Proposal: Smart Contract Expansion and zkEVM support on Apillon

Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Nino and I am the CPO at Apillon.io. At Apillon we are looking to expand our smart contract offering for already existing Astar integration and the purpose of this post is to collect feedback from Astar community on the topic of smart contract expansion and the proposal validity.

About Apillon

In the Apillon Web3 development platform, the Polkadot parachain functionalities are abstracted and translated into ready-to-use, few-click Web3 services that can be combined to power multi-chain Web3 projects.

For more advanced users, API connectivity to parachains allows for more code customization and adjustment to project needs. Both methods reduce the Web3 development process to minutes from previously days or weeks.

Apillon current status:

  • Current smart contracts support: ERC721 (EVM), RMRK nestable NFTs (EVM)
  • Integrated parachains: ASTAR, CRUST, KILT, PHALA, MOONBEAM, Subsocial
  • Integrated payment provider: Stripe (allowing users to pay for services with credit card)
  • UI Dashboard, APIs, CLI, SDK - all production ready
  • Prebuilt solutions: NFT collection deployment with NFT metadata storage (no code solution)

Project overview and goals

Grant overview:

  • Smart contract offering expansion
  • EVM & WASM solutions
  • Add support for Astar zkEVM
  • No code, no GAS deployment over Apillon Credits
  • No code Smart Contract configuration and deployment
  • No code Smart Contract management
  • Prebuilt full stack solution expansion

Apillon is proposing a project that expands the smart contract offering on Astar, ranging from EVM smart contract as well as WASM smart contracts on Apillon. This expansion would allow Apillon users/developers to simply deploy prebuilt, audited smart contracts with a few clicks, as well as enable the synergies between deployed Smart contracts and other Apillon enabled services such as decentralized storage, decentralized compute service, decentralized Authentication.

Main goal of this project is to expand the Astar smart contract offering on Apillon, and support zkEVM chain as soon as it is ready on Astar covering several typical blockchain use cases, thus enabling more users to engage with Astar parachain therefore increasing the adoption of Astar and increasing the adoption of Web3.

Since Apillon lives on the Application layer, the main purpose is to enable smooth, no-code Smart Contract deployment users can trust and enable access of deployed smart contracts via CLI, allowing developers to immediately start building the frontend solutions.

Project overview:

  1. Identify and integrate 5 smart contracts for EVM
  2. Integrate NFT WASM smart contract - PSP34
  3. Build custom UI wizards for each smart contract deployment
  4. Enable fiat/credits pricing for each smart contract, allowing users to deploy and use smart contracts without the need for ASTR token and ASTR token custody (all blockchain fees are paid by Apillon, therefore each deployment still has positive impact on ASTR token)
  5. Include newly integrated smart contracts in Apillon marketing/advertising attempts (currently Apillon is actively advertising on Twitter and Google)
  6. Include newly integrated smart contracts features in Apillon SEO (currently Apillon is SEO ranking on Decentralised storage)

Product features

To better understand what Apillon is building in this proposal, feel free to review the existing ERC721 Astar deployment flow:

You can either check the full demo video of the functionality here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQJnuvUo-xo

*Due to new user limitation on the forum of maximum 5 images per post, some of the flow images were skipped, so please refer to the video posted above. *

The purpose of displaying the existing flow:

  1. Users may choose to deploy ERC721 smart contract over Apillons dashboard, using a no code solution
  2. Users may choose to deploy smart contract over CLI
  3. The synergy between Smart Contract for NFTs and decentralized storage is established, making sure all NFTs created on Apillon have the corresponding Decentralised metadata storage (as it should be) without the need for the user to store metadata somewhere else
  4. At the end of the flow user is presented with 2 prebuilt templates by Apillon (VueJS and ReactJS) which can immediately be deployed to Apillons decentralized Hosting that supports free SSL and custom domains
  5. Users can then focus mainly on editing their Frontend template, focusing on the user experience while all the blockchain heavy lifting is handled by Apillon
  6. During the deployment users do not have to acquire ASTR tokens, instead ASTR tokens and fees payments are handled by Apillon, removing the friction for the user
  7. Once deployed, smart contract ownership may be taken over by the user by any of their blockchain accounts or “wallets”

This flow clearly displays what how Apillon is thinking about the future of Web3 development. This proposal therefore predicts similar flows for all new Smart contracts supported by Apillon if this proposal is successful.

List of smart contracts eligible for expansion

  • ERC20
  • XC20
  • ERC4337 - Account Abstraction
  • WASM NFT - PSP34
  • ERC1155

Supporting Astar zkEVM

Apillon will pursue to support Astars new zkEVM with the ability to further extend the deployment of smart contracts. This support is also part of the grant financing.

