Build a DApp on Thunder

In this tutorial, we will be developing a decentralized application (DApp) and deploy it on the Thunder network.

Install Truffle and ganache

Truffle is a popular DApp development framework. Ganache is used for launching a local blockchain for development purposes. They are both written in JavaScript and can be installed with npm, the canonical JavaScript package manager.

If you don’t have npm installed, follow the instructions here to install it.

Once you have npm ready, run the following command:

npm install -g truffle ganache-cli

If you run into permission errors, prepend the commands above with sudo.

Install MetaMask

MetaMask is browser extension for using DApps.

To install MetaMask, go to the website and select an installation method depending on your browser.

Once you installed MetaMask, click on the fox icon in your browser and go through the account creation process. You will be asked to save a seed phrase. Make sure to save it somewhere secure; we will need to use it later.

Download the Thunder Truffle box

To make it easier to get started with Thunder, we’ve created a template for Thunder DApps that can be downloaded with Truffle.

Go ahead and create an empty directory. Then inside the directory, run:

truffle unbox thundertoken/dapp-tutorial

It may take a minute or two. Once it’s done, feel free to explore the directory to see what we have got.

In the following sections, unless otherwise specified, all commands should be run within this directory.

Launching a local blockchain

As aforementioned, during development it’s recommended to use a local blockchain. To launch a local blockchain, simply run the following command in a new terminal:


You are going to see some console printout. One of the lines towards the end is going to look something like:

Mnemonic:      urge club joy arrow finish false then ocean stereo stock this giraffe

Go ahead and copy the mnemonic. We will need to use it later.

Now that we have a local blockchain running, let’s try deploying our smart contracts on it. In a new terminal, run:

truffle deploy

If the command finishes running without any errors, the smart contracts have been deployed!

Lastly, we will now configure MetaMask so it uses the local blockchain:

  • Click the MetaMask fox icon in your browser.
  • Click the network dropdown and select “Localhost 8545”
  • Click the menu icon on the upper right corner.
  • Click “Log Out”.
  • Click “Restore from seed phrase”.
  • Paste the mnemonic that you just copied, then put in some password. Then click “OK”.

If everything goes right, you should see that you have around 100ETH. Woah! But keep in mind these are just tokens on your local blockchain and don’t have real value.

Launching the DApp

Now that we’ve launched a local blockchain, deployed a smart contract, and connected MetaMask with the local blockchain, we can finally launch our DApp!

In a new terminal window, run:

cd client
npm run start

Now, go to http://localhost:3000. You should be seeing a page with the title MyToken.

Congrats, you’ve created your first DApp!

So what’s this DApp about? It’s essentially launching your own ICO, or initial coin offering, where people get tradable tokens that live on the blockchain. In this case, we are calling our token MyToken.

If you look at your balance, you should see that you have 1000000 tokens already. We will get to the reason why later. For now, let’s try sending the tokens to someone else. Since this is a local blockchain, we don’t really have other people to send to. Fortunately it’s easy enough to create a new address on a blockchain, so let’s do just that:

  • Click the MetaMask icon in your browser.
  • Click the accounts button, which is the first button in the upper right corner.
  • Click “Create Account”.

You’ve created a new account! Now, click the three dots next to the header “Account 2”, and click “Copy Address to clipboard.” Then click the accounts button again to switch back to “Account 1”.

Now go back to the DApp. In the To field, paste in the address you just copied. In the Amount field, put in the amount of tokens you’d like to send. Finally, click Send and confirm the transaction through the MetaMask pop-up.

Now, you should see that the balance shown in the web page has been reduced by the correct amount. Now try switching the account to “Account 2” and refresh the page. You should see that the balance reflects the amount you just sent.

Updating the DApp

So we’ve just launched our first token, which is very cool. However, it’d be cooler if we could give the token a real name as opposed to a generic name like MyToken.

Open the file contracts/Token.sol in your favorite editor. Even if you are not already familiar with Solidity (the smart contract programming language), you can probably make sense of the code:

  • On line 6, we are setting the name of the token to MyToken.
  • On line 7, we are giving our token the symbol MT, similar to how USD is short for the US dollars.
  • On line 9, we are setting the initial supply of the money to 1 million.

Go ahead and change all of that! Give your token a better name, a cooler symbol, and a different initial supply.

Once you’ve done that, run the following commands again:

truffle compile
truffle deploy --reset

Now go back to the DApp and make sure you are using Account 1 in MetaMask. You should see your new token with the amount you specified as the initial supply.

Connecting to the Thunder testnet

It was very cool launching your own token. However, it’s no fun if you can only send it to yourself. Now let’s “go live” by deploying the DApp to the Thunder testnet, so other people can use your tokens.

The first thing we need to do is to connect MetaMask with the Thunder testnet. Here are the steps:

  • Click the MetaMask fox icon in your browser.
  • Log out of your current account (which is provided by the local blockchain) by clicking the menu button, and then click “Log Out”.
  • Click “Restore from seed phrase” again and restore your original account with your original seed phrase.
  • Click the dropdown that says “Private Network”.
  • Select “Custom RPC”.
  • In the field that says “New RPC URL”, enter

With any luck, you should see that your account has been refreshed with a balance of 0. This is because you don’t own any Thunder tokens yet. Let’s go ahead and get some Thunder tokens!

Getting Thunder testnet tokens

Head straight to “”…

Deploying the DApp on Thunder testnet

We’ve made it very easy to deploy on the Thunder testnet. Go back to the code directory and open truffle.js in your favourite editor. Edit the first line to use your actual mnemonic, such as this:

// This is just an example!!  You want to use your actual mnemonic.
let mnemonic = "candy maple cake sugar pudding cream honey rich smooth crumble sweet treat";

Once that’s done, simply run the following command:

truffle deploy --network thunder

The command is self-explanatory: we are deploying the smart contracts on Thunder.

When the command has finished running, go back to your DApp running on http://localhost:3000.

Again, you should see that you already have 1000000 tokens. But this time, the tokens are live on the Thunder testnet, and you can send tokens to anyone with a Thunder testnet address!

But wait, you might say, how do people use my tokens if the DApp is running on localhost? That’s an excellent question. To make sure others can actually access your DApp, we will be using the free hosting service Github pages.

Deploying the frontend on Github pages

Head to github and create a new repo. You should name the repo after your token, since your DApp will eventually be available at https://<username><repo-name>.

Once you’ve created the repo, push your code into the repo. The steps are roughly as follows:

git init
git add .
git commit -m "Init"
git remote add origin <your-repo-url>
git push -u origin master

Once that’s done, open up package.json in your favorite editor and edit the homepage field to look like the following:

  "homepage": "https://<username><repo-name>",

You want to replace <username> with your actual github username and <repo-name> with your actual repo name.

Finally, go into the client/ subdirectory and run:

npm run deploy

Once the command finishes running, you can head to your homepage URL and you should see your DApp! This time, the DApp is running on the public internet and available for everyone to use.