by Hassan Michael Hassan Michael No Comments

The DApp360 Show

When Cardano fully launches Goguen as part of the Cardano blockchain, Cardano community members will have many questions about smart contracts and decentralized applications (dapp). These questions will come from the diverse and heterogeneous audience that constitutes the Cardano community. For example, a Cardano dapp developer might have questions about calculating transaction fees for their dapp smart contract. Meanwhile, a Cardano investor might have questions about the economic viability of a specific dapp project. Yet, there might be others with concern about a project’s team and their funding source. When evaluating a dapp, Cardano community members will have questions about dapp marketing, development, consulting, etc. The Cardano community will need a connection point where various dapp project teams can introduce themselves and their project to the Cardano community.

The Show

We are creating a new show named “The DApp360 Show” To meet the Cardano community members’ need for objectively evaluating a dapp. The show will serve as a connection point that objectively analyzes Cardano dapps and interview the respective project’s team. The DApp360 Show will interview the dapp project team and give them the chance to do the following:

  • Introduce and showcase their project
  • Answer tough questions about business and economic viability of their project
  • Answer technical questions about on-chain and of-chain composition of their dapp
  • Answer questions about the team’s competence, funding source, etc.
  • Answer questions from you the audience

The show is all about giving you, the audience, an objective 360-degree analysis of specific dapps targeting the Cardano blockchain. Each episode of the show will showcase a particular Cardano dapp, its team, and objective interview questions from the perspectives of a software developer, an investor, a business analyst, and more. The goal is to provide you with firsthand and no-hype content that empowers you to make a better and informed decision.

The Host

My name is Hassan Michael, and I will be the host for the DApp360 Show. I am a Cardano admirer, enthusiast, investor, entrepreneur, and Cardano stake pool operator. By the way, I’m also a software developer with over 14 years of experience. I’ve been intensely engaging crypto/blockchain since 2017 with a specific focus on the Cardano ecosystem. I currently reside in sunny South Florida. However, my life was not always sunny. I am a former civil war survivor who arrived in the US as a war refugee. With a little bit of luck and God’s grace, I have scratched, clawed, and worked my way to where I am today – “A Good Spot” is what I call it. You can expect my interviews to be candid, gritty, objective, insightful, and authentic.

Your Participation

Your participation is essential to me because we (D360 Team) created the show to serve you. I need to know the type of dapps you want us to evaluate. I need your feedback (positive or negative) to improve. I need your encouragement to silence the internal doubts that we are not wasting our time. Your presence is vital because The DApp360 Show exists solely for your consumption. Until then, signup for the newsletter to receive the launch date for the inaugural show. Cheers!

by Hassan Michael Hassan Michael No Comments

Why Cardano?

According to a Medium article by BitDegree, there are about 861 blockchains. Some are public blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, LiteCoin, EOS, etc. Others are “private” or enterprise-focused distributive ledger like Hyperledger, Corda, Quorum, etc. Of these hundreds of blockchains, DApp360 Inc. is exclusively betting its future and business model on just one, Cardano. Why is DApp360 Inc. (a startup) harnessing its cart to the Cardano horse, especially when most of Cardano deliverables are not production-ready? I, CEO/founder of DApp360 Inc., was responsible for this decision. In this article, I explore the reasoning, requirements, and evaluation process that I employed in selecting Cardano as DApp360 Inc. blockchain of choice.

First, a little bit of background information about me illuminates the level of expertise and my decision-making process. I entered the nascent blockchain space/sector in 2017. By then, I already had over 12 years of experience developing software using several different programming languages. Early, in 2017, when I entered the sector, the Cardano blockchain and its coin (ADA), did not have a main net yet. As a result, my early evaluation and research of blockchains began with Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest pioneers. My prior software development experience, coupled with intense blockchain studies aided and accelerated my acquisition of several blockchain certifications offered by IBM, and the University of Buffalo, respectively.

