The Internet ecosystem is currently changing significantly with the introduction of decentralization. More and more decentralized technologies are becoming mainstream and gaining acceptance by the world at large.
As far as innovation and growth are concerned, the startup way of doing things has prevailed. While more major companies have tried to get into the space, none of their projects have been significant with respect to their use. Startups have the upper edge, with several successful businesses building such as Opensea.io, Alchemy, and IPFS/filecoin (Protocol Labs).
The era of web3 startups has come upon us. This article discusses how you can kick start the process of building the web3 startup of your dreams.
Basics of building a WEB3 platform
When it comes to web3 apps (also known as dApps), you’ll need a frontend website to showcase your product and where your users can interact.
The idea of the web3 platform is that it never goes down. That is, you want to get all your access data directly from decentralized sources. You have to run a backend that can receive the dynamic tertiary data needed to run the app.
These are the basic parts you will need to build a dApp-
- Frontend: A website for people to interact with
- Backend: An API system for handling dynamic data
- Blockchain: A Chain That Allows Your DApps to Be Decentralized
- Storage: To store content data in a decentralized manner.
The job of the front end is to engage new users and provide a UI for users to interact with the dApp. In addition, your front end also serves as a marketing opportunity, so you need to make it SEO compliant.
Your major consideration when choosing a stack is technology integration. There are a number of Web3-specific technologies that you will need to integrate into your app, such as Wallet (MetaMask), which are best used with the community support package. Thus you are forced to use a JS-based frontend.
When it comes to frontend your best bet is ReactJS. It has tons of learning materials, over 100 freely available examples, and several community libraries to help you along your journey.
You can directly read and interact with the blockchain with the help of Web3 Wallet and open APIs from various available options.
NextJS is an overlaying library over ReactJS which will help ease your development due to its many inbuilt features. This will help you build an optimized, SEO-friendly application, while not missing out on the good support that the ReactJS community provides.
Thus it is recommended to use NextJS instead of React.
The function of the backend is to retrieve and store the data upon appeal of the API request. Since it is a simple and straightforward task, you can choose any backend configuration of your choice. There is no specific web3 constraint that will make a difference when choosing a backend framework.
With that said, here are some backend options that Web3 startups usually use.
The ever popular and always accepted NodeJS has been a strong backend provider for most of the web3 startups. If you are familiar with its concepts, feel free to use it as your backend framework.
Golang has been a very popular language for backend development and is known for its performance. You can certainly use Golang to serve your API requests and enjoy its performance benefits.
For your app to be fully decentralized, you need to store key content information on a decentralized platform. IPFS (Inter Planetary File System) is the only available option that provides this service. IPFS allows you to store large data on decentralized nodes. You can either set up the node yourself or use a provider with a service called Filecoin.
Filecoin allows you to store and retrieve content on a community of storage node providers that will store your content for a period of time for a small fee. Keep in mind that there is no data erasure when it comes to decentralized storage, as providers may continue to store your data even after the fee expires.
To streamline the process of storing and retrieving data with a simple API format, Protocol Labs, the creator of Filecoin, has created web3.storage. Web3.storage allows you to store your information, just like you would with an AWS S3 client.
Plus, it’s completely free for data over 1TB, and you can even ask to upgrade your limit without paying anything. This is due to the unique token model that Filecoin employs.
The blockchain of choice largely depends on what the application is trying to achieve. It would be best if you choose a network or blockchain that best fits the desires and familiarity of your customers and has the necessary features and tooling to run your app.
The blockchain will handle the decentralized interactive functions of the app, such as ownership of NFTs and tokens, payment functions such as selling items or making payments, and other unique features you plan to add.
There are several blockchains that Web3 companies use, where Ethereum and Ethereum-based blockchains are most often used.
The major constraints while choosing a blockchain are –
- Trust: It is best to go for widely accepted blockchains that your users can trust rather than obscure ones.
- Community Functions: A network may not have direct implementations of tokens and on-chain technologies such as oracles that you plan to use on your app
- Gas-fees: Each transaction on the blockchain incurs a fee, and it is best that it is negligible for a seamless experience.
Ethereum has been a leader in the development of Web3 as it emerged with its concept of smart contracts and EVMs (Ethereum Virtual Machine). The Ethereum ecosystem provides a large number of community projects and benchmarks that can help you accelerate your development. OpenZeppelin provides you with a security code for most ERC standards.
Polygon is an Ethereum scaling blockchain that offers the same features as Ethereum while reducing gas fees. Many large companies, such as opensea.io and QuickSwap, currently use the Polygon blockchain.
Solana has been an upcoming blockchain that has consistently provided very low gas fees and very high transaction volumes. Orca DeFi and Fantasia use Solana as their blockchain of choice.
The web3 development sector has a lot of potential but it is still in its infancy. Many things are changing in this field and this is the best opportunity to create a startup.
For the front end, you can use ReactJS or use the feature-packed optimized version of ReactJS, i.e. NextJS. The backend is completely based on your preference, so choose the one you are most comfortable with.
Choosing a blockchain depends heavily on the task you want to achieve and if the blockchain supports it. Ethereum and Ethereum-based blockchains are commonly used and there are already a lot of projects on-chain that you might need.
With this new-age tech stack in mind, you can start developing your idea.