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Ethereum Community and Adoption Update - Week 1

Posted by Stephan Tual on November 3, 2014

Ethereum Community and Adoption Update - Week 1

Hi, I'm Stephan Tual, and I've been responsible for Ethereum's adoption and education since January as CCO. I'm also leading our UK ÐΞV hub, located at Co-Work in Putney (South West London).

I feel really privileged to be able to lead the effort on the communication strategy at ÐΞV. For the very first time, we’re seeing the mainstream public take a genuine interest in the potential of decentralisation. The feeling of excitement about what ‘could be’ when I first read Vitalik’s whitepaper on that fateful Christmas afternoon is now shared by dozens of thousands of technologists, developers and entrepreneurs.

Thanks to the Ether sale, a group of smart, hardworking individuals is now able to work full time on solving core technical and adoption challenges, and to deliver a solution at 10x the speed an equivalent garage-based initiative would have taken. With Ethereums’ APIs supporting Gav’s vision for web 3, it finally is in the reach of the community to build decentralized applications without middlemen. By democratizing access to programmable blockchain technology, Ethereum empowers software developers and entrepreneurs to make a major impact on not only the decentralisation of the economy, but also social structures, voting mechanisms and so much more. It’s a very ambitious project, and everyone at ÐΞV feels a strong sense of duty to to deliver on this vision.

As part of our efforts, technology is - of course - key, but so is adoption. Ethereum without dapps (decentralized apps) would be akin to a video game console without launch titles, and, just like any protocol, we expect the applications to be the real stars of the show. Here’s how we plan to spread the word and support developers in their efforts.


Building a curriculum: We’re building an extensive curriculum adapted to both teachers and self-learners at home, at hackathons and in universities around the globe. Consisting of well defined modules progressing over time in their complexity, our goal is to establish a learning standard that will be of course completely free of charge and 100% Open Source.

Content aggregation: at the moment we are aware that information on how to ‘get into’ Ethereum is a little bit fragmented between forums, multiple wikis and various 3rd party sites. A subdomain to our website will be created during the course of the next few months to access this valuable information easily and in one place.

Produce tutorials, videos and articles: tutorials are key to learn a new set of languages and tools. By producing both videos and text-based tutorials, we intend to give the community an insiders’s view on best practices, from structuring contract storage to leveraging the new whisper P2P messaging system for example.

CodeAcademy-like site: not everyone likes to learn within a classroom environment, and some feel constrained by linear tutorials. With a release date coinciding with the launch of Ethereum, we’re partnering with a US-based company to build a CodeAcademy-like site within a gamified environment, where you'll be able to learn at your own pace how to build dapps and their backend contracts.

University chapters: Vitalik and I recently gave a presentation at Cambridge University and Ethereum will participate in the Hackathon on Transparency on November 26 at the University of Geneva. Encouraged by the enthusiasm we’ve witnessed in the academic world, we are working to support directly the Oxbridge Blocktech Network (OBN) in their efforts to build a network of chapters, firstly within the UK then throughout Europe.

I’m happy to announce that Ken Kappler has joined the UK team to help with these educational efforts. Many of you in London know Ken as he’s been a semi-permanent fixture at all our meetups and hackathons, kindly helping behind the scenes. Ken, known as BlueChain on IRC, is also the writer behind http://dappsforbeginners.wordpress.com/ which will soon merge with our own education site.

Ken will lead a weekly ‘Ethereum Clinic’ on IRC to answer any questions you might have with your current project. Times will be posted on our forums.


Encouraging the creation of new meetups: we now have an extensive network of 85 meetups worldwide, which is an amazing achievement but not sufficient to handle the overwhelming demand for regular catchups in a format that’s appropriate for the local needs and culture. We intend to encourage the creation of new meetups in almost every country and major urban hubs.

Tooling and support: in order to drive the effort to create and maintain such a large network of international meetups, we will be providing tools for meetup leaders to interact with each other, gain access to the core dev team for video-conference or physical interventions, and exchange information about speakers. These tools will of course be free to use and access.

Collaterals and venues: for the meetups that are the most active, Ethereum is considering, where appropriate, the use of small bursaries so that meetup leaders in these ‘core locales’ do not have to contend with the full costs of collaterals and venues. We will also work with our partners to help meetups secure sponsorships and access to free locations to hold their mini-conferences.

Global Hackathon: Starting this week, the Ethereum workshops are going to slowly transform into proper hackathons. We are working with wonderful locations around the globe, the vast majority of which started off as Ethereum meetups, to organize a worldwide hackathon with some great ETH prizes for the best dapps.

We're very lucky to welcome Anthony D’onofrio to drive these very important initiatives. Anthony starts on the 10th of this month and will also cover the North American region from a community perspective - you probably already know him as 'Texture’, his handle on most forums and channels.


I’m incredibly proud that Ethereum’s exposure in the community has been entirely organic since day one. This has been the result of major, time consuming efforts to identify Ethereum projects in the wild, reaching out directly and building a strong relationship with our user base. We have achieved several key milestones, including over 10,000 followers on Twitter, 100,000 page views per month on our website, similar numbers on our forums and the growth trend only continues to accelerate.

Historically, Ethereum has never used PR as a tool to increase adoption, relying instead on word of mouth, meetups and conferences to spread the word. As the media attention is now intensifying rapidly, I’m pleased to welcome Freya Stevens to the team as PR/Marketing lead. Freya will help us build a shared database of media leads, write articles and make complex technology palatable to the general public while identifying strong story angles. Freya is based out of Cambridge, UK.

Also with a view to to scale up these initiatives we’re proud to welcome George Hallam to the team, AKA thehighfiveghost, who recently posted a survey so you can let Ethereum know how well we’re doing our job as custodians and developers of the platform. George, as a key supporter to the London community, will be already be familiar to many.

As part of these efforts, expect to see a lot more interactions on Reddit, IRC, Discuss and of course our very own forums. George will also help me identify key Ethereum-based projects and make contact to see how we can best help with information, connections and inclusion as guests in our weekly video updates, shot at our Putney Studio.

In order to produce very high quality content, we are also welcoming Ian Meikle to the London Hub. Ian is the creator of most of the video materials you might have seen relating to Ethereum, including the superb video loop that has been a staple at many Ethereum meetups. Ian will leverage the equipment at our studio to create explainer videos, interview key players in the space, and record panels led by Vinay Gupta, who joins the coms team as Strategic Consultant.

In London, and above and beyond our existing panels, socials and hackathons, regular 'show and tell' are being scheduled for dapp developers to present their work and receive feedback, a model we intend to promote internationally within the month.

And of course, last but not least, expect a major refresh to our website, with beautiful, clean content, practical examples of dapps, a dynamic meetup map and links to all our newly created assets and community points of contacts.

In conclusion

The question we’re going to continue asking ourselves everyday is how do we support you, the community, in building kick-ass dapps and being successful in your venture on our platform. I hope the above gives you a quick intro as to our plans. I’ll be issuing regular updates both on this blog and on our youtube.

Stephan (stephan.nospam.tual@ethdev.com)

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