Something Shiny is Coming

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We at Crowdstart Capital don’t put a lot of stock in bling or glitz. Our big focus is on rewarding Blockchain developers contributing the ecosystem. That said, make sure to keep an eye out for our new website design.

Crowdstart Reloaded


Believe it or not, it’s been 489 days since XSC first came on the scene. Since then we’ve distributed Crowdstart Coins to 11,215 developers and early contributors to the blockchain ecosystem for free!

We like to fail early and fail fast so we’ve gone through a number of different phases in the project. We originally intended to raise money through and ICO for a blockchain accelerator. Having done substantial due diligence, that goal eventually changed into providing free XSC to incentivize blockchain development. We’ve noticed though that some folks who don’t know our whole history tend to get a bit lost in all the content on our website.

To address this, we’ve started working on a new streamlined website designed to give contributors to the blockchain ecosystem quick and easy clarity about what we do, how to claim their XSC rewards and an overview of tools like the XSC Wallet which we’ve made available to the community. We can’t wait to show you!

Crowdstartcoin and XSC Wallet in 2018

Dear Crowdstartcoin XCS friends,

most of us receive many nice X-Mas holiday wishes, and, of course, the Crowdstart team wishes you the same: have some relaxing days and a very good start into 2019!

The year 2018 was an interesting year in cryptoland – we all remember very well the steep rise of most cryptos until mid January, followed by an enduring downturn – known as the crypto winter. Many crypto startups folded, also some crypto venture funds have and will. And, nobody really dares to launch an ICO these days.

Our beloved Crowdstartcoin XSC still is too small in value to either dramatically profit or suffer from overall crypto trends. In 2018, we have continued to distribute XSC to members of the blockchain community who add value to the ecosystem. We have broadened our scope of potential recipients by also rewarding community members who add value by writing blogposts, designing logos and other stuff, doing some administration work, etc. Our overall goal stays the same: we distribute free XSC to those who add value to and therefore enhance the blockchain ecosystem.

XSC Wallet Takes Action

This summer, the Crowdstart team had a lot of fun and made many friends by selling Frozen Yoghurt at the DAHOAM Pure Tech Conference against XSC. It was a very hot day and that helped to motivate the conference participants to download the XSC Wallet, receiving XSC via airdrop and then spending these for FroYo, T-Shirts and goodie bags. Out of 1,100 visitors of the conference 1,049 paid with XSC. That we call a conversion rate!

On a more corporate event, the FI-Forum by FinanzInformatik, the IT backbone of Germany’s saving banks that represent 38% of German retail banking, the Crowdstart team provided the XSC Wallet in its white label version and enabled consulting company zeb to offer the zeb DigiTaler – a very good opportunity to bring crypto payments to the attention of FI-Forum’s 8,000 visitors.

We provide the white label version of the XSC Wallet to other corporate events and (internal) crypto payment pilots, too. Based on the experiences of these applications, we develop the XSC Wallet further, make it more stable and even more secure; e.g. the XSC Wallet will feature a KYC/AML integration, soon.

Member of the European Blockchain Association EBA

In November, we joined the European Blockchain Association EBA. This organisation synchronizes blockchain activities and projects all around Europe and is designed as a Decentralised Semi-Autonomous Organisation DSAO; i.e. a DAO based on a comprehensive governance model embodied in a legal entity, registered in Germany. EBA asked the Crowdstart team wether we couod provide Crowdstartcoins XSC as a means of payment and reward for EBA members. Since this is a perfect match – our goals are completely aligned – we agreed and donated 40% of our XSC supply to the EBA. Accoring to their givernance model, the EBA will distribute XSC to its members.

Now, that we – in partnership with the EBA – have laid the basis for a meaningful distribution of XSC, we must create the best possible trading environment for XSC: today, XSC  can be traded at EtherDelta, ForkDelta, IDEX and Radar. This is a very good start. However, many XSC holders are unfamiliar with trading at (decentralized) exchanges. Therefore, our goal for Q2/2019 is to be listed at more decentralized exchanges and at one centralized exchange.

