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Software Engineer, Data Scientist, R&D @ 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.

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 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

© 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…


Both sides of the political spectrum use data to justify their opinions. In general, people on the ‘Left’ tend to focus on variance and people on the ‘Right’ tend to focus on mean. Statistical distributions — at the very least — have both mean and variance. That is, every statistical distribution has both a mean and a variance (and often other parameters as well).

The Right tends to focus on general macro trends (read: means; e.g., “group X is different than group Y”) and the Left tends to focus on exceptions to the rule (read: variance & outliers; e.g., …


A Frank Gehry sketch. (Source.)

I need to get comfortable writing short things. I will make an effort to write short things, frequently. The last thing I wrote really bogged me down with terrible writer’s block. I spent over a month researching, reading, writing, rewriting; repeat. Sometimes it’s required, but not everything I write has to be comprehensive or provide an answer to a grand question.

It’s okay (she tells herself…) to occasionally jot down ideas, ask questions that don’t have answers, leave loose ends untied — and let the internet see it.


A brief history of insurance, and what it means for Web 3.0.

With risks undeterred, opportunities are deferred. The growth of any industry necessitates sophisticated insurance products. The risks inherent in exploration and entrepreneurship must be mitigated and managed. It is no different in the nascent crypto/blockchain space …

tl;dr

  • The concept of insurance is ancient.
  • Ancient societies independently discovered the benefits of preventing, hedging, and distributing risk. Historically, these proto-insurance efforts were driven by community.
  • Modern-day insurance emerged from the ashes of the Great Fire of London in 1666 — forcing insurance to quickly shift from a mere community-driven convenience…


Hatch by Tammy Lu

Someone in the API3 Telegram channel asked this question:

I still don’t fully get why smart contracts need oracles, why is it that smart contracts are not able to query APIs the same way regular apps can? Is it purely because smart contracts are completely reactive to data and they can’t go out and make API calls themselves like a regular app running on a server?

Here was my answer, now written in Medium-form for future reference:

In order to update the state of the blockchain (i.e. make the network “do something”) you need to process a transaction. Since the…


I was asked to answer several questions for a media feature, but the article was unfortunately shelved, and I didn’t want my responses to go to waste :)

I realized while answering these questions, that this was the first time I publicly talked about blockchain really “high-level” — even though it’s something I think about a lot — so I thought it would be a good opportunity to share these “bird’s-eye view” thoughts on my blog (where I tend towards talking more low-level about technical blockchain-related things).

So, here are my warm & hot takes on blockchain, as they stand…


This is an introduction to one element of API3's technical design.

Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue. 1942, Tate Modern, London. (Detail.)

The API3 solution to the API connectivity problem requires an ecosystem with a large number of first-party oracles. Airnode’s role in this is to make first-party oracles a reality.

Airnode

Airnode is an oracle node specifically engineered for API-provider operated oracles (i.e. first-party oracles). It is designed to interface APIs to smart contract platforms. This results in some very restrictive requirements. Such requirements are outlined in Section 4.2 of the API3 whitepaper.

Here, we will only focus on one of these requirements: standardized integration.

Standardizing API⬌Oracle Integration

API–oracle node integration should be standardized…


https://forgottenlanguages-full.forgottenlanguages.org

This is a series of excerpts from an email exchange I had with Ayndryl, site admin and one of several contributors to Forgotten Languages.

It’s a pretty fluid discussion that curvedly touches on: linguistics, computer programming languages, cognitive psychology, Turing machines, quantum mechanics, and philosophy [having the final word].

If you’re familiar with their website this wouldn’t strike you as odd given that Forgotten Languages’ articles seem to, as a whole, cover seemingly every field of human study. …

Saša Milić

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