Community Update — Nov 11th
The BlockCAT Beta will launch before the end of the year. Prior to this you’ll see a brand new website that’s scheduled for Nov 17th. Here’s a sneak peek.
In preparation for the upcoming changes, we’d like to remind the community that while our Alpha product will still be accessible on the new site, we will be phasing out the alpha functionality alongside the beta release.
If you have any Ether still contained in our Alpha smart contracts, we encourage you to withdraw that Ether prior to the launch of the Beta. https://alpha.blockcat.io
What to expect in the Beta
One of the key insights we’ve learnt from the BlockCAT alpha was how disruptive MetaMask was to the user experience. Our decision to use it was largely driven by our goal to make the platform as “thin” as possible. However, it’s become clear that the impact of MetaMask has been very detrimental to the overall look, feel, and flow of our platform. Our core value proposition has always been in delivering an excellent and pain-free experience, and we’ll be revisiting our architecture to ensure that we build a better platform for everybody to use.
In an effort to increase the number of contract deployments during our Beta, we’ll first be releasing visual contract simulations. These contracts will provide a similar user experience of deploying live smart contracts, without the need to actually spend your Ether or Tokens, allowing everyone to participate in testing the platform, even users who don’t own any cryptocurrency.
We’ll release new contract simulations one at a time, source extensive feedback from the community, iterate the design, and ultimately finalize the UI — effectively delivering a product grown and refined by our collective userbase. Once we’ve completed this cycle with all our smart contracts, we’ll deploy live versions of the contracts that interact with the blockchain.
We’ve been working on creating infrastructure that allow us to quickly create and release simulations for community suggested contracts. This will allow us to test a large number of contracts and filter through the most popular ones for our solidity engineers to write onto the blockchain.
With the recent Parity multi-sig contract destruction that caused an estimated $150 million USD worth of Ether to be inaccessible, we’ve been increasing our focus on making smart contracts both reliable and safe. The reason why the Parity contract destruction was possible is because of a similar vulnerability that allowed a hacker to steal $30 million USD back in July.
This is why unit testing, integration testing, and code review are a core part of BlockCAT’s development culture. We strive not just to make smart contracts more accessible, but to also raise the standard of smart contracts that are available. When you deploy a multi-sig, you need to be confident your money isn’t going to disappear tomorrow.
Oh, and for those that missed our tweet on the topic, you’ll be glad to hear our company funds are not stored in a Parity multi-sig contract.
That’s all for this week. As usual, any questions can be sent to us in the “#ask-the-team” channel on our Discord, and directly to our email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to hear from you!