Most exchanges require rather high listing fees that we cannot afford because we have never done an ICO and therefore we have no funding for Crowdstartcoin XSC at all. That’s why our goal is rarher challenging. We have approached several crypto exchanges and asked them wehther they would list XSC in exchange against endorsements and recommendations by the Crowdstart team and the EBA. If you are well connected with an exchange, please support us by recommending the listing of XSC! The more liquidity we create the better the result for the blockchain community – let’s aim to make XSC the currency of the blockchain community!

PS: Over the next days we will read and internalise the thinking of this working paper by Nick Gogerty. That should help 😉

XSC Wallet Driven Cryptopayments Available at the FI-Forum

Blockchain

The success story of the XSC Wallet continues as Datarella, for the second conference this year, offered visitors of the FI-Forum the possibility to use the XSC Wallet. This builds upon the our XSC Wallet deployment at the the DAHO.AM conference last July.

FI Forum

The Fi-Forum is the trade fair of Finanz Informatik, the IT service provider of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. IT solutions, innovations and new services are presented there each year. There were also more than 90 speeches and a parallel hackathon with interesting topics to be addressed.

At the fair, visitors got XSC Coins in their own private event-wallet which they could spend on merchandising products such as powerbanks, bags and notebooks, generously provided by partner ZEB (zeb.rolfes.schierenbeck.associates GmbH). To do so, the visitors only had to download the wallet from the App Store or from Google Play. They were instantly rewarded with XSC Coins which they could spend on the goodies. The ease of use and rapid transaction execution often opened a new and more positive view on crypto payment. Moreover people who didn’t spend all of their XSC were regularly asked by others to send them the unused XSC to their wallet in order to buy extra goodies.

Together with ZEB, we held many discussions with prospects about topics such as blockchain-based financial systems, crypto payments and the future challenges of this technology.

A big thank you to the Finanz Informatik and ZEB for making it possible to help visitors explore the world of crypto payments by using the XSC Wallet on the Fi-Forum.

Crowdstart Capital Joins European Blockchain Association – Donates Crowdstart Coins XSC

Crowdstart Capital CSC has decided to donate 40% of its total XSC crypto currency supply to the European Blockchain Association EBA. The EBA‘s mission is to empower the blockchain ecosystem by synchronizing and leveraging blockchain-related activities of European corporations, startups, venture capitalists, and scientific institutes. In this endeavor, the CSC mission is well aligned with the EBA. Therefore, CSC will provide the EBA with Crowdstart Coins in order to reward its members‘ activities with free XSC. 

The donation of XSC means a change of plans for CSC: the original plan was to implement Crowdvote, a crowd-based voting mechanism to distribute CrowdstartCoins XSC to the best blockchain projects out there.

We have experienced some major road blocks while working on the liquid voting system, mainly regarding the correctness and security of the voting mechanism. Then, we started the conversation with the newly founded European Blockchain Association that has a very similar agenda to ours regarding the question how to incentivize the blockchain community to actively and consistently add valuable code and other assets to the blockchain ecosystem.

The result of this conversation was to join forces and to provide the EBA with a major chunk of Crowdstart Coins XSC for free. The EBA will reward its members with XSC for different activities that add value to the ecosystem, e.g. adding code, participating in hackathons, organizing events, and more.

Crowdstart Capital will become an integral part of the EBA by taking over the role and function of its accelerator. The EBA has agreed upon leveraging CSC‘s startup accelerator model to promote blockchain-based startups throughout Europe. We really like the decentralized arrangement of the EBA – that should enable its members to join forces and synchronize efforts.

We think that these synergies will add value to the European blockchain ecosystem at large and we’re looking forward to working together with EBA‘s members!

