Waves has released a major upgrade, which the creators hope will make it a viable alternative to Ethereum, EOS and Tron.
Dubbed Node 1.0, it adds support for smart contracts, opening the door for both dapps and crypto collectibles, like CryptoKitties.
The update will need to be voted in with a minimum turnout of 80 percent—much higher than platforms like EOS. Its delegated proof-of-stake system–which is similar to Waves’–only needs 15 percent of participants to cast a vote to make it binding. It’s like democracy only for those who can be bothered to take part. If the vote is reached, the upgrades will be introduced a week later.
Waves is a high-performance blockchain that prioritizes speed. It saw 6.1 million transactions in a single day in October, last year. It is able to do this through its leased proof-of-stake consensus mechanism developed from a proposal written by Cornell professor Emin Gun Sirer. In this model, users can lend their mining capabilities to others while still earning rewards. It’s designed so that more people can participate in maintaining the network, rather than over relying on a smaller group of validators, a la EOS. To some degree, this puts it ahead of platforms like Ethereum—which plans to move towards proof-of-stake over the next five years.
On the other hand, Waves is not built by a decentralized community but is developed by a Moscow-based, for-profit company. Potatoes, decentralized Po-ta-toes.
The new upgrades also shed light on a new programming language for the Waves blockchain called RIDE. The language is designed to be more stable to help combat bugs in dapps. This is important because dapps literally control how money flows through them—and mistakes can be disastrous.
If the update is voted in, developers will be able to create any kind of dapps, from simple gambling ones (like EosDice or TronBet) to decentralized exchanges (like EtherDelta). However, it will have to face the current problem affecting all dapp platforms—a lack of users. How Waves hopes to solve this is yet to be seen.
In addition, this will introduce support for crypto collectibles. These are unique tokens that are the digital equivalent of trading cards. Crypto collectibles hit a craze in 2017 with the rise of CryptoKitties but despite creators’ Matter Labs’ best efforts, few projects have come close to making the headlines. Perhaps Waves has something up its sleeve.