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Sharing pieces of a larger vision

Grab a drink and settle in, this will be a long one.

I had a really hard time preparing for the Eden election. The multiple projects I really want to see happen are huge in scope and narrowing one idea down to a size that fits within the available budget wasn’t easy. I ran on a platform of onboarding and account creation - but to me this project is a tiny fraction of what we need for success. There is so much more work to be done, much of which I wish I could have formed my pitch around. It just wasn’t possible.

This post is meant to help share a bigger vision. It’s about what my teammates and I see ahead of us when we think about what we need to do in order to help EOSIO reach its full potential. It’s an attempt to get you (the reader) to see our vision, recognize the hurdles in our way, and contribute however best you can.

I am going to outline five projects that I feel are crucial to success - all of which I had considered running on during the election. Each of these projects are things my team and I (and others) have discussed at length and feel need to become a reality. By no means is this list comprehensive of what the ecosystem demands overall, it’s focused on our efforts primarily and isn’t meant to discount the initiatives led by other teams.

After listing these projects, I will follow with what I believe accomplishing all of this will require. If you’re not interested in the project details, feel free to skim over the project headlines and jump to the conclusions towards the end.

The projects I considered running on…

Web Wallet - A homepage for new token holders

With Anchor’s focus shifting towards key management and serving as an authenticator, we need a home for all the useful tools that Anchor desktop offers today. Our new web wallet can serve that purpose and offer features similar to what myetherwallet is to ETH. We are building this product with a fun and welcoming brand, with the goal of being the fastest and easiest way to use the blockchain. Account creation, tokens, balances, and tools to help all users earn a return on their tokens. Beyond the basics we also plan to have systems for advanced users allowing them access to permissions, resource management, governance and direct interactions with smart contracts. All of this will start by integrating with Anchor but is being designed independently to allow any other compatible wallet - and potentially wallet-less solutions.

App Discovery - Connecting people with apps

A crucial missing piece of the ecosystem right now is how we connect people with the many apps running on the network today. DeFi products, exchanges, games, social platforms, etc. Think of it as an “app store” that people can visit and discover new apps they would be interested in using. This platform can be independent of any specific wallet, decentralized where possible, source its truth from on-chain sources, and provide mechanisms to help prevent malicious actors from redirecting unsuspecting users to fake applications. Users will be able to browse applications by category and securely connect with the apps they wish to use. Further additions to the platform could include crowd sourced reviews/ratings and potentially even metrics to get a sense how popular applications are. The primary goal is to help people discover whatever awesome apps exist using the blockchain.

Wharf - Application Developer Toolkit

Building web-based applications on the blockchain can be very difficult. A developer today needs a deep understanding of which APIs to call for specific data, how to add support various wallets, and even going so far as to help their users manage their own account. Wharf is our solution for developers to reduce all those complexities and let them focus on building the best application possible without needing to be a blockchain expert. Wharf’s goal is to handle all of the specifics of wallet integration, resource management, and account creation. The application developer just needs to request a user to log in or sign up, the UX flow is handled in a standardized way, and a self-describing account object is returned with well documented helper methods to interact further. Other chain-based entities can be loaded in similar way and will come with their own set of documented helpers, giving the developer access to all the data they need without requiring domain-specific knowledge.

Anchor 2.0 - The Authenticator

As soon as we hit a stable release for Android, we’ll have covered all the major platforms. The next step with Anchor is a version 2.0 that unifies all versions (Desktop/iOS/Android) into one simple to use authenticator interface. Desktop will be completely redesigned to be more like mobile and the focus of Anchor will be key, account, and app management. We’ll make sending and receiving tokens on the go easier with mobile to make EOS more usable as a currency. We will explore social account recovery systems to help protect your account. A known contact system will be added so you can keep track of those you interact with the most. Integrations with the App Registry and Discovery platform (more below), continuing to open-source all of the technologies for other wallets to use, and so much more. Anchor, while very powerful today, is in its infancy still as far as we’re concerned.

Core Client Technologies - The fundamental pieces for applications

Projects like the Web Wallet and Wharf would be much more difficult to build today if it weren’t for the core technologies our team has been working on over the years. For example, our team and many others have adopted the usage of a core JavaScript SDK we released last year that offers workflow optimizations and more flexibility than what previously existed. We also have a Swift language SDKs as well as limited support for Java - but there is a need to cover so much more. The developers in our space have shown there is a demand for complete tooling coverage in Java, Kotlin, C#, Python, and support in engines like Unity and Unreal. Each additional programming language we can support opens up development to an entire industry of new developers with new ideas. Each solution should follow a defined set of standards, be incredibly well documented and have educational materials, and offer developers a unified way of working with blockchain data. While we couldn’t possibly build them all, we are in a position to help establish the standards required for them all to follow.

What will it take?

Each of the five projects I outlined above represent massive amounts of work. If I had to make an educated guess, I’d estimate that each project is in the “thousands of man-hours” range - potentially tens of thousands to completion. Each will also require advanced knowledge to create solutions that are easy for both users and developers to use (which doesn’t come cheap). Aside from the quantity of work and associated costs, it will also require leadership and a coordinated effort by experts in their respective fields.

