Moonclave describes itself as “a created space for the most influential participants in the digital asset migration to congregate and discuss the future of the industry.” The week of August 22, 2022, many investors, industry experts, and solution providers ascended to the Colorado mountains to engage and collaborate on topics around blockchain and cryptocurrency. Representing Dash and presenting on a panel about DAOs, Patrick Quinn joined the discussion at the Aspen Street Lodge. With Moonclave 2022 in the rear-view mirror, Patrick shared his takeaways with team Zaimirai.

What folks were at Moonclave?

Moonclave Aspen is a smaller, intimate version of their blockchain conference that also features a larger event in Las Vegas. Though smaller, Moonclave Aspen still attracted a diverse slate of attendees, including both “old school” participants and new kids on the block. Attendees generally fell into five categories. First, there were numerous venture capitalists and investment firms in the audience, including A16Z, who are the most visible blockchain VCs, as well as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and other “TradFi” incumbents. Some VCs attended to showcase portfolio companies, others to keep an eye on emerging trends. Second, we saw quite a few Web2 organizations, like Google, Facebook, and PayPal. One of the most positive signs for blockchain, beyond how much investment money is flowing into the space, is to observe how much interest Web2 incumbents have in the emerging industry. They clearly want to have a role in what’s coming next, given the disruption that they see coming from blockchain. Third, there were banks and financial institutions, also watching the wave headed their way. Fourth, there were solution providers there to share their “picks & shovels” with the industry — things like custodial providers and accounting solutions. And lastly, and encouragingly, there were representatives of the fledgling legal and compliance infrastructure that’s taking shape. A consensus at Moonclave Aspen 2022–in addition to the enthusiasm about blockchain technology–was broad agreement that the need for regulatory and legal clarity has never been more pressing.

What cryptocurrencies were represented?

There was diversity. There were some layer 1 blockchains, as well as some built upon other chains like Ethereum. Solana, Polkadot, Celo, Dash, and Braintrust. As a sign of the growth of the industry, one attendee noted that Bitcoin itself wasn’t mentioned once!

What was the mood of Moonclave after the crypto winter?

You almost wouldn’t know we just had such a steep market decline. Incumbents and startups alike seemed to share the long view of innovation and disruption. Sure, bad actors like Terra and Celcius were mentioned, but not at all in a sky-is-falling way. Instead, we found a calm, cool, collected view of what the industry needs to fix and can do easily. Investment continues to pour in, and these players won’t be distracted by outlier failures. More than once, the “wall of money” trend came up. Moonclave attendees clearly intend to ride the crest of that wave.

What were the central themes?

The biggest topic was regulatory clarity–the urgent need for it, the damage being caused by the lack of it (in particular missed opportunities, both for firms or even entire nations). One issue that affects every blockchain is what the government could rain down on them. It’s the unknown unknowns. A very close second in topics covered was Web3. Clearly Web3 is driving a great deal of investment and development.

What were people saying about Web3?

Even though it’s a monumental idea, it’s really early. One shocking discussion revolved around use cases. People are struggling to illustrate real world uses for Web3. It’s great in theory, but no one has captured a real market yet. There’s a frenzied, worldwide race to define and leverage Web3. Many leaders in this contest were present at Moonclave. Here’s a teaser as to the kinds of discussion that ensued: “It’s not about centralization vs. decentralization; it’s about optimal levels of each at the right places in the stack.”

How does Dash fit in?

Dash Platform is essentially a Web3 offering, which makes Dash relevant in any blockchain discussions. All blockchains have a long way to go, though, to live up to the hype. With Merge looming, Ethereum has momentum with media, investment, and development. The pressure on them is huge, so if they have problems, it’ll have a ripple effect. The Dash community needs to focus on Dash, which is the only thing we can control. We need our own momentum. We’re making progress. Launching V18 to mainnet is a brick in the road, and we’ve got more releases that set up Dash Platform just ahead of us. “DashLove” is a common term in the community (e.g., hashtag, emoji). But the truth is that #DashLove is not enough. We need to hone our Web3 strategy and communications, and above all, we need disciplined execution on our roadmap and delivery schedule. We’ll get there. Expect us.