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We asked ethereum users how it changed their life. Here’s how they responded

By Joon Ian Wong & Johnny Simon

Cancún, Mexico

Nearly 2,000 people descended on Cancún last week for DevCon, an annual conference for developers organized by the Ethereum Foundation. This was the third DevCon and the biggest yet, with more than double the number of attendees. The soaring price of ether, the cryptocurrency that’s transacted on the ethereum blockchain, has rewarded them richly in the last year. Ether was trading around $300 the week of DevCon3, or about 2,900% higher than in September 2016, during the second conference.

Photographer Jackson Krule, on assignment for Quartz, spoke with a few attendees and asked them one question: “How has ethereum changed your life?” These are their responses.

Tekin Salimi, Lawyer

“A lot of my friends are millennials and there’s a huge wave of optimism because of ethereum. We weren’t around for the birth of the internet, but this is our chance to be a part of a big technological shift.”

Jackson Krule for Quartz
Tekin Salimi

Alex Shelkovnikov, Founder, Semantic Capital

“It’s changed my life in that I’ve decided to commit my career to working within the space full time and now I’m committed to the success of the fully decentralized space.”

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Alex Shelkovnikov

Meg VanDeventer, Communications Director, QuantStamp

“In what way hasn’t ethereum changed my life?”

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Meg VanDeventer

Robert Radek,Head of Research & Development, G2A Pay

“Ethereum changed my world. It showed that people outside of the financial ecosystem could join it and this is beautiful.”

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Robert Radek

Everton Fraga, Engineer at Ethereum Foundation

“It has the power  . . .  to promote inclusion from people that don’t have any access to financial instruments. For instance, having some new models of governance towards small communities. Even in Brazil we have some indigenous communities, there are people thinking of having cooperatives of workers to make their own organizations.”

Jackson Krule for Quartz
Everton Fraga

Ricardo Paixa, Legislative advisor, Brazilian congress

“I’ve been with technology since the beginning of my career. I started on financial systems then I went to the government to do the same stuff. What I saw at the time was that technology is used to concentrate wealth, now with the blockchain you could reverse this trend and make it more of a level playing field again.”

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Ricardo Paixa

Matt Brinkworth and Luke Hedger, JAAK

Hedger: “It’s shifted my mindset. I had these thoughts ruminating around my mind about the current state of the web, something I care deeply about and something that needed to change. It’s given me the opportunity to carry on doing what I love.”

Brinkworth: “I’ve worked in the music industry my entire life. What ethereum has done has offered a solution to build a platform for a problem that has been impossible to solve in the past”

Jackson Krule for Quartz
(L-R) Matt Brinkworth, Luke Hedger

Jez San, Founder and CEO, Funfair

“I’m so excited by the innovation happening in the ethereum world. The whole community acts together, there’s none of the arguing, sniping, and stalemates that happen in the other crypto communities.”

Jackson Krule for Quartz
Jez San

Correction: An earlier version of this article attributed the wrong quotes to Matt Brinkworth and Luke Hedger respectively, it has since been corrected.