The ultimate 2000-word guide to understanding APIs in plain English.

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If you’ve been anywhere close to a computer engineer, you’d have definitely noticed them drop the term — API. A software engineer would use the term for so many varied purposes that it’s easy to lose the track of the conversation and left hanging in there, wondering, “What the heck is an API?”

In my decade long career of working with engineers and managers, there’d rarely be anything else more confusing than API — simply because the term is used in so many different contexts. So, let me break it down in simple English, so that,

  • if you’re a manager, you can engage in better conversations with the…

…and how not to miss the bus?

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If you are anyone like me, you might have had a lot of people talking about blockchain and decentralization in the year 2017, but as we made progress through the year 2018, all of them went silent one by one. The prices kept going down, and so did the voice of several advocates. Relatable? And as the silence grew, you started thinking, blockchain is dead!

On top of that, there were frequent announcements from various countries who were taking a negative stance, and there were regular blog posts from who’s who talking about how Bitcoin is the greatest scam in history. …

See where the caveman has arrived since those cave paintings.

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Lascaux Cave Painting (Image Courtesy)

What makes human beings different from the rest of the animal species? Of course, the evolved language could be one reason, but the right reason is how we use the language. While a monkey can signal other monkeys about a lion lurking in the grass, it’s only human beings who can tell a story of a creature that is half human and half lion.

While other animals can live in a pack of tens and hundreds, humans can live in a group of thousands and millions because our stories bind us.

Stories sow the seed of beliefs within each of us, and beliefs keep us together. …

Aren’t they supposed to be global unified currencies?

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In the last six months while I’ve been actively writing about blockchain and cryptos, there’s one question that people keep asking me “Why is the price of Bitcoin different between countries? Does that mean I can make money from arbitrage?”

The short answer to that question is, ‘Yes.’ Of course, it’ll entail a lot of work when it comes to correctly reporting your transactions to the tax departments in your country. But that aside, arbitrage is possible because different countries buy and sell Bitcoins at different prices. But why is that?

Because Bitcoin has no international price.

And the reason for that? People don’t seem to have consensus on what Bitcoin really is. …

Here’s the entire year in a single article.

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/ An yearly roundup by — Nitansh Rastogi & Mohit Mamoria /

It’s almost been a decade since the anonymous person (or group of people) by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto floated the idea of a P2P electronic cash system dubbed Bitcoin.

While it was initially limited to geeks, software developers, libertarians, and cyberpunks, 2017 was the year when the virtual currency and its underlying technology started going mainstream. …

After all, what was going on with Bitcoin in the last few months?

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It looks like, in the last few months, Bitcoin has made friends with forking. When I wrote about Bitcoin forking the last time, I didn’t expect there would be this many so soon. But hey, here we are, trying to make sense of what the hell is happening in the crypto world.

With this article, I try to put everything that has happened since Bitcoin Cash in a proper order that would become anyone’s go-to article for learning about Bitcoin forks between August 2017 and November 2017.

By the way, I am the editor of Last Week In Crypto, an email every Monday containing everything that has happened in crypto space in the previous week. …

The simplest explanation available on the internet.

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Blockchains are slow. And therefore, expensive. If I had to send you some Bitcoins, you’d receive them in about a couple of hours and I’d have paid a heavy transaction fee too. With such a reputation, how will Blockchains take over the world?

Any idea that can solve the non-scalability of Blockchains is worth attention, time and effort. Lightning Network is one such idea. But before we understand the solution, we’ll need to understand the problem.

If you’re already aware of the problem, you can directly jump to the next section.

My lessons, being an introvert founder.

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Introvert. Had zero friends. Was afraid of talking to strangers. Writing code since I was 11.

Then, I started building businesses and had to sell. I knew I was fucked.

But I soon learned. And I thought, the lessons I learned might help another introvert entrepreneur somewhere in the other corner of the world struggling with selling.

By the way, I am editor of a weekly newsletter, Unmade, which delivers one startup idea to your inboxes.

If startup, ditch the sales team altogether

I’ve had the opportunity to watch several sales teams in action over the years, and as much as I hate to see people lose their jobs, startups today are probably better off doing away with the dedicated sales role — or at least in the way it currently operates at most companies. …

here’s how.

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Almost a decade ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, silently disrupted trust-providing organizations, like banks, with an eight-page long research paper describing how money can be decentralized (through Bitcoin). At the time, not many people understood the potential that those eight pages concealed within themselves.

No, I am not talking about decentralizing money. I am referring to the decentralization itself. In those eight pages, Nakamoto didn’t just explain how we can regain control over our money — he offered a new way for strangers to safely collaborate with each other.

You might have come across people who deny the potential of blockchains and tell you not to buy into the hype. My advice: do not pay too much attention to them. …

Can we use blockchains to economically disincentivize the hackers?

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http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170802-why-cant-films-and-tv-accurately-portray-hackers

I am often asked, “How is blockchain different from the other p2p networks that have existed long before?”

To this, my answer is, “Technically, nothing. Economically, everything.”

As soon as the words leave my mouth, a weird expression turns up on their face. I enjoy it for a minute before I start explaining what I meant.

Blockchain is not a new technology

“Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.” — Dean Kamen

Before you start sending me hate emails, allow me to explain myself.

Every moving part of the blockchain has existed independently for a long time. We had peer-to-peer networks and cryptography long before blockchain came into the picture. A blockchain is just an arrangement of these technologies. If you are an engineer, you will not find anything new technically in the blockchain protocol. …

About

Mohit Mamoria

I teach difficult subjects in simple language at KnowyKnowy -> https://knowyknowy.com.

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