- a blockchain forum platform for Steem

in #chainbb4 years ago (edited)

Before you we go any further, I'd invite you to read this post on

It's been in the making for a while, but I'm excited to announce the beta release of chainBB, a functional forum interface currently on the steem blockchain. Last January I created a prototype of this design on and received an overwhelmingly positive response. As soon as life settled down a little after my move, I started working on the full fledged prototype that would meet the needs of the Steem community.

The beta version of chainBB will exist here for the time being:

Forum Homepage

Emphasis on Discussions

My goal in building chainBB was to bring a product that was focused very deeply on engagement. It can be hard to keep up with a busy discussion using a reddit-style interface having to hunt-and-peck at responses as they come in. Luckily we have the Steem blockchain, and it's possible to build new interfaces! chainBB is focused on the concepts post+bump and single-threaded, chronological ordering. Every new response to a thread will bump that thread to the top of it's respective forum(s), and all posts are displayed in chronological order, with newest being last.

With discussions being the primary focus of the site to begin, you'll notice many features and pieces of information that are missing from chainBB. These features can come in overtime, or perhaps they're not needed and better left to a reddit style discovery platform such as As the product evolves, we'll be able to make these decisions based on the needs of whatever community uses it.


  • First tag priority: The forums are based off of the FIRST tag used in any post. Each forum has a set of tags associated to it, and for a post to be included in a specific forum, it's first tag must match one of the tags in it's list. You don't have to use them all, just one, as the first.
  • Sign-in: You can currently log into chainbb with your posting keys only, it won't accept any of your other keys or your master password. There's a link on the sign-in form with a guide showing how to find your posting key.
  • Voting: Every post is displayed with a vote button and a dropdown caret to adjust your voting weight.
  • Posting New Threads: At the top/bottom of each forum, there's a button to create a new post for that forum. The top of the page shows a list of tags, which one of which must be included (as the first tag) for the post to appear in that forum.
  • Posting Replies to Threads: While reading a thread (a post + it's comments), you can click on any post to leave a reply. Whatever post you choose to reply to will be it's parent in the steemit-style threaded discussion, and if you reply to anything besides the original post, the post you replied to will be quoted in your post.
  • 1% Post Rewards Beneficiaries: All posts created through the forum will have 1% of it's rewards split off to the @chainbb account. I personally don't have a stockpile of cash to donate to infrastructure/work time on the project, so this small amount of earnings will hopefully help pay the bills. I am including this in the features list to just ensure it's existence is known.
  • Forum Groups: On the left under the login, and across the top, are what I'm currently calling Forum Groups. With chainBB, we have the ability to create totally separate portions of the forums that may appeal more to specific audiences. Currently the General Forums are geared towards the general public, and the Crypto Forums are geared towards those interested in blockchain technologies. More forums and groups will come online as we discuss what would be nice to have!

Still needing improvements

  • All account management and account profile pages link to
  • Currently it's impossible to downvote/flag on the site
  • The content editor is a simple textbox at the moment, and could be improved upon. It should make due for testing though, as this is a forum, and most likely advanced formatting isn't as important. But things like a markdown helper, wysiwyg, preview, editing, and image support could all be in the future.
  • Needs much better server infrastructure to live on, as it's running on one of my crappy backups right now. It may crash because I'm posting this.
  • Posting currently takes about 10 seconds to submit, wait for a block, and wait for the forums to process it. This can/will be improved overtime, and a lot of it will boil down to having a better server setup.
  • None of the social features are enabled (Follow/Feeds/Block/etc).

Technology behind it

While I'm relatively new to a few of the tech stacks that uses, I tried to keep using similar technology to allow for collaboration between teams. chainBB is built with a React/Redux frontend, using steemit/steem-js for connectivity to the blockchain. The backend is a simple REST API + MongoDB for the custom indices, along with a service layer to keep the database updated. Both of these are written entirely in python using steem-python and flask.

The code is available on github.

