It’s been a fantastic year as we’ve built on our team, our tech and our whole ecosystem — and we’re really looking forward to an even better 2018!
Even a week can be a long time in crypto, so perhaps it comes as no surprise that the Waves platform has achieved so much over the course of the last year. When we started 2017 we had a functioning network and wallet, and a handful of projects driven by our first token issuers. Twelve months later, the landscape is very different across every aspect of our ecosystem.
During this year we have made a series of strategic hires, bringing in the expertise that will make Waves a world-class blockchain platform — including developers, marketing specialists, communicators and business and compliance experts.
That has laid the foundations for a series of critical milestones in our roadmap. Early in the year we launched our decentralised exchange (DEX), which has seen increasing activity as it becomes established as a popular trading platform. Seven-figure daily volumes are now the norm. In Q2 we launched balance leasing, announced a partnership with Microsoft Azure, and released the first iteration of our mobile wallet. DEX functionality was added to this in the summer, and we also announced our collaboration with Deloitte, which is aimed at shaping the regulatory framework around blockchain and ICOs, and ensuring token sales on Waves meet best practice. We believe that the Better Tokens initiative will become a major part of our industry’s self-regulation in the future.
The end of the year saw the completion of the first iteration of our platform, with the Waves Client 1.0 launched at a special event in Amsterdam and attended by many of our Netherlands community. The event was hosted in the Primalbase offices, and over the coming months we plan to expand our presence around the world as the company opens new offices in London, Singapore and New York. The Waves team will be establishing permanent bases in each of these locations, due to our close partnership with Primalbase — one of Waves’ early and successful ICOs.
The flagship 1.0 release entailed a complete overhaul of the client, including a totally new look and feel for the DEX, as well as coinciding with a rebrand and new logo. Behind the scenes, the Waves-NG protocol was activated, bringing a massive increase in transaction capacity to the network and enabling us to scale and become a truly mass-market blockchain platform. Next year the iOS and Android apps will be updated to reflect the new look and feel of the desktop wallet, and to allow users to access all of the functionality of the 1.0 client.
2017 saw many ICOs take place on Waves, including the very successful MobileGo, ZrCoin and EncryptoTel projects. Upwards of $150 million has been collected using the platform, with a list of new projects lined up for 2018. Other highlights for the year include Tokenomica — “JP Morgan for the crypto world”, which has just received a green light from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, enabling fully-compliant ICOs; our Liquidity Fund for DEX and airdrop of the Liquid token to WCT and WAVES holders; the first Turkish Lira (TRY) gateway; and the Waves Lab, a blockchain incubator that will offer seed funding, legal advice and marketing assistance to Waves entrepreneurs. Our final large event of the year took place in Korea, as we launched in this new market with a localised client and new exchange partners.
All of this activity and progress was accompanied by a rapid increase in the market cap of WAVES, which flew past the $1 billion mark in December. WAVES began the year trading at $0.25. At the time of writing, it is trading at $14, and recently hit a peak of $17 — a 60-fold increase for the year.
We want to stress that all of this is just a beginning. Our Roadmap for 2018 includes a new implementation of smart contracts, due to their importance to business applications; hardware wallets; decentralised voting — vital for decentralised ratings; messaging; atomic swaps; offchain protocols; and finally Turing Complete smart contracts.
A huge ‘thank you’ goes to our biggest asset, our community, who rode the waves with us in 2017. We look forward to the new adventures 2018 will bring us all!