LedgerDirect - CBDC Payments without Code
I always wanted to tip my toes into the blockchain space. As an e-commerce developer, I stumbled upon multiple opportunities where a blockchain or distributed ledger would have been the perfect tool to get the job done - but who dares such experiments?
After I could not "sell" a blockchain at the company I was working at I decided to take this venture on my own - always in the back of my mind that the easiest sell is done by showing working software that provokes an "I want that too!" effect.
When researching the topic I stumbled over the XRPL Grants program, and for whatever reason providence had it that there was no PHP integration for the XRPL. PHP, love it or hate it, is the foundation of a lot of the silverback e-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopware, WooCommerce, PrestaShop etc.
I built a prototype and pitched that this library would be the foundation to claim that space for the XRPL, as capable crypto plugins for these platforms are yet to be seen. As all these plugins providers take a cut by going over middle-man wallets, there was ample opportunity to do XRP payments directly and use this as the foundation for the Real McCoy features for which a blockchain is either a better fit than legacy implementations (loyalty points) or that are made possible.
I won the pitch for the library and also the follow-up pitch: Building the first batch of plugins for Shopware6, Magento2, WooCommerce and their PWA versions with XRP payments, Token payments, loyalty points and transferable and NFT-based gift certificates. CBDCs are a special case of token payments, so this feature is available, too.
The plugins will work out-of-the-box, so that no coding is necessary. Almost no one buys a blockchain but will be interested to try out new functionality if it comes packaged in a free, open-source plugin.
State of Development
So far there are Plugins for Shopware6, Magento2 and their VueStorefront based PWA versions. They accept XRP-Payments and in the case of Shopware6 token/CBDC functionality is already built in, the rest will follow.
I could tell grandiose tales of slain dragons, dark caves of despair and the handsome maidens waiting after a feature passes the CI/CD pipelines, but I'll spare you that. I've got a goal to reach and won't look back, at least for now. My mental model is that there are A, B and C problems - easy ones, not so easy ones and showstoppers. So far there have been a lot of A problems, some B problems - and a few C problems that turned out to be doorkeeper B as soon as they are wrestled with.
What's next for LedgerDirect
There are three dimensions in which LedgerDirect is poised to grow: New features, more e-commerce platforms (also expanding out of the PHP space into BigCommerce, commercetools) and integrating more wallets. Thinking big, this could be the PayPal/Mollie/Stripe for direct blockchain use.