This project isn't incredibly old and I'm still pretty green with react, so don't hate too hard :)

Give it a try, post some feedback!

I'd encourage you to give it a shot, and let me know what you think! Feel free to reply to this thread, or you're more than welcome to post a new thread in the chainBB - Feedback forum here:

You could also just write a post on, but make sure you use the #chainbb tag as your first tag, or it won't be included.


Maybe you should visit a doctor for your issue. It's not going away easy , unless you leave steemit.

lol 😂
Great momentum, price increase...projects announcements... wow

Awesome, i'm new to the site I like the Markdown features on the site
That will be great

You are going to need a new wardrobe after the day steem is having :p

Please, @whatageek, tell me, when is steem halving?

I'm not sure, but someone else might know.

Steem doesn't have a halving, it just gradually decreases over a long period of time :)

Get your prostate checked.

chainBB is secure for steemit account??

The possibilities are endless!!!!

Thank you for your vote and concern about my @steemitjp I followed you. I do my best to boost steemit Japan as frontier. I have one questions about ChinBB. How to sign up this forum.?From David

You just login with your steem account :)

Thank you so much for information.

Great stuff! I'm not a fan of the old-school BB style myself, but I'm sure many users will find themselves at home.

(Replied from of course)

Are not all tags supported? I cannot navigate to the #gridcoin forum :S

The /forum route only works on tags specified to match a forum that I've created, and I haven't made one for gridcoin yet.

However, the topics interface will let you do that:

I need to make that easier to find, just haven't got around to it yet :)

Ah cool, good to know. The site looks great, good job! :)

Thanks! Was actually a lot of fun to build, and be able to re-envision steem as something besides just a blog :)

Great job! A forum with STEEM can prove to be so useful and valuable in many ways such as easier finding (some) things and a better platform for engagement. Running over right now to check it out, even without tying my shoes first!

This is excellent and exactly what STEEM needs. We need more projects utilizing the STEEM engine - great work!

Wov, it seems great! Great work!
I will set up a forum like this! :)
Is it capable to use more languages?

Yeah, totally possible, and that'd be an excellent feature. I'll add it to my list of ideas.

We could even have language-specific forums, that if the tags are used, would group all of the posts written in that language together for building communities of that languages native speakers.

more language will be awesome. :-)

That would be great!
I really like developments on top of Steem like this. It makes it so easy to introduce Steem to a community.

If you want to build it out on my domain email me: [email protected] .

I'm not so much a developer :)

You've accomplished something incredible and provided a very familiar way of searching through content. Some forums have HUGE traffic because of the ease with which you can find your topic of interest and comment!

Well Done!

You've done it you magnificent bastard!!!

Just me or is the forum really very clean?

Love the design! :)

EDIT: Loads faster too!

Thanks! The design itself could still use a bit of love, but I'm glad it came together as nice as it did :)

jesta, my man! Still at it! Super!

Great stuff. I signed in and had a look around. It's exciting to see developments like this.

This looks absolutely fantastic! I hope it will be a huge success for you. Thank you for helping making the Steem blockchain better!

This is really amazing and shows the power of steem and the blockchain!

I may have just squealed a little in public reading this.

Great work as always, Jesta! Good to see you continued your work on this promising project.

Now a question: is one of your goals to enable people to create their own forums using this technology which would have its own domain? Example being I'd believe this would open a door to a lucrative market. So something like Wordpress has done to basic websites but forums.

It feels like a stretch goal, but definitely something I thought about and would like to see happen.

For something of that magnitude, making it compatible on tons of hardware and easy to install/maintain, I'd probably have to build a team of developers to ramp up development. It's still relatively immature software at the moment and my fingers can only type so fast :)

Heh, one step at a time. Just wanted to know what vision you're having while building this.

Hopefully as Steem gains more adoption, building a team around this project will be thing that can be supported by the community.

I sure hope so!

