Breaking down Ethereum’s story at the YAP Chateau with Makoto Inoue, Developer at Ethereum Name Service

Ethereum is eight years of age, but it’s had a complex and tumultuous history. The YAP Global team had the privilege of having Makoto Inoue, who has been a core developer of Ethereum Name Service since 2018, present a workshop on the history of Ethereum during our offsite in France. Makoto has been doing various development on-chain, from frontend and smart contract development to data analysis, currently focusing on ENS L2 scalability. The purpose of this workshop was to give the YAP Global team a holistic perspective on the trends we’ve seen throughout Ethereum’s history, the “how”, the “why” and understand the unique significance of each technological upgrade.


My name is Damian Alvarez, I am an Account Executive here at YAP Global, I’ve been in the space for a number of years now and I have to kick this thing off by saying that I am a huge fan of Ethereum Name Service. It’s probably the first truly ‘web3’ project that caught my attention as I was in the process of getting red-pilled by what crypto is and its true potential. I’ll be sure to briefly touch on all the elements of Makoto’s talk but also, share my perspective on my journey at certain points of his talk. 

History of Ethereum

Makoto opens his talk by showing Ethereum’s historical price chart to the YAP team, setting the scene for the blockchain’s story. He remarks that the “price history of Ethereum tells us its story”, prompting us to recall key events on Ethereum’s early timeline by demarcating specific dates on his presentation without any other context. The only context he gives us is “‘each event you see here is significant to Ethereum’s history”.

We open Ethereum’s story with the DAO Hack (30 April 2016 for reference) as this is the first key moment in which an Ethereum ‘hard fork’ really impacted the network, so much so that it quite literally split into two different chains, one of which we now know of as Ethereum Classic (ETC) and one of which we call Ethereum (ETH). I wasn’t custom to this one because this was way before my time, but of course, this rift in the ecosystem was huge and decisively grown two different communities over the last 7 years.

Ethereum’s Social Revolution

Next, we covered the social evolution of Ethereum in 2017 with the advent of Ethereum Name Service (ENS) on May 4, 2017, as well as numerous other projects that year such as OpenSea, MakerDAO, Compound and Uniswap. The year also marked the introduction of the ERC-721 standard which (arguably) made CryptoKitties the first ‘NFT’ in terms of how we recognise them today. Of course, all of this development was followed by the 2018 slump which persisted until 2020 when we saw a renewal of interest in the space leading up to the bull run of 2021.

My ETH-troduction

Unfortunately, I entered this space around this time in 2020 (let me explain). I say it was unfortunate because well, I wish I had entered during a bear market, there was too much hype noise and frankly questionable products I saw during the bull run which I did not touch. However, as a complete newbie, it was more challenging to have to cut through the noise of it all to find products with a true USP like ENS (not shilling – full disclosure, I just love ENS). The first ‘product’ I actually interacted with as I started was just shy of 3 years ago, with none other than Sam Altman’s not-so-controversial-totally-universal Worldcoin project.

One of the earliest projects that added real value to the Ethereum ecosystem was ENS. Much like the instructions of this workshop, I had to look up what an ENS domain name is, how to generate one and how to own that identity.

Back to the Present

Essentially, in 2023 I opened my MetaMask, and had the Goerli ETH (thank you Makoto) ready to deploy — now what did I name myself? Take a guess. It was rizzmaster.eth, totally original, creative, and downright hilarious. But I got bored of that name quite quickly and decided to jump at the chance to be barbie.eth on the Goerli testnet because surprisingly, nobody took that name. Anywho, I got to work playing around with that and helping out some of my fellow YAPpers lock in their own ENS names et voila, I was up the following day shilling Barbie as ‘barbie.eth’. 

Barbie in a Kenergetic Ethereum Ecosystem

For context, this workshop was taking place the week leading up to the premiere of Barbenheimer hence why I felt the strong need to adopt a Barbie theme, y’know, for the memes and culture as the despicable Gen Z monstrosity that I am. But beyond the self-deprecating at Makoto’s friendly workshop, he tasked us with the most daunting task of all: deploying a token to testnet.

I couldn’t believe it, I had never deployed a token before (queue “wen token” spam), to level with you I didn’t end up doing it because I was too caught up in all the other tasks he had given us — there were 4 simpler ones I opted to do. But I will think carefully about “wen” I will deploy my testnet token because it needs a good name. 

Takeaways

My main takeaway from this workshop is that the tech still needs to be adapted, and will continue being adapted for the foreseeable future. Vitalik’s EthCC[6] talk illustrated a similar story with ERC-4337 (aka Account Abstraction) a couple of days after this workshop. These lessons on the ebb and flow of tech tell me that it’s not the tech that matters, it’s the people behind it, and these people behind it are the ones who are going to keep driving positive widespread change in the community. It matters to me because to effectively “do PR” properly, I need to understand why people shift their focus, like “why do people care about account abstraction?”. In doing so, I hope I can help myself as well as others, in uncovering the wide potential value proposition across crypto industry verticals.

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