When nearly 2,000 ethereum enthusiasts gathered in Cancún last week for the
Ethereum Foundation’s annual technical conference, Devcon, they had good reason to celebrate. The price of ether, the cryptocurrency that ethereum uses, had risen from around $10 a year earlier to around $300 by the time of the conference. Two floors of the Cancún International Convention Center became the epicenter of an ebullient tribe of ethereum engineers for four days, as they discussed the future of the “world computer” they were building by day and partied at resorts and bars across Cancún’s sequestered “Hotel Zone” by night.
Photographer Jackson Krule, on assignment for Quartz, captured the mood.
The Giveth booth at Devcon. Giveth allows users to donate ethereum to charities of their choice. Attendees talk with ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin. The Cosmos booth at Devcon. Cosmos bills itself as “The Internet of Blockchains.” Many Devcon attendees spoke about the inclusivity that the ethereum community provides, something that other cryptocurrencies are often critiqued for lacking. Some attendees even brought their children. A Devcon attendee with a Vitalik Buterin t-shirt. Attendees take a break in the main hall and get creative with their headrests. Attendance at the conference was so high it was often difficult to navigate the halls. A Devcon attendee checks out his new swag from the Cosmos booth. Robert Radek talks with a group of other attendees. A Devcon attendee got to the smaller stage “Coba” early to get a good seat. During presentations, it was often standing room only. A Devcon attendee poses with a unicorn at the Cosmos booth. Elaborate t-shirts were the norm. Each of the talks on both stages were live-streamed and are available to view on YouTube. A private place to talk was hard to come by. Outside the main hall, groups formed with just a couple of people and soon amassed 10 or more eavesdroppers. Attendees could use ethereum or other cryptocurrencies to purchase swag as they entered Devcon. Creative wardrobes were not mandatory, but certainly not out of place. A group convenes after a panel. A presenter shows off a toy car remote-controlled over the ethereum blockchain to fans. It was hard to find someone near the convention center who wasn’t on a laptop. A presenter in a dinosaur outfit during the MetaMask presentation in the main hall. Props near a photo booth outside the main hall. Outlets and a nice place to sit were in high demand. After presentations, discussions usually blocked exits from rooms. Attendees on their computers during lunch. A Devcon attendee takes a break from the conference in the stairwell An attendee checks out Matryx, which bills itself as “a decentralized VR platform on the blockchain.” A full crowd in the main hall views a presentation. A man reclines between presentations. Journalist conducts a video segment on Devcon.