Category: Storj (SJCX)

ETHWaterloo Hackathon Second Place Winner for Storj Challenge: BIT



Background

The Basic Identity Token (BIT) team participated in the recent ETHWaterloo hackathon, winning second place with their entry in our Storj Challenge competition, which was part of this hackathon. This blog will share some background on the BIT team and the app they built on top of Storj.

BIT’s inspiration is to increase accessibility to blockchain-based DApps

This year’s ETHWaterloo Hackathon ran from October 13-15. Here, four young hackers from the Waterloo region met up to form the BIT team, aiming to build an awesome app for the Storj Hackathon challenge. The team brought together people from diverse backgrounds – two University of Waterloo students: Jonathan Tsang (a computer science major with experience in game and web development) and Kaustav Haldar (a psychology major with a keen interest in ethereum solidity and blockchain applications), and two software engineers: Eddy Guo (interested in Node.js and Javascript programming) and Steve Veerman (CTO of Flexfinity, with experience in marketing and IT consulting). After some general discussions to refine their approach, the BIT team conceptualized the integration of identity into blockchain applications, namely decentralized apps (DApps).

BIT allows users to easily access DApps

BIT makes DApps more consumer-friendly by providing access to the apps through their Facebook login. This simplification is the key to making blockchain-based platforms like Storj and Toshi accessible to the average person, who is likely unfamiliar with the complexities of blockchain technology. The BIT DApp login process automatically associates a user-provided wallet address with an identity token, which BIT generates by verifying the user´s identity through personal information from their Facebook profile.

One advantage of using BIT is that it contributes to reducing distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and spam by using Ethereum’s core blockchain technology. This can best be explained by comparing this process to how we currently surf the internet. Users can access any website on the internet by entering the URL in a browser to render the web page. Malicious users may want to hinder traffic on sites by performing a DDoS attack, resulting in an overload of the web server which may lead to a crash of the site. Traditional websites are vulnerable to such attacks because they lack identity authentication to validate who is a legitimate user versus a spammer or user with malicious intent. BIT, on the other hand, allows decentralized websites and apps to integrate identity validation, eliminating the threat of DDoS attacks.

BIT technological stack includes Storj

BIT is built primarily using JavaScript and Node.js, and leverages smart contracts written in Solidity. The BIT team also implemented a variety of libraries, such as Storj’s node bindings library and Toshi’s “headless bot client”.

BIT helps user retention with DApps

Blockchain and virtual token-based ecosystems are growing at an astonishing rate. However, the current barrier to entry is too high for a non-technical mainstream user, as this innovative technology based on complex cryptographic concepts is not easily assimilated. Regardless, many people rush into the space with little technical knowledge and can easily get discouraged from further participating. BIT removes this obstacle by providing people access to DApps via authentication, resulting in high user retention when using BIT-enabled DApps.

BIT authenticates user identity information

BIT prides itself to be very user-friendly. On almost any internet connected device, one can already connect to Facebook. BIT prompts the user to input an ERC20 compatible wallet address and then requests access to their personal information from their Facebook account. If approved, the user can access DApps like Storj, and gain access to perform actions within the app, such as uploading a file.

With BIT, people can take full advantage of blockchain technology using only a Facebook account. As shown by the BIT experimental fe…

This article was originally published on: The Storj Blog on