DevCon3 Day #2

In the first post in this series, we covered the first day of the Ethereum Developer Conference in Cancun, in which we participated from November 1st to 4th. Here is our account of day 2.

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Puppeth

We started the day with Péter Szilágyi’s talk about development tools. And what a surprise was it to discover an amazing tool that’s apparently been included with Geth since version 1.6: Puppeth. If you followed our course, or simply if you tried running your own private Ethereum network, you know that doing so involves a lot of command-line tinkering, and that’s just to start one node with a custom genesis block and so on. Said also explained the process in his Raspberry Pi tutorial. Péter showed us how to considerably simplify the process using Puppeth. With a few elegant scripts and some easy questions, you can easily set up not just one node, but several nodes, including some miners, an ethstats block explorer instance, a faucet contract, and all the tools you need to actually use such a private network like you would use a public test net. Given all the issues that public testnets have had lately, with spamming, resets, changes in faucet policies and so on, having a private network that you fully control and that you can share with your early users and testers is definitely appealing.

Unfortunately, like a lot of things in this ecosystem, the demo was amazing, but we’re still looking for the official documentation. The only article we can find online today is this one, and it does not really reflect everything that was shown in the demo. Said tried setting up a full environment with a faucet, EthStats and so on, but apparently it involves a few pre-requisites that are not explained clearly. Anyhow, we will definitely look into it, and if we manage to make it work, we will explain how it works here and integrate it into our course as well. To be continued.

Walleth

Then, we attended another talk about Walleth, the Android Ethereum wallet. Mobile wallets are still a big challenge because of the size of the full blockchain data, and the relative immaturity of light client implementations. So it’s interesting to see that some people are working on this kind of implementation. Now to be honest, I’m not an Android user myself, so I didn’t follow this very closely. I just wanted to mention it for Android devs out there who want to try it out.

Status

On the other hand, being a big iOS user and developer, I was much more interested in Status’ announcements. And boy did the Status team invest big in this DevCon #3. For those not familiar with the project, Status is currently building a full Dapp browser for iOS, along with a messaging system.

They ran a very successful ICO in last June, thanks to which they raised close to 300kETH (worth over 85 million euros as of today). Full disclaimer: as an early tester of their iOS client, I was awarded Genesis Tokens (SGT) that I later exchanged for 28353 Status Network Tokens (SNT).

Unlike a lot of scammy ICOs, Status already had done a lot of work before the ICO, and is apparently hard at work on their roadmap since. They announced a lot of developments in their DevCon3 talk:

  • an NFC hardware wallet for Ether, Bitcoin and ERC20 tokens
  • a first implementation of a special push notification inbox node that people will be able to run to store certain messages when their recipients are not connected
  • a brand new open bounty platform, along with a USD1Million fund for open source projects
  • the future availability of Status not just on iOS, but on every single platform including Android and desktops

In addition to those developments, they also talked about the appointment of Nabil Naghdy, former Google Maps and Google Flight product manager, as COO. And given the apparent ADD syndrom manifested by a lot of Ethereum projects, having someone focusing on a real product vision is definitely a plus for Status. More details about some of their announcements on their blog.


And that was it for our day 2. After that there were a lot of very low level talks about the EVM and security that we were a little less interested in. So you know, Cancun, beach, swimming pool, sun… and so on.

In the next post in this series, we will talk about our day #3. Stay tuned.

 

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