On Sunday, August 27 at 11:00 PM Moscow time, the first hackathon of Minter was completed. The contest lasted for seven days, and all willing developers were asked to create ratings and profiles for the nodes of the project. As a result, eight works were presented. The winners received the following awards: 1st place won 3 ETH and 2nd place won 1 ETH. DeCenter talked to one of the contest participants, Nikolay Votintsev, who created the minter.live site overnight and received 1 Ether for the "elegant implementation" of the rating of validators.

On August 20, the hackathon of the Minter project started, where the developers had to create a MApp (off-chain Minter App), a microservice on the basis of the blockchain with a rating functionality and node profiles (console, explorer, wallet, verification service, acceptance of payments in cryptocurrency, etc.) What exactly determines a rating and how to make it was left up to the participants. The main thing was that a MApp had to be as simple as possible for the node operator to start or participate on the site.

Nikolay Votintsev is a scientist with a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences, and in the 2000s, he began to study programming and has been developing sites for 18 years. More than five years ago, the research assistant refused to work a regular job and became a freelancer, and expressed interest in the crypto industry. He learned about the hackathon from the channels of Minter and DeCenter. "I have long been subscribed to these communities. Periodically, I follow the developments in the project, but I cannot call myself an active user. Unfortunately, when they announced the hackathon, I was far from civilization and stable Internet. But on my return, I was in for some joyful news. The competition was extended, and I still had time to take part and create my own website."

Rating with the profiles of nodes became necessary for their evaluation because users launch their nodes and masternodes in a hurry and often do not have time to work out all the details. A MApp will provide an opportunity to better understand the participants of the community with the help of visual analysis tools, such as graphs, tables, and data.

Nikolay says that his site allows users to build a rating for nodes and allows validators to look at statistics on nodes and delegators. "My main interest in participating in this hackathon was personal. Earlier, I did not have time to understand the work of the network, to understand it in more detail, but I really wanted to. I believe that making a product as a developer is the best way to study a project. When I decided to take part, it was even difficult for me to understand the terminology of Minter: who are the validators and delegators, and what is the difference between the masternode and the node? I did not have much free time for the hackathon, in fact, just one day. Before starting to implement the project, it was necessary to obtain theoretical knowledge about Minter. Here, it is necessary to pay tribute to the network development team, they provided excellent documentation, and its availability allowed me to make the project quickly. By the evening, I had understood the fundamentals of Minter, and by the morning, after several liters of coffee, the first version of the site was ready."

At the hackathon, every participant chose the principles of building analytics and ratings themselves. The developers demonstrated the indicators of the masternode stake, the number of delegators, and their data with the help of various tools for a visual demonstration of the subject. Nikolay Votintsev made an emphasis on participants who trust their coins with validators. "I had to decide on which parameters and characteristics to build the rating of validators. The ratings that existed at the time as a sorting characteristic used the sum of funds delegated to the masternode. I thought it would be interesting to rank by the number of delegators who entrusted their coins to the validator. In theory, each delegator, before transfer funds, assesses the validator, the total amount can be easily increased at the expense of the owner's personal funds, so I think my rating is very representative."

The main page of the minter.live site
The main page of the minter.live site. Source.

The programming language was also chosen by each participant of the hackathon independently. Nikolay used for the frontend, which is the client side of the user interface to the hardware and software part of the service, JavaScript Framework Nuxt.js; for the backend, which is the software and hardware part of the service, he opted for PHP Framework Laravel. "The use of reactive JavaScript allowed us to make the project "alive," hence the name minter.live. The update occurs without reloading the page, so the choice was made in favor of Nuxt.js. For the backend, Node.js was originally planned, but Minter has a pretty good SDK for PHP, but SDK for Node.js is still inferior to it in terms of functionality. So the choice was made in favor of PHP."

Another feature of Nikolay’s site is the display of individual data of network users. To quickly recognize the delegator or validator, an avatar was created based on the public key and address, so each platform participant receives an original color image that does not repeat with other user avatars. "This function is useful for those site users who will try to track where and with whom to delegate their funds. Human perception is arranged so that random combinations of numbers and letters used in the addresses and public keys of the Minter network, which are meaningless for consciousness, are very poorly remembered. Images, even random ones, on the contrary, are easily remembered. Therefore, when a user views dozens of validators, they will easily notice duplicate images and can match them with an alphanumeric hash. And, conversely, when viewing delegators, the user will be able to easily identify the validators of interest to him. Of course, at this stage in the development of the network, the benefits of this function are not so obvious."

Individual information about each validator
Individual information about each validator with a unique avatar is required for rapid analysis of ongoing transactions in a large-scale network. Source.

Information about each user can be entered and edited. To do this, click on the icon and click "Edit," then correct the data and enter the address of your wallet.

"The validator has the opportunity to indicate additional information about themselves. At the moment, it's only a site and a link to the channel on Telegram. The main question was how the site could verify the right to enter information about the validator. This responsibility has been completely transferred to the Minter network. The idea is that to confirm the editing rights, the user must send a transaction of any amount from the address of the owner of the validator in the Minter network to the address specified by my site, while the transaction should be given a 128-bit operation key also provided by my site. Changes will be made only if all the conditions are the same. Thus, it was possible to use the network as an identification tool and a site monetization channel. I do not need to store logins and passwords, ask for confirmation of ownership of the node, worry about theft of credentials, password recovery, or 2FA authorizations. All of this is solved by a single transaction through Minter."

On September 1, the Minter project launched a second hackathon, which is aimed at developing the exchange. After all, the processes of exchanging or purchasing coins in the network are laid in the main code, but there are several important points where added functionality is needed in the MApp (Minter App) for microservices. For example, searching for the most active coins and analyzing price charts, or placing orders for specific events, not necessarily even those related to price changes. For maximum convenience, the entrance to the exchange can be supported by a decentralized bank of validators, that is, the user casts Bitcoins, Ethers, or any other cryptocurrencies and receives BIP immediately on the exchange (the Minter team is responsible for the functionality).

Nikolay Votintsev does not know yet whether he will take part in the second hackathon because working with the exchange and creating platforms takes a lot of his time. "I want to continue upgrading my site in a more relaxed rhythm, optimizing speed and adding graphs, as the platform is ready for this. And, probably, I will participate in the second hackathon. We must remember that the implementation of the exchange is a complicated business, first of all, from the point of view of security and legal responsibility."

The second hackathon will last until September 15. Minter does not assign specific tasks. The whole process is absolutely creative and everyone is given the opportunity to create such an exchange that, in their opinion, will be most convenient and efficient. The developers of the project advise not to forget about the API, because the exchange will be connected with third-party services, for example, wallets. It should be remembered that it is best to indicate the prices in U.S. dollars. In the testnet, for clarity, one MNT is estimated at $.01. The choice of the programming language is also up to the developers. The awards for the best two projects are 10 ETH for 1st place, and 5 ETH for 2nd place.