Greetings from the geographically decentralized Agoric crew, normally centered at Palm House in Belmont.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re participating in, or tracking, the current Gitcoin Virtual Hackathon, which began last Monday and runs through May 11. We’re busy monitoring activity and providing developer support.

That’s a shot of computer scientist and author Marc Stiegler (in the white sweater) researching evolutionary economics for his next book while having dinner with us earlier this year. He has a new book out (more on it below).

We hope you and yours are holding up well in these challenging times.

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Updates: What’s Happening at Agoric

Engineering Updates

We brought a lot of pieces together in time for the Gitcoin Virtual Hackathon:

  • Dynamic IBC to enable rapid innovation for smart contracts that operate across multiple chains

  • Refactored Zoe API to make smart contracts simpler to build, simpler to explain, and simpler to use, all without any loss of expressive power

  • More efficient database-backed kernel persistence for higher performance

  • Lots of new and improved developer documentation

Take on Agoric Hackathon Challenges from the Safety of Your Own Home

The April Gitcoin Virtual Hackathon began April 20th and runs for three straight weeks, through Monday, May 11. Our five hackathon challenges involve creating smart contracts with JavaScript on the Agoric stack.

The Road to Dynamic IBC

A funny thing happened on the way to the hackathon, writes Agoric CEO Dean Tribble. Late last October, as San Francisco Blockchain Week was approaching, we were busy preparing some hackathon challenge bounties for Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC), a protocol that’s a collaboration between Cosmos, Agoric, and others.

Kris Kowal joins Agoric

This month we’ve welcomed Kris Kowal into our team. Kris, who joins us from Uber, introduced the JS community to asynchronous promises with the popular Q library and is the author of the CommonJS module system popularized by Node.js and NPM.

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Events: Upcoming Events in Which We’re Participating

All scheduled events we were planning on have been postponed, naturally, or are taking place remotely.

Gitcoin Virtual Cross-chain Hackathon: April 20 – May 11

Game of Zones: registration closed April 25; launches May 1

Ready Layer One: May 4 – 6

Internet Identity Workshop: April 28 – 30

Reset Everything: April 29 – 30

Consensus: May 11-13

TC39 JavaScript Committee: June 2 – 4

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Bookmarks: What We’re Reading

Braintrust: Requiem

The fifth book in Marc Stiegler’s Braintrust series, Braintrust: Requiem, is newly out. It’s about a world in which decentralized cooperation systems, smart contracts, and cryptocurrency are all crucial tools in our heroes’ arsenals. Fun and thought-provoking. An earlier book in the series is nominated for a Prometheus Award for Best Novel. (Dean Tribble)

The Definitive 20-year History of JavaScript

Written by Allen Wirfs-Brock and Brendan Eich, this overview includes the history of SES, with lots on Agoric co-founder Mark S. Miller’s key role in shaping the language. Kris Kowal also makes an appearance. (Bill Tulloh)

Twins: White-Glove Approach for BFT Testing

A new paper on testing Byzantine Fault Tolerant systems by the Calibra (Facebook) folk (authors: Shehar Bano, Alberto Sonnino, Andrey Chursin, Dmitri Perelman, Dahlia Malkhi Calibra). (Bill Tulloh) (PDF)

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Thanks for Reading

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