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Ethereum

Astar Network CEO: Webassembly Smart contracts Are Going to ‘Pull A Lot of Talent from Web2 to Web3

Ethereum is almost universally credited for kickstarting the Web3 revolution after it brought to life the concept of smart contracts. Some in the Web3 community, such as Sota Watanabe from Astar Network, think the protocol can’t “build the innovative future blockchain alone.” Others, however, point out the language barrier that makes the Ethereum Virtual Machine, (EVM), less than ideal.

Webassembly Smart Contracts ‘Will Accelerate the Adoption of Web3’

These and other limitations of EVM led to Webassembly’s creation. This alternative is a virtual machine that developers, engineers, and academics can use to solve their frustrations with the EVM. According to Watanabe, for Web2 developers that want to migrate to Web3, WASM seems like a logical choice because it “supports a wide range of languages with native performance and high portability.”

To learn more about WASM, Bitcoin.com News reached Out to Sota Watanabe (CEO of Astar Network), a multichain smart contract platform.

In his written responses to questions sent, the Astar Network CEO offered his thoughts on Webassembly and the role it will play in accelerating the adoption of Web3. Watanabe explained the reasons Astar Network supports both the EVM (electronic mail message) and WASM.

Below are Watanabe’s answers to questions sent via Whatsapp.

Bitcoin.com News (BCN): In very simple terms, can you explain to our readers what the WASM is all about?

Sota Watanabe (SW): Webassembly, more commonly called WASM, is a portable compilation target for programming languages. WASM supports many languages, with high native performance and portability. Astar supports a WASM smart-contract environment just like the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The best thing about WASM is the fact that most Web2 languages can be integrated into Webassembly. This is different from Ethereum’s EVM, which requires a specialized programming language called Solidity.

We believe that the increasing use of WASM smart contract will significantly accelerate the adoption and growth of Web3. We believe that the growing use of WASM smart contracts will dramatically accelerate the adoption of Web3. This is a problem. Imagine if they could create Web3 dapps [decentralized applications], using the languages that they already know. Their dapps can be easily integrated with EVM. WASM smart contracts [going to] draw a lot talent from Web2 and Web3. It’s exciting because of that.

BCN: What are some of the challenges or limitations of the EVM and how does the WASM overcome these?

SW: Though Ethereum brought us the Web3 revolution with the introduction of smart contracts, it cannot build the innovative future of blockchain alone. It restricts the ability of developers to create and explore new interoperable dapps. EVM is specific to blockchain, and has less support than Solidity, a specialized programming languages.

Today, Web3 is prohibitive to many Web2 developers because Web2 languages can’t be integrated into Solidity, Ethereum’s programming language. Webassembly allows developers to quickly switch from a Web2 infrastructure to a Web3 one. This allows them to focus more on building core features for their dapps than learning advanced languages like Solidity.

WASM improves performance because it is closer to the machine language. It provides web browser apps with near-native performance and allows developers the freedom to create high-speed web applications in any language they choose. WASM is a great tool for the future internet, as it was designed for the web.

BCN: Already backed by four major browser engines (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Webkit), WASM is said to be safer, more efficient, faster, debuggable, and open. This is why it matters.

SW: You’re right. You’re right. All of the information you shared about WASM has helped to build trust among Web2 developer. They are more likely to adopt Web3 when they can create interoperable Web3 apps with WASM toolings.

Additionally, WASM development has been supported by major companies like Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and others. It can be used with popular programming language such as C/C++ and GO. This is common among Web2 developers.

BCN: Some reports have suggested that Web2 developers that are migrating to Web3 are attracted to WASM. This suggestion is correct? What do you think the cause(s) could be?

SW: The answer would be similar to Nos. 2. 2 and 3.

Over time, we have had to interact with thousands of Web2 developers. However, the lack of familiar tools was a barrier. Astar Network is hoping to support WASM and make it interoperable to EVM. It will also provide all the tools needed to build in Web3 to this new ecosystem.

BCN: Instead of encouraging or discouraging the use of either, your platform Astar Network is said to be helping developers build dapps with both EVM and WASM. Why do you support both virtual machines?

SW: Developers in the Web3 space come from diverse backgrounds — armed with different skill sets, capabilities and preferences. They shouldn’t all be forced to use a single smart-contract platform to realize their vision. They have the right to choose from a variety of smart contracts, and it is up to them to determine which one is best for their project.

Yes. We support both WASM and EVM smart contracts for developers to have flexibility. EVM is the most widely used smart contract environment and has the largest user base. WASM is able to overcome the limitations of EVM and make it easier for new developers to get into the space. Two VMs running simultaneously, and each one being interactive, is a key factor in the success of a Layer-1 blockchain.

