In a time of slowly increasing government censorship on internet content, it's important to make advances on the true democratization of online data. One of the most important transactions that can occur between online users, resides in messaging services. We decided that a decentralized app would be the perfect way to achieve this goal, because of its ability for transactions to remain anonymous, and for the integrity of information to be properly vetted. This will also ensure that previous transactions cannot be overwritten, thus protecting previous messages. The creation of this app will help people preserve free speech, in places where it is threatened.

What it does

This decentralized messaging service can facilitate the anonymous communication between any two parties, in a way that ensures 100% confidence in the integrity of all messages sent.

How we built it

The login page was created with HTML, CSS, and Javascript. The login page is designed to redirect you to the appropriate page based on your Near login status. We followed the workshop conducted earlier in the hackathon and were able to put up a smart contract using Assembly, which allows a user to send a message to the network with authentication from the near protocol. We made use of near-api-js to set up the connection between the smart contract and the web app which we built using React js. We found the create-next-app to be a helpful starter boilerplate to make our web app. We hosted this functionality using Near on Digital Ocean and used GitHub hosting to host the whole Web app along with login.

Challenges we ran into

None of us had any experience with either Blockchain or the Near API. We had to read through content to understand the technology and come up with an effective use case and build it. We were able to find a fix to most of our errors, thanks to the really helpful mentors. We also found the near protocol documentation to be really helpful and we look forward to building DApps on a larger scale using the near protocol in the future!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We had very limited time as we had to attend all the workshops, revisit them, and learn to build on a completely new platform. We are glad that we were able to build, run, host and put up a whole ready to use web app on Blockchain, and thus took our first step ahead into the decentralized future. In this process we learned a lot about near-API, Blockchain technology, and Assembly language, which we believe is also a great accomplishment.

What we learned

We were all newcomers to blockchain applications, so we were able to learn a lot from this experience. Coordinating with the team members virtually also was not easy as all of us were in different time zones and it was really tough to work on coding together. It was a great learning experience and we look forward to more such hackathons in the future.

What's next for ChatterBox

We have created mockups of a mobile version of our app, this expansion into mobile is a viable way for us to increase user reach and engagement. We are hoping for our app to become more widely adopted in places where the true integrity of internet data is being threatened. This will most likely be places of harsh government censorship (Russia, Iran, China, etc.). Although this may just be a proof of concept app, we think the concepts do have an increasingly more important real-world application.

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