Note: Dates are in DD/MM/YEAR format.
The aim behind this is to keep a general account of my career in hopes to inspire people who stumble across this. It’s a bit of a mess, but hopefully you can find some use out of it! I also would like to look back at this later down my career and be proud of myself for all the hard work I put in.
I’m a practical hands-on-programmer. I learn things when I need it to write code/make it better. I tend to build simple systems first, while keeping in mind where I should add dynamic data structures, and iterate over that rather than dwelling on future proofing everything.
I spend almost everyday building projects I’m interested in. I love to build programs from scratch because it’s a blank canvas, allowing you to express your creativity by bringing architecture from your mind to life. I find it therapeutically fun. I tend to work on multiple things at once because I get inspired while building and want to capture the idea(s) as they arise.
2019: I read books from and to my 2 jobs at the time (bar + retail). Eventually, covid struck and I ended up just trading full-time in crypto, basically becoming an independent researcher + swing trader. I made a lot of money, but inevitably lost all of it because I either didn’t realise the gains, got scammed or rugged. I wanted to become better at investing so I started to learn how to read what I was investing in at a technical level (Solidity). I eventually found myself learning everyday and stopped trading as much. And so, my journey had begun.
2020 - 2022: Started to learn programming from scratch, just went straight into Solidity w/ no prior knowledge, only the high-level knowledge I attained from trading. I began reaching out to people on twitter looking for work for free and met @0xBuns who mentored me. We built a project then re-branded to @SoulSwapFinance. I started building @TheaterDAO then got burnt out because frontend is just not it (for me). And now I’m obsessed with Rust backend (specifically bots atm).
- Finished NFT Launchpad contracts + Loan Market contracts.
- Started reviewing old Erc20 Launchpad contracts.
- Applied for Sigma Prime Internship (pending).
- Purchased Rust course for Javascipt devs (here). Kind of want to build all my contracts in Rust and be a first mover on Sol, KSM + Dot.
- Researching erc20 launchpad protocols (Lukso: rICO, Sushi: MISO) to start building v2 contracts, similar to the NFT launchpad w/ multiple model selectors (much excite!).
- Began building tutorial game (here). Very refreshing to learn something new.
- Started building DutchAuction contract (erc20 launchpad, nft launchpad models, nft marketplace)
- Reworked NFT Launchpad after reading MISO’s factory + model deployment strategy (uses clones). So, made a factory that uses EIP-1167 cloning system and is catered to adding new models later on.
- Learned some assembly when deploying clones w/ the EIP-1167 clone factory contract).
- Thinking of applying for OpenZeppelin Security Analyst. Probs will get denied but why not apply (.__.).
- Applied at: OpenZeppelin, Halborn Security, Solidity Finance, Trail of Bits: Summer Internship 2022, Certik, Hexens + Immunefi. Lets see how this goes :O
- Talking at first AMA in the Diversifi discord at 9am.
- Rereading NFT Launchpad contracts for logic bugs
31/12/2021 - 01/01/2022
- Started line-by-line review of NFT Launchpad for B:BC + discovered an on-chain verification method thanks to being inspired by **Nil DAO’s__ frontend.
- Started learning Rust! (here).
- Build a MEV bot (or multiple).
- [-] Learn EVM infrastructure (GETH).
- [-] Be proficient w/ Rust.
- Get a full-time/contractor job in MEV.
- Line-by-line review of 3 price models in NFT Launchpad (B:T, B:CC + B:RC).
- Line-by-line review of 2 price models in NFT Launchpad (A:T + A:BC).
- Reading articles on web3 security from Immunifi (Bug bounty article + why it’s beneficial!).
03/01/2022 - 04/02/2022
- Sigma Prime internship denied (Applicants had really strong knowledge :o).
- Reading articles on MEV and being more active in the Flashbots discord. Going to learn rust instead of go b/c I think performance is better and I can do more with rust when I learn the language (e.g., rust-based smart contracts).
- Reading some MEV bots (subway, cake_sniper) + learned more assembly and how opcodes work at the low level - especially w/ minimal proxy cloning.
- Want to watch this simple arb walkthrough but I’ve had no time b/c of building TheaterDAO. I really want to release it and help everyone! Maybe I’ll watch it when I release v1 buyout: fixed UI + cards.
- Reviewing UniswapV2 + V3 create pool func - very interesting how using
saltcan change the created address.
- Learned foundry’s forge! (lfg, solidity testing!).
- Released token factory on TheaterDAO!
- Finished create buyout: fixed UI on TheaterDAO.
- Finished coding the NFT launchpad’s first model + wrote tests for 9 dif models.
- Created TheaterDAO from scratch (as of 05/02/2022 working on the card rendering for each sale.
- Started dev’in an airdropper contract for TheaterDAO.
- Learning how FNAFs uses sound to evoke fear (horror game study) + how they keep players fearful, avoiding conditioning of the game’s horror elements (uses chances + prevents reusable strategies - creating a permanent unknown scenario).
- Studying strategies game devs use to retain retention that psychologically hook players to keep coming back and how it makes them feel (e.g, look boxes, close misses, long term + short term progression) - very interesting b/c there were laws created as a result from this since they use techniques from casinos.
- Started writing up NFT AMM, onchain nft creator + selector concepts. The NFT AMM forced me to learn UniswapV2’s code in depth. This will help w/ creating MEV bots too (super excited).
- Created a community dev chat, very nice to hang out in and surround myself w/ some like-minded-people (connecting more).
- Learning more about IPFS + how ERC721s are actually created (here).
- Determined to learn Rust but have no clue where to start.
- Studied 1inch + other mev bots for a bit.
