The world is advancing towards making public blockchain networks the censorship resistant, universal, source of truth. Tech giant encumbents are moving towards adopting this technology in an effort as web3 comes for web2. Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain networks are the stack to create the future. We spend so much of our waking hours on our mobile devices. State is universal but is transitioning towards being completely universal and decentralized. The networks we use for identity, governance, money, art, media are all transcending into blockchain networks. Bitcoin has created and sparked a cambrian explosion of innovation in the world. We see a way to rebuild the next generation of the internet. I am excited about this future and want to contribute all that I can towards building it. I want to learn as much as I can about the technologies that enable this revolution. The world needs to leverage these technologies to build a better future. One that is owned by the individual creator and without middlemen. The world is ready to put the pandemic behind us. There has never been a better time to be a designer, a builder, a creator and it is the beginning of the roaring 20's. A decade that will be defined by cryptocurrencies.
This past year:
- I learned how to how to develop modules on the Cosmos-SDK in GO
- I learned how to create Solana transactions instructions
- I learned how to use Tailwind CSS classes in Next.js applications
- I learned how to read / write Solana Programs in Rust
- I learned how to develop a subscription billing application using Stripe
- I learned how to use the Baseline Protocol for syncrhonization
- I learned how to create prompts for OpenAI and CodeX
- I learned more about zero knowledge proofs and the bitcoin lightning network
Here are the past couple years of this same blog posts.
2013: A Year in Review
This year I read and reread some great books:
- Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Suzuki
- Greenlight- Matthew Mcconaughey
- The God Equation - Kaku
- Relativity - Einstein
- The Elegant Universe - Brian Greene
- Learning GO - Bodner
- The Rust Programming Language
- This is your Mind on Plants - Graham Hancock
- Mastering the Lightning Network - Antonopoulos
- Not Even Wrong - Woit
- Programming Rust - Blandy, Orendorff & Tindall
- Curves for the Mathematically Curious
- How to Not be Wrong
- The Cold Start Problem - Chen
- Rust for Rustaceans - Gjengset
Here was my focus in 2021:
- Build Stateset Platform and Stateset Network
- Build a Better Product that my Customers Love
- Talk to Customers and Better understand the Customer
- Launch the Stateset Blockchain using Cosmos-SDK
- Becoming an expert in data driven programming with PyTorch
- Learn more about DevOps tooling and ecosystem
- Learn more about TEE and enclaves, Privacy Compute
- Run 300 miles, stretch more after running (Coros)
- Lift Heavy (Bench, Cleans, Lifts)
- Mandarin on Duolingo every day for 30 minutes
- Keep a daily journal and a physical calendar
- Say my autosuggestion every morning and every night
- Eat Healthy (Oatmeal, Eggs, Leaf Greens, Quinoa, Black Beans, Avocado, Chicken and Steak)
- Drink more water
build, keep, learn, write, read.
Some highlights from 2021
- Went to Portugal for EthLisbon, Cosmosverse and Solana Breakpoint
- Presented at EthAtlanta on Baseline and Salesforce
- Snowboarded in Jackson Hole
- Built and Launched my first Shopify App on the App Store
- Hit ARR Milestone for Stateset
2021 - The Year in Review:
This year I spent the majority of my time working on Stateset. I worked on rewriting the platform in TailwindCSS and also worked on improving the existing version of the platform that customers are using. I spent alot more time writing graphQL mutations, working with Stripe subscription APIs, working with devops tooling, working with OpenAI's GPT-3 and Codex models. I also spent time working on adding the baseline protocol to the dappsuite managed package. I learned more about ciruits, different initiatives using zkps on l1 an l2 and also built a stablecoin wallet for Ethereum, Polygon, Avalance and Optimism. Aside from development this development I also worked on my own blockchain using the cosmos-sdk. I started building modules for purchase orders, invoices, agreements and loans. I have been writing this for the past two years but recently have been rebuilding it using starport. The network is made to tokenize real world assets and collateralize them for loans. I have also worked on enabling the chain with IBC so that the tokenized RWAs can be sent to other IBC-enabled blockchain networks.