The day, people started paying for frozen yogurt with crypto

8 years after Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoins for 2 PapaJohn’s pizzas, 1,000 participants of the DAHO.AM Pure Tech Conference each paid 300 CrowdstartCoins XSC for conference T-shirts, goodie bags or frozen yogurt. 30 degrees Celsius and more made especially the frozen yohurt the most sought after food at the conference. 

Datarella supported the organizational DAHO.AM team with looking for speakers, defining workshops and also with the more nitty gritty detail of a conference. Additionally, we launched our latest blockchain product at the conference, a cryptocurrency wallet, the XSC Wallet.

When opening the XSC Wallet, each DAHO.AM visitor got 1,000 XSC that enabled her to buy a t-shirt, a goodie bag and a frozen yogurt. Due to the tough conference schedule and summery temperature, many visitors asked other visitors who weren’t interested in goodie bags, to send them their XSC enabling them to buy another froyo. Sending and receiving crypto with tye XSC Wallet proved to be so easy that even the least technically educated (their words) experienced no problem at all managing their cryptocurrency.

Some visitors were hesitant to spend their XSC in the first instance, since they belong to the #HODL group – users who don’t spend their frypto but “Hold On for Dear Life”. But, after the Crowdstart team assured them that they woult get the same amount of XSC tokens they’d spend later this week in real ERC20 XSC tokens that are tradeable on the Ethereum mainnet, they went on a shopping tour.

The fascinating result of the XSC Wallet launch was the fact that all users were completely surprised how easy it is to pay for goods and food  with crypto  in real life. The payment process is easy to understand, fast, and makes so much fun that many visitors returned several times to the Crowdstart stand only to use the XSC Wallet and pay for stuff, again. For the Datarella team, this wasn’t really a surprise, but a very nice confirmation of our strong belief that crypto will play a major role in global payments soon.

XSC-Wallet Launch at the DAHO.AM Pure Tech Conference

CSC Flower

Event - Start Event - Request - Set Amount - Code Event - Vendor - XSC Received

The DAHO.AM Pure Tech Conference (on July 24th) will use our new XSC-Wallet as the official payment method during the conference! The wallet will be used for buying food, drinks, and merchandise.

As the largest pure tech conference for developers, startups, and corporates the DAHO.AM (tickets here!) is predestined to use a blockchain-based payment system at the event. The XSC-Wallet will be available as an app for your smartphone (iOS or Android) and act as a replacement for old-school paper vouchers. You’ll basically be able to pay for everything using the app. For this year’s conference, we’re also going to issue everyone a physical ticket for getting lunch super fast and as an offline backup in case your phone is out of juice.

The app contains special DAHO.AM XSC which are super easy to use. You can use the DAHO.AM wallet at the venues of the DAHO.AM conference to pay for food and snacks. We’ll issue special DAHO.AM XSC as a credit when you download the app so you won’t have to worry about exchanges or buying cryptocurrency in advance. After DAHO.AM your XSC will be transformed into tradable XSC-tokens on the ethereum network.

We are currently in the final testing period for the app and a private Beta on TestFlight in the App Store is ongoing.

Stay tuned for updates!

Announcing the CSC Cryptocurrency Payment App for DAHO.AM Tech Conference

CrowdstartCoin

We are very pleased to announce that Crowdstart Capital will be releasing a CrowdstartCoin XSC powered payment app and DApp browser at the DAHO.AM tech conference.

DAHO.AM Registration

We want Crowdstart Coin XSC to be THE token for blockchain developers. It goes without saying that you have to store your XSC somewhere and you want to be able to DO something with that XSC right? Our upcoming app hits both of these targets.

No Event Tickets

Since we’re co-organizing the DAHO.AM deep tech conference we thought it would be really cool if we could digitalize the payment process for all the concessions this year.  Usually, you go to a conference and along with your tickets you get a few paper vouchers to trade for food and drinks free of charge. That works but it’s not much fun. DAHO.AM is the home of the future so we’re going to tokenize this old-school process!

