Talk: How Bitcoin Works

We've started this thing at my company where, every Friday evening, one of us gives a talk on something—anything—that would be interesting to the group. So far we've had sessions on deep learning and container technology (Docker etc).

This Friday was my turn. The talk was about how the Bitcoin blockchain works. I'd been meaning to dig into blockchain technology for a long time anyway—what better way to push yourself to learn something than committing to explain it to a roomful of people in a week? Here is the link to the slides.

The presentation was mostly assembled from these sources:

Feedback about the slides in particular was quite positive. For the content, I have the sources above to thank, and for the design I shamelessly stole took inspiration from Zach Holman. I really love the guy's design sense in this matter.

Since I was speaking to an audience familiar with basic cryptography and networking principles, it was mostly a matter of getting the core concept of Proof-of-Work across, and why it's such a big deal.

The talk was followed by an interesting (though chaotic) group discussion, where several finer points got addressed, although a few questions couldn't be answered satisfactorily, seeing as how none of us were experts on the topic.

This was a fun experience. I have more ideas for future talks. Ideas: The Roots of Lisp, Eve, Clojure, git tips / how git works, cognitive biases, design principles, JavaScript/web stuff.

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