Matt Moravec

@mattmoravec

Introducing Lucky NEO — An Open Source Cryptocurrency Raffle Project

Link to our dApp — Lucky NEO

The City of Zion open source group recently published a contest for dApps granting the winners 1350 GAS, or around $24k. 2 months ago I found 4 teammates through a Meetup group that I started in San Francisco and started a journey together towards a successful dApp submission. Our end goal was to create something that could be a resource to the community so others could understand the smart contract development process.

Our dApp is a raffle that lets anyone submit an entry using Gas to win the prize. Gas was a natural candidate as the submission vehicle given its role on the NEO network. The more NEO you stake, the more entry opportunities you’ll be able to create for yourself without giving up your NEO!

How it Works

Lucky NEO works by sending the contract hash whole numbers of GAS that you have. At the end of a two week period a winner is chosen at random. Total entries is currently capped at 1024 GAS.

Recap

We built one of the first dApps written in Python on any blockchain anywhere! Being able to write these decentralized applications in Python made dApp programming so much more accessible, as we’ve had some experience writing Python applications in school and work.

Our experience writing the application on the NEO blockchain was challenging at times. Neo-Python, the Python library we used to write the dApp, is still in an Alpha state. Many thanks to the libraries’ developer, a coder by the pseudonym localhuman, who was incredibly helpful to us through the City of Zion slack group and Github page. The supportive and knowledgeable community is a big reason why we chose to build for the NEO blockchain.

One of our observations from diving into this space are the tools and developer environments are silo’d and nuanced for their respective networks. This is still a nascent space from a developer perspective and there aren’t a lot of shared resources to help people get started. I expect after this contest there will be a lot more open source content to help developers get started coding on the NEO network.

Top 3 Learnings

  1. The decentralized application ecosystem is still in its infancy. The tools available today are all in alpha state and are changing rapidly. This makes it a fun space to be in and very volatile. Check out awesome-neo for a list of the great tools available in the NEO ecosystem
  2. Opportunities are endless: we had to settle on one idea out of the hundreds that we had as a team. Ultimately we chose simple functionality for our first dApp to make sure we had something to submit.
  3. Having a team of people to lean on was crucial at times. Our team of 5 plus all of the help we received on the City of Zion Slack is what helped us power to the finish line. With tooling being in alpha stages having multiple problem solvers together in a room was key.

Conclusions

We have submitted our app to the contest and are anxiously awaiting to hear about the results on November 26th. If we are a top 10 submission, we’ll win the GAS prize! If you are interested in building a dApp on the NEO blockchain, check out neo-python and the excellent resources that are hitting the open source ecosystem over the next couple of days.

Whats Next

We will be launching a web interface where you can interact with our smart contract and see the current status of the contest. We also want to get back to our original goal and create documentation to help out the community. Finally, we will continuously refactor and improve our smart contract as the supporting libraries continue to evolve.

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