SALT LAKE CITY — "We're going to need a bigger boat."
So said Barrett, the host of Solana's largest community-run coworking meetup, after surveying his fast-filling WeWork in Salt Lake City on Monday. His cowboy boots clopped past rows of desks and laptops and crypto developers at the seasonal retreat. Some 50-odd out-of-towners had already arrived and another 150 were on their way, putting his supply of monitors in jeopardy of proving too small.
He made the tough call: "Pretty soon everyone with a Vision Pro is going to have to work from the couch."
For the next three weeks the social center of the Solana ecosystem will be Utah. There's NFT enthusiasts, market makers, crypto-payments wonks, validator operators, decentralized governance philosophers and plain-old degenerates mingling and talking and coding for Solana.
MtnDAO has ballooned well past the two dozen or so familiar faces that migrated to the past four editions. It's bolstered this February by sponsorship funding from the Solana Foundation and a handful of representatives. That lent an air of officiality to what had called itself "Solana's most notorious hacker house."
But make no mistake: Barrett still runs this town. He literally owns the monitors. His people decide what local restaurant to get catering from each Monday through Friday. At least on the fourth floor, the WeWork site managers defer to him. He and his co-host Edgar Pavlovsky of MarginFi and their intern Anders will ultimately decide who wins mtnDAO.
CoinDesk will be filing regular dispatches from mtnDAO, capturing the vibes, the conversations and profiling the startups chasing the $150,000 in prize money that will go to the best in show.
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