Last week, on the 7th of July, Hackwagon Academy and coinhako played hosts to the inaugural CryptoSG meetup. CryptoSG is a first-of-its-kind Singaporean community interested in all things cryptocurrency, and last Friday evening, members moved away from their virtual chats to meet in person on Hackwagon’s premises. The Hackwagon crew was on hand, taking down notes and capturing moments as the night unfolded.
There was an overwhelming response to this event as people listened in intently on the numerous talks delivered by esteemed speakers. It was implicit among participants that despite the volatility of Bitcoins, cryptocurrency and its associated technologies were here to stay in Singapore and should be capitalized upon.
Aligned with our belief in education, Hackwagon gives a two-part run through of the talks that went on that night.
The first two talks were entitled “Overview of Blockchain” and “Smart Contracts”. They were delivered by Gavin Low and Prof. Paul Griffin respectively. These talks provided an overview of the nature of cryptocurrencies and how they came into existence.
Personally, we feel that many fall into a trap of seeking instant gratification with cryptocurrencies and when they jump on the bitcoin trading bandwagon, they do so without necessarily understanding how these currencies operate. However, in the same manner the seasoned investor keeps him or herself updated with the market and the companies they are interested in investing in, we think that the crypto enthusiast should too recognise the underpinnings of virtual currencies.
The long and short of the first two talks were that cryptocurrency transactions are essentially forms of smart contracts that are automated and run without the need for intermediaries. This is executed by dint of Blockchain technology which can be considered distributed ledger that consists of a network of databases synchronised by the internet and available by everyone. A block that exists on a Blockchain represents an encrypted series of transactions that have taken place in a specific timeframe. To demonstrate the encryption process, Gavin gave the audience a rundown of how a SHA-256 hash is generated and subsequently altered as the blockchain lengthens. You can watch this demonstration in the video embedded at the bottom of this post.
Different forms of cryptocurrencies primarily rely on Blockchain technology but with minor differences between them. It is as such, as mentioned, essential for the crypto enthusiast to understand the different variations of this technology. A trader with this knowledge would then be discerning to tech-related events and time their trades accordingly.
The third talk of the evening entitled “Mining and ERC20 tokens” was again closely related to Blockchain. To revisit Blockchain, mining is simply described as attempts to validate a block of transactions (to be added to an existing chain of blocks) by solving complex coded problems. A miner is someone in the network who typically has high levels of processing power and if the miner is successful, he or she is rewarded with cryptocurrency. Jayou gave an informative breakdown of the types of software and hardware associated with Ethereum mining.
The second part of his talk was centered on ERC20, a new standard for Ethereum tokens. Tokens here refer to digital assets perhaps created by third-party or decentralised apps or ‘dapps’ that can be used interchangeably with other Ethereum-based platforms. The ERC-20 in particular allows developers of wallets, exchanges and other smart contracts, to foretell how a new token based on the standard will behave. As Jayou frequently reminded the audience, this ties in well with the Ethereum vision of an ecosystem where digital transactions are seamless notwithstanding differing tokens.
Should you wish to view the talks in their entirety, they can be viewed on Youtube via links below:
Do stay tuned to the second part of our coverage of CryptoSg’s inaugural meeting
This post was written by Joshua Chan, an intern here at Hackwagon Academy