How often have you heard that the creator of a popular meme or sketch earns money from this? Does anyone even know these people? In modern social media, in most cases, content is earned not by its creators, but by its distributors and the platforms themselves. And this is the main problem and injustice of web 2.

At aerx we believe that content creators can and should earn money because they are the "engines" of social media

What it does

In earx, authors can easily monetize content and retain their ownership rights. Just publish what you have created: text, video, picture or audio. It doesn't matter if you are a professional artist who just came up with a funny meme, an aspiring musician or an author of interesting texts. Post it and get rewarded if other users like it.

How we built it

On the front-end we used the combination of React & NodeJS framework with ChakraUI module to aid us with styling & theme. It's a standard React project, which communicates with our deployed to NEAR blockchain smart contracts. For the database we used supabase as our temporary solution. Our decentralized storage solution using IPFS and Crust works only for local files. Once this issue is solved, profile photo and bio will be saved as a unique Profile NFT, giving the user full ownership over his/her data. Profile NFTs are limited to one per NEAR id. Posts will follow the same technology but without being limited in count. Smart contracts are exclusively written in Rust.

Challenges we ran into

Management challenges

First of all, managing and keeping the communication going between multiple members, of which all speak different languages, are in the different timezones, running each on their own schedules is a really complicated task. Otherwise, the challenge of finding committed and responsible individuals is another big one for any online software project, where people aren't promised an instant reward.

Technology challenges

None of us have ever worked with NEAR blockchain before and most of our members have not been acquainted with any of the concepts of distributed applications and smart contracts at all. We run into a lot of challenges that come with using new technology. We had to dive deep, run the examples, experiment with the code a lot to figure out the way it's working. Most challenging highlights were:

  • Connecting the user wallet to the smart contracts inside the app.
  • Implementing inter-contract calls.
  • Serverless datamanagement.

Exposing our app to the benefits and responsibilities of web3 is definitely different than interacting with your typical API.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

In the end, we were able to create our own Fungible Token and Non-Fungible Tokens. We connected it all to our React-Nodejs front-end. We've our app with NEAR wallet and got the basic registration flow setup. We're able to reward new users with our FT Token upon registration and have them send it to other users when they like their posts.

What we learned

We learned how to build decentralized applications, including all basic concepts that come with it. We learned what smart contracts are and how to use them as well as got familiar with all the basic concepts of NEAR blockchain. We learned a lot. Our founder learned a lot on how to work with people in IT and manage software projects. Our engineers learned that NEAR has a great community and their Discord channel is a safe-haven for lost blockchain sailors. While there's still a lot to learn, we're proud of our current accomplishments.

What's next for aerx

aerx will continue to develop as a decentralized modular social network with an internal economy, managed by the community.

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