Substrate Builders Program Milestone #1 Achieved


It’s been three long months, but we’re excited to finally announce that we have achieved Milestone #1 of Parity’s Substrate Builder’s program. This program sponsored by Parity, the developers of the Polkadot blockchain, allows projects that are building Substrate-based blockchains, applications, or ecosystem components to receive support for technical challenges, strategy, and ecosystem building from Parity’s extensive experience and resources.

We’re proud to be one of over 50 projects that has been accepted into the Substrate Builders Program, which lets us receive support from Parity Technologies on both our technical as well as community roadmaps, and support in setting predetermined milestones to achieve our goals and launch our project.

As part of the Builder’s Program, we have recently completed Milestone #1, which includes the following accomplishments:

  1. Launching our own Parachain

We converted our standalone Substrate blockchain to a Parchain using the Cumulus framework and the Nimbus consensus extensions.

  1. Adopting the Diem Standard Library for compatibility with Pontem

Compatibility issues arose while adopting the new standard library, which we solved by restricting some functions and creating some Pontem-only related functions.

  1. Implementing collator staking

After launching the Parachain, Parachain collator staking - similar to Moonbeam and Moonriver - was implemented.

  1. Implementing an alpha for Bridge

After being advised to implement an alpha version of Bridge between Pontem Network and Diem, Pontem chose to implement alpha versions of Bridge contracts that can later be integrated with ChainBridge.
Along with these major accomplishments, we were also able to update all of our environments to the latest version of Move VM, including tools, VM WASM, and Pallet.

We were also able to successfully set up and run our own Relay Chain during the launch of our parachain, which we then connected to the Parachain. Other, smaller accomplishments include updating our documentation and releasing a bootstrap docker compose for validators.

We’re already looking forward to MIlestone 2, and we have already started progress on some aspects like governance, treasury, and xcmp. Our plan is to start working heavily on Milestone #2 in the coming days after starting with integration and runtime tests. Our main goal is to be ready to become a Parachain on Kusama in the near future.

Ultimately, we’re working towards the goal of being a permissionless, experimentation testnet for the Facebook-backed Diem blockchain, and we are excited to head into the next milestone. If you are interested in learning more, you can visit our website, find us on Twitter, as well as join our Telegram chat.

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  1. Blockchain fees. Most NFTs are issued on the Ethereum blockchain, where you have to pay for gas. NFT minting involves a complex smart contract and thus requires a lot more gas than simply sending crypto. Plus, the gas has been very expensive in the past few months, so you can expect to pay at least $50–100 in gas fees per NFT collection.
  2. Marketplace fees. While you can issue an NFT on your own, it will be hard to promote it and find buyers. That’s why most creators work with NFT marketplaces like OpenSea and Rarible. And while minting NFTs on OpenSea is technically gasless and free, there is a gas fee to initialize a seller account and accept a bid from a buyer — expect to pay around $150 in total. On Rarible, the costs can exceed $600.
  • Facebook has almost 3 billion monthly active users, giving Diem the largest potential audience of any blockchain project on earth;
  • The stablecoin will probably get integrated into transactions on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp (shopping, paying for ads, sending money to friends etc.);
  • Facebook can afford to hire the best developers and marketers, so the execution and promotion will be top-notch;
  • Diem’s programming language, Move, is safe, flexible, and well-suited for writing smart contracts;
  • It should be possible to add third-party dApps to the Diem ecosystem — think of WeChat with its thousands of mini programs, but on blockchain.

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