DENVER (CBS4) – Thousands of people from all over the world flooded downtown for EthDenver, the largest ethereum event on the planet. Ethereum is a technology that powers applications and allows people to send cryptocurrency. The world of digital currency can be complicated, but enthusiasts say it’s our future.

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“NFTS, DAOs, cryptocurrencies – It’s all related,” said John Paller, founder of EthDenver. “The systems that we have are antiquated and we need to modernize and figure out how to advance our economic and social systems to keep up.”

Teams from all over the world gathered at the Sports Castle to build next-generation tech and compete for over a million dollars in prizes. The event also has a series of guest speakers and workshops.

“It’s a new paradigm of opportunity because this technology has never existed before,” said Paller.

For Coloradans, the future of crypto is closer than many think.

Tech enthusiast and Governor Jared Polis says Colorado intends to be the first digital state.

Of course, the state still budgets and spends money in dollars. But this summer, Colorado will become the first state to accept cryptocurrency for payment of state tax and fees.

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“In Colorado, we’ve been laying the groundwork to be a center of crypto and blockchain innovation for a number of years,” said Polis. “We see it as a critical part of Colorado’s overall innovation ecosystem.”

A blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that stores data.

Denver is the first jurisdiction in the country to use blockchain to allow residents to vote overseas. Polis founded the blockchain caucus when he served in the United States Congress and Colorado was the first state to hire a chief blockchain architect.

Polis spoke to a large crowd at EthDenver Friday to share his excitement for the state’s digital future.

“This future is about a new paradigm that creates opportunities for Coloradans and the communities they serve which goes well beyond the Colorado borders,” said Polis. “We want to harness the power of that technology to improve people’s lives.”

(credit: CBS)

While the event is free, there is a waitlist to attend in person. The public can attend virtually.

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