After a break of three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the much-awaited Devcon VI took place a week ago in Bogotá, Colombia. The focus of Devcon has always been on builders across the Ethereum ecosystem, from the researchers and engineers laying the foundations of protocols to the community organizers and artists giving it voice - and this was no exception.
The MESH community was present in full force in Bogotá, not only at Devcon but also at the ETH Global Hackathon which preceded it. Shawn Cheng and Gabriel Anderson both judged 12 teams during the 3 day weekend hackathon. They were joined by several friends of MESH and portfolio companies. See this thread by portfolio company Aztec for an overview of hackathon winners.
Multiple MESH portfolio companies presented at Devcon. If you weren’t able to make it, here is a roundup of some of those talks:
New Paradigms by Non EVM Compatible L2s: Aztec Network co-founder, Joe Andrews, joined Louis Guthman, Starkware’s Ecosystem Lead, among others, to discuss how non-EVM based L2s are bringing about new paradigms and innovations that open the door to new possibilities impossible on the EVM.
A new DeFi Primitive: Private DCA Trading with Aztec Connect: Jan Benes from Aztec Network detailed how ZKPs give privacy on Ethereum, how to build a private dollar cost averaging smart contract using Aztec Connect, and concluded with a code walkthrough and demo of Aztec Connect for traders.
Private Value Transfer in 10 Lines: Maxim Vezenov, Language Designer at Aztec Network, demonstrated how drawing from a standard cryptographic library can reduce zero knowledge circuit implementations to simple programs of as few as 3 lines.
One Block, One Batch: Examining the Potential of Frequent Batch Auctions in Ethereum: Anna George, co-founder of CoW Protocol, focused on the future of (de)centralized trading and examined how frequent batch auctions can revolutionize existing market economics by bringing fairness and protection to Ethereum’s various stakeholders.
The Fight for MEV: Alex Viñas gave a talk that focused on the two most “famous” MEV solutions designs, CowSwap and Flashbots. He discussed the differences in how each model is designed, and why each solution has made those choices (users, objectives). Alex ended with how CowSwap sees the future in relation to the merge, MEV, and the wider Ethereum DeFi ecosystem.
Towards Fairer DEXes on Ethereum: Felix Leupold from CoW Protocol gave a talk on fair trading on Ethereum using CowSwap. While DEXes are still very early in their adoption, a key component to increased utilization will be ensuring that trading is done in a fair and accessible manner. On many DEXes today, one asset on Ethereum can have many different prices within the same block. CowSwap’s MEV protected trades are solving for this through a one price per token per block policy.
Devcon Panel - Censorship Resistance and Credible Neutrality: Friederike Ernst from Gnosis moderated a panel discussion on censorship resistance and credible neutrality with Phil from Flashbots, Patrick from Infura, Sebastian from HOPR, Martin from Gnosis, and Sreeram from EigenLayer. They dove deep into credible neutrality and censorship resistance within Ethereum.
Proving EVM Bytecode Execution in the zk-EVM: From the ConsenSys R&D team, Olivier Begassat and Franklin Delehelle presented their arithmetization, proving scheme, and demo of the zk-EVM under development at ConsenSys, providing an EVM bytecode compatible end-to-end solution.
Ethereum Won't be the Money Layer of the Internet if People Think it's an Earth Destroying Scam: Four Ways to Change the Narrative: James Beck, ConsenSys Director of Communications and Content, explores how we as a community can shift the broader Ethereum narrative. He shares four ways to communicate web3’s benefits, relying on insight from ConsenSys’ survey of 20k people in 15 countries around the world, plus updates on MetaMask Learn.
A better mental model for rollups, plasma, and validating bridges: Patrick McCorry from Infura discusses bridge smart contracts. He provides an overview of the trust assumptions, threat models, security goals and solutions associated with bridges, and how rollups emerged as a solution to scalability bottlenecks.
Decentralizing Infura: EG Galano and Tim Myers from Infura share about the process of decentralizing Infura. They dive into the details of the decentralized protocol and the transition to it, as well as why this is a necessary transition at this inflection point.
Major trends in the Layer 2 ecosystem: Where we are and likely upcoming themes: Faina Shalts from Truffle Suite shared a bird’s eye view of the major trends in the Layer 2 ecosystem, and made some predictions about themes we are likely to see in coming months.
Crosschain Security Considerations for the Degen in All of Us: Layne Haber, co-founder of Connext, gave a talk on the importance of understanding the security implications of xApps. xApps will continue to be used more and more over time, and developers have a responsibility to understand the security implications as part of this.
New Applications for Quadratic Funding: Connor O’Day discusses the concept of quadratic funding as a mechanism to fund open source software and public goods - everything from empowering specific ecosystems to funding localized communities and tackling real-world issues.
Ethereum is SolarPunk: Gitcoin co-founder Kevin Owocki talks about SolarPunk as being an art movement that envisions how the future could look if humanity succeeded in solving everyday problems with a focus on sustainability.
Promoting Small and Independent Stakers, Q/A with the Ethereum Staking Protocols: Darren Langley of RocketPool participates in a roundtable discussion on promoting small and independent professional stakers. They discuss operator qualifications, application processes, costs, risks, and various platform advantages.
Launch your own validator node: Maggie Love, co-founder of W3BCLOUD, led a workshop on going from independent server deployments to multi-server deployments by walking attendees through the process of provisioning their own nodes.
A few more talks from members of the Meta Mesh:
Simona Pop on DAOs and Biomimicry
Karl Floersch on Optimism’s OP Stack
Ansgar Dietrichs on How to Scale a Blockchain: motivating the Ethereum rollup-centric roadmap
Lightclients on Account Abstraction Panel
Will Villanueva on Cryptoeconomics Dive
View all talks, panels and workshops via DevCon’s site here.