The Complete Guide to district0x and DNT

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  1. adamgdev

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    What Is district0x?

    district0x is a blockchain project that is creating a connected network of user governed marketplaces, with all the governance features in place to allow third-party expansion of the network. More information about the project’s mission, vision, and values can be found here.

    In this piece, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the project. We’ll go over the role of districts, current/proposed districts, notable features, technical infrastructure, and use cases for DNT (the platform’s native ERC20 token).

    What Problem Does district0x Aim to Solve?
    The concept of online marketplaces and communities is well-established. Companies like Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are all examples of major e-commerce marketplaces with large userbases. Task-based marketplaces like Upwork, Fivver, and TopTal have become popular for freelancers and companies from around the globe. However, with these platforms, users typically don’t have a true voice in determining the future direction of how platforms should operate. If these companies ever go away one day, the user data, reputation, and identity established by each individual user goes away too.

    Essentially, only a few leaders at the top (i.e. executives or board of directors) usually make important decisions on fee structures, usage guidelines, and even the UI/UX of sites. The opinions of the users that rely on Web 2.0 online platforms on a daily basis are oftentimes neglected altogether. district0x aims to solve this problem through the creation of online districts that serve as decentralized, autonomous organizations (DAOs). With district0x, each individual can vote with DNT to determine how districts will function. Districts are built on open standards and don’t rely upon a centralized decision-maker to remain operational. This means they will always be accessible to users, and data will never go away. Districts are censorship resistant, persistent, and permanent.


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    district0x is building more inclusive online marketplaces and communities.
    The Role of Districts
    Districts are decentralized marketplaces on the district0x Network. VirtuallyANY type of marketplace that exists today could be re-built as a district on the district0x network.

    Each district has a few core functionalities:

    • Searching & filtering
    • Posting & listings
    • Ranking & reputation
    • Payments & invoicing
    Districts are innovative because both owners AND users can determine how a given district operates. Decisions impacting one district don’t impact another. This means that every aspect of these communities can be highly customized to match the needs of the people that use them on a regular basis.


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    Voting by staking DNT gives users the ability to voice their opinions on various district decisions.
    district0x’s Established Districts, Development Progress, and User Adoption
    The district0x project team has already established a few districts that serve as unique marketplaces and communities. Let’s examine what these districts aim to accomplish and how they are currently being developed.

    Ethlance is a decentralized freelancer website. On Ethlance, which launched in January 2017, individuals or companies can find and hire freelance talent. Unlike websites like Upwork which receive high commissions (10–20%) on completed work, Ethlance doesn’t charge any fee. The types of jobs posted on the site are quite diverse. A few examples include smart contract development, dapp development, UI/UX design, website translation, copywriting, and more.

    According to the November 27, 2018 development update, district0x smart contracts for Ethlance have reached a feature complete state. The major effort in the past cycle has been a schema to model data from these smart contracts out to IPFS. The team is now working on experimenting with new, expandable models as well as adding a syncer and data generator.


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    Sneak peek of the upcoming Ethlance site redesign
    Name Bazaar, which launched in October 2017, serves as a peer-to-peer marketplace for the exchange of names registered via the Ethereum Name Service (ENS). As of December 2, 2018, there are 3,947 names offered on the site. Some proposed features for the continued development of Name Bazaar include subdomain leasing as well as hardware wallet support for Trezor and Ledger Nano S.


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    People can buy and sell ENS names easily via Name Bazaar.
    Meme Factory (soon to be deployed) will provide an interface for the creation of provably rare digital assets on the Ethereum blockchain which can be immediately posted to a bulletin board-style marketplace for exchange. This platform will utilize DNT to govern all districts. DANK will be used in “The DANK Registry”, an incentivized voting game known as a token curated registry (TCR). This will allow voters to determine which memes should or shouldn’t be listed on Meme Factory.

    Throughout the creation of Meme Factory, district0x invited open-source community participation. The Meme Factory Design Contest was the first of two phases before the launch of the platform. Through this contest, designers entered submissions for categories like the DANK token logo, back-of-meme designs, and the platform’s first minted memes.

    The Meme Factory Community Design Survey was the second phase before the launch of this marketplace. Through the survey, the community voted (staked DNT) on a variety of important decisions like meme format standards, website theme, homepage lists, and submissions from the Meme Factory Design Contest. Those who participated in the survey were given the vast majority of the total DANK token supply.

    Moving forward, all Meme Factory updates/changes, curation, and decision-making will take place with the TCR, d0xTasks, or other governance tools.


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    One of the website theme candidates from the Meme Factory Design Contest
    Create Your Own District: There are plans to add more districts in the future. These will serve as sandboxes for the refinement of the d0xINFRA framework (explained below in the “Key Technologies” section) while showcasing the powers of decentralized markets and communities. The project team even plans to build a district creation platform that will provide anyone with the ability to quickly launch new districts on the district0x network.

    Now that we’ve covered the big picture of what the project is aiming to do, let’s take an in-depth look at some of district0x’s established features.

