In this article we provide a quick update on some of the main developments of Blockport in the past and coming weeks.
Testing Blockport 1.0 Beta
The last two weeks have been relatively quiet but very intensive for the Blockport development team. Since the Blockport application is decomposed into a collection of microservices that all have their own set of functionalities and responsibilities within the whole, it takes substantially more effort to properly test all functionalities and interdependencies. However, more time spent on testing will certainly pay off in the long run.
Read more about microservices here
We have been making great progress on testing the integration of all microservices and are now moving to the next phase where we will mostly be stressing the security and stability of the entire architecture. In this phase we are intensively collaborating with multiple cybersecurity companies that have a lot of experience with testing performance and security for financial services’ applications.
For instance, we are closely working with Bugcrowd who facilitate a global crowd of trusted security researchers that will help us in managing our upcoming bug bounty and responsible disclosure program. Together with Bugcrowd and several other cybersecurity companies, we are working hard to ensure a secure and stable product so that we can soon start on-boarding more users with confidence.
Next to assuring our system is secure and stable, we also focus our efforts on preparing our incident response strategy by mapping and standardizing all processes supporting our production readiness. ‘Production readiness’ is one of the concepts you hear often at Blockport, as it is the one thing that will allow our team to constantly improve, manage and repair our production services. You can think of relevant documentation, a great focus on automation of tasks, and eventually even something like ‘chaos engineering’.
Currently, there are around 20 participants that are extensively testing the beta. As many of you know, these testers are under NDA and cannot disclose any developments due to security reasons, which is in the best interest of Blockport and the community. The Blockport team confidently expects to increase the amount of testers over the next few weeks. Make sure to sign up for the waiting list if you have not done that already.
As many of you know, we have invested a lot of time and resources into the development of the beta. Therefore we chose to lower our marketing efforts during its private stage, since it is not very effective to promote a product that is not publicly available yet. However, since of this week we are driving our marketing efforts up again to work towards the public release of the Blockport 1.0 Beta.
Essentially, this means that we will gradually develop:
Strong brand awareness
Content of product and team developments
Relationships with potential partners in the blockchain or financial services market
In the past few months most of the big advertising platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc.) decided to implement stricter policies on crypto and blockchain related advertisements. Due to these radical changes in their advertising policies we had to adjust our marketing activities. We have run several tests to find out what kind of ads still perform well, so that we can utilise them in future campaigns.
Next to advertisement, the Blockport Beta Access Campaign has been set up last week and the exact details and launch date will soon be announced. Participating will give you the opportunity to claim access to our open beta and allows you to take a shot at winning additional BPT. We have allocated 25,000 BPT and got Blockport merchandise to reward our community participating in the campaign.
In line with the Blockport Beta Access Campaign, we will launch our Community Content of the Month contest, where we reward community members for creating quality content. More information on the structure of this contest will be published later this week.
Since a few weeks we have been conceptualising the Social Trading features with the product and design team. We started with interviewing members from our community to gather feedback and insights on how users would rate, rank and compare experienced “social” traders on our platform. In the coming weeks you can expect us to increase the involvement of the community even more by performing surveys and interviews. We already received a lot of valuable feedback in last week’s interviews, but if you wish to participate you can still sign up here. Thank you to everyone who helped us so far!
Team and organization
The Blockport team grew enormously in the past few months (mentally and physically) and therefore we are now actively searching for a bigger office where we can expand our team in a nice and comfortable environment. If you have any tips or suggestions in Amsterdam, please feel free to contact us!
Additionally, we noticed that managing 22 developers in one single team is a real challenge. Therefore we decided to switch towards a new team division last week. This enables us to maintain cross-functional teams that have a clear scope, goal and responsibility.
Switching team set-up is always a bit of a trade-off. In the short term it may lead to lower team velocity as a result of task switching. However, in the long run it should lead to more focus and more empowered teams.
As a result of our new team division, one team will now completely focus on trading, which encompasses everything we need to build and improve on the trading related features. Our second team will work on account functionalities, which enable our users to access and configure the platform. Think of on-boarding processes, KYC, settings and security configuration. Finally, our third team will solely focus on the development of the new Social Trading features.
Risk, Compliance & Regulations
Together with our advisors Geert Blom (Enigma Consulting) and Johannes de Jong (Osborne Clarke) we visited the innovation team of the DNB (Dutch Central Bank) last week. This was an initial meeting in where we described our future plans, and they provided us with valuable feedback on the developments of Dutch and EU Regulations. We aim to stay in touch with them as much as possible to enable short feedback cycles between us and the Dutch and EU regulators.
At present, we are talking with multiple banks and PSPs in Europe to build a long-term relationship and work towards diversifying our options to reduce risk and to keep ahead of the ever-changing environment. Unfortunately, for the sake of developing a trustworthy relationship, we cannot disclose any particular companies we are talking with, but we will disclose important news once we can.
If you are excited about what we do, please join our community Telegram channel!