Sunny’s Blockchain for Beginners FAQ

What’s all the hype around these blockchain and cryptocurrency things?

For an introduction to blockchains and why they’re exciting, read this three part articles series by my friend Ashley Lannquist.

Alternatively, if you’re more of an audio-visual learner, check out this presentation by my friend Max Fang.

Wow, those were super cool! I want to go really deep into this stuff and learn more! Where should I start?

I suggest the UC Berkeley Blockchain Fundamentals Decal course that I co-designed.

All the materials are online here: Blockchain Fundamental Decal

The YouTube playlist is here: Blockchain Fundamentals Decal Playlist

I’m a developer. How do I get into blockchain application development?

For the moment, I would suggest focusing on Ethereum. I’m not convinced that their paradigm is optimal, however, for now until we release more material from Cosmos Academy on how to develop using Tendermint / Cosmos, Ethereum is the best starting point to hit the ground running.

I highly suggest using the following handbook I created during my time at ConsenSys

Alternatively, if you prefer a more guided course, two of my friends, Ali Mousa and Collin Chin from Blockchain at Berkeley, created this course (note it has a cost of $150):

Why is Bitcoin price rising?

I don’t know. This article does a decent job of at least laying out some of the theories.

Is Bitcoin in a bubble?

Probably. But all money is a bubble!

I don’t understand the economics of Bitcoin. Where does this stuff get value from? How does it make sense if a government doesn’t back it?

Read this.

Should I invest in …?

I don’t give investment advice. To be honest, you probably don’t want my advice anyways, I don’t know much about trading and stuff. Feel free to ask me what I think of the technicals of a protocol though!

But I want to get into trading! How do I learn?

My friend Jon Allen, co-head of Blockchain at Berkeley, has published two courses on Cryptocurrency Trading. I suggest checking them out.

What are your favorite blockchains/cryptocurrencies?

  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Ethereum
  • Ethereum Classic
  • Stellar
  • ZCash
  • Oh, and of course Cosmos :)

How many ICOs have you partaken in?

Only one, RChain. And I consider it mostly a donation to fund Greg Meredith’s work :)

How do you keep up with blockchain news?

Tbh, mostly Twitter and word of mouth.

Here’s a decent starter pack list of interesting people to follow on Twitter:

I also really enjoy listening to the Epicenter Podcast.

And I need to give a shoutout to Blockchain at Berkeley for their awesome blog.

Where can I learn more about your views and thoughts on the space?

Check out the blog podcast I created with my friend Nate Rush: Conspiratus

Or follow me on Twitter - @sunnya97!

What do you work on?

Check out this interview I did recently

I’m currently a research scientist on a project called Tendermint / Cosmos. I focus particularly on Proof of Stake economics and Byzantine Fault Tolerant systems. Want to learn more about Tendermint and Cosmos, check out this video!

I am also currently an advisor for an organization I co-founded called Blockchain at Berkeley (I previously was the Head of Education and then R&D.

I’ve also previously worked at ConsenSys on the Alethio project and then on ConsenSys Academy.

Check out some more on my website:

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

60% chance it was Nick Szabo.

30% chance it was Hal Finney.

10% chance it was someone else.

How can I contact you with more questions?

Drop me an email at or just message me however you normally do if you know me.

Wow, this FAQ was awesome! How can I tip you?

I accept Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic. And if you’re super lame, plain old Venmo works too ;)

  • BTC / BCH: 3NT7b6KNs1kTBJu5fSap1mLGrGQR3ebDxD
  • ETH / ETC: 0xe17A702c7264AB8602e7fDf4d89d8045301E80b9
  • Venmo: @sunnya97 And before anyone mentions it, yes, I’m aware of the possibility of replay attacks on ETH and ETC if I’m using the same address. I know how to deal with it :)