Builder Spotlight: Boom
by Claire Topalian on August 15, 2022

Dan Trevino is the Founder of Boom, a Stacks Residents Program project that became the first NFT platform on Stacks.

In our discussion with Dan, we learn more about what inspired him to create Boom, what's coming soon for their team, and his journey as a leader and builder in the Stacks ecosystem.
Claire:
For those who aren’t familiar, can you share what your team at Boom does?
Dan:
I’ve always been interested in privacy and open standards. My open source advocacy goes back to the days when we used to hand out Linux CDs in front of local libraries. I found the Blockstack community in early 2016 and the promise of taking back control of our own data drew me in. I started doing Blockstack meetups, hackathons, and developer outreach. As Blockstack/Stacks evolved, so did I. I was fortunate to find a designer who shared my ethos and interest in experimenting with all of the features of the new platform.

My first application (NoteRiot) was developed as a fully client-side app, buildable by end-users themselves.

Boom, the first NFT platform on Stacks, and the team behind it continue with that same approach and desire to make tools that empower users, not centralized tech fiefdoms.

Claire:
How do you usually describe Boom to others who aren’t very familiar with NFTs?
Dan:
Boom has a high focus on NFTs, but we have a larger mission to make using Stacks easier for all uses. Boom is a web wallet for Stacks. We make minting small, focused collections super easy. We were the first Stacks wallet to support sending/receiving $STX and other tokens via username (ie dan.btc). We provide an easy interface for minting Boomboxes, the first "DeFi" NFTs on Stacks. All of this while never having to touch user private keys.
Claire:
What problem are you tackling with your project? What inspired you to address this problem?
Dan:
It’s evolved. Early in the Blockstack days, there were maybe 400 applications, and app discovery was through one website. We wanted to make that easier, make apps easier to find/rate/etc. And so we built Webby, to help facilitate that.

As we got closer to the launch of the blockchain, we realized that we were talking about NFTs a lot in our side conversations. We realized that with smart contracts and transaction signing coming in Stacks 2.0, we could be doing way more than app discovery. We began experimenting with NFTs and some basic wallet functionality. We found web wallets to be a way more interesting problem space, so decided to refocus there, and re-brand to Boom.

I guess what “inspired” us was that it seemed like something fun that we wanted for ourselves.
Claire:
What functionality does your work unlock for users/stakeholders?
Dan:
Our focus is the end-user - we wanted to make the minting process super easy. We added simplifying functionality over time, like being able to send and receive STX from/to a username. Eventually exchanging tokens, minting larger collections of NFTs, this all became part of the offering.
Claire:
Can you share more about your experience working on your project?
Dan:
What impresses me most - the original Blockstack platform has such great utility. The functionality provided early on is still really useful. So what we have today is what I like to call a “full stack” crypto platform that allows developers to build applications that respect user privacy, but doesn’t coerce you into this “EVERYTHING ON CHAIN” mentality that marred many early dapps on other chains. The Stacks.js library and 3rd party microstacks library allow you to build non-blockchain apps that still provide a ton of value. From a development/developer perspective, this means you get to architect your applications a bit more thoughtfully, and use the blockchain only where it makes sense.

Claire:
Are there any updates/announcements coming up that readers can look for?
Dan:
Currently, Boom is constructed as a web wallet, but we’re working on a mobile-first wallet implementation of Boom. We’ve got a working prototype on Android already. We’re really interested in seeing mobile authentication happen in a real, open way. One of the challenges right now is the lack of mobile authentical protocol. We really want to push this in the Stacks ecosystem and solve for this.
Claire:
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience within the community and/or as a builder?
Dan:
Having been a part of the Stacks community for so long, it’s amazing to me how collaborative and open this community is… Boom has a bunch of contributors from within the Stacks community who help almost daily; they do everything from coding to testing our releases. Those are unpaid volunteers.

One of the great pleasures I get out of being a Stacks developer is in helping other applications get launched and watching them grow. I’m not alone in this. We continue to see others pay-it-forward and share.
Claire: 
This passion for helping others seems unique to the Stacks community in a lot of ways. What do you think it is that drives this type of communal effort?
Dan:
I really believe that the culture comes from the top - a blockchain’s culture reflects it’s leaders. From Muneeb and the Foundation, to engineers at Hiro, to the community leaders and down to the end users helping each other in the forum… I think 99% of us want to see a new, better Internet and we’re willing (wanting!) to work toward that goal.

Part of all this is the belief in Web3 as a general direction, but Stackers further believe that Bitcoin is the foundation, and I think the Bitcoin mindset is a huge part of it as well.
Claire: 
Where can we send readers to learn more?

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