The first-ever Pragma summit, hosted by ETHGlobal, kicked off the wider ETHGlobal Tokyo hackathon on Thursday. The event was described as a “hub for high-quality talks and as a forum of discussion for builders and leaders from the Ethereum ecosystem and beyond.” The application-only event featured on-stage interviews with Aya Miyaguchi of the Ethereum Foundation, Juan Benet of Protocol Labs, Balaji Srinivasan, and Stani Kulechov of Aave Companies. Product announcements were also made by several featured speakers.
Ethereum enthusiasts from around the world gathered at Tokyo’s Shibuya ward, at the Digital Garage, to engage in on-stage interviews, product announcements, and networking. The Pragma event is said to be the first ever in-person version of such summits for ETHGlobal, and kicked off the wider ETHGlobal Tokyo hackathon which lasts until Sunday, April 16.
Kartik Talwar, co-founder of ETHGlobal, began the series of interviews by inviting Aya Miyaguchi, the executive director at the Ethereum Foundation, to the stage. Miyaguchi commented on the general culture in Japan, saying people are very humble and “there are a lot of talented developers, but it’s not embraced enough. Like, acknowledged enough. It’s like, okay, at a company … management makes the decisions and they tell developers what to build.” She emphasized: “But the Ethereum way is that you need to include these developers in the idea generation, brainstorming stage.” Miyaguchi went on to note: “One thing Japan is very good at … They are good at teamwork.”
Juan Benet of Protocol Labs spoke on the creation of IPFS, preserving archives on blockchains, and future possibilities for various blockchain transformations. He noted that blockchains should be able to scale much more than what people think is possible, citing similar structures that already exist. “Today, we’re reaching for tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of transactions per second on each chain,” Benet noted. “We need to be reaching for billions or trillions of transactions per second. That’s the real benchmark. The moment where you can have something like all of Twitter built onchain … that’s the kind of scalability that we need.”
Stani Kulechov, founder and CEO at Aave, discussed ways to make products more customizable by users. He noted that in the future, it may be possible to build protocols, products, and algorithms in a more open way, allowing users to make pull requests to products like iPhones and Android phones.
Balaji Srinivasan, tech entrepreneur, author, and angel investor, delivered a politically and philosophically-charged remote presentation on the fall of Western fiat currencies. He also gave an extended Q&A session. Srinivasan told attendees that Eastern fiat currencies like the Chinese renminbi and Indian rupee may outlast Western currencies like the U.S. dollar. He also explained why he made his now famous million-dollar bitcoin bets, citing the current global financial chaos.
Between interviews, attendees of Pragma heard talks and watched presentations on several product announcements. The wider ETHGlobal Tokyo Hackathon will be ongoing through Sunday, April 16.
The event was a great success, bringing together some of the brightest minds in the Ethereum community and beyond. It provided a forum for discussion and idea generation, and showcased some of the latest developments in the industry. Follow Bitcoin.com News to receive updates on the event, including thoughts from participating builders and engineers testing new ideas and competing for $375,000 in prizes.