Introducing BrainBlocks — my weekend hack project to build a simple checkout app for RaiBlocks

I’ve been really interested in the tech behind cryptocurrencies for a while. But until now not a whole lot has inspired me to go out and actually build anything on top of the existing block-chains.

Then I found out about RaiBlocks, and read a little about the project. I tried a few sub-10-second transactions first hand, found out that the protocol is entirely without fees, has no mining, and the technology is actually something new, as opposed to just being an incremental improvement on top of BitCoin’s block-chain tech.

I was won over straight away.

So, over the weekend, I built a proof-of-concept for, and spent a few days polishing it. Be warned: it’s alpha quality at the moment, essentially a hack project. But it should work well enough for you to try sending and receiving some transactions.

Please excuse my terrible UI skills

There are a few observations I made along the way. In no particular order:

  • The community on Discord and Reddit are some of the most enthusiastic, friendly and helpful people imaginable. Thanks guys, for being so welcoming.
  • The tech really is fast. Receiving pending payments (barring proof-of-work) consistently takes less than ten seconds.
  • Proof of work is time consuming, especially if you’re hoping to have any kind of high throughput or concurrency. For BrainBlocks, I was originally receiving and sending immediately upon getting pending payments. I soon had to move the actual transfers to another thread.
  • The RPC protocol for the RaiBlocks node feels fairly mature; I only had a few minor complaints. It’s pretty seamless.
  • The RaiBlocks protocol itself is incredibly simple — it deals purely in accounts, and balances transferred between them. There’s no auth/capture, no mechanism to automatically reject payments, and there aren’t even timestamps on transactions. It’s extremely elegant in its simplicity, but leaves you having to do a fair amount manually to build on it.

Anyway, please feel free to give BrainBlocks a go, and if there’s any interest or feature requests I’ll try to carry on building on it! For now there are no fees.