Ethereum’s 8th Anniversary: Ecosystem Leaders Share Insights

Lisbon , Portugal – 3 November 2022; Amanda Cassatt, CEO, Serotonin, on Crypto stage during day two … [+] of Web Summit 2022 at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo By Ben McShane/Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images)

Sportsfile for Web Summit via Getty Images

Ethereum’s eighth birthday is this week. Eight years ago, in July of 2015, Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” was a #1 hit. Minions played in theaters. News of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight echoed on late night television. Coverage of the Ethereum launch didn’t make it into the New York Times or the Washington Post. But if you were a member of the burgeoning cryptocurrency ecosystem, you were already paying attention.

CoinDesk reporter Grace Caffyn covered the much-anticipated release. In “Ethereum Launches Long-Awaited Decentralized App Network,” she wrote, “Grand in scale and flexible by design, it aims to decentralize pretty much anything on the Internet.” The article also showcased the voice of the skeptics who dubbed Ethereum “rudimentary,” “overambitious” and saying that it had, “much to prove.”

Ethereum was born on July 30, 2015, at 10:26 a.m. EST.

The founding team named the first release the Ethereum Frontier.

“Frontier is coming – what to expect, and how to prepare,” Steven Taul, Ethereum’s Cheif Operating Officer, wrote on the Ethereum Foundation’s blog on June 22, 2015.

“During the Frontier release, we expect early adopters and application developers to establish communities and start forming a live ecosystem. Like their counterparts during the American Frontier, these settlers will be presented with vast opportunities, but will also face many dangers,” Taul warned via the blog.

Taul’s forecast proved true. Today, Ethereum is a flourishing ecosystem with 1.6 million weekly active users, eight 50,000 node validators to decentralize the network, thousands of communities, and $226 billion in market cap.

I spoke with six leaders in the Ethereum ecosystem to celebrate the past eight years of Ethereum, and to look forward to what’s on the horizon.

What is the state of Etheruem in 2023? What are the opportunities and challenges? I asked these questions to Amanda Cassat (marketer), Rachel Wolfson (journalist), Thomas Klocanas (investor), Rik Lomas (educator), Wayne Chang (developer), and Alisha.eth (ENS governance lead).

Throughout my conversations, a prevailing theme emerged: The optimism resonating amongst those driving the Ethereum network forward.

1. Amanda Cassatt (Serotonin)

Amanda Cassatt, CEO of Serotonin

Amanda Cassatt

Amanda is the CEO of Serotonin, a Web3 marketing company, and the author of Web3 Marketing, a handbook for the next internet revolution.

How did we go from crypto to Web3?

The parents of our industry are technology and finance. They had a baby and it was crypto. That’s where the technology came from, but it’s also where the people came from. We inherited people from those places and the things they cared about. As our movement intersected other industries, like gaming, entertainment, art, and fashion, we not only expanded the use cases beyond financial ones — we expanded the movement.

What are you excited about in Ethereum’s future?

I’m really excited about zero-knowledge proofs. You can get excited about ZkSnarks being integrated into Ethereum and zk rollups on L2s. This concept is going to help move the needle on the next bull market narrative and unlock significant impact and growth. There are many use cases and examples of business logic that makes sense with configurable private data that don’t make sense in a world where all data — not just a representation or abstraction of it — are on the public blockchain.

What do you think AI’s role in blockchain will be?

Anybody that’s saying AI is taking the wind out of the sails of web3 doesn’t understand that these are enmeshed. Artificial Intelligence creates asymmetry in content creation on the internet. Because of that, we’re going to need provenance on every piece of content to prove it came from an authentic verifiable source

2. Rachel Wolfson (Cointelegraph)

Rachel Wolfson

Rachel Wolfson

Rachel is a journalist at Cointelegraph, and the host of Web3 Deep Dive, where she discusses the state of Web3. Her show has featured guests likeChelsea Manning, Gary Vaynerchuk, Joe Lubin and more.

What’s your favorite use case for Ethereum?

Peroni Beer’s use of Ethereum and Polygon Scan for food traceability. Peroni Beer is a popular Italian brewery that features a scannable QR code on most of their products that allow consumers to understand how their beer is produced. By scanning the QR code, consumers can see the source of the beer ingredients from the very beginning of production until products hit the shelves.

