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Flipstarter Cultura BCH Venezuela: Experiences and Security! Let's Build.
Today I want to tell you about our experience with Flipstarter, this article had (05) days as a draft and its name was "Announcing Flipstarter BitcoinCash Ryver Team Venezuela" but over time it has changed, with this I want to give some tips to people who want to participate in this initiative and somehow be prepared for adventure.
From my point of view the "Easy" solutions should be as described by the word. But, what is beyond?
About ten days ago we had working to try to get the necessary exposure and participate in a donation plan through Flipstarter in Venezuela.
For groups of entrepreneurs like us, where there is more enthusiasm and desire to work, than money and technical knowledge in computing and programming, it has not been "easy" to enter Flipstarter.
The advanced version requires technical knowledge, but the "easy" version on a Digital Ocean server asks you to meet some requirements. Among them are having a credit card in $, or a Paypal account. From Venezuela both options are restrictive because Venezuelan banks do not offer credit cards in dollars and because Paypal has suspended many Venezuelan accounts, even so we did not give up.
Therefore if you take the advanced path you require specialized knowledge and have servers to host the service. Something that will possibly cost you hundreds of dollars if you don't have specialized personnel.
Fortunately this community has allowed us to establish friendships with people from all over the world. During a conversation on Telegram they offered to help us with the hiring of the service on the servers of Digital Ocean and thus access the "easy" option of Flipstarter.
That was a moment of great joy, we have access the most exciting tools of the moment, now you had to develop the plan and the ideas to expose it to the public.
On the other hand, from the moment you open an account in Digital Ocean you will be renting a virtual server that will allow you to host the campaign with the FlipStarter plugin and the charges will be charged monthly to the card or affiliated Paypal account, Digital Ocean will assign you an address IP and you will see a screen like the following after creating the instance with the plugin:
Here you must fill each of the fields to configure the campaign.
Campaing title or Campaign title:
We particularly have two names, we have already removed two campaigns due to limitations.
Start date / End Date
Start and end date, among the aspects that we have discussed in our group, it is important to highlight that beyond setting some start and end dates to collect funds, you must also consider strategies to support the campaign.
An important aspect is having thought of some marketing strategies or proofs of work done to help you drive the campaign, that is, the Flipstarter by itself does not guarantee you to be financed.
In this section we have the following fields:
This section has been a bit confusing, we even observed previous campaigns where more than one receiver was observed, making it possible to campaign for several groups at the same time.
This field for us has been a headache, it is the biggest of your fears because they can seem very high or very low amounts when you make estimates based on the long-term volatility of BCH, at least we already have a consensus after several estimates made but I am sure it is a point that I will modify many times before creating it.
This field is quite clear, you must put a logo or some image associated with your project. As a tip I can tell you not to host images on imgur.com this site hides the real link. We had a problem with the two campaigns that we have tested cannot display the image when creating the campaign. Please use another upload service.
The name of the recipient or group.
This field is very curious because in all previous campaigns we can see reception addresses that start with the letter "p".
These types of addresses are multi-signature addresses, these require the approval of several people to manage the funds.
Among the possible options you can also use addresses that start with "q". This will be our option.
There you can add the information related to the group's website or the activity you do. Having a website is not necessary but if it is necessary to have a domain related to what you do, I will tell you soon.
Each of these fields are mandatory for the campaign setup.
Finally we have two fields in which you will add an introduction to your project and in the second the development of your plan.
So far everything seems pretty easy! 😀
Here comes the most technical aspect of the job, in each of the following fields you must add the content of the campaign and you must do it in Markdown language to give it a much more aesthetic appearance and in an easy way. I recommend it.
This has been another challenge to face, learning a language from its syntax to its final result, I recommend helping you with online editors that allow you to have a preview of what you are writing. This is very important because there are no previews in Flipstarter, we must review everything before creating the campaign.
The following list are the Markdown language commands most used in the campaign we are developing and it is a basic guide:
Finally you can edit your content and fill in the fields depending on the language in which you want to expose your campaign, ours so far will be in English and Spanish. We plan to add Chinese language at some point but for now it is not possible. The more languages you add, the more people your message can reach.
Once all the fields in the plugin are completed, you should carefully check the syntax of your content, in case of having any error after being created you cannot edit it, only delete it. After creating it in Digital Ocean your campaign will be hosted in a static IP address.
Now is the time to associate this static IP address to some domain. In this case, a domain provider that can pay with BCH is namecheap.com
Now we have the server, the domain and we just need to redirect the requests from our domain to the server where the campaign is hosted in the DNS.
At this point we already had the smile and the emotion of having the campaign ready for its release but they warned us, your domain is not HTTPS.
Time to ponder the responsibility of placing a campaign without HTTPS, unfortunately on the web there are people who use their brilliant knowledge in a harmful way. Exposing your campaign without a security certificate can lead to both you and your donors being the victims of a scam or deception.
This mistake, however small it may seem, can cost you thousands of dollars and lose the trust of all your donors, something that is very difficult to recover.
One of our premises has always been that BitcoinCash must be easy as well as the tools to use it, but without forgetting that above all else it must be safe. Exposing many campaigns to a risk of this type, which is obviously a security hole and that they are finally scammed by a hacker or a group of the deep web can mean a very great stigma for the BCH.
A stigma that would damage the reputation of the cryptocurrency from which adversaries and detractors would greatly benefit, would be a huge blow to a brilliant tool since its inception.
It is for this reason that we have decided to pause our campaign until we have solved the technical problem of requesting an SSL certificate for our domain and thus encrypt the communication between the server and the domain. We have raised this concern in the Telegram group of administrators and Creators of Flipstarter, it is a timely warning for everyone involved.
We have been advised on the subject and it is required to make additional configurations in the proxy through a web server. Currently in the integrated solution of Digital Ocean the Apache and Nginx directories are not listed so it is necessary to install them and then proceed to request the SSL certificate with let's ecnrypt, it sounds easy but it requires specialized knowledge, we are still investigating and trying to get it .
We attach the risks of using http:
Interception of communication
Man in the middle attacks
Modification of scripts and content
Denial of Service Attacks
We hope to offer more progress on our campaign, as well as share our experience to help groups that want to start Flipstarter safely. An excellent tool, with a promising future but that must be improved in the intrinsic aspects of security and the forecasts to develop it in an easy and reliable way.
It is very true that this would be easily overcome with people with advanced knowledge of servers and programming language, but if we want the Flipstarter to be easy and for everyone, it needs to be easy and secure like BitcoinCash.
The best way to contribute to the growth of BitcoinCash is by sharing our experiences and learning by doing. It is the best way to build it for everyone as sound money for everyone.
Thank you! 💚
We want to finally thank the people who have helped us carry out this task with their knowledge and voluntary help, we still continue dreaming and we will not stop in the face of adversity.