Redefining Interoperability: An Exclusive Interview with Wanchain
In a world where no one chain will rule the crypto kingdom, the need for interoperable solutions is more than necessary. While some different companies are attempting this from a few different angles, Wanchain is hoping to incorporate the best of all worlds.
Touted as a “distributed financial infrastructure that seamlessly connects blockchain networks,” the Ethereum hard fork offers asset management solutions, a decentralized exchange, and even an ICO platform for burgeoning projects.
In this roundup, BTCManager caught up with Wanchain’s director of global business development Scott Trowbidge to get a better idea of how Wan is setting an industry standard.
First and foremost, what is Wanchain’s elevator pitch? Has this pitch changed since its beginnings?
The core purpose of Wanchain has always remained consistent. We want to connect to the world’s digital assets by creating a cross-chain mechanism to make blockchains that currently function in silos, interoperable. While the means of achieving this end may have changed, that is the purpose of researching, building, and testing. Wanchain’s core focus has always been that same vision holding interoperability at its heart.
Could you go into a bit more detail as to why you decided to use Ethereum as the platform from which to hard fork?
While Bitcoin is the most well-known blockchain, Ethereum we feel is the blockchain that has quickly become the default blockchain from which to build upon. Their innovation of smart contracts and the ERC20 token is designed to make establishing dAPPS easy.
Given Ethereum is the most widely used platform to build out projects, it made sense for us to hard fork Ethereum as it would make us extremely compatible with the majority of blockchain projects.
Sharing the same contract language, for example, is helpful if we are trying to build a cross-chain communication layer. With our goal of interoperability, hard forking Ethereum was an obvious choice as any project based on the Ethereum codebase can port onto Wanchain in under 24 hours.
Could you explain the process for integrating different blockchains? Must you establish some variety of partnership with another project or is this all done internally at Wanchain?
We want to create an ecosystem where blockchains projects support one another. We are right at the genesis of this technology, and the way we are going to accelerate innovation is by working together. From this perspective, we like to partner with projects and speak together with the teams to understand their challenges and identify how we can best overcome those issues together.
This helps development on both sides by providing mutual insights where everyone learns and progresses forward in a way that would’ve been much slower if we were operating internally at Wanchain, in our silo – it’s not very interoperable!
At current, how many blockchains have you integrated?
We recently had our 2.0 mainnet launch that integrated ether with Wancoin – the native tokens of the Ethereum and Wanchain blockchains respectively.
This was a massive landmark for Wanchain and the interoperable space as a whole. Our 3.0 launch will come later in 2018 which will integrate even more blockchains, and we’re very excited about expanding our reach.
As you are focused primarily on interoperability, what types of operations are you working with beyond the exchange of cryptocurrencies like ether or bitcoin?
There are so many different operations we are working on that it is hard to narrow down. Firstly we have Lanchain, which is our structure for developing private cross-chain smart contracts. This is really for the enterprise client that needs a world-class team to build a bespoke blockchain with a flexible architecture.
Then we have WanLabs, our incubator that is geared towards developing the best early stage blockchain projects and provide them with an incredible amount of support.
Getting into WanLabs is no easy feat though, as we are very strict on the projects we take in to ensure we are only accepting those of the highest quality that we are happy to put the Wanchain name behind. We hope to develop a broader ecosystem around the Wanchain project as almost every blockchain will need interoperability in the future.
Do you feel Wanchain is in direct competition with centralized exchanges or is its scope much broader, and exchanges are merely another node in the crypto ecosystem?
We don’t see centralized exchanges as direct competition. Wanchain is an infrastructure project that is focused on the interoperability mechanism for blockchains. We’re more akin to building an internet, whereas exchanges are the applications that will be made on top.
Our architecture can be used for so many different industries from banking to gaming to healthcare that looking at the ‘exchange’ element is just one small aspect. We’re building the technology, not the applications.
In that sense, we are utterly different to centralized exchanges and do not see them as direct competition at all.
Finally, who are some of the projects participating in Wan Labs and how is Wanchain looking to expand heading into 2019?
We’ve got a fantastic group of projects that have come into Wan Labs. BlockMedX is a project that is looking to solve prescription fraud in the U.S. that is a key driver behind the opioid epidemic that has claimed millions of lives. This is a fantastic example of a project that is harnessing blockchain for moral good, and we couldn’t be happier to be supporting them.
Other great projects have come through such as Intellos, Freedium, CryptoCurve, and others. I could spend all day talking about them, but that would take all day!
Regarding expansion, we are looking to build out our developer community as we want to educate the builders out there of the flexibility and power of Wanchain.