Image for post
Image for post

The Social Network opens with Zuckerberg scorning his ex-girlfriend and building a Harvard hot-or-not app using photos of other students without their permission. Early Facebook employees had god-mode access to Facebook: look at anyone’s profile, regardless of whether they are friends, and get extra visibility into information like who viewed it and for how long.

Are these just random unfortunate details about the origin of Facebook? I don’t think so. The uncomfortable details about Facebook’s origin story are extremely helpful for understanding how they succeeded. By focusing on the taboo details, I think it’s clear that:

  • Zuckerberg’s indifference to user…

Image for post
Image for post

I just watched a presentation on computer security where the speaker showed off a hack that I didn’t even know was possible. His example and explanation were eye opening. The additional related examples were helpful, but they didn’t have the same impact.

We don’t really remember what we read. I like how Nadia puts it

Somehow, I can barely remember any specific examples from the handful of Noam Chomsky books I read a few years ago. Still, I think some of the ideas are integrated into my world view although I can’t point to specific opinions. I finally read…


Image for post
Image for post

Software platforms are great businesses. The more dominant your platform becomes, the greater the virtuous cycle. If everyone is building on iOS and Android but not Windows Mobile, that is a massive leg up for Apple and Google and a very difficult hurdle for Microsoft.

If blockchain technology ends up being a cornerstone of the future internet, what are the platform sized opportunities waiting to be capitalized on? Here are the predictions I’ll explore in this post

  • Wallets as we know them today will become secure enclaves for private keys. Wallets as we’ll know them in the future will be…

Image for post
Image for post

What are we actually saying when we label someone as confident? What about overconfident? If a startup founder pours her life into her startup for years without any signs of success, does that mean she is misunderstanding her odds of succeeding? If someone still eats meat, does that mean they aren’t convinced that factory farming is bad? We know that it is most effective to solicit donations by telling the story of one sick child instead of tens of thousands of children; for some reason, people become less emotionally compelled as the number grows.

Maybe it is better to split…


Image for post
Image for post

Providing a good user experience is fundamental to building good products. This is one of the most important aspects that drive user adoption and determine the products that people love. At Bloom, we aim to create amazing user experiences that satisfy the end-user (you)!

While it’s not obvious at first glance, it’s the little things that really count in driving amazing user experiences. User experience specialists focus on things like reducing page load by 50ms and turning “three click” product interactions into “two click” product interactions. …


Correction: Brave does not suffer from the issues mentioned in this post

While developing the Bloom dApp, we frequently stumble across noteworthy design considerations of the platforms we are building on. Recently, we noticed several privacy and security issues for in-browser wallets which can expose personal information and trick users into sending false transactions.

This weekend, I posted a tweet about this which gained some momentum on Twitter and Reddit. Dan Finlay, a Metamask core developer, agreed with my analysis and security precautions.

Bloom is committed to working alongside the various open-source projects we build upon, and boosting the…


Image for post
Image for post

At the conclusion of our token sale tomorrow, we’re releasing the Phase 1 main net dApp for Bloom. In celebration of this event, we’ve published our Phase 1 contracts on GitHub today!

Bloom is a community first project. We’re thrilled to open source our contracts for public review and discussion. This marks a big milestone on our long term roadmap and we’re incredibly excited to continue to make progress on defining the future of credit.

This post is a technical overview, we have an article on how you can use your BLT tokens which is a non-technical read if you’re…


Image for post
Image for post

Integrating with smart contracts can be tough. In particular, solidity doesn’t really have runtime errors with descriptive messages, so a lot of failed transactions just fail with the generic message invalid opcode.

If it is painful to write tests, you are probably going to write fewer. Test coverage is an important piece of the puzzle for building robust software. At Bloom, we want to do our best to build reliable contracts so we quickly looked for strategies to reduce this testing pain.

Writing tests for smart contracts can be especially tough. In the example gif below, I’m trying to test…


Image for post
Image for post

Bloom is in a very exciting phase right now! There is a lot of community interest in the roadmap we have laid out, we are working with lenders on our platform, our Slack is growing like crazy, and our token sale is just around the corner.

We are pleased to announce that we’ve hit a big milestone significantly ahead of schedule. We’re deploying the first phase of the Bloom protocol next month.

We have been working hard on all fronts and we are ahead of schedule with development. Our sale contracts will be deployed to the main net next week.

John Backus

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store