- Wrote sudocode for Charles (my lil arb bot) - a todo + workflow. Now I know what I need to do and how to start developing him. Game-plan: write in js for v0, get it working the way I want it to, try to optimise it + make it faster or update strategies -> optimise it by turning into Rust +/or add new features over time.
- Started building monitoring system. Learned a lot more about UniswapV2 code - line by line (path, reserves, kLast).
- Watched Flashbots: simple arbitrage repo walkthrough. Learned a lot and recommend to anyone.
19 - 21/02/2022
- Completed 7hr Rust Udemy course (Learn by building examples, or something).
- Read learn Rust in 30min article.
- Watched Crust of Rust: Lifetime Annotations.
- I have been working on a long-tail mev bot, for a searcher team as a skill demonstration, w/ mempool monitoring, decoding, block refreshing and my first arb algorithm to generate every possible path with a set of predefined paths (e.g, wETH -> USDC -> STAKE -> wSTAKE -> wBTC -> wETH). I literally have no background knowledge for Rust/MEV/Backend but my learning skills are pretty good so thats why I was given a chance (and my Solidity experience, almost 2 yr now). For anyone wanting to get into MEV, my recommendation is build a bot in rust that creates simulations, pre-computes incoming txs and determines optimal profit pathways. The majority of profit for us lil guys will be with long-tail opportunities. MEV is such a selfish space so you need to learn by yourself and filter out the psy-ops (is this psy-ops? :0). Getting into MEV is so hard but it’s so worth it. Just persist and build every day and try to break down everything in a very simple way.
- Launched @TheaterDAO + made a basic website (do need to update to make way more user friendly) - currently requires technical knowledge to use and doesn’t display all projects on a single page.
- Almost finish algorithmic auction house; finished semi-algorithmic auction house that just requires the auctioneer to start it.
- Optimised atomic swap contract (now atomic trade).
- Listened to Permissionless FB founder + ETH Amsterdam.
- Hopefully I’ll finish my mev bot in the next couple of days (a simple version at least) and see where I go from there. There is only 1 competitor atm and basically for every day im not competing is another day that person is making that $$$ (approve 4-5 txs every 20s - around $8-$30 - cough wtaf). Just for a simple arb + extra steps. Imagine a liquidation longtail or something. Anyway, not much has happened apart from my protocol development pause + beginning of MEV dev. Why? I prefer PvP over PvE ;) I’ll finish off some of my old contracts after I get my bot up and running bc im learning so much. I stopped protocol dev bc I reached a point where I wasn’t learning much at all. With mev im learning Rust, backend, bot creation, blockchain infrastructure (which is soooo interesting btw), Golang soon, and probs assembly and how shit works at a low level. Super valuable stuff to learn for all sectors of crypto.
- Ty to swampstream for keeping me accountable for this :P (hope this helps, fren).
- OH and portugal is adding 28(?)% tax soon (FML lol).
- P.s. the Rust book is so good! Love learning about everything, now learning about Channels + Threads to run 2 things in parallel for the mev bot (monitoring systems). Cake_sniper was right…building something is the best way to learn a language. Thats why I was struggling before. Its bc I didnt have a direct goal of what to build / where to start, etc. Now I have direction.
- Started optimising bot in order to get a stronger understanding of problems w/ MEV + Rust - need to do this to get a chance at getting a full-time searcher job.
- Created a rust-experiments repo for testing out and understanding operations (understanding
vectorsatm). Still need to learn about
implementations. Maybe later on. Not sure how important they are, yet.
- Watching Crust of Rust: Channels. Edit: got 20mins in and think I need to watch something else for real use-case examples. His explanations are really good though!
- Watched Something Is Weird About Rust’s Threading and Concurrency | Rust Multi-Threading Tutorial
- Watched Introduction to Rust - Part 14: Threading: very good to understand threading!
- Found MEV Memoirs: Into the Arena - Chapter 1, Part 2 🤖 but didnt read, yet .-.
- Getting pretty confident with Rust ended up creating an NFT minter bot that creates 100 accounts, mints NFT and records the tx, in 5hrs (? - idk I went to bed at 9am lol). Ended up not even using it bc the BitGoblins mint was delayed by 2hrs. I woke and it was minted out in 40mins.
- Deployed bot to AWS server + using custom node set up by searcher team (no sleep duration :0).
- Fixed the concurrency with the arb bot + updated monitor 328 paths from 72 :D. Only updating with block refresh instead of updating with incoming txs sooo only scanning 1 pair swaps atm.
- Started to learn Serenity for discord bot, wanting to upgrade TombHeads :) Rust is fun and I want to build everything I can with it.
- Learned Uniswap V2’s
getAmountOut()actually works - basically
amountIn’s reserve supply whereas
reserveOutis the supply of
- Discovered my first monitored arb on the 28/06/2022 for 0.03.
- 07/07/2022, monitored $2.5k arb while building my tx crafting (lmao rip).
- 16/07/2022, Submitted 3 successful next block arb txs for the first time, except werent profitable when subtracting gas from profits… After 2.5 months of work on my Rust bot, it’s finally able to monitor + submit multi-hop-arb txs (e.g, 4 arbs in 1 tx) using flashswaps and function selector calls (like this).
- Learned Rust pretty well so far. I’m very comfortable with the ownership model now, which has
helped tremendously in optimising the bot. I was doing a lot of
cloneing but now im using
&muts which are soooo much more efficient bc you’re just mutating the same variable over and over again instead of creating a new instance of it each time.
- Had a chat to Grug Capital, v impressive credentials and achievements (e.g, moonbird arb), got given a project to work on, but really don’t have time atm + it wont be profitable so not sure if the best use of time. May look into it later(?).
- Now I think I need to learn about GETH and node modification, that will be v interesting. I feel fairly confident with Rust, however I’ve never used traits or impl (lmfao).
- Shoutout to this cafe mix for being such great white noise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD4dMdpNe_I.