With both Reprint and chainBB, I see them as tools to empower anyone to run their own blockchain based website for whatever niche/community they are passionate about. Steemit itself serves as the central hub (much like reddit does) for content discovery, while Reprint (like Wordpress) allows people to build out their own media website and chainBB (like phpBB/discourse) would allow people to start building communities.

The sky is really the limit as far as these technologies go. Over the last year working on this stuff and exploring the possibilities of content-blockchains, I've never been more optimistic. I was part of the first .com boom - there's so many similarities here, and so many potential applications of tech no one has even considered :)

Don't hype me so much! I'm already a believer :)

The internet connected us and now blockchain is building on that by introducing trust to the mix. I do believe the impact will be as large as it was with the internet, possibly even bigger as we are already seeing governments planning to build cities that rely on blockchain technology and tokenizing assets. Few examples: Chinese government is looking into tokenizing their fiat currency and Dubai believes it will save tens of millions of manhours utilizing blockchain.

Seems like our wildest dreams will be dwarfed by reality. And I'm glad I get to be part of it as I happened to be a bit too young to witness .com boom!

@jesta, keep work on it. Make it faster and faster.

The main body should be on the left side, and the side login info on the right.
Just me, I normally look on left to right, and it's annoying seeing the Sign-in info on every new page.

Good feedback, I kind of agree. I'll have to do some research - a lot of forum software does it the way it currently is, perhaps there's a reason.

The login shouldn't be over there, that's for sure. I haven't given that any love since the minute it was working well :)

this. this is it. this.

Still not exactly sure how to use this.. Is this a fully automated process?

This Is why Price Spiked! Great News for Steemit's Ecosystem

Exciting news to know it is coming on now! Thanks for sharing the updates with us all. May the force stay with us. Namaste :)

It's nice to see how engaged and dedicated the team is and also to be updated in detailed posts like these.

It gives me confidence in steemit and I'm happy to have the opportunity of seeing such a revolutionary social platform develope and grow and the chance to invest in it.

Keep it up boys!

Great Post! Steemit is a promising community and is democratizing journalism.

Steemit is a great source of passive income if done properly. My goal in life is to be financially independent in the next 10 years, and Steemit is definitely going to help that.


Hi Jack, l'm on the same page with you. l am brand new and could use a little guidance. ls there a FAQ sheet l could browse as l haven't found much yet on the net, thx.

A FAQ was published pretty recently, it can be found here:

Thanks for the hard work, seems like a great forum.

Do you need moderators for this forum?

Potentially, though it would be a ways in the future. There's no moderation tools at the moment ;)

This is awesome love it great job well done ... :)

That is an interesting idea. I'll check it out @steem-project!

#chainBB Am excited to try the new platform and buy some steam. Us old guys have a hard time putting in passwords that are 60 characters long. I'm sure it will be worth it! Thanks!

Fantastic jesta. You just keep making great stuff. It's honestly really impressive.

This is awesome! So many new projects are announced lately that bring even more value for the STEEM blockchain. I think we are just at the start in regards to price development. Well done!

Nice work Jesta and Chainsquad!! I noticed it last week when Ned tweeted about it.

great job with this, looks really darn slick! 👏👏👏

Great work. What about aiming a :)

That's kind of what I was going for with the "Crypto" forum group I made:

I made some general forums + the top 20 market cap coins, and made a forum for each of them :)

Well. Dont want to ask the details and plans on development right know. Just let`s see how your project flies off! ))

Just awesome, really really useful and it looks lovely too.

Interesting stuff, it's great to see that steemit constantly grows and evolves to meet the needs of the users instead of only catering to the big dawgs. I'm not sure i understand fully, but i'll keep looking into this, seems like it could prove worthy.

This Great stuff creating, growth and expanding currency flows instantly.

Nice, btw, why not show the vote profit?

I just haven't taken the time to integrate anything related to payouts yet - purely focused on building something that helps spur discussions!

