Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?
Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?
Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?
Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?
Need help understanding Bitcoin DeFi?

Shaping the Future of Bitcoin: Recapping the Bitcoin Builders Conference

Hiro was a major partner of the Bitcoin Builders Conference, a landmark event in the world of Web3, bringing together the brightest minds across Bitcoin L1 and L2s. Here’s what we learned while there.

May 26, 2023
What We Learned at Bitcoin Builders

Bringing the (Bitcoin) Band Together

The Bitcoin Builders Conference brought developers, creators, and entrepreneurs from every Bitcoin project—across the L1 and various L2 ecosystems— together for the first time in one room. In fact, the conference itself was organized by a collaborative working group from members of various ecosystems (including us at Hiro).

A conference for builders, by builders.

In a single day on May 17th in Miami, the conference offered a packed event with workshops, keynotes, and networking opportunities for some of the most influential voices in Bitcoin. As a major partner of the event, we had an immersive “Hiro Garage” activation, and we spoke with core Bitcoin developers, ordinals creators, Rootstock devs, Lightning builders, Stacks entrepreneurs, and so many more. Everyone in attendance cared about Bitcoin, and everyone was excited about bringing new innovation to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Is Becoming a More Diverse Ecosystem

The energy across Bitcoin ecosystems is shifting: experimentation is back, and there’s innovation happening on Bitcoin right now. To accommodate the many voices and perspectives in Bitcoin, the conference was divided into two different stages—Mainnet and Devnet—to capture just how robust the Bitcoin community is today. Speakers included Lightspark CEO David Marcus, Casa Co-Founder & CTO Jameson Lopp, IOV Labs President & COO Daniel Fogg, Luxor Co-Founder & CEO Nick Hansen, Coinshares Chief Strategy Officer Meltem Demirors, Trust Machines CEO Muneeb Ali, Lightning Labs Developer Advocate Hannah Rosenberg, and Bitcoin researcher John Light.

The Mainnet stage featured discussions on building Bitcoin layers, reaching Bitcoin DeFi's first billion users, the impact of regulation on crypto exchanges, and the future of Bitcoin wallets, among other topics. The Devnet stage delved into the technical aspects of Bitcoin development, addressing topics such as building with Taproot assets, a new tool from Lightning Labs, and building a zero-knowledge proof system for Bitcoin. The stage also covered subjects like an exploration of sBTC, an upcoming Bitcoin peg, and how to navigate Bitcoin forks (a topic led by two Hiros!).

That same variety was apparent in the event’s keynotes, which were MC’ed by Hard Money & Coin Stories Podcast Host Natalie Brunell. Projects like Lightspark, Casa, and Rootstock presented on a variety of topics, including scaling the Lightning network for the future, how to survive Bitcoin ossification, the Bitcoin developer landscape, and more. Bitcoin educators, CEOs, CTOs, and heads of research from various firms participated in fireside chats and panel discussions that addressed the breadth and depth of the Bitcoin ecosystem.

Bitcoin Layer 2s Are Here

Much of the talk at Bitcoin Builders was around scaling Bitcoin to reach millions of new users, and a wide-ranging group of experts discussed their different approaches to bringing new use cases and scalability to Bitcoin. From payments on the Lightning network to DeFi on Rootstock to new work bringing ZK-proofs to Bitcoin, one thing that became clear is that Bitcoin Layer 2’s are rapidly gaining traction, in the same way that L2s have become popular in Ethereum. As Daniel Fogg, President, COO, & Rootstock contributor at IOVLabs put it, "there has never been a better time to build on Bitcoin."​

A Testament to Growth

Looking back, the Bitcoin Builders Conference was a testament to the ever-growing interest in Bitcoin and its potential for growth. The event was not just a discussion of the present state of Bitcoin, but a discussion of the vision and the shape of Bitcoin’s future.

As Kevin Hurley, Co-Founder & CTO of Lightspark, said, "Bitcoin Builders is a great space to have technical discussions, and the Lightspark team is looking forward to meeting and learning from the developers that are building the apps and services that will take Bitcoin to many more millions of new users."​

The conference attracted a diverse community of developers, entrepreneurs, investors, and experts from all around the world who share a common vision: to make Bitcoin everything it promised to be and more​​.

Looking Ahead

As we reflect on this conference, we are excited about the future of Bitcoin and the potential for Bitcoin layers to bring new use cases and applications to Bitcoin. We look forward to seeing the developments and innovations that will emerge from this vibrant community in the years to come, and we hope to see you builders again at the conference next year. Reserve your spot for 2024 here.

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