What is the number one challenge for adoption at the moment?

Gas fees on the Ethereum network are too high. Data shows that the average gas fee required to make transactions on Ethereum was about $20 on July 16th.

3. Thomas Klocanas (BlockTower Capital)

Thomas Klocanas is Head of Venture at BlockTower Capital

Thomas Klocanas

Thomas is Head of Venture at BlockTower Capital where he manages a $150 million early stage fund focused on investing in crypto and digital asset-enabled companies. Between 2017 and 2019, Klocanas was the Director of Strategy at ConsenSys.

What’s the difference between Ethereum in 2023, and Etheruem in 2017?

In 2017, the industry and public, including ConsenSys, started getting excited about use cases at the application layer. For example: Real world asset tokenization (Securitize, RealBlocks, Meridio & more), Music (Ujo & more), Metaverse (Decentraland, Cellarius & more) and more.

Fast forward to 2019: During crypto winter, a lot (not all!) of the early visions and projects were too early to market. Until recently, the infrastructure and tooling was not developed enough to support these applications for mainstream users (as one example, CryptoKitties essentially contested the entire Ethereum network).

In 2023, these use cases are gaining traction. BlockTower Credit securitizes traditional private credit assets on Ethereum using Centrifuge while leveraging a credit line from MakerDAO. SandBox is collaborating with mainstream artists like Snoop Dogg and Steve Aoki while Louis Vuitton launches NFTs. We’re slowly but surely delivering on the early promises of crypto.

What has Web3 taught you about human behavior?

Ownership is a powerful drug.

What is your biggest worry for the future of Ethereum?

A tendency to elevate the wrong folks to positions of thought and company leadership. See the consequences with FTX, Celsius etc. With every cycle, crypto goes more mainstream, thus every bad piece of PR hurts and sets us back even more.

4. Rik Lomas (SuperHi)

Rik Lomas, CEO of SuperHi and lead instructor of Crypto + Web 3 for Creatives.

Rik Lomas

Rik is the CEO of SuperHi, an online coding platform. Lomas launched SuperHi Basic Income, a crypto enabled basic income experiment, and is the lead instructor for Crypto + Web 3 for Creatives.

What’s your favorite thing about Ethereum?

If you buy a car, and the car company shuts down, your car doesn’t suddenly disappear. With web3, your content is something you own.

Why is decentralization important?

When you build decentralized software, people have incentives to build on top of it. On a centralized gated system, no one can get involved without permission. With web3, people can work together.

What’s the best way to get started with Etheruem?

Download a Rainbow wallet and get started. I’d suggest checking out Zora, Foundation, Mirror, and MetaLabel.

5. Wayne Chang (SpruceID)

Wayne Chang

Wayne Chang

Wayne is co-founder of SpruceID, empowering organizations to manage the entire lifecycle of digital credentials. The SpruceID team co-authored Sign-In with Ethereum, the open standard for one-click Ethereum login that has 1,000,000 downloads on NPM.

What is the current state of Ethereum?

In 2023, people who were in Web3 for the wrong reasons aren’t here anymore. It’s easier to connect with people in the Ethereum ecosystem without getting shilled an NFT or feeling pressure to join DAOs.

Where do you hope Ethereum will be eight years from now?

I hope we’re not using web extensions (aka. web wallets). I’m excited about phone manufacturers like Apple and Google using passkeys, which allows non-custodial wallets via email signup, and Sign-in with Ethereum of course.

How can we improve Web3 social?

Web3 social would benefit from public attestations. With cryptographic signatures, we could make public attestations to verify that, “this content was signed by a private key from the office of Congressman” etc.

6. Alisha.eth, Governance Lead at ENS Domains

Photo of Alisha.eth


Alisha.eth is the Governance Lead at ENS Domains. ENS issues human-readable names on the Ethereum network that make it easy to send assets, login, and messages with other users on the network. According to Dune Analytics, ENS Domains has issued more than 2.7 million decentralized names on the Ethereum network.

Where do you hope Ethereum will be in 2030?

