This post was written by Rohan.
I enjoyed attending Jimmy Song’s Programming Blockchain seminar in Amsterdam! It was a deep dive into the Bitcoin protocol and the underlying mathematical concepts that are fundamental to making Bitcoin transactions and the core technology. I’ve been interested in learning more about Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other blockchain technology at the protocol level, and this seminar was a great way for me to get my hands dirty by building a Python client for Bitcoin.
In this article, I talk about my interest in learning about Bitcoin, the structure of the seminar, and my biggest takeaways from the experience.
I was lucky to receive the PinkCoin scholarship to attend the seminar and join Jimmy on his Off Chain show. I talked about what I plan to do with the knowledge I would gain from the seminar.
The Seminar in Amsterdam
The seminar is structured as 8 ninety-minute sessions across two days where each session builds on concepts from previous sessions. We covered everything from mathematical concepts, elliptic curve cryptography, transaction parsing, Script (Bitcoin’s smart contract language), mining, simplified payment verification, and advanced concepts like Segwit. Each session is a combination of Jimmy presenting concepts and coding exercises in Python. The sessions move at a fast pace, so you need to do your homework before and after, but you finish each session with a solid understanding of how the concepts make Bitcoin work.
Using our Python client, we were able to construct a Bitcoin transaction from scratch, sign it with our private key, and broadcast the transaction on the Bitcoin test network. Constructing and validating Bitcoin transactions is a major part of the Bitcoin protocol so it was rewarding to see it in action!
Biggest Takeaway for me
Many people, including me, started following the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem in 2017. It’s easy for newcomers to develop the opinion that Ethereum is better than Bitcoin due to its Turing-completed smart contract language. Additionally, news around Bitcoin scalability issues and governance issues, resulting in hard forks, tend to strengthen that opinion.
During and after the seminar, I had a chance to chat with other students who have been following the space for much longer. It was amazing to hear their perspective and see their strong passion for the Bitcoin ecosystem. Bitcoin has proven to be the most resilient and most secure blockchain since its inception. Additionally, the lightning network, support for sidechains, Schnorr signatures, and increased privacy are just a few of many things to be excited about for Bitcoin. The biggest takeaway for me is to dig deeper into the incredible innovation that’s happening in Bitcoin and judge newer protocols like Ethereum with a bit more scrutiny.
I want to thank Jimmy and Michael Flaxman, who co-instructed the seminar, PinkCoin for the scholarship, and all of the other students for making this experience very memorable!
If you have any questions about the seminar, I’d be happy to give you more details about it. I recommend attending one of the upcoming seminars if you’re interested in the technology!
I can't begin to describe the feelings and emotions today. After a 10 year journey, Micello has been acquired by one of the largest mapping companies on the planet.
Press Release: https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/01/24/1304421/0/en/HERE-to-acquire-global-indoor-maps-provider-Micello.html
HERE Technologies, earlier known as Navteq, has signed a definitive agreement with Micello to acquire the entire company. All of us will be joining HERE's Internet-of-Things business unit and merging with the current HERE Venue Maps team. HERE is doubling down on our work and is committed to helping us accelerate - engineering, product development, partner management, customer support, everything!
I'm thrilled and excited for the new era of indoor maps with HERE. Over the last decade, we've had the privilege of working with companies like Apple, Cisco, Facebook, Yelp, TomTom, HERE, Walmart, SingTel, ServiceNow, Steelcase, and so many more around the world. I'm excited to see the work, the innovation, and the creativity we do together with HERE and to accelerate indoor mapping on a global stage.
This brings me to the most important part — thanking everyone who has helped and stood by us over the last many years. There are so many people to give thanks.
First, thank you to our partners and customers. We really appreciate you betting and trusting us.
Second, thank you to our friends and family investors for their trust and investment in Micello for so many years.
Third, I'd like to give a shout out to our new friends at HERE: Scott, Erminio, Leon, Edzard, Savina, and all the other wonderful team members who have supported the acquisition and integration of Micello over the past few weeks. I'm very excited to work with everyone and turn HERE inside out :)
Fourth, I'd like to appreciate the many Micello advisers that have provided guidance over the years.
Fifth, of course, the Micello team, Mario, Dave, Anil, Indranil, Hideaki, Terumi, Monal, Gunjan, Asit, Sidd, Darshan, Dhaivat, Suri, Ishit... all of you have spent more than five years on the indoor maps dream. I can't thank you enough for your support, commitment and hard-work to ensure Micello saw success. Also, shout out to Medhi at Cooley's for keeping us out of trouble, and Mark and Ben for helping us on the home stretch with all the M&A paperwork. And a very warm thank you to Martin and Gerard from Cerca Trova for their invaluable mentor-ship, advice, and guidance through this process.
Last, all of this was possible with the unconditional support from my family and closest friends. It was incredible to build something out of nothing. Thanks Dad, for your complete support and trust in me, for everything, and especially your 401K fund to bail us out in tough times. Mom, likewise, you kept everything together and supported us through it all. And to my lil' bro, Rohan, who has now been infected with the startup bug and my partner in our part-time side hustle, A7V, thank you.
I'm looking forward to sharing more stories, lessons, and experiences via A7V. For now, the Micello team is celebrating a well earned moment.
Special thanks to Hemal Somaiya, Professor Tom Le, Christina Hawkins, Anita Subrahmanyam, Shawn Gunn, and Rohan Agarwal for reading and commenting on early drafts of this post.