This past year I got in pretty good shape at the beginning of the year. I was lifting at Equinox, boxing and running almost every day. Doing Kettlebell swings and overall keeping pretty good track of what I am eating. I was running between 7-10 miles per run around the presidio and richmond around lake at the peak around March-June. In mid June a sprained my ankle pretty bad and also had other injuries with it so from June-December I didn't workout as much as I am letting it heal. I would wake up, have a call around 6am, code til about 1045, workout, come back have lunch and then do calls and code, then dinner and work in the evening. I am still learning Mandarin on Duolingo and it's getting pretty good. I am still working on my pronunciation of tones and learning common phrases. I have been spending more time in learning about intermintent fasting and am using the zero app to do intermintent fasting between 8pm and 2pm. I still will drink coffee in the morning but I feel much more alert in the late morning if I haven't eaten yet. I have also become really interested in longevity and taking NMN and resveratol supplement Verso. I travelled a decent amount this year to Colorado, Florida, New York, Arizona, Texas. I got Covid in August and didn't have a terrible time with it fortunately; I took a lot of zinc with copper, vitamin a, d, k gummies supplement, vitamin c gummies, nmn, and drank a gallon - 2 gallons of water a day.
I have been working on rewriting Stateset Platform in Tailwind and also working on a new version of the network using the Cosmos SDK. Most of my time working is building in front of the computer and on customer, investor or demo calls. I am still actively investing in crypto with a focus on defi. I spent a lot of time researching dex's liquidity mining and other ways to leverage defi. I am very interested in running my own blockchain validator nodes and also building a launching my own blockchain with the cosmos sdk. I participated in Hack Atom IV and was at the opening ceremony in Lisbon Portugal.
Focus for 2022
- Build and Launch the Cosmos SDK version of Stateset Network
- Learn more about how to write Smart Contracts with Agoric and CosmWasm
- Learn more about the Bitcoin Lightning Network and Run a Full Node and Lightning Node
- Leverage IBC for connecting the Stateset Blockchain with other blockchain networks
- Create my own validator company for running proof-of-stake nodes
- Build and Launch the Tailwind version of Stateset Platfrom
- Launch Stateset Payments with Stripe Treasury
- Build a great product around OpenAI and CodeX
- Build Stateset to $1M ARR by June
- Build a great engineering team
- Run, Box and Lift everyday
- Meditate more often, make it a habit
- Stretch more often, make it a habit
- Fast from 8pm to 2pm everyday
- Read Zen Mind, Beginners Mind
- Complete the Duolingo for Mandarin before I turn 30
- Keep a daily journal and a physical calendar
- Say my autosuggestion every morning and every night
- Eat Healthy (Eggs, Leafy Greens, Mushrooms, Quinoa, Black Beans, Avocado, Turkey, Chicken and Steak)
- Drink more water
This year we really honed in on the post-purchase application modules on Stateset. Specifically RMA, Subscriptions, Customer Service. We are doing well in terms of recurring and services revenues. We invested in our devops, authentication and scale of the platform. We migrated our network from a single VM into a containers running in Google Kubernetes Engine. We also worked on a new way to automate net new platform deployments getting it down to 60-90 seconds. We have also spent a good amount of time leveraging OpenAI's technology to automate customer service ticket responses, and using CodeX to automatically and dynamically change the user interface based on the intent of the message. Our team has expanded in sales & marketing, advisory and engineering. Stateset is focused on the direct to consumer market. We have a modern platform for merchants to build different workflows between the apps they use such as WooCommerce, ShipStation, Stripe and Zendesk / Shopify, ShipHero, ReCharge and Gorgias (depending on the stack they are on). We have also partnered with a number of agencies to bring Stateset to them.
The crypto markets have come back in a strong way this past year. DeFi and NFT's really driving the majority of the new interest as well as institutional interest in Bitcoin. Bitcoin, Ethereum both were at all time highs this year.
