Some interesting things I read lately that I don’t really know what to do with but might be interesting to look back on. $25million hack. ERC-777 tokens, explanations of reentrancy and basic breakdown of transactions.

Post from Paul Graham about Credibility during the Coronavirus. This really sounds familiar to me from past experience especially this:

These people constantly make false predictions, and get away with it, because the things they make predictions about either have mushy enough outcomes that they can bluster their way out of trouble, or happen so far in the future that few remember what they said.

Mastering the Mempool – I just found this interesting and intriguining. Helped to solidify in my mind how things go from say, MetaMask, to the actual blockchain. I liked the suggestions to think of this as the “waiting area” for transactions to be accepted into a block. There’s a whole series available and it looks like it would be interesting to build on.

I wanted to dive into this a bit more but haven’t had time yet. Seems like you link a Solidity fallback function to an ENS domain. You can then do things like send Eth to the address and get PNK via a UniSwap swap or send Eth to an address (CHAIUnipool.DeFiZap.eth) that then adds to UniSwap liquidity pool.

This discussion about the Coronavirus Market Crash from the JL Collins and Madfientist is a good sanity check and bit of reassurance and I think it should mostly be true

Every time there’s a bear market, it has the feeling that it’s something major and it’s something different and it’s terrifying. And almost, if you think about it, that’s by definition, because if it were not those things, there would not be a bear market.

(Photo by Ashes Sitoula on Unsplash)

Making The Draft

There was a nice piece of advice from one of the pro basketball players in the movie High Flying Bird, something along the lines of:

The worst thing a rookie can do when he makes the draft is think he’s made it. Take the pats on the back for a day then get to work.

So it’s time to get the head down, work hard, learn hard and lets see if I can help my team win the 🏆

(Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash)

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.

Jean-Luc Godard

Money vs satisfaction. The known vs the unknown. Safe(ish) vs safe. These are the kind of trade-offs that go through my mind when I evaluate whether to stay in my current job or not.

It’s all about the money, money, money – until it’s not! Getting paid reasonably well to work in an unsatisfactory environment isn’t enough.

So what is enough 🤔? There’s been some interesting information on this subject, most recently one that struck a chord was by Fred Wilson in his post What To Work On. A checklist of his suggestions are projects that:

  • Interests
  • Motivates
  • Inspires
  • Impactful

Realistically in my current role the last three no longer apply. The last could be a yes. The available options all appear to be a yes although there’s always the risk that the vision is different from the reality.

Some more advice to help zero in on specifics are from this post and include:

  • Do you know what you want to get out of the next chapter – mmmh, specifics are tricky! I think I’d like to build my knowledge and skills in the blockchain and development world. It’s also important to gain access to people and opportunities in this industry. A sketchy final goal is to do something myself some day.
  • What are your side constraints – Ideally I want to stay in my current location, remote work would be fine. I’d like to work with professional, inspirational people that are focused and knowledgeable and are willing to let me soak up as much as I can! Getting paid well would be a bonus but I will accept below market rates for the right opportunity.
  • How much risk will I take – I guess I’m pretty open to risk really. I would probably prefer a startup because there’s more opportunity to make an impact and learn. I’m also considering being a student. Joining a post product-market fit start-up that is already scaling rapidly is the advice but I don’t think there’s many of these available right now. One of my biggest risk fears is trading one bad for another! Another is being ‘all in’ on blockchain – what if it ALL goes tits up?! I don’t think either are big enough risks to emergency stop.

As I type it becomes clear – mentally I’m already gone! I just hope I ‘go’ to the right thing. How awesome, inspirational and cool is the below quote from Preston Van Loon – that sounds like the right thing to me!

