freelance software developer for ruby on rails, javascript, and objective c

Dusting Off the Ol’ Blog

Yet again somebody drags out their old blog from the depths of the interwebs and proclaims: “I’m going to start using this thing again!”

I really would hate to be a person that does that sort of thing. Someone who makes a few half-hearted posts about what I had for breakfast with links to my Instagram, who gushes about how good it feels to write again, and then leaves the blog once more for the warm confines of Netflix and responsibility avoidance. The timing of this is also inconvenient, being after the New Year and all. This isn’t a New Year’s resolution, so don’t peg me for that.

So, first and foremost I wanted to write this particular post to clarify my intentions for this blog in the near future (a few months at least).

I’ve been working mainly in Ruby and Rails for the past 11 years. During that time I’ve consistenly increased my technical knowledge base, trying to learn new things each year. Unfortunately, as of late, it feels like I haven’t maintained that pace. While I feel I’ve honed my current skill-set quite well it’s always good from a personal and employability standpoint to keep learning and growing, increasing the breadth of knowledge along with depth.

To that end I’m going to dive into something that, for me, has always been kind of a black-box: cryptocurrency. I’m sure most people have heard of Bitcoin, especially with its meteoric rise up to $19,000 USD in under a year, but who among us can claim to fully grok Bitcoin from end-to-end? Not many, I would wager. I’m not going for a superficial understanding of cryptocurrency, which I think I already have. I’m talking about understanding the technical and economical aspects of cryptocurrency, how they function from a low-level, and how that knowledge can be used for something practical and useful.

For my endeavor I’ve settled on learning about Monero, a cryptocurrency that focuses on privacy and accessibility. It works similarly to other cryptocurrencies, so I would imagine that knowledge about Monero can be applied to other cryptocurrencies with some success. I know that transactions are encrypted, the currency can be mined, and that it can be traded in for USD. What I’m going to be focusing on in the near future is really understanding the nitty-gritty. Things like: What is a blockchain? What is mining and how does it payout? How are transactions tracked? How is currency transferred from one person to another? How is Monero secure compared to other cryptocurrencies? I’m sure I have other questions but I know that I don’t know enough yet to know what to ask.

I’m going to attempt to answer those questions for myself, and then write posts explaining those answers in detail. People say that the best way to know that you know something is to try to explain it to someone else. I’ve always found that addage to hold true, so that’s my plan.

The other thing I will explore is how cryptocurrency can be used for something useful, aside from the obvious use as an alternate currency. So far cryptocurrency seems to be most useful for tax avoidance and arbitrage, two things I’m not too keen on. I want to find out if there are practical uses for cryptocurrency that are beneficial and useful.

So maybe someone will read this stuff, maybe they won’t. No matter the case, I’ll be posting on this blog with (what I hope to be) easy to understand material that can help someone go from zero to crypto in no time. From the initial research I’ve done I haven’t found anywhere that can provide that. At the very least I know I’ll be able to annoy my wife with all the technical details, so that’s a win right out of the gate.