Gravity: year in review
In this post, we are looking back on 2020’s key highlights and achievements.
Initially presented at Waves’ Community Meetup in late 2019, the idea of Gravity, an inter-chain communication protocol, came to fruition in early 2020, and the protocol was gradually built throughout the year.
As of early 2020, the blockchain and Web3 development team Venlab, which was behind “Mastering Web 3.0”, a popular course for developers of new decentralized technologies, and was also involved in the creation of the Neutrino protocol, completely focused on Gravity.
In the spring, the initial research white paper on the Gravity protocol was published, following extensive research and experimentation with cross-chain communication and various architectures of oracle networks, using decentralized applications, such as Neutrino, Lombardini and Waves oracles.
Based on core parts of the research concept, a demo network and a Gravity portal prototype were developed and launched in July 2020. It was the first MVP of the Gravity protocol and its user interface.
Subsequently, the devnet was launched. It was a stable version of the network with fixed instances of custom target chain networks. The network was designed for public testing and debugging of the Gravity functionality.
The devnet version contained three separate subprojects: a gateway for tokens, a framework for integration tests to enable quick target chain integration and a set of images for launching a Gravity node on a one-click-deployment cloud platform or on any custom cloud provider.
In addition, gateways were immediately operational in the public testnets of integrated chains.
In September, the team released a framework for integration tests in an effort to facilitate the process of integrating Binance Smart Chain and other blockchains as Gravity target chains.
Besides Ethereum and Waves, accessible out-of-the-box, BSC was used as a showcase for seamless integration of an EVM-compatible blockchain through the integration test framework.
A foundational functionality required for cross-chain communication is the most basic procedure: cross-chain asset swaps. Hence, an oracle-based solution of implementing token transfers, which is called the SuSy protocol, was first established.
SuSy, as a protocol and interface for cross-chain gateways, was the first alpha product built on Gravity. It supported Waves as the origin chain and Binance Smart Chain as the destination chain.
During a Gravity AMA in October, a testnet-based demo was presented to bring the audience up to speed with the concept of SuSy cross-chain swaps.
The Neutrino Dollar (USDN), a stablecoin issued on Waves’ Neutrino protocol, has identical functionalities on BSC and Ethereum, including auto-staking, elastic supply, and staking rewards that are automatically distributed among all holders.
The SuSy mainnet alpha is currently live at susy.gravity.tech and provides an interface that allows users to swap USDN tokens from Waves into BSC.
Moreover, users holding their USDNs in the initially supported liquidity pools, such as Pancake Swap, StableX and BurgerSwap, can also expect to be rewarded for the important work of providing liquidity. In addition to USDN, all major tokens of the Waves ecosystem, such as NSBT, WEST, ERGO and SIGN will be eventually “swapable” on SuSy.
In the future, all tokens issued through the SuSy gateway will be made available on popular AMM services.
A promising solution would be an AMM service based on Gravity. One of the proposals is called Graviton. It can give financial incentivization and offer a governance framework for cross-chain transfers providers and AMM liquidity providers of tokens wrapped with Gravity.
Certainly, 2021 is going to be the year of inter-chain applications built on top of Gravity — especially, but not exclusively, in the area of cross-chain transfers. The Gravity protocol has ushered an era of seamless inter-chain solutions, based on the principles of cooperation and neutrality, and 2021 will be a period to put these principles into practice.