What up, scrubs? For those who didn't know, I was funded by the community to go to 35C3. Those who thought it was a good value, donated for me to go, those who didn't didn't. As is the FFS way.
But because I did get funded and because I did go, I'm doing a report to say how things went from my perspective. Other key players may do their own report, so keep an eye out for those.
I arrived on the 26th, and Riat had already done 92.367% of the setup for our cluster. I helped with whatever I could, chatted and met with the other volunteers, and went out to eat with Dimi from Monerujo and Jeremy Rand from NameCoin. More on these guys soon.
For those of you who haven't been to C3 before, there's nothing quite like it. It's something you have to experience. It can't really be described. The aesthetic is overwhelming, and the beautiful blend of artistry and technology really makes the conference unique and stand apart from anything else. I was able to walk around for a bit with parasew on that first day as well, and we looked at the surface of what C3 had to offer.
The real work started the next day. Our cluster was the "Critical Decentralization Cluster" and had several different assemblies as part of it:
The cluster was set up in such a way to give each of these assemblies their own space, where they can talk and run their own stuff. Monero, of course, took center stage.
To the internal crowd (those running the cluster) the most noticable portions of my work were taking many duties off of parasew's shoulders in terms of running the cluster. He and his comrades had been working for long days prior to my arrival, so by the time C3 had arrived, they were quite tired. I did what I could (scheduling, MCing, and solving other unexpected problems as they come up) to make sure they weren't stressed out of their minds.
To people not a part of the cluster, the most visible portion of my work was definitely being the master of ceremonies for the stage. We had talks and workshops running concurrently during the majority of opening hours (you can view our schedule here
), and I was there to both introduce the speakers, graciously hint when they were going overtime, and stall for the AV team when they needed some time to make adjustments.
Things that are most applicable to the Monero community that I did include:
- Presenting about Monero every single day (my talk drew in some of the biggest crowds we had at the stage)
- Talking with people interested in Monero, either after my talks, or as they stopped by the cluster.
- Mediating a irl meeting of the Open Hardware Workgroup to discuss its current state, future, and work. This is a critically important one, as many people have misconceptions about what is being done, what was promised, and what is to be delivered. We will be putting out a "State of Monero's Open Hardware Workgroup" document soon to clear these things up.
I got to spend good time and have quality discussions with many people in the Monero community that are Europe-based. For the sake of their privacy I will not reveal all of them (they can do so in the comments if they'd like), but among them were: m2049r
from Monerujo, parasew, Michael from hardware, dsc, and binaryFate (he's always a good time).
One of the unexpected highlights of the conference was getting to talk with Jeremy Rand from NameCoin (one of the other few legitimate uses of blockchain besides decentralized money. Satoshi thought so, and worked a bit on BitDNS, the precursor to namecoin). If you haven't yet checked out that project, I encourage you to do so. Our projects both hold healthy respect for each other. He was very smart, and we had some great discussions about further future collaboration.
I got sick the last day (I think somebody was spreading it around, cuz a few other people felt under the weather that same day), and even today I have an annoying residual cough, but I still did my best to give 110% (down from 125%).
In all, it was a great experience, and I think a great success for Monero. Because C3 is very anti-commercial, Monero and Bitcoin were the only two cryptocurrencies to have a meaningful presence (just like Defcon), and I think this was very optically important. Everyone got to see that Monero is still not just alive, but going strong as other projects drop like flies around us. It shows that Monero is still just as ideologically driven as ever, and, to my understanding, the C3 organizers were very happy with us and the content we provided, and want us back next year.
Thanks to everyone who donated for me to go. I hope you have a happy new year.
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