What is the Ethereum development community busy with? 5 things I learned from attending the Ethereum DevConnect conference

I just got back from the Ethereum DevConnect conference in Amsterdam.

DevConnect is organized by the Ethereum Foundation with the goal of bringing all Ethereum developers together in one place so they can synchronize their progress.

At last week’s meeting, I saw what can be described as amazing progress. Not only progress from ETH core developers and client teams, but also from surrounding ecosystem participants. The L2 team synchronizes technical progress at the L2 summit, and DeFi projects issue bonuses on the Hackathon. The Web2 to Web3 bootcamp supports new developers in StarkNet, zkRollups, IPFS, light client technologies, and more.

I’ve been to a lot of conferences over the past 18 months, and this one is different. People are constantly building new things here.

In a chat with ethereum developer Alex Stokes, he said, “We completed the All-Core-Dev call that would have taken months in the space of a week.”

DevConnect is awesome??‍♂️?

I’ve learned a lot during this amazing week and want to share it all with you here.

Here are my 5 takeaways from DevConnect?

MEV issue is critical

One of the highlights of DevConnect is the MEV.day event.

All the greatest minds come together to discuss: How are we going to deal with the massive MEV problem that is quietly growing?

Justin Drake – the maximalist in cryptography – talks about how to solve all MEV problems with cryptography.

Vitalik Buterin was also on hand, speaking on Block Proposer-Builder Separation (PBS), Danksharding and MEV in ETH 2. Most of the content is beyond my imagination, so I still need some time to digest.

Hasu also gave a talk, but remotely (though he was rumored to be there).

MEV on ETH2: MEV-boost, PBS, Danksharding… how does it all fit together?

Phil Daian, who first discovered the existence of MEVs, published a post titled “MEVs…what’s next?” ” presentation on the current state of MEV.

According to Phil…the MEV situation is very bad.

I took 5 slides from his talk and added summaries to each:

What is the Ethereum development community busy with? 5 things I learned from attending the Ethereum DevConnect conference

Ethereum developers are working hard, no one is fishing

As the name DevConnect suggests: all developers gather in one place and connect.

Everyone I spoke to at DevConnect totally thought so:

  • Amsterdam is an amazing city.
  • Everyone has done a lot of work here.

It’s surreal to see Danny Ryan, Justin Drake, Vitalik, Dankrad, Preston Van Loon, and many other core developers, client developers, and researchers all huddled together in one room, looking at a whiteboard or monitor.

What is the Ethereum development community busy with? 5 things I learned from attending the Ethereum DevConnect conference

What is the Ethereum development community busy with? 5 things I learned from attending the Ethereum DevConnect conference

“Ethereum Protocol R&D on DevConnect Day 2, 4 parallel working groups: EIP-444, Portal Network, Stateless Ethereum, Proposer-Creator Separation. Full of energy on site.”

I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard a “shadow fork” succeeded (developers fork the main ethereum chain for a “practice ETH2.0 merge”).

Everyone knows that there is an imminent “merger” in Ethereum, but there are many other aspects of Ethereum that are developing.

Ethereum development is solving many problems at the same time, making this live workshop a valuable time to communicate with each other about development work in all directions.

The L2 war is heating up???

While ETH developers are focused on The Merge and Beyond, various L2 teams are equally under the spotlight.

Dankrad Feist gave a presentation outlining the 6 big checkboxes that L2 all need to deal with. Every major L2 team was present and Dankrad spoke about what still needs to be done in the L2 ecosystem, which was very helpful.

Here is Dankrad’s L2 “Big Five” list:

  • Parallel execution (1 cpu core → many cpu cores = faster Rollup)
  • Support for light clients (Rollup nodes have no data center)
  • Make scalable escape hatches (user authorization and sovereignty)
  • Business development (need to add business use cases)
  • Figure out governance (tokens?? but how??)

Next up was Bartek from L2beat.com, who presented the “Risk Framework” in his presentation, working to define and set standards for L2’s variables.

Conclusions from these two background setting discussions:

  • The L2s team is doing the work set
  • These are non-trivial questions, but we already know the way forward. All that’s left is execution.

This all sets the stage for the upcoming L2 war. With all the progress L2 has made on this front, there will be competition and positioning to prove who goes the furthest on this list.

In Bartek’s presentation, he discussed various risks and gaps in the current state of L2s. Every “unfinished” aspect of L2 leaves gaps in user safety, and these “gaps” are not 1:1 equal between rollups; each different rollup design has its own unique risks, even if they largely fall into the same category.

