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2019: A Look at the Year Ahead – Episode 10: Waves Platform

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The Web 3.0 Company

Waves Platform is an open source decentralized blockchain focused on creating products to form the backbone for a new Web 3.0. They aim to create a web that is transparent, protects users’ privacy and also ensures the integrity of data without the centralisation and single points of failure that are inherent in web 2.0.

To achieve this they have created their own Web 3.0 ecosystem with a number of tools, products and initiatives designed to encourage developers to come over to their platform and “build a better now”.

You can view more in this 2019 teaser video on their official YouTube account:

You can find more WAVES video content on their official YouTube account


In Conversation

I sat down with Biggzi, Waves Ambassador, to discuss the project further.

When did you first hear about Crypto and what was it that drew you into this space?

I first heard about Bitcoin and Crypto whilst reading an online article in 2010. However, I didn’t enter the space until Bitcoin started to get media attention in 2013. I began to learn about mining and invested in some of the very first ASIC miners to hit the market, which was quite a scary investment at the time. It was a fun ride but I made the decision to stop mining in 2014 after the market crashed as electricity costs were simply too high to warrant running the machines.

What is your background and what was the driving force behind starting Waves?

My background is extremely varied across many areas of business and IT. I graduated from De Montfort University in 2009 with a degree in Business Information Systems and since then have worked in varied roles from Business Analyst positions, IT management, database administration and even taught GCSE ICT for 2 years. I believe this is what enabled me to truly see the potential in Blockchain all those years ago. I could understand a lot of the technical aspects easily as well as how that translated into business use cases. I had spent many years in different industries analysis business processes and developing ICT solutions which improved on these processes and the benefits of blockchain were instantly obvious to me.

What was the driving force behind starting work as a Waves ambassador?

I first discovered Waves during their ICO in 2016 and immediately fell in love with their strategic approach to blockchain development as well as their focus on ease of use, efficiency and cost. They were developing a DEX before DEX’s were even a thing, they implemented scalability solutions before they hit any kind of scalability issues. In my opinion they were doing everything right with an obvious focus on the end user and long term mass adoption. I could see the dream and I wanted to see the dream become reality. This lead to me learning a lot about the Platform and I began sharing information, writing articles, assisting new users of the community as well as attending and hosting events for Waves. This kept building into what is now known as the ambassador programme and I have continued my work with Waves and hope to do a lot more in the future.

2018 was a tough year for the Crypto market. However, from a tech perspective, we witnessed even more innovation and advancements than ever before. Can you talk about the progress Waves has made over the last year?

This is very true, the crypto bear market has not slowed down progress at Waves at all. We have been developing and growing at an even more accelerated rate, hiring more developers, team members, growing our community and most importantly developing technology quicker than ever before. We had some huge releases during 2018 including but not limited to; a brand new desktop client and DEX interface, non-turing complete smart contracts, data transactions, mass transfers, invoicing, Ledger support, Waves Keeper and new fully featured mobile wallets, as well as multiple node updates making the entire Waves blockchain more secure, efficient and lightweight.

These are just some of the highlights from the last year, and unlike some blockchain projects Waves has been unfazed by the recent downtrends in crypto markets. They have used the time to put their heads down and focus on delivering great, usable tech to bring blockchain to the masses.

One of your key ideologies is to support and empower blockchain developers and engineers which will “form the backbone to Web 3.0”. Your two initiatives Waves Labs and Waves Grants are at the forefront of this. Are you seeing an increase in talent and startups applying to these programs?

Most definitely. As with many blockchain projects, Waves Labs has had to adapt with the changing demand and market conditions. Waves Labs, previously focused on supporting ICO projects, but recently relaunched as an initiative for supporting talented developers and promising startups building on decentralised technologies.

Initially, Waves Labs ran a tailored ICO incubation program for a number of carefully-selected projects. They ran a number of major crowd sales and Waves ended up in solid second place as a token issuance platform, behind only Ethereum in the number of ICOs and tokens launched.

