Last week we covered the topic of ‘What is FUTURED?’ in more depth, so if this is the first you are hearing of it, go check that article out! At a high-level FUTURED is a testbed publication for a platform that is being built for content creation. Our goal isn’t to create a monetized Medium, but to give creators a place where they can easily go into depth on a topic. In the crypto world a common saying is that the blockchain will bank the unbanked. We are trying to engage the unengaged. Those out there that are have great thoughts and opinions, but are hesitant or unwilling to dive into the spam-riddled or light-touch platforms that we have today. We are making this now as for the first time it is possible to incentivize helpful behavior at a fine granularity — through tokens! We are participating in the Alpha III program that Simple Token is running, which gives us access to build out a branded token economy for our users. This economy will be non-trivial, providing multiple avenues for users and companies to purchase, earn, and spend tokens — all while continually increasing the market size of the FUTURED token. We have done our research and have compiled the best (& worst) parts of sites available today.
Lots more work on the platform happened this week! We are building everything to work for the long term, so there it is quite time consuming. All parts of the site are loaded through our custom API. At a later date we will allow integrations of our content into external sites, so it is important to make sure we are building and using our own API from day 1. This API gathers data either from our database or 3rd party APIs (we already have Simple Token, social media, Unsplash, & Wikipedia integrated with many more planned). While the framework of the site is complete, we didn’t have enough time to finish as much of the user interface as desired (we started this only 3 weeks ago after all!). We did manage to get a POC-level user profile page set up that cleanly shows user earnings, transactions, and lets them add funds to their account. Stories work as well, but they are nowhere near as finished as they will be.
First off, we will keep writing these weekly posts to keep an up-to-date status on the project — we hope to be an incredibly transparent company! We won’t lie, there is a good amount of work left to do, but we have already cleared some major hurdles. The next large item of work that we have scheduled is developing the story editor. We aim to make it as simple and clean as the one found here on Medium. We will also be making some adjustments to how our apps internal router is structured, to allow for finished stories to easily be placed on a CDN, and not require multiple database calls from every visitor. A large part of this project revolves around getting it profitable to run as soon as possible. In general, we are following a tried-and-true startup roadmap that allows us to ship early and often. We plan to be ready for launch as soon as the OST hits the main net. Depending on a few factors, we will also look into fundraising for the project.
OST Alpha Specifics
Talking more in depth about the OST alpha III, which focused on letting users test out the new wallet functionality they brought to their APIs. As we are making a consumer app that is fully based in branded tokens it is vital to show live balance and transaction information. We chose to add this info to the logical place users would look, their profile page. This page has a live data-binding to our database, as well as polling of the OST balance, token, and ledger APIs. This allows us to contextually show additional information as it happens, such as flagging a transaction as ‘pending’. We kept the interface simple, displaying the ‘humanized’ name of the action, datetime, and transaction amount in USD. We color coded the amount red and green (as well as left and right for accessibility) to signify funds leaving or entering the users wallet. We show the last 10 transactions grouped in 3’s that the user swipes over to reveal more. For production we will also display a option to learn more about how token transfers work for those that are inclined to learn more.
Throughout the project the OST APIs were incredibly easy to use, and after writing them into our GraphQL server early in the project, we never had to think about them again! We even open-sourced a full server complete with fully formed resolvers and type-definitions for others to use these APIs in their own projects. Clone it and take a look around, it should make a perfect place to start for Alpha IV (and saves ~700 lines of code).
In the end, if this same quality is found on the main net implementation of Simple Token — ship it!