Great work keep it going. Defenitly gonna try t out . At the moment it looks userfriendly thats a + =). Hope it helps u pay the bills . Steem 4 the win

Keep up the good work. New apps are benefiting everyone in the Community. Thank you!

Please add services section where users can give rewards through steem or steem power for completing jobs.

Better than steemchat?.......Nice one mate

Nice post! i just followed you

Love the python programming language. I mainly program in PHP though.

That's what my primary language was up until about a year ago, but recently I haven't had much use for it.

The bulk of this forum stuff was in reactjs which I'm still undecided on. It's a strange paradigm shift from what I'm used to, but it's not too bad.

Hey..this is great, magnificent, and excellent stuff!! keep it up!!

Outstanding. I might be old because I've never found Reddit or anything that style to be an improvement over a good-old forum.

Good momentum, about price increases ... I have to read over and over again but I really like it,,,,

@jesta any plans to integrate steemconnect for auth?

Maybe in the future (with v2 of steemconnect), but right now it's easier to use the official steem-js library and do native transactions.

It's the reason I only accept public keys to accounts as well, and refuse to process any active/owner keys.

Ah makes sense, and absolutely fair, also I was wondering I know your busy jesta but is there a chance that when you have an opportunity you can review the distribution tool I created using steem js it can be found here : if you need docs please let me know, but it is very straight forward.

Looks simple enough and like it'd be pretty useful for sending out mass payments.

You may want to value.trim() on the broadcast to catch any accidental spaces between the usernames, or even go so far as to completely validate the input given (to ensure no bad usernames are sent to), but that's about all I can see at a quick glance :)

Awesome. Thank you man.

Wonderful post!

Great web men, more easy to monitor trending tag and post. Good work ...

Spectacular, well done!

It's a great work, @jesta. I'm just in a doubt about if I want to view on the steem in a categorized manner. Today I'm flying about the blog in whole, picking out postings by watching all teasers passing by. In your solution I'm in danger not to find gems by chance. For instance my writings are very often little stories containing some practical hints for beginners. Where to categorize in your system? Steemians are forced to put their postings into the right category from the very beginning. It means, we have to study all those existing categories or we are in an additional danger postingg wrong. As I said, it's a great work but is it desirable to build in additional ranges of difficulty? Now it is already hard enough for beginners to steem in the right manner.

Those problem all come from the fact that visibility is derived from potential rewards, and posts without potential rewards are often lost in a sea of similar content.

If what you write is typically hints for beginners, then maybe what we need is a "For Beginners" forum. It can be a place where articles designed for beginners can be posted, and beginners could ask questions from within it.

The beauty of the forum platform I'm building is that I can mold the forums around the activity that's happening on steemit already. So however the community rallies around a specific topic (and it's tag usage) is how I can shape a forum to assist :)

Thank you for the answer, @jesta. It sounds very good. Do I understand it right, your solution is just to complete Steemit and not mentioned to replace it as the better solution?
By the way, congatulations for the reward of this posting. It looks like the rewards during the early days of steemit. Well done! Posting and your forum solution as well.

Absolutely, it's meant to be an alternative view, not a direct competitor.

They're on the same blockchain, use the same content, the same rewards pools, and has the same users. Users can pick and choose which platform they want to use, whether that's,, eSteem (mobile app), and now chainbb. It's all one big happy blockchain family :)

^ That was me by the way, was logged into the account I've been used for testing :)

Interesting concept and my friend @jesta you have tickled my thoughts on it:

  1. Forum or a place like Steemit or where actual posts with rewards are made?
  2. Your Forum interacts with the Steemit user database but hopefully cannot modify it because how secure is your Forum
  3. You talk about algorithms of placement based upon response but isn't a Forum about searching for an answer to a question and the ability to find it quickly?

I am just bringing up questions that come to mind so I hope you realize they are only thoughts your post which enjoyed bring up.

