Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum and Sasha Ivanov of Waves (May, 2016). Can Waves catch the smart contract wave and become a leader and contender vs. Ethereum?

Waves vs. Ethereum and the Future of Blockchain Startups

We are living in an era of the race to app engagement facilitated by crypto. Even SMS apps are trying to embed crypto’s popularity into their products with the likes of Kik and their “Kin” token, Telegram and even Japanese based Line is opening a cryptocurrency market exchange. Recently, NEO has overtaken TRON for 11th spot and is known in the west as the “Chinese Ethereum”.

The battle for dApp platforms that are scalable has begun, new smart contract solutions are appearing. Global innovation in blockchain is at an all-time high.

The Russian Ethereum?

I consider myself a beginner blockchain historian, and I was floored to know that there is another Ethereum like platform that is cheaper than Ethereum for blockchain startups that happens also to be known for a big and helpful community.

The price of its token is around $2.94 and it’s ranked 44th currently on Coinmarketcap. It’s called Waves, and it just launched a new DX. A side note about my recent interest in dApp platforms, ICOs and smart contracts; I have virtually no following on Twitter. However, I’ve been conducting Twitter polls on different cryptocurrency trends.

My most successful poll to date has gained over 400 votes (darn that Twitter seven day limit to polls), and it’s simply:

Who is the Next Ethereum? Excluding EOS and NEO?

Up against the likes of Cardano, Stratis and Qtum, Waves has 39% of the total vote. If you were early to this article, you have a few more hours to cast your vote, please go here.

Waves has nearly 5,000 followers on Medium, it’s starting to get more noticed by blockchain startups and cryptocurrency advocates and investors a lot more (myself included). What has struck me the most about them is could it be a cheaper alternative for token blockchain startups to go to than Ethereum and is the community really bigger than some of the other contenders to Ethereum? It does appear that way.

Waves claims to be the fastest decentralized blockchain: 100tx/s and Over 450 tx/s recorded on mainnet during airdrops

The Era of Decentralized Crowdfunding

I have no doubts Ethereum has a massive lead in daily active developers, partnerships and of course ICOs. However, I believe Waves is certainly one to watch now.

Is Waves a blockchain for the people that could scale? If I’m a blockchain startup in East Asia, India or Australia, the reality is Waves might be even more attractive to me than Ethereum to launch my token and potentially my ICO. Those in Europe and North America on the other hand, are far more likely to choose the established Ethereum option.

If you are a blockchain startup founder, risk-aversion is not likely in your repertoire.

While in 2018 we know many ICOs don’t survive, the cost of launching a token based blockchain needs to be reduced — and Waves could be part of that solution for blockchain startups that have the right fit.

Waves Facts and Figures

Waves on Reddit
  • Waves has 26,000 subscribers to their Telegram and 130,000 on Twitter.
  • They are an ICO platform and employ Non turing smart contracts.
  • Optimized for passive income generation and Easy coin creation (where the cost = 1 Waves currently)
  • They are also a crypto gateway for BTC, BCH, ETH, WAVES, ZEC, DASH, LTC and XMR; EUR, USD and TRY.
  • Their wallet is known being easy to use, having a clean interface and of course an alias feature.
  • They are ranked an impressive 11th, in terms of GitHub commits. This means they are ahead of the likes of Aeternity, VeChain, Monero, Steem and many others.

Anyways I could go on, but you sort of get the idea. They are doing their due diligence, are security audited and claim strong fundamentals and scalability.

WAVES Product Timeline and New DEX Launch

Their product updates look regular and significant.

Recently the have launched a new DEX. They wanted to do a major redesign and UI update to freshen up and improve the UX to the next level.

Waves DEX is the fastest, most secure and user-friendly DEX in the world — and with the new release, the trading experience has become something truly outstanding. (Waves on Medium)

As far as I know they have also thought a lot about how to innovate their ecosystem to add more value. These will probably include Atomic swaps (an ERC-20 first), Hardware wallet (Ledger, Trezor), voting and later turing complete smart contracts.

An ambitious 2018 Roadmap to be sure.

Ed Posnak here on Medium wrote about the origin and future of Waves. He sums it up well when he says:

It (Waves) implements a Proof of Stake (PoS) flavor of Bitcoin-NG’s scaling solution and provides some novel mechanisms, such as integrated fiat gateways, token launcher, and decentralized exchange, that greatly simplify the process of issuing and trading custom tokens.
  • There’s some indication Waves could beat Ethereum out in scalability, at least in terms of ease of use of how blockchain tokens and ICOs could work in the future.
  • Sasha Ivanov has done a fair job at establishing partnerships as well. These include the likes of Transtelecom, one of the largest telecom operators in Kazakhstan, Deloitte, Tokenomy, Astana International Financial Center, TMT Blockchain Fund, LegalThings One and more.
  • They are even doing a Contest for Writers to write a great summary of the Waves Platform.

How Does Blockchain Evolve from 2018 Onwards

In 2018 I think we’ll see Waves go from startup to contender, in the ever changing ICO and dApp platform global market. As many Singapore and Asian based platforms are gaining momentum, Waves, based in Moscow, has an interesting role to play. The reality is likely that there’s more Chinese blockchain startups than we know. When India catches up, Waves could seriously and rapidly grow.

Every crypto platform claims to have a great community and I can’t speak for Waves, I’m not on their Discord. However what strikes me from the perspective of blockchain startups to be their unique selling point is this: Insanely low fees. <$0.01 (0.003 WAVES) per order. This point alone makes it a valid place many tokens might start on.

Smart contracts are all the rage.

If you are a platform to enable blockchain startups to launch tokens and ICOs, you have to be easy to use.

  • Waves was designed to address the shortcomings of existing blockchains, with custom token creation and management its number one priority.
  • Fully functional exchange that is as fast as a centralized one but does not suffer from the same security issues.
Waves Node team have grown to 12 people. Now they have 9 Scala developers, 2 QA-engineers and 1 analyst. Two Scala developers, Alexander Makoed and Mikhail Potanin, joined not long ago.

Citing Ed Posnak again, if the Waves project’s philosophical and technical roots come from the Nxt blockchain project, upon which Ivanov had built decentralized businesses such as Coinomat, which was launched in 2013 — Waves is philosophically speaking five years old now in 2018, and thus is more mature and pragmatic for doing what it does, well.

While ICOs are under a fair degree of scrutiny by regulators and even digital Ad platforms (they are still banned on Facebook), ICOs are still on pace to raise at least 5x what they did in 2017. There are probably more blockchain startups than ever before. Let’s be real a lot of them will die, but some of them might change the world for the better.

This makes the Waves platform a real exciting project to get behind. Like Ethereum or NEO it’s enabling the blockchain ecosystem to thrive, and nurture how startups in the crypto space might find funding. At its roots, Waves seems to be a comprehensive blockchain ecosystem that provides all necessary features for business adoption.

The WAVES community continues to evolve, and they have truly not neglected the human aspect at all that’s startup friendly, and not simply geared at developers or investors.

While Waves may have manifested ease of use in 2018, mass adoption remains an elusive goal. Until Ethereum implements Sharding, Plasma and Casper, Waves technically has way higher throughput, using PoW to secure the main chain. [Edit: Waves now uses LPOS — Leased Proof of Stake, I am told.] Waves needs to keep innovating and building partnerships to continue to grow, 2018 is a critical year for them.

Ultimately, dApp platforms could very well end up being a zero-sum game where globally there may only be a few winners. As things stand today, Waves platform has an off-chance of being one of those.

Author’s note: I don’t own any Waves at the time of writing this article.