I wasn't at Berlin Blockchain week in 2018, so can't directly compare the two events, but this year seemed busy to me, others mentioned they thought it was quieter. However, the venues used for the events were large and sprawling, so it was hard to get a complete picture of how many attendees there were, but the crowd felt enthusiastic to me. Especially considering the sweltering heat for most of the week.
Compared to other events
One thought before covering our highlights that has occurred to me at several Web3 and Blockchain related events. Maybe it's due to the talks or events I've attended, it's hard to say. While many tech events aimed at developers have talks that follow the "Here's how we built a project and the challenges we faced" approach, web3 events talks tend to follow the "we built this, please use it" format.
This may say more about the state of the ecosystem than anything else. Other developer tools such as Kubernetes, Java, or React are so mature and well used, that they have enough people using them and don't need to promote themselves as directly, as others do it for them. Other developer events generally reserve the "use our stuff" talks for sponsors, and maybe I've wandered into too many sponsor talks inadvertently, who knows. However, aside from some common core technologies, speakers don't mention the tools they are using much, or only in passing. It's not that often you see an application infrastructure diagram, or live coding. Someone did point out to me that web3 technologies tend to be more research-based, and that as maybe the actual implementation isn't that different from "traditional" development, it's not worth mentioning.
There's a lot caveats there, and it's a personal observation, so let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Myself and the rest of the Kauri team take more of an interest in developer-related hacks, or hacks that help with Ethereum usability, so here were some of our highlights from the ETHBerlin hackathon:
- ENS Login: Something like a "Login with Google" button for Ethereum dapps.
- Laika testnet: A new testnet that works with disk space for "proof-of-capacity".
- The Graph Oracle: Query The Graph oracle from a smart contract.
- Insulin: A smart contract testing framework.
- badgable: Version Control for educational certificates.
And a handful of projects that appealed to us purely for being a cool idea:
- ĐOor: Open doors via Ethereum.
- Babel Fish 3.0: A decentralized verifiable speech-to-text service.
- Stikkit: Badges, badges, badges!
As part of several of the bounties funded by ConsenSys grants, Kauri helped choose and review issues across two projects (Solhint and a relaunched Ethereum Wiki) for improving documentation. Here they are:
The quality of the submissions impressed us, and are looking forward to the next batch at ETHBoston. If you're also passionate about documentation and are anywhere near Boston, keep an eye out for those.
Berlin Blockchain week isn't just about the main event, but also the innumerable side events and parties. We attended a handful, and again, here are our highlights.
- Lisk's Alpha SDK workshop: Always interesting to see how other blockchains handle education and onboarding.
- Rust for decentralized technology: Just in time for our new Rust content.
- CodeDAO, the future of open source funding: A great discussion on how blockchain and the token economy might help open source maintainers.
- BerChain brunch: Berlin's Blockchain association hosted a Brunch to let visitors know what's happening in the city.
- Coding Berlin BBW special: Once of the best meetups in Berlin hosted a hacking-focussed session with several key ecosystem projects.
And that's at! See you at DevCon in Osaka. 🇯🇵 👋