If you BUIDL it, they will come: bootstrapping a dev community
Blockchain is a team sport where you only win when everyone wins. In this article we introduce Clement, Public Mint’s first independent BUIDLer and a pioneer at our community
The real beauty of open networks is not about building a castle, surrounding it with walls, and charging admission. At best, that will get you a few visitors and a static Instagram photo, until eventually the next gated attraction renders you obsolete.
The blockchain space is all about participation, interaction, and organic innovation. It’s about making people from all walks of life feel part of what you planted, experiment, plant their own trees and reap the fruits of their collective work.
It’s about community. And a diverse community, with users, leaders, builders, promoters — you know, a loosely-knit team that works towards a common goal.
But as important as it is to have players in every position, arguably the most crucial players in the field are the builders. Or, in this case, developers.
Sowing the seeds of BUIDL
Blockchain has reminded the world of the power of connection, community and collaboration — perhaps even more so than any other recent technology. It has shifted power away from the center and towards the individuals, even if just a little. And with that, creativity has exploded.
Developers are the renaissance men and women of today’s world. They’re required to know not just the basic tools of their trade (math, coding languages, etc) but also an endless list of disciplines, business models, and even human behavior.
In an open network ecosystem, they’re the ones that — given the raw materials — will boost the utility and value of your invention. They are the quintessential innovators.
And their creativity works best when they’re in control, not us. That’s the public in Public Mint, and that’s the spirit of decentralization that’s been missing in big tech, traditional finance, and centralized systems in general.
If we at Public Mint are building the infrastructure (the streets and plumbing), independent developers will create the edifices and cars that run on top. Stuff that we alone couldn’t dream of doing on our own. And they’re the ones who will keep it alive and evolving.
Developers are the architects of our digital societies.
It’s not easy to be the first one to join a movement. In a way, the first one is the real leader, the inspiration for others to follow. It takes courage and resolve to invest your time in something just because you believe in it.
And it only takes one to start a movement.
For us, this pioneer is Clement (that’s the name he goes by online), the first independent BUIDLer on Public Mint, and arguably our first true creator.
A self-starter, Clement started programming at the ripe age of ten, and has since amassed over 20 years of experience in software engineering, both in commercial and open-source applications.
To him, programming is more than just a job: creating things to make people’s lives better gives him a sense of purpose:
You see the instant result of your work. And I can say I feel truly happy when I see people using the software I developed! There’s no better feeling than seeing someone using the tools you create to make their lives easier, better and more rewarding.
It’s perhaps unsurprising then that, in 2017, when he discovered the blockchain space, he got hooked from the start:
Blockchain allows total freedom where no single party is dictating what you can or cannot do. It is the ultimate free world, where you can use your creativity to make things that are impossible within a controlled environment, with lots of rules and regulations, red tapes, bureaucracy, etc.
He’d found the piece that was missing: a way to build “[a] world where you can trust the system because code and transparency will help you trust it, not an authority, and the freedom to build your own products without fear or favor.”
Since then, Clement has amassed quite a strong resume in crypto.
Two projects of his have been awarded Zilliqa Zilhive grants: Zilstat (a portal dedicated to staking statistics), and myMessage.io (an ongoing DApp project, aimed at storing messages), both on the Zilliqa network. He’s also the developer of MyZilliqaWallet.com.
Clement and Public Mint
The first time Clement heard about Public Mint was just after the network launched, in July 2020. He had read an article about Nitin Gaur (director of IBM Digital Asset Labs) talking about Public Mint, and was “very impressed about that.”
With hundreds of networks competing for attention and adoption, Clement identified a few key elements that made Public Mint unique:
Public Mint has very fast confirmation time, high TPS, cheap tx fee and most important of all, the first fiat based native blockchain that enables deposit or withdrawal of fiat easily via blockchain. And I don’t have to buy another token to use the blockchain, the USD is the native token which is also a stable coin, pegged to USD.
Even before the MINT token IDO, Clement had already been in touch with our team of developers and had begun experimenting with the blockchain — asking questions and fiddling with the code, as devs do.
And so he decided to build his next DApp on top of Public Mint.
MintDEX is born
After the IDO and the launch of the MINT token, Clement came up with the idea of building a DEX (decentralized exchange) to take advantage of the low fees and near-instant finality of the network.
That’s when the seed of MintDEX was planted.
Building a decentralized exchange made total sense to him:
CEXes [centralized exchanges] are risky, almost every year we hear about a CEX being hacked and funds lost. It could be due to outside hackers or the loss of private keys. DEXes, on the other hand, are a lot safer. Uniswap for example. But they are slow, and fees are very high! Running a DEX on Public Mint really solves all these issues due to the nature of the Public Mint blockchain’s fast confirmation speed and very low cost of transaction fee.
What is MintDEX?
In his own words,
MintDEX is a true on-chain-only DEX, with no centralized server needed. You can run MintDEX on your own computer, and thus eliminate the threat of DNS attack or server hack, since there is no server needed.
In April 2021, he finally put a working version of MintDEX (running on the Testnet) on Github, as well as the instructions to run it — and invited the community to take it for a spin. And getting started is easy:
Right now, you can use the exchange to trade Testnet USD and MINT tokens. It comes complete with a Testnet faucet to get Testnet USD for testing (these have NO real value and are only useful in a development environment).
This proof-of-concept could easily be implemented on the Mainnet once Public Mint’s own Ethereum bridge is implemented in a few weeks — and from there, it can also be easily expanded to include any other ERC-20 tokens as they get added to the bridge.
In times of crazy-high Ethereum fees, trading on Public Mint — with fixed, small fees and fast confirmation — would be a much welcome feature to traders across the board.
In the end, Clement would like to take his creation to the next level, see it live, and fulfil its original purpose of being “a true open source DEX where traders can trade happily at low cost. Rather than paying high transaction fees to miners, traders should trade with low fees, which ethereum was first designed for.”
The whole experience has been gratifying to Clement, and he’s keen to get as much feedback, suggestions and comments as possible from you, our community.
It is still at an early stage, and I managed to get direct support from the Public Mint developers, which is really good. On top of everything, Public Mint uses Solidity toolkit, which lets a developer port DApps from Ethereum to Public Mint very easily.
To the future… and beyond!
Clement is now working on his next project: building a simple game on Public Mint — and he’s totally open for collaboration:
I am happy to collaborate with anyone. Feel free to email me at email@example.com
He can also be found at Public Mint’s Telegram channels under the alias of @cmnt18.
Come BUIDL with us
If you’re a professional engineer with a passion for open source, or a beginner just putting together your first smart contracts, we’d like to invite you to follow in Clement’s footsteps.
Come help him out, or just experiment with building your own thing. Drop him (or us) a line at our Developers Telegram channel. We’re sure he’d also be more than happy to share his experiences there.
The application described in this article has been created by the aforementioned independent developer. The creator assumes full responsibility for MintDEX and any other applications developed by him.
Public Mint has not verified the code or contents of the application, and therefore takes no responsibility or liability for its use, or for any implications that may arise from using it. Please do your own research before using any application by third parties.