BlockVigil
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BlockVigil

Year in Review — 2019

Exactly two years ago, Anomit Ghosh and I started BlockVigil. Back then, much of the focus was around protocol companies and ICOs. After building CryptoVigil and helping out SpringRole in blockchain space, I experienced how difficult it was (and still is!) for even a seasoned developer like me to build even a simple app on blockchain. Why isn’t there something like Stripe or Twilio that would abstract away the intricacies and just let developers use APIs to quickly prototype and ship a product. My friend and former colleague, Anomit (a developer himself), joined me on January 1, 2018 to help execute this vision.

BlockVigil on 500 Startups Demo Day

2019 was challenging for the team, and which startup does not go through such issues? Key hires didn’t work out due to their personal issues. Anomit and I were forced to worked remotely due to visa issues. Our 500 startups journey ended in a bittersweet way with blockchain companies having a tough time raising due to market timing.

Anomit’s talk at Pycon India 2019

Since April, our team has been focused on re-building and shipping without distractions. We finally launched with ThunderCore as our first chain support outside Ethereum. This also allowed to scale our API to a high throughput protocol. Anomit gave a talk at Pycon 2019 on how we achieved this engineering feat.

One of the challenges we face when talking to businesses is to showcase how to best utilize blockchain for their business logic. Building an API makes things easy for developers but we knew we needed to ship a real-world use case to show the true power. We took an internal idea of splitting lunch expenses and built a polished product in the form of BlockSplit. Not only did we showcase how easily a consumer app could be built on top of our platform but we ourselves learnt a lot from the experience. We will be releasing more such offerings in the coming months.

We have always kept access to our product and the documentation private. It was time to change that. Just in time for ETH India (August. 2019), we pushed out public documentation along with a powerful command line tool while also revamping the web interface by removing the dependence of Metamask extension. In the spirit of open source, we also released all of the code behind the docs, the CLI and the API usage examples up on our Github.

We welcomed our first engineer (apart from founders) Samikshan, who has been busy reworking and building some of the core things such as our in-house transaction manager.

Our intern Ananya gave us great feedback and overview of building on blockchain as a student developer.

The final quarter has been the busiest for us. We conducted our first developer meetup with an interactive walkthrough of our product. BlockVigil was accepted into the prestigious CDL Blockchain stream and I have been making trips to Toronto to work with mentors and other industry experts to further propel our growth. The team has been working on some very exciting launches planned in the next few weeks. I don’t think I can do justice trying to summarize them here, so more on that when we announce! Please do follow us on Twitter for real time announcements.

Our promise for 2020: double down on our efforts to bring the best developer experience not only for Ethereum and other blockchain developers, but also for anyone new to blockchain. 🚀

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