities of tokenization for Ethereum to fulfil its world-changing potential.
A killer team that’s cemented its place at the heart of the Ethereum ecosystem, Aave also gave a standout talk on its forthcoming GHO stablecoin. GHO is expected to be a decentralised, overcollateralised stablecoin that could compete with MakerDAO’s DAI, so it was fascinating to get deep insights on how it may look. Aave founder Stani Kulechov also appeared to discuss Lens and the future of Web3 social, and the team hosted what went down as the highlight after party of the week, rAAVE (QuantStamp’s RaveQuest also kept us dancing until the early hours on Thursday night).
Other points of focus across the week were the pending explosion in crypto gaming, Ethereum’s Solidity programming language and ways to get the most out of the Ethereum Virtual Machine, and forthcoming developments to the various leading projects building on top of the Ethereum network. Our blockchain developers got a lot out of attending these talks and meeting with other builders, especially with so many letting us know that we’re on the right track when it comes to welcoming new token adopters. Another key topic was crypto security and the importance of making interacting with blockchains safer for everyone; there was a sense that everyone felt that there were still big improvements to do in this domain, highlighting how early we are in the token revolution.
Like Ethereum itself, token.com’s journey has barely started.
It’s widely known that user experience is one of the biggest hurdles preventing mass token adoption today, which is a big part of why we committed to building out token.com with an optimisation on simplicity and discovery. We received lots of positive feedback on token.com’s user-friendly approach from many other teams and key figures in the Ethereum ecosystem, but they also left us with new ideas to take onboard as we prepare to expand the app and head beyond Latin America. But user experience wasn’t the only challenge Devcon VI touched on: the need for education was another major theme, which is something we can definitely attest to. We need clear teaching on the possibilities of tokenization for Ethereum and other ecosystems to fulfil their world-changing potential.
Devcon has always been an unmissable event for Ethereum’s top builders, but while this year’s conference covered complex topics, it was always linked to the big picture. Devcon VI’s crowd showed a widespread belief in mass token adoption; the discussions ultimately centered on making it happen. For us, it was a special opportunity to touch down in Latin America, a region we launched token.com in ahead of going global. In a sense, this was fitting with the vibe at Devcon; like Ethereum itself, token.com has hit its first wave of users, but its journey has barely started.
People came away from Devcon VI applauding the Ethereum Foundation on the best edition yet, and it’s hard to disagree with that take. With every year that the token ecosystem evolves, events like Devcon feel all the more electric. After a two-year hiatus, Devcon VI showed us beyond doubt that tokenization is about to cross the chasm, and Ethereum will be at the heart of the ecosystem when it does. We will continue building and supporting the movement as it grows.
The token.com team