Back in 2013 at Newcastle Uniersity, I decided to study Bitcoin, the money for the internet. I was advised twice against studying Bitcoin as most academics considered it a joke topic. It caught my interest as Bitcoin relied on distributed systems and cryptography to build a global payment system outside the realm of banks. Thanks to an advisor (Feng Hao) who was willing to take on risky topics, I had the opportunity to dedicate time to understanding how something like Bitcoin could work.
Generally, I spent a lot of time in quirky chatrooms (#bitcoin-wizards), deep-diving into the code and getting involved with the global community. Over the course of the PhD, I focused on pseudonymous authentication and payment security until I discovered Ethereum. Since then, I have focused on how smart contracts can be leveraged to build cryptograpic protocols and to help the network scale via off-chain protocols.