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ETHChicago Monthly - May 2024

The best of web3 news and events in the Midwest


It's airdrop May in the Ethereum ecosystem. Eigenlayer kicked off the month with one of the biggest and most controversial airdrop announcements in crypto history. Shortly after, the long awaited drop from Friendtech was introduced. Blast next, anon?

Here in the US, our airdrop excitement comes with a caveat: projects like Eigenlayer are freezing out US residents out of access, going as far as to sniff out VPNs, due to a fearful legal environment. Meanwhile, the SEC, unfazed, continues to ramp up its pressure on crypto regulation with another Wells Notice announcement on a big exchange.

On the social front, fresh off a resoundingly successful Farcon 2024, the Farcaster ecosystem ponders the line between protocol and client development. DeFi projects like Uniswap have arguably been on the forefront here: the Labs team has successfully monetized the Uniswap Wallet and web app, while the protocol has retained fair, transparent community access for other application integrations.

Will Farcaster be able to thread the builder/investor needle and continue growing its user base? Join us at 1871 this month as ETHChicago does a deep dive into the Farcaster ecosystem with community members Jamie Steinberg (@chicago) and David Finkelstein (@dawufi.eth).

Here are your headlines from the ETHChicago team:

  1. 1871 Web3 Summit Retrospective

  2. Upcoming Events

  3. Cyberjam Creator Spotlight: Willea Zwey

  4. What We're Reading

1871 Web3 Summit Retrospective

The ETHChicago team had the privilege of participating in 1871's inaugural Web3 Innovation Summit last month. Our own Head of Partnerships, Katia Kobylinski, moderated an enlightening fireside chat on the real world uses of blockchain technology. Dive into Katia's field notes from the summit below:

Upcoming Events

Last month saw ETHChicago exploring the state of the NFT market with artist Willea Zwey and grizzled crypto market veteran Cyrus Younessi. Revelatory, amusing, and, at times contentious, the event was a showcase for the passion and opinionated culture we live for in the web3 space.

This month sees a packed calendar of events as we continue our monthly series at 1871 and party at the Cube offices in celebration of Bitcoin Pizza Day.

May 16 - Building on Bitcoin: Milwaukee Nakamoto Meetup

May 21 - The Farcaster Revolution: A New World of Social Networking

May 22 - Chicago Bitcoin Pizza Day 2024

May 23 - Cabaret Onchain

For a full list of upcoming community events and to submit your own event, check out our Luma calendar below:

Cyberjam’s Creator Spotlight: Willea Zwey

We sat down to talk with Willea Zwey, a Chinese - American multidisciplinary artist and musician based in Chicago, after her fun and insightful presentation at For the Culture: The State of Onchain Media. She had just taken us on an inspiring journey through selected projects, each one with its own audio and visual elements. A live mint experience where she meticulously curated the vibe at imnotArt (Through the Spectrum by Willea Zwey). Epiphany (Willea Zwey - Epiphany), an artistic vision of sacrificing to achieve your goal, transforming night into day. A special project for World of Women, burning ember, split into two versions, the airdrop to all holders of WoW PFP and a 1/1. Lastly she shared Transparent Communion, a collaboration with seize the Meebs: visually mirroring the open-minded transparent community, inclusive and be yourself vibes, composed with elements from Meebits and Cryptopunks.

Willea takes blockchain all the way down to the metal, inspired by the material of blockchain and the communities she produces for, creating audio-visual mind-melting realms that bend reality as we know it. Before Willea released her inner artist, she practiced architecture. “My background as an architect taught me to think critically, creatively, and logically all at the same time. Today, my art often requires me to work through an organic, intuitive process. I’ve found that I’m able to use both methods of thinking, which produces a unique flow that results in a new artform.”

Willea takes inspiration from the old masters such as Aldo Rossi. “I am creating visual spaces for people to live in as revenge on my previous career, because I was constrained by physics and regulations in the real world.” However, even as she exacts her revenge, she uses the rigidity of the real world as a way to think about blockchain structures. The shape of a blockchain becomes a part of her inspiration. The blockchain is a medium of her expression because of the many ways blockchain structures can be implemented. “There are many components to think about in architecture and that mirrors blockchain, as well.”

“I like to create for brands and communities that I have a shared vision with. I look for shared values and use that to create art.” The next time you enjoy a Willea experience, take a moment to dig under the surface of the work and you’ll find that every visual work is inspired by a mix of structure, community and original audio tracks.

Find Willea at

What We're Reading

Until next time,

The ETHChicago Core Team

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