Background

The underlying structure of the Lightning network layer that facilities escrow-like transactions over the Blockchain is what inspired us to build the Wage platform and marketplace. Wage is a platform for non-traditional software development projects and helps open source contributors and freelancers get paid.

In other words, it is a simple micro-proposal/contract project platform for individuals and communities.

As an early adapter of platforms like GitMoney back in 2015, I was excited about the prospect of a vehicle similar to OpenCollective but for individuals and their smaller problems and tasks.

What does it do?

Utilize the trust abstraction of escrow through lightning payments for people who need tasks done by people skilled enough to do them, when they need them done. We were inspired by the Lightning network's architecture, as well as existing platforms like Steem and Fiverr.

We wanted to create something similar, but more simple and intuitive.

How we built it.

One of the things that excites us about Blockstack is the premise of a browser of apps that anyone can browse and log into with one identity. There is no foreseeable limit on the horizon for the types of apps that can be made on Blockstack, and it's such an healthy alternative to the traditional SaaS models of cloud software applications today aside from third-party SSOs.

So, upon some thought and further brainstorming, we decided to try to create a decentralized version of a platform akin to Gitmoney, Moonlight Work and Upwork or OpenCollective.

Because we wanted a public directory similar to the Animal Kingdom tutorial app, we decided that Radiks was the best option for creating a marketplace w/ Blockstack. And after watching a webinar from one of the engineers on Crowdcast, we knew it was the better choice to rolling our own database solution in the allotted time frame.

Since we still want to present a traditional single-page app experience we used Vue and Express.js for the architecture. The web app is deployed to Netlify.com, while the radiks server and api (integrated with opennode) runs on Render.com. We also have standard tests & travisCI setup for test-driven dev + continuous deployment.

Challenges we ran into:

We had some trouble implementing Blockstack with Vue and its state management lib, VueX. We mitigated this by following the yo generator and transcribing the vanilla javascript to Vue alongside many tutorials found on the forum, search engines and Slack channel.

We also simplified a lot of problems regarding the deployment of the api, radiks server, and client app by using Render.com and Netlify.com together with two private web services running for the node backend and a Netlify app hosting the client-side. It seemed to be too much trouble in the given time-frame to mess around with integrating lightning node instances as opposed to using a quick, community-supported, pre-configured solution like opennode.

What's Next?

We are very excited for the future of this project and many others we foresee ourselves starting in the future.

Later this summer, we will begin to refine the Wage app for App.co. We had planned to launch a few traditional web app platforms on ProductHunt, but upon further thought we believe it would be better to refactor those ideas into a decentralized model w/ Blockstack auth for people to use on the browser, alongside Wage.

We also want to delve into integrating RethinkDB as a storage option for Gaia w/ Blockstack.

status - live :: alpha


References

[1] https://lettermesh.com/posts/K4yzlPk3Q-introducing-radiks

[2] https://coincentral.com/decentralized-marketplace-blockchain/

Built With

  • travis-ci-radiks-opennode-vue-axios
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