Thousands of attendees recently gathered at Denver’s National Western Complex for ETHDenver 2023 to learn about the current and future cryptocurrency ecosystem.
ETHDenver founder and executive steward John Paller told Cointelegraph that 15,000 ticket holders attended ETHDenver’s main event.
ETHDenver was a mixed crowd, but many students from leading universities participated in the event to showcase new solutions that move the cryptocurrency and Web3 sectors forward.
Developers focus on UX, security and privacy
Gil Rosen, president of the Stanford Blockchain Accelerator, a program that connects Stanford University students and alumni founders in the blockchain space, told Cointelegraph that he believes the current Web3 technology platform is generally underperforming. said. “These platforms often lack privacy protections, are very difficult to develop (especially for complex applications) and even more complicated to use,” he said.
Rosen said students attending ETHDenver 2023 appear to be focused on building developer tools and solutions that simplify user experience and privacy. “These features will allow us to easily build and fully function the applications of the future, which is the main focus of the team this year, which is part of his Stanford Blockchain accelerator. ‘ he said.
For example, Rosen said the ‘0xPass’ team from Stanford University attended ETHDenver 2023 and demonstrated how the account abstraction could be used in the future to allow Web3 wallets to be controlled externally by smart contract code. said. Such functionality means that wallet owners no longer have to approve every transaction. The launch of the new ERC-4337 standard is set to enable use cases such as account abstraction.
Kun Peng, an advisor to 0xPass and a Stanford University lecturer on Web3 entrepreneurship, told Cointelegraph that several projects have demonstrated how the ERC-4337 standard can be used for account abstraction. , said 0xPass is unique because it builds a software development kit (SDK). It simplifies the implementation of the account abstraction. He elaborated:
“This SDK will greatly improve the onboarding and authentication experience for decentralized apps. As a result, the Web3 market will grow to the ‘norm’ of not wanting to use wallets with private keys.” Such features allow you to use social logins for authentication, use the same login for multiple wallets, recover passwords, and more. ”
While enabling a better wallet experience has become important, zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs) were also heavily discussed at ETHDenver 2023. – A knowledge approach for validating artificial intelligence (AI) models. As AI becomes more prevalent, using cryptography to verify the accuracy of information becomes important.
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Ryan Cao, chief technology officer at Modulus Labs, told Cointelegraph that applications built on the existing smart contract ecosystem are limited in their capabilities. He explained that Modulus Labs has built a solution that allows offline computations to be validated for compliance with certain AI characteristics.
For example, Cao explained that Modulus has built a proof of concept, a fully autonomous on-chain trading bot powered by AI that can predict the price of Ether (ETH). According to Cao, this could enable cryptographically fair AI decision-making. He said:
“At zkDAY, we demoed an on-chain AI game called ‘Leela vs. the World’, where players place bets against an ultra-intelligent AI chess bot. It is a chain, and the AI bot’s decisions are carefully verified by cryptography.In other words, players can vote for or against the game knowing that no one can secretly change the outcome in their favor. can.”
In addition to privacy applications using ZK proof, attendees demonstrated a number of security solutions. Tianzuo Zhang, a master’s student at China’s Tsinghua University and a student ambassador for the Algorand Foundation’s university program, describes the damage decentralized applications (DApps) can face from various security threats. He told Cointelegraph that he is building a security defense application to mitigate.
Zhang, aka “HoneyDApp”, shared that the project was one of the winners of the “OpenZeppelin Bounty” competition held at ETHDenver’s BUIDLWeek.
According to Zhang, HoneyDApp uses Defender OpenZeppelin, a secure operational platform for smart contracts, to detect and identify attacks against DApps. Additionally, Zhang pointed out that the “honeypot” protocol can catch attackers before they can cause significant damage.
Such a solution may be important, as Zhang explained that with the rise of Web3 DApps, the risk of cyberattacks and vulnerabilities has become more common. “HoneyDApp is important because it provides a proactive security solution that can detect, respond to, and defend against attacks. Limiting damage and reducing risk to projects,” he said.
Student focused on Web3
Many students demonstrated their solutions at this year’s ETHDenver, but university programs focused on Web3 advancements could drive innovation.
For example, Polkadot, a Web3-focused blockchain project, is launching its third iteration of the Polkadot Blockchain Academy (PBA) in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, from July 10th to August 10th, 2023. start.
Pauline Cohen Vorms, head of the Polkadot Blockchain Academy, told Cointelegraph that the PBA has previously conducted courses at the University of Cambridge and the University of Buenos Aires. She said this is the first time her PBA course is being taught at a US university.
According to Cohen Vorms, the PBA aims to educate and support the next generation of blockchain engineers and developers. She added that the PBA curriculum is led by her Polkadot founder and her Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. “PBA is not only focused on the Polkadot ecosystem. Our intention is to provide a strong foundation for blockchain and her Web3 that can be applied to various projects.”
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While it’s difficult to predict what students will focus on building at Berkeley’s PBA, Cohen Vorms said the course covers cryptography fundamentals, governance options, interoperability between blockchain networks, and We shared that we are focusing on tools that help developers build their own blockchains and parachains.
Rosen said that Stanford students are primarily focused on building infrastructure, developer tools, and security and analytics mitigation tools for institutional and enterprise use cases, all of which focus on simplifying the user experience. I added that I’m focused. he added:
“Most developers today are building for the 90% of current Web3 users and often developers using non-fungible tokens on exchanges, decentralized finance and social. , these could represent 10% of future users, so student developers now need to focus on broader use cases, rather than current users attracted by the last bull market. We don’t think we need to focus on the base.”