The 2030 version of Ethereum that excites me is one where critical pieces of internet infrastructure are powered by Ethereum. In an ideal world, this infrastructure would be built on credibly neutral open source public goods, like ENS.

What are your favorite use cases for ENS? (feel free to list a few, and I may link to them)

My favorite use cases for ENS are:

  1. Verifying content with ENS — As AI gets better at imitating humans, it will become increasingly important to ensure that information is verified by the source. Ethereum Name Service is primed to be the verification layer for content on the internet. Users can sign messages, either offchain or onchain, to verify they are the source of information. ENS names are controlled by the user (there is no middleman or platform in-between) so consumers can trust that a certain piece of information is verified or fake.
  2. Portable identities — Turning any domain into an ENS name that becomes a portable identity is the future of decentralized social media. Being able to create an ENS name that doubles as your handle or username on a website or app progresses us past land grabs for usernames every time a platform is launched. Our identities persist across the internet. With ENS, we have the technology to enable a single digital identity that is user-owned.
  3. Offchain subdomains — Issuing free ENS names with CCIP-Read is an incredible solution for companies to onboard millions of users to ENS for free. CoinBase has done this with names, which has onboarded over 2 million new users to ENS in less than a year.

What surprises or exciting news should we expect from ENS in the coming year?

The most interesting thing about ENS is that it is backwards compatible with DNS domains (like .com). In the next 12 months, the number of DNS domains that will be integrated into ENS will explode. The next phase of ENS adoption will onboard tens of millions of users without any cost to projects or companies. These users will get the full range of benefits that ENS names provide, without having to know anything about the ENS protocol.

Ethereum is not only a technical phenomenon, it’s a cultural phenomenon.

In 2013, Vitalik Buterin wrote the original Ethereum whitepaper. What Bitcoin does for payments, Vitalik explained, Ethereum would do for everything programmable.

The following year, in 2014, Ethereum further proved itself by raising $18 million from 6.6K bitcoin wallet addresses.

As Ethereum celebrates its eighth anniversary, it’s remarkable to see how far it has come from its modest origins. Today Ethereum has entered the dawn of an era in which cryptocurrency’s applications extend beyond finance into the mainstream user experience.

In the past few years, on the Ethereum network, we’ve seen an attempt to buy the United States Constitution with $45 million worth of Ethereum pooled together from 17,437 people around the world. We’ve seen global brands like Budweiser, Gucci and Tiffany & Co enter Web3. Beeple’s Everydays sold for $69 million, music NFTs launched by Snoop Dogg, Grimes, and thousands of Web3 musicians on Safe (formerly Gnosis Safe) now stores $58B of Ethereum assets across hundreds of thousands of Ethereum users. The impact of Ethereum goes on and on.

The cultural and technological influence of Ethereum even seems to be extending back to crypto’s original blockchain: Bitcoin. With technological advancements in the bitcoin ecosystem, such as bitcoin ordinals, smart contracts, indexing projects like BRC-20, and layers twos like Lightning and Stacks, Bitcoin now has NFTs, DAOs, Web3 wallets, tokens, DeFi and more.

On Twitter, I saw a Bitcoin-maxi tweet, “Ethereum is the testnet for Bitcoin.” Love it or hate it, even bitcoin naysayers can’t help but admit Ethereum’s influence on the broader landscape of web3.

Ethereum’s eighth anniversary marks a milestone in the evolution of all blockchain projects. With the commitment of a dedicated community, Ethereum is well-positioned for further growth and impact in crypto and identity security, shaping the future of a decentralized internet.

Bitcoin NFTs Guide: How To Get Started With Ordinals

Create your digital legacy on Bitcoin

Chris Castig

Since Bitcoin’s
creation in 2009, it has functioned as a sovereign digital currency. In January 2023, Bitcoin Ordinals introduced a second practical use case for Bitcoin: data storage.

Once inscribed on the blockchain, an ordinal can never be edited or deleted. Ordinals will exist online as long as Bitcoin exists. It’s this permanence that make ordinals special. They inherit the power of Bitcoin’s forever database to archive data online…forever.

Bitcoin ordinals allow anyone to upload up to 4MB of data on the Bitcoin blockchain. Although, every MB comes at a price.

