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Home is comfortable. It’s inviting and familiar and powerful. It amplifies your voice as you write because you know it. Because it’s home.

It’s also a trap.

When setting a story, choosing somewhere you know well makes a ton of sense. What better way to ensure the right amount of verisimilitude? What other way to convince the reader that they are not reading a book or story, but experiencing it? What you can feel and hear and taste in your mind because of your familiarity with the place becomes what the reader can feel and hear and taste. But what…


Using Pinata

The amazing thing about hackathons is the range of applications people come up with. Ideas flow freely, and sometimes you stumble across something you hadn’t thought about before. That was the case for us when we were judging the Eth Global NFT Hack competition. An app called MyMuzzay, now called CocoNFT, surprised us with a simple platform that pulled in Instagram posts and minted them as NFTs while storing the asset and metadata on IPFS. They did this by leveraging as many no-code tools as possible, including Zapier.

Brody Berson and Reid Robinson both work at Zapier and were able…


Using Pinata: Part 3

This is part three of a three-part series about creating NFTs like NBA Top Shot using Flow and IPFS.

Part one:

Part two:

In this final part of the series, we’re going to finish things up by enabling the transfer of NFTs. As we’ve come to expect, Flow has some great documentation around this concept, but we are going to extend those docs and make them fit the paradigm of IPFS-hosted content. Let’s dive in!

Setting Up

Hopefully, you’ve been following along with the prior two tutorials. If so, you have all the starter code necessary to continue, and we’re going to…


Great catch! I just updated the Gist to include that. Thanks.


Using Pinata: Part 2

This is part two of a three-part series focused on the Flow blockchain, NFTs, and IPFS. You can read part one here:

In this tutorial, we’re going to build a simple React application that interfaces with Flow smart contracts to authenticate and to fetch NFTs owned by a user. We will then resolve the NFT’s metadata to get the IPFS location of the NFT’s underlying digital asset (in this case a video). …


Using Pinata: Part 1

As the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) market reaches a fever pitch, it’s interesting to look back on the relatively early days of NFTs and remember the challenges that were exposed by CryptoKitties. The platform, built by the team at Dapper Labs, was the first real example of potential mass adoption and the first real strain on the Ethereum blockchain.

Since then, NFTs have taken off with platforms like Rarible , OpenSea, Foundation, and Sorare springing up. These platforms are seeing millions of dollars flow through monthly. Most of this has happened, despite the early struggles, on the Ethereum blockchain. However, the…


This is how you might feel debugging production Electron applications

Electron is a great framework that makes developing cross-platform desktop applications easy. If you’re a JavaScript developer, it is probably the first thing you’ll reach for when you decide to build a desktop application. I know I did. In building my first and second desktop applications, I used Electron. In that process, I learned some tricks to help the development process go a little smoother. One such trick is how to better debug issues that may arise in the packaged, production version of your Electron app that you won’t see in development.

If you’re not familiar with Electron, it is…


Or, more accurately, how to build a Blockchain Graphical User Interface (GUI) in Electron. This is the story of how Nelumbo came to life, why I wrote the app in JavaScript, and what I learned along the way.

First, what is Nelumbo? Nelumbo is the first desktop interface for the Filecoin local devnet version of their Lotus blockchain. That was a lot of words to say it makes developing Filecoin applications easier. Nelumbo has a one-click install and start process for the local developer version of the Filecoin blockchain. …


The introduction of Hooks in React was a game-changer. Developers now had options when it came to creating stateful components. It used to be that if you had a stateful component, you’d have to use a class component, and if you had a presentational component, you could choose between a class or a function component. Now, with hooks, state can be managed inside function components. But that’s not all Hooks did for React developers.

Hooks introduced a better way to reuse stateful functions. Today, we’re going to explore how to build a custom React hook that will allow us to…


Serverless development has become the hot thing in tech. Renting time on a virtual machine only when you need it saves money and resources. However, there are many gotchas that can make working with serverless technology difficult if you’re not prepared. One such gotcha is event handling.

Unlike a Web Server applications, events in a serverless function act very similarly to console applications. Take AWS Lambda, for example. A Lambda function is going to spin up, execute, and spin down as quickly as it can. You want this. This is one of the key selling points of serverless, and how…

Justin Hunter

Writer. Developer. Founder. Full stack engineer at Pinata. I previously founded Graphite Docs and SimpleID.

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