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I went down the Bitcoin rabbithole during 2017. I had heard about Bitcoin several years before, and I had seen the whitepaper, and thought “That’s cool, how do I get some”, and then researched a bit, figured out it wasn’t easy, and lost interest. So I missed out on the greatest bull run of this century… or at least a good part of it.

In 2017 I finished my PhD, so I found myself with some more free time, and not a lot of ideas on what to do next. Despite I loved my experience doing research for my PhD, I knew it an academic career wasn’t what I wanted. I love research much more when it’s not my job,

Just for fun I started doing some trading − something that worked pretty well for some time, and gave me the opportunity to learn a lot of things that I would not have experienced otherwise. But I’m also not a trader, I wanted to be a developer.

I started working as a developer in March 2019 at PisaResearch (now any.crypto). It’s been a great experience that allowed me to improve my skills as a developer, while staying in close touch with certain exciting research and technology topics like layer 2 scaling solutions. In fact, it also gave me some research ideas that I’m trying to develop further.

Over the course of the last three years, I read numerous whitepapers, research articles, blog posts, and books that helped me form my opinions on what matters in crypto. For a number of reasons that I hope to cover in future blog posts, I came to the conclusion that Bitcoin is the only cryptocurrency that really matters in the long term. I don’t believe that everything else is a scam − a lot of great research ideas is done on Ethereum and other blockchains − but I believe that the only one such currency will exist in the long term, and that anything useful that is developed on other chains will eventually find its way to be reimplemented on Bitcoin.

Therefore, I want Bitcoin to be the main focus of my work at this time. I believe that bringing my contribution to Bitcoin (and anything that revolves around it) is my best chance to bring a positive contribution to the world; at the same time, it allows me to stay close to some “researchy” topics that

What will this blog contain?

I will probably write mostly about Bitcoin. Especially, I would like to develop some topics that are not strictly technical and I’m not necessarily an expert about. Bitcoin forced me to expand my horizons in directions I never thought I would be interested, like the history of money, energy, finance, banking, and their interaction with politics and society. Writing about them might help me systematize my ideas on topics that I’m learning, and hopefully I’ll have something interesting to say about them.

Because I installed an extension to the blog that lets me write beautiful mathematical formulas like \(\displaystyle \sum_{n = 1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2} = \frac{\pi^2}{6}\), I might also write some solution to maths problems that I like. Just because I like to be mentally challenged.

I might write about something else completely. Basically, this blog is an extension of my thoughts, with no guarantees on quantity, nor quality.

About Salvatore Ingala

Since my first contact with programming, on a QBasic interpreter of an old DOS machine, I've been fascinated with the idea that I can let computers do things for me. The satisfaction of running the code that you've worked on and finally see it do exactly what you wanted has always been extremely fulfilling.

I've always been curious, and always liked to break things into pieces to see how they worked. And during my high school years, I would solve problems in maths and computer science just for fun, for the challenge. I trained and participated to maths and informatics competitions, and I had some successes. That lead to my interest in algorithms and data structures, and more theoretical aspects of computer science, that I pursued during my PhD. I saw it as the quest to understand what is possible to do with computers.

Towards the end of my PhD, I started getting more and more interested to Bitcoin. As a computer scientist, I was astonished how a software system based on few basic principles could create something that just works as intended, without a chance for the participant to change it or abuse it. I started to dig more and ponder the implications for society, slowly growing a belief that it is a defensive technology that will help people protect themselves from oppression, or from a catastrophic failure of the financial system.

Bitcoin lies in a beautiful intersection of many of my passions and beliefs. It is a common good, as it is open source and not owned by anyone. It can bring good to the world. It is at the centre of state-of-the-art research in algorithms, cryptography and distributed systems, that keeps expanding its capabilities. And I can also bring my contribution as a programmer.

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