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1 Simple Tip For Easier, Faster Blockchain App Development

This is the tip you came here for but you’ll have to read on to find out what it means (thank you)

(This article was originally published by Khoa Phan via dLab, SOSV’s blockchain accelerator in NYC.)

Here’s what the blockchain app development process probably looks like for a typical web/mobile/desktop software developer:

  1. Sees a stray retweet from a Bitcoin maximalist about not needing governments anymore because of “the blockchain”. Curiosity is piqued.
  2. Does own research and realizes we still want/need governments but that the technology itself can actually make a real impact on society.
  3. Stocks up on Mountain Dew from the local chain store in preparation for a nonstop 36-hour hackathon on his new blockchain app idea.
  4. Realizes that one does not simply build blockchain apps and that he has to set up a full node first, build an integration to enable web interaction, etc.
  5. Retreats back to developing apps in the user-friendly, convenient, and enjoyable environment that he’s used to.

Sound familiar? Sadly, it’s a story you’ve probably heard many times before. It’s the narrative of countless developers who aspired to build blockchain apps but didn’t because of the difficulty and/or inconvenience of getting started.

The gritty developers who didn’t end up quitting at #4? Well…

My name is Khoa Phan, I’m a venture fellow at dLab, and I admittedly came dangerously close to sharing the same fate as our almost-blockchain developer from the story above. Luckily, I came to my senses and realized (thanks to my mentors at dLab, Nick and Nico) that I could actually challenge the status quo by creating the solutions that I (intimately) knew developers needed in order to come, stay, and build.

With this mission in mind, I co-founded sōshen with Eko (also a dLab Fellow, and a good friend I’ve worked with for 7+ years on various startups), where we’ve built a powerful, but easy-to-use API that provides developers with reliable, on-demand access to blockchain data for their apps. The best part? With sōshen, there’s no setup, no servers, and no stress — music to the ears of blockchain developers at all skill levels.

To demonstrate the possibilities when building with sōshen, Eko has shared an app he developed that uses our API to visualize transactions on Cardano happening in real-time (represented by airplanes of varying sizes — the larger the planes, the larger the transaction amounts):

We’re dreaming of the day when this window will be filled with planes/transactions — to get there, we’ll need more developers creating useful blockchain apps and services (hopefully, with sōshen!)

While you’re waiting for planes to fly/transactions to appear, here are some answers to the questions that might be going through your mind right now…

“How long did it take to create an app like that with your API?”

From ideation to production? Less than 2 days (if that). Our API provides a stream of blockchain data to fulfill all of his app’s needs (easily saving him days or even weeks of additional work), which means Eko was able to focus on crafting a polished user experience and writing clean code.

“Can’t I just set up my own full node(s)?”

You certainly can. In fact, I encourage you to do so in order to understand the scope of the challenge and realize the value that we’re offering with sōshen. However, one thing to keep in mind is that while the setup process alone is strenuous… operating, securing, and scaling full nodes is a completely different nightmare altogether (but, you can rest easy knowing that we’ll be the ones taking care of that for you).

“Why should I use sōshen?”

While we can’t guarantee that all of the blockchain apps you develop will lead to Moon Lambos, we can assuredly presume that you’ll save significant amounts of time and money by sticking with sōshen. Our team has spent 1,000+ development hours over the past 3 months to craft an API that will reliably provide your apps with the blockchain data they’ll need — in a manner that doesn’t resemble anything like blockchain development today (in other words, it’s easy to work with).

In addition to the API, we’re also building out tools to help you gain valuable insight into your blockchain apps, develop them faster, and more, which will be made available as they are finished.

“Doesn’t sōshen operate against the idea of decentralization?”

While we will be starting out as a centralized service, we’re already ideating a solution that will one day allow us to remove ourselves from the equation. That being said, it’s an initiative that will take us time to refine and realize. In the meantime, the value that we’ll provide the blockchain ecosystem (making it easier for new and existing developers to build blockchain-enabled apps and services) far outweighs any drawbacks in the short to medium-term.

“How do I get started?”

We’re launching sōshen’s paid beta test today and, as our way of saying “thank you”, after the beta period ends (which will last about 1 month) we will be giving all of our beta users hefty lifetime discounts ranging from 25–50%. You can learn more about sōshen on our website here, as well as sign up for the beta test here.

A sneak peek of our stats dashboard which will improve dramatically going forward

If you’re not sure about what to build, you can still sign up for sōshen and plug your API credentials into the project that Eko created above which he open-sourced here. We hope that the project will inspire you to build something amazing that you can share with the entire community (please let me know if you do). Our goal is to share fun and/or useful projects that our users or our team built with our API every ~2 weeks.

Have questions or feedback? Feel free to email me directly at — I’d love to have a conversation. And, finally, A sincere thank you for being here with us on this journey!

Relevant Links:


Beta Sign-Up:


Demo source code:

Twitter: @soshenio

Keep up with the SOSV community. Subscribe to the Newsletter, and link up on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!

Originally published at on May 16, 2019.




Posts from HAX (hardware), IndieBio (life sciences), Chinaccelerator/MOX (cross-border internet), and dlab (blockchain).

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We are HAX (hardware), IndieBio (life sciences), Chinaccelerator/MOX (cross-border internet), and dlab (blockchain).

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