The internet ecosystem is currently shifting significantly with the dawn of decentralization. More and more decentralized technologies are becoming mainstream and gaining acceptance by the world at large.
As far as innovation and development is concerned, the startup way of doing things has prevailed. While more prominent companies have tried to get into the space, none of their projects has been groundbreaking regarding their usage. Startups have the upper edge, with many creating successful businesses like opensea.io, Alchemy, and IPFS/filecoin (Protocol Labs).
The age of web3 startups has dawned upon us. This article dives into how you can jumpstart your process of building your dream web3 startup.
Basics of Creating a WEB3 Platform
When it comes to a web3 app (also called as dApps), you will need a frontend website to show your product and where your users can interact with.
The idea of a web3 platform is that it never goes down. i.e., you want to get all your access data directly from decentralized sources. You will have to run a backend that can get the required dynamic tertiary data to run the app.
These are the fundamental parts that you will need to create a dApp—
- Frontend: A website for people to interact with
- Backend: An API system to handle dynamic data
- Blockchain: A chain that allows your dApp to be decentralized
- Storage: For storing content data in a decentralized manner.
The job of the front end is to onboard new users and provide users with a UI to interact with the dApp. Moreover, 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 many web3-specific technologies that you have to integrate into your app, like Wallets (Metamask), that are best used with community support packages. You are thus forced to use a JS-based frontend.
Your best bet when it comes to frontends is ReactJS. It has many a ton of learning material, 100s of freely available examples, and many community libraries to help you out in your journey.
You can read and interact directly from the blockchain with the help of web3 wallets and open APIs from various available options.
NextJS is an overlaying library on ReactJS that will help make your development easier because of its many inbuilt features. It will help you build an optimized, SEO-friendly application right off the bat while not missing out on the good support that the ReactJSs community provides.
It is thus recommended to use NextJS instead of React.
The function of a backend is to retrieve and store data on the appeal of an API request. As this is a simple and straightforward task, you can choose any backend configuration you would like. There are no specific web3 constraints that will make a difference when choosing a backend framework.
With that said here are a few backend options that web3 startups commonly use.
The ever-popular and ever-accepted NodeJS has been a strong backend provider for most web3 startups. If you are familiar with its concepts, feel free to use this as your backend framework.
Golang has been a very popular language for backend development and is known for its performance. You can definitely use golang to serve your API requests and enjoy its performance benefits.
For your app to be completely decentralized, you must store the core 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 content and retrieve content on a community of storage node providers that will store your content for a duration for a small fee. Keep in mind that there is no deletion of data when it comes to decentralized storage, as providers can continue to store your data even after the duration of the fee is over.
In order 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 how you would with an AWS S3 client.
Moreover, it is completely free for over 1TB of data, and you can ask to have your limit upgraded while still not paying anything. This is due to the unique token model that Filecoin employs.
The blockchain of choice heavily depends on what the application is trying to achieve. It would be best if you chose a network or a blockchain that appropriately fits your customers’ wants and familiarity and has the necessary features and tooling required to run your app.
The blockchain will handle decentralized interactive tasks of the app, like ownership of NFTs and tokens, payment tasks like selling/Buying items or payouts, and other unique features that you plan to add.
There are many blockchains that web3 companies use, where Ethereum and Ethereum-based blockchains are the most frequently used.
The key constraints when choosing a blockchain are —
- Trust: it is best to go for widely accepted blockchains that your users can trust instead of obscure ones.
- Community Work: A network may not have the direct implementation of tokens and on-chain technologies like oracles that you plan to use on your app
- Gas-Fees: Every transaction on the blockchain costs a fee, and it is best that it is negligent to have a seamless experience.
Ethereum has been the pioneer of web3 development since it came out with its concept of smart contracts and the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine). The Ethereum ecosystem provides a large number of community projects and standards that can help you jumpstart your development. OpenZeppelin provides you with a security code for most ERC standards.
Polygon is an Ethereum scaling blockchain that provides the same features as Ethereum while reducing gas fees. Many big companies, like 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 volume. Orca Defi and Phantasia use Solana as their blockchain of choice.
The web3 development sphere has a lot of potential but is currently in its infancy stage. Many things are changing in this sphere, and it is the best opportunity to create a startup.
For the front end, you can use ReactJS or use the feature-packed optimized version of React JS, i.e., NextJS. The backend is completely based on your preference, so choose what you are comfortable with the most.
Choosing the blockchain heavily depends on the task you want to achieve and if the blockchain supports that. Ethereum and Ethereum-based blockchains are commonly used and already have a lot of projects on-chain that you may need.
With this new-age tech stack in mind, you can start developing your idea.