Decentralized Web Summit 2018

I am flying back to Vancouver after a fantastic few days at Decentralized Web Summit 2018 in San Francisco. The list of attendees was stellar and the event itself did not disappoint. As has become usual for me, I saw close to zero of the sessions, and instead spent my time on face-to-face conversations with some of the most interesting and brilliant individuals on the planet. It is hard to express how grateful I am to have this opportunity. The life I have led since starting my journey down the blockchain rabbit hole in 2014 has been a delight.

IMG_20180731_160106With my good friend and fellow Vancouverite Chelsea Palmer, AKA Ms GNU.

With Mamie Rheingold, Alison Alexis and Chelsea Palmer.   Mamie is doing lots of the organization for the Ethereum DEVCON4 conference in Prague in Oct/Nov of this year.  Can’t wait for that.  It was lovely to meet her and spend some time together.   Chelsea has been assisting too, and was organizing Lightning Sessions at Decentralized Web Summit.

On the opening night, I got to chat with Alex Voto, Christian Lundkvist, Ron Patiro and Rouven Heck, all former colleagues at ConsenSys, many with degrees of involvement in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) as well, especially Alex.   So that was lovely.   The opening night was at the Internet Archive building, with Cory Doctorow interviewing Mike Judge, amongst other things.

With Tim Berners-Lee.  Such an delight to chat with him.  Legend.

The San Francisco Mint, where the two main days events were held is a beautiful brick and stone building, built in 1869.  Multiple rooms and vaults and a central courtyard.

Sunny Aggarwal on the move!   We had met in Vancouver in June too, for Dogecon.

With the inimitable Karl Floersch of Ethereum Research fame.   Check out his Cryptoeconomics blockchain course.  He makes things so accessible and fun.

I am running for election to the running for election to the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee so it was great to grab some time with Brian Behlendorf (the Executive Director), Marta Piekarska (Director of Ecosystem) and Juan Benet (Protocol Labs, IPFS, FileCoin).   I had last seen Marta and Brian in New York in May for Consensus 2018.    I first met Brian in May 2016 while I was still at the Ethereum Foundation and was working towards relicensing of the cpp-ethereum so that we could have bridged these communities more than two years ago.   Maybe 2018 is when this can finally happen 🙂

Many people in blockchain are probably completely unaware of Anthony Donofrio (“Texture”) who was involved in the Ethereum Project almost from Day 1.   He is a philosopher and an amazing human being.   I love him to bits.

Aya Miyaguchi was appointed as the new Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation in February of this year, but we had not managed to connect and have any face-to-face time since then.  It was lovely to have some time with her and Albert Ni and to give them a big brain-dump of my years worth of context into the EF and the broader Ethereum ecosystem.   They have a lot of work to do, but I am confident that the EF is in great hands.  Good luck, guys, and please don’t hesitate to call on me!

I first met Jay Carpenter of Desert Blockchain when I was down in Phoenix while working for Sweetbridge late last year and early this year.   We had a lot to catch up on.

On Wednesday night we got to have the long philosophy and psychology discussion with Texture which Alison had been waiting months for, with Chelsea and Michael Zargham also bringing their mighty brains to bear!   Michael is the founder of BlockScience, and our paths first crossed at Sweetbridge.  We got to spend a fair bit of time together in the last few days too, which was great.   I hope that our paths continue to cross.

This is Christopher Wray of Mattereum.  I have known Vinay Gupta from the interwebs for many years, and we worked together for a while on Sweetbridge recently, and I’ve been in contact with Rob Knight and Vinay WRT the EEA and Mattereum on several occasions in the last few months.   Great to meet Christopher too.   I had only seen him on videos until now.

Diana Stern is lots of fun.  She is a blockchain focused lawyer, now working for Baker and Hostetler, and we’ve been talking a lot over the last few months.   And Rick Dudley is an OG, who was around before Ethereum was “a thing”.   He’s a deep thinker, with real insight into mechanism design, complex systems, security and many other fields.   Check out his “What I don’t like about Ethereum” talk from the Ethereum Community Conference in March.  It is great.   He is the CEO of Vulcanize.

Christopher Allen is another OG, with decades of experience in open source, internet infrastructure, security, identity, decentralization and much much more.   Alison had been looking forward to talking to him for months, and it was indeed a real treat.

Jonathan Levi is the Founder of Hacera, and a member of the Hyperledger TSC.   We have been in contact on-and-off for several months online, and have seen each other IRL once or twice.   I hope that we can work together on Hyperledger soon enough.

Mike Slinn is a recent online acquaintance, and we grabbed an hour or so together to have a walk and talk and some food.   He’s been working with Scala for several years and has been getting to know Ethereum over the last little while.   He has a wealth of experience of previous paradigm shifts.  Great to meet you, Mike!

Aaron Davis (“kumavis”) is a MetaMask monster who I have known for at least 2 years.  What a team.  What a product.  Always great to catch up.

At the closing event we finally got to spend some time with Steven McKie, another renaissance man with brain-power to burn.   Here with Rick Dudley, Alison, myself, and Jamie Pitts of the Ethereum Foundation, who booted up the Ethereum Magicians and who Alison calls the Philosopher in Residence for Ethereum.   He missed out on the meal with Texture.   And Cassandra Shih, of the Ethereum Community Fund, who I met for the first time that night too.

And Chelsea closed out the evening with her fantastic raps, including the seminal “What happens on the Blockchain stays on the Blockchain”

What a blast!   See you all at Decentralized Web Summit 2020 🙂

2 thoughts on “Decentralized Web Summit 2018

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