Inspiration

According to the 2017 report by the Washington Council of Governments, 22% of homeless single adults and 25% of adults in homeless families were employed in Washington, DC. Also, there is massive poverty in 2nd and 3rd world countries. We wanted to help with this global issue and had thought of Astrum.

What it does

Meet Astrum, a micropayment application that helps the homeless population to find freelancing gigs, powered by Stellar. Stellar's XLM can be used anywhere, so anyone from any country can be empowered to hire anyone around the world. Additionally, people can leave reviews of freelancers, so other people can get an idea of the freelancer's work.

For the job seeker, they can find tasks by category. The categories are:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Administrative Work (typing documents, documentation)
  3. Service Work
  4. Care-taking
  5. Furniture Assembly
  6. Yard Maintenance

These categories were chosen because the categories typically do not require job experience, which is ideal for the homeless population.

The task seeker has the option to accept or just offer and receive messages from people as well. The task seeker will also have a view of their digital wallet, including their history and total XLM.

How we built it

Tech Stack crypto-js Firebase Firebase Auth Firebase Firstore React Native Expo Express Node js Stellar SDK Resources Stellar Starter Kit crypto-js React Native Navigation React Native Elements FontAwesome MaterialUI Axios Astrum's mobile application is built using React Native under the Expo platform. We have used many open-source technologies collectively in our application, such as React Native Paper. For the backend, Astrum is powered by the Stellar platform for payment handling. We have created an Express API with Node.js that handles everything behind the scene. For account handling, we used Firebase as our backend service. Uses can sign up for an account to generate their key through Stellar SDK, as well as add new tasks to their account using Firebase Firestore and to be displayed on the homepage for users to accept.

Challenges we ran into

This is our first time using the Stellar platform, as well as Blockchain technologies in general. We had to do a lot of research before to getting started. Stella enforces hackers to have secure communication with their keys. We had to implement encryption and decryption(crypto-js). It caused a lot of issues during the conversion process to one another. Making connections using APIs with the mobile application also caused many errors. Our team worked separately on different features of the application, collectively using different branches. We had some minor issues with resolving git conflicts when the branches were merged. Some of the existing code was removed; we had to rewrite the code we already have, which cost us additional time when we were already running out of it.

We also had some scheduling conflicts with hacking during Pinnacle; a few of our members had to do other tasks for a majority portion of time, so we had to work around that.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Over the weekend, our entire team pushed outside our comfort zone to learn and experience a brand new piece of technology, Stellar. We were able to push ourselves to finish this application with the least amount of rest possible.

What we learned

Our team learned to use the Stellar SDK for the first time and basic knowledge of a blockchain application. We also learned how to use the cryptoJS to help us secure the communication process to the backend through HTTP requests, ›allowing the payment process to be safe. We strived through many challenges we've faced through the help from each other and through research for solutions we have found online.

What's next for Astrum

Our next step for Astrum is to continue and finish implementing all the existing features into an application. Additionally, we also had a few other features in mind, including implementing our own asset that can be easily converted to different currencies around the world. Finally, we would like to deploy our product to the app store, have users beta test our software, and let the good impact start take effect in our community.

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