Evaluate the fundamentals

DApp360 Inc. was still in its ideation or conception stage when I started evaluating potential blockchain candidates. Without knowing which blockchain was the ideal one, I initially had to evaluate them based on the fundamentals concepts that constitute a blockchain. These fundamental concepts dictate if a software is a true blockchain or an imitator. To the degree a software implements the existence and survival of these concepts within its protocols, one can determine the strength of a blockchain. Some of the fundamental concepts that guided my first round evaluation of potential blockchain candidates included the following:

  • Decentralization – Prevent any malicious actor (government, individuals, hackers, etc.) from possessing the ability to shut down the entire system or network from a single central point of failure or shutdown. The lack of a single point of failure or shutdown makes blockchain more resilient than traditional centralized distributive systems.
  • Permanent Immutability – Ensure that the cost of modifying or altering any record on the blockchain exponentially and exorbitantly expensive in terms of financial or computing cost. Such blatantly high cost makes modification attempts irrational.
  • Trustless Consensus – The philosophy that all participating parties are trustless, and yet they all must arrive at an overwhelming agreement via a trustful consensus algorithm.
  • Autonomous Governance – The system must self-operated and self-sustain without any dependence on or any control by an external entity (government, association, group, etc.) or individual(s).
  • Personal Anonymity – Personal identity is not a requirement to interact with the system. Hence, each user has the right to maintain solely and securely his/her anonymity and identity.
  • Transparency – Openness allows anyone with access or permission to explore transactions and blocks on the ledger.

My list of potential candidates included or excluded a blockchain-based on how anemic or vigorous the respective blockchain implemented fundamental blockchain tenants.

Evaluate DApp360 Inc. business requirements

Deciding on a suitable blockchain for DApp360 Inc. to bet its survival meant I had to evaluate the company’s business needs and business model. As a company providing both blockchain consulting and decentralized application (DAPPs) development, I had to consider many complex questions. The complexities arose from the fact that the current nascent blockchain sector has too many uncertainties and unpredictability. For example, many uncertainties currently surround how government regulations will affect blockchain fundamental concepts of users’ anonymity. Despite the uncertainties, I still had to identify DApp360 Inc.’s business requirements. The process began with determining DApp360’s needs. In determining these requirements, here are few of the questions I had to consider and to research:

  • What kind of company is DApp360?
  • Do we need just a blockchain or an entire blockchain ecosystem?
  • How long do we think the selected blockchain will survive into the future?
  • What is the blockchain readiness to adapt to governmental regulations?
  • Will the blockchain interoperate with other blockchains.
  • What is the plan or strategy for governance, improvement, and sustainability?
  • What is the blockchain strategy to capture market share and increase mass adoption?
  • Is the blockchain advertised capabilities a marketing/branding hype or real?
  • How ambiguous or accurate is the smart contract language for the blockchain?
  • What are the visions, goals, and personalities of the blockchain leadership team?
  • Etc.

There were just a few of the many questions I had to answer in assessing DApp360 business requirements. While researching these questions, I identify that DApp360 had primary and secondary business needs. The primary business needs were deal-breakers, and the secondary business needs were not.  Some of the primary business needs include the following:

  • Longevity – the selected blockchain had a tangible game plan on its long-term future (at least ten years) survival strategy.
  • Regulations – selected blockchain must be highly adaptable and efficiently ready to accommodate changing government regulations without significant retooling.
  • Market share and mass adoption – selected blockchain must have a wholesale approach to capturing global market share and increasing mass adoption.
  • Developer tools – As a company developing decentralized applications, DApp360 Inc. needs a blockchain development ecosystem that possesses optimal developer tools.
  • Ambiguity in smart contract language – We need a smart contract language that minimizes inaccuracies and eliminates ambiguous runtime errors.
  • Provable capabilities and performance validation – selected blockchain should have peer review, academia, or some other objective methods to validate the blockchain’s capabilities and performance. No hype!

These primary requirements were paramount in my decision on which blockchains made the final list of potential candidates. Some of our secondary needs were interoperability, governance, true decentralization, blockchain leadership team, etc.