This year instead of getting paper vouchers we’ll issue XSC to the developers and techies attending the conference. After downloading the iOS or Android app from the respective app store, DAHO.AM attendees will be able to enter their ticket number and automatically get XSC credited to their account.

bratwürst

After that, you just walk over to buy Bratwürstl, scan a QR code, approve the transaction with your fingerprint and chow down! For the conference, we’ll be deploying a private permissioned network to handle all the conference payments without the need to pay for gas costs.  Afterward whatever XSC you haven’t spent will be credited to your mainnet account.

The CSC app will also include a built-in DApp browser! This will enable DAHO.AM attendees to use our new CROWDVOTE DApp to vote for the most innovative projects at the conference on the ethereum blockchain using the very same app.  Our smart contract will tally the votes and automatically award XSC to the winners at the end of the conference.

Part of why we’re so excited about the DAHO.AM conference is that it presents an opportunity to get really hands-on with blockchain technology and really see what can be accomplished in the real world.  We’re looking forward to seeing you there. Click here to reserve your tickets now!

CROWDVOTE – Modular Building Blocks for an Ethereum Voting DApp

CrowdstartCoin

The next phase of the Crowdstart XSC plan is CROWDVOTE, a crowd-based voting mechanism to distribute CrowdstartCoins XSC to the best blockchain projects out there. In this post, we’ll give you a preview of the technical underpinnings for our CROWDVOTE decentralized application and a short update on where we’re at in the development process.

The DApp is still a work in progress, but we’ve passed some important internal milestones. We’d like to update the community with an overview of the minimum technical requirements for the DApp,  an overview of the development tools we’re using and a description of the tech stack we’re building for the DApp.

We at Crowdstart Capital don’t think that we are the best people to decide who is eligible to receive CrowdstartCoins XSC. It should rather be the responsibility of the entire blockchain community to form opinions and make decisions that define the distribution of the token.  We want XSC to be THE token for rewarding contributions to the blockchain ecosystem at-large. The CROWDVOTE DApp is the tool to enable this.

CROWDVOTE Minimum Viable Product DApp Requirements:

  • Enable Crowdstart Capital to manage an initial list of candidate developers
  • Empower XSC Holders and only XSC Holders to vote for their favorite projects
  • Allow cryptographically verifiable voting without the need to send XSC to any central party or tie up XSC in an escrow contract for the duration of the voting period.
  • Distribute XSC automatically to the winner at the end of the voting period.

CROWDVOTE Roadmap – Beyond Minimum Viable Product

  • Provide a mechanism by which XSC holders can nominate developers and projects to vote on
  • Allow voters to vote on the amount of XSC to be distributed in a voting period

The rest of this post is divided into three sections.

  • Our Development Tools: DApp development can be a bit daunting due to the number of development tools available. In this section, we’ll list the tools we’re using to build the DApp and why we chose them.
  • Technology Stack: In this section, we’ll outline the components of our technology stack and describe how they fit together. One of the most challenging things about DApp development is just understanding how all the technology really works together. This section will address our choice of front-end technology, hosting, authentication and finally our smart contracts.
  • If you’re just anxious to hear about the status of the CROWDVOTE DApp development you can scroll to the very end for an update on our development process.

Our Development Tools:

Truffle

Truffle: Truffle is one of the most popular development frameworks for Ethereum. It’s written in javascript so it matches the rest of our project quite well and doesn’t require us to switch contexts while developing.  We’re using it in this project to handle smart contract compilation, linking, deployment and binary management as well as migrations.

nodejs

Node.js: Node is a JavaScript runtime which we use for development.  It allows us to run JavaScript code locally for development and testing.

npm

npm: This is the largest JavaScript package manager out there. It helps manage the installation of the necessary components via the command line.

http-server: This is a simple command line based http server. It allows us to run the React, JavaScript and associated HTML code locally during development and testing.

