What is it?
Snowflake is a decentralized marketplace that connects travellers with people with accommodation and provides them with all the necessary information they'd need when planning a trip, especially an international one where accommodation is hard to find.
Powered by the Polygon Network and a collation of several APIs enhanced by StepZen, Snowflake provides answers to common questions that travellers may have:
- What accommodation is available in different cities, and how much do they cost?
- What are the Covid-19 restrictions/risks in my destination city? Am I potentially travelling into a Covid-19 hotspot? How long would I need to quarantine for (if any) once I reach my accommodation site?
- What are some local tourist spots that I can visit during my time here?
- I'm sold! What are the cheapest flights to this place?
How does it work?
Snowflake is a decentralized network built on the Polygon Network (chosen for its low transaction fees & high throughput). This powers the core functionality (described below) of the app which is further enhanced by our StepZen integration which allows Snowflake to query large amounts of data at extremely high speeds.
In a nutshell, here's how Snowflake works:
- Anyone can create a listing on the platform and set a price.
- An interested traveller hops on the platform and browses through various listings.
- On each listing page, a user can get more information on the target accommodation site & city. This data is queried in realtime via our StepZen integration that aggregates data from several APIs. This data includes, among others, Covid-19 information, tourist spots, and travel data (such as cheap flights).
- Once satisfied, the traveller books a listing and confirms their place at a certain date. As confirmation, an NFT is minted as proof of payment. These NFTs are queried and displayed under the user's account for future reference.
Accomplishments & Challenges
I've been programming for a couple of years at this point, but have somehow never stumbled on to GraphQL. Admittedly when I first began reading up on GraphQL, the syntax was enough for me to give up. It took a quick news article on StepZen to figure out the benefits of GraphQL in my applications. I enjoyed how StepZen simplified the entire process; in particular, the auto-generation of schema allowed me to gain better insight into the structure of the GraphQL syntax, and helped me develop best-practices for GraphQL. Since this project involved the aggregation of multiple APIs, I can only the imagine the hassle I'd have faced if not for StepZen's powerful auto-schema-generation!
What's next for Snowflake
Since some of our APIs are sandboxed-versions (notably Amadeus), you may encounter a couple of bugs. I plan to develop on this idea further and iron out these bugs. I think there's great merit in the intersection of Web3 & GraphQL. The aggregation of multiple APIs that GraphQL provides, and which StepZen enhances, I'm sure, will prove valuable not only to developers like myself, but to the entire Web3 & GraphQL community as a whole!
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