In the mind of blockchain developers: creating truly free-to-use DApps

Cointelegraph follows the development of an entirely new blockchain from inception to mainnet and beyond through its Inside the Blockchain Developer’s Mind series, written by Andrew Levin the Koinos group.

In my previous article, I explained from the ground up what it takes to build a truly free-to-use social decentralized application (DApp) and how Koinos is that solution. In this article, I explained that in order to deploy a truly free-to-use DApp, it must be possible for someone other than the end-user to provide the network resources (“mana” in the case of Koinos) needed to run a given smart contract .

Blockchain mana

Now that we understand why Koinos is designed the way it is (to support free-to-use experiences), I’ll explain how it works in more detail. One of the innovative features of Koinos is its novel no-fee mechanism called “Mana”, which allows KOIN holders to use the blockchain for free without having to upfront their tokens or even think about what they are doing. It is the core technology that allows people to use the blockchain for free.

Koinos is based on the idea that from the moment someone acquires KOIN they should be able to take actions on the network, while Koinos gradually and temporarily locks small amounts of their tokens, effectively “charging” them an opportunity cost instead of an explicit fee . Using mana, the system quantifies this opportunity cost, allowing users to trade time (opportunity cost) for network resources, replacing the need for a token-based fee like Ethereum’s gas model.

Related: Inside the Mind of Blockchain Developers: How to Build the Next Great Social DApp

Game-Like Experience

This creates a fun, gamified user experience for the blockchain, but what about decentralized applications on the blockchain? As the native currency of the Koinos blockchain, only KOIN will have the mana users need to freely use the blockchain. But if KOIN is the only token with mana, then users don’t have to purchase the token to use Koino’s DApps and wouldn’t that feel like a fee? yes it would

While the user experience is certainly superior to a real fee since the user only has to make that purchase once, it still creates friction in the DApp user’s experience. From our work on Steem, we’ve seen that this requirement, combined with the requirement to buy usernames and consciously deploy large numbers of tokens, creates major barriers to adoption. That’s why we built Koinos from the ground up to solve this problem while solving several other important issues such as: B. Poor upgradability and limited programming language support.

Related: Inside the blockchain developer’s mind: what is a testnet?

Mana Sponsorship

To solve the problem that people can use DApps without purchasing them first any token, Koinos allows smart contract developers to specify who pays the mana when the smart contract executes (“payer/payee semantics”). This can be the user, the developer, or someone else entirely – like a large stakeholder – who wants to make the DApp a success.

This unlocks a new feature we’re calling “Mana Sponsorship,” which simply means that any account can “sponsor” the mana needed to complete a contract. A developer can use this function to designate themselves as the mana supplier for the contract. Then, when someone tries to use their DApp, they can do so without having to purchase KOIN first.

This allows for another leap forward in user experience compared to other platforms and may be sufficient for many decentralized applications, but our mission is not simply to create a user experience that is better than other platforms – it is Accelerate decentralization with accessibility.

DApp mana

While mana sponsorship allows developers to provide the mana needed by users without depleting the developer’s token balance, developers are still required to purchase KOIN. When usage of their DApp is low, this amount of KOIN can be trivial, but when usage increases and the price of KOIN increases, this requirement can quickly become a burden. Perhaps most importantly, enterprising developers must believe that their application will be widely used (otherwise they would have no motivation to create it) and the prospect of having to spend a fortune on KOIN might deter them from creating the application in the first place.

This is where “DApp Mana” comes into play, completing the smooth user experience Maximizing Accessibility. While the KOIN token is the only cryptocurrency that contains the mana used by the Koinos system as payment for network resources (i.e. the “base” mana), DApps can use the exact same thing code to create their own mana on your own.

Unparalleled composability

This demonstrates the incomparable composability from Koinos. Because the entire Koinos system is written as smart contracts, any part of the system (like the mana subsystem) can be copied by DApp developers and used in their application.

DApp developers can use the mana in a small KOIN pool to bootstrap their initial user base or subsidize a certain amount of “freemium” usage of their DApp but then require users to exchange their KOIN for a dedicated cryptocurrency (their ” exchange DApp token”). with their own mana, which is consumed when using the DApp, which allows them to continue using the DApp for free.

This allows for smooth user onboarding while creating an economically sustainable path that turns users into stakeholders and gives the DApp developer the KOIN they need to support their growing demand for Koinos network resources.

This is a very organic and scalable mechanism as the developer doesn’t have to try to predict how much KOIN they will need and buy that KOIN before even having users. Additionally, large stakeholders can support burgeoning DApps without overburdening resources. They can only expend the amount of mana they deem necessary Bootstrap the application and bring it to the point where it organically acquires the necessary mana from its users and new stakeholders.

Related: In the Mind of Blockchain Developers: What is the Ultimate Scaling Solution?

At Koinos Group, solving just one problem is never enough. We’re always looking for ways to solve a problem while additional features are unlocked that make the blockchain even more powerful. The system I’ve described in this article derives entirely from the simple Payer/Payee semantics already running on the Harbinger testnet. Not only do they enable free-to-use DApps, but they also create an organic way for developers to acquire the extra mana they need to support the growth of their DApp while allowing large stakeholders to invest in growth and value creation without sacrificing any of their token holdings. This is a win-win-win situation.

This article does not contain any investment advice or recommendation. Every investment and trading move involves risk and readers should do their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Andrew Levin is CEO of Koinos Group, a team of industry veterans accelerating decentralization through accessible blockchain technology. Their core product is Koinos, a royalty-free and infinitely extensible blockchain with universal language support.