- I think the competitor for the strategy earned around 88k while I’ve been building my bot. Insane.
- Learned about signing and verifying messages w/ a signature + message string to get the public key (signer) -> kind of sparked an interest in ZK proofs but not sure when I would want to use it. Saw an example for verifying I have a priv key without showing the key.
- Continuing to work on a discord NFT auction bot for TombHeads since I created a Rust alternative for Web3Auth w/ the signature authentication system, hopefully can start distributing after I get it polished up. Going to need to learn Solana smart contracts for a Solana version of the bot.
- Started to learn about linear algebra (probs going to do this course) + statistics (advice from one of 2 mev anons that reached out when I tweeted im starting to do freelancing). Also learned that to be fully successful in crypto you need to know the inner workings of protocols, e.g, their gas process and how the evm works - then optimise via low level programming (Rust + assembly/yul for smart contracts evm) for the millisecond. Definitely want to start learning GETH soon. It makes sense though, everyone I see that I consider at the elite level of crypto tech programming all know the inner workings of the evm in addition to being specialists in their fields (smart contracts || backend stuff). I do think im going in he right direction though, just gotta keep learning everyday.
- Bot update: still stuck on the tx execution. For some reason it fails. Not sure if its to do with the broadcasting bc the manual tx propagation worked before the broadcaster impl. All the tests work in Rust + Solidity :/
- Learned about Rust traits + implementations from this video. Really good explanations.
- Created an IPFS json parser that filers topics. Focusing on the
imagetopic, it downloads the image from the url, in either a JPEG or GIF and stores it in a temporary cache. Just need to add this to my NFT discord auction bot now.
- THe US government sanctioned Tornado Cash and deleted the githubs that contributed. This sparked an interest in cryptography for me and doing some research on zkProofs and zkSnarks.
- Watched Rust Demystified 🪄 Simplifying The Toughest Parts for fun.
Got denied from the team I was working with for 3-4 months, however probably will still write bots for them as a freelancing type of thing until I get gud. I actually have even more hunger to learn Rust now. I feel like every time im denied it gives me more strength to learn more. I was getting a bit burnt out by the debugging but I think thats really the hardest thing due to so many moving parts. The bot is still stuck on the execution part, more specifically the calldata construction and propagation.
- Able to build simple systems first and iterate on that instead of over-complicating + overthinking w/ complex systems at the start.
- Natural inclination to look for new opportunities (there are 2 types of people: 1) focus person to perfect + 2) person to look for new opportunities), im a person that naturally looks for new opportunities (I do like constant change) and he said I should focus on maximising that strength.
- Strong drive + hunger to do things without being told (Somewhat rare personality trait).
To work on
- Mainly experience, so just keep doing what im doing - e.g., build more bots!
- Understanding new complex concepts quicker (abstracts, etc): understanding mev strategies to the core to the point you can simply explain it in detail. e.g, write down: thread to explain exactly whats happening in a mev strategy (blog).
- Writing structured code and finding bugs / debugging w/ tests ( the hardest thing ) - I’ll be writing more bots + going through bigger projects and how they structure their code so should be better w/ more experience.
- Learn general programming concepts (object orientated design patterns + undirected graphs).
- Combine Rust implementations of GETH (not essential, just if I want to get into geth, 2 things w/ 1 stone).
- Watched design patterns video.
- Started restructuring my metadata-cacher-rs w/ implementations (feels and looks so much cleaner).
- Been working on the discord NFT auction bot. Almost done, just need to add a few more features and
implement the metadata json + image embed msgs and then just a basic website for users to deposit
their NFTs and a dashboard for the admin to choose which NFTs they want auction off. Tbh, building
a discord bot in Rust is disgusting bc I need to keep using RwLocks, using .read() and .write() in
scopes. Makes it look icky. Discord.js looks like it would of been soooo much easier.
Anyway…good practice. Started using
impla lot more and oml is it amazing. The code becomes so much cleaner and readable. This is another reason why I want to do everything in rust now, lmao. Kinda hard to go back to other langs bc writing rust is so fun…apart from this discord bot (only bc of RwLock).
- Need to create a need blog website where I can use mdx to write stuff. Currently writing paragraphs in components…so yeah, need to do that.
- Applied for Dora and got an intro thing w/ Rook today at 10:30pm (its 5:27pm atm).
- Gonna start writing a twitter bot based off that coinfessions post of the twitter botter making 30-40k a month (crazy) to fake interaction in discords and twitter. Soooo, would be nice to learn how to create my own crate to interact with an API instead of relying on other crates, esp when I need it for something new or niche. I think I’ll also start looking into Machine Learning to try and have the twitter bot generate unique messages that people would actually send. Otherwise, mass followers and no interaction kinda makes no sense and is pretty obvious. Anyway, we’ll see how that goes. Once again, probs should do in JS…buuuuuut I want to get good at Rust bc I do believe Rust devs are going to be in high demand in the future. And junior rust dev jobs are non-existent atm.
- Need to learn about SQL too just so I can set up databases for my backend code to keep track of shit if my bot goes offline.
- Cross-chain mev is becoming a trend I see in mev twitter. I think it’s actually not that hard to build one but to have a good one would be interesting. Wondering about cross-chain arb frontrunning + backrunning too. I think you would need to monitor a bridge for interactions then trace the account for swaps, etc.
- Want to get into cryptography too, esp since the Tornado Cash people got shutdown. Seems like it can be very useful for protocols to use.
- Working on this website so that I can continue applying for Rust jobs. I’ve been using twitter to reach out to people, I think it’s a terrific tool to find opportunities. Got markdown files to work on my Next.js website, it makes writing soooo much easier. Articles coming soon!
- Received my first freelancing task (ERC-1155 Migrator).
