Since 2014, I have been heavily into blockchain. I remember when it was something very niche and the community was tiny. The moment I understood how Bitcoin worked was a huge Eureka moment for me, a life-changing revelation, and I decided to devote the rest of my career to making distributed ledgers accessible for everybody.
As a result, Waves was launched in 2016, and we always saw our mission as providing alternative solutions, going off the beaten track, be it non-Turing complete smart contracts, splitting larger blocks into micro-blocks for faster processing, monetary policy governance and many other things. But it has always boiled down to one thing — driving mass adoption of blockchain technology.
We haven’t always succeeded, due to many reasons, both subjective and objective. But we have gained tons of experience that allows us to help crypto make that final step towards mass adoption.
Blockchain technology was originally created to build a new form of monetary system, and to this day financial applications are still the most important use case. The next natural step in the development of decentralized financial applications is “programmable finance” or DeFi, which effectively creates decentralized banking. It’s very important to note that it shouldn’t be “banking for crypto”, quasi-centralized and imitative, it is just the opposite — finance that we’re accustomed to (credit, Forex, deposit) but decentralized, running on smart contracts, transparent and accessible to everybody.
Recently Neutrino protocol was launched on Waves. It allows the creation of interest-bearing stable coins (assets with a fixed price) backed by digital assets. USDN, an asset pegged to USD, was launched shortly after on top of the Neutrino protocol. Neutrino turns underlying blockchain staking economics into a regular banking deposit. There’s a huge improvement though, since it provides users with full control of their assets, they are held in users’ wallets and daily interest is paid to them. USDN is pegged to USD, so users effectively get around 10–15% annual interest on their USD.
As a side note I’d like to bring your attention to the fact that it is not based on p2p borrowing, which empowers the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem. Rather than utilizing borrowing and lending pools, USDN taps into the blockchain mechanics that ensure network security, and turns it into a source of income for real world users.
Neutrino is growing. But I think that it is crucially important not to focus on developed countries, but instead reach out to a wider international audience. It is very reasonable to think that we’ll achieve mass adoption faster in countries without an established banking system. We can just skip banks there and move directly to crypto.
To speed up reaching this goal, core Waves developers will focus on the products which smooth the transition to the new technology for non technical people, and help the crypto community create tools that allow us to tackle problems we face in achieving mass adoption within a unified front.
The first of these products is the launch of international assets on Neutrino, assets tied to national currencies, assets tied to Gold, and we’ll enable almost instant swap between the assets. Thus we will effectively create the first decentralized Foreign Exchange!
Following the tradition we will call it DeFo. Currency exchange is a huge issue for many countries, for example Venezuela, Argentina, Lebanon to name a few, international remittance fees can reach double-digits quite often.
Therefore, by introducing national currencies and their exchange on Neutrino we solve two problems — we create an interest-bearing instrument tied to a local currency but yielding interest effectively tied to USD, allowing to hedge currency risks, and create a smooth exchange mechanism between different national currencies.
This product is not based on speculation, it is based on maximum outreach and a strong desire to solve real-world problems we are all facing. Eventually we aim to port it to other blockchains as well, for maximum penetration and adoption.
This now takes me to a new topic — our newly launched Gravity protocol and its role in the future of the Waves ecosystem (and crypto in general).
Gravity is a data protocol that has been created to connect arbitrary blockchains to the outside world and to each other. It is truly agnostic (independent of any particular blockchain), and does not have a native token. It works with the economies of the participating chains instead. Gravity hub nodes lock a certain amount of native tokens of participating chains and receive compensation for the data they provide with native tokens as well.
Gravity goes beyond simple oracles, its task is to create a one-stop-shop for all data you might eventually need on blockchains, be it exchange rates, logistics data, actually any data from the non-blockchain world, or data from other blockchains. It will provide connectors to all viable chains, trustless when possible, and trustful when not. The problem of trust is solved through additional consensus protocol on which Gravity nodes run.
Gravity is the foundation, a glue that connects all the chains. There will be applications on top of it, layer 2 protocols. Probably the most important would be the Value hub. This is a token-transfer protocol, allowing us to transfer value between all possible networks. Effectively it should create one asset space for all chains, and in a way one economic space. Waves token holders should benefit the most, since we will be the early adopters; Waves token (and tokens on Waves) will live on all major blockchains!
Effectively we are creating Interchain DeFi. It makes DeFi products accessible on all chains, allows to secure them with a diversified assets portfolio and use the specifics of a particular chain to the maximum. One of the first Interchain DeFI products will be, of course, Neutrino, ported to different chains.
We approach the mass adoption problem in two complementary ways, focusing on disruptive retail products and improving the general crypto infrastructure, effectively making the crypto community larger and eventually blurring the line between crypto and the regular world.
We just need one final push and the world will change for the better. We do have plans for what will happen next in Waves, Waves 2.0 vision is being formulated now, and it should take us beyond blockchains!
Meanwhile, let’s get down to business, Decentralized Forex, Data superhub and Waves on all chains. I am truly excited for what is to come!