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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Deep dive in Zero Knowledge Ecosystem

The nomad, the future and what we are today.

Somehow we today are interconnected and deeply rooted with our belief systems. The reach of these connections extend our abilities to be someone with a lot of validation (perhaps as difficult creating a tomb).
I spend my time thinking a lot about what makes these Decentralised Autonomous Organisations so successful and valuable. Sure they create impact (so did private limited organisations) but it's not just that. This is not about expanding internet to become a better version of itself by allowing expanse of it swallow through the metaverse, it is actually about going back right to tight knit communities taking care of each other. Given how easy it has become to move from place to place (unless you require US Visa, xD), our growing individualistic lifestyle and transience nature of economic volatility required us to create instruments which can move faster with much easier and public reputation systems. This need for transparency and trust is a growing consumer concern, too often than not we have seen products on shelves with harmful ingredients, medicines/products that want to upsell with disregard for potential sideeffects. Some believe that we are in the worst phase of human evolution with a disregard for nature and a know-it-all human attitude. Others believe that this is the most prosperous time for humanity and we would transcend to solve the issues that are plaguing us without the need of uprooting our daily lives. This dichotomy may be a dividing factor amongst many in future. 

When we look at last 50 years of humanity the changes that are paraded as wildly successful such as providing cheap electricity, better mobility of goods, better healthcare and medicines, faster pace of living has led to consequences so devastating that we are yet to suffer through the actual outcomes of it. This ignorance of things will move as it did because of inertia or humans inability to comprehend situations until they actually take place would probably leave us wondering how could we miss such obvious signs which are both a result of society's lack of tight knit communities and growing disbalance of natural resources. This may look like a bleak future but I am sure of witnessing some aspect of it in my lifetime. 

When we looked earlier times, sure the changes took time to come into effect but information also travelled slower, this allowed adoption in a non cult manner to masser audience. The idea of belief systems had little or no importance but soon that might change on the internet with growing community and community oriented online presence. Allowing impact and mission driven communities to work on issues that they struggle with collectively is a great cause to be focused and can solve lot of issues if allowed to collaborate a manner which reveals information best suited to the member (anonymous as well)!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Polygon Fellowship Experience

Imagine a bunch of highly passionate and brightest folks in one room and solving the most difficult problems of web3 ecosystem! You might say that "hey, hackathons exist, right!!", well that's true but what if the experience was 2 months of building something! That's what polygon fellowship exactly was! 


The people

Clearly what stood out for me was the people I got to interact with, I had discussions on 'Cosmos Ecosystem vs other Layer 1s" for quite a long time and was able to have insights that I did not have before. Everyone were nice and did not make one feel left out during a conversation, but had a great ordeal of patience to explain and often at times argue in order to make a point. This collaborative nature and perhaps the passion for the ecosystem was what made the fellowship stood out. It's crazy how easily we bonded together and became friends.  I still feel nothing beats in person communication. Digital is great as ease of communication but it does not replaces the in person interactions that one can pull through. 

The Workshops

The second biggest takeway for the fellows during the fellowship was the sessions we had. Some of the things that they said infused so much passion and inspiration in us as a team. We truly had a great time of learning from some of the highly technical CXOs which gave the talk themselves. We also had an opportunity to interact with the OG "Sandeep Nailwal" and ask him questions which was the icing on a cake, especially to people who are very new to the ecosystem. 

// Add links to Videos?

The Retreat

All the fellows stayed at "The Paul" Bangalore which had amazing facilities provided to all the fellows. The food was finger licking delicious and stay was really comfortable with all the amenities.   The rooms were suites and left the fellows wondering if it can get better than this, and it did with the actual workshops and the ideas / discussions that happened about how as an ecosystem we can grow. The entire atmosphere was filled with a lot of optimism and positivity as compared to how web3/crypto gets looked upon by some of more traditional and orthodox institutions. 

// Add pics to the retreat. 

