Loom Network Roadmap Update: Q4 2018 – Q1 2019
It’s been a crazy past few months at Loom Network.
And it’s been a while since we’ve done a roadmap post, so I figured it would be a good time to give a comprehensive overview of what we’re working on, and what’s on the technological horizon.
But before we dive into that, let’s do a bit of a recap of what we’ve accomplished over the past few months.
For those of you who have been following our announcements closely, feel free to skim through the following section. But for everyone else, this should bring you up to date and help set the stage for what’s to come.
Loom Network Major Milestones From June – Sept 2018
Plasma Cash Launch – June 29, 2018
You can read all about our Plasma Cash initial release here.
“That means users will now be able to have gas-less transactions and sub-second confirmation times on sidechains, all while having their token fully backed by the security of Ethereum mainnet.”
Zombie Battleground Alpha Game Release – August 15, 2018
Two weeks later, we released the second alpha build, which also included Android and iOS versions. If you aren’t already aware, it’s a 100% on-chain collectible card game targeted at mainstream audiences that looks and feels exactly like any other mobile game.
We’re planning to use this game as a funnel to onboard hundreds of thousands of users onto Loom sidechains.
PlasmaChain Launch — August 24, 2018
A few months ago, we announced ZombieChain: “An EOS-like DPoS sidechain for Ethereum DApps.” However, as the feature list started to grow, we decided to upgrade this chain and have it play an even more important role in the future of our vision.
So we rearchitected, rebranded, and launched it as PlasmaChain, which is linked to Ethereum by Plasma Cash and will act as a central hub for token transactions between multiple chains and Ethereum.
The Zombie Battleground Marketplace is already running on PlasmaChain as you read this.
“As the central hub that acts as a bridge between multiple sidechains and Ethereum, PlasmaChain will be one of the most important pieces in our vision moving forward.”
Zombie Battleground Card Pack Opening – September 10, 2018
As part of the early backer rewards, we delivered almost 2 million cards to Zombie Battleground backers on PlasmaChain.
It was quite a technical feat to get this ready — and we ran into some issues early that we had to overcome, learning a lot in the process.
Customizing our sidechains to suit the needs of our own real-world use cases helps us ensure we’re prioritizing our feature development around real developer and user needs, as opposed to just building inside of a bubble.
ERC721x Release – September 10, 2018
While planning out the delivery of card packs to early backers, we started with a normal ERC721 smart contract, but soon realized it would be exorbitantly expensive to deliver 2 million cards to those backers.
So we had to develop a new token standard to allow for batch transfers and gas efficiency, while maintaining full backward compatibility with ERC721 — and the ERC721x was born (and open sourced to the Ethereum community).
ERC721x allowed us to reduce the cost of sending those 2 million cards to our backers by over 6000x.
It’s been a crazy busy past few months for us, with every single member of our team working late nights to hit our major releases… And we have no plans on slowing down.
Now that we’re caught up on what we’ve been working on up until now, let’s take a look at where we’re going next.
What’s Coming: Q4 2018 – Q1 2019 Roadmap
1. LOOM Token Utilization
As we move forward and build out our tech, we’re constantly looking for additional ways to add more utility to the LOOM token.
Two areas we’re most excited about here are around PlasmaChain and the Marketplace for Zombie Battleground (as well as other game items in the future).
For PlasmaChain, we are going to open up staking later this year to become a validator of the chain. Validators will need to stake a large amount of LOOM tokens, and in turn will earn the LOOM fees paid by the developers who are hosting their DApps on PlasmaChain, as well as commission fees from the Marketplace.
The second area we see driving high utilization in the near future is the Marketplace for Zombie Battleground. Users will pay a commission on every trade, but will get a large percentage of those commissions instantly refunded as “cashback” rewards in LOOM tokens, which we will be buying off the open market. LOOM will also be a native currency on the Marketplace, to be used for buying and selling items.
2. PlasmaChain (Formerly Known as ZombieChain)
PlasmaChain will be a key piece of our vision moving forward. It will both be the Layer 2 hub that other sidechains can use for faster and cheaper token transactions on our DEX / Marketplace, as well as functioning as a more performant sidechain that developers can launch their Solidity DApps to.