Now, Waves Labs is shifting its focus to special initiatives aimed at helping as many Waves-based projects as possible. Their goal is to support talented developers and promising startups focused on building the decentralised technologies that will form the backbone for Web 3.0.

This has lead to an increase in not only applications but also the number of grants and projects supported. Lots of these projects being small teams or even individual developers leading to us supporting and curating extremely talented individuals rather than large teams of people.

If you would like to apply for a Waves Labs grant and on-going support please see https://waveslabs.com/

In addition to this, Waves have also launched a separate 1,000,000 Waves grant programme specifically for any gaming related projects. We believe that blockchain can find many valuable use cases within the gaming industry so hope to support projects looking to develop in this space. More information on this can be found here: https://games.wavesplatform.com/

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Waves have launched a grant programme specifically for game development

You’ve recently announced there will be a major update to RIDE, your native smart contracts programming language. Can you explain the significance of these updates and what it will mean for the platform moving forward?

The recent RIDE update; RIDE for dApps, is a very significant one and opens up many new possibilities when it comes to developing decentralized applications on Waves blockchain.

Blockchain architecture, by nature isn’t well suited for carrying out complicated computations. After seeing the vulnerabilities and security issues that have arisen on Ethereum, Waves has always maintained that Turing-completeness should not be essential for most on-chain blockchain computations. The RIDE language itself is deliberately non-Turing complete for this reason. However, Turing complete computations can still be achieved by spreading operations over consecutive blocks, if such functionality is required. RIDE therefore offers a flexible but safe solution for on-blockchain computation.

Another major benefit of a non-turing complete language is having predefined functions with known resource requirements. This means RIDE can execute using preset fee’s and transactional costs without the need to have some form of “gas”. Currently on Ethereum future gas costs and requirements are impossible to predict accurately and could lead to serious financial implications for any smart contracts running on it. With Waves RIDE, developers need not worry about this and will always know the costs associated with their smart contracts. Here is a great example comparing a RIDE smart contract to a similar Ethereum Solidity contract.

Up until now RIDE has been limited to running passive scripts assigned to either an account or token (Smart Accounts and Smart Tokens). RIDE for dApps is being introduced to grant an account a way of assigning a programmable function to itself, with callable functions that are able to:

  1. Receive payments
  2. Change the account’s state
  3. Send WAVES and tokens from the account

This update will allow for autonomous actions to be carried out by smart contracts without the need for human interaction. This leads to functionality required for a lot of dApps development, normally associated with turing complete applications, whilst still keeping all of the benefits of non-turing completeness.

Further down the line RIDEON will be introduced, which will allow for full turing complete smart contract development on Waves for projects that require it. However, the majority of tasks currently performed by smart contracts can be implemented on RIDE.

RIDE will undergo significant improvements in a new release

In your most recent blog post you stated that you will be releasing a prototype of a decentralized Social Network this summer. Is this your solution to user privacy and censorship that is currently a focal point in the space?

The social network in development on Waves is currently a proof of concept and just one example of the types of complex dApps that can already take advantage of the speed, efficiency and security of the Waves blockchain.

We are still so early in this space, how blockchain will be used to protect privacy and remove censorship in the future is still very much an unknown. But this is the perfect time to experiment with use cases, test ideas and develop early applications. Blockchain technology is changing and developing so fast it’s hard to predict what may lay just around the corner but Waves want to be are at the forefront of this development. We expect many exciting dApps focusing on privacy, security and censorship to be launched on Waves in the coming years but are excited to share our own projects with the world, including our Social Network powered by the Wave blockchain.

In the same blog post you mention that you are launching Vostok network – your WEB3.0 solution for enterprise. Can you talk a little about Vostok and the importance of its role in bringing mass adoption using the Waves Platform?

As you know Waves is a world-renowned blockchain platform and as such have been approached by many large enterprise organisation and public institutions requesting a blockchain solution which is more suitable to their environments. If you’re a large enterprise company you will most likely not want to post confidential data to an open and public blockchain. Hence new solutions have had to be developed.

