Friend at devcon three – day one
So Friend is at devcon three, the Ethereum developers’ conference in tropical Cancún, Mexico. And it’s packed. Rumor has it that it’s more than four times the size of devcon two. We were recently at a conference in Neuss, Germany, with about 550 attendees, but here, there must have been at least five or six times as many people. The venue is several floors high, and each floor is packed wall-to-wall.
The first conference day was full of speeches, lectures and workshops. The Friend Team, consisting of me, Arne Peder Blix, David Pleasance, Thomas Wollburg and Paul Lassa, spread out to attend in different conference rooms.
We learned a little about Rholang and how to write smart contracts using this language. We learned about how to possibly scale decentralised systems using everything from shards to off-chain technologies. And much more.
One of the most interesting talks for me was about off-chain technologies that could provide us with blockchains that allow offline work. Here, we were introduced to OP-TEE – a possibly disruptive security technology that is embedded into modern CPU architectures. TEE, meaning Trusted Execution Environment, allows a measure of safety when executing code – opening up the doors to decentralised systems that distribute work onto thousands of peers who may be unknown to the users. It is a technological building block that is part of the research into encrypted servers – technology that is needed for decentralised systems in the long run.
A lot of the problems that the Ethereum, and indeed the blockchain world as a whole, are facing are being solved – with solutions popping up all over the place. In fact, just today, several possible solutions to speed up Ethereum transactions were being presented by different projects, like zkSNARKs and TrueBit. And of course, a solution was presented by Vitalik Buterin himself.
For the Friend project, it is vital to be at conferences like this. We are learning important lessons before we have to face the issues. Many projects have been going into decentralisation for years already, and they have had to rewrite and re-engineer their code and technology to solve root problems. Problems that are hard to solve. But solutions have emerged, and developers in the blockchain and Ethereum communities are keen to share.
This trip to Cancún started with a great Halloween party with Golem.network – the team behind an Ethereum based network of processing computers. There, we met many people representative of the people in the conference as a whole.
Interesting people. People with original ideas. People keen to disrupt unfair markets and infrastructure designs. People generally on a mission to improve the world.
I’m glad that Friend is here to take part in the activity. And now I’m getting ready for the second day of the conference. Pictures and words to follow!