ETH Denver 2024: Unpacked, Unraveled, and Unforgettable!

Ankita Verma

March 8, 2024

A recap of ETH Denver 2023 vs. 2024 showcases the shift from product-building to relationship-building, with observations on market dynamics, hot themes like AI in Web3, BTC Layer 2, interoperability, restaking, security, and notable encounters with industry figures and projects, emphasizing the vibrancy and diversity of the Web3 ecosystem.

ETH Denver 2024: Unpacked, Unraveled, and Unforgettable!

Hello Fam!

I’m back from ETH Denver, and boy, what a ride! Spent the last couple of days soaking in the vibes, meeting customers & partners, and having so many great conversations! Funny story, I didn’t book my tickets until 2 days before the main event. Then FOMO kicked in, friends and well-wishers started to shame me for not going,  and the rest, as they say, is history….

Now, let's dive into the good stuff. I'll spill the tea on the themes and the exciting products &  interesting folks I met. Quick heads up, I only hit the main events for three days (Feb 29, Mar 1, Mar 2), so consider this a teaser, not the whole movie.

But first things first, let's address the burning question - How did the "peak bear market" ETH Denver 2023 differ from the 'almost-bull market" ETH Denver 2024?

First, let me tell you a little back story - Back in Feb 2023, Persona was still in its awkward phase, with no launched product, just feeling the waters. We participated in the ETH Denver hackathon and presented the “on-chain personalization” product (imagine OpenSea – but the feed personalized to your on-chain wallet activity). The goal was to get feedback on how the privacy and anonymity-first Web3 community reacted to the idea of data-based personalization (this ultimately paved the way for Persona’s core value proposition of hyper-personalized Ads). As you can imagine, we spent most of our time at the main event - either building or checking out booths!

Fast forward to now, we have a thriving product and top customers working with us. So, this time, it was all about relationship-building, hitting up those side events and small-group get-togethers (also, probably a sign of me getting wiser, realizing deep talks beat 200 Telegram handle exchanges any day!).

Well, with that context, I will dive right into ETH Denver 2023, vs ETH Denver 2024:

What changed:

More side events, flashier ones (the Base Hologram DJ night had a 1.5-hour wait - dedication, right?)

More VC-backed events, because of bull run?

More shilling, because bull run?

More free goodies at the booths, and free food + booze at the side events because bull run?

What didn't change: The main event energy was surprisingly similar to last year. Proof that Web3 builders build, no matter the market conditions!

Conclusion: Builders rock! The amount of free giveaways is a better indicator of the market than developer enthusiasm. 🎉

I also expected a lot more mad euphoria at the event (like ETH 2022) but either people are being cautious (which I am not complaining about) or it's the calm before the storm!

The longest queue of the event at ZK Sync Booth giving out free hoodies & joggers! (Priorities, people!)

Now, let's talk about the hot themes and observations. Spoiler alert - when there are more than 5 themes, there are no clear themes!!

  1. AI meets Web3: No surprises here! Ritual, Bittensor, Gensyn AI, – these names are buzzing with people talking about decentralized AI & compute.
  2. BTC L2: BTC L2 made a grand entrance. Does it work? Unclear. Will money pour in? Absolutely.
  3. Interoperability across chains: Everyone wants to be able to natively swap across chains without hurdles so they can pursue the hot opportunities in the market when they pop up.
  4. Farcaster & Frames: Duh!
  5. Restaking: Eigne Layer is hot! Opinions on restaking widely range from 1/its the future, to 1/ it’s important but won't capture value, to 3/ it’s just a ponzi!
  6. BTC on ETH: Bridges are being built, and it's getting interesting.
  7. Roll-ups and Agg layers: Scaling talks everywhere. Parallelization (e.g. Solana, Monad) allows network throughput to increase. L2 Rollups (Arbitrum, Optimism, Avalanche) inherit security from the parent network while pushing “work” onto a new network.
  8. Security: A flurry of activity in the security domain - with multiple dedicated side events and recurring discussions on decentralized cloud security (OpSec), automated smart contract audits, transaction verifications, SIM Swap prevention…
  9. Bera Chain and Base Chain are buzzing: Seriously, everyone’s talking about them. They hosted hot side events and Base had one of the biggest booths at the main event.
  10. Public goods funding: Much-needed! Check out the Tea protocol that allows open-source developers to get rewarded for their contributions.

Team Matcha performing a hilarious skit on Sandwich Attack!

Now, shoutout time to some amazing folks I crossed paths with in Denver. Among the sea of faces (some familiar, some new), here are a few standouts:

“Hands were up not only for the📈 Bitcoin/ETH bull run but for the delicious three-course meal 😋” – Ryan Ing, Superlink
  1. Ryan Ing and Matt Winn from Superlink –organized an intimate (and delicious) dinner for 16 Web3 Consumer CEOs and Product Leaders. I had some of the most real and in-depth conversations here.
  2. Peter Denton and the groundbreaking work he is doing in the messaging space as Head of Growth at XMTP. Additionally, we had a deep talk about hiring better, being a good coach, and setting the right expectations with the team, among other things. 😊
  3. Yannick Folla and how, at Oamo, they allow users to know the true value of their data!
  4. Will McCormick and his insights from scaling Robinhood Crypto.
  5. Jackie Bora and her experience building Valora, the “Venmo” for crypto. Cross-border real-time payment, in my opinion, is one of the strongest crypto use cases, and Jackie and the team are making it happen!
  6. Blake from Myosin and his unfiltered thoughts on Web3 Ads, Web2 vs. Web3 audience, Solana vs. Polygon, and much more.
  7. Reza from NFT Pay and how they are making off-ramp and on-ramp friction-free for end users.
  8. Abi from Zerion and how they are emerging as one of the coolest Web3 wallets.
  9. Justin from Safary, the amazing growth community he is building, and his recent move from SF to NYC.
  10. Yingzi and how she finds America meh compared to Europe. She famously said – “well, what can I possibly find in the ski resorts of Denver that I haven’t already seen in the Alps.” Well, fair point. 😊
  11. Julie from the Tako Protocol, a monetization layer of social capital built on decentralized social networks, including Farcaster, Lens, etc. Julie flew from Hong Kong and speaks 7 languages.
  12. Anjali Young, the founder of, and her experience building one of the most popular community management tools in Web3.
  13. Kevin Acke who is building hardware wallets at
  14. Emanuele from the Linea team and the growth, marketing, and branding initiatives they are taking.
  15. Beefy team and their experience building a Decentralized, Multichain Yield Optimizer that allows its users to earn compound interest on their crypto holdings.
  16. TJ Keel from the Consensys team (well, everyone knows Consensys)!
  17. Damian from the Comms & Marketing team at Aori – the order book protocol.
  18. Sanchal and the proof-of-time consensus protocol they are building at Analog and their impressive fund-raising stories.
  19. Siddharth and the Marlin team building decentralized and trustless compute. Bonus: Sid’s super funny take on fund-raising in Web3.
  20. Other old friends like Conrad (Chainlink), Preetam Rao (future of smart contract security at Quill Audits), Nathan Kim (Marketing, Unopnd), Venky (Intract), Amit (Web3GG).......

And the list goes on!

That brings me to the end of this post. For more ETH Denver goodness, the talks are uploaded on YouTube. Until next time, keep building!🫱🏻‍🫲🏻

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