BCN: How does that benefit the broader blockchain ecosystem?

SW: It will dramatically expand the blockchain ecosystem by enabling Web2 developers to build innovative, decentralized, and interoperable solutions in the Web3 space.

BCN: Astar Network is said to be offering true interoperability with cross-consensus messaging. What does this all mean?

SW: We believe in a truly interoperable Web3 ecosystem, and provide developers with everything they need to build truly interoperable dapps. It’s possible through

Cross-consensus messaging (XCM): It allows dapps built on chains with different consensus mechanisms to securely transfer data and value between one another. Bidirectional exchange is possible. This exchange is possible because Astar, a para-chain on Polkadot, can use it as one of our core features.

Cross virtual machines (XVM),: This allows interoperability among two smart contract environments, such as WASM and EVM. EVM can be used by a dapp to implement their smart contract, but WASM can also be used.

These two innovations will mark the beginning of the next wave in dapps innovation.

What are your thoughts about this interview? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Terence Zimwara

Terence Zimwara, a Zimbabwean journalist, author and writer who has been awarded the Zimbabwe Booker Prize. He has written extensively on the economic problems of certain African countries and how digital currencies can offer an escape route.

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not intended to be a solicitation or offer to buy or sell any products or services. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. The author and the company are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from or related to the use or reliance of any content, goods, or services in this article.

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Ethereum

Railgun Denies North Korea Ties as it Approaches $1B Total Volume

Crypto privacy protocol Railgun has denied accusations that it is being used by North Korea and other United States-sanctioned entities to launder digital assets.

This development comes as the crypto privacy protocol nears $1B total volume.

Railgun Denies Lazarus Group Association

Responding to claims made by crypto reporter Colin Wu through an X post, Railgun denied allegations linking it to the North Korean hacker group Lazarus Group.

“The North Korean hacker group Lazarus Group is also a user of the coin mixer Railgun,” the post stated. “Railgun is seen as the main alternative to Tornado Cash after the sanctions were imposed on it,” the team added.

Wu’s post referenced an FBI statement from January 2023 that accused Railgun of being used to launder over $60 million worth of Ethereum stolen during the 2022 Harmony Bridge heist.

RAILGUN protocol: “Any suggestion that sanctioned individuals, governments, or entities such as North Korea have used RAILGUN have no evidence & are based only on speculation.” From 2023, all RAILGUN transactions go through a Private Proofs of Innocence check which verifies that…

— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) April 16, 2024

“This is not true, and it’s false reporting,” Railgun stated. The team affirmed that the Lazarus group can’t access the Railgun system due to its ‘Private Proofs of Innocence’ system, which became operational over a year ago. Railgun also dismissed the accusation as a mistaken and false claim.

This development comes amidst a surge in Railgun’s total volume, which is about to break the $1 billion mark. Data from Dune Analytics reveals that Railgun has reached $962.81 million in total volume, with its total value locked on Ethereum surpassing $25 million.

Buterin’s Endorsement of Railgun

The protocol’s rise in popularity has been further propelled by an endorsement from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who recently defended it while praising its privacy features.

“Privacy is normal,” Buterin affirmed. “Railgun uses the privacy pools protocol, which makes it much harder for bad actors to join the pool without compromising users’ privacy.”

Meanwhile, Buterin has transferred 100 ETH (approximately $325,000) to Railgun within the last two days, according to data from Arkham Intelligence. Over the past six months, he has engaged with Railgun several times, regularly interacting with the platform using small amounts of ETH each month.

Railgun, established in January 2021, leverages zero-knowledge cryptography to shield wallet balances, transaction history, and transaction details. This allows customers to use decentralized apps (DApps) while safeguarding their privacy.

The introduction of Private Proofs of Innocence in January 2023 has increased Railgun’s security measures as it now uses cryptographic assurance to verify the legitimacy of funds entering its smart contract.

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Ethereum

EY Launches Ethereum-Based OpsChain Contract Manager for Business Contracts

Ernst & Young (EY) has launched OpsChain Contract Manager (OCM), an Ethereum solution that leverages zero-knowledge proofs technology.

The solution will help private businesses efficiently manage and execute intricate business agreements while ensuring confidentiality, timeliness, and cost-effectiveness.

EY Launches the OpsChain Contract Manager

EY, one of the top “big four” accounting firms alongside Deloitte, KPMG, and PwC, has been exploring the business applications of zero-knowledge proofs (zk proofs) since at least 2018.

