How blockchain startup Questbook is helping developers pursue Web3 projects

Founded in 2021, QuestBookaims to decentralise grant programmes to help Web2 developers transition to Web3 space and explore newer opportunities. 

The blockchain startup says it focusses on DAOs (decentralised autonomous organisations)–entities that are autonomous and community-led with varying degrees of central control. DAOs are considered the future of the internet because not only are they integral for managing blockchain protocols but also help developers find opportunities to work on passion Web3 projects and earn capital. 

Since the talent pool for many projects is limited, DAOs roll out grants to attract developers. Several protocols including Uniswap, Compound, Aave employ various tools to manage their grant programmes, however, the industry lacks a standardised approach to deploying these grants. 

What often ends up happening is that while these grants and edtech platforms for Web3 reel in developers, they do not provide adequate long-term incentives. 

Palo Alto, California headquartered Questbook, co-founded by Abhilash Inumella, Subhash Karri, Sriharsha Karamchati and Madhavan Malolan, is attempting to decentralise these grant programmes and support developers.

Questbook is an app that offers courses for professionals and the startup is building an on-chain grant orchestration tool to offer a platform for developers to work on Web3 projects.

The startup wants to bridge the gap between a grant ecosystem and applicants. In 2021, Questbook started out as a learning/edtech platform, and later in the year 2022, the team decided to build on-chain grant orchestration tool to empower developers. 

The journey 

Abhilash, Subhash, Sriharshai, and Madhavan have known each other since their days at the International Institution of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad. 

“We were from the same university but were from different batch and we have known each other for more than 10 years now,” Madhavan tells the DecryptingStory. 

The team came together to address and minimise resource constraints, as well as support developers in accessing Web3 projects. 

Sriharsha came with a name for their venture. Questbook, Madhavan says, signifies a developer’s quest for capital and the startup aims to support and encourage this talent. 

On being as why the startup chose DAO as a medium, Madhavan explains, “I believe in Web3, as this medium enables us to build a composable, trustless, permissionless and censorship resistant product. All the four  things resonate well with the medium and we want our product to be accessible for everyone.”

The startup has partnered with blockchain networks such as Polygon, Solana, Harmony, NEAR, AAve and will be a multichain platform. “We are trying to connect Web3 projects to contributors,” Madhavan says. 

BTS at Questbook 

The startup says its software is completely decentralised and on-chain, meaning DAOs and protocols can test various grant schemes at the same time and obtain extensive information about grant applicants. All the sensitive information will be encrypted. 

“We are now focussing on helping the Web3 projects run their grant programmes, helping developers to come and build Web3 projects. 

Data is stored on-chain and the front end is served via decentralised storage networks. Questbook says it doesn’t run its own database or servers, making the product completely decentralised, open-sourced and composable. 

“Everything is managed on-chain, data is stored on IPFS and indexed on Graph Protocol.” Web3 is composable in the sense that most Web2 companies disclose their Application Programming Interface (API)  several years after the launch, whereas in Web3, APIs are disclosed by default from day one.

The startup has also introduced an evaluation rubric feature, which it says allows grant administrators sift applications by adding an evaluation rubric to a grant and assigning reviewers to it. 

Assigned reviewers are then able to evaluate the application and provide their feedback in an encrypted format. DAOs ensure security since they function on smart contracts instead of traditional corporate structures. 

The firm intends to employ crypto-economics—a combination of incentives and cryptography to build systems, applications, and networks. Once the proof of completion is submitted and the grant is approved, applicants will be rewarded with tokens. 

Challenges

Infrastructure and tooling, according to Madhavan, are Questbook’s biggest challenges.

“We are developing a grants orchestration tool and hence we have to develop a lot of infrastructure. We’re developing a product with a Multichain feature, but there are no libraries for interfacing with many chains. We have to build them and we are open sourcing every single code,” he explains.

Future plans 

Over the past few decades, the internet has moved from a new technology used by scientists to a necessity for everyday life, thanks to millions of applications built on top of the network.

Web3 enthusiasts across the world envision a similar, if not bigger, growth in adoption of emerging technologies. 

Questbook, Madhavan says, would like to be the epicentre of innovation in Web3. 

“We intend to make the grant programmes employ our tooling, protocol and infrastructure. That’s the goal. In the future we are going to make progress on wallets and credentials,” he says.

The startup intends to make grants applicants’ credentials accessible on-chain. 

“Credentials are an important part of the Web 3, if credentials are provided, discovering grant will be feasible. For instance if the data is accessible, a user interface (UI) can be created to match the right builders with the right possibilities, explains Madhavan. 

The startup aims to enable the discovery of crypto earning opportunities, “There are two ways to encourage developers and individuals to work on Web3 projects, firstly via games, secondly providing users opportunity to earn in crypto and we are focussing on the latter aspect,” he says. 

Questbook is now a community of 20,000 developers with a team size of 20. “Right now we are focussing on developers. Once this is done, we will focus on various other aspects including design, product management and marketing.”

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti

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