- Decided not to work on the twitter bot b/c it doesn’t seem beneficial atm, instead working on a yield farming bot to practice writing web3 bots. Will be learning to add + remove liquidity programmatically w/ a custom zapper contract.
- Found this darknet stories podcast, might be an interesting listen.
- Definitely feel like I’ve been progressing really well with what I needed to work on with the MEV
team feedback. Been reading a lot more bots and building a lot more things in Rust. Thank the lord
- Finished the first version of my auto-compounder bot. Currently supports all of SpookySwap’s MasterChef farms in a single contract. Most people use a contract for each farm I believe.
- Started applying for jobs on AngelList and Cryptocurrency Jobs.
- Going to start building my first Solana contract. I think this is the way forward if I want to find a job using Rust but in web3. Since I already have smart contract experience and want to have more things to build with Rust Solana contracts may be the way to get that experience (while learning a new skill to get hired). Senior Rust jobs pay a lot atm bc there’s such a small supply. Definitely worth learning!
- Finished my first programming article How To Build a MEV Bot!
- Discord Auction Bot:
- Modularised the code to make it so much cleaner. Been spending every day working on it and improving the IPFS cacher.
- Got the IPFS cacher to work w/ discord commands, displaying all images and jsons in a channel.
- Working on the on-chain stuff now with deploying the contract to testnet and interacting with the bot via bidding.
- Published 2 articles: The Areas Of Web3 Development and Entering The Dark Forest.
- Released mev-template-rs which gained a lot of traction, leading to people dming me on twitter for job opportunities (2 mev related and 5+ protocol related). Also, it inspired the creation of subway-rs :O
- Completed a job trail with STFX from 21/09/2022 to 22/10/2022. Built a couple of contracts: Fixed supply ERC20 token, token presale with merkle tree claiming and a vesting contract. Learned about perp markets and integrated with GMX.
- Built a merkle tree generator with Rust (this bad boy took a while to understand the encoding part but we finally got there). Developed a solid understanding of how they work: generating trees, nodes, proofs and how to verify them. Also, learned more about the keccak256 hash function.
- Learned about different ways to handle multi-threaded data with Rust. One type i’m apply to the discord auction bot is the concept of actors - a single thread that receives and processes mutation requests. Multi-threading is a very interesting concept but i’ve now experienced why it’s such a pain.
- Working on a generalised mev bot just to build out a bunch of strategies. I finally learned how to keep track of state changes w/o eth_call each block! This will be very useful for a lot of strategies. Started exploring sandwiching and cross-chain mev: how to build an effective sandwicher on non-flashbot chains (very interesting btw).
- Need to update my website to make it cleaner and easier for people to hire me for freelancing gigs. Having a website is definitely the biggest helper when getting hired, resumes are outdated imo.
- Might do some CTFs (web2 and web3) and publish some write ups. Darknet Diaries’ REvil episode makes me want to learn about ransomware + malware development (although i would never use it practically) and it seems web3 hacking just never ends - very useful to have the knowledge of where to look for vulnerabilities.
- Note to myself: With a lot of offers for opportunities coming in, it’s a dilemma between payment and desire. Right now, i choose building something im interested in, even it it doesn’t pay as well as the one that pays well.
- Scratched the auctioneer bot’s data structures to make it dumbfounded simple - sticking to manual commands to begin to finish the damn thing. I had too many moving parts at the start (well, 2 moving parts - but enough to make it too complex).
- Finished off the JSON interaction for my Rust merkle tree generator, preparing for the STFX presale (they’re looking to raise 9 mil using a contract I made) - looking forward to it! It spits out an output JSON file to pre-fill frontend parameters for easy integration. That was always the hardest part imo, so i had to make a feature for it!
- Set up my first full-node w/ AWS (shoutout to Realism + 0xDmtri for helping me out).
- Been getting tons of job offers, from contracting work to full-time positions (I think around 12
in a single week - never thought this would happen tbh). The most noticeable ones were Grug
Capital (super interesting bot work there), Phantom (sol wallet), Auto yield farming managers
(like the bot i was building in
/projects) and MEV teams (2 transitioning from traditional HFT to MEV).
- Stopped working on auctioneer bot bc I found it boring and am more interested in learning low-level evm.
- Tried decoding calldata w/ only bytecode around 01/10/2022 - failed to do so w/o abi.
- Learned about black/gray/whitebox fuzzing conceptually.
- Started becoming active in the Huff discord, making new frens, learning how to read bytecode and opcodes - found a passion for low-level programming and reverse engineering.
- Built the foundation for memory + stack decoding for contract bytecode (tryna get like jon becker).
- build v1 of pure calldata decoder, however wasn’t dynamic enough - example found here.
- jtriley helped me understand encoding dynaic types (somehow i forgot how it worked lmao), then built a v2 for my calldata decoder on 21/10/2022 that only requires the bytecode input (w/o knowledge of anything else) - example found here (quite literally spending 10hrs straight on this to the point where my legs were hurting from sitting too much) - got a bit of interest from job.
- On 21/10/2022, started diving into jon becker’s heimdall, also have plans to learn revm and foundry to understand blockchain emulation for blackbox fuzzing.
thetruthseekahto updated my website (he did a terrific job!).
- Did some freelancing for 3 different DAOs.
- Researched REVM a ton - then saw RETH come out.
- Created 3 articles: Memware: Generalised Frontrunners, Speedrunning Web3 Bug Hunts, and Reversing The EVM: Raw Calldata (which reached 70k impressions on twitter in the first day, crazy).
- Finally beat my procrastincation and built out my EVM decoder’s VM, including stack and memory. Now i’m building out the control flow graph of every possible path that can occur in the bytecode - made an efficient recursive algo to generate these. Feels like im doing mev again.
