The Waves team has steadily been adding features to the network since our project launched in 2016. We have a fully functioning ecosystem, with gateways, a working DEX and a series of user-friendly interfaces for desktop and mobile devices. That means it’s now time to start rolling out some advanced features that target mass adoption.
After a very successful 2017, we’re at a point where the Waves ecosystem has built a solid foundation of services and its first businesses. We know, though, that there is much more to do — and still some huge opportunities to capture a large segment of the fast-growing blockchain sector. Here are some of the features and partnerships we’ll be using to do that.
In October we plan to deploy Waves-NG. This is a remarkable new consensus algorithm based on Emin Gün Sirer’s Bitcoin-NG protocol. In bitcoin and classical blockchains, transactions are included in blocks and added to the blockchain retrospectively, once the next miner has been decided through the proof-of-work mechanism. This approach, along with block size, places fundamental limits on the throughput of the blockchain. In bitcoin’s case, it’s somewhere around 3 transactions per second. Bitcoin-NG pre-selects the miner, which creates a “key block”, and then microblocks of transactions are added to this in more-or-less realtime. Throughput on the blockchain is then limited only by network speed. By implementing this approach, adapted for proof-of-stake, we expect Waves to be able to handle hundreds of transactions per second — making it the fastest blockchain in existence.
This huge and ground-breaking development will be accompanied by an update to the lite client in November. We’ll be calling this Blockchain OS 1.0 (the term ‘client’ is misleading for many users outside of crypto, and that’s the market we’re targeting). That will entail a full overhaul of the user interface, and some great new features for the DEX. We’ll also be releasing a block explorer in Q4, which will allow anyone to browse and search the blockchain easily.
With our network able to handle large transaction volumes, we’re going to be introducing several new features and services throughout next year. We will be implementing a form of smart contracts. As we’ve stated before, these won’t be quite the same as Ethereum’s Turing Complete contracts — we see risks to that approach, and there have been a few issues with Ethereum such as The DAO and the Parity wallet multisig vulnerability that demonstrate it can result in serious losses. Waves’ smart contracts will be a more direct generalisation of bitcoin scripting that will be able to handle most of the same use cases without the security implications. It’s a better and safer approach for business logic, whilst still comprehensive in its capabilities.
Tokenomika will be launching next year too: this is an organisation that will enable compliant crowdfunds and share offerings on the blockchain, with full KYC where necessary. We expect this to be a big use case for Waves, and one that will bring many new users to our ecosystem. As we ramp up our business development and see new tranches of users and investors, we’ll also be releasing Blockchain OS 2.0: the second iteration of our reworked client.
Last of all we’ll be implementing a couple of new features in the protocol that people have been asking about for a while. We’ll have multisignature transactions, again improving security, and we plan to launch a blockchain messaging system that will enable fast, encrypted communication between users.
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