I have been really interested by the growth of the Cosmos ecosystem and the launch of IBC. IBC is really enabling the internet of Blockchains and simply it works. Packets are being sent betweeen application specific chains. Shared Security is launching with the Cosmos Hub. Networks are joining the map of zones by the day. I really like the UX of Osmosis and I think that it was the first app to really bring IBC into the blockchain ecosystem.
Cosmos SDK, Tendermint and IBC vision is being realized. It is an exciting time to build distributed systems.
I learned how to leverage the Metaplex protocol in order to create NFT Auctions on Solana. I spent a decent amount of time understanding the architecture of how to create transactions using solanas web3.js library, anchor framework and learned more about Solana's transaction and blockchain archtitecture in the process. I attended Breakpoint in Lisbon which was a great production and also learned alot more about the Solana ecosystem. It was interesting the second day of the Solana conference is when the ENS airdrop happened. ENS was maybe the original nft in the space and maybe they were trying to remind everyone.
On Bitcoin and Bitcoin Lightning
I am currently reading Mastering the Lightning Network. Bitcoin is. Lightning is Bitcoin.
I am learning the architecture of payment channels and invoices and maintaining balances in Bitcoin. Bitcoin Lightning Network is an advancement in leveraging the shared security of the Bitcoin Network in order to create a privacy preserving and instant payment settlement network for the intenet. It seems like the only hiccup is the initial creation and funding transaction but other than that the committment transactions are effective at keeping low cost instant bitcoin payments between users. The best analogy is putting your card down at a bar and opening a tab. Every time you add a committment transaction when you buy a drink, or you update the balance between you and the bar. When you are done the entire balance is cleared on the network (or in bitcoin terms the channel is closed and settled. The Lightning Network protocol is a 2-of-2 multisignature program that allows for these transactions to be settled off of the main bitcoin network by the fulfillment of payment invoices. The program is designed to to allow users to fund a channel for future payments and committment transactions between channel participants are kept.
I have read about the inititial creation and lifecycle of payment channels. Also the mechnisms for ensuring that funds can not be stolen (refund transactions) and how to to chain together signed off chain trnscations but not broadcast them.
The main idea or flow is opening channel, accepting channel, creating refund transction, signing, creating funding transactions and then making commitments in the channel which represent balance updates and lastly closing out the channels.
The interesting ideas / scripts around penalties for trying broadcast old commitments seems interesting as well. The Lightning network inherenty leverages some of bitcoins security properties in order to securely work as a payments protocol.
Hash Time Locked Contracts are not a new concept to me but it is nice to have a refresher on how it works using secret preimages, fees and channels.
The bitcoin lightning network offers a very interesting and promosing solution for global, secure and private payments.
On Zero Knowledge Proofs
ZK is being used for scalability, privacy and syncrhonization. It is a very excited and facisnating field of cryptography.
There is a massive investment by a number of organizations to leverage ZKPs to help scale Ethereum L2s.
Baseline Protocol is leveraging ZKPs to synch the state of systems of record. Polygon is also leveraging this using EY's nightfall. StarkNet is also leveraging ZKPs. dydx is leveraging starknet. Optimistic Rollups. ZKPS roll ups.
Here are some notes from Polygon zk-day:
Polygon Hermez Polygon Nightfall - Nightfall for privacy targeted towards enterprise. Privacy focused rollup. Polygon Miden -
Polygon Zero Recursive ZKPs PLONK + HALO, 15s proving time, not Ethereum Compatible Plonky 2 = PLONK + FRI + Wizardy a 100x speedup for Ethereum
StarkWare FRI Prover Speed - Variable Recursion Cost - Very low Gas to Verify - 800k~5m
Fully transparent 1M gas to verify. 170ms recursive proofs on Ethereum
The most scalable zkEVM come compile existing solidity code to run on the zkEVM Scalability without comprimising decentralization or security Generating SNARKS can be expensive.
Proof verification to verify a proof inside another proof.