We are strong believers in Ethereum for a major reason – it is a fully permissionless blockchain that allows anyone to build unstoppable, censorship-resistant applications. In the beginning, we were all independent software engineers that shared a passion for the Ethereum blockchain, searching for the best way to contribute to its future. Now, we work full time on making the next iteration of the Ethereum project a reality. The fact that such a story is allowed to happen is a testament to the Ethereum project’s meritocracy and its community. We love to code, and being able to wake up each morning and work on fun, challenging, and meaningful problems is one of the best things anyone in this field could ask for. This is the best possible time to shape the future of Ethereum, and we’re privileged to have the support of you all to do so.
We believe in code quality, maintainability, and good design, and tests as our key pillars over anything else. Additionally, we believe there is a lack of industry best practice and sound software design in Ethereum development. A lot of the pain eth1 suffered came from reinventing many key pieces of its architecture, such as a custom json-rpc, a completely new, custom p2p library, etc. instead of adopting practices present in industry for years. An open source project needs to have longevity, and having easy readability + great tests ensures new contributors can pick up where we left off and keep the project growing at the same pace. When building the infrastructure that will maintain a major, multi-billion dollar project, every line of code we write must be considered with great care and consideration. Protocol development for Ethereum should be the opposite of what “hackathon”-style code looks like, and more importantly, we believe every developer should spend twice as much time reviewing code as writing it. We see many other projects write code that is really clever at the cost of being unintelligible to most, and that goes against our ethos. We chose Go because it is a language that prefers being clear and simple over being witty and complex, and Go as a language resonates well with our philosophy towards software engineering. Every time someone aims to make some code more clever or “concise” using fancy tricks or attempting to cram key logic into as few lines of code as possible, we avoid doing the same, as that’s not what good software should be about.
Ethereum 2.0 will eventually just be Ethereum, otherwise, the entire effort would have failed massively! We definitely see ourselves as a key team within the Ethereum community, building important tooling and infrastructure for its users, companies, and dApps building on the protocol. We have a responsibility to increase its adoption and keep improving the project over time. We believe Ethereum will keep creating a lot more valuable projects on top of it, and perhaps in the future we will create our own product on top of Ethereum itself, but with the key goal of always furthering its vision.

EthFinanace AMA Series with Prysmatic Labs

Thought Timeline

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

I can’t believe it’s March already – it’s been a fast start to 2019!

Since my last post I haven’t come across any real technical inspiration for a new, in-depth technical article but I read this post by Fred Wilson yesterday and liked the idea of recording my thoughts as a timeline for the future.

It’s not that my interest in crypto has dissipated or that I haven’t been busy. Jan/Feb was busy with the day job and in my spare time I was focused on my entry to the 0x Hackathon. I did learn some of the details of 0x protocol but I was mainly using skills I picked up during my work on other Dapps. I didn’t feel like there was anything worth writing a detailed post about. It was fun though.

I’ve spent a lot of time digging into the world of Decentralised Finance, or DeFi. To be honest I’m still digesting the information but there seems to be a real fit with DeFi and Ethereum:

  • Programmable and transparent – organisations can unleash code on Ethereum that just runs and does what it’s meant to do. No one controls it and anyone can educated themselves about it.
  • Unregulated (So far)  – If you do educate yourself then you can access it, nobody can tell you you’re not suitable to use it if you want.
  • Efficiency – Cutting out middle men and rent takers, making things cheaper and opening up new opportunities.

It’s a whole new interesting world! I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the MakerDAO system figuring out how it works and what the opportunities are. I could probably write multiple posts about all that! Some of the areas I’ve found exciting so far:

  • Earning value on crypto assets – this is becoming the latest trend. There’s a lot of people HODLing a decent amount but at the moment it’s doing nothing. There seems to be more and more ways coming out to earn value on this.
    • Uniswap – A decentralised exchange where there is no token, no centralization, and no fees going to any of the founders. You can provide liquidity and 0.3% of all trade volume is distributed proportionally to all liquidity providers.
    • Borrowing/Lending – Dharma/Compound/MakerDAO all provide opportunities to lend assets for a fee.
  • Combining DeFi with Predicition Markets such as Augur:
  • Loaning yourself – A super interesting post about using MakerDAO and existing collateral to loan yourself $ to pay off a house at a lower interest rate than your mortgage. Kind of mind blowing BUT you do need collateral to start. Is this something that only the people who got in early can afford? SO INTERESTING!!!