Blockchains and crypto are relatively new. They can seem foreign and a little scary. Yet, Web3 is one of the hottest tech topics today, and the people building it have a vision: to make it more inclusive and diverse than Web 2; to use decentralized technologies to empower more people to build, create, and own applications and data; and to transcend the boundaries and borders that define traditional finance. The main benefit of decentralization, in this case, is that by removing the intermediary and allowing people to operate peer-to-peer, more value accrues on both sides of any transaction. There are fewer entities in between taking a cut. However, the digital currencies and tokens that power Web3 are incredibly difficult for most people to understand. If we don’t provide people with the foundational education they need to participate in the crypto economy, Web3 will ultimately be no different than Web 2. Crypto is a game of self-fulfilling belief and in order to bootstrap a new blockchain or app, we need to convince people that other people will also use that blockchain or app. The best blockchain technology in the world is useless without people building on top of it. So for all of the talk about technology, decentralization, and trustlessness, the success of any crypto project relies – to a surprisingly high degree – on people. This project, TABL3, was built with the vision to give more people “a seat at the table” when it comes to building Web3.

What it does

TABL3 is a new and immersive front-end UI for visualizing blockchain transactions and interacting with crypto assets. Our proof of concept demo leverages the Solana Wallet to give participants an interactive experience of purchasing their first cryptocurrency (SOL, the Solana token). Solana is a Layer 1 protocol, or blockchain, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or a number of others. Technically, what makes Solana interesting is that its radically different system architecture leads to dramatically higher speeds and lower costs than other blockchains. Since crypto is about adoption, TABL3 is perfect for encouraging a new cohort of Web3 users to spend more of their time and internet money in the Solana ecosystem.

How we built it

We built TABL3 using Unity, C#, and the Solana Unity Wallet. We scripted game objects to make web requests, parse them, and make a visualization based on Solana blockchain values as published on the web.

Challenges we ran into

We initially wanted to take advantage of the HTC Vive Pro; however, we were unable to get the system up and running, so we pivoted to Oculus. We found the Oculus setup for this project to be a bit of a challenge, as well. Our team had a diverse set of hardware (Mac & PC) so we needed to fix platform issues when developing in Unity. We also ran into a few issues when importing 3D assets from Solidworks, as the various shaders and lighting we wanted were not rendering correctly.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are especially proud of creating the block flower module and the deep chart module to work with live data. We are also proud that we were able to successfully connect the Solana Unity Wallet to our Unity scene and the Solana Main Net.

What we learned

During this hackathon, we learned how to keep our assets simple and small so that we could load them into scenes more easily. We also learned the importance of really thinking through user experience design as it relates to learning outcomes. Finally, we spent a lot of time figuring out how to wrap our minds around the key differences in different blockchain systems and then communicate those differences in an accessible, interactive way.

What's next for TABL3

TABL3 has an incredible number of potential applications and users. One such group is Web3 developers. Web3 comes down to engaging developers who attract customers; future versions of TABL3 will be licensable, making it easy for developers to add visualizations to blockchain transactions in their applications. Another business model for TABL3 that we plan to explore is the design and development of modules around blockchain visualization that can be used in a variety of B2B scenarios. For example, a crypto wallet company could use our “crypto purchase tutorial” module as a compelling, experience-based customer acquisition tool similar to how construction firms leverage 3D renderings of buildings. We are going to design and develop a series of licensable modules that apply to such business use cases and also look into managed services models for custom enterprise development.

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