2020: The Year Ethereum Stayed Home

This is a weird year for everyone and everything, but it’s a particularly weird year for Ethereum.

Why? The second-largest blockchain by market cap and the largest by contributing developers has always been known for having lots of events. COVID-19 has put the kibosh on that.

“These folks are in a state of constant BUIDLing” Amanda Cassatt, a ConsenSys alum who launched its Ethereal event series, told CoinDesk in an email. “Ethereum is also, by design, a uniquely collaborative community. These factors contribute to the prevalence of and enthusiasm for in-person events.”

Ethereum turns five on July 30, 2020. CoinDesk is marking five years of Ethereum with a series of retrospective stories and live-streamed Twitter conversations. There are even some “Easter eggs” for eagle-eyed readers. Tune in to our CoinDesk Live sessions July 27-31 at 4 p.m. Eastern each day or call +1 (661) 4-UNICRN.

In normal times, there’s roughly one fairly big Ethereum conference somewhere in the world every month, but that has all come to a halt in 2020. The community’s tentpole event, October’s Devcon, announced its next gathering will be in 2021. Similarly, the Community Ethereum Development Conference, or EDCON, has taken 2020 off.

“I guess normally the number of international events feels a little excessive, but EDCON and Devcon are mainstays and it does feel like a loss not to be able to have them,” Jinglan Wang, leader of the Optimism scaling project, told CoinDesk.

Ethereum during coronavirus

This reticence to meet up makes sense due to safety concerns around COVID-19.

After all, one of the last big Ethereum events, EthCC, turned out to be the source of a COVID-19 cluster. Still, it makes for a very different time in the community, particularly if this dearth of gatherings drags on into next year.

Read more: Ethereum Community Grapples With Coronavirus as EthCC Cases Tick Upward

Lane Rettig, an Ethereum core contributor and former Ethereum Foundation…

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