The EthCC Experience

Did you get FOMO from missing EthCC? We got you covered.
Jul 26, 20214 min read

Dear Bankless Nation,

I just got back from Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) in Paris, and my goodness what an experience it was.

After 15 months of being without a physical conference, the energy of the Ethereum community exploded into the real world during this three-day conference in the heart of Europe.

The last EthCC event was hosted at the same venue and was the final in-person Ethereum event before the COVID19 lockdowns began.

Roughly 15 months later, EthCC #4 picked up where the last one left off…so one of the big themes of the event was everyone asking the question “where are we at now?”.

Let’s remind ourselves how long 15 months are in crypto-terms…

Ethereum’s first block was mined on July 30th, 2015. That was six years ago. Ethereum just went 15 out of 72 months of its lifespan without an in-person conference (that’s 20% of the network’s life!). This in an industry that frequently jokes about how 1 year in crypto equals 10 in the real world.

Naturally, there was so much to catch up on.

Some of the big themes that stood out to me:

  • Non-technical too. The talks are becoming increasingly non-technical. As an ecosystem, we have been able to expand the definition of what it means to be a buidler into non-coders. Creator economy advocates and NFT artists are now part of what it means to be a builder in this space.
  • Not just theoretical. Ethereum conferences are no longer hosting talks about theoretical use-cases, or projects pitching their first product, but have moved into projects pitching their next products, or the next evolution of their apps.
  • It’s not just about DeFi any more.
  • In-person is important. The importance of being in-person was espoused and appreciated by everyone.

If you didn’t attend EthCC there’s lots to catch up on. Fortunately, all the talks are available on YouTube, and we’ve curated a list of our recommended talks at the end of this post.

Even better…we just put out The EthCC Experience podcast.

While at the conference, I went around and interviewed short ~15 minute interviews some of Ethereum’s best community leaders to ask them all the same question…

What was your EthCC Experience?

This episode is the ultimate cure to your EthCC FOMO.


  1. Vitalik Buterin- Just some guy
  2. Stani Kulechov - Founder of Aave
  3. Kain Warwick - Founder of Synthetix
  4. Jerome de Techey - Founder/Organizer of EthCC
  5. Aya Miyaguchi - Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation
  6. Cooper Turley - DAO & Creator Economy Maximalist
  7. Simona Pop - Community Strategist at Status
  8. Joseph Delong - SushiSwap Lead Dev
  9. Jordi Baylina - Lead Dev at Hermez Network

The Night Scene

The actual EthCC conference was only half of EthCC. Every day featured numerous after parties. It was fun watching everyone play the coordination game of “Hey, which event are you going to tonight?

Every evening there were events from 6pm to 2am…and you could only go to one at a time. It felt like my college days. 👴🏻

Aave threw a Rave 😎

Even with all the after-parties… the highlight of the show was definitely rAAVE. Aave had a booth at EthCC, and it was seemingly designed to inspire FOMO in those who forgot to get tickets to rAAVE. I asked Stani in the EthCC podcast about where the inspiration for rAAVE came from, and he said that he wanted to throw it during Bitcoin Miami, but couldn’t pull it off in time.

Which was for the best, because rAAVE was a blast!

All said and done, rAAVE was a blast.

The Importance of Real Life

Crypto has always had an “IRL Problem”. This industry is an internet-native industry, built by internet-native people. The whole point of crypto is to move more and more things away from physical atoms and into digital bits.

But, at the end of the day, we are humans. One of my favorite clips from the EthCC Experience interviews I did was Stani from Aave, who talked about how Ethereum has attracted entirely new audiences into the space, and how we’ve expanded from just “nerds who are excited about decentralization, and grown into a community that looks like a society.”

Check it out 👇

The point of the crypto revolution is to change the world, and the world is a physical place.

What Stani is saying, and what I saw at EthCC is the early tremors of Ethereum actually reorganizing how the physical world works. To me, the 15 month break between the EthCC conferences marks the beginning of Ethereum moving from an internet-only phenomenon to a global, physical revolution in society.

This is why conferences are so popular in this industry; they are how the crypto community instantiates itself in the real world, impacts local economies (flights, hotels, restaurants), and leaves a trail of commerce and ideas in its wake.

The best of ETHCC

All EthCC videos are available on YouTube, although their organization is a little difficult to navigate. The videos are separated into two different youtube channels, depending on which room the talks were hosted in (this was due to the need to be live streaming multiple feeds, hence why they are living in two different places.

  1. Vitalik Buterin: Things That Matter Outside of DeFi
  2. Aya Miyaguchi: Growing the Infinite Garden
  3. Paul Vienhage: One Council to Rule Them All; Defeating Voter Fatigue and Apathy with New Governance Primitives
  4. Kain Warwick: DAO-first capital formation
  5. Karl Floresch: Degens for Public Goods
  6. Kevin Owocki: It’s All Coordination
  7. Joseph Delong: Sushi Next Generation AMM
  8. Ashleigh Schapp: Uniswap, DeFi, and the Future of Consumer Finance
  9. Harry Halpin: Privacy for End Users; Transparency for the Infrastructure - the NYM Approach to Privacy
  10. Stani Kulechov: The Power of Credit Delegation

We’ve said it before: Crypto culture is tight.

And EthCC was evidence of that.

- David

P.S. Scroll to the end of today’s newsletter for my favorite pictures from ETHCC.


Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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