Hi, my name is Sunny Aggarwal. I wear many hats. Let me tell you about a few of them!
During the summer of 2017, I came across Cosmos, and I was hooked. The architecture just made so much sense, and I was sure that this was the future of the blockchain ecosystem. And so, I dropped out of school and started working with Tendermint, the primary dev team, to make Proof of Stake and Blockchain Interoperability a reality. As a research scientist, I helped build the Cosmos SDK, IBC, and launch the Cosmos Hub (aka Gaia).
In order to best understand the Proof of Stake ecosystem, I realized I needed to not just be a developer of the protocol, but also an operator of it. By building a validator, I would have a better understanding of the economics and processes of the validators running the systems I was building at Tendermint. So, I created a validator company called Sikka with Dev Ojha. We currently run one of the largest validators on the Cosmos Hub, where we have the most number of delegators and are extremely active in the governance process. We also run validators on the Kava mainnet and a number of other testnets.
Along with running validators, I also provide advisory services to select blockchain projects I am excited for, especially within the Cosmos ecosystem. I am currently an advisor to Kava and Akash Network.
Epicenter was one of the OG crypto podcasts, making sense of cryptocurrencies and blockchain since before they were cool (since 2014!). Through interviews with founders and buidlers, it explore the technology, but also the stories, behind many of the coolest projects in the space. And most importantly, it was one of the most invaluable resources in my own personal learning path.
So when in Spring 2018, Brian Fabian Crain invited me to guest host an episode with Charles Hoskinson, I was estatic. After than, I joined as regular co-host, and am able to share my blockchain passion with over 15K subscribers!
While Epicenter is focused on crypto, I also have a second podcast called Conspiratus where I talk about all sorts of other topics that interest me! Check it out!
While I was at UC Berkeley, I co-founded Blockchain at Berkeley, the largest blockchain student org in the world. I ran the Education and R&D departments of the org, where I co-created the crpytocurrency decal (see below), ran weekly [whitepaper circles], helped students create blockchain proof-of-concepts, and created the Berkeley Bitcoin Meetup which hosts weekly meetups and invites speakers from industry and academia.
Course Designer and Lecturer
I like to say that the best way to learn is to teach. Because if have to lecture on something next week, you better learn it this week! At UC Berkeley, they have an amazing program called Decals, which allows students to teach for-credit courses, with the backing of a professor. This helped me discover my passion for teaching, and became my favorite part of Berkeley (at least from an academic side).
The first course I co-created was the Cryptocurrency Decal (currently called Blockchain Fundamentals). After teaching the course for two semesters, we handed it off to a new generation of teachers (picked from past students), and the course is still running to this day, and has taught over 400 students since we first created it in Fall 2016. It has also been turned into a set of official UC Berkeley MOOCs on EdX .
After co-teaching a large-scale course with hundreds of students for two semesters, I wanted to solo teach a smaller more intimate course. After exploring a couple of topics, I was inspired by this paper I had written. And so I decided to teach a course on Switzerland to about 20 passionate students. You can check out the lecture recordings from the course here!
I was a student at UC Berkeley for two years where I studied Electrical Engingeering and Computer Science (EECS) with a minor in Political Economy. I ended up dropping out after my sophomore year to pursue my work on Cosmos, but during my time there, I created the Cal Pirate Party and got elected to Student Senate, joined the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, and did research with Professor Dawn Song.