Hive Fest 2023 was a truly great way to connect with so many of the talented people who make up the Hive blockchain community. Despite a relatively small turnout this year, we had a lot of fun and the intimacy helped us get to know each other and how we are working to take Hive to the next level.
My Journey To Mehico
For me, the journey began with a night time flight over London, England. At least I think it was London, it looks kind of small in this photo!
Nearly 24 hours later, with a stop at Mexico City - where I bumped into @buttcoins and where synchronicity had us sitting next to each other on the flight to Tijuana.. I was at Rosarito Beach Hotel, just South of Tijuana, Mexico.
Turns out that we had the only high rise building in the area, so had a great view of everything from the top floor of the hotel.
I already knew from experience during my previous visit to Mexico 20 years ago, that the Mexican sun is unforgiving and the first day's talks were outside, without shade! This was a bit of an oversight, but at least it helped me to shed some of the unnecessary skin on my scalp! 😃
One of the main topics of discussion was developing a strategy to get HBD introduced to Points of Sale in shops, to allow trade to take place using HBD. A collective effort led by @manuphotos resulted in us being able to buy hot drinks and cakes from a local cafe using HBD and also via lightning/BTC using @v4v.app thanks to @brianoflondon.
Unfortunately, though, I wasn't able to gain access to the hotel Gym.. So have to pay again now that I'm home in the form of lots of fat burning exercises. 😂
We visited a variety of nice locations, including a ranch with horses and a winery that served some great quality local wines. For some reason I don't have any shots of the stunning views there, but I'm sure others will have posted them.
I was particularly impressed by the restaurant/bar that we visited towards the end of the event, the views over the ocean were stunning and they served easily the best mojito cocktail I've ever had!
I feel Hive would be far more productive if we could all just step out into this place at a moment's notice! (VR just doesn't cut it).
Despite being a sometimes brutal mix between rich and poor, the Mexican spirit shines through in a vibrant and colourful culture. I look forward to returning!
A Movie Premier for Freechain!
Not only did we get to learn so much about Hive projects, but we got to see our own story immortalised on the silver screen in the form of the Freechain documentary put together by @little.lamb (Jovan) and @lordbutterfly. I was truly moved to watch the inception of Hive taking place as a documentary and really look forward to being able to share it with others in the crypto world and on web 2, who insist that decentralised social networks cannot work, that Justin Sun is God and other such nonsense!
The team did a great job of simplifying the details of the hostile takeover that led to the forking of Steem into what we now know as Hive. The public release of the documentary is a few weeks away, but you can listen to the reviews from attendees here:
What I Learned About Hive Projects in 2023
We had great presentations from the @dbuzz, @leofinance, @waivio & @threespeak teams, plus numerous others (inc. @crimsonclad & @trostparadox) who touched on marketing for Hive and a variety of other interesting topics. The whole sequence was orchestrated with @detlev as the MC. You can watch the talks via the recordings available on the @hivefest account.
One of the first discoveries for me was the e-commerce solutions being developed by @grampo for @waivio (see his in depth post, here). His solution allows anyone to use Hive to rapidly develop an e-commerce store and dropship products from Amazon, Cost-Co and other suppliers, plus enjoy the benefits of a web 3 environment that can help small sellers to join forces to compete with the big players.
I was particularly impressed by what I learned in a private conversation regarding the back end of the system and also the SEO strategies that @grampo has used successfully on another project. I strongly suggest you to explore Waivio's e-commerce tools and best of all, the code is open source, so feel free to expand it and add to it.
I also recommend checking out the talk by @chrisrice about D.Buzz. It's clear that they have one of the most dedicated and focused marketing teams on the Hive blockchain, being able to passionately promote Hive to large groups of people - including large schools in the Philippines. They really highlighted to me the power of being able to promote Hive via government channels to receptive people. While we are promoting decentralised solutions, there's no reason not to make use of existing centralised systems to do that! I also learned that D.Buzz is open source too - so much code to explore!
Of course, the 3Speak team were very present, being the main organisers of the whole event. They did an excellent job of looking after everyone and of selling their project to the world in their presentation. Kudos!
My Mission: Explore The State of Layer 2 Community Tech & Smart Contracts on Hive
My main intention while at Hive Fest was to learn as much as possible about the current level of development of solutions for layer 2 communities. It turns out that there are several groups working on this, plus also several solutions for smart contracts being developed for Hive. Being able to launch a sub token on Hive that is completely branded and unique to the sub community involved is, I think, one of the main features that will help Hive to explode - so this topic is paramount.
Imagine being able to quickly create your own decentralised application and website that hosts your own community, reward pool, custom token and much more - with just a few clicks. That is the future for Hive and it will be as revolutionary for users of Reddit and other similar sites as Bitcoin was for users of money in general!
In short, 3Speak are developing a system to support this, but it is still in it's early stages. However, the @dlux-io solution that uses honeycomb is apparently ready for use by early adopters who want to create a layer 2 community now.
With regard to smart contracts, we have several options. @vaultec is planning to develop/release a general smart contract system for Hive called VSC, but simultaneously @blocktrades informed me that he/they are developing 'smart engine' for Hive that will also add general smart contract functionality via SQL!
The general goal for these projects is that they are operational within the next year, as I understand. So in about 12 months time it is possible that Hive will have both accessible Smart Contract functionality, plus easy layer 2 community building for low cost or no cost! Exciting!
One very important discovery on this topic was that there is a definite need for a community to form that can help others to create layer 2 communities! Ordinarily, in a centralised world, a corporation might employ teams to help new communities to form and to carry out technical tasks for them.
The initial stages of development of future layer 2 communities on Hive will depend on the technical know-how being present within the communities themselves, which sets a higher bar for access than is ideal. The D-Lux team suggested that we create a community of experts who can either carry out the setup of layer 2 communities on behalf of others or perhaps just offer consulting and education on the topic. This is a huge opportunity that could even support a functional business model for those willing to get involved in a big way.
In combination with the HAF system that has been developed by the @blocktrades team, we are starting to see the key puzzle pieces forming that will allow intrepid entrepreneurs to truly leverage the Hive community and our tried/tested web 3 social technology. I will be pretty busy exploring all of this myself in the coming weeks, stay tuned!
Big hugs to everyone I met at Hive Fest and didn't mention, let's make next year even better!
Wishing you well,