Did you know that you can interact with the Ethereum Blockchain directly from a website? It’s true. All you need is Google Chrome and the MetaMask plugin. Once I got mine up and running, the first thing I did was what any sound-minded fan of the free press in-the-know would do: I went to Leeroy.io.
When I arrived at the homepage of Leeroy.io, I was greeted with a minimalist interface. The single input box invited me to create an account. This is because I was logged into MetaMask. My identity on the blockchain had already been validated without me even noticing. They didn’t need my email address and a complicated two-way validation approach. They knew who I was right away. I was wallet id: 0xbacb58a5bd0e2df0b3d3e82a1c75ad565a417cd6 and now they just needed to associate user-provided details with my already verified ID. THAT’S PRETTY COOL!
Now, here’s the part where I did some dumb stuff. If you are going to open an account on Leeroy, don’t waste your gas doing dumb stuff like I did. First, I inputed a Leeroy username to associate with my wallet id. It goes without saying (but is also said) that I chose Ethereum Bulls as a user name. I suppose I grew impatient. I clicked away or refreshed or something. Then I tried to go back. I didn’t know what to do. So I made another user name, then confirmed that transaction. Fortunately it was only about 10 cents worth of stupid. In the next few moments my account existed. When I visited Leeroy.io, I had new options and a name associated with my now-existing account. My account had settled on Ethereum Bulls as a username. I suppose Leeroy resolved the conflict by throwing out the second user name that I tried to enter, though I did go back and reenter Ethereum Bulls a second time after that, so it’s hard to say.
Here’s why, I am actively interacting with another writer who is really interested in Ethereum. I don’t know too much about this person other than that their website looks better than mine, and they are big into Ethereum, but we’re off to a good start. We meet on Leeroy.io? What better place to forge connections in this community?
Leeroy.io is cool and really fun. I am going to keep using it, alongside standard Internet channels like Facebook and Twitter. However, I am a passionate Ethereum supporter actively writing on the topic. Callmegwei probably isn’t going anywhere either, but I think there’s just WAY TOO MUCH FRICTION for the average user. This isn’t the fault of the entity behind Leeroy.io. The development effort is VERY admirable. I am very impressed with how it works and the way it interacts with the blockchain. This, however, might not be the ideal use case of the technology.
Having grown up alongside the Internet, most developers are going to have a hard time unlocking the true potential of the blockchain. We will continue to see efforts that are analog to web offerings for some time. Some of these might even be improvements over their currently-existing Internet counterparts. Leeroy does have some valid improvements over Twitter for SOME people. For example, instead of writing Hello World nonsense, a person could make an important political statement or something that will be immutable. Likewise, someone could also scrawl some hateful inflammatory content and pictures. Such activities might test one’s commitment to the notion of free public expression. Yet projects like Leeroy.io are important for us developers. Monumental. They help us see glimpses of the true capabilities of this thing that many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around. For that, I am thankful for and pleased to see an application like Leeroy.io.
I look forward to continuing to grow with this hybrid web-service.
If you’d like to fund my activities on Leeroy: 0xbacb58a5bd0e2df0b3d3e82a1c75ad565a417cd6