LI Blockchain Virtual Meetup 1 - Identity on the Blockchain

We had our first virtual meetup this week. I think it went really well! The conversation was framed around identity on the blockchain. Below is a full capture of the meetup. 

 

A conversation with blockchain pioneer Joseph Lubin @ NEXT18

I found this talk interesting. Mr. Lubin outlines many different areas of development and some of the core philosophical ideas around Blockchain applications. 

I am particularly interested in the whole idea of identity on the public blockchains. The idea that we can develop systems that allow people to have agency over their information can create some very powerful effects in our networked society. Much of the information we leave over the Internet today we do not have agency over. Other businesses use our data, which we provide for free, in exchange for use of their platforms. I've always visualized this as striking oil... where our data is the oil, which we are providing for free. If ideas such as attention/data markets are built on top of our self-sovereign identities then individuals can generate income ways we haven't even imagined yet! 

Who's doing What on the Blockchain

A couple of months ago I hosted a discussion providing a "helicopter view" of the world of Blockchain. The slides are attached. 

One question that came up was why Delegated Proof of Stake would be significantly faster at finding consensus. At the time, I wasn't sure how to best answer because the EOS main net was not yet released. EOS promised 1000 transactions a second in its worst case scenario while Ethereum struggles to do 15 transactions in a second. As of June 2018, EOS released their main net protocol.

Head on over to the forum if you'd like to talk in-depth on this one but the simplest way to answer that is EOS is capped at only 21 block producers. Compare that to Ethereum which has over 25,000+ nodes that each need to receive and validate every transaction.  With the number of Ethereum nodes increasing every day, the low transaction speed for Ethereum will only get worse unless a radical change (plasma? sharding?) is implemented.

 

 

Immutability... Friend and Foe.

Developing software that is to be distributed on the public Ethereum blockchain requires a new set of skills that for most of us will seem foreign. Being that the blockchain is an immutable data structure makes it both very secure but at the same time challenging to maintain software on. Imagine deploying a new web app and never being able to update it again? Doesn't that seem wrong to you? 

From what I am learning there are many ways to mitigate this fact by exposing function calls only certain users can call to composing your Dapp with multiple contracts each will a method to update contract interfaces they call into. This is currently a very active area of research. 

Introduction to Smart Contract Development

A few months back I had the opportunity to put together an introductory talk on smart contract development. I had a blast giving it! I wanted to share the slides here. In this talk we walk you through developing a mega simple lottery... we call it Yolanda.

You can check out the presentation via the link below:

http://nickgs.com/smart-contracts/

I also have the code available at the link below: 

https://github.com/nickgs/intro-to-smart-contracts

One of the interesting things I discovered during the development of this was how hard (impossible?) it is to securely generate random numbers within smart contracts. 

 

 

Hello Long Island!

Hey all! 

We started the Long Island Blockchain community with the goal of connecting people from different walks of life around the ideas and growing interest in blockchain technologies. Whether you are new to the idea of blockchain or have some experience we would love to connect and work together to grow a vibrant community here on Long Island! 

We would like to make our community as open as possible. We welcome members of the community to post content to our notes and/or syndicate their own blog in our news feeds. Shoot us a message via our contact form here and we will get you setup. 

If you are looking for our next meetup shoot over to our meetup page available here

We look forward to growing together!