For example, last September Bartek mentioned a 12-hour sequencer downtime incident at Arbitrum, which happened to happen during Solana’s 17-hour downtime, allowing us to compare the differences between L1 and L2 downtime attributes.

The entire crypto Twitter community and the Ethereum community are echoing “use L2, if the sequencer goes down, you can still use L1 for L2 transactions!”.

L2s are like escalators: when they break, they become stairs. But you can still use them.

When Bartek discussed the issue, he said: “People think that when there is downtime, you can still transact on Arbitrum…but that’s wrong: you can’t, because the L2 ecosystem isn’t done yet.

I sat in front of the members of the Arbitrum team and heard murmurs of displeasure and disapproval from Bartek’s statement. Finally, someone shouted, “It’s not true!” When discussing with the other L2 teams, they said “it’s actually true,” which directly refers to what Bartek said:

We don’t have a risk framework or standard to discuss differences in L2 Rollup design, which is why we disagree on what’s real and what’s not.

Bartek is clearly passionate about it, check out L2beat.com’s risk page and you can see all the various risk vectors for L2, and the various levels of assurance that L2 provides (or doesn’t!) for failure scenarios.

Bartek’s Twitter thread update on the conversation

All in all, everyone knows that L2 2022 is coming, and L2 teams will be competing for idea share and market share…because everyone agrees:

It’s time for the L2 to shine.

EVM equivalence is required

EVM equivalence isn’t the focus of DevConnect…but it should be.

The MEV team is focused on MEVs. Ethereum developers focus on Ethereum. The L2 team is focused on L2.

At the same time, I focused on this concept called “EVM equivalence” and it’s stuck in my head right now.

During the DeFi summer, Ethereum’s network effects stopped growing when gas consistently exceeded 300 gwei. This is the moment when Ethereum becomes a whale chain and new users are pushed to other chains.

Some went to L2 like Polygon and later Arbitrum went live in September. Many opt for an EVM-compatible L1, such as Avalanche or Fantom. Others have opted for new chains with entirely new non-EVM standards, such as Solana or Terra.

Everyone went to the non-EVM equivalent chain except those who stayed on Ethereum L1.

Of course, Polygon and Arbitrum are Ethereum L2 compatible with EVM, adding to Ethereum’s network effects and sharing Ethereum’s security.

But EVM compatibility is still at odds with the network effects of EVM, undermining the network effects that globalize Ethereum.

If we want to pick up where the DeFi summer 2020 left off, we need EVM equivalence.

Only with an ecosystem of EVM-equivalent ORUs can we continue to expand the network effects of EVMs. EVM compatibility alone doesn’t cut it.

Thankfully, Optimism has been doing this since October of last year, and Arbitrum is starting to follow Nitro’s lead.

My point is: EVM compatibility is dead; either use a full EVM equivalent such as Optimism or Arbitrum, or just build a whole new execution environment without the technical baggage of EVM.

This is a new concept for me, but I’m getting into exploring.

Insufficient talent

Everyone is hiring, and the talent pool isn’t growing fast enough to keep up with demand.

Basically, every team and company presenting at DevConnect wants to 2x the size of their development team, but simply doesn’t have enough talent to recruit.

If you have the skills needed to work for an L2 team or become a protocol developer, or generally only work in open source software, you may already be working for one of these companies and getting paid very well.

And these teams have no other Web2 talent pool to draw inspiration from.

The talent that really needs to help at the frontier of R&D is very specific, and it’s likely that this kind of talent has been in the field for a long time.

We need talented engineers from Web2 to quit what they’re doing, lock themselves in a basement for a few months, go down the rabbit hole of encrypted networking, and then re-emerge as viable talent for a Web3 company.

I asked Bartek to describe what he needed for L2Beat.com; here is what he said:

What are people waiting for? ?

Then, we need these new talents not to be corroded by the massive capital accumulated by those involved in unethical and network-destabilizing MEV extraction.

final harvest

The slime mold nature of Ethereum was demonstrated at this week’s conference in Amsterdam. Ethereum is relentlessly developing in all aspects at the same time.

What is the Ethereum development community busy with? 5 things I learned from attending the Ethereum DevConnect conference

When there is so much brain power devoted to something, everything is unstoppable.

Unlike what I’ve heard about other conferences (where the minds of attendees are full of money), in DevConnect’s environment, passionate builders are working hard to solve some of the hardest problems in crypto, solving those other ecosystems even Too lazy to think about the issues that underlie the longevity of the industry

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/what-is-the-ethereum-development-community-busy-with-5-things-i-learned-from-attending-the-ethereum-devconnect-conference/
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