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Vortex DeFi DuckSTARTER — First Public Offering Breakdown

The first DuckSTARTER IDO on the 28th of February for the Vortex DeFi project was completed successfully, although it was not without issues. Several factors combined to limit user’s website availability and diminish the user experience of the platform.

DDOS Attack before the Sale

Shortly before the Vortex DeFi IDO, the backend was attacked with a DDOS attack, which called the Bot Protection System to check each request and deny these requests.

The system worked as intended and did not let bots buy into the Vortex Public Sale, however, this brought our infrastructure to some limits, bringing us to the next point where the real problem occurred for our community members.

Failing Captcha in the first minutes of the Sale

In order to align the timing of the DuckSTARTER offerings, we leverage Infura Nodes that can read from the Smart Contract. These nodes cross-reference the smart contract and manage the captcha feature used as a prevention method for users to enter the pools prematurely, as was the case with the ethbox Farmcubation.

We learned from this Farmcubation and added additional checks to prevent users from taking shortcuts in the future.

Due to the DDOS attack, our Infura Node went to its daily limit for a couple of minutes resulting in backend checks failing, which caused the Captcha failures in the first few minutes of the public sale.

That is why the Captcha failed for the users in the first minutes of the public sale.

Fixing the issue and finishing the Sale

At this point, the whole DuckDAO Engineer team was on call and analyzing the issue. Approximately five minutes were necessary to identify the problem, switch the Infura Node, upgrade the daily limits, and restore the proper functioning of the captcha feature.

After the switch, the sale worked as expected and was successful.

Preparing for the Future

We are already scaling up our infrastructure, implementing solutions and performing stress tests to ensure the proper functioning of the platform for the upcoming Shadows IDO on Tuesday.

The demand for the Vortex DeFi IDO was extremely high, peaking at 62,000 requests per minute, however, this is no excuse for the issues users experienced on our platform and we are using these valuable lessons to continue improving the platform and provide a supreme user experience.

General Captcha Concerns

There is a fine balance between protecting a system from bots and providing a flawless user experience. About 90% of users have no problems solving the captchas in due time without failing in our DuckStarter and Farmcubation offerings.

We have received numerous complaints about the captcha feature from the community, and are taking this feedback seriously as we analyze the system logs and consider different options.

The captcha feature is used to provide a fair and effective experience for all users and for now will continue to be a part of the DuckSTARTER platform. With upgrades to our infrastructure to prevent and overcome DDOS attacks, we expect this feature to continue operating properly.

In summary

The Vortex DeFi public sale was not without issues, however, despite the problems in the first minutes, the sale was successful with 100% organic participation.

DuckDAO is dedicated to continually improve the DuckSTARTER user experience and produce the best public offering platform. Over the next couple of weeks, we have a lot of IDOs coming on DuckSTARTER and will soon update our frontpage to showcase more projects.

The demand for public sales is incredibly high, and for each one of them, seats are limited to a finite number of users. For now, we’ve decided to stay away from the lottery system, because this will also not make everyone happy.

Our mission is to provide value to our users and we will remain focused on doing just that while eliminating bot participation whenever possible and maintaining the user experience on a high level.

An alternative to DuckSTARTER are DDIM internal groups which provide users with access to private sales for most DuckSTARTER projects. DDIM groups still use the “First-Come-First-Serve” process, however the chances of getting an allocation is higher compared to DuckSTARTER.

Find Out More About DuckDAO🐥

DuckDAO is a community-backed digital asset incubator that provides promising early-stage crypto startups with the expertise, financial resources, and marketing power needed to fast track their progress on the path to success.

Who will win? One VC or ten thousand ducks?

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Zoran Spirkovski

Zoran Spirkovski

Zoran publishes a blog post on Medium every day. He writes about whatever is relevant in his mind on the day he writes. Follow to get updates.