University students reveal new Web3 solutions at ETHDenver 2023


1000’s of attendees lately gathered at Denver’s Nationwide Western Complicated for ETHDenver 2023 to study in regards to the present and future cryptocurrency ecosystem. 

John Paller, founder and government steward of ETHDenver, informed Cointelegraph that 15,000 ticketholders attended ETHDenver’s predominant 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 — informed Cointelegraph that he believes present Web3 know-how platforms are usually non-performant. “These platforms typically lack privateness preservation, are extraordinarily difficult to develop on (particularly complicated purposes), 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 targeted on constructing developer instruments, and options to simplify consumer expertise and privateness. “These options will allow future purposes to be simply constructed and absolutely succesful. That is what the groups which are a part of the Stanford Blockchain Accelerator are primarily targeted on this 12 months,” he mentioned.

Pupil builders at ETHDenver 2023. Picture credit score: Tim Gillies

For instance, Rosen famous that Stanford’s “0xPass” staff was current at ETHDenver 2023 to show how account abstraction might be used sooner or later to allow Web3 wallets to be externally managed by good contract code. Such a characteristic would imply that pockets homeowners would now not must log off on each transaction. The launch of the brand new ERC-4337 customary is about to allow use instances like account abstraction.

Kun Peng, an adviser for 0xPass and a Stanford lecturer on Web3 entrepreneurship, informed Cointelegraph that whereas a number of initiatives had been demonstrating how the ERC-4337 customary might be used for account abstraction, 0xPass is exclusive as a result of it has constructed a software program growth package (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 increase to ‘normies’ who don’t need to use wallets with personal keys. Such a characteristic will enable 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 crucial, zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-proofs) had been additionally closely mentioned at ETHDenver 2023. For instance, the Modulus Labs Stanford staff spoke at zkDAY Denver — a facet occasion targeted 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 know-how officer of Modulus Labs, informed Cointelegraph that purposes constructed on the present 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 know-how officer of Modulus Labs at zkDAY Denver. Supply: Modulus Labs

For instance, Cao defined that Modulus had constructed a proof-of-concept that may be a absolutely autonomous, on-chain buying and selling bot powered by AI that may make predictions in regards to the value of Ether (ETH). In accordance with Cao, this might allow cryptographically truthful 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 towards a hyper-intelligent AI chess bot. The sport is absolutely on-chain, and the selections of the AI bot are fastidiously verified by cryptography. In different phrases, gamers can guess with or towards the sport realizing that nobody can secretly shift the end result towards one’s favor.”

Along with privateness purposes utilizing ZK-proofs, contributors demonstrated plenty of safety options. Tianzuo Zhang, a grasp’s scholar at Tsinghua College in China and a scholar ambassador for the Algorand Basis’s college program, informed Cointelegraph he’s constructing a safety defender utility to mitigate the injury that decentralized purposes (DApps) might face from varied safety threats.

Generally known as “HoneyDApp,” Zhang shared that the mission 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 good contracts — to detect and determine assaults towards DApps. As well as, Zhang famous that the “honeypot” protocol might entice attackers earlier than they will trigger any important hurt.

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

College students targeted on Web3

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

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

Pauline Cohen Vorms, head of the Polkadot Blockchain Academy, informed 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 shall be taught at a college in the USA.

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

In accordance with Cohen Vorms, PBA goals to teach and help 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 completely different initiatives.” 

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Whereas it’s tough 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 targeted 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 at present are constructing for the 90% of present Web3 customers and builders whose use instances had been typically exchanges, decentralized finance and social nonfungible tokens. However these will seemingly signify 10% of future customers. Subsequently I imagine that scholar builders have to concentrate on the broader use instances now, and never be as targeted on the present consumer base that was interested in the final bull market.”