Plonk + FRI-based polynomial commitments Poseidon, algebraic hash used by ZK teams.
Lightning-fast zero-knowledge proofs
On Software Development
It is a great time to be a software developer. You can work on the web using frameworks like next.js and tailwind. You can work on distributed systems using Go and Rust. The blockchain space has really put Rust front and center as the language to learn. Solana, CosmWasm, Substrate are all written in Rust. I just bought Programming Rust and need to read throught it. I have also done some of the rustlings exercises. There is a lot happening with Web development, ZKPs, Systems Programming, web3 is driving a ton of innovation.
I am really interested in how to use CodeX to create epheremal user interfaces that are dynamic based on what the user needs. The AI can take an intent and then automatically create the best user interface for the user based on what it knows the users cares about, needs to see, and should see. It also allows the user to the commands out and leverage API libraries that CodeX has context on and can leverage to execute various command on the internet. It becomes an agent or concierge that is very good at the domain of coding. This could have many applications on Stateset for analytics but also as a way for users to ask for something to be done and the agent can write and execute the API dynamically for that user.
On Stateset Blockchain
I have been writing my own blockchain network the last two years during Covid. I am using the Cosmos SDK and am building a network that can provide loans to customers on Stateset. The way the network works is Purchase Orders, Invoices or other Agreements can be tokenized and collateralized for loans. The tokenized purchase order can have a did (decentralized identifier) attached to the token and then used for asset based financing. I first created a network on corda that essentially was for elimiating reconciliation between databases of organizations in a network. This network on cosmos is not neceassarily the same use case. It is almost like a community computer where merchants and lenders can interact on the same state. This concept of open state for asset based financing can be extended into many other sectors outside of commerce. I am still finishing the first version of the network but have been learning a ton about Cosmos Modules, IBC and CosmWasm. The other key component of having the Cosmos SDK version is that is a soverign blockchain network that can interoperate with all of the other soverign blockchain networks. There is its own govenerance, principles and incentives. It provides the building blocks for not only creating your own blockchain network or application but everything else that is needed for it to work; validatiors, users, developers, investors, community members. There is such a great opportunity. It is very exciting to me and I think definitely the most active ecosystem in terms of blue ocean opportunity to build something big.
On December 20th and 21st I created the first cosmwasm transactions on the network which was a cw20 token contract. I also sent the first transactions between the stateset core and the cosmos-hub via IBC. The relayer was setup using the starport commands:
starport relayer conigure
and then connected to the cosmos hub with the following:
starport relayer connect
I had to send some atom for the channel to work properly. Funding channels / bridges etc seems to be common step whether lightning network or ibc. I have cosmwasm working on the chain. The next step is going to be adding the x/nft module which will be used as collateral when lending. Stateset Core is the base blockchain layer or zone. stateset:zone:1317 I am excited to continue working on the network and building in the cosmos ecosystem.
On Numerology and Metaphysics
I am still very into Numerology and Metaphysics. I look into Numerology or see what day it is based on adding up the date. You can leverage this for a number of ways such as whether or not to have a meeting, whether or not to go for a run, whether or not to make a trade. I seems that numerology is profoundly accurate in certain ways. Asking peoples birthdays as well is usually a fun way to see if their lifepath has anything to do with what they currently do or how they act. I am learning more about vedic astrology as well and learned I am a gemini sun aries moon under vedic / sidereal astrology. I am still more interested in astronomy, theorhetical physics more. I want to learn more about the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics and superstring theory. It seems off or odd that the two theorys can not coexist. Superstring theory is essentially proposing as a way to glue to two together. I am interested in how gravitational waves work and it seems that at the macro level it works and it should work as a drop of water in a cup. But why at the subatomic level do the space and time models breakdown? I enjoy cosmology, theorhetical physics; it seems like there is still so much unsolved.
Definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it. I will continue to build the mastermind group and devote my energy to drive combinatorial creativity through technology and people.
Happy New Year.
Live the Dream.