It took about all of Friday just to come up with an idea/plan for our project, the only thing that was decided initially was that our theme would be education. On Friday, we mostly went around talking to mentors and sponsors about how we could utilize the many options we had and create a project that links back to our theme. We liked the idea of geocaching and wanted to create a very tangible and understandable product so that users could directly see the application of a decentralized currency.
What it does
Essentially, our web page is a free decentralized service that buskers/performers can use to promote their event by pinging it on a virtual map for people to come and see. Tokens are rewarded to people that show up to these events and these tokens are deducted from the performer's wallet. Tokens will be able to be generated to performers by a certain computation based on the number of attendees. There is also a central map connected to the google maps API where people can see events that are occurring in their area.
How we built it
In the beginning, we focused on front end development. We concentrated on creating a sleek UI that would scale well to mobile versions. We then began to migrate towards the backend. We took out hard-coded values, in replacement for variables which are determined based on the specific input of the user. These inputs are held on the blockchain, which allows users to see all transactions such that they are publically verifiable. Which helps to cement our educational concept.
Challenges we ran into
The first challenge we had was getting to the venue. One of our teammates accidentally slept in causing a minor delay in our development process (which led to quite a late night). Jokes aside, we ran into challenges on the front end side because we were developing with HTML5 and CSS3, rather than using react.js which works better with Torus and our relevant APIs. Since we decided to start with the front end we had already built up the entire UI of our application, before we worried about taking data from the blockchain. Since it was too late to switch, we ended up having to struggle through using windowlocalstorage and various other ways of holding and outputting data.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We put a lot of effort and time into our UI. We think that it has an exceptional design and structure. The entire web application is very aesthetically pleasing and well put together. Additionally, we thought we did a good job of creating a concrete, tangible example from which people could understand some of the basics behind blockchain and cryptocurrency, and why they are useful.
What we learned
Coming into this hackathon we didn't know much about Ethereum. This was a great opportunity to learn about it and its platform. As first year students, there were so many great resources here: from mentors to other knowledgable hackers and panelists that we learned a lot about crypto and blockchain that we didn't know before. We also learned a lot about interfacing front end design with backend structure and functionality. And the importance of having a cohesive plan, in the beginning, as to how they are going to interact.
What's next for MineBusker
We were actively working on a feature to be able to custom manage your events after they have been created. This would be a good immediate extension. Beyond this, we wanted to employ 2-factor verification to confirm the attendance of our users to the events using QR code scanning. With data from long term usage, we would want to come up with a more intelligent algorithm for generating our internal currency.