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Showcase is a remarkable, mobile-first NFT marketplace, which was partly built by Rollout in a wide-ranging technical partnership. Here’s how it all looked from our perspective.

Our first deep venture into the cryptoverse

The founders of Showcase are serial entrepreneurs who have a track record of setting up successful crypto businesses. So Showcase hasn’t been their first rodeo, but it definitely is their first endeavour into the NFT space.

NFTs are all the rage now.

It has been one of the most hyped phenomena in tech last year, right up there with the advancements of AI and the general buzz about crypto. OpenSea is the most well known NFT marketplace, but new platforms open now almost on a weekly basis, as several businesses aim to find their niche in the space and carve their slice of the pie.

It’s impossible to know right now whether this technology will truly become the ultimate solution for the ownership of purely digital products, but it is an important step.

Moving forward in this direction, creating, selling and buying unique creative digital items can become more transparent, dynamic, available and easy for everyone.

Strengthening the relationship between creators and consumers

Showcase went for the support side of the special relationship between creators and consumers. They are building a digital tool that enables anyone to create their own NFT in the form of a ‘badge’. Badges can be ‘showcased’, hence the name, so they are tools for avid fans to express their support to the creator of the badge.

With an extra twist, a set percentage of the price goes towards a good cause, which is chosen by the artist, so there is a definite ‘social impact’ aspect in the product as well. The marketplace is powered by their own token, the SHO.

Showcase Rolling Out

The Showcase project has been a true highlight of summer 2021 for Rollout. The mission was to build a React native mobile app with the help of two developers, one backend specialist, with some project management and product ownership support.

We’ve provided the first addition to the Showcase team. Until this point, only the two founders worked on it so far, on the tech side. So it really has been a tight, intense technical partnership in which we helped a startup idea come alive.

So this was not a “team extension” setup: we provided a full project team to complete the challenges from both product and technical perspective.

One key aspect of the NFT space is that it’s so new that to buy an NFT is not a trivial task yet., Especially because of the regulations regarding the payments., and even more especially, on mobile.

Showcase has always been imagined as an easy to use smartphone app.

So creating a unique cryptocurrency for this reason could be a way to go.

Development went in two-week sprints, with our own Scrum setup utilizing several tools such us GitHub issues, GitHub Actions and Miro board.

This hasn’t simply been a technical execution. We’ve built online personas and brainstormed about target audiences, segmenting user groups. We’ve truly collaborated in the evolution of the product itself.

Not your average e-commerce app

Obviously, getting up to speed with people who’ve been living and breathing the blockchain for years took some time, but we managed, and the development itself has been quite straightforward. The system stack was a serverless Node backend, React Native mobile app, GraphQL API (with Appolo) and Typescript has been used everywhere. Because of the cross-platform React Native choice, the development and testing runs parallel for the iOS and Android platforms as well.

We’ve built the app from the ground up, complete with interesting social features between fans, and the option for the artists to join groups.

Badges can be bought in special bundles, enabling cooperation between artists. And of course, the users can trade with each other.

The novelty of the field provided most of the challenges. There are not many working examples out there yet, which means that the quality of the existing marketplaces is really varied. A lot of them are missing core, basic features, like push notifications. It’s still a new and dynamic space, and a hot topic!

The technology behind the app is not rocket science, but it’s still a far cry from your average shopping app. It’s a state-of-the-art NFT marketplace with extra features, and this is why we are grateful for the opportunity for showcasing, yet again, the steady combination of talent and reliability of Rollout, with providing a complete tech background for a unique startup, like Showcase.

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