- Learned how to emulate the EVM for testing (might make an article on this) - Confirmed I actually knew about this when i did it for my mev bot but further digging solidified it.
- Getting a lot of interest for jobs. Maybe i’ll finally break into the auditing field??
- Learning about red team rust. I think my EVM decoder sparked an interest in this, although i think ill stick with web3 for now.
- Having a career crisis of what i want to pursue. I definitely want to do generalised mev with a team since doing it before was fun OR do low level evm stuff, e.g. compiler, decoder, security tooling - there doesnt seem to be a lot of people doing stuff like this or the ones that do approach me dont incentivise enough compared to normal defi forks (which sucks).
- Feel like i should learn yul since that’s where the high paying solidity jobs are at - maybe i learn huff when i finish my decoder, although it’s teaching me how things work. Dunno, we’ll see. If i do learn it i’ll definitely make articles on it.
- Not career wise thing, but trying to clear out my room so i can finally move to a different country and attend these hackathon events.
- Finished the bytecode decoder’s v1 of the CFG generator!
- Decoded a for loop from pure bytecode: learning bytecode patterns.
2022 has been a remarkable year for me. From building my first solo full-stack project, to joining a MEV team and building a bot from scratch in Rust, to now building low-level + secuirty related tools. I never would have thought at the start of the year I would be at the level I am today while having such a large network of frens and being able to provide value through my articles to thousands of people. I appreciate all my frens!
I did end up achieving all my goals i wrote, to some degree.
- Built a MEV bot from scratch in Rust (and some other bots, like nft minter).
- I’ve been somewhat learning infra; how to evm works but not node stuff, yet.
- I am getting pretty good with Rust since I use it everyday!
- I have had multiple offers for MEV jobs and have participated in a team for a while.
Overall, this year has been life-changing and excites me for the coming year, where I’ll hopefully be in a different in a different continent (probably Europe - Portugal maybe??) and start a new chapter in my life!
My initial goals for 2023 would be:
- Have my bytecode decoder sophiscated enough to assemble the bytecode into an assembly contract and run fuzzing + static analysis - all without needing an RPC!
- Maybe learn how to build basic malware in Rust, but i dont have a strong interest in it; the learning curve seems quite steep. So maybe expand my decoder to other chains?
- Maybe build my own wallet
- Write more technical articles
- Finished writing an article on explaining how EVM storage works + interacitng with it via solidity inline-assembly. Wrote this because it was incredibly hard researching and finding out how it all works w/ assembly - especially the bitwise operations to mask. I believe this will be the go to article for anyone wanting to learn assembly/yul bc the ones out there don’t go this in depth, step by step.
- Spoke to my first angel investor that mentioned i sound like i need to find my group of chads to speak to because most chads are busy and aren’t active in discord/public forums, they’re all in their own friend groups.
- Got a job offer the same day after the angel investor call to join a team of 9 senior devs on omnichain vaults (rust backend for risk management, some AI stuff and smart contracts). This could potentially be the chad group i need to become senior since i have only 2yrs experience coding.
- Going to finish off my decoder’s assembler now. The EVM storage was a detour i didnt actually need to do in hindsight but im glad i did it. I feel like a much more proficient smart contract dev now.
- Featured on my first podcast @ Superfluid’s Devs Do Something Podcast: Episode 26 DeGatchi on Reverse Engineering and MEV!
- Joined [Valio][https://vaults.pro] on 1st of Feb.
- Started building a sandwich bot with an anon.
- Got back into writing my deocoder. Paused writing the assembler since it’s not really what i’m looking for long term - now explroing binary formal verification (fv) + layout analysis (finding this super interesting). This is my first fv tool! Hopefully I can expand on it to create something for Solidity to automated Code4rena submissions.
- Exploring writing pure bytecode contracts, very interested in obfuscation techniques.
- Talked to a few content creators in the space (gmhacker, rareskillz, johnny, patrick c) to get some insight into how they view content creation, monetisaiton, scaling, marketing, etc.
- Working on storage layout reversal in bytecode decoder for 3 days, writing solutions in notebook todo with context and pattern recognition (v hard problem atm).
- Things didn’t work at Valio, I’m definitely more focused on writing FV tools and security and have realised dapps are no longer something i’m really interested in. Maybe for contract work since it’s an ever-changing environment.
- Did some diving into bytecode obfuscation techniques, very interesting realm :P
- Worked on my branding a bit more.
Very surpised on how far my reputation has come. Seems like i’m kinda well known in the dev community and whoever i talk to is impressed with my decoder progress. Makes me very excited for the future and my impact on the ecosystem! - Networking with a lot more people, reaching out to a few auditors asking them about fv vs manual + the most common critical bug causes - gave me some good insight into future plans for my decoder! - I should probably start doing some Code4rena stuff. I built a bot to grab all the reports from their github and soon to analyse them all for statistics, hehe.
- Watched: Learn how to fuzz like a pro: Introduction to fuzzing. Now know about invariant/property based testing. Curious about fully autoamted testing. Was thinking of ways to create the most sophisticated vulnerability scanner.
- Did a lil bit of research on reinforcement learning.
- Reaching out to more auditors about their opinions on the most common vulnerability causes, great insight into what i need to add to accomplish sophistication in my vuln scanner.
- Jtriley helping me with my storage reversal journey. Legend has helping me since I joined the Huff discord, consistently. Appreciate him a lot!
- Fix disassembler outputter. Converts opcodes to mnemonics w/ their corresponding program counter.
- Accepted offer as a Rust dev for a HFT! Hopefully I enjoy this role. I’ve realised dapp dev isn’t my thing and security/mev is the way bc of the ever-changing environment. They all have terrific experience so should be a great place to learn and grow :) All the best for future me!
