Client

Based in the UK, the client is a private company that delivers mobile applications to industries such as sports, gaming, entertainment, and fashion.

Background

The demand for non-fungible tokens significantly increased since their emergence in 2014. With the view to fill a niche and gain a competitive advantage, a lot of businesses turned to NFT marketplaces. Aiming to generate revenue, many digital content creators worldwide also registered on respective platforms to sell 3D models, animated GIFs, images, and other items.
At some point, the organization saw the opportunity to build an NFT marketplace that would allow brands and individual token owners to provide users with a game-changing experience. However, the company did not have expertise in web and blockchain development.

Project goal

The client wanted to develop an NFT marketplace powered by Tron blockchain that would enable content creators to mint and trade tokens, as well as generate comprehensive analytics reports. Since the company targeted global markets, it searched for scalability, high availability, fault tolerance, and performance.

Project duration

6.5 months

Team

3 frontend developers, 3 backend developers, 2 blockchain developers, a UI/UX designer, 3 quality assurance engineers, a project manager, a business analyst.

Technologies

TypeScript, React, Redux, Redux-Saga, Web 3.0, Tron, TRON Virtual Machine (TVM), Solidity, Python, Django, Django Channels, Celery, Node.js, Express.js, D3.js, AWS, Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, Elasticsearch, Amazon Rekognition content moderation API, WebSockets, RabbitMQ, Redis, Memcached, InterPlanetary File System (IPFS), WalletConnect API, MongoDB, PostgreSQL.

Solution

case study, features of the NFT marketplace

Issues resolved due to business analysis

  1. In some cases, transaction commissions on blockchain—charged as a compensation for using the computing energy required to process transactions—can be enormous. Therefore, it may be unprofitable to develop and manage an NFT marketplace. In addition, to engage users and prevent churn, an NFT marketplace app had to provide high transaction speed.
    With the goal to minimize fees, our team suggested the client to create an NFT marketplace on Tron, which generally charges zero commission for the majority of transactions.
    By making the solution on Tron blockchain, our software engineers were able to achieve high transaction speed. For instance, while Bitcoin can process up to 6 transactions per second, Ethereum — up to 25, Tron has a capacity for handling hundreds and even a few thousands of transactions per second.
  2. Before making an online NFT marketplace, it was essential to identify which non-fungible token standard would align with end-user expectations.
    TRC-721 and TRC-1155 are two NFT standards that can be used by software experts when building an online NFT marketplace. TRC-721 allows digital content authors to make a single NFT that cannot be duplicated by a third party. TRC-1155, in turn, is a multi-token standard that lets token owners create as many of the same NFTs as they want to.
    To choose an NFT standard that would meet user preferences, we researched the audience’s goals and analyzed the top six NFT marketplaces selling digital collectibles. Finally, our software experts advised the company to use TRC-1155, since it does not impose limitations to releasing a certain number of NFTs. Furthermore, TRC-1155 corrects implementation errors of its counterpart.
    case study, features of the NFT marketplace
  3. As non-fungible tokens are held on the blockchain open network, third parties can access and use them in their own NFT marketplaces. Managed by smart contracts that have no connection with the initial platform, these NFT marketplaces may not pay royalties to digital content creators.
    So, there is no guarantee that authors will receive pledged remuneration. To address these issues, it is possible to write smart contracts that would prevent anyone from taking out NFTs and using them in other marketplaces. However, consumers may feel unhappy when being forced to buy the same NFTs from a single app only. Thus, it was important to choose a business model that would satisfy all stakeholders.
    In order to find the best model, our team started out by analyzing the goals of the target audience. Our software experts revealed that token owners had rather a positive attitude towards having their works distributed across different NFT marketplaces. Although digital content creators realized that they might not receive royalties, they saw the opportunity to get additional profit from NFT sales on other platforms and increase recognition.
    As a result, our business analyst and product owner arrived at the conclusion that the best way would be to allow for taking NFTs out of the network and including them in other online marketplaces. Thanks to this, the client managed to fulfill the user needs.
  4. Aiming to attract users from all over the world and gain a competitive advantage, the organization needed to enable online payments via multiple crypto wallets accepting TRX (Tronix).
    Our team advised the company to use WalletConnect, which enables users to connect a variety of cryptocurrency wallets, including Trust Wallet, Huobi Wallet, imToken, and TokenPocket. With this solution, the client did not have to integrate numerous wallet APIs into an NFT marketplace, this way reducing expenses and time to market.
    On top of that, our software experts integrated the API of TronLink, the most popular e-wallet for Tron-powered solutions.
    case study, features of the NFT marketplace

