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PegaSys at EthCC: A Retrospective

Earlier this month, 10 members of the PegaSys team participated in the biggest European Ethereum event, EthCC 3, the Ethereum Community Conference 3 in Paris.

The event took place at just the right time, as soon after, countries all over the world started closing their borders and restricting public events with big gatherings. This means that unfortunately, EthCC was probably one of, if not, the last in-person Ethereum event for an undetermined amount of time.

Upcoming conferences and meetups will surely be held online- Ethereal Summit and Consensus 2020 being just a couple. Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list in order to stay up to date with which events we’ll be participating in!



EthCC welcome

The venue for the event was the “Maison de la mutualité” in downtown Paris. Jeromme de Tychey, President of the Ethereum France Foundation and the main event organizer, gave great context as to why this venue was chosen and why it fits well with the ecosystem and work being done in Ethereum.

“If a building society or an insurance company has mutual status, it is not owned by shareholders but by its customers, who receive a share of the profits.”

Jeromme de Tychey EthCC intro

As always, there were clear themes to this conference: DeFi was doven into detail, especially considering recent events, while the always present ETH2 remained a hot topic. There was also a heavy focus on stateless clients this time around. 

However, we spotted something different this time in comparison to years past; Enterprise Ethereum, the main focus of PegaSys’ suite of products, was mentioned quite a few times with an overwhelming attitude of positivity around it.

PegaSys was there to share progress on Hyperledger Besu, Orchestrate, Gnark, our support environment, Teku (our eth2.0 client) and, as always, to learn from the community.

PegaSys EthCC Talks 

A handful of PegaSys team members delivered talks over the course of the three day event.

Onchain and Offchain Permissionining with Besu

Felipe Faraggi, Developer Advocate

Felipe’s talk explained the differences between the different types of permissioning in Besu (onchain/offchain/node/account) and helped the audience to understand what use cases would need permissioning in a blockchain environment.

The State of Running a Public Ethereum Node in 2020

Felipe Faraggi

Slides: EthCC Public Node Workshop

Felipe, Greg and William went over the current state of the network and demonstrated you how to set up and run an Ethereum Node on different setups: ARM devices, background desktop process and on an old laptop.

The workshop also covered node ecosystem variety, clients software alternatives, costs of running a node, recommended settings/flags, and more.

Moving to an EIP- Centric Process: A Retrospective

Tim Beiko, Product Manager

After the Istanbul Hard Fork, the Ethereum Core Developers agreed to move from the previous network upgrade process to an EIP-Centric one. With Berlin approaching, this was a great time to reflect on the benefits and challenges brought by this new process. 

Tim’s talk gave an overview of how AllCoreDevs used to coordinate network upgrades, what changes were implemented post-Istanbul and what ideas have emerged to keep improving things going forward.

Growing the Herd: How You Can Contribute to Ethereum as a Cat Herder

Tim Beiko

Tim also gave a brief overview of what the Ethereum Cat Herders are and spent the bulk of the session gathering feedback from the community about how the group can best serve the Ethereum community. 

There was an open discussion about what Cat Herders initiatives people value most, what things are missing from the Ethereum community and how people can help address these shortcomings, either as a Cat Herder or independently. 

Closing the Enterprise Feedback Loop

Nico Massart, Lead Support Engineer

How Ethereum enterprise products can benefit from developer, documentation and support teams working together is a still very new environment for our customers. Nico’s presentation gave insight into how the teams within PegaSys in particular work together to create an environment of open feedback, both internally and externally, as well as how the PegaSys team works to implement it.

Introduction to gnark, a fast zero-knowledge proof library

Thomas Peillard, Applied Researcher

The PegaSys R&D Team recently released gnark—a fast, open-source library for zero-knowledge proof protocols written in Go. Thomas’ talk covered more on gnark, including why it is faster than state-of-the-art  zkSNARK implementations, and much more.

The Reference Enterprise Blockchain Architecture, Integrating with PegaSys Orchestrate

Nico Maurice, Tech Lead - PegaSys Orchestrate

Nico first led the implementation of blockchain platforms for the account of major actors in the finance industry at ConsenSys before co-founding PegaSys Orchestrate, an infrastructure platform for managing Ethereum transactions. In his presentation, Nico shares his experience architecting and building blockchain platforms and detailing how PegaSys Orchestrate is designed to be compatible with every business case and every Ethereum network.

In addition, ConsenSys Founder, Joe Lubin, had some inspiring talks and interviews during the conference, citing Enterprise Ethereum as an upcoming trend:

Finally, we also want to recognize Ben Edgington who was scheduled to speak about Eth2.0 and Teku’s progress yet couldn’t make it due to travel restrictions, as well as a handful of other colleagues that weren’t able to make it either for the same reason.

If interested in catching up beyond PegaSys’ presence at EthCC,the recordings for each room are available in the following links:

EthCC Satellite Events

As usual, there were satellite events around EthCC. One of those, the Consensys Paris Roadshow, was held the day before at the same venue.

The Roadshow was organized by the Consensys Paris office, with enterprise developers and decision makers invited as attendees. PegaSys presented an overview of Besu and Orchestrate and held feedback sessions with attendees to better understand enterprise needs and current problems.

Future Consensys Roadshows are planning to be held in New York, San Francisco and, in the meantime, online.

Conclusion

All in all, EthCC was a great event and as always, we enjoyed attending and updating the  Ethereum and PegaSys Community.

Below are some useful links you can use to get more information on the projects presented during EthCC: 

General Hyperledger Besu information:

Hyperledger Besu Permissioning and Privacy: 

PegaSys Orchestrate:

Gnark:

See you all next year!