Technology Stack

Front-end:

javascript

JavaScript: We’re using mostly ES6/ ECMAScript2015. The reasons for picking JavaScript were pretty straightforward. The wide adoption of the language for front-end work and the wide availability of libraries/frameworks were both important factors. The fact that we’re connecting to our smart contracts via web3.js (the Ethereum compatible JavaScript API) was also a deciding factor in favor of JavaScript as our primary development language.

react

React JS: React is an easy to use JavaScript library which allows us to create a reactive DApp front-end which works on many different devices. We did consider developing using Meteor but Meteor is designed to provide a full tech stack including back-end functionality via a server that’s running Node, MongoDB, etc.. For this project, our backend is essentially the Ethereum blockchain which means Meteor doesn’t really fit our needs. For our purposes the React library allows us to make prettier DApp more quickly than would otherwise be possible.

babel

Babel: Babel is a JavaScript compiler that allows us to use the new EC6/ECMAScript 2015 JS syntax without worrying about browser compatibility. Many of the newest features of JavaScript aren’t available for all browsers. One good example of this is arrow functions which despite being very common in modern JavaScript programming, aren’t uniformly supported across browsers.

webpack_logo

Webpack: Webpack is a static module bundler for JavaScript applications.  Specifically, this means that it recursively builds a dependency graph that includes every module which our DApp needs and then packages all of those modules into a bundle which can be loaded by the browser. With this approach, any time one file depends on another it is treated as a dependency.

Hosting:

ipfs

IPFS (Interplanetary File System): IPFS is a peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol. That basically means that it’s a cutting-edge decentralized replacement for the HTTP protocol. We’re initially planning to use IPFS for decentralization and censorship resistance. One potential disadvantage with IPFS at the moment is long loading times. As the network of IPFS nodes scales though it should actually become faster and more efficient than HTTP.

Ethereum API and Authentication Methods

web3js

Our front-end communicates with the backend via Web3.js.  Web3.js is the JavaScript API which implements the generic JSON-RPC spec. Web3.js can also be described as a collection of libraries which allow one to interact with a local or remote Ethereum node using an HTTP or IPC connection.

The easiest way to allow users to interact with the Ethereum blockchain is by using the MetaMask plugin. It exists as a browser extension that enables the signing of transactions on both testnets, private networks and the public blockchain. MetaMask enables an application (decentralized or otherwise) to read from the blockchain and propose transactions to the current user. It does this by injecting a Web3 object and the Web3.js library into the javascript context of the user’s browser. When the user authorizes a transaction via Metamask we use a web3.js call to trigger the sending of a JSON-RPC request to a node specified by the user in Metamask (e.g. etherscan.io, infura.io, etc.).

RPC is a general API architecture for data exchange and invocation of functionality. In our case we use it for interacting with the nodes and, in extension, the EVM. RPC is an alternative to the common REST architectural style. It’s used because it provides a more direct server-client connection to the blockchain and because given the immutable nature of the blockchain the CRUD model isn’t exactly optimal.

In the other direction, the node sends information via JSON-RPC back to the user over HTTP and it is implemented by the web3.js API installed on the user computer or in the browser. Users with Metamask installed in a normal browser or who are using a web3.js-enabled DApp browser can interpret this information and update the front-end accordingly.

Smart Contracts

Crowdstart Coin

Programming smart contracts is a bit different from programming other applications. Once contracts are deployed they can only be swapped out for other contracts, not directly updated, assuming that such a modular handoff was provided for in the initial contract code. Additionally, it is best to use battle-tested contracts that have been peer-reviewed where possible since mainnet Ethereum contracts handle valuable tokens and ether. 

To facilitate speedy development and security we’ve based our contracts around the smart contract based voting architecture outlined in Giveth’s MiniMe project.

There are three contracts which act together to provide the voting logic and grant voting rights to XSC holders.

