Software Engineer, Data Scientist, Co-founder @ API3

This is a post summarizing this excellent research paper by Tim Roughgarden.

I will give an overview of the EIP-1559 proposal, restate Roughgarden’s “Ten Key Takeaways”, and offer a bit of a high-level and intuitive explanation for the proofs/arguments in his paper. (You can also just skip to the conclusion.)

Background: Transactions in Ethereum

(If you’re pretty familiar with Ethereum, feel free to skip this section.)

Like all computers, the Ethereum blockchain is a state machine.¹ Any given state of Ethereum is “simply” a mapping between addresses and account states — the account state is just the data stored by an account (e.g. …


This is the 7th and penultimate post in our series, “Getting APIs on the Blockchain”. We have thus far, among other things, introduced the API Connectivity Problem and highlighted several major components of our solution — namely, first-party oracles and quantifiable security. This post highlights another major component of our design.

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Gerardo Dottori, Ascending Forms (or Ascending Forces). 1930, Comune di Perugia, Perugia. (Detail.)

Much has been said — and much is yet to be said— about decentralized governance in the form of DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). This is because, the more we discuss the various approaches to DAO operation, the more in need we are of an objective function in which to…


This is kind of a Part 2 to my post How Mesa DEX Works which I wrote on November 27th, three days before the API3 public token distribution. During the distribution — in fact, right at the beginning — a previously untapped exploit was used by an attacker to purchase approximately 1.6 million API3 tokens for relatively cheap, at $0.56 USD per token. This result in the API3 DAO to raise ~$680,000 less than expected under normal circumstances. (In case you’re wondering: the attacker resold all of those tokens on Mesa, at a higher price, within a day.)

In this…


This is the first post in our series, “Getting APIs on the Blockchain”.

There is a famous David Foster Wallace commencement speech titled “This is Water” where he offers a little parable of fish discussing water and briefly explicates the title with: “The most obvious important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.” In the first blog post of this series, we will be talking about APIs.¹

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© iStock/smirkdingo

APIs are everywhere — they permeate our digital world. The concept of an API is so inescapable in computer software that it’s ironically difficult to appropriately define…


API3 wants to talk to you about providing your API to the blockchain

This is the final post in our series, “Getting APIs on the Blockchain”.

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© iStock/smirkdingo, postprocessing by author

If you have been following this series from the beginning, I’m happy to say that you have already been introduced to the main elements and ideas behind API3’s design. This post simply shows how they fit together to solve the API Connectivity Problem.


In 2014, during my computer science masters, I had to write an 250-word “essay” for a scholarship application answering the question: “What do you think will be the future impact of data-driven computing on society?”

I re-read my response recently and found it interesting in light of modern day contexts. Note that this essay response was relatively controversial at the time and was the only selected essay with a negative sentiment.

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As much as the analysis of larger and larger data sets has been touted as the future of computing, data-driven computing has the potential to have adverse effects if…


EDIT: I’ve written a Part 2 (“The Mesa DEX Exploit”) to this article that addresses the exploit that occurred during the API3 public token distribution event. I also amend some things mentioned in this article and include my updated thoughts on Mesa/Gnosis Protocol.

The API3 public token distribution will take place on Mesa DEX. There have been a lot of questions about how Mesa / Gnosis Protocol works and this article is meant to address that.

TL;DR

  • If you bid $X and the total demand (for tokens at price ≤ $X) is less than the supply, then it is extremely probable…


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Detail from Book of Hours, Italy 1470–1480, MS G.14 fol. 13v

This is the 6th post in our series, “Getting APIs on the Blockchain”.

Engineering is the art of modelling materials we do not wholly understand, into shapes we cannot precisely analyse, so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess, in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.

— Dr. A. R. Dykes, British Institution of Structural Engineers

If we were to ask a structural engineer “How much can your bridge support?” and we were to receive the answer “I assure you, sir, it has 21 beams of the highest quality…


This is the fifth post in our series, “Getting APIs on the Blockchain”.

This particular article in our series might seem a bit out-of-place at first, so let me provide a bit of context. Previously we discussed the significance of APIs and the problem with connecting existing APIs to the blockchain. We then began to introduce some of the components of our solution via defining first-party oracles (and, in particular, comparing them with third-party oracles).

Now, why are we discussing staking? As we introduce the components of our solution to the API Connectivity Problem, eventually comes the elucidation of our…


The text below used to live as a pdf on my little academic website a while ago. In 2014, I was tutoring a few students and I started wondering about how to scale my services. I wanted to know if you could manipulate prices (in a fair way) to incentivize students to spread the word of my services. Could I come up with a pricing mechanism that would benefit my tutees and also work in my favour?

I re-read this a few months back and showed it to a friend. He said that this was essentially a bonding curve. I…

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