Key takeaways from BlockDown Croatia 2022

BlockDown Conference, in the beautiful Croatian city of Sibenik, covered topics from NFTs to DeFI, from gaming to DAOs and presented protocols from all blockchain spectrum: Ethereum, Polkadot, Cosmos and beyond.

TL;DR

  • Crypto tokens found applications not only in art, finance & payments, gaming or social participation, but also sparked utilization of goodness.
  • NFTs and metaverse are a new economy with play-to-earn, NFTs renting or NFT-auth. NFTs worth $160 million disappear every year.
  • #EthereumKillersRace is heating up with Moonbeam (on Polkadot) and Evmos (on Cosmos) opening new scalability and interoperability frontiers.
  • A good time will not last forever. Raise more money than needed.
  • Mass adoption is simple. Ask degens for crypto advice.

Introduction: Token Utilisation

There are plenty of tokens (sometimes called coins): crypto-currencies, stablecoins, NFTs, … What is the purpose of so many tokens?

  1. Utilization of finance & payment
    This is what Satoshi proposed in his famous whitepaper — a payment system without an intermediary (such as banks) and called this network— Bitcoin.
    With Ethereum enabling smart contacts, DeFi started (and eliminated of any form of intermediaries in any kind of financial service)
  2. Utilization of Art & Beauty
    Artists from all over the world via the NFTs marketplace get immediate access to a global audience in day 0. Art — social and democratized.
  3. Utilization of Social Participation
    Who hasn’t heard about DAOs — decentralized anonymous organization. Having a (democratic) organization hasn’t been easier in history.
  4. Utilization of Experimentation & Gaming
    Play-to-end or NFT-authentication to gaming.
  5. Utilization of Ethics & Goodness
    NFT-artists buying NFTs of new-comments to support them, devs from any chains and protocols sharing their hands-on experience with anybody … blockchain brought back the generosity… Huge thanks to @sreyeMnayR for pointing this out!

NFTs and metaverse…

Metaverse is much more than just logging with NFT to a game hosted on AwS. It was never easier to build a new on-chain game. RMRK.app with its framework is here to help. And when you need to borrow NFT, go to reNFT.

Watch out — NFTs worth millions disappear every year

Blockchain is famous for keeping the full history of each transaction from its beginning — the genesis block — until today. Actually, each blockchain node is storing this history. How is it then possible that every year NFTs worth over $160mn disappear?

Storing data in the blockchain is expensive. NFTs solve this problem by storing in the blockchain only an absolute minimum of information — link to the meta-file, which is somewhere (in the cloud) outside of blockchain. Those metafiles contain more NTF-related information such as link to files with media. Those media files are stored in distributed or non-distributed files storage system. Everything in this process can go wrong:

  • lost metafile from the cloud server
  • lost media files from the file storage system

Most insecure are NFTs, which store media in the (centralized) file storage systems. Luckily, Top Dog Studios, co-founded by Paul, is here to help you if your NFT was lost.

Ethereum Killers race speeds up

How to scale up your protocol? How to avoid congestions on Ethereum? One option is to go for L2s on Ethereum (listed here), sidechains (EVM-compatible chains), or build a new L1. Thanks to Polkadot and Cosmos building L1 never has been easier.

Polkadot vs Cosmos

Who will be the Ethereum Killers? Polkadot or Cosmos? Both ecosystems have EVM-compatible chains — Moonbeam and Acala on Polkadot and Evmos on Cosmos.

  • Polkadot and Cosmos are L0 solutions that allow for easy development of new L1 chains (no more forks!).
  • Both Polkadot and Cosmos allow L1 chains to re-use their consensus mechanism and to easily communicate with other chains within the ecosystem.
  • The major difference is that parachains (Polkadot L1) re-use also Polkadot validators and need to win so call auction slots to be connected to the Polkadot relay chain.
  • In the case of Cosmos, there is no relay chain nor any other major chain in the ecosystem. However, each L1 must have each own validators.

Other challengers for Smart Economy— Neo

Neo is an L1 blockchain that proposed a new smart economy that aligns value creation & value capture. Thank you @Lili_zurich for highlighting it.

DeFi going mainstream

Bridging the gap between Degens and Regulator

  • Degens are early adopters of an experimental financial system whose risk-taking battle tests new distributed software systems and economic mechanisms.
  • In other words, degens are crypto veterans that always stay on top of the latest techs, make incredible yields (often more than 100% or even 1000% p.a.), and can easily distinguish between real crypto break-through and scum.
  • Degens are breaking and battle testing a new DeFi frontier for everyone
  • Regulators still see DeFi as a casino.

Thank you, Zaki (of Sommelier Finance) for summarizing it so well!

DAO and VC in Web3

Piece of advice for Web3 founders from the VC panel

  • The good times will not last forever. How will first-time founders react when things go south?
    -> Raise more money than needed.
  • You compete with Bank of America and other giants.
  • 1+1 > 2
    -> Team with excellence in various areas can do more
  • Best founders make hard (often difficult, as team-related) decisions fast.
  • To incubate or not to incubate? I personally did Google Campus incubator with my first start-up in Web2. For a techy, it was a great experience, as I learned what CRM or sales funnel is and why tech start-up needs sales and marketing ;).
    -> Incubators are good for first-time founders.

Piece of advice for Web3 founders from the DAO panel

  • Mass adoption is simplicity
  • We are in try and error phase of DAOs
  • Don’t start from scratch. Fork, enhance, succeed!
  • DAO has the unique ability to align all stakeholders to go in a common direction
  • Bring incentives not only for the community but also for devs

Closing Thoughts with Luna/Terra in the back

Web3 is already here with its new smart economy and makes unbelievable possible. It is easy to get lost in the flow of innovation and becomes more important than ever to get advice for crypto professionals, especially in the situations like Luna/Terra crash. Degens are here to help. And platforms like Sommelier or Yanus Protocol find degens for you.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest news: https://twitter.com/cYanusTech

Guest post by Chris Gogol from Yanus Protocol

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