this year has been one of the best years of my life. Now that I finally have some free time to look back, I can think through everything that happened clearly. 2021 has been nothing short of amazing considering how I started out. The TL;DR of my year is that I made a ton of new frens, became financially independent, got clarity on what I want to pursue as a career path, got to work on a few cool projects, learned a lot about programming, blockchains, and the applications built on top of them along with the infrastructure that powers them. In 2022 I’ll try my best to back the builder in DCBuilder by shipping cool software.
If you’re looking for a summary of 2021, many others have created much better summaries than I could ever produce, so I will only cover what has happened in my web3 life and things I look forward to in 2022.
Links for 2021 summaries:
At the start of the year, I began with barely any money to my name since I had started from 0 just before DeFi summer happened in 2020. I managed to save up a bit of money from working and put it into ETH and DeFi tokens. By January most of the tokens I had were mooning and that gave me a bit of leeway to focus on developing my skills as a blockchain researcher. I learned how the EVM works under the hood, what side chains and alt L1s like BSC and Polygon PoS were doing since they were popular at the time, and started being interested in following what other people are doing.
After a few months of doing research at what would later become Moralis, I felt like I was missing something crucial, and so in April I started using Twitter when NFTs started to become very popular in crypto circles. The decision of joining Twitter and creating the DCBuilder persona happened during the following weeks of me starting to use the platform. I’d say that this is the decision that has impacted my life the most this year. I got to meet amazing people, I found market inefficiencies and information much sooner than I would have otherwise, I got to follow the best builders and creators many of which I later met IRL. The amount of knowledge and wisdom that I got from my CT frens was invaluable to me, helped me get off the ground, and made me a better researcher and builder.
I was traveling around Poland and Spain during summer, around this time I was watching a lot of The Daily Gwei Refuel episodes which are produced by Anthony Sassano, and became a lot more interested in what Ethereum core is all about, I read EIP specifications for the protocol upgrades that were planned, read the Gasper ArXiV paper to understand how PoS will work in Ethereum, started learning about MEV and Flashbots, and generally got a much better understanding of what fundamental features a blockchain needs in order to be as secure, decentralized and scalable as possible. I started learning about L2 scaling solutions like Arbitrum and Optimism, the differences between solutions like fraud proofs, plasma, validiums, volitions, zero-knowledge proofs, and more. These learnings became the foundational knowledge I’d later use to write my Mirror article “The Ultimate Guide to L2s on Ethereum”.
Around August I was reconsidering what I wanted to focus on, whether I wanted to research projects in the blockchain realm and gauge their potential as investments in order to maximize my financial resources, whether I wanted to focus more on writing and helping educate people about web3 or whether I wanted to become part of the creators and builders shaping this amazing industry.
The rest is part of history, if you want to learn more about my journey you can listen to the WholesomeCrypto podcast ft. myself. After having done research for two years, I’ve managed to secure my financial future for the next couple of years, so I’ve decided it’s time for me to focus my all on development. I’ll still publish content and alpha here and there, but it won’t be my main priority. The people that have inspired me the most to go full-time builder are @m1guelpf, @gakonst, and @0xJim - thank you frens. Can’t wait to start shipping.
This year has been amazing for me, I’ve finally been able to see my frens that live abroad and meet so many new frens from Twitter at different events. Here are my highlights.
I went to Liscon and ETHLisbon, they were my first in-person Ethereum events and they vastly exceeded all of my expectations. I met so many of my friends from Twitter and got to interact with many more. I went to many parties and side events that were organized by different DeFi and DAO teams, VCs, and more. All of my experiences in Lisbon were incredible and it opened up many opportunities for me in the space as an individual wanting to contribute to this shared mission. I’m so happy for having met all of you frens!
In Lisbon I met many members from the core Aave team and got invited to the rAave Lisbon party. Thanks to having made many frens at Aave in Lisbon I got invited to rAave Helsinki which took place in December. I decided to take this opportunity to fly to Finland for the first time in my life, explore the city and meet many of my Aave frens. Even though the cold was intense, the kind-heartedness of the Finns and my web3 frens made it an amazing experience. Alpha: Scandinavian and Finnish libraries are the most chill place to code in and learn about any subject matter.
After Helsinki, I still had a spare week in December where I could afford to travel, and since I’m a blockchain researcher at Moralis I decided that I’d visit the core team which is residing in Stockholm. Meeting Ivan on Tech was one of my dreams ever since I started following him in early 2018, thanks to him I got into crypto and learned all the basics of how blockchains and web3 applications work. I joined the Ivan on Tech team in July of 2020 and Moralis when it was started in March of 2021. I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities been given to me by the Moralis team. Stockholm was beautiful and I can’t wait to travel to the city again under better weather conditions.
2022 marks a new chapter in my personal life. Now I finally know what I want, how to achieve it and have the resources to be able to pursue my dreams without any limitations. It’s incredibly exciting to be able to work on the things that I love and with my frens and people I admire.
I really want 2022 to be a year of growth. I really want to make blockchain development my main thing and to achieve that very goal I’m committed to build every single day of the year and learn all of the necessary skills I need. Skills I want to master in 2022:
I want to explore many domains within web3 and build one small project within each niche to find what I like doing the most and where my skillset would fit best. By mid 2022 I’d like to join a team fulltime as a blockchain dev to put my skills to practice once I decide which particular niche I want to target currently.
I’d also like to learn mathematics and computer science that I’ve not been able to pursue in the past year because I was too busy trying to secure myself financially. I’m currently learning cryptography, then I’ll proceed to relearn multivariable calculus, linear algebra, some discrete mathematics and move on to do some more advanced cryptography (elliptic curves and zk-proofs). I also want to deepen my understanding of data structures and algorithms in order to produce better code. I may create a public learning board where I’ll record all the things that I’m currently learning and plan to tackle in the future.
I’m also looking forward to a lot of travelling! Next year is packed with conferences, hackathons, and parties. There’s also a few places like Tokyo and Budapest which I want to visit outside of my web3 interests. I’ll be going to most Ethereum events in this list. I’m also one of the co-organizers of ETHPrague which will be taking place in June 10-12th, it will be a hackathon with enough space for talks, meet ups and side-events, so if you’re interested hit us up on Twitter or on Telegram!
2022 is posed to be one of the most exciting years in crypto and web3 in general. There so many protocols, products and services going live, infrastructure being built to scale and create a better developer experience, changes being implemented to core protocols like Ethereum, and so much more! DeFi, DAOs, NFTs, GameFi, and all the other primitives are set to have a year of tremendous growth as more users come into the space and get onboarded to L2s. I really believe that 2022 will be the year of Ethereum scalability, we’ll also switch from PoW to PoS which will greatly improve Ethereum’s security and decentralization, reduce ether issuance, make the network more resistant to MEV attacks and more.
In terms of DeFi protocols I’m looking forward to the release of Aave v3, Alchemix v2, Olympus V2, Concave, and many other projects. I also want a lot of new experiments to be done, lookout for what 0xJim is doing at Newt (Aave’s experimentation branch). DAOs will also thrive in 2022 and I’m sure that new tooling and organizational structures will help produce a lot of innovation in the space and drive a lot of new adoption for web3 technologies. It’s going to be an incredibly exciting year and I can’t wait for what the future holds for us!