The Selection Process

During the evaluation process, I was fully aware that no blockchain would meet all of our business needs. For example, I might have to learn a new programming language instead of using the current once I already know. The goal was to pick the top two or three from our list of previously evaluated blockchains. Once I had narrowed the list based on our primary requirements, then I could compare the remaining three candidates based on our secondary requirements. Using this approach, I eliminated previously selected candidates from the list of potential blockchains. I eliminated Bitcoin because it is not a decentralized application platform. I eliminated Ehtereum because its smart contract language, Solidity, is too ambiguous. Litecoin, at the time, had no strategy to solve scaling problems resulting in potentially massive growth. I eliminated XRP, and EOS because of their anemic implementation of blockchain decentralization. I eliminated Hyperledger, Quorum, etc. because they are enterprise-focused. This selection process continued until the potential candidates were two or three blockchains.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I selected Cardano after careful and objective evaluation of many other blockchains. My selection process initially produced a list of potential candidates based on the fundamental tenants of blockchain. I further narrowed the potential candidates based on DApp360 Inc.’s primary and secondary needs. In the end, I selected Cardano because I firmly believe it will add significant value to DApp360 Inc.’s competitive advantages. Our team firmly believes Cardano will eventually provide the utility, the platform, and developer tools that DApp360 Inc. needs to be successful. Our team also believes many global companies will integrate with Cardano if these companies must thrive or if they must survive in the upcoming Web 3.0 and blockchain era.

by Hassan Michael Hassan Michael No Comments

D360 Stake Pool 1st Block

Epoch 3 started with the same frustration and headache as it was in the previous epoch 2. We babysat the node and restarted it whenever our node was stuck. As in epoch 2, the endless waiting game continued. Our team consulted with fellow stake pool operators in the Cardano Shelley Testnet & StakePool Best Practice Workgroup Telegram channel. Many other stake pool operators were experiencing similar problems. Then, the most exciting thing happened in a later slot of epoch 3.

Despite two days of waiting, the Dapp360 stake pool node finally created its first-ever block (10540) in the Incentivized Testnet (ITN) at 20:04:57 on December 16, 2019. It doesn’t seem like a big event. But for the DApp360 team, it was a big event. It finally validated and confirmed that our team had set up correctly, registered, and configured our stake pool node for the ITN. It also confirmed that we had enough stakes to be a slot leader in the ITN despite our low pledged delegated stakes. It was an exciting event to see the DApp360 node actively participating in the incentivized testnet. In epoch 3, the DApp360 node created just 1 block out of 43200.

by Hassan Michael Hassan Michael No Comments

Incentivized Testnet (ITN)

Before December 13th, 2019, the Cardano blockchain did not have an Incentivized TestNet (ITN). On December 13th at 14:13:37. epoch 0 with slot 0 officially started the Shelley Incentivized Testnet (ITN). Despite its launch, the ITN was not yet officially live for stake pool or stakes delegation. I wanted the DApp360 (D360) Stake Pool, to be one of the first stake pools in the ITN. Little did I know that this desire would bring me sleepless nights for almost 8 consecutive days. This blog, ITN Chronicles, provides my epoch-by-epoch experience as a stake pool owner/operator in the incentivized testnet (ITN) for the Cardano blockchain.

Pre – Live Launch

Pre-launching the DApp360 (D360) Stake Pool before the ITN official live launch date (12/16/2019) was an extremely frustrating and difficult task. The frustration and difficulties arose from the fact that I was impatient to wait for official ITN stake pool documentations. At the time, neither IOHK nor Cardano had organized or streamlined their respective documentations. IOHK ZendDesk’s documentation varied slightly in steps and processes compare to the documentation on the Cardano Foundation website. Also, both documentations were not quite updated yet for the ITN official launch. As a result, I experienced a lot of frustration and headache trying to set up the DApp360 stake pool. I did not get a single minute of sleep from Friday night (12/15/2019) to Saturday afternoon (12/14/2019).

I went to my real job from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm. At 8:00 pm the same day, I started setting up my ITN stake pool node. I sat in the same chair for 12 consecutive hours. During this period, I verified my stake pool registration with the Cardano Foundation on Github. I migrated my snapshot Byron wallet to a Shelley wallet using the Cardano Wallet. Migration was required because the Daedelus Reward wallet was not ready yet. This process was painful. Then came setting up the stake pool node by installing and configuring jormungandr 8.2. By 7:54 a.m. (the next day), the DApp360 stake pool node was ready to accept delegation. At that point, I announced in Cardano StakePool & Best Practices Workgroup Telegram channel that my node was officially ready. It was the first time in my entire life that determination and passion to complete a task drove me to go without a minute of sleep for almost 26 hours. I was glad I did it.