Enabling the Wider Adoption of Ultra’s Networks
Up until now, we at Ultra have been very internally focused. Early on, we decided that this was the right strategy given the state and maturity of the platform, and it has served us well as we grew.
Now, we believe that our core components are reaching a level of maturity that allows us to start looking outwards toward the wider developer community. It’s time for them to start building the satellite applications which will enrich our users’ experiences on our network.
It’s time for Ultra to move up to the next level.
The Next Level
For us, this is an exciting transition! Ultra’s networks, and the applications that run on them, will migrate from just being about our company and its needs to an ecosystem of deployed games and tools which the community develops in cooperation with us. It speaks volumes about how far we have come as a project and puts us on the threshold of great things!
When opening up a system for wider adoption there are a few key pieces that need to be in place to support developers and the ideas which they would like to bring to life. For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll be primarily talking about documentation and tooling.
A Word on Documentation
Onultra.io provides a great high-level overview of what our blockchain and its associated technologies are capable of.
To dig a little deeper, we provide a much more comprehensive set of documentation in our Blockchain Developer Documentation. Here we go into deep detail about how our systems are implemented and why. For developers looking to create smart contracts that are deployed to Ultra’s networks, that interact with our components (like the Uniq NFT Standard), this is their best bet for achieving those goals. If you’re interested in developing on our Testnet, please reach out to Partnerships@ultra.io.
Developer Workflows and the Ultra Authenticator
Because of the financial aspect of what we do, Ultra is understandably very focused on security. We have a lock-it-down-first mentality that aims to reduce the vectors for attack by reducing the overall attack surface. The upside of this is a very secure platform that works well for us internally at Ultra. The downside is that many of those decisions make doing development more convoluted when we are looking to expand access to developers outside our inner circle of trusted and whitelisted developers.
A good example of this is the authenticator and signer that are built into the Ultra Client. When you perform a transaction, like buying digital assets on the Uniq Marketplace, you are walking through a secure flow that ensures that the origin is within the client and is happening via an application that we have vetted and trust. For developers, this is problematic because they do not have a way to easily insert their application into the client so that they can perform transactions in situ.
The obvious solution here is to have a way to do authentication and signing of blockchains outside of the client.
So, we did that.
Introducing the Ultra Chrome Extension
We’ll be releasing a Chrome Extension that developers can use to develop flows and verify that they can authenticate and sign transactions on Ultra’s networks. To begin, we’ll be providing this only for the Testnet, but as it and our development community mature we’ll include access to the Mainnet.
There are a bunch of interesting consequences of having a browser-based extension and we thought it would be interesting to highlight them. With the chrome extension installed, anybody with a browser will be able to create an Ultra EBA account. This means that alternative platforms like Mac and Linux can now create Ultra accounts and manage their tokens, although they will still not have full access to Ultra’s application platforms. It also means that fully anonymous accounts, where the user completely controls the private keys, are now possible. Users who wish to will be able to create non-EBA accounts on the network and leverage their own security setups to manage their accounts and keys as they see fit. Ledger users, that means you.
For developers, it means that any of you can create and deploy an application that can interact with our blockchain networks without Ultra having to act as the primary gatekeeper of the Ultra client. Build what you think your users will love, and you’ll be able to leverage Ultra accounts and pull basic information about those logged-in users directly from the blockchain.
We think that these things together are going to energize the user base and developer community to begin deploying applications that use Ultra’s networks in interesting and exciting new ways.
We are currently providing beta access to the chrome extension to our first external developers such as UltraIsLife, Agora, and Xborg. The library of the Chrome extension will be open sourced and provided to the community so that you can all use this as a foundation for creating your own Ultra-compatible wallets and chrome extensions.
A Strong Foundation
Without a strong foundation, no building stands the test of time and use. Software also requires careful thought and planning to engineer the foundations of the systems they bring to life. Ultra’s core focus these past years has been to build the core, foundational software on which our innovative and unique platform runs.
Ultra’s blockchain is the source of truth which all systems that interact with it can rely on to be fast, available, and easy to use. Deeply integrated into our blockchain are key components like our Easy Blockchain Account system, the Uniq NFT Standard, our on-chain UOS/USD price Oracle, and our Queue System that allows for secure, free transactions. Together these provide a network that is fast, free, stable, and scalable in a way that no other on the market can compete with.
Our products, which are deeply integrated into Ultra’s networks, consist of a suite of functionality that provides what we have defined as key functionality that enables Ultra’s vision.
Ultra Games affords developers and publishers a way to deploy their properties and earn a higher revenue while simultaneously providing their players with new ways to game through web3 technologies. As the games that are sold are in themselves digital assets, it empowers players to resell their games, providing them with control over their digital belongings and the choice to recoup their investment when they feel the time is right. Ultra Games acts as the nexus of our vision by giving gamers the content they want in a modern, mainstream-ready package.
Our Uniq Marketplace, which opened to the public this summer, is another key piece of the puzzle. It is the first implementation of the on-chain functionality available in our NFT Standard. Users can easily interact with Ultra’s blockchain through the Uniq Marketplace to buy first-hand Uniqs from our Launchpad, and then resell those digital assets on the secondary market. The same basic actions are being implemented by partners in our exclusive games. This means that Uniqs which are minted, bought, or sold from within these applications in our ecosystem also instantaneously appear in the Uniq Marketplace because it all happens on the blockchain, at the Uniq NFT Standard level.
Another exciting application deep in development is our tournament platform. Players will be able to play games from Ultra Games, and if they win they will earn Uniqs that can be HODL’ed, traded, or sold on the Uniq Marketplace.
All of this is wrapped in the Ultra Client which acts as a secure, flexible frame for users to interact with our ecosystem. Through our client, we ensure that users have a cohesive view of what they can do, and provide basic building blocks like support, payment processing, error handling, and data analytics. These are all critical pieces for running a successful business like ours. Users can do what they want without being encumbered by typical blockchain-related hurdles like having to manage their keys securely or figuring out how to cover the costs of transactions. Developers and publishers have the information they need to make smart decisions about their businesses. Last but not least, Ultra acts as a supporting entity that maintains the platform’s consistency and longevity.
Our approach at Ultra has always been to develop these foundational technologies and then to dog-food them by implementing excellent uses based on the functionality available.
This allows us to identify issues, both conceptual and technical, and iterate quickly without impacting external developers. We also understand that developing a system that has a focus on business and enterprise-level functionality is hard and must be done carefully and comprehensively.
Just the First Step
When the extension and associated tooling is ready, we’ll publish a follow-up announcement pointing you all in the right direction. For more granular updates, make sure to sign up for the newsletter, which includes Ultra Notes, our regular mailer that keeps our community up to date on everything that Ultra completes from month to month.
For developers interested in working with our platform, make sure to join our Discord and select the Developer option during setup. This will give you exclusive access to other developers in the community, and to our developer team who can help you get started.
Ultra is the first entertainment platform providing all key games industry services under a single roof, accessible through a single login.
Built around our PC games distribution store, Ultra Games, our platform will provide access to countless centralized and decentralized services: Discover, buy, play and sell your games and in-game items, watch live-streaming feeds, interact with your favorite influencers, participate in contests, compete in tournaments, and much more.
Ultra has been built to provide endless value for players, a fair playing ground for developers, and a whole new world of opportunities for the games industry.