Dusk Network at the Ethereum Community Conference
By Luke Pearson

Aug 09, 2021

Held in Paris, France under strict COVID safety guidelines, the Ethereum Community Conference (EthCC) is the largest annual Ethereum event in Europe.

With a focus on both technology and community, the event spanned July 20th to July 22nd; three days of presentations, networking, and sharing knowledge to bolster the Ethereum ecosystem. Ensuring Dusk Network’s presence at the event were applied cryptographer & ZK fanatic Luke Pearson, applied cryptographer & pure mathematician Errol Drummond, and network architect & coding whizz Jules De Smit. Dozens of speakers took the stage to present, touching upon a variety of industry topics and technologies; far too many to cover comprehensively.

This is why we’ve asked Luke and Errol to share their thoughts on the event, collected here below:

EthCC: Up Close & Personal

Europe’s partial reopening has made in-person events possible once again, kind of, which meant a crypto conference was in the cards. After scouring the space for all the best upcoming events, we decided that the Paris-based Ethereum Community Conference was the perfect fit. As much as many of us have enjoyed working remotely, there is just something about gathering in person that cannot be recreated in a digital format. With both personal enrichment and collaborative effort being core values of Dusk and the wider blockchain space, we were compelled to send some of the team.

To those who say ‘you can just watch this online’ - that is true. But there is something about being in the thick of it that generates opportunities that are difficult to replace in a purely virtual setting.

Luke Pearson on the benefits of attending.

“The conference brought the opportunity to connect with many other projects, which is always a fantastic way to gain some thorough insights into the ongoing work across the wider scope of the space. Whether by meeting specific people or teams, watching presentations, or just chatting whilst collecting complimentary t-shirts, there are always benefits to viewing the ecosystem through a broader fish-eye lens.

As I see it, Dusk Network is cultivating the perfect ecosystem for the digitisation of financial assets, which at the most fundamental level is set to cascade across many areas, both inside and outside of the blockchain space. So there is no better place to come to understand your audience, and find a little inspiration, than at technical meetups.

From a personal standpoint, as someone who loves bleeding-edge tech, I feel conferences allow me to soak in a large amount of information to empower my foresight as I look towards future steps in the Dusk Research & Development. I particularly enjoyed Jordi Baylina’s talk on the zkEVM, as a lot of my current work on optimising zk-circuits with pre-computed values has a large degree of crossover with the planned work on the zkEVM. A perfect holistic overview of the effect that new Zero-Knowledge operations are having across different projects, which is beginning to shine through.

We have gone past privacy and now we’re full steam towards scalability and interoperability. It is my prediction that some recent developments at Dusk will help to facilitate a new era in applicability - universal computing!”

Errol Drummond reveals his favourite talks.

“Sebastian Banescu’s (research engineer at Quantstamp) talk on Lessons learned from over 300 security audits demonstrated the importance of being careful when deciding what other repositories to use; even if they are audited, small security flaws are still possible (and potentially even likely) to exist in them.

There was another talk where a member of a fund used only one metric to decide who to invest in - the ‘likeability’ of the leader; it’s nice to know we could have gotten support from them. Jordi Baylina, technical lead at Hermez, showed how they associated the hex code of an instruction with field elements, and used those elements to construct a polynomial representing an execution trace - this isn’t directly relevant to Dusk Network, but seeing their creativity in tool-use has renewed our vigour to keep proving that the bounds of blockchain technology still have a phenomenally long way to go.

Often these talks turn out to provide insights we never expected. These perspectives allowed us to gain more from our current knowledge and understanding than was previously possible.”

A Taste Of Things To Come

It’s clear there are benefits to in-person conferences that are hard to replace. Dusk Network hopes to see more industry conferences and events like EthCC blossom once again as vaccination levels increase and testing becomes even more convenient. When operating on the cutting edge, having a visible presence within the industry becomes even more vital to success. Prepare to see more of Dusk Network in the future!

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