So yesterday was a really proud day for me as we shipped StarAtlas.Exchange to the public. It was the culmination of over three weeks of work by SAIAdao/IA members and myself, and I couldn’t be more proud. I wanted to get it live before the town hall with the Star Atlas team, and was a bit worried that we were going to demo the site with some broken functionality, but we had a couple of fortunate breakthroughs and were able to ship the site completely working and bug free!
The idea came together over the past few weeks as I started putting some tooling in place for my own personal use. We had started off trying to track the price of SAIAdao’s NFT assets and discovered that there wasn’t any simple way to get the price data into our spreadsheet. So we stood up our own Serum price history module in an EC2 instance and used that API to feed into a Google Sheet in which we had been collecting asset market and mint addresses. I figured out that I could build some charts with it as well and that this would be valuable to some people, and by then we had figured that we would just roll our own Serum front end for it and make trade fees off of it.
I had to pick up a lot of stuff to get this up and running. I’d done some React tutorials a few weeks ago so that helped, and I’ve used EC2 before as well. Wrapping my head around how Solana and Serum works has been a huge challenge though, and the long build times that our codebase has made testing changes and troubleshooting very difficult.
Solana’s public RPC issues have also been very problematic. Half the time we couldn’t tell whether our code had a bug or if there were network issues. Settlement in particular wasn’t working during nearly the entire development process, and then just magically started working early yesterday morning. We’ve had inconsistencies with trade execution and wallet operations as well, but some careful testing yesterday told us that our problems were likely due to indexing slowness via the Project Serum API. Thankfully we got the hookup from GenesysGo yesterday and now have our own private API endpoint that we can use.
And let me just say how amazing AWS Amplify is. Webhooks on our Github repositories trigger automatic rebuilds which are deployed to Cloudflare CDNs within minutes. It’s really amazing.
I’m really impressed how quickly things came together yesterday. We got the domain setup, images and branding updated and got a lot of support by IA and even some members of the IA community. One of our dao members was able to bring it to Star Atlas’s CEO during the town hall and we got confirmation that our efforts aren’t going to be thwarted by the team.
I’ve been busy making improvements today as well, trying to shore up our backend infrastructure and get analytics running so we can tell who’s using the site. The good news is that we can see the referral fees rolling into our USDC wallet already. It’s going to take a lot more for us to reach profitability though, but we’re in a good position to reap some serious rewards once the SA mini-game launches and people start earning in game assets.