Benjamin Hendricks Tech Expert

Benjamin is a passionate software engineer with a strong technical background, with ambitions to deliver a delightful experience to as many users as possible. He previously interned at Google, Apple and LinkedIn. He built his first PC at 15, and has recently upgraded to iOS/crypto-currency experiments. Benjamin holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from UCLA and is completing a master’s degree in Software Engineering at Harvard University.


Manual Testing vs Automated Testing

Testing software is inevitable, regardless of what you are building: if the software you build is used, then it's being tested. Even if you write no test code, you will definitely still test what you build -- what's the point otherwise? The question is, though, will you automate those tests? Some would say without hesitation that we absolutely should have automated tests, regardless of what we are building or who's building it. I believe there is more nuance to this question, because automating tests takes engineering effort, and it's quite possible that that effort is not worth the reward in certain conditions.


Mining Bitcoin

Throughout 2018, Bitcoin’s price has slowly fallen from the highs near $20,000 to roughly $4000 today. Opposite this massive decrease in price, though, is the hash rate on the Bitcoin network: it has mainly gone up in 2018, starting the year averaging less than 15 exahashes per second, now averaging in the 30-40 exahash range, with a peak in November of ~60 exahashes. An exahash? That's a billion gigahashes per second, or a billion billion -- that's 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 -- hashes per second. That's a lot of hashes.


Cryptocurrencies Today

Cryptocurrencies have become huge, the whole market is currently capitalized over $500 billion.


Bitcoin: What's in the whitepaper?

In August of 2008, the domain was registered, and only three months later, a mysterious entity posted the original bitcoin whitepaper. Authored by Satoshi Nakamoto, an entity claiming to be a 36-year old Japanese man, the whitepaper is only a nine page document outlining the core fundamentals of bitcoin, and was followed by the first open source bitcoin client in January of 2009. Satoshi himself mined the first block, called the genesis block, which had a reward of 50 bitcoins.


The OG Ticker: Bitcoin and Hard Forks

Bitcoin has recently hit a new all time high, shattering the $5,000 barrier climbing up to over $5800 before settling back in the $5500s. Only two months ago, bitcoin went through a fairly big hard fork, in which a second currency was created: Bitcoin Cash. If you held bitcoin before August 1st, then you technically also hold an equal number of bitcoin cash coins. Bitcoin Cash is an alternative currency, though, and does not share the same value nor market capitalization that bitcoin does.

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