The Online and Mentors

The mentors we connected with, we had long discussions on how we can take our solutions forward from business perspective and do more with our work. We learnt more on how the current ecosystem works and the rational of ideas from not just tech perspective but marketing and business as well. I cam to know of other avenues notably 'Polygon Grants', and different DAOs. This further motivated me to be part of such an exclusive group. 

Overall the event was extremely well organised by Devfolio and I have said so multiple times to my friends that nothing of this sort has been done not just in Indian blockchain scene but Indian tech scene altogether. I am extremely grateful to the devfolio team for selecting me as candidature and further enabling my belief. 


Friday, August 26, 2022

Detailed Post on Modular Blockchains

  • A blockchain is a decentralized ledger which you can use to  communicate without a need of central authority. You don’t need postman, you don’t need bank, you don’t need the government and you definitely don’t need these companies running AWS servers.



    These Blockchains fundamentally have 4 different elements, 

    1. Consensys

    2. Execution

    3. Data Availability and

    4. Settlement


    Consensus is related to the mechanism whereby validators/miners can come to agreement on the order of transactions (also known as messages) for a specific block. The idea is that all the nodes of this decentralized ledger need to agree on a certain state of the chain. 


    Next we have execution, execution refers to the computation required to make state changes from the set of transactions in a new block. It basically means that once there is agreement on order of transactions we need to ensure the execution of those transactions takes place and these transactions are added to those decentralized ledger. 


    Third is Data Availability, 

    These transactions need to be communicated with applications or end users for that matter, now there should be a way for that data to be available from these nodes to the user, which is what data availability is 


    Settlement 

    There would be a need to verify and confirm these blocks which happens in settlement layer, it’s about ensuring that no bad actors push the wrong blocks on chain. 



    In a monolithic blockchain all of these are handled by the chain itself, whereas modular chains tend to outsource each of these functions to a separate workgroup. So let’s understand the pros and cons of modular and monolithic chains in depth, 


    Monolithic chains allow developers to easily integrate, they really do not have think of all the parameters while they are building and can focus just on business logic of things although the downside is that there are high chances congestion as we have seen previously. Now chains like solana have solved these issues by increasing validator requirements and increasing number of transaction in a single block, this may have solved congestion but it comes at the cost of decentralization.  



    Now let’s see how different modular chains handle this, 

    1. Polkadot 

    1. Collators are responsible for ordering and executing transactions on a specific parachain

    These transactions are then posted as proofs on the main relay chain for Polkadot

    1. Settlement takes place on this relay chain. 

    Over here execution / ordering is separate from the settlement layer. This is similar to chains optimistic rollups chains like optimism. 



          b.  Celestia
    Celestia aims to build a layer-1 proof-of-stake blockchain that provides data availability and consensus so the developer needs to take care of execution and settlement. Celestia allows developers to build their own plug and play roll-ups to order and execute transactions on top of Celestia’s data availability and consensus layer, here the basic idea is to give applications more control over how they want the architecture of decentralization looks like.


      C. Cosmos
    Validators of an app-chain are responsible for execution, consensus, data availability and settlement, but the app chain’s settlement layer is not shared which is in the case of monolithic chains. Cosmos basically allows the app chain to easily integrate with all the elements of the public blockchain in the way they seem fit. Using IBC these chains can communicate with each other so that token / value transfer can take place. The major negative aspect for this is that the community building is required for each app chain and they cannot utilize the already existing community for validation and quick prototyping which is the case for other monolithic chains. 


    So why cosmos has been gaining popularity? 

    A great case for cosmos is the self sovereignty it allows for app chains, take example of LUNA. LUNA was built on top of cosmos an on April 5th, 2022, LUNA reached a market-cap of over $40 billion. By Friday, May 13th the LUNA market-cap catered to less than $10 million, and nearly all on-chain value was completely destroyed.The rest of the Cosmos ecosystem — Cosmos Hub, Osmosis, Akash, Regen, etc. — kept steadily producing blocks during the UST collapse and after Terra halted. Before I jump to saga, I want to draw your attention to Astroport and Crescent. Astroport relied on terra for security while Crescent on staking and validator set. Both of these chains tokens lost 80-90% of their token value post Terra crash.

