Recently, at Denver’s National Western Complex, thousands of people gathered for ETHDenver 2023 to discuss the state of the cryptocurrency industry and its prospects for the future. Since we announced the event, in this metaverse news, we arw going to inform you of what occurred there.
There were thousands of people in attendance at the National Western Complex in Denver for ETHDenver 2023, all interested in the state of the cryptocurrency industry and its potential for the future.
The main event drew 15,000 people, as reported by ETHDenver founder and executive steward John Paller.
Attendees at ETHDenver came from all walks of life, but many of the brightest minds in the crypto and Web3 communities were there to hear the latest student research and pitch their own projects.
In the development process, user satisfaction, security, and privacy are top priorities.
President of the Stanford Blockchain Accelerator Gil Rosen claims that current Web3 technology platforms are generally underperforming. The accelerator brings together blockchain industry founders who attended Stanford University and current students. These platforms, he said, are notoriously difficult to use, and it’s even harder to develop for them (particularly for complex applications).
Consequently, Rosen found that the majority of ETHDenver 2023’s student attendees were driven to create developer tools and methods that streamline the user experience and protect users’ privacy. “These features will enable future applications to be easily built and fully capable. This is what the teams that are part of the Stanford Blockchain Accelerator are primarily focused on this year,” he said.
Rosen gave the example of the Stanford “0xPass” team, which presented a demonstration of account abstraction at ETHDenver 2023 to illustrate how Web3 wallets could one day be controlled externally by smart contract code. Having this option available would free wallet owners from having to manually approve each transaction. ERC-4337 is a new standard that will allow for applications such as account abstraction.
Kun Peng, an adviser for 0xPass and a Stanford lecturer on Web3 entrepreneurship, said that 0xPass is different because it has created a software development kit (SDK) to make account abstraction implementation simpler, even though many projects were demonstrating how the ERC-4337 standard could be used for account abstraction. Specifically, he elaborated:
“This SDK will provide decentralized apps with a significantly better onboarding and authentication experience. As a result, the Web3 market will expand to ‘normies’ who don’t want to use wallets with private keys. Such a feature will allow the use of social logins for authentication, the same login for multiple wallets, password recovery and more.”
Such a function would enable the use of social logins for authentication, the synchronization of multiple wallets with a single login, the retrieval of lost passwords, and more.
There was a lot of talk at ETHDenver 2023 about zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs), which are gaining in significance. At the ZK-proofs-focused zkDAY Denver side event, the Stanford Modulus Labs group presented on zero-knowledge methods for verifying AI models. As AI becomes more commonplace, the use of cryptography to verify information’s accuracy will become increasingly crucial.
Modulus Labs’ CTO Ryan Cao says that the current smart-contract ecosystem doesn’t allow developers to create fully functional applications. He went on to explain how Modulus Labs had come up with a way to ensure offline computation complies with certain AI characteristics.
Cao, for instance, stated that Modulus had developed a proof of concept for a fully autonomous, on-chain trading bot that employs AI to foretell Ether prices.
As a result, Cao suggests, it might be possible for AI to make decisions in a cryptographically neutral manner. To quote what he had to say:
“At zkDAY we demonstrated an on-chain AI game called ‘Leela vs. the World,’ where players stake to compete against a hyper-intelligent AI chess bot. The game is fully on-chain, and the decisions of the AI bot are carefully verified by cryptography. In other words, players can bet with or against the game knowing that no one can secretly shift the outcome toward one’s favor.”
Therefore, players can bet for or against the game without worrying that the outcome will be tampered with.
Tianzuo Zhang’s efforts
Participants demonstrated a wide range of security methods, as well as privacy-enhancing applications built on top of ZK-proofs. Tianzuo Zhang, a master’s student at China’s Tsinghua University and a representative for the Algorand Foundation’s university program is working on a security defender application to mitigate potential attacks on decentralized applications (DApps).
Zhang disclosed that ETHDenver’s BUIDLWeek was the setting for the “HoneyDApp” project, one of the winners of the “OpenZeppelin Bounty” competition.
HoneyDApp uses Defender OpenZeppelin, a secure operations platform for smart contracts, according to Zhang. This allows HoneyDApp to detect and halt attacks on DApps. Zhang furthermore mentioned that the “honeypot” protocol can thwart attackers before they do significant damage.
Zhang argues that this sort of solution may be required because the widespread adoption of Web3 DApps has made them more susceptible to cyberattacks. HoneyDApp’s ability to detect, respond to, and defend against attacks makes it an essential component of any app’s security infrastructure. He said it reduces the risk to the project and limits the damage.
college students focused on Web3
Although many students showcased their solutions at this year’s ETHDenver, it is more likely that Web3 development courses taught in universities will spur creative advancement.
For instance, on July 10th of this year (2019), the University of California, Berkeley and Polkadot will launch the third installment of their “Polkadot Blockchain Academy” (PBA), which will continue until August 10th of the following year (2023). Polkadot is a third-generation web-centric blockchain initiative.
Pauline Cohen Vorms, co-founder of the Polkadot Blockchain Academy (PBA), told Cointelegraph that PBA has delivered lectures at the universities of Buenos Aires and Cambridge. She mentioned that for the first time ever, PBA courses are being offered at an American university.
According to Cohen Vorms, PBA’s goal is to guide and encourage the next generation of blockchain developers and engineers. She then went on to say that Gavin Wood, the man behind Polkadot and a co-founder of Ethereum, is in charge of the course material for PBA. It’s not just the Polkadot ecosystem that’s important to PBA. To this end, we intend to provide a robust blockchain and Web3 framework that can serve as the basis for a wide range of initiatives.
It’s difficult to foresee the specifics of the projects that PBA Berkeley students will work on, but Cohen Vorms has stated that classes will focus on cryptography fundamentals, governance alternatives, network interoperability, and developer tools for creating blockchains and parachains.
Rosen claims that Stanford undergraduates are primarily concerned with developing infrastructure, developer tools, security mitigation, and analytics tools for institutional and enterprise use cases, with an emphasis on simplification of the user experience. And he:
The vast majority of current Web3 developers are catering to the 90% of users and developers who are already utilizing this technology, many of whose use cases center around exchanges, decentralized finance, and social nonfungible tokens. The percentage of such users, however, is quite high at 10% of all new users. That’s why I think student developers, rather than catering to the crowd that was attracted by the recent bull market, should focus on more ambitious use cases right now.
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