Creaton: Best use of Bucket APIs at ETHOnline

winners-circle Nov 13, 2020

Rounding out our Winners Circle series on Textile bounty and hackathon winners, we have Creaton. Creaton is a decentralized, permission-less platform for creators to host encrypted content that their supporters can gain access to via streaming stablecoin subscriptions. It leverages interesting smart contract features such as ERC20 "Creator" tokens, and Textile's Buckets APIs to provide permissioned access to encrypted content. Imagine a world where any content creator can capture value from their supporters without unnecessary middlemen or centralized services!

For ETHOnline, Textile challenged hackers come up with innovative ways to use Buckets to host and exchange paid goods. In particular, we were looking for projects that pushed the boundaries of digital content distribution both in terms of "traditional" digital content (videos, art, writing, etc) and emering NFTs and related "crypto-native" digital assets. The Creaton team delivered, on both fronts!

The Creaton project is a group effort, with team members from all over the place. To capture the dynamics of the team, they responded to our questions individually, and as a group. Check out what they had to say:

Where are you from?

  • Alex: San Diego, USA
  • Matt: Los Angeles, USA
  • Sina: Toronto, Canada
  • Anmol: Hyderabad, India

How did you get interested in ETHOnline/Ethereum/IPFS?

Alex: I got interested in Ethereum in 2017 when my colleagues started trading altcoins, as a programmer I had to look into it and a year later I participated in my first hackathon!

Matt: I’ve been holding bitcoin since 2013 and learned to code in 2017 with the intention of helping to solve global problems with the decentralized web.

Sina: I first became familiar with blockchain space in 2014, since then I've done multiple related projects and internships. As a Cryptography student, I have always been enthusiastic about these technologies and decided to leverage ETHOnline to update myself on the recent developments.

Anmol: I came across IPFS while exploring distributed networking back in my college days of 2015. That followed with blockchains and cryptocurrency. 2017 was when I wrote my first smart contract on Ethereum. Was away for about 2 years, when I decided to explore IPFS/Filecoin back with HackFS and continuing to participate in the subsequent Hackathons.

What got you interested in Textile?

Anmol: I have been using Textile from HackFS days to quickly upload files on buckets, and store related metadata info on ThreadsDB to query them. During this project I got to use MailBox API and was indeed the very easy to setup and use. I believe the suite of tools that Textile provides has those key Web3 components necessary to build any Web3 application.

Sina: Textile provides a smooth way to interact with the IPFS protocol and record keeping our data without additional work on the development side. The mailboxes are a great way to send end-to-end messages between our users that helped us with key management.  Powergate also gives us the option to avoid setup costs of using Filecoin as we were planning to do initially. All these rendered Textile as a no-brainer tool to use in our application.

What pain point are you trying to solve with your hack?

Platforms like Patreon have been great for creators, but the fundamental problems with centralized patronage platforms is they are prone to data hacks, censorship, and rent-seeking. Additional problems include the large time intervals for subscribing to content creators which can deter supporters from subscribing, and rewarding long-time supporters can be difficult.

What is your solution?

Our solution is a completely decentralized content hosting platform where creators can host encrypted content, and subscribers can pay for it via a real-time payment stream using stablecoins. In addition to gaining access to the content, a pro-rata amount of a unique creator token is minted and streamed back to the supporter, which can be used to build community loyalty & reputation.

Why do you think developers/users might be interested in your project?

Sina: I think the most important feature of our application would be its censorship resistance. Users can share data with their followers, being sure that they will be rewarded for it and that no one has any authority over their data to edit or delete them.

Developers on the other side can look forward to our project as we are planning to publish more efficient key management protocols. This is currently an issue for almost all Dapps. Although the underlying data is stored in a decentralized fashion, the access control over that data is still done on some server. We are looking to use novel cryptographic schemes to overcome this problem.

What are you planning to work on next? Any side-projects or technologies or things you are learning you are particularly excited about?

Our plan is to keep working Creaton, integrate stablecoin streaming with Superfluid so supporters can subscribe to creators as long as they are streaming. We also want to use Filecoin so Powergate would be a great solution for that! In order to automate sending out decryption keys we will look at NuCypher. Then for the rest we want to utilize NTF's for content, so that creators can sell the rights of their content.

Where can people follow your work?

You can check out the project on GitHub, and follow them on Twitter!

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