Example of smart contract expansion

Few months ago Apillon has successfully passed the OpenGov treasury proposal. Few days after successful proposal, Apillon has decided to Airdrop “gratitude NFTs” to all AYE voters in the proposal. To achieve this, Apillon has exported all AYE voters addresses and minted NFTs to those addresses - this was achieved over WASM smart contract and ASTAR parachain. Once minted, the NFT collection was immediately supported by PARAS marketplace allowing all recipients to view their newly minted NFTs.

Once we finished the process manually, we came to the conclusion that this functionality should be turned into a feature, allowing anyone in the Polkadot ecosystem or wider to execute similar airdrops.

WASM NFT airdrops are therefore one of the features of this proposal.

Overview of the solution:

Plug and play no code solution to airdrop NFTs to target addresses or Treasury proposal voters.

  • Airdrop over WASM
  • Free decentralised storage for Metadata
  • Paras marketplace integration
  • Smart address query from Proposal

Gratitude NFT minting and delivery by Apillon:

Additional feature per smart contract

When the smart contract is deployed, users and developers want to know what is happening with the smart contract. This functionality is not directly available so Apillon proposes to build Subsquid for each smart contract proposed in this proposal, enabling feedback loop between the deployed and activity on chain.

The flow:

  • Subsquid per Smart Contract allows easy monitoring of deployed Smart Contract activity.
  • User deploys premade Smart contract or Custom smart contract over Apillon
  • Engine reads the ABI and allows user to configure which functions should become available as endpoints over API
  • Configuration is deployed and the user may instantly use the Smart Contract from their dapp
  • Subsquid is automatically deployed and endpoints created allowing developer to query the activity on deployed Smart Contract over API

Costs and deliverables

Implementation roadmap

January 2024

  • Proposal posted on Astar forum
  • Feedback collected
  • Proposal adjusted (if needed)
  • Proposal grant passed

February-March 2024

  • Smart Contract preparation, customization and internal audit
  • Final design for all smart contract deployment flows
  • Backend deployment automation development

April 2024

  • Frontend development
  • Deployment cost estimation and per user accounting
  • Final deployment and testing
  • Production

Project Team

Matjaž Sobočan, Co-Founder and CEO at Apillon

Matjaž is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in various IT roles. Before becoming Apillon CEO, he held different senior positions at large enterprises, such as Fujitsu and Commvault.

Domen Uršič, Co-Founder and COO at Apillon

Domen is a marketing expert involved with blockchain-based projects since 2016. Prior to co-founding Apillon, he led a successful marketing agency, working with global businesses and brands, such as Uber, Hisense Europe, and the EU Commission.

Tadej Vengust, Co-Founder and CTO at Apillon

Tadej has contributed invaluable technical knowledge, powerful code and expert advisory support to many projects, including Aradena , 0xcert, and Genobank. He also collaborated on several open-source programs, mainly in the NFT, cryptography, and data management space.

Jure Soklič, Co-Founder and CFO at Apillon

Jure is a serial entrepreneur, CEO, and investor. His skills as the Co-Founder of Zymzo, Founder of Genie Yachting, and Founder of Hiveterminal are paired with a strong belief in the decentralized economy and bottom-up approach. He is also a former board member at one of Slovenia’s largest and strongest business groups and investment firms. [

Nino Kutnjak, CPO at Apillon

Nino sources from interdisciplinary expertise in academic UX research and extensive professional experience at IT powerhouses such as Microsoft, Telekom, Sailbrace, Iconomi (CPO), and Futourist (CTO) to develop and perfect the Apillon platform. Nino maintains a strong focus on user perspective and experience, as well as the technological capabilities and opportunities of the space.

Patrik Kogoj, Head of Growth at Apillon and Polkadot Ambassador

Patrik is recognized for his diverse marketing expertise and exceptional ability to fuel business growth, particularly through live events and collaboration with other Web3 projects. He has successfully spearheaded numerous projects in the Web3 realm and constantly pours great effort into nurturing and growing the Web3 space, particularly Polkadot.

8 Likes

hi, Apillon team, thank you for opening this discussion. i’m genuinely impressed with the scope of your proposal — it shows a deep commitment to advancing the web3 development environment.

however, my opinion is that it might be more strategic to initially focus on integrating with Astar’s zkEVM, especially given that its launch is on the horizon. such a focused approach could ensure a more streamlined and impactful implementation in this area of high importance.
as we aim to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of our collaborative efforts in the ecosystem, i think this could set a solid foundation for the rollout of other features and integrations.

i would appreciate to hear your thoughts on this, thank you!

1 Like

Thank you kindly for your reply!
As you can see, zkEVM is one of the proposal deliverables. That said, we were planning to integrate zkEVM and support those smart contracts on zkEVM and existing Astar EVM chain, maybe that was not clear in the proposal.

