The AirSwap team traveled to Japan to share our work with the wider Ethereum community. We were excited to meet all of the teams and individuals that came out for the event and thank everyone who attended our talks.
From October 8th to 11th, the Ethereum community came together to collaborate and ideate around how best we can push decentralized protocols, tools, and culture to the masses. Ten of the AirSwap team arrived at the conference with five members leading talks and workshops.
AirSwap software engineers Alice Henshaw, Sam Walker, and Ethan Wessel dove deep into technical sessions, while software engineer Shawn Kim and UX/UI designer Chriss Sugg led product-related discussions around our open-source price comparison tool DexIndex and user-research design for Ethereum, respectively. Here’s a recap of what went down during the jam-packed week of Devcon 5.
Honoring Anonymity: Adapting User Research Methods for Ethereum by UX/UI Designer Chriss Sugg
When it comes to traditional user research methods like field studies, surveys, and user interviews, Ethereum poses unique challenges. The foremost being a value at the core of decentralization: anonymity.
So then, what does it look like to conduct user research on anonymous users? At AirSwap, we believe the future of Ethereum lies in usability so we’ve sought to face these challenges head-on. Through a combination of creative problem solving and reframing the formats of traditional methods to accommodate decentralized application (dApp) users, we’ve been able to adapt and gather insights that have directly shaped our products.
Choosing Composition Over Inheritance Wherever Possible: Is That Right? by Solidity Engineer Alice Henshaw
Composition and inheritance are two methods of separating and reusing code in Solidity. While Ethereum is relatively new, these concepts have been around since the advent of Object-Oriented Programming.
The general idea is that Inheritance is transparent code reuse, allowing the child contract to view and edit the implementation of the parent contract. In contrast, Composition can be seen as “black box reuse” whereby smart contracts can communicate with one another, without needing to know the implementation details of the other contracts.
Keyspace: End-to-end Encryption Using Ethereum and IPFS by Software Engineer Sam Walker
Keyspace is a trustless implementation of OpenPGP running on top of Ethereum. It enables dApp users to derive a secondary set of keys from their Ethereum wallet key pair, which they can then use to sign and authenticate messages (without risk to funds) or to encrypt and decrypt messages.
In this workshop, Sam walked through the elements of the system on a high level and then demoed an application that allowed workshop members to experiment with the protocol. Talk resources, along with the demo application, can be found here.
Analyzing Decentralized Exchange Liquidity with DexIndex by Software Engineer Shawn Kim
Since the introduction of Ethereum in 2015, the popularity of decentralized exchange (DEX) has skyrocketed. Currently, there are hundreds of DEXs in the wild, with many on Ethereum. This makes it very difficult to know which DEX has the best price of a certain amount of a token at a given time.
Securely Storing Wallet Private Keys for Application Use on AWS by Software Engineer Ethan Wessel
With so many new dApps every day, it’s imperative to employ the best infrastructure practices when it comes to our application’s wallet’s storage and use. The moment a wallet private key enters application memory it is vulnerable, and if compromised everything tied to the address is gone forever: identity, tokens, money, and everything else.
There are four key criteria we follow at AirSwap when it comes to secure key management: auditability, encryption, ease of use, and permissioned access. Most of these criteria are satisfied by using Amazon’s existing AWS tools. In general, identifying the right tool for the job can be hard, but using Amazon’s Key Management Service, Secrets Manager, Systems Manager Parameter Store, and Kubernetes Secrets simplifies our workflow substantially.
Thanks and see you next time!
We had a great time in Osaka with the whole community, rekindling friendships and making new ones. Our team was happy to present this year and we look forward to more opportunities to share our learnings as our ecosystem develops and grows.
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