- Working on bytecode obfuscation technique article - doing some experimenting with bytecode to solidify my knowledge.
- Battling demons as per usual :,)
- Attended the Solana Hacker House in Melbourne.
- Got accepted into EthTokyo (my first overseas event + travel i’ll be doing :D).
- Made a lot of progress on bytecoder.
Talked to some frens about generalised frontrunners, learned what goes into building one from scratch and the progression. Started building one and gyat it’s incredibly hard - so many possibilities to consider.
Learned about the
BYTEopcode and made the most efficient jumptable i’ve ever seen, in my upcoming article.
Built my first Huff contract (a port of WETH9) - using
call. Learned how different contracts interpret calldata differently when utilising call; there is a standard per compiler.
// Create the payload PUSH4 0x12345678 // Fn selector PUSH1 0x00 MSTORE PUSH1 <value> // uint256 param PUSH1 0x04 MSTORE // Paylaod in memory 0x1234567800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0x0000000A // Then the solidity contract would read it like: PUSH1 0x00 CALLDATALOAD // Get selector SHR PUSH1 0x04 CALLDATALOAD // Get value
- Released: Smart Contract Obfuscation Techniques
- Arrived in Japan on 12th for ETHTokyo. Met a bunch of frens. Debating whether to go to Korea to set up shop or go back to AU.
Oh man, gm blog! It’s been quite some time since I’ve updated you :) Lets go from when I was in Tokyo…
- Met a bunch of people for the first time while staying relatively unknown. This was my first experience solo traveling and figuring everything out by myself, from flights, accomodation, learning new society infra and communicating with people that don’t speak my language. Gained a lot of self confidence and independence. Ultimately, I met a bunch of fantastic friends that I’m still in touch with! After tokyo, I went to NYC for 2 weeks, Italy for 6ish days, thailand for 2 weeks and now I’m in Dubai, taking the biggest risk of my life. I relocated to Dubai and am making great strides with my bytecode decoder to the point where I’m confident in my ability to turn it into a cyber-weapon, capable of finding complex critical vulnerabilities in smart contracts.
- Learned a lot about static, dynamic and symbolic anaylsis. Researching all the tools that exist, all techniques in each field (mostly learned about fuzzing, but still need to go deeper).
- I turned my reverse eng/bytecode decoder tool into a company, NibbleOnBytes! The end goal is to eliminate as many firms and auditors as possible. A lot of people doubt me but we’ll see how it plays out. I have 100% confidence I can do this and when people doubt it’s more often not a good decision to go through with it.
- I hosted a cohort of 100+ interns to try and attempt to hire, by using 1 task to filter them. 5-7 passed the first task, 1 passed the final one. Now i’m mentoring this one, @AuditYourContracts. However, he has 10 years of web2 cybersecurity experience so quite the interesting dynamic ahaha.
- I sponsored myself via NibbleOnBytes, a Dubai company, to get a visa for 2 years. So now I’m leveraging this to attemtpt to become as successful as possible (bc no tax!). I think leaving my family back in another country is quite a difficult thing, especially since I would have to go back (obviously) but then whatever I earn in the UAE I would have to pay taxes on back in AU since I declared vacancy from AU, which takes 3 years to completely severe. We’ll see how that goes though. Maybe I can bring them here and hopefully get a villa for the family. I’m jumping from airbnb to airbnb but looking to rent and eventually buy an apartment to set up base. Bought some vitamin D, fishoil + b-12 pills to make sure my brain is functioning as optimally as possible.
- Was thinking about defense tech but met someone that did it for a decade and told me the USA market is the only real one worth getting into, and getting into defense tech is f-cking hard, maybe as a hobby later then…
- Did my first Huff audit contract job! Was quite fun :D But boy do I need to put the price up for the amount of skill it requires. I think we’ll see a Huff market surge soon. Sentiment is there. Seems like tooling is the sentiment too, however I’m narrow minded bc I’m in that field 24/7.
- Started a podcast! Bought a $20 mic and just started reaching out to people in my network. It’s remarkable the amount of information you can extract from talking to someone for 1 hr. I did 26 episodes from 23/06/23 - 11/07/23. You can find them on Spotfiy @ Scraping Bits! Spoke to Brock from nascent, some trail of bits people, Jon Maurelian (cofounder of consensys), Owen from Sudoswap and way more!
- I think the future is incredibly bright for me and I’m super excited to see what it holds and how I can look back on this log and see how far I’ve come! Until next time, anon…
- So far have published 13 episodes on Scraping Bits! Have around 50+ pending for release after 2 months of doing it! Have made so many new connections are various levels of prestige, from devs starting their careers to technical founders leading innovative technology.
- Discussing podcast sponsorships - had t11 + banteg reach out and say the love the podcast! Who knew it would get this kind of reach 0.0 Also very surprised people aren’t reaching out to sponsor. Where else will you find a source of content that consistently has field-renowned devs listening to it :o
- NibbleOnBytes MVP is almost done! Have 2 more features then onto the fuzzing part. Super excited to see all my work from november 2022 about to come into play.
- Been pilled into deep learning AI. If I don’t learn it I will regret it later in life. I want to eventually build a private military with AI (as the brain) and robotics (the body) - kind of like bringing star was droids into reality…how cool would that be! People ask me why I build my exploit generation tool. It comes down to power. How much power do you hold in each field and what can you use to leverage to attain influence? You can use your brand as leverage (mental), military (physical) or cybersec tools (cyber). When you have all three you will be either a large target for partnership or wipe out. However, I hope to see my future self get more into building AI models, etc.
- Moved into my first apartment, ever, during summer in Dubai Marina (40 degree C, sheeesh). 3x the rent I was spending in Australia but it’s a growth investment…Dealing with all the bills and adult sh*t is hard, was a lot of stress but we’re making it work. Thinking of setting up a company in HK for tax free corpo tax since Dubai introduced 9% corpo tax. Then I can claim it as income tax from HK and im freeeee.
