Waves CEO Talks Raising $16m, Open-Blockchain Platform Potential
This week, we covered the news on the asset and custom token blockchain platform Waves raising $16 million with its ICO. The crowdfund made history by becoming the sixth-largest right behind the cryptocurrency project Ethereum according to Wikipedia. Bitcoin.com decided to speak with the Waves CEO Sasha Ivanov to get the nitty gritty on this project.
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Ivanov tells us the Waves team are big fans of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the project was inspired by the NXT platform. The platform has big plans for the future and just recently partnered with Mycelium to offer fiat conversion to the company’s wallet.
Waves: ‘A Blockchain Platform for the Masses’
Bitcoin.com (BC): Can you explain to our readers in simple terms just what the Waves platform is?
Sasha Ivanov (SI): The Waves platform is an open blockchain platform focused on creation and usage of custom blockchain tokens, fiat transfers, crowdfunding, financial instruments trading and settlement. Our goal is to offer a stable open platform for payment systems, banks, crowdfunding projects, and create an ecosystem of community-based projects.
We are focused on usability and the ease of use. We want to make the blockchain technology accessible for an average user, accustomed to normal online banking interfaces. Our lite client software can be installed in one click and runs directly in the browser, requiring no blockchain download.
BC: You say you were inspired by NXT can you tell us how so?
SI: NXT was one of the first platforms that allowed users to create their own blockchain tokens, and trade them on the blockchain. Dozens of successful crowdfunding campaigns have been launched on it. NXT technology uses a colored coin approach to custom tokens, which supplements the Ethereum approach with blockchain smart contracts. Ethereum approach might be more fundamental, but NXT approach is more direct and does not have scalability issues that running contracts on all network nodes encounters.
BC: How does your team feel about the Bitcoin network?
SI: Bitcoin should be the major form of decentralized money before something better is invented (if ever). We’re going to support Bitcoin deposits and trading directly on our blockchain.
We’re very excited about the upcoming Lightning Network, and we hope that it’ll be launched successfully, and we plan to implement similar approach later on Waves.
BC: Can you explain how Waves incorporates crowdfunding, community management, encrypted messaging?
SI: Colored coins are a versatile tool that can be used for various applications – value transfer, trading, Reputation systems, rewards tokens, voting token… Basically, you can represent any kind of value with blockchain tokens. So WAVES goal is to create an ultimate custom tokens platform and take the colored coins approach to the maximum, similar to how Ethereum takes Bitcoin scripting to the maximum.
So by issuing a custom token a user can start a crowdfunding campaign (offering it for sale), participate in other campaigns by buying the tokens, vote for the directions projects take (by voting through some special tokens), etc.
BC: How does the reputation system work?
SI: The reputation system is meant to be some sort of decentralized KYC/AML, which is going to help weed out bad players and, potentially, replace centralized KYC/AML. User karma will be calculated based on his network activity and feedback from other users.
BC: Can you tell our readers a little about the recent partnership with Mycelium?
SI: Mycelium is probably the biggest mobile bitcoin wallet with a very active user base, so this partnership is important for us. We’re going to implement fiat transfer within Mycelium wallet, which can increase the mobile wallet user base very substantially. Bringing fiat transfers on blockchain can become a game-changer for mobile payments and also can disrupt international remittance; this is another direction of our cooperations.
BC: Your crowdfunding did very well and became the 6th largest to date just under ETH and the DAO. Can you tell us about this experience?
SI: This was an exciting experience. Interacting with cryptocurrency community during the ICO has helped us shape up our vision better, and understand what community expects from blockchain technology now. I think that community feedback is extremely important for the development of decentralized p2p systems.
BC: What is your opinion of the Ethereum protocol and the DAO Hub concept?
SI: Еthereum is amazing and, being a logical development of Bitcoin technology, is absolutely inevitable. We’re not going to compete with Ethereum; we’re going to cooperate with it.
We plan to implement token transfer protocol which is going to allow to transfer tokens between Ethereum and Waves blockchains. It is going to allow to trade Ethereum tokens on Waves decentralized token exchange, for example.
We’re not going to compete with Ethereum; we’re going to cooperate with it.
BC: When do you expect to be finished with the test net launch and end-user light client launch? Do you believe you are on schedule?
SI: Yes, we’re pretty much on schedule, we’ll have the alpha mainnet online within several days. Full nodes software will be available until the end of June.
BC: What is the overall mission for the Waves team?
SI: Our mission is to make a blockchain platform for the masses, and take the blockchain technology mainstream.
What do you think of the Waves project? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Sasha Ivanov and Waves.