To put it simply: realizing each piece of this vision is going to require time, knowledge, cooperation, and funding.

Thanks to years of experience we have the knowledge. Cooperation is arguably at an all time high right now thanks to both the Foundation and Eden. What we lack now is time, which at its core stems from a lack of funding. As with any business, funding is what allows teams to grow and onboard new members, bring them up to speed with the knowledge they need, and increase the amount of man-hours dedicated to these types of efforts.

Eden is still early

The reality we face today is that currently Eden doesn’t have sufficient funding available for large scale initiatives like the ones I listed above. Eden, at current treasury levels and market prices, would lead to an estimated USD value of somewhere around $75,000 USD over the course of 3 months before the next proposed election.

After accounting for overhead, ramp-up time, and recruiting - that funding could potentially give us somewhere between 500-750 hours (~12-18 weeks, single developer) of solid development work. This is enough for smaller projects, much like the one we pitched (which is still very important), but falls short when considering the larger budgets required to really push the ecosystem forward with grand initiatives focused on the public good.

Future possibilities?

Multiple potential solutions are on the horizon for larger budget projects, but all have yet to prove themselves in this large of a capacity. Just to name a few:

  • The size of the Eden budget could be increased through donations to the treasury.
  • Pomelo could potentially meet these needs through grant matches and donations.
  • The Foundation itself could create dedicated runways for organizations like ours to allow for the creation of projects like these.

Each of these are potential opportunities, though none are guaranteed, and none of them are available today in a large enough capacity.

The need to start right now

In my opinion, we need to start on all of these initiatives as soon as possible. Simply put, starting yesterday would have been best, but starting today is still better than starting tomorrow.

Getting the team and these projects to a proper starting position isn’t going to be just the flip of a switch. Even with unlimited funding, it’s going to take time to find the right people with the proper skillsets, shared visions, and bright minds that are capable of navigating this unpredictable space. Realistically for Greymass to launch more than one of these projects within the next year, without burning out our entire team, I need to start growing out the team today.

With what funding is currently available to us (through BP rewards, Eden treasury, company reserves, etc) we are starting with a small expansion of our team, likely just a few people. Currently Greymass consists of 3 full time developers (myself included), a project manager/marketer, an artist/designer, and one additional part-time developer (who volunteers time and is unpaid). Everything we have accomplished to date has been done by these incredible individuals despite all of the time constraints we face. This small expansion will certainly help, but achieving meaningful progress on multiple fronts will require much more time than we have available.

With Greymass, we will continue to seek funding through all of the means available. We will explore any opportunities we’re presented with in an effort to grow our team and accelerate (while not degrading quality) the previous work we started and the future work we’ve outlined here. Finally, as we have the past few years, we will continue to operate within our means as long as possible.

My hope, should you have reached this point in this rather lengthy post, is that you now have a better understanding of the a small fraction of the overall work we have ahead of us. I also hope that if you’re capable of contributing in some way, be it your own skills, your own team or resources, or even financially - that you’ll seek a way to do so. If we as a community are going to succeed, it’s going to take a team effort.

We are at a turning point in our history, one of the most positive shifts I’ve seen to date, and we need to do everything in our power to accelerate and build upon this newfound momentum.

If you’re interested in joining Greymass, send us an email. We are still figuring out what exactly we’re looking for but we’d welcome you to help us figure that out. team@greymass.com.

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Excellent summary!

EnergEOS will also soon be seeking funding for our first use case & product, and if successful may need to consult with experts like Team GM to optimize our MVP design.

Therefore, expanding your team, to include consultants to other projects and DApps might also be a very useful role in the coming year.

We look forward to the possibility of working with Team Greymass!

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App Discovery / Web Wallet sounds like a great idea to me. Something nice with good design taste and useful features. A good portal. It’s been a while our explorers and data visualizers staled.

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Awesome summary thanks a lot Aaron !
We hope Greymass and EOS gets there, all of the projects you listed look amazing !

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One part of EOS Support would be App discovery, I think. @rroland1

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Nice synopsis, so much to do so little time, hopefully the ENF/ EOS / Eden community should come together and provide the support we / you need, go EOS :rocket::rocket::rocket:

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Amazing post. Thank you!!!

I’m wondering if you don’t feel that something needs to be created for the DAPPs to cheaply create accounts for each user they onboard? The shared account with a unique memo that the Exchanges use is very error prone.

And if they need to pay one $ for each user, many DAPPs without a early and direct monetization strategy will struggle.

I’m thinking in some kind of “sub-accounts” that have the interaction capabilities from a normal account, but all the resources (CPU,NET and RAM) are taken from the main account.

Looks like one of the gambling DAPPs did something similar, but I think it needs to be created a the core of the chain.

Cheers
D

Wharf - Application Developer Toolkit
This would be great. it is needed asap and i do not think that devs need so much time to create samples on different languages / paltforms / frameworks .

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Liquiid.io Will happily provide anything relevant in the area of C# and Unity3D. (Other game engines are also planned).

