From $ 72 billion to $ 28 billion – the value of Ethereum exploded in 2017.
Once rejected as another cryptocurrency, the protocol has been praised for its persistence in charting an innovative course in technology development. Indeed, for many investors, the conversation is now bitcoin and ether first, sign that it stands out from the wider asset class.
That said, there are still roadblocks between the Ethereum and its goal of realizing its value proposition and becoming a "global computer".
It's in this context that programmers and enthusiasts from all over the world come down this week in Cancún, Mexico, for Devcon's flagship protocol developer conference. An annual event, Devcon3 was sold in July and offers 128 sessions during its four-day program.
Several of the platform's most prominent technologists will be attending, including Vitalik Buterin, creator of the ethereum, Nick Johnson, developer of Ethereum Name Service (ENS) and Emin Gun Sirer, professor at the ### Cornell University, which will no doubt deal with urgent problems of the network.
A look at the calendar shows that ethereum developers have their heads on a variety of projects aimed at achieving the platform, with perhaps scalability and confidentiality , emerging as the big points of contact.
You do not arrive in Cancun? The Ethereum Foundation broadcasts the entire conference live.
With this in mind, CoinDesk compiled its list of the six main conferences to follow:
1. Casper the Friendly GHOST: A Correct Blockchain by Construction – Vlad Zamfir
Perhaps the most anticipated of the ethereum projects, Casper is looking to completely reconnect the Ethereum.
Vlad Zamfir, who conducts the experimental research of the Ethereum on the evidence of the stake, is one of the best equipped to talk about this subject, but he is also known for his To be arrested and not talk too much about his research. So this discussion could bring a much needed light on the reality of research.
In this sense, Zamfir told CoinDesk that he was going to "publish a lot of information" on his approach to proof of the issue in the near future, without giving specific details about what would happen.
2. Scaling Smart Contracts Ethereum – Joseph Poon
While moving the network toward proof of the issue being touted as a way to increase the efficiency of the network, this is not a quick fix for ethereum.
To support the number of users supported by Google and Facebook – the companies that ethereum developers want to replace one day with decentralized applications – the network will have to evolve dramatically.
With the etheric almost already at its limit, scaling off the channel is also a hot topic, and Joseph Poon, the co-creator of the Bitcoin Lightning Network scale solution , has an idea for ethereum
He will present Plasma, an off – channel scale solution that inspired Lightning.
3. Design of maximum audit of thin clients and sharding – Vitalik Buterin
Vitalik Buterin is sure to gather a crowd, and this session has the air of adding to the scaling discussions by talking about two budding technologies that he has studied .
One is the thin clients, which are a type of ethereum node that stores less ethereum data, which makes the nodes more efficient. The second is the sharding, a theoretical way of splitting the ethereum, so that users need to carry only part of the history of the blockchain, again a effort to make the use of the network less cumbersome.
With a healthy dose of power over the path the network will take, Buterin's ideas could be a sign of things to come on the etheric level in 2018 and beyond.
4. Fog: towards a decentralized and secure architecture – Everton Fraga and Victor Maia
Meanwhile, once the basic infrastructure stuck, there has been an important research on how users might one day interact with ethereum.
Mist, the user interface sponsored by the Ethereum Foundation and the one that has the most users, is described as a way to browse the decentralized applications (dapps). By starting efforts to design a light and fast user interface, developers are proactively planning a future where ethereum creates dapps to compete with Google and centralized social media platforms.
Ethereum developers Everton Fraga and Victor Maia will inform users of the direction that they deem best for the portfolio.
5. ZK-SNARK Conference Series
Another major theme of the conference is privacy, and by showing just how much the etéeum developers believe it, zk-snarks – the privacy technology used on the anonymous crypto-currency zcash – receives a whole series of conferences.
Extending over five conferences, the progress made here is particularly noteworthy since the ethereum developers recently took a small (but bold) step toward adding privacy technology to the platform.
Representatives of Zcash Company will talk about state-of-the-art cryptography that protects more data than any other process currently, which many believe is essential for more heavyweights, such as institutions use the network.
6. Whisper: Reaching Darkness – Vlad Gluhovsky
Whisper, ironically, is one of the quietest projects of the ethereum.
While it's supposed to make messages between ethereum nodes and the private network – a popular topic for ethereum today – it still needs to attract a lot of attention. Although, this does not mean that it is considered an inessential element; The promoter of the Ethereum Foundation, Victor Tron, went so far as to call it one of the three elements of the "Holy Trinity" of the Ethereum.
In this talk, developer Vlad Gluhovsky could give us a glimpse of the evolution of the Whisper protocol.
As coders are often considered as reserved when it comes to disclosing information about their work, the transparency here and throughout the conference will likely be a culmination of Devcon this year. And with the peak of outside interest for ethereum, it will be interesting to see if what the developers have planned fits the enthusiasm.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which owns an interest in Zcash Company, the for-profit corporation behind zcash.
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