Cardano Hydra has been used to develop sophisticated applications that benefit from L2 scalability. However, additional work is required to turn these into production-ready services on Mainnet.
Upgrade the hydra auction reference implementation into a production-ready app deployable on mainnet and add UX improvements for commercial viability. Develop a general SDK for similar applications.
This is the total amount allocated to Ikigai + MLabs – Hydra app SDK and auction service
Yes, this project may depend on the Hydra core dev team's development roadmap, and we will pursue it in collaboration with that team. A healthy working relationship with that team has already been established in the previous project, resulting in fruitful alignment of the hydra features roadmap with the needs of application developers.
Project will be fully open source.
This project will upgrade the reference implementation that was previously co-developed with IOG’s Hydra core dev team into a viable production-ready product, as follows:
As the next step, we will explore building an open-source SDK for delegated voucher auctions ready to be used by any dApp that needs auction features. Furthermore, the SDK should comprise modular components that can be reused in other hydra-based applications with similar smart-contract architectures.
For the auction’s smart contracts, we will need to implement the following new features optimizations:
The reference implementation from the first two milestones can handle only a handful of auctions and has a rudimentary system for discovering auctions, bidders, sellers, delegates, and hydra heads. For a commercial product, this would have to be significantly improved with a suitably scalable and dynamic directory and state indexer for the auctions ecosystem:
We must develop frontend UI code to provide an ergonomic and pleasant UX for auctions. For this purpose, we will collaborate with existing projects in Cardano that have attained significant marketplace and auction UX expertise as early adopters of our SDK.
Ikigai Technologies has developed Grabbit, an NFT auction site made specifically with consumer and creator ergonomics in mind, built on top of a fully decentralized L1 auction protocol. They have already encountered and solved many of the complex challenges that come with connecting a clean, robust frontend with a complex onchain auction protocol without the common centralized shortcuts that could slow down a Hydra-based auction protocol.
Ikigai will collaborate with MLabs on the open-source SDK to ensure it is usable and scalable in a production environment. By testing the SDK in Grabbit functioning as an early adopter, Ikigai Technologies will demonstrate the SDK is built to be extendable and deployable to large-scale environments.
This project will deliver and integrate a production-ready product with the early adopter’s service platform, allowing Cardano users to finally benefit from the Hydra technology's faster finality and throughput promises for the auction use case.
Furthermore, this project will blaze the trail for other L2-enabled smart-contract applications, operationalizing the best practices and lessons learned into an SDK that will significantly lower the barrier for these applications to emerge on Cardano mainnet. The SDK will be geared primarily toward applications similar to the auction use case, but parts of the SDK will be broadly re-usable or adaptable to other applications.
Finally, to ensure integration readiness and improve confidence in the SDK for community consumption, Ikigai/Mlabs will be using Grabbit to guinea pig the versions during the development phase and showcase the SDK's extendability.
The success of the commercial hydra-based auction app will be measured by the performance and UX gains that it manages to attain relative to the early adopter's pure-L1 auction application. In particular:
The success of the hydra auction SDK will be measured by the early adopter's reported ease of use and integration with the rest of their platform. Over the longer term, the SDK will be successful if it leads to more Cardano applications making the leap to upgrade part or all of their protocols to use the SDK for scalability on Hydra L2.
The project’s open-source codebase will reside in the project’s Github repository (possibly to be refactored into multiple repositories).
If/when the early adopter launches this project’s product, it will be available as a service via their website.
During the project’s development, usually near milestone completion, the development team will provide regular blog-style or video updates to the community, as appropriate.
MLabs, a leading consultancy in the Cardano ecosystem, has a proven track record and significant experience. Our team consists of seasoned engineers, each holding expertise in their respective fields. Moreover, we have consistently demonstrated our ability to deliver complicated projects with a high degree of trust and accountability. We have an extensive portfolio of satisfied client projects and several popular Catalyst projects. We're committed to upholding these standards for this proposal.
MLabs has developed the reference smart contracts for the hydra-based auction in a previous project and has a clear plan to improve and optimize them toward a viable product and operating model. As part of that project, MLabs has developed the beginnings of an SDK architecture sufficient for the milestone deliverables and demos of that project. The current proposal will build upon it, transforming it into a battle-tested SDK ready for real-world hydra-based applicaations.