Controlled.sol
TokenController.sol
XSC_Mini_Token.sol

At the heart of this system is a token factory which allows us to clone the XSC token distribution at the start of a given block. You can think of these XSC_Mini tokens like an automatically assigned voter identification card. They are only issued to XSC holders but don’t alter anything about the XSC distribution.  Much like you don’t lose your citizenship if you lose your voter identification card, nothing happens to your XSC if you receive or use XSC_Mini in the CROWDVOTE DApp.

Furthermore, the contracts allow us to reset the quantity of XSC_Mini to match the new distribution at the beginning of each voting period. This is achieved through the use of a separate token controller contract which can freeze/generate/destroy/transfer the XSC_Mini tokens at will. The logical consequence of this is that XSC_Mini has no speculative value.

All of this complexity is hidden from the user.  CROWDVOTE DApp voters holding XSC will automatically be authorized to vote when they access the DApp either via a normal browser with Metamask installed (assuming they are logged in to the account which holds the XSC tokens) or via a Web3.js enabled DApp browser. Users won’t see or interact with the XSC_Mini tokens except when authorizing the gas costs necessary for casting a vote (which is accomplished by sending XSC_Mini to the voting contract in the background). Non-holders will be redirected to one of the decentral exchanges where XSC can be purchased while developers will be redirected to a form where they can request XSC as a reward for contributions to the blockchain ecosystem.

Votes will be tallied automatically by the smart contract to which they are sent and we will enable the contract to directly distribute the XSC rewards as soon as the voting period ends.  Following that the XSC_Mini controller will reset the XSC_Mini balances to match the overall XSC distribution and the process will begin again.

Since the smart contracts are set up in a modular fashion we will be able to eventually reassign control of the XSC_Mini and voting logic in the future.  Our long-term vision for CROWDVOTE is that we will be able to allow community members to define both the voting logic and the nominated developer list decentrally.

Development Status Update

Last, but not certainly not least we want to give you a short update on the status of our development efforts. At this point, we have a CROWDVOTE proof of concept up and running. We still need to rebuild the front-end and redesign parts of the smart contracts to facilitate a custom voting logic. The basics are however already running, so we’re confident that we’ll be able to launch this DApp by the Daho.am Tech Conference on July 24, 2018.

We’re also planning to launch our own wallet and DApp browser for the conference but we’ll outline that in a separate post later this week.

Pryze Sweepstakes Winners!

Pryze + Datarella Sweepstakes for early adopters

Today we’re delighted to announce the Grand Prize winner and the runner-up winners in our Pryze.com sweepstakes!

The Grand Prize winner is John Beck! Congratulations John! Feel free to check your ethereum account as we’ve already transferred the grand prize of 100 XSC to your account.

John wasn’t the only one who’s going to have a good day today though. As promised we’re distributing smaller amounts of XSC to 99 runner-ups.  Over 700 people entered the sweepstakes!

Pryze Sweepstakes – Crowdstart Coin (XSC) Runner-up Awards:

  • 50 Runner-ups: Recieve 25 XSC tokens
  • 25 Runner-ups: Recieve 50 XSC tokens
  • 24 Runner-ups: Recieve 75 XSC tokens

We’ve already sent all the tokens to the winners and will reach out them individually to notify everyone per email. In the meantime, however, if you entered the contest feel free to check your address and take a look at the winning token distribution on Etherscan.

The Pryze Token Distribution TxHash 

0x0b95fd3ed7519031fd44ddeb2e4f083adb5ca4b275d6d32a11feefc7897a1b15

Also, if you didn’t win take a moment to read our EtherDelta XSC Trading Guide. There we demystify decentralized trading and give a step by step guide to buying XSC from developers and others who Crowdstart Capital has already rewarded for their contributions to the blockchain ecosystem.

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget that as an XSC holder you will be able to vote on who should receive XSC next as soon as we release our upcoming CrowdVote DAPP! Together let’s strengthen the blockchain ecosystem!