College college students reveal new Web3 options at ETHDenver 2023

1000’s of attendees just lately gathered at Denver’s Nationwide Western Advanced for ETHDenver 2023 to study concerning the present and future cryptocurrency ecosystem. 

John Paller, founder and government steward of ETHDenver, advised Cointelegraph that 15,000 ticketholders attended ETHDenver’s essential occasion.

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Whereas ETHDenver attracted a various crowd, many college students from main universities attended the occasion, showcasing new options to advance the crypto and Web3 sector.

Devs concentrate on UX, safety and privateness

Gil Rosen, president of the Stanford Blockchain Accelerator — a program that connects Stanford College college students and alumni founders within the blockchain area — advised Cointelegraph that he believes present Web3 expertise platforms are usually non-performant. “These platforms usually lack privateness preservation, are extraordinarily difficult to develop on (particularly complicated functions), and are much more complicated to make use of,” he mentioned.

Given this, Rosen talked about that scholar attendees at ETHDenver 2023 appeared to be centered on constructing developer instruments, and options to simplify consumer expertise and privateness. “These options will allow future functions to be simply constructed and totally succesful. That is what the groups which might be a part of the Stanford Blockchain Accelerator are primarily centered on this 12 months,” he mentioned.

Scholar builders at ETHDenver 2023. Photograph credit score: Tim Gillies

For instance, Rosen famous that Stanford’s “0xPass” workforce was current at ETHDenver 2023 to display how account abstraction could possibly be used sooner or later to allow Web3 wallets to be externally managed by sensible contract code. Such a function would imply that pockets house owners would not should log out on each transaction. The launch of the brand new ERC-4337 normal is ready to allow use instances like account abstraction.

Kun Peng, an adviser for 0xPass and a Stanford lecturer on Web3 entrepreneurship, advised Cointelegraph that whereas a number of tasks had been demonstrating how the ERC-4337 normal could possibly be used for account abstraction, 0xPass is exclusive as a result of it has constructed a software program growth equipment (SDK) to simplify account abstraction implementation. He elaborated:

“This SDK will present decentralized apps with a considerably higher onboarding and authentication expertise. Because of this, the Web3 market will develop to ‘normies’ who don’t need to use wallets with personal keys. Such a function will permit the usage of social logins for authentication, the identical login for a number of wallets, password restoration and extra.”

Whereas enabling higher pockets experiences has turn into essential, zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs) had been additionally closely mentioned at ETHDenver 2023. For instance, the Modulus Labs Stanford workforce spoke at zkDAY Denver — a aspect occasion centered on ZK-proofs — about zero-knowledge approaches to confirm synthetic intelligence (AI) fashions. As AI turns into extra extensively used, verifying correct data utilizing cryptography will turn into essential.

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Ryan Cao, chief expertise officer of Modulus Labs, advised Cointelegraph that functions constructed on the prevailing smart-contract ecosystem are restricted of their capabilities. He defined that Modulus Labs had constructed an answer to allow offline computation to be verified as conforming to sure AI traits.

Ryan Cao, chief expertise officer of Modulus Labs at zkDAY Denver. Supply: Modulus Labs

For instance, Cao defined that Modulus had constructed a proof-of-concept that could be a totally autonomous, on-chain buying and selling bot powered by AI that may make predictions concerning the worth of Ether (ETH). In accordance with Cao, this might allow cryptographically honest AI decision-making. He mentioned: 

“At zkDAY we demonstrated an on-chain AI sport referred to as ‘Leela vs. the World,’ the place gamers stake to compete in opposition to a hyper-intelligent AI chess bot. The sport is totally on-chain, and the selections of the AI bot are rigorously verified by cryptography. In different phrases, gamers can guess with or in opposition to the sport figuring out that nobody can secretly shift the end result towards one’s favor.”

Along with privateness functions utilizing ZK-proofs, members demonstrated various safety options. Tianzuo Zhang, a grasp’s scholar at Tsinghua College in China and a scholar ambassador for the Algorand Basis’s college program, advised Cointelegraph he’s constructing a safety defender software to mitigate the harm that decentralized functions (DApps) may face from varied safety threats.

Often known as “HoneyDApp,” Zhang shared that the undertaking was one of many winners of the “OpenZeppelin Bounty” competitors, which was hosted throughout ETHDenver’s BUIDLWeek.

In accordance with Zhang, HoneyDApp makes use of Defender OpenZeppelin — a safe operations platform for sensible contracts — to detect and establish assaults in opposition to DApps. As well as, Zhang famous that the “honeypot” protocol may entice attackers earlier than they will trigger any important hurt.

Such an answer could also be essential, as Zhang defined that the dangers of cyberattacks and vulnerabilities have gotten extra frequent with the rise of Web3 DApps. “HoneyDApp turns into essential, because it gives a proactive safety resolution that may detect, reply to and defend in opposition to assaults. It limits harm and reduces danger to the undertaking,” he mentioned.

College students centered on Web3

Whereas many college students demonstrated options at ETHDenver this 12 months, college applications centered on Web3 development will doubtless push innovation ahead.

For instance, Polkadot — a Web3-focused blockchain undertaking — will launch its third iteration of the “Polkadot Blockchain Academy” (PBA) with the College of California, Berkeley, from July 10 via Aug. 10, 2023.

Pauline Cohen Vorms, head of the Polkadot Blockchain Academy, advised Cointelegraph that PBA has beforehand carried out programs on the College of Cambridge and the College of Buenos Aires. She famous that that is the primary time PBA programs can be taught at a college in the US.

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Polkadot Blockchain Academy on the College of Buenos Aires. Supply: Polkadot Blockchain Academy

In accordance with Cohen Vorms, PBA goals to teach and assist the following technology of blockchain engineers and builders. She added that PBA’s curriculum is led by Gavin Wooden, founding father of Polkadot and a co-founder of Ethereum. “PBA doesn’t solely concentrate on the Polkadot ecosystem. Our intent is to offer a powerful basis of blockchain and Web3 that may be utilized to totally different tasks.” 

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Whereas it’s troublesome to foretell what college students will concentrate on constructing at PBA in Berkeley, Cohen Vorms shared that programs will concentrate on cryptography fundamentals, governance choices, interoperability between blockchain networks and instruments obtainable to assist builders construct their very own blockchains and parachains.

Rosen added that college students at Stanford are primarily centered on constructing infrastructure, developer instruments, and safety and analytics mitigation instruments for institutional and enterprise use instances, all whereas specializing in the simplification of the consumer expertise. He added:

“Most builders right now are constructing for the 90% of present Web3 customers and builders whose use instances had been usually exchanges, decentralized finance and social nonfungible tokens. However these will doubtless characterize 10% of future customers. Due to this fact I consider that scholar builders have to concentrate on the broader use instances now, and never be as centered on the present consumer base that was interested in the final bull market.”