The Millstone Times February 2019

FAMILY MATTERS Making Your Own Blockchain By Thomas Virgil

The year is 2019… and blockchain’s Wild West era continues. New cryptocurrencies ICO every day, more businesses are taking the steps towards integration and there is still no barrier to entry for willing participants. Regulation has little hold of the crypto market; a statement especially true for creators. Similar to the years that followed the dot-com boom, many resources have already popped up online for anyone ready to create their own block- chain. This was the story for Norman Gabriel. A 23-year old who publicly denounced the technology two years ago in his local newspaper, had created his own blockchain he dubbed BitNorm. Gabriel works as a Senior Analyst at New York City Broker/Dealer, OCP Capital. He spends his free time running a foundation he started with a childhood friend and teaching himself code through app-development. During Christmas of 2018, he began building BitNorm in his parents’ garage alongside his little brother. A process he documented on his personal blog ( “I’m no guru when it comes to code… but I was shocked at its ease.” Gabriel commented, “There are great learning resources out there for anyone willing to try. Web-designers were the most sought-after job at a point in time, maybe learning how to make one of these is just getting ahead of the curve.” He was right. Over the last few months, the blockchain developer industry had exploded. Seen by an endlessly growing marketplace of blockchain boot camps, hosted by both niche start-ups and ivy-league schools alike. Many believe that the technology’s ease of accessibility will play a key role in blockchain’s future. But this was something Gabriel was very critical of. criticism. There needs to be a governing body that sets parameters for what you can and can’t do.” Gabriel made BitNorm a private blockchain, in hopes that a small business will come along and integrate the software in its day-to-day. The service provides a secure payment system between business to user and user-to-user. But since its completion, Gabriel hasn’t seen the response he’d like for the blockchain. “Since finishing, I’ve spoken to a couple people about adoption, but they aren’t exactly people I expected…” Gabriel laughed “I’ve spoken to a couple guys in a fraternity, using it to sell tickets to their parties… and a party promotion company that does events in university bars. I declined both.”

“I think as more people get into learning Solidity (language for creating smart contracts) and what it takes to make a blockchain… is the more there needs to be regulation. Anyone can create a crypto, register it, tether it to another currency and set up a storefront. This has always been my biggest

Although the technology’s future remains uncertain, it hasn’t stopped the hype online when it comes to learning blockchain. Many hope for a financial future completely integrated with crypto, while others continue to denounce it as a passing fad. When asked about the future of the technology, Gabriel Said. “Well… I started learning this out of curiosity. I think that’s why the demand for these online classes are so high, it’s because everyone wants to figure out if this thing really is the future. Coming out on the other end I’m just as critical as I was before. We won’t know until we see some legislative action being taken.” Only time will tell what the future holds for blockchain. What was once an underground technology two years ago, was the most requested engineer specialization in 2018. When asked about what resource he’d recommend for people wanting to get into the industry, the new developer simply respond- ed. “It’s easy… just google it.”


The Millstone Times

February 2019

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