Category Archives: Blockchain

I Enjoy Things that Bewilder Me

Just like cryptocurrency, the subject of DIDs is fascinating and mind-boggling. After dabbling with my little Ethereum project for a while now, my curiosity about DIDs peaked, and I decided to finally start reading about it. Once again, I’m overwhelmed with the deluge of ideas and theories, and I can barely tread water. I was finally able to grab a hold of something that seemed more tangible to me, in the form of a project called Idena. Basically, it’s a blockchain that helps to forge DIDs by administering a Turing-complete test to all applicants on a scheduled basis. It’s an interesting approach to creating true DIDs, and it might just work. I would recommend that everyone else give it a try, since that’s the only way to really vet such an experiment.

Now, the hard part: proving that I’m a human being to this blockchain. I hope that I pass. If I fail, I’ll be dreadfully disappointed, and I’ll have to watch out for any blade runners that might be on my trail.

And the Good News Keeps on Coming

Well, the first major enterprise project for Baseline has been announced. It’s good to see any kind of progress and hope, especially in the face of a world that’s gone to hell!

After talking with the Baseline guys (especially Kyle):

I’m excited about the next iteration of the Radish34 server, especially since there might be an Azure template available at some point. That would be an excellent development, since not all of us have the hardware just to run the damn thing. Anything resembling ZKP would probably make my current laptop spew smoke, so I’m happy to offload that gear-melting work onto Azure. And then I can finally play with Baseline for real!

So I couldn’t be happier…Well, except for one last thing: I wish that there was more of a call for some transparency with Baseline. In general, I think that it’d be great for Baseline users to have the option of submitting information to a registry, where basic information about the logic of their transactions could be made public. In fact, I might have already submitted an idea or two to the Baseline repo, with the hopes that somebody will agree with that viewpoint.

But all in all, the Baseline team is making some good progress. I hope that it doesn’t stop anytime soon!

Always Appreciate a Good Baseline

So, since the launch back in March, it’s been interesting to watch the momentum building for Baseline. On the open discussion Zoom calls, it’s obvious that there’s an increasing amount of interest (including by developers!) to see where this thing is headed:

During the online event for EthAtlanta, it was encouraging to see major players of Ethereum (like Unibright) becoming part of the mix:

But it was especially interesting that other players have showed up, notably NATS.IO of the Native Computing Cloud Foundation:

At the start of Baseline, I had read about concerns using Whisper for the messaging portion of the Baseline protocol, but with NATS.IO ready to take Whisper’s place, messaging just started to look a whole lot better! I love the building momentum!

Of course, when some people read about Baseline, they question its purpose, since ultimately it’s just a protocol that’s built around using Ethereum as a central repository for hash storage. But to me, that’s the point! When you’re using a nascent technology, boring and finite goals help build credibility in its usage. After all, if it can’t even accomplish something more modest like this, why would anyone even entertain embracing the platform? Once it proves this is possible, then that’s truly the beginning of Ethereum mainnet as a possible alternative to the Internet as we know it.

I have to admit that this kind of progress in the Baseline project actually makes me (ME!) optimistic, so much that it makes me do silly things:

Okay, I’ll admit it: maybe I’ve taken it too far.

I See What You Did There

So, back in Osaka (which perhaps might be the last DevCon ever due to being the end of days), I had the pleasure of watching a lecture about Nightfall, and Paul Brody and crew really got me excited about how it could invigorate the mainstream adoption of Ethereum, especially through enterprise. But since it wasn’t a packed house, I was a little worried that anyone else cared all that much.

Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong! As it turned out, John Wolpert (of Consensys) and Yorke Rhodes (of Microsoft) had been talking to Paul Brody and team the entire time, looking to expand the theme of Nightall into something even bigger. And after months of very sneaky, sneaky cooperation, they finally unveiled the work of their collective efforts: the Baseline Protocol! Basically, similar to Nightfall, it’s a way for two companies to use zkSNARKs for private transactions, specifically to create a master agreement between parties and then submit purchase orders (based on volume discounts, etc.). And since it’s been adopted by OASIS and has two steering committees, this thing just got very real!

I haven’t had time yet to really read the work and watch the instruction videos, but I can’t wait to dig in and find out more!

Nethereum.eShop: A Practical Template for the World

So, it’s been about two years since I started getting involved with Ethereum and since this blog has turned into mostly posts about Ethereum. And it’s approaching two years since I first met the prolific Juan Blanco and since I first got involved with Nethereum, becoming its self-proclaimed mascot. (I just have the face for it.)

In any case, the Nethereum team has decided that it’s high time to actually show how integration between eCommerce and the Ethereum mainnet is totally possible, especially with Nethereum. And maybe even with the help of Wonka! And how exactly are we going to demonstrate that? By building a working template that’ll give Microsoft’s IBuySpy (for the older folks) and Blazing Pizza a run for their money. Of course, it’s just starting out now, but we hope to have something viable within the next few months.

So, I present…the eShop Store!

Of course, we welcome all contributors, so any Ethereum developers are welcome to join the party! Even any possible names for the store are welcome. Maybe it should be called Buterin Books?

Hmmm…we might need permission for that one.

DevCon 5, Super Happy Blockchain Time: Part 2

Who’s doesn’t love Taiko drums? Well, if you don’t, you need some sort of intervention, since you’re out of your mind. And since we were in Japan, it was the perfect choice for the opening ceremony of the conference and to kick off the second day:

Day 2 was a bit more subdued, in terms of interactive sessions that I wanted to attend. But there was one, from the guy who helped make tokens/ICOs become a thing and the author of Mist and Web3: Fabian Vogelsteller.

I mean, what would this guy know about decentralization and Ethereum, right? All kidding aside, he took this opportunity to talk about one of his ongoing projects: ERC-725, which is aimed at creating interfaces and implementations for decentralized IDs on Ethereum. It was interesting, especially when it came to terms of his proposed implementation regarding management of keys for a user pool. However, I knew a little about its competitor project uPort, so I wasn’t totally convinced that it was the way to go. But still, it was cool to hear from a seminal member of the community.

Aside from that, the lectures were the majority of the day for me. And to start off, you couldn’t attend DevCon and miss the father of Ethereum: Vitalik Buterin. Even though it was just a general overview of Ethereum’s past and present, it was still enjoyable.

And there were other presentations, like one about the philanthropic efforts of the Ethereum community (especially how UNICEF now receives/disperses funds through Ethereum) and one in which Maker announced the launch date of multi-collateral DAI tokens:

But all in all, I’d say that it was more of a relaxed day.

After all that and a MOS burger, I got the opportunity to meet someone who’s working on the TruSat project, which does sound amazingly ambitious and cool. After that high point, I decided to enjoy the tranquil, sunny day outside and to forget about the impending doom headed our way…when I was suddenly approached by a mysterious stranger. He introduced himself quickly and then proceeded to tell me that Mayan prophecies foretold the coming of a savior (pointing at cryptic icons on his shirt), who was none other than the Democrat party candidate Andrew Yang. “He is the chosen one described in ancient times.” And then he gave me a cap to remember the fateful day that will arrive soon:

Well, let it not be unsaid that you definitely meet interesting people at DevCon. Strange and perhaps out of their mind…but interesting.