Jan 28, 2022

Citizen Action in Web3

Experience Summary: A 6-month web3 exploration for pooling assets together.

What Was The Challenge?

I wanted to do a side-project in web3, and I also wanted to do something against the unjust wave of hateful legislation that the United States was going through in 2021. So I designed a web application in my spare time, and got to build it with a budding developer.

The dApp had to obviously connect to MetaMask and WalletConnect targets, but we wanted an efficient way to handle a lot of data. We had subscribed to an API that fetched congressional bills statuses at the state and federal level, so we had to ingest a lot of data points mostly about status updates for a given bill.

We designed our API endpoints to support this and implemented PubNub for real-time comments. In order to keep the comments clean, we implemented moderation but also partnered with BrightID to verify users as humans. Verified users would get their own timeline of comments, separate from unverified ones.

On top of handling the design of the dApp end-to-end, I also designed the progress status map to mimic the way subway stops are shown, so that users would understand the sequential nature of the steps, and the bifurcation of something that is passed vs. vetoed.

Users were able to track bills to quickly follow/access them, as well as search and propose strategies for each bill.

The main challenge would be to set an amount of pooled Ethereum to be executed, permissionless, after voting on a strategy for citizen action.

That Burning Question

We quickly realized that simply pooling money together was not going to raise awareness for a cause or legislative bill. So if let's say a group of people agree on running an ad campaign on Twitter or The New York Times, what is a permissionless payment? How can you run the strategy automatically so that the ad platform gets paid and can make the strategy happen?

This was where we left off, because there is a limit to what you can accomplish via an ads fulfillment API, and partnering with one platform to get custom workflows does not make for strategies you can implement across different use cases.

It was a great exercise and first foray into Web3, before I joined a crypto company.

See the figma file here.

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