How to Get Started with Dazzling Blockchain Technology

Mon Mar 26 17:02:58 CST 2018

In 2018, the most exciting technology was blockchain tech - I had listed ML and blockchain as the learning direction for the second half of the year in this year's plan. Unexpectedly, it was a bad idea. I first went to the blockchain ship. There are two main things that blockchain excited me:

First, it integrates a variety of existing technologies and solves a real problem: how to construct an open ledger and solve the double spending problem in a distributed environment where one node cannot trust each other. . If the blockchain is a technology that stands on the shoulders of giants, it is not an exaggeration. The following figure shows the techniques used by mainstream cryptocurrency:


It covers distributed systems, cryptography, networking, compiling principles, virtual machines, and a wide variety of data structures. It basically touches on the main technologies involved in CS. If you go through a certain cryptocurrency (such as bitcoin / ethereum) learning, the truth about technology is obvious.

Second, the innovation in the field of blockchain (if it is true to do things rather than money-based innovation), at this stage, technical people dominate (turn over serfs to sing). Different from SaaS, e-commerce, OMO and other fields of application, blockchain is still in the stage of basic research, and technology is the decisive factor. If you do not have a complete and detailed understanding of the existing technology system, it is difficult for you to find the entry point. You may not even know which problems can be solved and which problems cannot be solved. I have read some product-driven white papers. I haven’t even understood the minimum technology. I'm not sure about the current status of blockchain technology. I attacked many of Bitcoin's and Ethereum's hearsay problems, and then I wrote a great deal without a hitch. The meaning of the text explains how he "invented" a new method to "solve" existing problems so that they can complete certain applications.

The above two reasons make our attention to the blockchain-related technologies taken for granted. I said in the article, “When will the good days of programmers come to an end?” The demand for programmers has been strong in the market, and the reliable supply has been seriously inadequate. For almost 70 years, the demand for programmers has almost doubled every five years. This means that the market is full of new programmers with <5 years of work experience. What does this mean? In such a crazy market, the profession of the programmer itself has already obtained a much higher premium than other professions, and reliable, experienced programmers can easily build on this premium. Turn it on again and again. No way, this is a supply and demand decision. Nowadays, investment in the field of blockchain continues to soar, and demand is growing stronger. However, few programmers rely on the market. A huge deficit will inevitably make experienced and capable programmers become super hot. Therefore, for programmers, this is an area that deserves attention. It is not as professional as ML/DL/AI. If you do not have good mathematics and open thinking, it is difficult to excel; in the area of blockchain What is needed is more extensive knowledge and engineering capabilities.

However, blockchain technology is more difficult to get started, and many people have bumped into the nails with one enthusiasm. There are several reasons for this.

The entire system is still in a very early stage. Tools and information are not perfect. Most of the time, we need to read the fxxking paper / code to get the correct knowledge. This often makes it difficult for beginners to get a glimpse of the door for further study. Although there are a large number of articles on the Internet, it is either a bit tricky or awkward, or simply talk about technology and just talk about virtual brain applications.

2. Although blockchain tech is still in its early stages, various cryptocurrency companies have already “disrupted their squandering desires”. There are more than 450 kinds of tens of millions of dollars in market value (https://coinmarketcap.com). The generation is also from the first generation of bitcoin, to the second generation of ethereum, to the current blockchain 3.0. Where do I look from?

Three. The mainstream cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin or ethereum, installs an environment and puts your mbp poor 512G disk to eat. It hasn’t started learning yet.

4. There are too many new concepts to understand. It's easy to figure out the open ledger and pop out PoW, then UTXO, then smart contract, and then side-chain, endless. Let's take the core consensus mechanism. I recently wrote an article about consensus and put together a list of consensus mechanisms that are mentioned in various white papers: PoW, PoS, PoI(NEM), PoD ( Nebulas), PBFT (Hyperledger), FBA (Stellar), Hybrid PoW/PoD (peercoin), Tendermint (cosmos), dPoS (EOS). . . There are countless numbers of people, and it is really the dark clouds that have destroyed the city and the consensus mechanism has caused grief. After all, they are about to "start from the beginning and give up." Is there any wood?

However, our beloved Professor Randy Pausch said: The brick walls are there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

So don't be afraid. So, if I start looking at the blockchain now, how do I get started? Is it from bitcoin? Or is it directly on ethereum? Or even directly research the white paper of interest?