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Reflections on the SF Ethereum Meetup (9/18/17)

Reflections on the SF Ethereum Meetup Crowd listens as Ethereum founder discusses scaling

Last night, the SF Ethereum Developers group hosted an event on the UCSF Mission Bay campus. Despite being well-acquainted with the community, I was astonished at the public turnout and enthusiasm, and I wanted to share some quick thoughts on the event.

Among the speakers of the night included Joseph Poon and Vitalik Buterin, who spoke at length about strategies for scaling the performance of the Ethereum blockchain and the state of the Plasma project. Toward the end of the Q&A session, Vitalik announced — to resounding applause — that the first Metropolis hard fork had just been completed on the Ropsten test network.

During the course of the night, I was struck by a few realizations about the state of the community:

We’re still growing very quickly. The event was attended by around 500 people. When I arrived, there was already a long line of people on the waitlist that wrapped around the upper balcony outside Robertson Hall. Even more tuned in via livestream to watch the event.People of all backgrounds are getting involved. Considering most of the three-hour discussion revolved around Merkle trees and fraud proofs, there was a surprisingly diverse audience in attendance. For example, the lawyer seated next me said that he came simply to learn more about the community after his clients began inquiring about the blockchain.This is still the beginning. During Q&A Joseph Poon answered a question about standardization of Plasma and in the process made an interesting point about the value of experimenting today instead of tomorrow: Everything in this space is an experiment. A couple years ago the mistakes were million-dollar mistakes. We’re now in the territory of billion-dollar mistakes. That’s still cheap, which is why we need more developers in this space. We need people experimenting with everything to see what secur...
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