OpsChain Contract Manager (OCM) is tailored to facilitate the secure management of business contracts on a public blockchain. By leveraging zero-knowledge proofs, OCM ensures contract integrity and confidentiality while enhancing efficiency and reducing costs.

The platform integrates with existing enterprise systems through a standardized API and supports various contract types, including volume purchase agreements and pricing models linked to market data feeds.

The development of OCM came from EY’s previous client engagements, where it realized that contract term accuracy could be enhanced while significantly reducing cycle times and administrative costs by approximately 90% and 40%, respectively.

Meanwhile, EY chose Ethereum, a public blockchain, over a private network to prevent any party from gaining undue advantage while mitigating the risk of sensitive business information leakage.

Paul Brody, EY Global Blockchain Leader, highlighted that the technology behind OCM, Nightfall, initially emerged on Ethereum and underwent testing on its test network. The upcoming update will transition Nightfall to Ethereum’s mainnet and may incorporate a Layer-3 upgrade to enhance scalability and functionality.

EY’s Venture Into Blockchain

EY’s launch of OpsChain Contract Manager comes amid increasing blockchain adoption by major financial players. BlackRock also recently entered the space with a tokenized fund on Ethereum.

EY’s OCM reflects its commitment to revolutionizing how enterprises handle contracts, focusing on enhancing process efficiency and transparency through blockchain solutions. By integrating blockchain into traditional business practices, EY sets a precedent for the industry’s progression toward embracing this transformative technology in routine operations.

This latest development builds upon EY’s ongoing engagement with the blockchain sector. EY recently made headlines with a “healthcare breakthrough” by leveraging blockchain technology in collaboration with Canadian Blood Services.

In October 2023, EY unveiled the fourth generation of its EY blockchain analytics tool, Reconciler, designed to aid Fidelity in enhancing internal risk management for digital assets.

In September 2021, EY also announced its collaboration with Polygon to integrate Polygon’s solutions with EY’s flagship blockchain services, including EY OpsChain and EY Blockchain Analyzer.

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Ethereum

Ethereum Poised to Retest $3.5K as Bullish Sign Reappear (ETH Price Analysis)

After experiencing a rapid downturn, Ethereum has found itself supported by a substantial zone, comprising the 100-day moving average and a critical price range between the 0.5 and 0.618 Fibonacci levels. Consequently, a bullish rebound is anticipated in the medium term.

By Shayan

The Daily Chart

A thorough examination of the daily chart reveals an extended period of corrective retracements, culminating in the price finding support within a pivotal zone.

This zone encompasses the 100-day moving average at $3050 and the significant price range between the 0.5 ($3190) and 0.618 ($2972) Fibonacci levels.

This range carries significance as it attracts considerable demand, potentially hindering further downward pressure from market sellers. Additionally, a minor bullish divergence between the price and the RSI indicator suggests the potential for a bullish resurgence, targeting a reclaim of the $3.5K threshold. However, despite the bullish indications, an unexpected breach below this critical support zone could trigger a cascade effect toward the 200-day moving average at $2.5K.

eth_price_chart_2004241
Source: TradingView

The 4-Hour Chart

A closer inspection of the 4-hour chart reveals the formation of a descending wedge pattern during a multi-month consolidation correction. Following a significant decline, the price has reached the lower boundary of the wedge and the support region around $3K.

Nonetheless, given the potential buying pressure within this crucial range, the price has entered a consolidation phase characterized by minimal volatility.

This price action highlights a tug-of-war between buyers and sellers. Nevertheless, a noticeable divergence between the price and the RSI indicator on the 4-hour timeframe suggests the strength of buyers, increasing the likelihood of a bullish upswing in the medium term. In such a scenario, the next target for the price would be the critical resistance level at $3.5K. Conversely, should a break below this support occur, a descent toward the $2.7K support becomes increasingly probable.

eth_price_chart_2004241
Source: TradingView

By Shayan

As Ethereum’s price exhibits signs of recovery, it’s crucial to determine whether this resurgence stems from spot buying or leveraged futures activity. A key metric for this analysis is the funding rates, where positive values signify bullish sentiment and negative values indicate fear in the market.

Observing the recent downtrend in Ethereum’s price, it’s notable that the funding rate metric has mirrored this trajectory, steadily declining until reaching near-zero levels. This alignment suggests that the recent price drop has led to the liquidation of a significant number of positions in the perpetual market, resulting in a cooling effect on the futures market. Consequently, the market appears primed for the re-emergence of long positions, with the potential for a fresh upward surge.

eth_funding_rates_chart_2004241
Source: CryptoQuant
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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.

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