Everything You Need to Know About Loom Network, All In One Place (Updated Regularly)
A “table of contents” for our most important articles to date
One of the first things newcomers discover about our project is that we don’t have a “whitepaper”—a document that has (rightfully or not) become somewhat of a requirement for companies building Blockchain tech.
In short, we think talk is cheap — and the only thing that ACTUALLY matters is tangible results.
It didn’t make sense to us to publish in-depth documentation for a product that didn’t exist yet — so we figured we’d build the product first, get a bunch of developers building DApps on it second, and then release the in-depth documentation.
It’s not that we’ve been secretive about what we’re building.
We’ve written over 40,769+ words of content on our Medium publication since we started this project in October 2017.
That’s 40,769+ words exploring our best ideas — our theses about scaling Ethereum, building DApps, and why we think online games and social apps are the next industries to be disrupted by Blockchain technology.
But recently there’s been a massive surge of interest in our project.
…and while we’ve written TONS of content, it might be tough for newcomers to know where to start.
So we decided to create this article to index and organize all the good stuff just for you.
Think of it like a “table of contents” for everything we’ve written so far.
This index will be updated regularly, so it will be a one-stop buffet curated with everything you need to become a certified expert on Loom Network 😉
Ready? Let’s dive into it.
1. What is Loom Network?
Loom Network is building a fundamental infrastructure platform to help Ethereum scale.
It allows developers to run large-scale applications
, and is the first Ethereum scaling solution to be live in production.
In short, you can think of Loom Network as EOS on top of Ethereum.
The Loom SDK
Our core product is an SDK that allows developers to quickly build their own blockchains without having to understand blockchain infrastructure. Think of it like a “build your own blockchain” generator.
DAppChains: Each DApp On Its Own Sidechain
The Loom SDK generates what’s called a DAppChain — a layer-two blockchain that uses Ethereum as its base-layer.
Running each DApp on its own sidechain to Ethereum has a number of benefits, but most importantly:
- DAppChains can use alternative consensus rulesets (like DPoS) that optimize for high scalability.
- Using Ethereum as a base-layer means DAppChain-based assets (like ERC20 and ERC721 tokens) can have the security guarantees of Ethereum, especially when backed by Plasma.
DPoS = Massively Scalable DApps
Our SDK allows developers to choose their consensus algorithm and rulesets to customize the scalability / security tradeoffs to their DApps needs.
Out of the box we support DPoS (Delegated Proof of Stake), which enables large-scale online games and social apps — the 2 initial types of DApps we’re focusing on (though you can build any type of DApp on the Loom SDK).
Secured by Plasma on Ethereum
DAppChains use Plasma-based relays to transfer assets back and forth from Ethereum, which allows ERC20 and ERC721 tokens to be used on the DAppChain while still being secured by Ethereum.
In short, the Loom SDK enables developers to build the same types of apps they would build on EOS, but have them backed by Ethereum.
2. Understanding DAppChains
To better understand our core thesis on scaling and the benefits of DAppChains, read these two blog posts:
- DAppChains: Scaling Ethereum DApps Through Sidechains
- Million User DApps on Ethereum: An Introduction to Application-Specific Sidechains
3. Understanding Plasma
We’ve written 2 posts explaining our usage of Plasma on Loom DAppChains:
- Plasma on Loom Network DAppChains: Scalable DApps With Ethereum-Secured Assets
- Practical Plasma (Volume I): Gaming—focuses on some of the real-world user benefits of securing sidechains with Plasma
3. The LOOM Token
For questions about the LOOM token, we have an article specifically devoted to explaining how it works:
You’ll also want to read all the content on the purchase page on our website.
4. What progress has Loom Network made so far?
a. The first DAppChain went live on March 14th, 2018:
As our head of growth Dilanka put it, “it’s like Steemit and StackOverflow had a baby.”
On DelegateCall, you earn karma points when your questions and answers get upvoted, which are redeemable for an ERC20 token on Ethereum mainnet. Thus you can earn real money by contributing instead of just useless karma points.
Try it out yourself by signing up and asking a question to see an example of how performant DAppChain-based DApps can actually be in production — it feels just like a normal web 2.0 app even though it’s running 100% on the Blockchain.
Then check out the DelegateCall block explorer to watch the DelegateCall DAppChain get updated with your question in real-time.
If you want more info about how it works, the following article goes into more detail on some FAQs as well as DelegateCall’s technical implementation:
b. The Loom SDK is in private beta, and will go public in June 2018
Our dev team has been super busy hacking away on the Loom SDK for its June release (that’s just 1 month away at the time of this writing).
Read this post for more info on the Loom SDK:
And if you’re a developer, sign up for early access here.
c. CryptoZombies — The world’s most popular Ethereum code school with 175,276+ students
CryptoZombies is our free code school where developers can learn to build games (and other DApps) on Ethereum.
When we set out to create Ethereum-scaling tech, we realized that a blockchain platform is only as useful as the applications that exist on top of it.
And the best way to make sure your platform is chock-full of useful applications is to make it as easy as possible for developers to build on top of, which means:
- Building the first popular applications in-house (which we’ve done with DelegateCall for social sites, and are doing again for games with the 3 blockchain games we’re releasing in the next 3 months).
- Creating a killer set of tutorials that walks them through the development every step of the way.
So we created CryptoZombies to train the next generation of Blockchain developers. First to teach them how to write their first smart contracts on Ethereum, and later to teach them how to build their first Loom Network DAppChain.
In the process, CryptoZombies blew up and became the world’s #1 resource for learning Ethereum development.
Now we’re in the process of forking CryptoZombies to run as the second DAppChain on Loom Network.
d. Lots of other side projects / developer tools
For developers, by developers.
We’re nerds at heart. So along the journey, we’ve built a number of side projects:
- EthFiddle.com — has become the #1 Solidity code-sharing site for Ethereum developers
- SolidityX — a secure-by-default superset of Solidity that compiles down to regular Solidity (protecting against known security holes). We’ll eventually make this part of our SDK.
- EthDeploy — an easy way to spin up private Ethereum blockchains for testing and demoing your DApps
- CryptoZombies Origins: What is Blockchain? — an in-browser playable game/tutorial that teaches the basics of Blockchain
5. What’s coming next?
Lots of stuff! But here are some of the more immediate highlights:
- Loom SDK public beta release in June 2018
- Plasma support also added to SDK in June
- Hackathon tour around Asia to get more and more developers building on the Loom SDK (stay tuned for announcements)
- 3 blockchain games being released in-house over the next 3 months
- A few big-name projects who are building on the Loom SDK that we can’t announce yet, but you’ve probably heard of
- …and quite a few secret announcements that we don’t want to reveal yet. Because we’re Loom Network, and that’s how we roll 😜
Want to learn more?
As I said, we plan to update this post more and more in the future to make it as comprehensive as possible.
In the meantime:
- There’s a lot more in-depth articles on our Medium publication.
- Subscribe to our private mailing list for an (entertainingly written, thanks Dilanka) weekly update of the latest Loom Network news
- You can also follow our Twitter or Telegram announcements channel for more immediate updates.
Loom Network is a platform for building highly scalable DPoS sidechains to Ethereum, with a focus on large-scale games and social apps.
Want more info? Start here.
Fan of blockchain gaming? Check out Zombie Battleground, the world’s first PC & mobile card game that runs fully on its own blockchain.
And if you enjoyed this article and want to stay in the loop, go ahead and sign up for our private mailing list.