A first person account from our team member, Rusty...
ETHDenver, the longest running conference in the Ethereum world, was the perfect venue to spread the word of Kleros and identify BUIDLers whose ideas would fit well in our ecosystem.
The energy at ETHDenver was unique, with each day packed with talks, events and deep conversations ranging anywhere from the technical to the philosophical. I was most struck by the overwhelming sense of optimism among the attendees, a refreshing break from the seemingly bleak reality of the pandemic.
After a long drive from base camp, I arrived in Denver a little bit before 10am for the kickoff of BUIDLWeek. Check-in started with a COVID rapid test for every attendee, a comforting precaution for many, allowing conference-goers the opportunity to de-mask and share in genuine human interaction.
Upon entering the lobby of the ART Hotel, the excitement was palpable. The conference had not yet even begun, but BUIDLers were already lining the hallway, laptops out, sharing ideas with each other. I entered the ART Stage room and grabbed a seat in preparation for the kickoff event.
The energy of the kickoff event was simply amazing. The ETHDenver team introduced everyone to SporkDAO, the Decentralized Autonomous Organization allowing the conference to truly be a unique and community owned event.
It was especially delightful that the ETHDenver team championed diversity, both of thought and identity, making BUIDLers of all backgrounds feel welcome in the space.
I stepped out of the ART Stage room and was immediately spotted (probably because of my purple icosahedron hoodie) by a group of people who shouted:
A deep conversation ensued concerning the topics of decentralized dispute resolution, proof of personhood and their own experiences with the shortcomings of the traditional legal system, hopeful that Kleros could be the solution. This stimulating exchange set the tone for the rest of the conference as each subsequent interaction was just as interesting and insightful as the last.
Throughout the course of BUIDLWeek my main objectives were to introduce people to Kleros and identify teams whose projects would be a good fit for the Incubator.
Kleros' reception was quite good, with about a third of people already being familiar with the protocol to some degree while the other two thirds, once Kleros was explained, were quite happy that a decentralized dispute resolution protocol already exists and is working.
When meeting teams, the most encouraging thing was that many were already looking for a “subjective oracle” to solve potential disputes arising in their protocol, but simply had not yet been introduced to Kleros. They were thrilled that they could just delegate this function to Kleros rather than having to dedicate developmental resources to solve disputes “in-house”.
This once again confirmed to me that there is a significant demand for justice on the blockchain, with Kleros as the solution. It’s simply a matter of community techno-evangelism to lead potential integrations to Kleros. Build it, share it and they will come.
As BUIDLWeek tailed off, I was invited by the Ripio team to attend their Latin American Afternoon, a celebration of the crypto-space spanning from Argentina to Mexico.
Proof of Humanity received a warm welcome from the attendees as we chatted with each other, enjoying the fine Argentine Malbecs served at the open bar. It was an unforgettable experience to be introduced to the bright minds of the Latin American Web3 community who were hardened with resolve to build a better system not only for the future of their countries, but the entire world.
After the LatAm Afternoon, I rendezvoused with a couple of friends from the Ripio team to attend the Harmony event at the Temple Night Club. Despite the freezing snow falling on us, we were all brimming with excitement to see Deadmau5 play. After nearly an hour in line, frozen to the core, we stepped inside the Temple.
The bass was penetrating as we weaved our way through the crowd, straight to the bar where we all ordered vodka Red Bulls, a necessary mixture of stimulants and alcohol to simultaneously relax and energize us for the party at hand. After nearly 3 hours of dancing to dark house, hypnotized by the laser lights, I could only come to one conclusion:
Ethereans know how to party.
The next day, I stopped by the InsurAce Safe Space to meet, greet and relax. It was a pleasure to be introduced to the team and discuss the potential of Kleros as a DeFi insurance claims arbitrator. I was particularly impressed by the caliber of professionals at the InsurAce event, many of whom were promising potential applicants for the next batch of the Kleros Fellowship of Justice.
With the close of BUIDLWeek, the core ETHDenver events began. The Castle, a repurposed multi-floor car dealership, was opened to conference-goers. Inside, a variety of stages were set up for speakers of all kinds to present throughout the day. The highlight of these speakers was Vitalik himself who, during his discussion on the organizational potential of DAOs in the traditional governmental framework, gave a shout-out to Proof of Humanity, secured by Kleros.
Peppered throughout the Castle were booths staffed with a wide range of teams from the Web3 and DeFi spaces, distributing swag to passers-by. Among these booths was TheGraph’s, the indexing protocol that makes querying the profiles on Proof of Humanity fast and simple. It was a pleasure to be introduced to their team and share with them the features made possible by their decentralized indexing service.
Some of my favorite spaces were the chill-out areas lined with bean-bag chairs, where I met with BUIDLers interested in integrating Kleros, discussed the future of dispute resolution and gave them advice on how to refine their pitches as judging for the sponsorship bounties neared. I am extremely proud of these teams and hope that their projects become quintessential elements of the Kleros ecosystem in the near future.
Altogether, ETHDenver was a great success for Kleros with many connections being made with various teams and projects from every corner of the Ethereum ecosystem. What we are building has huge demand and from my interactions, I see explosive growth of our decentralized dispute resolution protocol in the years to come. Here’s to the next ETHDenver!