Launched in the Spring of 2016, the blockchain-based Waves platform was developed under the guidance of its Moscow-based founder, Sasha Ivanov. The Waves project also raised $16 million through its initial coin offering (ICO), which was one of the highest amounts raised through the crowdfunding method at that time.
Waves Wallet: ICO Hosting Services, Built-In DEX
When first introduced, Waves’ development team primarily focused on providing ICO hosting services, as the platform allows users to easily create and issue customized tokens for their business. The Waves wallet also has a user-friendly built-in decentralized crypto asset exchange (DEX). Trades are settled instantly and the Waves wallet supports both fiat and cryptocurrencies.
However, due to regulatory restrictions in the US and some other jurisdictions, certain features such as credit card-related transactions through the Waves wallet may not be supported for all areas.
First Movers Advantage: One Of The First Platforms To Launch A DEX
Currently, DEXs are not seeing as much trading volume as centralized digital asset exchanges. The top DEXs have been recording daily transaction volumes of about $1.5 million, which is a tiny fraction of the average $200-$800 million in daily transactions settled on the top 10 centralized crypto exchanges.
Average daily transaction volume on Waves’ DEX is of about $500,000, however, the platform may potentially have an advantage over other competing DEXs since its developers may be considered one of the pioneers of peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto trading platforms. Moreover, many other DEXs are not using their own blockchain and have been built on the Ethereum network, which has now become too congested.
Introducing Smart Contracts
About three months ago, the Waves platform introduced smart contracts on its mainnet. After being approved by over 80% of Waves’ community members, smart contracts can be officially activated. Included in the launch of the contracts are what the platform’s developers refer to as Smart Accounts. These accounts are non-Turing-Complete smart contracts, as they allow code to be executed directly on the blockchain, “but with deliberate limitations on functionality.”
According to Waves’ development team, limitations have been placed on Smart Accounts so that there are no cases of “unwanted usage scenarios” and also to “increase the reliability of the system.” Some important features included in Waves’ Smart Accounts are as follows:
- Multi-Signature Wallets: One of the missing features from previous versions of the Waves wallet was two-factor authentication (2FA). However, by using the new multi-sig wallets, users can maximize their account’s security by enabling 2FA.
- Atomic Swaps: Users of two different token types can conduct trades from separate blockchain networks via a single contract.
- Token Freezing: “Preventing buyers from selling or transferring tokens out of their address for a certain amount of time.” This is useful in situations where “a vesting mechanism” is required or “for team/contractor payments after an ICO takes place”, according to an official blog post by Waves’ development team.
Whitelist Voting, Data Oracles
As part of Waves’ smart contract mainnet launch, there are other new features available as well, such as “whitelist voting” and “data oracles.” Although maybe not as useful as atomic swaps or multi-sig wallets, data oracles allow Waves platform users to connect to an external data source.
Data from third=party sources is read-only as it’s registered on Waves’ blockchain network as a sequence of transactions. According to the platform’s developers, payments can be processed based on the data found in these transactions.
Waves’ Smart Accounts Don’t Need Gas Like Ethereum
Unlike Ethereum-based smart contracts or those issued on several other blockchain platforms, Waves’ Smart Accounts do not require “Gas” for processing. However, there’s a negligible network usage fee of 0.001 WAVES that will be charged for such transactions.
There’s also a new programming language, called RIDE, that will be used to write smart contracts on the Waves platform. As described by Waves’ developers, RIDE introduces a new syntax which has been created specifically for coding smart contracts. RIDE has been “optimized” for execution on the blockchain as it requires “minimal resources.”
Focus On Gaming Apps, 1 Million WAVES Developer Fund
Similar to how other decentralized application (dApp) creation platforms such as Tron (TRX) and EOS have focused more on gambling and gaming apps, the creators of Waves have also announced an initiative to help attract video game developers. Introduced in October 2018, the initiative is supported by a 1 million WAVES development fund (appr. $2.53 million) from which developers will be compensated for their contributions.
Earlier this month, Waves’ developers updated the platform’s mobile wallet app. The new features allow users to easily deposit and withdraw funds from their mobile devices and access the Waves DEX. The DEX’s user-friendly interface also allows users to lease their tokens.
Some brand new features added to Waves’ comprehensive mobile app update include fingerprint scanning and Face ID authentication. Users’ private keys will now be encrypted and are “never exposed to the web”, a blog post on the update noted.
Waves Keeper, Development Plans For 2019
Waves’ mobile app updates also added a “Waves Keeper”, which is currently available on Google’s Chrome Web Store. The platform’s development team is presently “working on versions for other browsers.” Waves Keeper allows users to sign transactions through the Google Chrome web browser, which is something similar to what MetaMask allows for the Ethereum network.
The developers of Waves will also be introducing a new European securities token platform called Tokenomica. According to the roadmap, trading on the virtual financial asset (VFA) exchange will begin in early 2019 and “key partnerships with service providers in security tokens” will also be announced next year.
During the second quarter 2019, Waves’ Security Issuance Platform will be introduced and “additional gateways for VFA Exchange” are expected to be added. In Q3 2019, the Waves’ management team will receive a security trading license (if things go as planned) and the Waves’ Security Trading Platform will be launched.
In future posts, we shall cover some of the strategic business partnerships involving the Waves platform. We will also cover how Waves stacks up against some of the other cryptocurrency platforms in terms of adoption and technological advancements.