A little experimental dapp: EthereanMind

It’s kind of unbelievable just how many cool ethereum projects are under development right now- It seems like I’m seeing multiple new projects on a daily basis this year- exciting times! Many of the projects lean towards being commercial and “full stack” smart contract design. However, I also hope we’re going to see a lot of small-scale, hobbyist-type dapps in the near future- Towards this goal, I’ve been building out a little project that I am happy to share today: It’s called EthereanMind! [1]

The goal of EthereanMind is to experiment with new dapp UI ideas, and also to put together some contracts that implement “minimally viable governance”. The purpose of the dapp is to maintain a list of “ten best” items in a decentralized fashion: Ethereum users can stake currency, which remains locked for 30 days, with a smart contract guarantee for a full refund (sans ethereum transaction fees). Stakers can then propose new item for this “ten best” list. The exact nature of these ten items is up to the ethereum staking community, with only the vague question “What is on your mind?” Will the list mirror items on r/ethereum? Will it be used for world news headlines? Will the list fill up with advertising? Will it be used in a manner similar to carbonvote? There’s only one way to find out!

Assuming this little toy dapp receives any traffic at all, other devs, like myself, may be able to take that traffic as data to build other, more feature-rich dapps to meet needs that are currently not yet met by existing systems… no one knows what might happen, which is the nature of any experiment.

Two things I like particularly about EthereanMind are features that I think are valuable in any ethereum dapp project: First of all, it provides utility even for site visitors who own zero currency: Any random visitor who installs the MetaMask extension instantly can run smart contract calls and see the UI get populated directly from blockchain data, at no cost (of course, they will not be able to participate in voting until they stake currency). Secondly, it potentially provides a generic service to other smart contracts: The core EthereanMind staking contract makes public solidity functions available for checking the stake of individual addresses, and provides these function without any additional fee… maybe other people can find a use for this feature, allowing us to add on more teensy piece to the ethereum smart contract ecosystem.

The EthereanMind Beta

Of course, like any smart contract dapp that involves actual currency, EtherenMind is being launched in two stages: A beta release followed by a production release.

We’re going to attempt to launch the beta on the Ropsten Testnet, a network with “free” currency, so that anyone can play around with this dapp, without having to actually spend any real currency. Unfortunately, this network is currently under attack, so it’s possible people might experience some outages, not the fault of the EthereanMind code. (If the testnet fails, there are other avenues that can be taken, such as running on the mainnet, but with special protections added to the contract for the beta period.)

The EthereanMind Production Release

I will continue improving EthereanMind if there is interest in me doing so after the beta release.

In this case, following (perhaps) a two month window, an official set of contracts will be deployed in the main ethereum network. The contracts will be fully documented at that time, using best practices for cryptographic anti-tamper verification. Additionally, I hope to also push many UI improvements during the production release, based on any feedback I receive.

 Post Production Improvements

Of course, no ethereum program can call itself a true “dapp” unless even the static file hosting is handled in a decentralized fashion: When it is possible to do so, I hope to fully host this dapp on swarm to enable truly 100% “trust free” usage.

Thanks for checking out EthereanMind.com, hope you enjoy my little dapp!

Project repo on github: https://github.com/drcode/ethereanmind

[1] I’m also working on a larger ethereum-related project professionally, but I can’t speak about that yet.

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