Last week, the EthCC conference in Paris brought together a wide variety of Web3 builders from all over the world. The conference hosted panels, keynotes, and industry announcements, with side events and conversations focused on the future of blockchain applications.
We’ve rounded up the highlights and key trends you may have missed from EthCC and Celo’s Co:OPERATE event – as well as our takeaways from the conference.
Celo is “coming home” to Ethereum - The Celo Foundation announced their new proposal to transition Celo from being an independent EVM-compatible Layer 1 blockchain to an Ethereum Layer 2 at this year’s EthCC.
Web3 needs more “truly great” mobile experiences - Only 5% of the world has touched crypto, but 85% own a smartphone. Building great Web3 products “for all” starts with building for the devices people use.
Infrastructure is important - but so is building for real people - While there was a general trend for building new infrastructure at this year’s conference, the key takeaway for our team was the need for an industry shift back to focusing on the user experience.
1. Celo is coming home to ETH
The Celo Foundation kicked off EthCC with one of their most important announcements in years: Celo is “coming home” to Ethereum.
On July 15th, the Foundation submitted a proposal to transition Celo from being an independent EVM-compatible Layer 1 blockchain to an Ethereum Layer 2. The proposal follows months of research by the cLabs team and new technical developments that make it possible.
Celo founders Rene Reinsberg and Marek Olszewski introduced the new proposal at ETHGlobal, Pragma, and in workshops during the Celo Foundation’s 3-day Co: OPERATE programming - receiving widespread excitement from the Ethereum community and positive feedback from big names like Joseph Lubin and Vitalik.
2. Web3 Needs More “Truly Great” Mobile Experiences
Valora CEO and co-founder Jackie Bona kicked off Mobile Day at Celo's Co:OPERATE event with her keynote, “What Web3 needs to offer a truly great mobile experience.” Speaking from her experience founding and leading Valora, Jackie described the challenges, opportunities, and lessons from “building for all” in Web3.
Jackie started the keynote by pointing out that less than 5% of the world today has touched crypto - although 50% of the world owns desktop devices, and 85% of the world owns a smartphone. If our goal is Prosperity for All and building for global adoption, crypto (or Web3) needs to build experiences designed for the devices the world uses.
To do this, she highlighted our experiences and lessons from building Valora:
Make onboarding easy. Design choices at Valora have focused on making it as simple and easy as possible for people to get started, with recent changes and experiments focused on guiding people to their goals - faster.
Make it engaging. Crypto experiences should make it easy, fun, and relevant to engage with new applications. In Valora, decentralized applications with the highest engagement have included games like Ipermatch - and gamified savings applications like HaloFi.
Internationalize. It’s no secret - Valora takes pride in the way we’ve carefully localized our in-app experience - and it’s working. Today, nearly 50% of our community engages with Valora in languages other than English. Web3 and crypto applications are complicated enough without the additional difficulty of a language barrier. App interfaces and content should be designed to accommodate this.
Finally, Web3 still has challenges, but there are so many opportunities on the road ahead. We look forward to announcing new updates and features like native actions and shortcuts coming soon to the app - stay tuned.
3. Infrastructure is important - but so is building for real people
Overall, our team couldn’t help but agree with Nader’s takeaway that a large portion of EthCC seemed to be building “slightly different infrastructure protocols,” with far fewer people building apps at this year’s conference. Of course, that can be a reflection of the market right now, but while the level of innovation at the conference was inspiring, we were left eager to see more projects leveraging web3 technology to solve real problems and improve the accessibility of crypto for new audiences.
Mobile Day at Co:OPERATE felt like an interesting exception to this, with a distinct focus on improving UX and mobile applications. In his panel, “The Web3 Wish List: Dapps, Protocols, and Products we’re still waiting for,” Valora CTO Silas Boyd-Wickizer was particularly impressed with Squid - a solution making cross-chain swaps as easy and accessible as possible for everyone. As he described - taking something often complicated, like cross-chain swaps, and making it simple for everyday people, is the type of advancement we hope to see more of.
Conversations around balancing privacy and security vs. ease of use were similarly important examples of where innovation and design choices have real-world effects. Good design isn’t just about ease of use - as builders, we have a responsibility to design products that consider and support the kind of future we want to live in. This can take the form of mitigating climate and social externalities with ReFi or proactive approaches to privacy and security, like cloud backup.
Overall we left grateful to be building in such a vibrant space with so many brilliant people from all over the world - and we’re particularly thankful for the partners we were lucky enough to meet up and collaborate with during this year’s conference:
Thank you to Ramp for offering free, first-time cash-ins with Valora throughout this year’s EthCC conference.
Thank you to Flywallet, and congratulations to the winners of our travel giveaway. If you haven’t yet, check out our recent blog post to explore how you can now use your valora wallet to upgrade your travel (and start saving before August 1 for a 10% discount).
Thank you to Bidali, and congratulations to the winner of our summer vacation giveaway!
Thank you to the Celo Foundation for hosting 3 days of engaging, ReFi-focused content, conversation, and collaboration at this year’s Co:OPERATE.
We’re excited to keep building and growing the Valora community around the world and to support our dapp partners in making crypto accessible for everyone. If you have photos, or takeaways we missed, tag us in your favorite lessons from EthCC. And if you’re a builder or dapp developer interested in partnering with Valora, reach out to us at email@example.com.
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