In this interview we had the opportunity of talking to the Waves team, arguably one of the strongest projects that survived the 2017 cryptocurrency mania – and it did so by continuously building valuable and innovative tools for the blockchain industry. We discussed their solution to interoperability, the technology behind the algorithmic stable coin and the features that make their decentralized exchange unique within the space. As well as how teams are actively supporting the adoption of Web 3.0 and providing value to businesses and finally their goals for the near, mid and distant future.
Briefly tell us why we should all love Waves
It’s hard to predict why someone would or wouldn’t love what Waves stands for. However, it’s easy to explain why we, ourselves, can look back at what we have achieved with warm, happy feelings.
Waves, as a whole, always had its own philosophy of addressing challenges. There has always been a balance between a user-friendly mentality, a unique approach, a dedication to progressing faster than we could and creating an environment for our community to be a part of the innovation that we’re trying to achieve.
There’s this ‘no compromise’ attitude that embedded in our core values. It’s not only what we achieved so far, but how and who we achieved it with. That, surely brings some warmth to mind.
The blockchain industry is extremely saturated, what competitive advantage and features differentiates Waves from other decentralised solutions?
Most projects in the industry are working towards a more or less common goal. We’re all focused on bringing a specific technological masterpiece to life, that we think is needed for our industry to grow. Where the difference lies for Waves, is how we want to achieve that goal.
Technology needs to innovate, but more so, it needs to be easy to use and to develop on. So we created an all-encompassing ecosystem, that functions as an experimental ground for people to build upon and innovate. The core, Waves Protocol, acts as a practical and powerful foundation. We always focused on offering a very developer-friendly environment, and these tools, such as our own smart contract language RIDE, have made it easy for teams to build protocols and dApps on top of Waves, such as Waves.Exchange, Neutrino protocol, and since recently, Gravity.
Today, our ecosystem consists of a fast base protocol, a dex that functions as a front-end user interface to seamlessly interact with all protocols, a multipurpose protocol, Neutrino, allowing for the tokenization of any type of asset, on- and off-chain, and finally, a truly, blockchain agnostic cross-chain communication and data oracles protocol. This combined technology stack puts us on a path towards what is needed, to integrate the benefits of blockchain into our daily lives at some point in the future.
How did Waves adjust to the changing ecosystem and market in order to remain as relevant throughout the years?
Our long history in blockchain, even before Waves, has given us experience and a clear view on what features are needed for a protocol like Waves to succeed in reaching its goal. This reflects in what we’ve built and what we are working towards.
When we started, we were very focused on bringing adoption to blockchain and that vision hasn’t changed today. We first built a foundation with lots of tools and aimed to create a developer-friendly environment. As we started expanding into the tech stack that we have today, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing the ecosystem grow and we were able to experiment with different ideas ourselves.
The market has surely evolved, but those cycles are short-term and don’t interfere with long-term, high-level targets. So in the end, our initial vision has remained identical, which echoes in who we are today. Today innovate, tomorrow pioneers.
One of the biggest challenges within this industry is finding an efficient way for different blockchains to communicate – interoperability. Does Waves have a solution to this issue?
Waves always identified interoperability as a key challenge for our industry and towards the end of last year, a few very talented, key developers of our ecosystem started defining what such an interoperability solution should look like.
An independent team was formed with a common goal, solving that challenge in such a way that it would approach the key issue from a very out-of-the-box perspective. Interoperability is obviously a very complex topic, but it speaks to mind that solving interoperability by adding a dedicated blockchain and native token as an additional layer, quite literally, adds another layer of complexity and limits the future potential of the proposed solution.
Today, Gravity is a true blockchain agnostic, cross-chain communication and data oracles protocol, that circumvents the need for a dedicated, public blockchain and a native token. Gravity allows any ecosystem, including Waves’ ecosystem, to connect with a world of future, open finance protocols and applications.
Waves is also pioneering within the DeFi world, by launching an algorithmic stablecoin, Neutrino. Could you briefly explain us how it works?
Neutrino is a multipurpose protocol and allows for the tokenization of real-world off-chain and on-chain assets, through collateralized debt positions (CDP), by algorithmically maintaining the economic stability and parity of the synthetic asset rate. The first synthetic asset released was a token tied to the U.S. dollar, USD Neutrino (USDN), built using our smart contract language RIDE.
What that means is: The aim of the protocol is to release a token which is backed by so-called collateralization, the process of locking an amount of Waves tokens in a smart contract, equal in value to the amount of ‘stable tokens’ issued.
For example, the total combined amount of USDN issued will always be backed by an equal combined amount of Waves and NSBT (a token designed to ensure the stability of the USDN reserves). What’s interesting, is that all collateralized Waves, are earning more LPoS staking rewards. Those rewards are automatically converted to USDN, and paid out to all staked USDN tokens, yielding attractive interest rates.
However, Neutrino is just a piece of the DeFi puzzle and asset tokenization is a step towards reaching the integration of DeFi into our daily lives. Waves Protocol and our smart contract language RIDE are important core tools to build more DeFi products.
What was the motivation behind the launch of a decentralised exchange and what advantages does it have over centralised alternatives?
One of the challenges of the blockchain industry (and any technology for that matter), is to make its solutions as easy to use as possible. Not only does technology need to be developer-friendly, it must be easy to use.
Waves.Exchange, a decentralized exchange, was primarily designed for asset transfer, while allowing users to retain complete control of their funds. Today, Waves.Exchange is becoming more of an easy to use front-end interface, maintaining the decentralized aspect of it, while facilitating complex interactions with all blockchain protocols of the Waves ecosystem.
Any future DeFi, open finance dApp built in the Waves ecosystem will be able to leverage that seamless experience.
Could you tell us more about Waves Association and its efforts to increase global adoption of Web 3.0?
The Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to global adoption of the Web 3.0 paradigm, by means of fostering research, governance of Waves’ ecosystem, and providing grants for the development of the Waves technology stack.
The association advances emerging technologies to facilitate decentralization of infrastructure, apps, processes and organizations. It’s Waves Association’s mission is to provide next-gen technologies for the creation of trustless digital ecosystems, decentralized collaborative environments and organizations.
This directly relates to what Waves has become so far, an all-encompassing gateway blockchain protocol, advancing technological frontiers of today, for the pioneering developers of tomorrow.
How is Waves Enterprise adding value to other companies? Any notable use cases?
Waves Enterprise is a combination of private and public networks, focused on ensuring high throughput, scalability and reliability, as well as data immutability and confidentiality. Waves Enterprise provides consulting, deployment and support services.
Most of us look at blockchain as a permissionless, public chain, but blockchain has many variables that can be tweaked for specific use cases. The fintech and payment industries come to mind but areas such as energy, healthcare, logistics, manufacturing, cargo, and right management could equally benefit from the innovation blockchain brings.
Every company has short, medium and long term goals. What can we expect to see from Waves?
Sasha recently looked back on our 4 year anniversary and summarized these goals pretty well. (be sure to check his post out)
“To replace inefficient and redundant technologies where it matters the most, crypto has to strip away the technical complexities of ownership, custody and exchanging assets. Furthermore, only by continuous improvements in scalability, cost efficiency and infrastructure will we be able to create the necessary stepping stones in order to drive adoption to a wider audience, becoming not a niche, but a foundational technology. Seamlessly accessible for all.”
As we progress further, we’re very focused on structuring our diverse ecosystem and on driving deeper engagement in our community, so that Waves can be an environment in which we can explore the future together.