    Established Features and Functionalities
    District Proposal Competition: While the project team is actively working to build and improve the established districts listed above, it’s also constantly considering new districts to add in the future. To open up this process to anyone, district0x introduced a district proposal process. This allows you to not only suggest a new district idea but also have the potential to earn 500,000 DNT as a reward if your proposal is launched. Even if your proposal is just accepted as a qualifying submission, you’ll be rewarded with 250 DNT. More info on the process can be found here.

    Voting on District Proposals: In addition to being able to propose new districts, you can also vote on which district(s) will be created next by staking DNT. You can view complete descriptions of what the district would aim to accomplish. There are quite a few proposals listed already.

    The current top three entries are as follows: 1HiveFunding platform (a decentralized version of Patreon or Kickstarter), a Decentraland district for players to list their parcels for sale or rent, and Bounty0x (a full bounty campaign management platform).



    Bounty0x allows users to earn cryptocurrency and tokens by completing simple marketing, software development, and creative tasks.
    district0x Education Portal: For those wanting to learn more info about district0x’s core features, the education portal is a good way to do so. You can find explanations about general blockchain concepts as well as district0x specific ones. The team is constantly updating the education portal to include new modules that provide clear and concise information. Some examples include “What is Decentralization?”, “Ethereum vs. Ether”, and “The Basics of State Channels”.


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    The district0x Education Portal is a good way to learn more specifics about this project and blockchain, in general.
    Key Technologies
    Looking at district0x’s GitHub page, it’s clear that the development team is working diligently to add new features and functionalities. The top programming languages are Clojure and JavaScript. Now, let’s take a look at the key technologies being built to drive the future of district0x adoption.

    d0xINFRA Framework: At the core of every district is the d0xINFRA framework, a stack of Ethereum smart contracts and front-end libraries distributed on IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) which power a district’s basic functionalities. One thing to note is that d0xINFRA doesn’t impact the visuals of each district. Designs of a district are chosen by the creator or the community that uses it. d0xINFRA is designed to be open and extendable, allowing districts to implement unique features.

    Auxiliary modules provide enhanced functionality for districts. You can think of auxiliary modules as sort of like WordPress plugins for the blockchain. They are designed to be plug-and-play and implemented on a case-by-case, according to the creators or users of each district. The district0x core team encourages third-party development of auxiliary modules and even offers the potential for built-in monetization of those that are used to power the functionality of various districts. In the future, there will be a marketplace layer, which serves as an app store for users wanting to find a full list of available auxiliary modules.

    Aragon for Governance: Voting is a major component of creating decentralized marketplaces and communities. district0x has chosen to utilize Aragon to create, administer, and govern individual districts. Voting rights can be used to partake in the processes that determine the characteristics of a district ranging from its design, to its functionality, to its accepted code of conduct, to the integrations it utilizes, and beyond.

    Here’s a recent district0x District Roundup video where you can learn more about the initial Aragon setup, token holders only’ polling setup, binding and non binding votes, and much more.

    Aragon brings innovative technologies for governance to district0x.
    District Registry is a decentrally maintained district whitelist that stores credentials of districts which have been granted access to the district0x Network. district0x’s District Registry is based on an incentivized voting game called a Token Curated Registry. The inclusion of a district in the District Registry signifies that the district has been accredited by district0x Network Token holders as non-malicious and value-additive to the district0x Network.

    For the development of the District Registry (as with many of district0x’s current dev tasks), the biggest goal for the near future is to reduce the smart contract set down to a more manageable size. This will help ensure that the code being used to develop the District Registry is reusable and easy to implement across various districts.


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    Diagram of how the District Registry functions
    d0xTasks is a voting dapp that will be used to assign project work (i.e. community management or district building) to contractors. According to the Nov 27, 2018 development update, most of the core application, both front-end and back-end, is complete. The team is also working on the mobile UI and styling for d0xTasks. Currently, this dapp is in QA deployment and will soon be deployed to Ethereum’s Ropsten testnet.

    Network of Service Providers
    In recent months, district0x has given contracts to five production studios with the goal of building infrastructure and marketplaces as outlined in the project roadmap. Some service providers are Griflan Design for branding and design work as well as Sourcerers.io for administrative support and community management. Once the d0xTasks dapp is live, it will be used to assign all categories of work. Anyone who is interested in working on the project can submit a bid.


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    district0x utilizes a combination of service providers and talent from open bidding processes to complete roadmap tasks.
    Summary
    district0x is working to create new online platforms that prioritize the collective interests of communities over executives. Currently, the project team is developing a lot of innovative features, which will vastly improve district0x’s infrastructure. Ultimately, this will make it possible for district0x to build a thriving ecosystem and add numerous use cases for DNT. You can follow the district0x blog to keep up with the latest development updates, district reports, and important project announcements.

    DNT Now Listed on Ethex
    DNT is now listed on Ethex, a decentralized exchange that only lists useful tokens. We’re proud to support district0x’s mission to launch decentralized marketplaces and communities. If you’re part of a project that’s interested in listing your token on Ethex, feel free to fill out our submission form.

    Ethex also recently launched Ethex Trade Wallet, an innovative mobile trading app for ETH and ERC20 tokens. Ethex Trade Wallet is available on both iOS and Android.
     
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