Four Years of Waves
Dear Waves Community,
Today, I have the pleasure of looking back on 4 years of history and progress at Waves, but also to the future and what I believe will potentially be the most defining period of our industry. However, before I dive right in, I’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you. Our initial token sale participants, our node owners, current and former token holders, developers and general supporters; Only with your support, have we been able to make this a reality.
It shouldn’t be a secret anymore that I am a big proponent of decentralization, not because it’s a fad, but because we are reaching a phase where we are building financial instruments and dApps that are successful within the ecosystem, but also competitive with their centralized counterparts. Providing access to DeFi instruments with profound control and customization generating high-interest rates, at a time of global economic insecurity and instability, will transform the system. This to me is the Future of Finance. More than mere decentralization, the unwrinkled integration of innovative and pioneering technology into day-to-day reality.
Before launching Waves in 2016, I was active in NXT’s ecosystem, which consisted of various projects such as smart contracts, oracles and fiat gateways. The exposure to these rudimentary pillars of evolutionary finance provided me with a clear vision of what I wanted to achieve with blockchain technology.
My vision has since evolved, but its core values remain the same. 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.
Adoption doesn’t happen overnight and even before the speculation driven bull run of ‘17-’18, we have always focused on delivering practical tools that eventually would allow us to bring that seamless experience to decentralized finance. Waves too, first created infrastructural stepping stones, starting with the basics: value transfer and ownership, token issuance and transfer, decentralized asset exchange, on-chain governance. Having raised 30,000 BTC in 2016, I can say we’ve had the time and resources to experiment. Perhaps we experimented with certain features a little too early, before their time. However, It provided us with valuable experience and prepared us for what is <finally!> now, and what is yet to come. We could not have predicted the current state of DeFi with precision, but I am grateful for having anticipated it the last 4 years.
I’ll try to refrain from rehashing what most of you already know, but allow me to take a quick stroll down memory lane and to highlight three milestones I am really proud of.
Our first big project was obviously Waves DEX, one of the first DEX’s in existence and now live for almost three years. It was the first hybrid DEX, where asset settlement takes place on-chain, preserving decentralization, yet trading orders are matched off-chain, providing speed of execution. Once we were satisfied with its ease of use and the implementation of products such as stable coin staking or issuing your own immediately tradable token, Waves DEX transformed into Waves.exchange. Decentralized trading of spot markets is as seamless as a centralized experience and we will introduce innovative derivative products in the near future.
In order to further lower the barrier to entry, the next phase for Waves was, and still is, to improve our decentralized monetary policies. For that purpose, Waves has always been Proof of Stake and was the first to allow miners to vote on the amount of tokens they produce, providing flexibility for DeFi product customization. I never believed in Proof of Work as a long-term, viable solution for algorithmic finance, or consensus for that matter. Even though DeFi does not repeat centralized finance, we could not disregard key functionalities inherent to traditional finance. To expedite the Waves ecosystem to enable new financial models, previously impractical or impossible, we created a multipurpose protocol, Neutrino, facilitating the tokenization of real-world off-chain assets, (over)collateralized by crypto, assured of economic stability through algorithmic means. It’s vital to provide tools for stability in an otherwise volatile ecosystem and the Neutrino protocol allowed us to create ‘USD Neutrino’ (USDN), a dollar tied synthetic asset, built with our dApp-oriented smart contract language RIDE. Without leaping into too detailed a description, we designed Neutrino to be a universal instrument tailored for asset agnostic tokenization, trustless cross-chain swaps, decentralized lending and various advanced trading instruments (leveraged tokens, options etc.)
This brings us into the present. We’ve explored fundamentals around value transfer, value/asset creation and some surrounding creativity, all with ease of use in mind. A (for now) final layer to establish is information transfer. Various networks are created for specific industries, but rather than to try and squeeze everything in one chain, the solution lies in interchain interaction, one that is truly blockchain agnostic, with its economy based on the respective economies of participating chains. Applying this framework, we conceived Gravity Hub. A hub for all out-of-chain connectivity, an agnostic interchain protocol uniting blockchains with oracles, without creating a new native token, based on locking the tokens of participating chains. We wanted to target both public and private networks, connecting to virtually any blockchain, resulting in what I believe to be the first solution of its kind.
With all that being said and done, we have strived to create the different layers of blockchain technology to complement each other and provide a foundational force to make decentralized technology more accessible and more successful in real-world use cases. And as our technology evolves, so does my position in the Waves ecosystem and the way we will structure the different elements within. The Waves Protocol will focus on the different layers of technology the team is building, and the Waves Association will continue to act as the research and governance arm of the ecosystem.
I will also be steering away from the operational duties and focusing more on pushing the vision throughout these different elements of Waves, and making sure each part of the technology we design will reach those goals. I am thankful that every day we are one step closer to my goals and more committed than ever. I’ll see you in another 4 years, on the other side of the rabbit hole.