Horizons Week 3 (Part 2) - TechCrunch Disrupt SF and Vitalik Buterin Speaks!steemCreated with Sketch.

in #techcrunch6 years ago

What I Did Week 3 in SF: TechCrunch and Vitalik Buterin Speaks

Disrupt TechCrunch SF

After winning tickets to TechCrunch last weekend, I had the privilege of attending this prestigious event on Monday. WOW! It was an incredible time! Here are the highlights of my day.

Startup Alley at TechCrunch:

Yep, it really looked like that. It was amazing to go through and talk to all the different startups. There was really a lot out there. I think the coolest one had to be the driverless food delivery one. I forget the name, but I do distinctly remember the driverless cooler on wheels. Like how cool is that? Imagine tailgating or a college party with your beer driving itself around. But in all seriousness, nothing seems more Silicon Valley than a driverless cooler.

Vitalik Buterin at TechCrunch:

Never thought I'd have the chance to hear the legend himself speak (I actually did twice in one day, more on that later). He kept it very light and high level since the audience wasn't necessarily familiar with blockchain or crypto. The coolest thing I took away from his talk was a neat analogy between smart contracts and vending machines; I was later told that young Vitalik was a journalist and this analogy came from Nick Szabo. Here is the analogy in its entirety from the original source: http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2006/12/from-vending-machines-to-smart.html

Here is a video I took (notice how close I got!) of Vitalik describing Ethereum):

I also took many notes, especially when he described apps he thought were suited well for Ethereum.

  • Anything with currency
  • Smart contract
  • DAO
  • Crowdfunding
  • Identities

And here are a few other noted things he said:

  • He got inspiration for Ethereum after being ripped off by a rule change in World of Warcraft
  • “We have more features” is the unofficial Ethereum slogan
  • Zero Knowledge proofs and Ring Signatures are coming in October
  • Blockchain is useful for situations where: 1) decentralization is needed 2) Shared memory is needed

Blockchain Q&A at TechCrunch:
Following Vitalik's talk, Vitalik Buterin, Joesph Poon, and Jun Hasegawa took part in a moderated Q&A. The way the Q&A worked was that people could go to a website, ask their question, then vote on questions they supported. AS one of the few people with a computer out, I found a way to game the system... by opening multiple browsers, I was able to place four votes at once. So, let's just say I got my questions answered :)

Here are two of the most interesting questions answered:

  1. Many bitcoin proponents critical of the obvious difficulty of implementation. Why include in Ethereum? (My question)
    Vitalik himself answered it.


Here are my raw notes from his answer:

  • Complicated technical question
  • Hard to explain in 2 minutes
  • Important not turning completeness itself the issue
  • We could also make it not turning complete
  • Most of bugs impossible still impossible
  • Much richer model of spent
  • In BTC everything is spent or not spent
  • ETH has more capabilities of spent
  • Thus, more functionals
  • Smart contracts can have more memory
  • These things can work in the ethreum model
  • Ability to withdraw ever 24 hours easy on ETH, hard on BTC
  • Some genuine drawbacks of Ethereum liberal, rich stateful approach
    • Parallizability —> scaling issue
  • Security
    • I don’t think its an issue of security
  • Bitcoin has fewer people developing
    • Fewer things you can do
    • Cant even do basic cool dev things
    • More complex things you can do, more security

Yeah, sort of rambly, but I also had a hard time hearing, the Q&A was in a room in a room, and the outside room was loud.

  1. Advice for people looking to get in as developers or as startups:

Again, here are my raw notes:

  • Not about resources
  • Don’t get discouraged
  • Took dude 3 years to feel comfortable in the space
  • Can do scripting in a few months
  • Only a few thousand working on this space
  • Recommend to do to get started
    • Kept up to pace with current discussions
    • IRC…
  • Have to come at it with a new mind or fresh way of thinking
  • Coming up with the thing to code is the hard thing
  • Way he learned
    • Watch every presentation of people in this space
    • See how they are thinking
    • Different way of solving things
  • No one really understands everything yet
  • Bigger than humans
  • Read and read and read
  • Read even if you don’t understand
  • Blockchains are sort of alive
  • If you don’t know where to go, go to Berlin

Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch:

The startup battlefield was really cool, but not as hyped up as they made it seem in Silicon Valley the TV show. Also, I'll admit I was still coming down from the high of the crypto events that preceded it. However, there was one startup that really caught my interest. It is called PiCharging. Here is what they are:

I signed up for their emailing list meaning I get $50 off when they launch. If you are interested, check them out here: https://www.picharging.com/


Stay tuned! Been a long week and heading off to bed tonight, but tomorrow I'll write up on the OMG, ETH Founders meetup I attended!!! Exciting news and clear explanations of Plasma and the future of Ethereum. Cheers and Steem on!

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