Considering your feedback, we will adjust the proposal roadmap to first focus and deliver the zkEVM (as soon as possible) and then follow up with the smart contract expansion. :ok_hand:

Cheers

1 Like

Apillon is definitely one of my favorite products, I have personally built some contracts on their platform and have used their API for user validation in my applications, which I think is great.

I support the proposal because I love the ease of Apillon, plus the reputation you are getting (I got to hear from the Parity team that you were a flagship product).

Regarding the amount of money requested, I understand that this is a one-time payment for maintaining this feature. am I correct? If not, for how long would you support contract creation in zkEVM?

Thank you for the kind words and your support.

The proposal is a one time payment, we will continue to support and maintain all deliverables from the proposal, which also includes RPCs, indexers, subsquid etc…

1 Like

Even though I don’t know much about dev, I think it’s cool. Can you help me with a few questions?

  1. I’m not sure if I’m right, but I think this will definitely meet the needs of developers. What can users expect from the project?

  2. Where does the project’s income and expenses come from? How?**

Glad to answer these questions.

Before going into details, first thing you need to understand is how Apillon works.

Apillon is envisioned as a Web3 development platform that removes the complexity of blockchain. That said, we are achieving simple DX (developer experience) by mimicking how developers build modern web applications in Web2. For example, if on AWS S3, the developer creates a storage bucket and receives a simple API that can be used to store users data, this is what Apillon provides with exact same DX, with the massive difference - Apillons Storage service is connected to Crust and all files pushed to that service are pinned to IPFS over Crust.

This is just an example of one of our services, but this example shows you that the developer who is building a dapp doesnt have to know anything about:

  • connecting to specific parachain
  • buying tokens of that parachain
  • configuring and maintaining the files pinning
  • delivering files from IPFS to an IPFS gateway (translation to https)
  • no long term maintenance
  • ability to scale without thinking about underlying infrastrcuture

Now that we have this example set, you can apply the same logic to all services we are providing on Apillon - including Astar.

If a developer is looking to build a frontend dapp that needs a specific smart contract, the developer may create an account on apillon and engage in the following flow:

  1. Buy certain amount of credits using credit card - fiat payment, or subscription
  2. Select the smart contract they need for their dapp
  3. Configure the contract and deploy it straight from the UI
    or
  4. Choose a prebuilt solution that comes with smart contract, UI, frontend and open source code that can be modified by a typical Web2 frontend developer
  5. Deploy the solution and build the dapp

So now that we have the general feel of how using Apillon looks like, I can say that a typical developer would utilise Apillon to setup running Web3 services and utilise our SDK, API or CLI to build dapps from scratch.

Ordinary users that have no previous experience with development can still utilise Apillon by relying on our prebuilt solutions that can be deployed just by clicking (no-code solutions).

Apillon has switched to a full saas model few months ago. Since then the users are able to pay for advanced plan simply by utilising their credit cards over Stripe. This is where we make money. Besides that, Apillon is already hosting some of the Polkadot projects (production grade), such as Moonbeans marketplace, The great escape game and some other notable projects - to learn more please visit apillon.io

I hope I managed to give you a clear picture of what and how we are building Apillon.

1 Like

Perfect! Leaving that point in clarity, I am in favor of the proposal. This from many points of view will benefit us.

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Thank you so much for your clarification. It was loud and clear =)

1 Like

I really like all dApps with a focus on the development of tools useful to developers. I find that Apillon is one of the most complete proposals for starting from 0 and creating a dApp. Nonetheless, the budget mentioned seems quite high to me compared to the users it could attract. Having already the possibility of using ChainIDE or ThirdWeb with their respective very user friendly interfaces, I would frankly opt for those.
I’m impressed by the team’s previous experiences and hope to see other developers come and leave their opinions.

2 Likes

What we are proposing is far more than just smart contract deployment - such as ChainIDE or Thirdweb are offering.

We offer synergies between several services from one single endpoint - e.g. thirdweb and ChainIDE do not offer decentralised storage (CRUST), or decentralised hosting or decentralised identifiers (KILT), or decentrlised compute (PHALA). Meaning, a developer would go to thirdweb, deploy a smart contract and then proceed to build all those integrations manually.

At the same time, we offer Subsquid querying for each smart contract deployed (automatically deployed together with RPC providers), the smart contracts are configured over form in the UI and all billing is handeled over fiat - Stripe payments.

Why are payments important?
Deploying a smart contract over thirweb is far from turnkey. A developer looking to scale a dapp over such services still has to take care of keeping his wallet full with tokens to pay for transactions. This brings up another question of, how to scale if the token is volatile? These issues are mitigated using Apillon.

That said, a developer could deploy a smart contract over Apillon and receive a preconfigured Phala Phat contract that extends abilities of that smart contract in a single action. This is the synergies Apillon is building, removing even more friction than Thirdweb or other smart contract deployment solutions.

