It was the last day of the conference, but who could be sad when you have an unlimited supply of mochi and Ramune on hand?
Personally, I think that all soda bottles should be made of glass and include a glass marble that spins around inside. I’m looking at you, Boylan.
But, yes, it was the end, and it was time to catch the penultimate acts of this show, the first of which was Christopher Robinson. He gave a poignant talk about how games can help push Ethereum into mainstream adoption:
I then stuck around in the same room for the next one by Alejandro Machado. He described how people were desperately trying to acclimate to the financial instability of Venezuela, showing how blockchains like Ethereum were now tools to survive an abysmal environment:
And for my last talk of the conference (which unfortunately took place in yet another tiny room with no temperature control), I was particularly excited to attend a session with the ragged, fun-loving EMT (Eigenmann,Markou,Tu) band of the Ultralight Beam project, a.k.a. ULB. I can only assume that Kanye would approve, but he’s always been a difficult one to predict:
In any case, this project was especially interesting since the platform makes use of the Bluetooth protocol and pushes it to the limit. (Something of which I have a little experience and even less hope for myself.) Basically, the goal of ULB was to create an ad-hoc communications network for local phones using only Bluetooth, essentially creating a LAN party for iPhones. Obviously, this kind of solution would be ideal for people looking to evade censorship, surveillance, and restriction of access. (Which could be useful for many people today, especially those who might be protesting oppressive governments.) They explained their case for using Apple platforms, since the current landscape for Bluetooth standards is essentially a heterogeneous mine field in terms of finding reliable standards. Even though Apple does have a walled garden, the guys said that it’s a walled garden that at least works consistently…which I found also to be the case in my experiments. (And even more favorably for my projects, they have committed to their pursuit of local communication, with even more advances to their hardware.)
What does this have to do with Ethereum? Well…it’s a loose connection. You could use this protocol to synchronize a side chain transaction (of which could happen in a third-world country with little Internet connectivity) with the Ethereum mainnet chain, where one phone could use the ad-hoc network to relay the transaction to a phone with Internet connectivity. Granted, that’s an unlikely scenario for this project…but I was still glad that they got the opportunity to demonstrate such an awesome example of daring ambition. I hope to read more about it in the near future.
After that, the rest of the day was generally quieter, especially as people were scrambling to flee the conference and Japan. I couldn’t blame them, though: Typhoon Hagibis was sure to make a mess of everything in the next day or two. But that left me more front row seats for the closing show. In place of the usual sing-a-long in times past, the conference planners decided to embrace their hosting country by showcasing their dancing talent, performing the traditional Bon Odori dance with the accompaniment of a laser light show. (I’m fairly sure that the laser light show was intended to be a distraction from the tangle of spastic limbs on the stage.) In any case, it was a refreshing change of pace, though I’m not sure why we were performing a dance for dead ancestors. Perhaps my dead grandparents are fascinated by decentralization? Who knows.
And that was it for the conference. It had been a fun week, and my curiosity about several different projects had been piqued. (Since I live in my own virtual bubble, I likely wouldn’t have gotten to know about them, without being at the conference to talk with their creators.) But it was now time to move on, since I had a whole itinerary for Japan waiting for me outside of Osaka. That was, if Hagibis didn’t get me first…
It was great to meet you, Osaka. I hope to come back again!