    Saga is part of Cosmos ecosystem it provides economic security and validator set for other developers to build on. 

    1. Permissionless deployment of code

    2. Customization of self-sovereign blockchain 

    3. No upfront cost to launching a chainlet

    4. Predictable developer pricing for gas fees 

    5. Dedicated blockspace for a developer’s applications, ensuring high throughput, easy upgradability and congestion relief. 


    In other words, applications deployed on Saga reserve their own dedicated blockspace, which is a feature that is not possible in monolithic blockchains. Applications deployed on Saga enjoy independence, meaning that block production on one chainlet is independent of the block production on other chainlets, a feature not shared in modular frameworks like Polkadot. Saga chainlets are self-sovereign and do not rely on a shared settlement, which is the case in Ethereum. In other words, Saga chainlets are as much a part of the Cosmos multi-chain ecosystem as any other application-based chain.


      

Monday, May 16, 2022

When blockchain can be used in a project?

 

When is blockchain actually required and when can a web2 startup can replace blockhain based projects.

  • Data integrity - When there is a need to make sure that the data itself has some integrity associated with itself. This means that data cannot be corrupted or incorrect data manipulation should not take place in order to suit any specific party’s demands.

  • Provable Time Linearisation. Time linearisation in mathematical terms means anything means that increases / decreases with respect to the time, say f(t) = at + b so the idea that anything needs to have consistence provable time linearisation say applications like Dollar Cost Averaging or anything that changes with respect to the time then we need the function the f(t) that needs to be verified by a consensus algorithm. Now in a blockchain, this happens by deterministically increasing the block number with a given time stamp and provably linked timestamps (and made sure that they are verified by consensus algorithm with high economic incentive)

  • Censorship resistance, Now, every piece of information on chain is a new block while it can be creation, updation or deletion so it is ensured that no data gets lost ever. The idea that blockchain data is censorship resistance means that the data can never be corrupted and manipulated in a way to suit the needs of certain entities. Everything is a new block which is verified by consensus algorithm with high economic incentive.

  • Double Spend Protection, The idea that one can spend twice on chain but it would be recorded so on chain data. The idea is that when you make an transaction there are multiple fields that are required and of them is nonce, the idea is that if two transactions are broadcasted with exact same parameters then based on number of confirmations (probably dependent on time of broadcast and gas fees), the one having more number of confirmations will be accepted while the other will be rejected.

  • Inherit Layer 1 security Layer 1 can provide consensus and security, so if there is an asset that is deemed to super valuable for the community then then layer 2 can add scalibility where as layer 1 gives the necessary security.
There is no point of needlessly integrating blockchain in a project it is not meant to. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

How can we keep our cities cool during summer?

- My daily Power Usage

Electricity is not plenty. Even though with the infrastructure that we have today, the truth why homes need to exist and are so prevalent when jobs have become mobile, internet data is mobile and luxurious cars that are same as tiny homes, we need power. 

Estimating my Power Usage, 

  • 4 hours of Light [43 Watts * 4 ] 
  • 12 hours of fan [ 55 Watts * 12 ]
  • 10 hours of laptop / computing device [70 Watts * 10]
  • 1.5 hours of cooking (induction) [1500 Wattage]
  • 4 hours of mobile [4 wattage * 4]
The total comes out to be roughly 3.5 Kwh per day approximately. Post engine efficiency, one litre of petrol can generate upto 2-4Kwh of energy, so 2 litres of petrol is sufficient enough for a day of electricity usage. [approx 5-6Kwh]


Saturday, November 13, 2021

Solo Trip Adventures - Dalhousie

Traveling solo is a different ball game altogether and it's an adventure because you rarely can plan it and just have to make it up as you go along. When I thought of the idea of doing a solo trip I imagined I would have plenty of time to work and get mostly bored. I was googling what people do while they are solo travelling whilst my experience was completely opposite from that. I had to find some quiet time for myself to relax. 