- Production (only for the Zombie Battleground Marketplace) — August 31 [DONE]
- External testnet for 3rd party devs — Q4 [DONE]
- External testnet2, with support for external validators — Q4
- Mainnet opening external contracts — Q4
3. Opening 3rd Party Validators for PlasmaChain
One of the important parts of running a DPoS chain is having a diverse set of validators that are voted on by the users of the chain. They need to stake tokens, and they also receive token rewards for securing the network.
We are currently taking applications for third-party validators, so if you’re interested, please fill out this Google form.
Major upcoming milestones:
- External testnet2, with support for external validators — Q4
- Token staking testing — Q4
- Mainnet adding 3rd party validators — Q4 to Q1 2019 (We will slowly introduce them over a few months)
- Mainnet voting and staking — Q1 2019
4. The Loom SDK
The Loom SDK is the foundational piece that supports all our other tech. Since all our sidechains are built on the SDK, all the new features we add to the SDK then get passed on and integrated into every sidechain.
Major goals for the Loom SDK over the next 3 months:
- Transfer gateway for ETH and ERC20s — August 31 [DONE]
- Logging subsystem upgrade — September 30 [DONE]
- Karma support — Q4 [DONE]
- Staking integration (for contract deploys) for Karma — Q4
- Ethereum key support — Q4
- Standard JSON Web3 apis —Q4
5. Plasma Cash
We are doing heavy research and development around Plasma Cash and have a bunch of major features coming down the pipeline. https://github.com/loomnetwork/plasma-cash
Major upcoming features:
- Plasma Cash all-in-one technical paper — Soon!
- Plasma Debit for arbitrary denomination payments and token splits — Q4 for full implementation (reference implementation: https://github.com/loomnetwork/plasma-cash/pull/115)
- Atomic swaps and transactions between multiple coins — Q4
- Fees — Q4, pending security reviews
- Checkpointing to reduce the data required for safely receiving plasma coins — Q4
6. Loom Trading Post (Marketplace)
The most important objective for the company as a whole is getting the largest number of users trading on the Loom Marketplace. We see this as driving the most token usage in the near future, and the technical requirements for the internal DEX are also a major driver of our own feature development on PlasmaChain.
- Open Zombie Battleground packs — September 10 [DONE]
- Enable credit card payments — Q4 [DONE]
- Enable ETH and LOOM payments — Q4
- Allow trading of cards — Q4
- Enable withdraw of tokens to mainnet — Q4
- Enable BTC payments
7. Zombie Battleground
Zombie Battleground serves a number of important purposes in our long-term strategy.
For one, it drives the development of our SDK and sidechain tech, since games need to be able to handle hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users sending dozens of actions to the server per minute. If Loom sidechains can handle running games fully on-chain, they can handle any kind of application.
The success of the game will also funnel users into trading their items on the Marketplace, which will drive utilization of the LOOM token — our top priority.
But beyond that, the success of the game will secure Loom Network in the minds of the blockchain community as the go-to platform for scalable blockchain applications.
If we even hit only 10,000 daily active users, not only will Zombie Battleground already be the most successful blockchain game in history, but GameChain (the sidechain it runs on) will be handling more transactions per day than Ethereum and Bitcoin.
If we hit 100,000 daily active users — well, game over.
Furthermore, the success of the game and its revenue model (earning through Marketplace transaction fees rather than in-app purchases) will allow us to show it to game companies as a case study of why they should be building their next game on the blockchain, and that Loom Network is proven to be able to handle it in the wild.
In short, Zombie Battleground ties all the pieces together, both in getting our tech ready to handle even the most demanding blockchain applications, and also in hitting the major company milestones that will drive the long-term success of Loom Network.
- Mobile — August 31 [DONE]
- Card packs unleashed — September 10 [DONE]
- Mainnet exporting of cards — October
- PvP functionality on the blockchain — November
- Full public beta (160 cards, PvP, rewards, all transactions on the blockchain) — December
Hopefully that you gives a better view of where we’re at, where we’re going, and how all these pieces fit together.
This past year, we have shipped an amazing number of products at breakneck speed, and we have no plans on slowing down.
As always, we will continue to focus on building the pieces this industry needs to grow, and driving more utility into the LOOM token via PlasmaChain, the Marketplace, and any other products we create in the future.
We will have some more updates in the future about how we will be evolving GameChain and SocialChain.
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.
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