What is Waves?
9th March 2021
Waves is a decentralized platform, initially designed to facilitate the issuance of various tokens during the early days of the crypto industry. It was launched in 2016 by the Russian physicist Sasha Ivanov. It gained some attention during the first wave of ICO-driven craziness in 2017, had some connections with the Russian officials, and still stays relevant up to this day thanks to its continuous development, simplicity and user-friendly experience. Let’s dig into a project a little bit further.
The history of Waves
Not many people know it, but Waves isn’t an original idea, and it took its inspiration from the NXT platform. Ivanov had a project called Coinomat, a network of ATMs built upon the NXT blockchain, which enabled the exchange of various cryptocurrencies one for another directly without the need to use BTC as intermediate crypto. Nowadays it doesn’t sound amazing, but back in those days, it was really great. NXT was a good project, but it was moving very slowly and had its limitations. That’s why Sasha Ivanov decided to create his own platform, similar to NXT, and took some concepts from it. His goal was to give users and businesses the opportunity to easily create new blockchain assets with one mouse click and without any special knowledge of programming languages. Ivanov conducted an ICO which started in April 2016 and ended in June 2016 and raised about $16 million in BTC equivalent. The platform was launched the same year and had a fair amount of success. It incorporated ideas from other projects, such as NXT, Komodo, BitShares and Ethereum, but its main selling point still was the friendliness of its interface for a non-tech-savvy user. A new token can be issued in a matter of minutes, and it’s not harder than using a traditional web application.
In March 2017, Waves announced the launch of the decentralized exchange, where users could trade all the assets issued on the platform. It was one of the first DEXes ever launched in the crypto space. During the period of the ICO hype, Waves was the second most popular platform for issuing ICO tokens.
In 2018, the Waves team added smart contracts functionality to the platform, thus enabling the development of decentralized applications on Waves. Also, they added many other features such as support for multi-signature addresses, atomic swaps, voting, token freezing and Oracles. In October 2018, Waves processed 6.1 million transactions in a single day, that’s the record among all blockchain projects ever.
In 2019, a new version, Waves Enterprise, was launched to suit the needs of large businesses and institutions. Given its founder’s background, the Waves company maintains strict ties with Russia, and the Enterprise version is used in many Russian projects, such as:
- The Russian National E-Voting System
- The Distributed Treasury and Cash Management (DTCM) by Alfa-Bank, one of the largest Russian banks. It enables their corporate clients to manage their payments, loan and deposit products, as well as all their funds stored in the bank. It’s a fully customizable product, Alfa-Bank calls it “Bank-as-a-Service”.
- Sberbank, the largest Russian bank, integrated their own blockchain with Waves, so the tokens from Sberbank blockchain can be sent to the Waves Enterprise network via Hyperledger Fabric, transferred between various owners, and then returned to their original network.
- Astra Linux, one of the most popular Linux-based operating systems in Russia, is fully integrated with Waves.
Also, Waves tokens were used as collateral in the first crypto-backed loan in Russia, approved by Expobank for a local businessman.
The Waves technology
Waves works on the Leased Proof-of-Stake consensus model. It features two types of nodes, lightweight and full nodes. The full nodes are the miners that validate transactions and produce new blocks. To run a full node, a miner has to stake 10,000 WAVES tokens and download the full copy of the blockchain. Lightweight nodes are the clients that rely on full nodes, they don’t have a copy of the blockchain, but they still can send and receive transactions in the network and create new tokens. Creating a new asset costs only 1 WAVES token. Every operation that is performed on the platform can be paid in WAVES tokens or any tokens hosted on the network.
As the WAVES supply is fixed, miners get their rewards in MRT tokens. The more they stake, the more MRT they get. It’s also possible to lease any amount of WAVES tokens to another node or pool by simply clicking the “Lease” button that most Waves wallets have. The leased tokens never leave the wallet of their owner. Miners who get these leased tokens usually return 85-95% of rewards back to the token owners.
However, if you want to have a full node for your own needs you don’t have to set it up and stake 10,000 tokens. You can use GetBlock.io to get all the necessary data and rent the node for as long as you need. It’s a lot easier and doesn’t require any technical knowledge.
Where is it now?
Currently, Waves is a very active company, focusing on DeFi and inter-blockchain communication, partnering with top banks, with Solana, Fantom, Ontology and Tron projects for building new cross-chain solutions. Recently they launched the WAVES token on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing to convert tokens back and forth between two ecosystems. Currently, it sits at 66th place in Coinmarketcap charts and has the potential to go a lot higher in ranks.