To build and manage a team working on a decentralized application for online charity fundraising project targeted the crypto-oriented community.
RadiCards was created in November 2018 as the first charity ecard project built on the decentralised web. The aim was to organise an online charity fundraising event within the Ethereum ecosystem during the holiday season. We set out to support charitable organisations that fight for freedom around the world in the following areas:
Our research showed that compared with other options such as an embeddable donation button, an online auction or an art sale fundraiser, ecards were a better fit for our project for two reasons, universal acceptance and reciprocity.
Historically, an exchange of messages of goodwill can be traced back to the ancient Chinese and Egyptian cultures. It is considered to be one of the most universally accepted forms of greetings in many cultures, including for the birth of a child, a wedding or special holidays. Receiving and sending cards is also a reciprocal act. When one receives a greeting card from a friend or family member, one tends to send back a card in response to the sender and also send cards to other friends in the circle. This reciprocity is an organic way of rapidly scaling our user base.
Read more about the story behind RadiCards on hackernoon
We decided to build RadiCards based on the decentralised tech stack with a token standard for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) or ERC721.
This way, users have full control over the content and the choice of recipients, the donation amount and their privacy, while the system helps ensure that each donation arrives safely at the charity in the most transparent manner.
I believe that there is no one-size-fits-all workflow for projects. Good workflow must be specifically designed to optimise the process for a specific team in a specific context and should be flexible and robust enough to withstand improvements and upgrades along the way.
At the core of the design and development processes, RadiCards has fully embraced an open-source spirit with radical transparency at all stages. All of our codes are committed for review on a public repository, and all design updates are on a common design repository. We have adopted the Agile principle rather than the Waterfall methodology. It has allowed us to build, release and iterate quickly in a short amount of time.
Prior to our launch, no one had ever heard of crypto ecards. Therefore, the design challenge was immense. We had to first prioritise the main flow of the components. As this project set out to be a charity effort, should we let users choose the charity first or the design of the ecard first?
After talking to a few potential users, the vote was unanimous—it would feel more user-friendly if ‘money-related matters’ came later. Therefore, we decided to let the user choose the design first before picking the charity.
Another challenge was finding the easiest way to send the card. Since each card is an ERC721 token, the standard way would be to send the card to the Ethereum wallet address. However, we found that this method would be less intuitive for new crypto users and would create many frictions along the way.
We solved this problem in the first version by using the deep linking method. Every newly minted card is hosted on a URL extension that is attached to the message for the recipient. The card can then be viewed by just entering the link in the browser, even when the recipient does not have a web3 wallet installed.
deeplinking method in action
After an intense two and a half weeks of building, designing and hassling, we finally launched RadiCards on 5 December, 2018.
The feedback from the community was phenomenal. We were mentioned by the EFF and retweeted by Cory Doctorow and others. At the end of 2018, RadiCards had an opportunity to present at the Chaos Computer Club #35c3, one of the planet’s biggest and most important conferences for hackers.
As a result of a few weeks of hard work on a zero budget, we successfully helped raise about $7000 for charities, gained many new friends and introduced the world to the first-ever crypto ecard.