ANU #16 — Ritchie Release and Product Development Overview
AppCoins News Update, or ANU for short, is a regular bi-weekly update by the AppCoins team. As usual, we are going to cover dev updates, market reports, team members and upcoming events. This week’s focus is on the Ritchie Release, and on the product developments of the protocol that has taken place since the ICO finished.You may expect the next ANU on the 29th August.
The team has been:
- Working to have a new billing system ready for developers to integrate
- Developing the Unity plugin that integrates the billing system for Unity app developers
- Enabling credit card payments with notarisation of payments in the Blockchain for posterior validation (if needed)
- Upgrading our Smart Contracts to improve efficiency and costs
From our perspective, there are two main drivers for developers and user adoption of the AppCoins Protocol. For the former, having a working billing system very similar to the one they use the most — Google Play Billing System — is key because it enables us to say that building a new version of an already existing app is as easy as changing a few variable names. For the latter, being able to use existing and already known payment methods is crucial to shatter the friction that exists in having to create an Ethereum wallet, buying ETH with fiat currency, and converting the ETH to APPC. If a user can pay for in-app items with a credit card, as many already do now, the adoption friction almost disappears.
Usually, if a disrupting technology works the same way for the end user as existing, competing technologies do, the adoption rate is greatly increased.
As an AppCoins integrator, Aptoide is developing BDS, the Blockchain Distribution Services (BDS) portal, that eases the life of developers, app stores, and OEMs. You can already access it here. Developers can already create accounts, upload their apps with the billing system integrated, create and edit in-app items details, and have access to a vast array of dashboards.
The team working on BDS portal just released the beta version of the BDS Billing System with the AppCoins Wallet last Friday. This means that developers can start integrating it now and build their apps on top of the AppCoins Protocol. The Unity plugin will be released together with the Ritchie release, which will open the BDS Billing System to Unity app developers.
In addition, the credit card payments in the AppCoins Wallet is currently under development. The idea is to have users paying with their credit cards and have the amount paid converted into APPC, to then pay developers and app stores with it. Moreover, since credit card payments are done off-chain, i.e. they aren’t stored in the Blockchain and the AppCoins Protocol isn’t automatically aware of them, the AppCoins team is developing what we call Off-chain Payments Notarisation. This means that we are periodically aggregating off-chain payments, building a Merkle Tree out of them, and publishing its root hash, together with a few other parameters, to the Blockchain. We’ll expose an authenticated API to those outputs from transactions done for a given wallet. This API can be used by developers to validate that the Merkle Tree’s root hash sent to the Blockchain is indeed computed from those transactions that they are entitled to. If they also want to save the transactions done from their apps, they can even compare if the output of our API yields the same results.
Following last month’s performance table with the KPIs of the protocol performance, on this ANU we have collected the values from July, regarding both flows using AppCoins, IAP and User Acquisition, the number of apps downloaded with the integration of AppCoins as well as indicators from the SDK, as the table below shows.
Stay tuned for news in the next few weeks. Great things will happen!
As always, you’re invited to follow our work regarding all of the products we’re working on:
- ASF Wallet (Aptoide & Google Play)
- AppCoins Wallet (Aptoide & Google Play)
- ASF SDK
- ASF Unity Plugin
- BDS Billing System integration guide
At the time of writing, the current market cap is close to $10,16 M USD, with $467,94 K USD in volume in the last 24 hours across these exchanges: BiteBTC (48.92%), Huobi (25,81%), Binance (25,04%) and HitBTC (0,23%).
During the past two weeks AppCoins has suffered a currency depreciation as well as the whole cryptocurrency market. This might be related to the postponed BTC ETF decision from SEC. Since the last ANU, APPC value has witnessed a high of $0.154 USD on Aug 7th, and a low of $ 0.0799 USD on Aug 14th. You can see more info about APPC markets at Coinmarketcap.
Name: Fábio Vital
Role: Unity Developer
Bio: Fábio works as Unity Developer for AppCoins. He is helping the team to develop and mantain the plugin that facilitates unity game developers to integrate Appcoins IAB and Appcoins POA to their games.
On this ANU we will be focusing on the product development of the protocol and analyse what has been done since the ICO has finished. Regarding the development of the protocol and its implementation, the team has since been working on several releases, as it will be presented below.
On the first months of the year, the team worked on the definition of the scope covering the three main flows: in-store advertising, in-app purchase with tokens and reputation building, and defining the smart contracts algorithm along with structuring the blockchain data. The team also searched and tested tools and functionalities considered to be relevant for the AppCoins protocol. The tools that were tested are Microraiden and Casper FFG. Microraiden is the simplified version of the Raiden Network and can be used to perform off-chain transactions between predetermined peers (many-to-one approach) and the Casper project is especially important as it’s directly related to sharding, which will enable Ethereum to scale its TPS and become a better solution in the crypto space.
On the 21st March, we launched the “Neumann Release” which refers to the open source reference implementation of libraries, command line tools and SDK for AppCoins developers. From there, the team started working on what will be our next big release: the “Gosling Release”. The dev team has developed the ASF Wallet Alpha 1, 2, and 3 — the latter being known as the “Gosling Release”. On this release the smart contract was deployed in the main network, whereas before it had only been available on the Ropsten (test) network. This allowed the developers to monetise using APPC with real monetary value. Another one of the main goals of this release was to improve the speed of the transactions in order to deliver the best in-app experience when buying in-app items.
Right after delivering the ASF Wallet 3, the team started working on the “Knuth Release” which was launched on June 16th. The main focus here was to improve the scalability issue, which is commonly shared by many other projects that are built on top of the Ethereum network or other blockchains. During this release the team worked on a prototype to showcase scalable in-app purchases. This allowed users to be able to pay for in-app items without having to wait too long for transactions to finish, and, more importantly, without having to pay high transaction fees. To address this issue, the team experimented with MicroRaiden technology, since transactions done within payment channels are off-chain transactions, and therefore are faster and have no fees. Hence, a new wallet was created with this new feature, the payment channel for faster and fee-less transactions.
Currently the team is working on the “Ritchie Release”, which is focused on the roll out of the IAP and Advertising flows on the Aptoide App Store, making this new payment available for over 200 million users. Including the creation of a credit card feature that will speed the payments. Stay tuned for this release on the 2nd of September!
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ANU #16 — Ritchie Release and Product Development Overview was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.