Many would agree that 2016 was the year of Ethereum, as the smart contract platform and its native token have experienced an incredible boom in the first half of the year when Ethereum price increased from less than $1 to over $20.

The second half of the year was a little bit rougher, though, with a high-profile multimillion-dollar investment DAO platform being compromised and a series of attacks causing the Ethereum Foundation to opt for emergency hard forks causing a split in the Blockchain.

Despite the fact that the exchange rate has since dropped, ETH was still named as one of the best-performing cryptocurrencies of 2016 and Ethereum smart contracts platform has been announced as the future of computing itself.

Building a free and honest society

2017 will open up the hottest event for the Ethereum community. LinkTime, a startup that develops Ethereum applications is to host the first ever Ethereum European Development Conference (EDCON) in Paris from Feb. 17-18, 2017, at the École supérieure de commerce de Paris – Europe (ESCP).

The event is supported by the Ethereum Foundation, ADETIF, Asseth- a French Ethereum non-profit and La ChainTech- a French Blockchain non-profit.

Pandia Jiang, the founder of LinkTime, feels really inspired about the speed of Ethereum development. “The progress of Ethereum will help us to improve trust,” she says, “and build better institutions to promote a free, fair and honest society and advance humanity progress to the next level.”

Jiang notes that Ethereum applications are continually developing. The interest in Ethereum is increasing from all sides, including businesses, academic researchers, developers and the open source community.

The community’s trust in Ethereum is growing and we see large enterprises becoming more confident in Ethereum and starting to integrate it into their business processes.

“If the conference is profitable,” the announcement reads, “we will be donating 20 percent of the profits to the Ethereum Foundation, 25 percent to the Ethereum Communities in each country in proportion to the revenue from the tickets and sponsors that we get from each country, and 10 percent for Blockchain talent building programs including training and education.”

A significant milestone in Ethereum development

So far the list of confirmed speakers for the conference includes Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum Founder, Vlad Zamfir, Nick Johnson, Martin Becze and Joseph Chow, Ethereum Core Researchers, Jeff Coleman, founder of Ledger Labs, Chrsitoph Jentzsch, CTO at Slock It, Loi Luu, founder of SmartPool, and Nicolas Bacca, CTO of Ledger. The EDCON Web page states that there are more speakers to join the event.

The event will summarize the progress and results of Ethereum´s technological development and cover topics around Ethereum base-layer technology, Ethereum research particularly related to PoS and scalability, privacy, Ethereum consortium chain development, building applications on Ethereum and investment.

“EDCON will bring together talented researchers and developers in the Blockchain and Ethereum space and set out to train and educate new ones,” notes Jiang.

She believes that EDCON 2017 will mark another significant milestone in the continuous development of Ethereum. The event will definitely improve communication and collaboration between Ethereum communities around the world, bringing together resources and supporting the health and progress of the Ethereum ecosystem.

It is a perfect chance for startups to absorb industry knowledge, hear experiences and views and move forward with their own projects. And of course, the primary mission is to promote Ethereum´s development and applications moving it closer to the real world.