Simple, modular social storefronts powered by PayID


In the same way that the seamless integration of eBay and PayPal revolutionized Web 2.0 or how WordPress and WooCommerce allowed everyone to create a blog + shop, Sponge will act as the catalyst of change in bridging the old, Web 2.0, with the new, Web 3.0.

It will enable global commerce through PayID and introduce social media users to blockchain-based payments in a world that is still reliant on traditional banking, Zelle, Shopify and Cash App.

This is a game-changer. And it could very well bring PayID to the mainstream (once polished). Thus, the main focus of Sponge is to then facilitate the connection between social networks, e-commerce purchases and payment networks for the global economy.

What it does

Sponge provides an easy way for users of silo'd social networks across the web to consolidate all their payments for products, memberships, subscriptions and commissions in one global place - Sponge. It is a open source, remixable e-commerce mgmt system that is providing the stepping stones for what e-commerce could possibly be through the PayID protocol.

Sponge is fully open-source (BSD, 3-clause licensed) and modular in design as well as in functionality. The technologies chosen to build Sponge were picked especially in order to serve the former purpose. Many plugins can be built for each library used for the transport layers (fastify.js and graphql) and the micro-services switched out to an extent.

Perhaps the only true critical piece to the MVP's infrastructure is, of course, the payments service powered by a PayID server instance and its' corresponding client integration via the transport layer.

How I built it

This project consists of many different interdependent yet decoupled modules that work together to provide the 'Sponge' service. It contains a REST API server, Minio S3 bucket, GraphQL server, web app client + landing page based on React.js/Next.js, task queue on Redis via bull, authentication through accounts.js and Fortmatic/Web3 and MongoDB as a store.

The reason these technologies were used, was to provide a hybrid solution of traditional web 2.0 and web 3.0 block-chain on-boarding for users who may not be used to XRP.

Challenges I ran into

  • ui Design choices of a mobile-first storefront
  • choosing the 'correct' technologies for both the client, server and services.
  • integrating web3/fortmatic with traditional web2 email/secret-based signup
  • planning out the database schema for merchants, customers and orders correctly
  • ...time management as a latecomer and solo contributor

What's next for Sponge

Simplicity takes complex planning.

There are many improvements and additional features that need to be added to Sponge before it is ready for production. Hopefully the choice to release it as an open-source project will help with contributors improving the project and developing it.

Extension Categories: Commerce. Digital Identity. Getting Paid.
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