The Origin Demo DApp Goes Global

Stan James
Aug 21, 2018 · 5 min read

The Origin Protocol team and open source developers have been hard at work building a platform to enable truly decentralized marketplaces. Today we are happy to announce a new version of our demo DApp and the release of version 0.7 of Origin-js.

Try the latest version the DApp at demo.originprotocol.com. You can also read our previous tech updates for context on how it all works.

There are a ton of new features which we’ll discuss in detail in future posts, but for now we’ll focus on just one: The DApp and the underlying protocol are now fully localized, and have been translated into twenty languages!

The DApp will automatically load with the language of your browser, or you can select a language from the menu in the footer.

Why so much work on localization? Simple: Blockchain has no borders. Marketplaces building on Origin will be instantly global, and those buyers and sellers won’t all be transacting in English.

Furthermore, almost two billion people on this planet don’t have bank accounts or credit cards. These people have previously been unable to participate in the digital economy. But soon anyone with a cheap smartphone and a blockchain wallet will be able to participate in the new decentralized economy; including transacting on Origin-powered marketplaces in their own language.

Localizing all the schemas

An Origin listing can represent a bike for sale in Houston as easily as a bungalow for rent in Phuket. This powerful flexibility comes from using JSON Schema. However, when it came to translating the fields of a listing, we ran into a problem: no one had used JSON Schema across multiple languages before. As an open source project, we sought out the answer on Github and found an open issue about the problem:

With no standard way to do this with JSON Schema we created a solution and shared with the open source community. The trick was to replace English strings with generic message IDs, unseen by users. These IDs could then be rendered in the DApp in whatever language the user preferred. The extracted English strings were then translated by our community. So now a code like “schema.housing.officeCommercial” appears to a user in China as “办公室和商业” and to a user in New Zealand as “Office and Commercial”.

Creating a new housing listing in Chinese

All about the community

Origin Protocol is proud to be a globally distributed project and company. Around 50 engineers have contributed to our code base from all over the globe. Origin’s marketplace partners are working to decentralize many different categories of businesses. Our thriving Telegram community is over 35,000 strong and our Discord group is filled with over 2,000 active collaborators.

The sales page translated into Thai

We want to acknowledge and give a very special shout out to our community of translators. Early on we had our product brief translated into Korean, Japanese, Russian, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese. Today, we have over 60 amazing community volunteers who have translated our website and DApp into 20 languages — and all in under a month!

Over 60 volunteers from around the world contributed to translating the Origin DApp

Origin is proud to highlight some of our translators who have helped us localize our Demo DApp, including:

  • Kaori or “coyote”, our top Japanese translator.
  • @in_amour_ata, who helped us with Russian and Ukrainian.
  • Ioanna Zapalidi, who helped us with Greek and French.
  • Renata, who helped us with Italian and Greek.
  • @abiehp, our sole Indonesian translator.
  • Vincent, our top Vietnamese translator.
  • Anson Lau, our sole Traditional Chinese translator.
  • Andrei Munteanu, our sole Romanian translator and faithful Telegram admin.
  • @cryptoierco, our sole Dutch translator.
  • Jose Villalta, our sole Spanish translator.
  • Antoine Domergue, one of our top French translators.
  • @wandong, our top Simplified Chinese translator.
  • Arfel, who helped with Filipino and Japanese.
  • @crypthinq, one of our top Filipino translators.
  • @gelasius, one of our top German translators.
  • Majed, one of our top German translators.
  • Van Nam, one of our top Vietnamese translators.
  • @inukshuk, our top Portuguese translator.
  • Pavel, who helped with German and Russian.
  • Erfan Issac, who helped with Simplified Chinese.
  • Zaurbek, who helped with Russian and helps us with Telegram.

There are many more translators who also contributed their valuable time and we are sending everyone a small gift to show our appreciation. (Please remind us if you contributed but haven’t received anything yet.)

We would also like to thank Micah Alcorn, John Jordan, Mitch Kessler, Dave Craige, Evan Ray, Coleman Maher, Kay Yoo, Austin Virts, and Andrew Hyde for their hard work coordinating the translation effort.

More about our global mission

We look forward to having our Demo DApp and documentation translated into as many languages as possible, to reach as many of the unbanked as possible. These people are often victims of rapidly debasing currencies, predatory financial practices, and corrupt governments.

Cryptocurrencies will allow the unbanked and others underserved by traditional institutions to leapfrog the current fragmented and broken system. We have already seen markets in Asia, Latin America, and Africa leapfrog credit cards and brick-and-mortar banking, jumping straight to mobile payments. Over 50% of economic activity in Kenya is conducted using SMS payments. WeChat Pay and Alipay have completely changed how both online and point of sale purchases are done in China.

Origin has a strong focus on the markets that will likely be “ground zero” for cryptocurrency adoption. We have formed partnerships with ServisHero, a Malaysia-based domestic services platform, and Kozaza, a Korean homesharing platform. Origin will continue to pursue the markets that will benefit most from our work. It is our dream that many people’s first exposure to a digital marketplace will be a decentralized application with a cryptocurrency wallet running on Origin technology.

Get involved

If you want to help spread Origin’s message and help us in our translation efforts, please sign up for one of our projects on Crowdin and fill out this form! If you want to get involved on the engineering and product side in any way, learn more on our developer page and find us on Discord!

Learn more about Origin:

Origin Protocol

Origin is building the sharing economy of tomorrow. Buyers and sellers will be able to transact without rent-seeking middlemen. We believe in lowering transaction fees, promoting free and transparent commerce, and giving early participants in the community a stake in the network.

Thanks to Josh Fraser and Coleman Maher

Stan James

Written by

Lead Blockchain Engineer at Origin Protocol

Origin Protocol

Origin is building the sharing economy of tomorrow. Buyers and sellers will be able to transact without rent-seeking middlemen. We believe in lowering transaction fees, promoting free and transparent commerce, and giving early participants in the community a stake in the network.

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