We were all looking into the housing market recently and realized there was a huge problem with transparency in the real estate. The entire process is filled with middle-men, fees, and can take up to months before any real progress is even made. There is a need in finding a cheaper, faster, and more transparent solution.
What it does
eState is a platform that allows real estate agencies, estate seekers, and solo real estate agents to transact in a cheaper, faster, and more transparent way.
How we built it
We built it using React as our frontend, Node.js and express.js as our backend, Albedo to connect with wallets, stellar SDK to interact with the stellar network, and IPFS as our primary storage of metadata and data.
Challenges we ran into
We used two new technologies for the first time and it really surprised us how difficult it could be to get the implementation working. IPFS was very hard to use because the data is stored as buffers and blobs, thus writing it to IPFS required massaging the data from an image/jpeg mimetype, to a uint8array, and finally a bufferarray. Once the data is persisted on IPFS it was again a challenge to reparse the bufferarray back into to image/jpeg mimetype. Because this tech is relatively new, there's no good documentation on it, and even though mimetypes have been around forever there is still no efficient way to quickly parse from one type to another. Stellar SDK was very easy to understand and map out at a high level. We had everything planned out and was fairly accurate, however, when it actually came to implementing the functionality it was a lot more difficult than we had anticipated.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We got way further than we expected with the amount of time that we had. To have a fully functioning fullstack application that roughly does about ~80% what it was intended to do is amazing. Learning new technology is not always easy, but we're very proud with how much we were able to learn about new tech in such short amount of time.
What we learned
We were very interested in NFTs and have had minimal prior experience in other blockchains, thus we decided to tackle Stellar's NFT system. It was quite challenging at first to wrap our heads around the concept of a non-turing complete smart contract, but once we finally understood it, it was very easy to envision what was needed to be done in order to achieve what we aspired to do with this project.
What's next for eState
eState will look to polish the platform by tidying up the UI, implementing additional features such as a bid system and mortgage system. We also plan to build a framework that would allow easy migration from the existing real estate infrastructure into our platform. This would incentivize more people to check out the project and potentially even get the interest of governments for a partnership. To be able to partner with governments to back the NFTs would be a huge win, as it would actually be minted by an authority that the majority already look to for authenticity.