What You Need to Know About Web3

Digital art NFTs

I spent the last several weekends working on Buildspace projects. These projects are free learn-by-doing tutorials on building fully functional web3 applications – from writing smart contracts, deploying them onto the blockchain, to building the user interface that interacts with the smart contract.

The applications I learnt to build include a decentralised version of Twitter, a non-fungible token (NFT) generator (see the collection on OpenSea), and a simple game that uses NFTs to represent the game characters. Doing these projects have helped me connect the dots.

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Thoughts on Tesla AI Day

Tesla Bot; photo from Lex Fridman’s tweet

Tesla has done several technical deep dives over the years to give the world an update on the company’s progress in fully self-driving (FSD) and battery technology. It started with Autonomy Day, followed by Battery Day, and more recently, AI Day. Tesla uses these events to help recruit the best and brightest.

The events are also probably staged to make Tesla stock short sellers sweat profusely. Elon Musk had, in various presentations, interviews and podcasts, alluded to most things presented at the event. To see them fleshed out in details must have made critics regret calling Elon Musk a shyster.

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A Decentralised Future: What Does it Mean for Actuarial Work?

Bali, a popular remote working location

This blog post was first published in the July 2021 edition of The Actuary magazine. I wrote it as a call to arms for actuaries to learn about blockchain, and to start building on decentralised networks. Further reading and learning resources are at the bottom of the post.


The actuarial profession has historically thrived in the insurance and risk management industries. While many of us have moved successfully to “non-traditional” actuarial areas, the profession has more to do to become the “revolutionary” elite Elon Musk hoped for when he tweeted about hiring actuaries to develop Tesla’s insurance proposition. The imminent arrival of fully autonomous vehicles is just one of a number of technological megatrends which are poised to change our industry and how we work.

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Speeding Up Decentralised Finance (DeFi)

Photo by Edvin Richardson from Pexels

This is the third of a multi-part series on decentralised finance (DeFi). DeFi is a blockchain use case that is potentially disruptive to the traditional finance industry. The first part of the series explains what it is and the philosophy behind the movement. The second part of the series delves into the state of the DeFi ecosystem as of October 2020. A primer on blockchain (including examples of insurance use cases) is available in this paper I co-authored.

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Coinbase: Dino in a DeFi World?

Photo by Keenan Constance from Pexels

Coinbase’s imminent stock market debut has been a long time coming. It’s a fortuitous time for a crypto exchange to go public; at US$2 trillion (at time of writing), crypto-assets’ total market capitalisation is at an all-time high. The frothy market makes people trade with abandon, bestowing lucrative transaction revenue and custody fees (c. US$1.8 billion in Q1 2021) to Coinbase. In good times, it’s easy to overlook the risk factors listed on Coinbase’s S-1 filing. “No risk, no reward” is the mantra of the day.

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Decentralised Finance (DeFi): The Current State

London, the hub of traditional finance

This is the second of a multi-part series on decentralised finance (DeFi). DeFi is a blockchain use case that is potentially disruptive to the traditional finance industry. The first part of the series explains what it is and the philosophy behind the movement. A primer on blockchain (including examples of insurance use cases) is available in this paper I co-authored.

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