When I heard Trump’s former White House Press Secretary, “the Mooch,” wrote a book about Algorand, I was admittedly skeptical. Was this another celebrity crypto cash grab? If so, what was such a self promoter doing on the one chain that defies bullshit hype?
I was wrong. Anthony Scaramucci’s “The Genius of Algorand” summed up Silvio Micali’s creation beautifully, and laid out the case for why Algorand is the chain to surpass all chains, from Silvio Micali’s coming to the US, to the inception of Algorand, and the future. Surprisingly, the story felt uplifting and slightly emotional, but it was extremely informative for a short book.
“Collaboration always wins over competition — and is more fun, too.”
To those who are unaware, cryptocurrency itself does not exist without Silvio Micali, and crypto old-heads will tell you the same. According to the Turing Award website:
Micali’s work with Goldwasser (his co-winner of the Turing award and long-time collaborator) helped make cryptography a precise science. The mathematical structures they created, including formal notions of privacy, adversaries, pseudorandomness, interactive proofs, zero-knowledge proof, and numerous other basic notions that are often extremely subtle to formulate, set cryptography on rigorous foundations of the highest standards, and opened up whole new areas of research within computer science.” source
Micali’s work, specifically zero-knowledge proofs, are the foundation of all cryptocurrencies. In chapter 2, Scaramucci tells Silvio Micali’s story from his childhood in Sicily to almost dropping out of UC Berkeley. Instead of dropping out, he fell in love with cryptography through lectures, eventually going on to develop a passion for making the impossible possible. He did this with Shafi Goldwasser, whom he met at UC Berkeley and serves as a scientific advisor to Algorand. What ensued was the undoing of the blockchain trilemma, delivering decentralization, scalability, and security in an ecosystem where most blockchains solve two of those at best.
In introducing the reader to the monumental accomplishment of Algorand, Scaramucci set the stage perfectly for the Algonauts who build the ecosystem. These include former CEO Steve Kokinos, a Boston based entrepreneur who got involved with Silvio and was instrumental to the initial growth of Algorand. Kokinos was succeeded by W. Sean Ford, who is carrying the blockchain into its next chapter. The Algonauts, most importantly, consist of the many avid fans of the blockchain and those who develop dApps, games, NFT colelctions, and more.
Anthony also introduces major players in the ecosystem, such as AlgoFi, a DeFi platform on the Algorand Blockchain, and the Drone Racing League, who is launching a video game on the Algorand Blockchain with immutable game assets. This is arguably the most important section of the book, as it shows the diversity of projects Algorand attracts. These range from small games to places like the Marshall Islands creating a new legal tender on the Algorand blockchain. Algorand also attracts players from the traditional finance sector, and this is important because Anthony Scaramucci’s background is in traditional, institutional investing. Trust from these types is instrumental to the success of Algorand thus far. At the same time, Algorand is in a position to lead the way in new frontiers like creator-powered web3 farm and blockchain gaming.
What does the “Planet Algorand” described in the last chapter of the book look like? In this chapter, Scaramucci turns the attention away from Algorand Inc. and shines a spotlight on the Algorand Foundation, responsible for providing grants and sustaining the Algorand Ecosystem. Staci Warden, the foundation’s CEO, envisions a world of collaboration, not competition. She hopes to realize her visions of social and environmental justice through Algorand, and the robust ecosystem created around it.
The truth is — according to Scaramucci — every chain will have its place. Algorand may rise above the rest due to its strengths, but its not a zero sum game. Algorand will have its place. So will Solana and Ethereum. Even the team members of Algorand think so. On Planet Algorand, different blockchains interact with each other, possibly coming to a crossroads using Algorand’s infrastructure. Again, collaboration beats competition.
Overall, “The Genius of Algorand” is a great read whether you’re already an Algonaut or you just learned about ALGO yesterday. I like this book because it is concise and informative, and touches on all bases within less than 100 pages. This book will give you a primer on the history of Algorand, why its revolutionary, and what the future holds. It’s interesting to hear the perspective of an institutional investor venturing into this new world and aiming to understand it better. Is this the end-all-be-all of Algorand knowledge? Absolutely not. But, if you want a handbook of the most basic of knowledge as you journey into the Algoverse, this is for you.
If you enjoyed this article, consider supporting The Daily Algo to see more content like this. ALGO and ASAs only
New to trading? Try crypto trading bots or copy trading