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Ethereum and Pegabufficorn by@patrickalphac

Ethereum and Pegabufficorn

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Patrick Collins Hacker Noon profile picture

Patrick Collins

Alpha Chain CEO & Founder | Chainlink DevRel

Diving headfirst into the ETH community by attending one of Ethereum’s largest hackathons, we are able to see how, what, and who is shaping the decentralized applications of tomorrow.

What is that odd creature in the middle?

That is a pegabufficorn; part buffalo, part pegasus, part unicorn, and is the mascot of the ETH Denver event, one of Ethereum’s largest hackathons.

I’ve written a few posts now on how captivated I’ve become with blockchain technology, especially it’s applications on the fintech space (#defi).

With blockchain, all of fintech could be cheaper, more integral, easier to access, transparent, and more. This gets me so EXCITED! I’ve only been mildly involved for the past few months, and wanted to dive in deeper, attending ETH Denver was definitely diving deeper.

When you think of the fintech and investing space, often the current connotation is often something along the lines of this;

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Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Men and women in suits, very button up, shirts tucked in, very polite and cautious conversations, an uptight vibe, conservative appeal. Hollywood does a great job of depicting this. I’m not saying one way is good or bad, and I’ve met some amazing people in the industry. What I am saying is that, in contrast, this video sums up the vibe at ETH Denver:

ETH Denver afterparty. This is the same stage every speaker used. Note the beautiful rainbow.

And here is New York’s investment week promo:

NYiW 2020

Someone offhandedly told me something I thought was hilarious. They said they had a vision of:

“A financial institution not switching to the decentralized blockchain world, and having a rough time because of it. When they finally decide to google who or what was crushing them so hard, flashing images of pegabufficorns on rainbows pop up”

A huge foam pegabufficorn in one of the relaxation rooms.

Here’s what the ETH Denver had to offer:

- 3 Floors of crypto project booths to speak directly to the team

- 4 floors with rows and rows of hackathon teams

- A ever-prevalent sense of inclusion, grounded, grassroots-nessBrilliant people in every direction from around the globe

- Meditation and relaxation rooms and CBD samples (it’s legal in Colorado)

- Free food, drinks, and free-flowing conversation

- Prizes, speakers, tutorials/workshops

It felt like everyone was there to have fun and build something cool. I never once felt that I was trying to be swooned into buying something, or join someone’s weird crypto cult (do those exist?). Everyone who was there seemed genuinely interested in growing the space, learning, and building amazing projects. Speaking with many of the attendees, it seemed everyone hoped to keep the community as grounded, inclusive, and fun for years to come.

I ended up spending most of the convention coding, and talking to crypto projects. Some of my favorite ones were:

Chainlink: I may be a little biased here since I’ve worked with the team before, but their project to create basically decentralized blockchain APIs feels like one of the most important projects happening.

OffChain Labs: A project to run computations off the blockchain (vastly reducing gas costs) but still verifying computation. (Much smarter people than me developing the tech)

DAOstack: Helping coordinate problems with Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO). A DAO is a network of stakeholders with no central governing body, just a set of rules encoded on a blockchain.

MakerDAO: Creating a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, but in a decentralized way.

Compound and Staked: Each platform helps users invest and gain interest on cryptocurrencies.

And there were so many more that I didn’t even get to speak to!

Along with these current projects, hackers whipped together completely original prototypes in just two days (hence, the hackathon). While the presentations were limited to only a few minutes, and voting seemed like it wasn’t fully fleshed out, there were SO MANY awesome submissions it was hard to choose anyways. You can see the whole list of submissions here.

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My 5:00AM setup of energy drinks, pretzels, random flyers, and udemy tutorials.

I had a wonderful experience at ETH Denver and am excited to put the learning and technologies into action. Looking forward to the next one!

Did you attend ETH Denver? Was there a project you were most excited about? Why do you think Ethereum has such a contrasting grassroots feel?

Let me know below!

All opinions in here are my own.

Follow me on twittermediumgithub, linkedin, for more content and insights.

#financerevolution #ethdenver #blockchain #ETH #hackathon

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