Haha, glad to have inspired some thoughts :)

  1. The posts on chainBB are actually on the steem blockchain, so they do earn rewards just like on The response you made from steemit also displays on chainBB, and when I upvote it from chainBB, the upvote is actually on the blockchain earning you rewards.
  2. Currently chainBB only allows you to use your posting_key, which doesn't allow any modifications to your account or balance. It only allows posting and voting on chainBB, not anything of risk. I'm writing this post from chainBB :)
  3. A forum in my mind is a place for discussion about specific topics within threads. If I were to build something with the focus of searching for answers to a question, I'd probably build an interface like or

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'm more than happy to chat about ideas related to this concept!

No down voting or flagging huh? Thanks, and do we give you the key or is it automatically accessed?

Not downvoting/flagging yet, I just haven't implemented it as a feature yet. That doesn't mean people can't use to still downvote/flag posts though :)

You can login via the website with your posting key, which then gets saved into your browsers local storage. The key itself is never sent to me or my servers, and then is just used by your browser to perform actions on the blockchain. From what I understand, this is how's login works as well.

Yes, I am looking at it now and wondering at it: personal opinion, no flags or downvoting. A better method of a vote by committee or something should be used. You see, I often examine subjects not accepted by many a person and I do it in a scientific manner. To be downvoted or flagged for making direct observation and recording prima facia evidence of an event is a bit like them trying to kill the guy who proved objects fall at the same rate when dropped from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Then again, Anonymous comes in and destroys Steemit or terrorists get on it and...I am certain or hope I am certain you have considered such things as live murders, rapes, or abuses on Facebook. Somebody does a live torture to death or a porn snuff film and it should be removed, people should not be able to watch someone's misery for entertainment, nor disavow a fact so it is a tough thing to develop and program

Quick review, started using and was very impressed. Will continue to do so, great work. ALl the best.

good post

Awesome 👏🏻 future is looking bright for steem innovations like this will play a huge role

Nice @jesta, there are ideas flying around that could use organization, this could help.

Well I hope I can help in that organization effort :)

If these ideas hit a point where they need a forum, let me know. They're super easy to create and I'm probably going to create a Steem forum group that will have forums for all the steem-internal projects/groups that are collaborating.

It is a big boon for the site, as we build these ideas that are being presented for growth, tools that help with collaboration are a must.

thank you for information

Wow thanks for all this keep the good work!

Great job!!!

wonderful post :)

Its getting pretty adicting once you see a little money start coming in.

Please help!! I don't know how this works... I just want to know how you are able to get that kind of forum going on steemit for the community. I'm wanting to make a movement with people on Steem, to grow with and be out in person with, somehow... I just want to take Steem offline somehow, and be able to travel... I'm poor so that's why I'm here. Thanks for your help.

I resteemed this and followed you for future endeavors. I love Steem capability for BitCoin and BitCoin to cash... That's what I'm still trying to figure out how to do even... so you guys are WAY SMARTER than the people who are here already.

Thanks for sharing the updates with us all!!!!

Very nice....

Sexy as hell Jesta!

Good job!!


Good job! Thank you!

Nice work! Really like the retro look...


Goosebumps, Steem is no longer a dream!

wow, amaze rewards!

Good Luck!!

nice post
if you care for your kids please please see my post (the video is a must see )

Hope you spend all the Steem money you got from the upvotes well.

I mean that as a compliment.

Really good news and more for someone who is new on this...great potential of investment.

Well this will be interesting when it catches on!

@jesta u should know about @steemshot method of mapping user made password to a posting key once during registration for his steemshot app! u should check it out
steepshot60 · 3 months ago
Posting keys still confuse a lot of people, so we've decided to let the user map a normal password to a posting key once during the registration and then use this password for further logins.

However, this process will probably change in newer versions when Steem Login and Signing Service for Third-Party Applications is released in Q3 (according to the Steemit Roadmap 2017)

Great project indeed.
Can you elaborate more on the technical aspects, steps that you have taken and why?
Thank you

I'll do a write up at some point, that would be a good developer read.