What is the Waves Platform?
For those involved in the cryptocurrency space, you’ve probably heard of the Waves Platform. Last year, during its crowdfunding campaign, Waves was able to gather an astounding amount of BTC, roughly 30k BTC, making it the 7th most successful crowdfunding campaign in the world so far. But what is Waves exactly?
The Waves platform is described as a Open Blockchain platform, one that takes the functionalities of Bitcoin and extends them further beyond the simple application of value transfer. The idea is not to create a replacement for Bitcoin, but rather a platform where Bitcoin, cryptos, fiat currencies, and all types of real-world commodities and assets can be issued, transferred and exchanged in a fully decentralized manner. The Waves platform also provides a crowdfunding solution through its lite client wallet.
Although the concept of decentralized exchanges and assets is not new, they are usually not very functional. Not only are these exchanges complicated, they also require the user to find an out-of-band solution to convert tokens into fiat and vice versa. Waves, however, employs the best of two worlds to bring a fully functional exchange that is as fast as a centralized one but does not suffer from the same security issues thanks to Matcher enabling HFT, asset-asset trading and innovative token approach. The fiat-crypto problem is also solved through Waves’ fiat gateways.
Waves’ fiat gateways are run by compliant gateway operators which are organizations (like payment providers) thanks to which users can easily convert their fiat currencies into tokens on the Waves blockchain. These fiat tokens (wUSD, wEUR, etc) can then be transferred on the blockchain itself much faster than any traditional banking transfer and for a much lower fee. Users are then able to withdraw their tokens for fiat once they are received. Other cryptocurrencies can also be tokenized on the Waves blockchain, which is the case of wBTC, a corresponding asset on the Waves blockchain that is backed 1:1 by real Bitcoin.
These features can be accessed through the Waves lite wallet which does not require users to store the blockchain and can be downloaded and run as html, or as a standalone Chrome app that automatically updates when new versions are released. The lite wallet is also available for Android.
Through its easy-to-use lite client and implementation of integrated fiat gateways, Waves provides entrant users with an introduction to the world of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Users can deal with fiat currencies or familiar commodity-backed assets on the blockchain and later explore other investment opportunities like Bitcoin and others if they wish to. Users will also be able to invest in company stocks or assets through the Waves’ crowdfunding platform, which makes it easier for developers and companies to raise funds for their projects.
For the more experienced user, Waves can also be “mined” or forged. Since Waves is an inflation less system with limited supply, users can host a full node to earn rewards from transaction fees. Users are required to have a minimum of 10k Waves tokens in order to host a full node. – Learn more.
Currently, the Waves platform is still in development but many of the aforementioned features are already active, including asset issuance, which can be done with a few simple clicks. These assets, dubbed Custom Application Tokens (CATs) can then be transferred in mass or individually, which makes them suitable for crowdfunding campaigns. Waves implemented also unique feature, which is already available, transaction fees are payable in custom tokens above native currency. This opens many great possibilities for the whole ecosystem. WAVES will always be accepted, but this feature means that applications built on Waves will not have to worry about the additional friction and complexity of providing a second currency for fees.
The Bitcoin gateway is already available in the platform, allowing users to send BTC directly to the Waves platform, which is then converted into wBTC and vice versa.
Waves is currently working on deploying the decentralized exchange which will allow users to exchange the aforementioned CATs, custom tokens and Waves directly on the Waves client and in a fully decentralized manner. Fiat gateways are also being implemented, starting with the Euro gateway which will allow users to deposit and withdraw Euro tokens on the Waves platform – Although users will be required to go through KYC and AML procedures. Activities involving only transfer, trading of crypto and fiat tokens won`t require KYC and AML procedures.
At the same time Waves team is working on many innovative tech approaches that will improve functionality and scalability, like Improved Authenticated Dynamic Dictionaries, Bitcoin NG POS and non-Turing complete smarter smart contracts. You can find more info here.
Overall, it’s an exciting piece of technology that is sure to be used by businesses and individuals alike and to expand the overall cryptocurrency user base. Waves Platform is already being recognized and will be/is being used by Incent, MobileGO, BankCoin, ZrCoin, PrimalBase, ChronoBank, with more to come in the near future.