We are already doing this without funding, although any form of funding would speed up the process and quality of our tools and libs.

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Will be working with @GracieLau on this. That is very important!

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Absolutely - to expand on that SDK core work, I wouldn’t expect to be the ones doing all of that, I’d really want to work with teams like yours in order to get things done. I know you guys have been working on stuff like this already and if I had a budget, it’d be largely used to incentivize the teams like yours working on it :+1:

The one thing that would be useful though is a central group that establishes the standards all the various language specific implementations would follow. Things like serialization approaches, API support, flows for the transaction lifecycle, and things like ESR.

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With your selfless dedication, EOS will definitely have a bright future.

This is a great summary of the current state of EOS and EOSIO development and the needed future projects all sound right on.

I’m so happy tech people are leading Eden. Eden is just now starting, it is less than 1 week old and is very promising, especially with the cooperation and fractal governance.

To complement the development efforts estimated above, we also need good documentations, examples and tutorials for the existing as well as the proposed future projects. This will bridge the gap between experienced-experts in EOSIO and new developers.

Thank you @aaron!

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Wow! I had no idea that you guys had so many forward-thinking ideas to work on. Reading through them, they ALL seem mission-critical for EOS.

Currently, the one I liked best is the “EOS APPSTORE” Idea, the closest one I have today is in Token Pocket but it gets lost with all of the other Blockchains. I think this would increase the usage of EOS DAPPS which I believe is the ONLY way for this ecosystem to survive.

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Hey @aaron these are amazing ideas and am truly behind your vision! You’ve done some great things. If I could say a few things though to maybe spark your interest in an area I am a little concerned about that there currently is not focus on:

You mention Kotlin, Swift and Java a bit in your ideas for fundamental pieces for applications, you even mention support for gaming engines like Unity and Unreal, however you are not mentioning support for one of the fastest growing and most widely used mobile application framework in the world, Flutter. Flutter’s core language runs on Dart, which is a type casted class based language similar to C# or Java and has the flexibility of JavaScript as well. Flutter compiles to native platforms using 1 code base, Dart, and can compile to the following platforms: IOS(Swift), Android (Kotlin), Web(Javascript), MacOS(Objective C), Windows(C++/C#), and Ubuntu / Linux.

This is important because over the next 8 years Google will be pouring more and more resources behind this project, as well as major platforms and enterprise companies will begin to adopt it to scale their mobile and desktop applications. Currently major enterprise companies like BMW and Amazon have hired hundreds of Flutter developers as well to account for this. Ubuntu has adopted Flutter / Dart as its native platform for developing applications. Toyota has begun to use this in their cars. People are starting to see how great the benefit it is to scale applications quickly for small - mid sized apps, and now this year, large apps, with the benefit of going cross platform.

Banks are starting to utilize Flutter / Dart for to build to native platforms because it is extremely fast and can be obfuscated fairly well. Many people are also starting to build DeFi apps with Flutter / Dart recently, especially on ETH, and some are even creating mobile apps on EOSIO using Flutter as well, but this support is currently not that great :frowning: .

Please include support for this, I believe the sense of urgency here is great in doing so. Plus, I’d just love to see you support Dart and a fundamental language. It’s extremely fast and flexible!

Other than that it’s truly a pleasure to see your vision, goals, and dreams for the future of EOSIO and blockchain! Bless!

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I’m sure there are even more languages/frameworks/ecosystems Aaron didn’t mention. He said he is not going to write the needed libraries for each and every language himself or with his team. If you know flutter, there is a good chance you know it better than most people here. You can start the support for that language. dig in to the other repos and see if you find the common pattern in them.

Ask for help and lead that effort!

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I am reminded that the ecosystem is bigger than just EOS it includes eosio and you in many ways are an ambassador and bridge. Perhaps a bridge re-builder of previously burnt bridges. I believe all in this eosio ecosystem can play a role to build and with this type of big picture leadership we can find consensus on the essential and strategic initiatives needed and efficiently move forward.

I am speaking as an EOS “maxi” but I believe there is a place for reconciliation, forgiveness and healing within the ecosystem in order to move forward.

:heart:

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It’s one of our favorites as well! We do see things similar to this in some wallets (Token Pocket is a good example, Scatter also had something like this built-in), but what we really need is one that’s outside of your wallet and accessible to anyone regardless of what wallet they use.

I’ve always been a huge proponent of “wallet choice”, in that you should be able to use anything regardless of the wallet you have decided to put your trust in. You shouldn’t be forced to trust one specific wallet in order to do something specific on a network like EOS.

Absolutely. I didn’t mean for that to be a comprehensive list, only a list to show some examples of where its needed. There are a ton of other languages that also deserve first class support to make development easier on :+1:

100% Agreed.

While I’m completely aware that the EOS network is directly responsible for Eden funding and recognition needs to be given for that, building solutions that are available to EOSIO as a whole (Telos, WAX, Proton, FIO, etc) will only serve to encourage more participation and unity between all these chains that share technologies.

Advancements in one can really benefit advancements in them all - and rebuilding those bridges in a meaningful way can come from making the technologies available across them all.

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