Most Google searches would result in activities such as observing people, observing nature and trekking to an destination but here is what my answer to this question is - You listen, because listening to others is much more theraipautic than any other thing out there. There are just so many stories that are waiting to be heard, so many lives that you can touch just by listening to what other people have to say. Before this banter continues further ahead, let's meet the people on this journey. 


Krunal aka Youtuber

I wish I had half the tenacity of this guy. Why is it still easier to say to everyone that you are an UPSC aspirant than to become a youtuber in India? Clearly the stigma is very alive and very hard to get rid of. After walking 5 million miles he had the energy to speak 5 million words as well, time and again. 


Traveling with him was astoundingly simple - I had very little to take care of. He made sure I got the best deals, best knowledge, best experience and best behind the scenes bloopers. May God grant you a youtuber to travel with. 


Even when God knocks on his door for gateway to heaven, I am sure he would just ask the other God for better discount while the rest of us pay extra. 


Jokes apart, I didn't agree with creative side of his work (obviously that's very little to complaint but as a friend I feel like I have every right to do so). More often than not when we are treading on an off beat path, we try and look for safety and security. Or maybe there is an entire population of India that uses YouTube that I am unaware of, but if I had an YouTube channel it would be entertainment rather than information. 


Nevertheless, it's just making that choice, the first step is the hardest to take and as we go along the journey with resolve it gets easier with time. 


Ustaad Bhai

It's always the local that leave a hole in my heart and ears bleeding. If you are going on a solo trip, make it a point to talk to the security guard , the cook , the driver because it would leave you little astounded and shocked at the same time. Every time I do, I just feel bad to be privileged and growing up with that basic logic of not channeling everything down by my emotional controller. Yes, capitalism is open for all, yes the opportunities do exist for everyone if they are willing to work but for that you need to believe in yourself and have an appetite for taking risks. He was a truck driver previously and had an accident which made his left side pretty much not usable. He became a chef to take care for his family. 


 The "Five Girls" 

 I think there was no arrow when God planned the cupid for me :P 

 I can say that I am omitting the names to protect their privacy but the truth is I don't remember their names. They were staying in the dorm with us and were final year med students or more like final year fed up students. What's interesting was that they were Kota coaching friends. Even I can plan a trip like that. Let's see what those fuckers are upto - asshole, bigger asshole , abroad, abroad, too irritating , too cool to reply to my text. Maybe my friendships were way more real and complex than them :P. Okay, maybe I can't but it was fun bunch of folks and the hangover of their interaction stayed with me even though I didn't sip a single drop of alcohol. Making politically incorrect statements to offend a lot of people is always a lot of fun. 


Arun and Nithin 

I think Arun bhai was the most knowledgeable person in that camp, It was a refreshing experience to understand the policies of Mughals, British India and Indian government over Dalhousie and how has that shaped the culture. His passion for adventure and building a backpacker house was unmatched. On the other hand was Nithin bhai who was a walking example of Netflix and chill and let's just say no more. 


Vishal  

He was the first person I met in the hostel and gave me the boss vibe from day one. He was like that senior in college who has had done everything that is to be done and now just wants to be shining light for other people from his tribe to follow. 


Everyone Else 

There were just lot of nuggets and emotional outbursts not only from other tourists but locals as well. People mostly have plenty of time as they go around visiting places and are open to talking as compared to cities where everything and everyone is a rush (including me). 


Nature 

If you haven't tried to listen to nature then there is no point of making the trip. You need to close your eyes and listen to the rhythmic beat of your pumping heart, the water trickling down from a crib, the gargantuan calm forest looking down for and at us while we crib in vain on our petty issues.  


Also, I did zip line, paragliding, multiple long treks and visits to waterfall. Posting some of the pics.