I’m going to show you how to inscribe your first Bitcoin ordinal. Keep reading all the essential information you need to begin!

From Zero to Millions

Inscribing is the process of uploading data. While ordinals denote the unique number assigned to each new ordinal.

Casey Rodarmor’s Inscription 0

Casey Rodarmor

Ordinals date back to December 14th, 2022, when Casey Rodarmor discovered a loophole in Bitcoin’s latest version, enabling him to upload a black and white skull PNG. The skull would come to be known as, “Inscription 0.” Each successive inscription is given an ascending number, signifying a unique identifier: 1,2,3, etc.

Today, there are $12M ordinal inscriptions. An excess of 46M+ in fees spent on the Bitcoin network in the creation of Ordinals, according to Dune Analytics.

How to Launch a Bitcoin Ordinal The easiest way to launch a Bitcoin ordinal is to use an inscription service like Gamma, Unisats or OrdianlsBot. In the tutorial below I’ll use Gamma to illustrate the process, although the inscription flow is similar on each site so feel free to choose whichever you prefer.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to launch a Bitcoin ordinal:

1. Download a Bitcoin Wallet

Xverse wallet homepage

Chris Castig

First you’ll need to download a bitcoin wallet. But before you do, it’s important to understand which wallets you can and can’t use for ordinals.

To inscribe an Ordinal, you will need a Taproot bitcoin address. You’ll know if you have a Taproot address if it begins with “bc1”. For example, this is a Taproot address:


The easiest way to get a Taproot bitcoin address is to download either Xverse, UniSat, or Hiro Wallet.

Download one of those wallets in your web browser. And once you’ve logged in, continue to the next step. For the following examples I’ll use the Xverse wallet.

2. Go to Ordinals Page

Chris Castig

Go to and select which type of Ordinal you’d like to create: Single image, bulk image or text. For this example, let’s select, “Single image.”

3. Upload your image to Gamma

Upload your Inscription to Gamma

Chris Castig

While 4MB is the maximum limit for an ordinal, 400KB is the maximum limit for how large you can inscribe without the help of a miner. Anything larger than 400KB and you’d need to work with a bitcoin miner to structure a block for you.

How big is 400KB? Roughly the size of a medium-sized JPG or a PDF with 8 pages.

Gamma allows you to inscribe up to 400KB and will help you optimize your image automatically to meet the max limit.

4. Enter the address where the inscription will be sent

Enter your bitcoin address where you’d like your ordinal inscription to be sent

Chris Castig

With either your Xverse or Hiro Wallet, select “receive” and make sure you’re copying the address in your wallet that begins with “bc1p.”

Copy your “bc1p” address from Xverse

And enter the address as your “receipt bitcoin address”

5. Pay the Bitcoin fee and wait 10 minutes

Pay the bitcoin fee for your ordinal inscription. You can pay this with any Bitcoin wallet.

Chris Castig

If you did everything correctly, you should see your Ordinal appear in your Xverse wallet.

Example of an Ordinal inscription appearing in your Xverse wallet

Chris Castig

Bitcoin, ever since its inception, has predominantly served as a means for sending, receiving, and holding bitcoin. It seems that Bitcoin Ordinals have breathed new life into Bitcoin.

In the first six months of 2023 Bitcoin surpassed Solana to become the second most popular NFT blockchain. Leading the movement are popular creative projects building on Bitcoin such as DeGods, OnChain Monkeys, YugaLabs, Beeple, and MegaPunks.

With Ordinals, Bitcoin becomes more competitive with chains like Etheruem and Solana, which for years have been the primary ecosystems for NFT collections and token-based innovations like DAOs, voting and tokenization of assets.

The Ordinals protocol has inspired Bitcoin derivative token through the BRC-20 protocol and .sats, an attempt at online decentralized identity using Bitcoin Ordinals.

“Developers are already pushing Bitcoin Ordinals in innovative ways, including recursive inscriptions, which allow for truly decentralized applications, websites, and high-resolution imagery at far lower file sizes and costs. We’re sure to see much more from this tech over the coming months,” says Nick Sainato, co-founder of

gamma.ioOrdinals | Gamma