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Blockchains and Beyond at Scala in the City

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Thank you again to everyone who came along to Scala in the City last week at The Guardian. The final 2019 meet-up could not have gone better and we are so grateful to have seen so many keen engineers there to enjoy it.

We didn't want to keep you waiting long for the videos so here they are! From digging deeper into the architecture learnings and Scala recommendation of TokenAnalyst with Jendrik Poloczek to going to the Last Frontier and Beyond with Valentin Kasas, the evening was jam-packed with Scala talk, chat and, of course, a lot of pizza.

So before we can head into the New Year with Scala in the City, let's check out what our speakers from this month had to teach us...

Scala in the City at The Guardian

Introduction to The Guardian with Director of Engineering, Mariot Chauvin

Event Sourcing Blockchains at TokenAnalyst by Jendrik Poloczek

We're a London based startup and we track everything that happens on public blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum - specifically around "who" is transacting - in order to bring more transparency into what really moves crypto-asset markets. This involves challenges such as how to identify exchange wallets, providing semantic meaning to identified on-chain value flow behaviour and putting it into the bigger context of the fast-paced crypto environment. On the engineering side, we face hard requirements such as resilient exactly-once data pipelines for data lakes, on-demand queries, on-line model training and application for address labels, and minimizing the amount of blockchain-specific code and developing abstract pipelines that can be used across blockchains. 

The goal of the talk is to share our architecture learnings, as well as our 5 use-cases of Scala and general recommendations when using Scala (in the Kafka Streams ecosystem). 

The 5 use cases are: 

  • FP microservices in a Kafka Streams, Avro + Schema Registry architecture 
  • Extracting data from blockchains, such as Bitcoin 
  • Model application to tag exchange addresses in a UTXO flows 
  • Lake ingestion, de-normalization and Parquet 
  • WebSocket API, with Akka Streams

The Last Frontier and Beyond by Valentin Kasas

Have you ever written some boilerplate code for handling your application’s communication with the outside world? You know, that JSON (de)serializer that once was nicely generated at compile-time but broke when you had to evolve your business model.
Of course, you have!

But there may be a way to abstract away this repetitive, low-value code that sneaks into every project. Maybe it can also allow for our business classes to evolve without breaking compatibility while keeping the necessary boilerplate to a minimum. Maybe it would even give us many other cool things for free, far beyond mere serialization concerns.

Let’s find out!

Thanks again to our speakers Valentin Kasas and Jendrik Poloczek, as well to The Guardian for welcoming us along and Elliptic for providing lots of food and drink!