- Built a fair amount of Rust tools and am getting quite a lot of freelancing offers, extended from my network leverage.
- Learned about direct RPC calls, knowing the underlying calls happening abstracted suites like forge foundry (highly rec to learn this!).
Oh wow, 3 months have passed! Sorry for not updating D: There have been so many stressors in my life I’ve been juggling, from closing apartment lease to moving countires and learning new skills for career (this adulting stuff is hard). So what has happened in the past 3 months? That’s a good question, let’s begin…
I’ve had the pleasure to develop a strong friendship w/ Lucas Martin Calderon who has red pilled me into AI. Why do you ask? When we think about world class at a single domain there is a couple people/companies competing. But when you intersect 2 domains you’re an expert at (e.g. AI and cyber) then you enter a new realm of niche and there becomes little to no competition. And the possibilities of AI are limitless (as discussed in my AI article of Humanity).
Anyway, so what have I done specifically?
- Have a 2-3 month long existential crisis after learning about AI.
- Moving back to Australia. I figured that everything is derived from the thoughts of the brain. Money, happiness, skill progression, focus, health, literally everything. And so I came to the conclusion of: optimise the brain but reducing as many stressors as possible and being as comfortable as possible. Why? You can focus more on routine, optimal strategies for learning, which in turn correlates to money, happiness, everything. The plan is to buy an apartment and pimp it out w/ standing desk, hermon miller chain, kick-ass kettle for tea, etc. It turns out everywhere in the world is bad. Everywhere has trade-offs. The grass will be greener whereever you water it the most. And when you make enough money you can go buy a house or travel to other places anyway!
- Did some deep dives into crypto hacks, namely Pickle Finance, to understand the why behind the hackers’ thought process to learn about the human algorithms in decision making. This was quite insightful.
- Simultaneously was learning high-level about AI and reinforcement learning to discover a passion and reason for learning it.
- Decided to pull the trigger on ceasing development to switch focus on learning math, namely linear algebra to begin as it’s the basis of quant dev, zk and AI. Actually started learning consistently (05/11/2023) and taking it serious, unlike the last time I spoke about it… Why, you are so close to finishing the fuzzer? I’d rather learn AI now to enhance my thinking and possibilities in the future, I can always come back to it and even upgrade it w/ AI and math. Opportunity cost. I’m not in a desperate position to have a startup bring me out of the dirt, yet.
- Got my first podcast sponsor, Fastlane Labs! Now I’m outsourcing my podcast audio editing! Super exciting time. Fully investing in the podcast as it’s enabled me to network like I would have never thought. It’s exponentionally helping me in learning about new topics, thoughts of people and more importantly making strong friendships with people (met Lucas from it too, who has changed my life). I have around 40-50 episodes pending, which is around 70-80 total episodes in 6 months (wow, time flies…).
- I learned a lot about the realities of the world’s internals and have gained a new pov when it comes to the unseen side of society. I’m more aware of opsec and thinking about how I can gain the most power (hence AI).
- Part of me wants to start doing education, but theres so much effort involved in that that I could be diverting to learning math, etc. We’ll see.
Ultimately, I’m taking it day-by-day, trying to eliminate as many stressors as possible (im quite an anxious person in general). I hope in the coming months I will have had read and learned quite a lot about math and have made great progress, relative to today, in the realm of AI, quant and math in general.
I would like to leave a personal note to myself: as long as you keep doing something each day, no matter how big or small, you’ll get there in the end. Stick with whatever you decide to do and give it a good shot for a couple months. Goodluck with the move, I hope you eliminate as many stressors as possible and find peace. Things will fall into place. I love you. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
- Deciding to move to London for maximum growth potential. Close to USA, EU and in a pretty good geolocation if a war goes down (invasion wise).
- Met a MEV team that got into searching because of my articles. Kind of crazy the impact you can have without even knowing it.
- Doing a lot of research on decision making at a neurological level, self-mutation of the neocortex, creativity and studying how humans are generic algorithms.
- Read 1 thousand brains theory by Jeff Hawkins in 1.5 days. I really enjoy the concepts of reference frames,
[grid, place, orientation]cells found in the neocortex.
- 13/12/2023: intro learning about differential equatians and Bayesian Theorem: very interesting that by updating current beliefs by learning more context and understanding of the scenario the more accurate you can predict future outcomes.
- the more i read about neuroscience of the human brain te more i realise we not largely nothing about the neurological workings of our minds. my main concern is with
[modeling the world, memories, decision making, emotion], in that order.
- starting to learn algebra since i missed a ton of inutitive stuff when in high-school. pretty keen to learn about probability theory and calculus after
- the more i read about neuroscience of the human brain te more i realise we not largely nothing about the neurological workings of our minds. my main concern is with
2023! What a year. As I’m sitting at my grandparents’ kitchen table listening to the ocean’s waves crash it’s quite funny how we can disregard the progress we’ve made by looking narrowly short-term. Now that I think about it, I’ve done a ridiculous amount of things this year. Reflection time.
To begin, my goals for 2023 we’re met to a degree - I was very unsure what I wanted to do aside from the exploit generator, which I did get to the point of being able to synthesise contracts in raw hexadecimals! However, the trajectory of my career has changed, for the better!
- Solo traveled all across Japan for a month, Rome, Italy, NYC, lived in Dubai for 6 months spontanteously, Thailand for 3 weekish, Australia and now preparing to move to London! Wow, what a ride. My mother hoped I would travel during this period of my life and looks like I ended up doing it :)
- Worked with another MEV team for 6 months where I became a bytecode specialist for EVM smart contracts. This really helped my reverse engineering journey which later led me down the rabbit of building my own fuzzer that evolved into an entire crypto protocol exploit suite.