To learn more about how we build synergies, please review our demo video posted in the proposal and you will be able to see:

  1. Single user flow to deploy standalone NFT collection
  2. Decentralised metadata storage solved
  3. Smart contract deployed where Apillon takes care of underlying payments
  4. NFT collection hosting on decentralised storage - solved

All these benefits are included in a single 5 minute step. This is what makes Apillon different.

2 Likes

Considering the scope and goals of Apillon on Astar, I suggest exploring Astar’s dApp Staking and UCG program as alternative ways to gain more support. Through the dApp Staking initiative, you can demonstrate your commitment to the community especially with V3

2 Likes

Hello @gosu128,

It’s great to see another Polkadot project looking to collaborate with Astar Network.

My only question concerns the clarification of Apillon’s proposal to the Polkadot treasury:

Apillon received a grant of 171,454.05 DOT from the Polkadot Treasury. Looking at your proposal, Astar was mentioned as one of the milestones:

Can you clarify what was covered by the Polkadot proposal and what is now covered by this proposal?

Polkadot: WASM support on Astar (Expanded smart contract offering on Astar network with WASM smart contracts).

Astar network:

  • Smart contract offering expansion
  • EVM & WASM solutions
  • Add support for Astar zkEVM
  • No code, no GAS deployment over Apillon Credits
  • No code Smart Contract configuration and deployment
  • No code Smart Contract management
  • Prebuilt full stack solution expansion

In my opinion, some of your proposals are or should already be covered by the Polkadot grant. Your comments are welcome to clarify this point.

As @Toma suggested, I’d also recommend applying to dApp Staking or the UCG program, as it’s a longer-term solution and a commitment to the Astar Network community rather than a grant.

dApp Staking is the heart of Astar Network, and with the upcoming V3 release, it’s the perfect time to show your interest in Astar and dedication to the community.

3 Likes

Same question as G, waiting for your answer fam!

As part of the Lucky dApp, we had the opportunity to work with Apilon. The tools are very well made and operational and the team is very competent.

However, there is no proposal for “one time payment” on Astar Network but the dAppStaking feature which allows the project to receive regular income depending on the amount staked on the dApp.
There is also the Unstoppale Community Grant which allows to boostrap the amount stake on the dApp for 3 months, renewable.
If you apply to join the dAppStaking or Unstoppable Community Grant, you have my support.

3 Likes

Sure we can clarify.

As stated in the proposal, we have already executed a “gratitude NFT airdrop” over WASM on Astar, after our proposal was successfully passed. There is also link to the WASM smart contract that you can review here: Subscan | Aggregate Substrate ecological network high-precision Web3 explorer

Here are the arguments we submitted an additional grant proposal on Astar:

  • Astar proposal includes a lot more than just the WASM support. For example, support for zkEVM could not be predicted at the time of writing our opengov proposal so we included it now
  • Before writing the proposal we have reached out to Astar core team, pitched our idea and formed the smart contract expansion according to the team suggestions - the idea was to support whatever the team sees fit at the moment, and which has the most value for the market. After discussion with the Astar team we figured out the extended WASM support is not the primary focus at the moment.
  • It is clear in our Astar proposal we will need double the time to cover the new expansion than predicted in out opengov proposal, therefore we split the costs between Astar treasury and Apillon treasury in the ratio of 50/50, meaning our half of the costs are paid by Apillon - this is also visible in our proposal costs.

That said, in our opengov proposals there was a community consensus that we should also pursue Parachain treasuries to further finance the extra work we do specifically for parachains, which lead us to this grant.

3 Likes

The proposal is requesting $47 128 worth of ASTR tokens.

With Subscan’s current EMA7 ($0.178), $47 128 is equivalent to 264,765 ASTR tokens.

We will now start the voting process. All community members with a trust level of 2 or higher can vote on this proposal. The vote will last 5 days.

Allocate 264 764 ASTR tokens from the Astar Treasury to the Apillon team.
  • Yes
  • No
0 voters
3 Likes

The requested cost is reasonable and the team produces quality work. I voted yes.

Thanks for the proposal but I voted NO this time.

My reason : At the moment, Astar Foundation currently works on our biggest campaign for Astar zkEVM launching. And we already using our own treasury for fund the campaign, my perspective as Astar Agent that we should prioritize our launching campaign first.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew what Apillon did and I follow your team’s work. I suggest that you join UCG like Toma mentioned and get listed on our dApp Staking portal. I will hapilly to stake my ASTR to your team.

After 3 months (after our zkEVM campaign finish) you can put proposal to request grant again from treasury, and probably I might vote yes in the future.

2 Likes

Could you share me the data of actual users?

Like how many users do you have?
How many contracts are deployed so far?

I have a concern about your distribution. How do you plan to distribute it and what is your GTM Strategy?

Without seeing these data and plans, my vote is No.
Or we prefer paying retroactively.

Hope we can get clear answers.
Thank you.

3 Likes