Technical issues addressed by our engineers

  1. An online NFT marketplace would potentially serve users around the globe and list thousands of items, involving heavyweight interactive images. This way, it was essential to achieve stable, uninterrupted performance. However, carrying out even simple activities (token search, adding tokens to wishlists, etc.) on the blockchain network was time-consuming and expensive.
    Our software experts created two identical NFT marketplaces and enabled synchronization between them. Building the first marketplace on Tron blockchain, we developed the second platform as a common web app using technologies such as React, TypeScript, Python, and Django.
    While a blockchain-powered marketplace serves for recording and verifying transactions, a web marketplace allows users to perform the necessary activities, for instance, quick search for digital collectibles, add them to their wishlists, subscribe to favorite authors. When a transaction is confirmed, it is also recorded in the web version of an NFT marketplace.
    To provide synchronization between the two platforms, our team used Celery to create workers that regularly check all changes and make data updates (i.e., the replenishment of a content author’s account after NFT sales, transfer of intellectual property rights) if needed. This way, relying on the data stored on the blockchain database, workers ensure information relevance in the web NFT marketplace.
  2. As the company targeted global markets, a web NFT marketplace—a copy of a blockchain-powered app—had to maintain a continuously growing number of visitors and withstand heavy loads.
    Our team developed an NFT marketplace as a set of loosely coupled services, each created around a critical business task or process, for example, token search, listing management, and analytics. For this purpose, we used Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has all the necessary tooling to meet the client’s needs. With Elastic Load Balancing available in the AWS, our marketplace developers set up auto scaling of computing resources.
    Using RabbitMQ, our software engineers enabled asynchronous communication between multiple services, this way minimizing server response time. By employing Memcached and Redis, we managed to improve page load speed.
  3. It was crucial to enable NFT marketplace operators to generate comprehensive analytics reports. As the company strove to meet business-specific needs and enforce data privacy, it was looking to build a custom solution. Additionally, since the platform would process massive arrays of data, high availability and fault tolerance were priorities.
    By using Node.js and Express.js, our software engineers delivered a data analytics microservice with data stored in MongoDB. This way, even if the module fails, users will still be able to perform the required actions on an NFT marketplace platform.
    Employing D3.js and Elasticsearch, our software experts worked out a data visualization dashboard to analyze a variety of metrics. Thanks to this, NFT marketplace owners can generate reports providing information on:
    • price changes
    • sales volume for any period
    • most popular non-fungible tokens
    • the number of subscriptions for each content creator
    • lifetime value
    • bounce rate
    • customer satisfaction
    With a proprietary solution tailored to its specific needs, the organization managed to enforce data privacy around its business.
  4. As long as an online NFT marketplace would store images, GIFs, memes, and other items, it was important to prevent authors from publishing offensive content. However, human moderators would unlikely be able to review millions of collectibles in a speedy fashion. This, in turn, might lead to a poor user experience and a loss of a brand reputation.
    Our software developers recommended the client to enable automatic content moderation powered by artificial intelligence (AI). For this purpose, we researched the ten leading solutions to find an API that would comply with the company’s business needs and budget.
    Finally, our software experts decided to integrate Amazon Rekognition content moderation API that uses machine learning to detect offensive or inappropriate content containing nudity, violence, drug use, suggestiveness, disturbing images.

Features

Our software engineers built an NFT marketplace app that contains three modules, each providing functionality for content authors, customers, and platform operators (the client).

Features for NFT creators:

  1. Registration and authorization via a cryptocurrency wallet
  2. Listing creation
  3. Notifications
  4. Online payments
  5. Reports (sales volume for different periods, the number of token views, etc.)

Functionality for customers:

  1. Registration and authorization via a cryptocurrency wallet
  2. NFT and author search
  3. Shop window
  4. Wish lists
  5. Online payments
  6. Notifications

An admin panel for NFT marketplace owners:

  1. User behavior analytics
  2. Payment tracking
  3. Data visualization and reporting
  4. Listing management
  5. Commission management
  6. AI-based content moderation
case study, features of the NFT marketplace

Result

Cooperating with Arateg, the organization built an online NFT marketplace on Tron blockchain. Using an advanced analytics module, the company can generate reports on sales volume, most popular tokens, lifetime value, bounce rate, and other metrics. By integrating the WalletConnect API, the client provided the possibility to connect multiple crypto wallets, this way increasing the audience’s engagement.
Thanks to a microservices architecture, the firm laid out the foundation for scalability, high availability, and fault tolerance. Employing an AI-based content moderation solution, the organization saved staff costs while improving the user experience.
With an NFT marketplace application, the client was able to attract more than 20,000 registered members. At the moment, the company collects feedback from NFT owners and customers to formulate the work scope for the next product version.

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