Inspiration

Recently there has been great controversy over social networks banning users and deleting posts. We wanted to build a platform where no one has that authority.

What it does

// block_blog allows anyone to create a free account and freely speak their mind online without possibility of censorship by any party.

How we built it

The front end leverages JavaScript (ES6) and React to perform client side rendering. User authentication is employed through Auth0. The web server part of the back end is written in Python using Flask. A custom blockchain is implemented in Go using the TMSP protocol and the Tendermint node definition.

Challenges we ran into

Implementing a blockchain is hard. Really hard. Also, unfortunately the current state of web development involves running code through a number of build steps before it's ready for the browser. Dealing with Babel and Webpack can get hairy at times.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Implementing a custom blockchain was a considerable undertaking considering our limited experience with related technologies.
  • Creating a fully featured back end capable of supporting any ordinary database or optionally plugging in the blockchain.

What we learned

  • Michael honed his skills at building full stack web applications with many moving parts.
  • Erik learned a lot about the underlying technologies used in distributed computing and the blockchain.

What's next for // block_blog

  • We would like to add better scalability on the back end to handle mass traffic.
  • Ideally, we would prefer to polish up the front end to be presentable for audiences at large.
  • We would like to implement features popular in other social networks, like hashtags and other media.
  • We are considering adding a recommendation engine to curate and suggest content based on who users follow.

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