Recently, blockchain technology, has become more adaptable for use in enterprise and the public sector – it is now possible to build customisable high-performance networks, without compromising security and privacy. In a bid to leverage these new capabilities, and inspired by our global initiative to build and develop a blockchain layer of WEB 3.0, we have developed the Vostok platform. Vostok represents a universal blockchain solution for scalable digital infrastructure comprised of two constituent elements:

  1. A fundamental technological innovation — the Vostok private blockchain platform.
  2. A means of maintaining, developing and optimizing the platform — the Vostok system integrator.

As with everything Waves aim to accomplish they are developing Vostok in a very strategic and forward thinking manner. Taking a “why reinvent the wheel” approach they are utilizing many elements already developed and heavily tested on Waves as the building blocks for Vostok including the Waves NG protocol. This leads to a number of advantages including – speed of development and deployment as many key elements are already built, as well as cross compatibility between Waves and Vostok. In the future both chains may be able to share many different types of data, information and tokens. This gives any projects launching on Waves or Vostok the best of both worlds and the ability to develop and scale in just about any way imaginable.

Vostok is a universal blockchain solution for scalable digital infrastructure

What else can we expect from Waves in 2019? Are there are many surprises around the corner?

As with 2018, 2019 will be an extremely exciting year for Waves Platform with many new developments expected to launch. Some of these include;

  • Non-Fungible tokens – perfect for gaming projects and tokenization of real world items
  • Atomic swaps – Bringing trustless gateways to Waves and allowing non-waves tokens to take advantage of the benefits of Waves and it’s integrated DEX.
  • RIDEON – full turing complete smart contract language
  • Decentralized 2FA
  • Decentralized voting
  • First projects launching on Vostok
  • Many updates and new features expected for all wallet versions, IDE and API’s

Can you summarise your ultimate vision for Waves?

Waves aims to be the ultimate solution for anything required from a blockchain platform. Whether you’re an individual users, trader, development project or enterprise corporation Waves will offer the best solution for you.

Not only this, Waves ultimate goal is to be the backbone of the next generation of decentralized internet applications – Web 3.0, a natural progression from the era of Web 2.0 which saw the explosion interactive websites and user generated content. The next step is to take all of these amazing features pioneered by the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube and do what Bitcoin is attempting to do to finance – remove the middle man. By doing this we can take back control of the internet. Giving users the power to own their data, control their privacy and profit from any monetary benefits.

The gateway to our Web 3.0 world is going to be our Waves Keeper (MetaMask for Waves). Storing private keys user-side and not trusting any sensitive data to third parties is the key to Web 3.0, and Keeper does exactly that. This key tool allows users to interact with the Waves blockchain from right within their web browser without the need to hand over any sensitive data or manually send transactions from the Waves client.

A number of other key features have been built into the Waves native protocol over the past couple of years, which again will support real world mass adoption and our goal of becoming the backbone of Web 3.0 application, including;

  • Data Transactions – Allowing for substantial amounts of data to be easily stored and retrieved to and from the Waves blockchain (up to 140kb per transaction – for reference, almost exactly the length of Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’)
  • Mass Transfers – The ability to send multiple transactions at once, at a reduced cost and more efficiently than sending one transaction at a time.
  • Sponsored Transactions – Users can send transactions but pay fees using a sponsored token. This means no need for your project users to hold a Waves balance in order to use your app or token.
  • Aliases – Simply assign an alias or name to your wallet. No need to remember long and complex wallet address.
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Waves Keeper has been described as “Metamask for Waves”

Ultimately, we don’t solely do blockchain tech any longer; it is just a part of a bigger picture. We’re becoming the first company that focuses exclusively on monetizable Web 3.0 applications. We want to become one of the first goliaths of the future, decentralized Internet.

I sincerely thanks Biggzi for his highly detailed and informative responses.

Alex Libertas

Further Reading

Coin Market Cap

Website

Whitepaper

Blockchain Explorer

GitHub

Social: Telegram, Twitter, Reddit, Medium, Discord, YouTube, Facebook, BitcoinTalk

Exchanges: Binance, Bittrex, Huobi, OKEX

Alex Libertas

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