- Started a technical podcast, Scraping Bits! Recorded over 85+ episodes within 7 months and made some great friends along the way! Received 3 sponsors, two being for the entire year. Hired my first editor and really improved my public speaking and listening skills that contributed to being able to come up with questions on the fly. Started the podcast really hardened the fact that building strong friendships is the best thing you can do. I’ve met so many amazing people that just aren’t connected with anyone. For me, my online friends have been a privledge to have and I don’t know where I would be without them… Take your reputation seriously and actually provide value to people.
- Did a lot of freelancing, actually spoke to a hedgefund (after getting approached by some last year from my MEV articles) that found me from the Devs Do Something podcast I did in Febuary.
- Now deeply interested in/have started a new chapter in my career to build self mutating continous learning AGI (big thanks to Lucas Martin Calderon for opening my eyes to this path, wouldn’t have stepped into it without him), human granular neuroscience, and to become proficient at math (im starting from khan academy algebra for anyone interested).`
What are my goals for 2024?
I have 2 big goals set in stone:
- Understand and be proficient
[algebra, multivariate calculus, linear algebra, probability theory, stochastic calculus, stochastic differential equations, chaos theory, graph theory]and then write articles on this stuff.
- Build my first AI model from scratch. I really want to build a virtual AGI that can continuously learn and self mutate it’s topology (hidden layer, inputs, connections to other models, etc). Alternatively, something to do with tracking people on twitter and social media because it’s really hard to track all my friends and keep up to date with them (sorry everyone D:)
Some other goals that are just general are:
- Continue with the podcast, hopefully break into the AI realm and make more great friendships.
- Become more stable in life, financially by having a base.
- Start stretching and meditating. My stress this year has been over the moon.
- Maybe look into marketing content like podcast, articles and my personal brand. Still unsure how to approach this, even with websites and mail subscriptions.
- Get my money from the Dubai bank…
- Survive and enjoy life every once in a while. Don’t take it too seriously. Experiences over money. Be a good person.
Dopamine Nation, By Anna Lembke: This is an interesting book for understanding how pleasure-pain homeostasis works and why we get addicted to things and how to escape them (tldr cold-turkey for 1 month straight).
How Emotions Are Made, By Lisa Feldman Barret: highly recommend this book after reading
A Thousand Brains Theory, By Jeff Hawkins. The realisation I got from the book is that: what do we use to set and pursue goals? what drives us to wanting to accomplish something?
The Molecule of More, by Daniel Z. Liberman: excellent book on the two different types of dopamine (now and future) and how it’s the molecule that drives us, creates motive. It also talks about the neurotransmitters that are responsible for living in the present and how these 2 types of neurotransmitters work in harmony to create our sense of conduction.
Livewired, by David Eaglean: very interesting book. I think it ramps up towards the end but also mentions neuromodulators, which i’ve never before, that are responsible for greenlighting parts of the brain that are ready for change.
- Read The Quest for a Common Model of the Intelligent Decision Maker
- Authored and published: Swimming Safely In The Public Mempool: MEV Smart Contract Obfuscation Techniques
- Switched over to stem cell research — mainly how and why things mutate and what causes mitosis — and also evolution, mainly natural selection.
- Friend told me his MEV bot got hacked; kind of inspired me to work on my exploit suite again, although…eh.
- Moving to london in 10 days. Slighly worried since the pound is twice as much as an AUD and I might wreck myself. It’s like moving to Dubai but more risky, kinda. Simply just stressed about decisions that change my entire life trajectory and also leaving my grandparents (again). Feels like time flies and I’m not spending enough time w/ them. Feel a bit awful really. Part of me worries they wont be around after I leave.
- Before heading off to London I soldered for the first time at my Aunt’s house! Made some shitty DC motor + LED + tinned frankenstein thing. At least it worked!
- After a grueling 20hr flight i’m finally in London! I essentially lost half my networth (AUD to GBP aint it). I’ve been living in a shared house w/ the folk from Aori and I think it is a great choice before buying your own place (thats my end goal), although it seems quite inefficient to do it in London relative to buying in some other country, but having a home base is num 1 goal atm so I can relax and not worry about getting rekt from rent. I guess whatever floats your boat really. Although I do have the opportunity to meet online frens that will definitely help project me in the right direction career + life wise. Finally met Lucas Martin Calderon after all these months. Glad to be around frens. Although quite cold and gloomy, definitely different from 24/7 sun of Aus. However, I’m sure it’s the correct decision long term as long as I thug it out.
- 29/01/24, Read
Why Evolution Is True: very good book! highly rec if you’re serious about evolution and wanting learn about it.
- 01/02/24, Read
Steven Johnson's Emergence: this was pretty good at the start (like most books) but faded towards the end IMO. All the relevant information can be found in first half-ish of book and like 1-2 gold nuggets towards end.
- Got some guidance on what to dive into regarding RL an evolutionary algorithms. Spoke to genetics and mutation specialist, breifly, about what to look into to gain more insight into how I can create this self-mutating architecture. Book rec: Sutton’s RL book. Imo, the world will be solved by emergence via evolution solutions instead of engineering solutions. What we are capable of is so difficult to comprehend in our lifetimes so we need to develop things that can evolve like us, using computers to accelerate the evolution process — thus why im drawn to self-mutating agents, able to generate and heal itself. But, of course, the questions leading to this point are very very difficult to come up with.
- As always, spending most my time reading and trying to ask the right questions (this is the most important thing!). If you can ask the right questions you can get to the destination faster by knowing what to look for :) Released my 50th episode of Scraping Bits and acquired my 4th sponsorship! I wonder how far it goes in a years time, especially when I start talking to AI folk.