Byteball Bot Store Has Launched

Many important services on Byteball are already offered through chatbots, now it got easier to discover and access them. The list of bots is now available right from the wallet.

It takes only two clicks to start chatting with a bot.

Thereafter, it becomes available in your contacts list.

Similar to app stores that everybody is already familiar with, the bot store serves two purposes:

  • making it easier for users to discover new apps (bots) and instantly start using their services;
  • giving the developers access to their potential users, so that the developers’ work can quickly prove its usefulness.

Unlike most app stores, adding a bot is always free for users.

At the same time, payments is what the bots are for, and the chat window in the Byteball wallet is tightly integrated with the payment and smart contract functionality of the wallet, which enables chatbots to:

  • send and receive payments easily;
  • offer smart contracts that the users need only to review and accept.

With chatbots, it is easy to automate the creation of smart contracts by asking users a series of questions in the chat interface, validating their answers, then offering a prepared contract custom-tailored to this specific user. Thus the user is guided through creation of smart contract and relieved of much of manual entry. At the same time, since Byteball smart contracts are user readable, he still maintains full control by being able to see what the offered contract means before he approves and pays to the contract.

The smart contracts created by chatbots are, by definition, trustless and self-enforcing, they don’t require any trust in the chatbot operator. Their definitions (source code) will be necessarily published, hence open-sourced, when the smart contract is spent from, which gives transparency about the chatbot’s operation to the third parties (the parties of the contract already know its terms before it is funded). However, the chatbot’s code itself needn’t be open-sourced in full if the author so desires, which allows the chatbot operator to keep his know-how secret in a competitive environment. Only the smart contracts — the results of the chatbot’s operation — have to be open-sourced.

We are starting with a small number of existing chatbots in the store and hope to add new bots from independent developers soon. The developer documentation for writing chatbots is available on our github wiki.

The wallet pulls the list of bots from the hub it is connected to. To add your new bot to the default hub byteball.org/bb, please contact me (the process is manual to start with). To add it to other hubs, contact the respective hub owners. Listing and ranking available bots could become a way to monetize hubs in the future, but now it is a huge unexplored land with almost no competition.