Ikigai Technologies is a technology company that specializes in creating innovative solutions leveraging Cardano. The team is composed of experienced professionals in the fields of technology, business, and design. Considered a quiet builder, Ikigai has been developing solutions for marketplaces, data solutions, and game development with Grabbit, Logosphere, and GENUN Games.
Ikigai has built and deployed Grabbit — an L1-based auction with a rich user experience and a sophisticated smart contract model that does not require any privileged third parties to process bids and determine the winner (i.e. no batchers) while allowing multiple bidders to bid in parallel without interfering with each other (i.e. no utxo contention for bids).
MLabs and Ikigai are uniquely positioned to develop a state-of-the-art hydra app SDK, blazing the trial via the hydra auction app for many other builders on Cardano to bring new hydra-enabled experiences for Cardano users. Let the Cardano Basho era dawn!
The main goal of this project is to develop an SDK for Hydra-based applications at the complexity level of auctions to be ergonomically developed so that more users and applications on Cardano can finally start benefitting from the scalability promises of Cardano.
A related goal of this project is to ensure that the SDK is capable of supporting applications all the way to a commercial launch in production on mainnet. We will pursue this goal by helping the early adopter to reach this milestone on their path of upgrading from a purely L1-based auction to the Hydra-based auction service ready for production.
The following timeline assumes an Oct 2023 project start.
M1 – Research and basic UI (Nov 2023)
M2 – Integration and further UI (Dec 2023)
M3 – Analytics and further integration (Jan 2024)
M4 – Testing and tooling (Feb 2024)
M5 – SDK (Mar 2024)
M6 – Optimizations and robustness (Apr 2024)
M7 - Launch (May 2024)
M1 – Research and basic UI
M2 – Integration and further UI
M3 – Analytics and further integration
M4 – Testing and tooling
M5 – SDK
M6 – Optimizations and robustness
M7 - Launch
The budget breaks down by hours of effort into the following activities, grouped by category:
The total hours of effort estimated for the project is 2,880 h.
At $95/h, the USD cost of these activities is $273,600.
We apply a 0.21 USD/ADA exchange rate, which is the average rate over the past few months conservatively adjusted downward to ensure that the project will remain viable despite moderate price shocks that may occur before or during the project timeline.
The corresponding total ADA cost of the project is 1,302,857 ADA.
We propose a linear budget allocation schedule for the milestones:
The costs described in the budget breakdown of this proposal have been developed based on a detailed plan of the activities required to achieve the milestones. We have high confidence in the comprehensiveness and accurate sizing of these activities, as we have engaged in very similar projects to this in the past at complexity level and subject domain. In particular:
The USD hourly rate is a typical rate that we and our fellow developers in the smart contracts and dApp sector have used in past projects to provide high-quality services, with a proven track record of delivering projects despite the complexity of viable applications in this space. This requires experts on staff for a diverse range of niche skillsets and deep knowledge of the Cardano and Hydra protocols, the EUTXO model, and the modern practices of dApp design.
The USD/ADA exchange rate reflects the average rate over the past few months, conservatively discounted down to 0.21 USD/ADA to allow the project to remain viable despite potential price shocks that may occur after proposal submission and during the project timeline.
George Flerovsky (MLabs) as Product Owner and Delivery Manager
Michael Yagi (Ikigai) as Technical Project Manager
Philip DiSarro (Ikigai) as Tech Lead – Smart Contracts and Integration
Allan Deutsch (Ikigai) as Tech Lead - Frontend & Services
Gregory Gerasev (MLabs) as Backend Developer – Smart Contracts and Hydra
Sam Delaney (Ikigai) as Full Stack Developer - Smart Contracts and UI Integration
Cliff Garvis (Ikigai) as Backend Developer - Services and Architecture
Eric Phan (Ikigai) as Frontend Developer - UX/UI Design and Implementation
Note: other team members will be assigned to the project closer to its start date, and additional team members may contribute to the project throughout its timeline. They will be chosen to best align the available staff’s diverse skill sets towards the top priorities of the milestones being pursued.