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Tag: typescript

Building a Payment System for the Ethereum Blockchain

Over the past few years, I’ve oriented the content of this blog towards engineering management and tech leadership, and consequently, I haven’t written anything purely technical for a while. Some of my most technical article series ended up finding a large audience, namely Implementing a Key-Value Store, and Coding for SSDs, and it now feels like it’s been an eternity since I wrote them.

Crypto protocols have made a serious dent in the tech space, and even more so over the past couple of years, often referred to as a whole as crypto or web3 technologies. With my personal commitment to keep upskilling myself, I have decided to make it a top priority for me to understand how blockchain technology was built and operated, and what kinds of businesses and product experiences this technology could enable in the long term.

I decided to build something basic yet complex enough that it would force me to interact with blockchain data in interesting ways. Because token transactions and crypto payments are simplest interactions on the blockchain, I settled on building a payment system.

Therefore in this series of articles, I will be sharing how I implemented a fully-functional payment system on top of the Ethereum blockchain, with the following features:

  1. Managing a list of products and time-bound subscriptions. Allowing for coupons and whitelistings.
  2. Displaying the current and past purchased products for a user.
  3. Guiding users through payment transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, by connecting their Ethereum wallets.
  4. Handling complex situations of network and service disruptions, to prevent double payments, avoid hanged transactions, and cover all other edge cases. This is mostly done by making all operations idempotent and idempotency keys.
  5. Monitoring the Ethereum blockchain to verify that payments for a particular product has been received.
  6. Once payment has been received, allowing paid users to access the private parts of a website by signing on with their Ethereum wallet to authenticate.

Launching Sidenote 🚀

If there’s one lesson that 2020 has taught me, it’s the value of focusing on opportunities rather than lamenting myself on what is not possible or what was taken away. I took advantage of the quarantine to go back to coding on a regular basis during my free time, and in the process I learned about TypeScript, Node.js, and MongoDB.

When I took a more managerial path early 2016, my focus naturally switched towards organizational topics. I must admit it did feel that my tech chops were slowly getting rusty, and I knew I had to do something about it. So when the first quarantine started, I set a simple goal for myself: to code for at least three hours per week. I actually tracked the time I spent on it to hold myself accountable, and I did hold onto it.

Today, after more than one hundred hours of coding and learning spent between April and November 2020, I am super proud to announce that I am launching an MVP for Sidenote.me, a web app to take timestamped notes on videos. If you’re reading this post until here, it would mean the world to me if you gave it a try just for a minute and then posted your feedback in the comments section below. And if you like it, talk about it on your favorite social media.

By the way, I’m going to be posting on this tech blog again very soon, about engineering and leadership topics. Subscribe to my newsletter below for fresh articles.

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