collision, zero knowledge, banking, and self awareness
Posted July 1, 2022
I’ll start with something I read recently:
“How noble and good everyone could be if, every evening before falling asleep, they were to recall to mind the events of the whole day and consider exactly what has been good and bad. Then, without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time.” - Anne Frank
Came across an op-ed in the New York Times on routine self-awareness and reflection. The discipline of self-assessment is only the start. It produces knowledge that allows us to understand the edge of our competency, which is the key to learning. What you do with that knowledge matters and there is a difference between the good and the great.
This month, I’m putting this into action through this newsletter. Reflecting on my experiences this month, I’m looking forward to channeling these reflections into actionable improvements.
It’s precisely the combination of a brutal self-assessment and a growth mindset that tilts that increases the odds we become better. And these skills come down to discipline.
Onto what I did this month :)
To create scalable blockchain networks and systems we have problems that need to be solved. One of the biggest challenges to creating scalable networks is privacy. If everything on the blockchain is public and freely available, we can’t really ensure privacy and anonymity. the concept of zero-knowledge is a way to do that. I built a simulation to demonstrate confidence levels for the 3-colorability demonstration.
📌 One of the biggest drawbacks with trying to learn new concepts and ideas is having to connect dots in your head to actually gain understanding. There’s a shortage of good resources that are able to explain things intuitively without losing a non-technical audience. I challenged myself to do that in this article - always open to suggestions.
Using Blockchain for banking infrastructure
One of the biggest problems in the world today is a lack of access to cheap and efficient banking infrastructure. The biggest flow of funds from the developed world to the developing world isn’t corporate investment or even foreign aid - it's remittances. It costs ~15% and takes >1 week. I’m working on a blockchain application that uses mobile devices to send money. The project I created this month was a feature to this application: a contract to generate yield off static funds - similar to storing money in a bank to earn interest.
Here’s an article I wrote about it :
Banking the Unbanked: Using DeFi for Financial Inclusion
Speaking at Collision
One of the biggest experiences I had this month was speaking on stage at the Collision conference in Toronto. I spoke about how NFTs (or non-fungible tokens) can be used to create utility for companies. If you’re interested in seeing the full talk and Q&A, you can click here.
Some of the highlights from the experience (yes, that is me playing chess with Garry Kasparov: if you want to see the video click here;))
From the week of preparing and talking to people at the conference, I wanted to share some things I learned:
observing the game ≠ being in the game
Passively listening or “learning” gives the impression of progress without any real value add. Actively contribute. Being passive is the same as not being there at all.
use people to get network → aim to be interesting
At large conferences, getting in front of the right people is hard. What’s harder is aiming to add value- it’s great if you can. For the most part though, people like talking to interesting people. On top of asking questions and being curious, get interesting experiences and perspectives you can share.
be a goldfish
It’s easy to overthink small things. If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset about it. It’s a lot easier said than done but actively taking steps to become aware of your thoughts and emotions is a great way to stop thoughts about things you can not control.
until next time…
Here’s what I’ll be up to:
writing more often on this blog page
testing SMS encryption for money transfer
learning the intuition behind systems and networks by reading whitepapers
reading! (I’ll publish a review of what I read here but in the meantime send me your favourite book recommendations)
If you know someone who might enjoy this update send them this link: https://anyasingh.substack.com
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