Back in 2017, everyone was overwhelmed by public chains. The deal lists of many investors were full of different types of public chains. People discussed the pros and cons of different consensus mechanisms. A single design of consensus mechanism could bring its creators millions of dollars. No one knew or even cared whether people would use the public chains. I call this period of time: “competition of air”.
Between 2018 and 2019, projects that raised a lot of money started to realize their public chain dream. The word “mainnet” could pump public chain tokens by 100%. But people gradually realized that it is not about consensus, but about whether players in the industry would love to get involved and play with the consensus. The “better than Ethereum” dream was destroyed again and again until people started to hate the very idea of consensus. Most public chains ended up being held and operated by project teams themselves using distributed nodes. I call this period of time: “competition of substance”.
In 2020, the rise of defi emphasized the importance of Ethereum. Before people liked Ethereum because it was the mother of ICO and “moon and lambo” dream, this time many people actually started to USE ethereum for farming and playing with defi. The solid infrastructure proved that ethereum is the most solid chain for development. Most people are addicted to Ethereum and the level of addiction is so high that people did not even want to download a wallet from other public chains or even talk about other chains. I call this period “the era of monopoly”.
Living in this addictive monopoly environment, people in power started to seek other ways of making money. This time they started to embrace Ethereum technology to the extent that they just mimicked (or let’s just call it copy) Ethereum and named their chain “smart chain”. Those people are smart. Their real selling point is: cheap and fast. Yes, smart chains are cheap and fast. The golden rule for them is “fuck decentralization” since centralization brings cheap and fast experience. Players in Ethereum can easily get onto smart chains and operate the same ways they do on Ethereum. I call this period “the era of compromise”.
Now what? Let me ask you one question: do you think people would really get onto those smart chains and abandon Ethereum? Of course not. Humans have never abandoned something that is addictive in the entire civ
ilization (I do not need to give you some illegal examples). What most people do is they use smart chains to complete some of the tasks and move things back to Ethereum in the end. Psychologically, Ethereum is a safe hub even though it is expensive and all smart chains are adventures. (Forgive me for making an inappropriate example: it is just like a married man looking at or … other girls on the street. Human nature). If such behavior keeps happening, we need a smarter move: we need a solution to provide fast and smooth transportation between Ethereum and smart chains (I call all EVM-compatible chains smart chains). It is no longer about competition, it is now about cooperation. Now, it is the right time to introduce Chainswap: the hub for all smart chains from assets to applications.
You probably think I am BS here, since Chainswap is an infrastructure project and I am putting technology after user experience. But let me ask you some questions:
Ethereum was not the most decentralized solution among all public chains. Is there any public chain that is more successful than Ethereum now?
Uniswap was not the only DEX when it started. Is there any DEX that is more successful than Uniswap?
(To make my point even more clear) Apple did not have the best technology back in the day. How about now?
Ethereum has the best developer environment in this space and Uniswap has the best user interactions and user experiences among all defi. Technology supports the best user experience and it is not supposed to be a rocket science only the founder knows what it is.
There are many existing cross chain solutions and many of them look very impressive. However, the ideology of Chainswap is to provide the most user-friendly cross chain experience. Decentralization is a comparative subject and we will pursue a more decentralized approach for Chainswap, but providing something for masses to use is our key mission.
The very first product of Chainswap is cross chain asset: https://chainswap.com. We mimic the user flow to make it extremely similar to Uniswap. The reasoning is simple: A user of Chainswap exchange should have used Uniswap before and he can use the same experience to cross chain assets. It largely reduces the learning effort for a new product.
To summarize in one sentence: respect users and you will be the winner.
In my opinion, we have passed the era where a project needs a long white paper to be qualified as a legit and trustworthy project. It is not difficult to hire an academic person or even professor to draft a white paper that is full or fancy theory. We are in the era of execution and implementation. The market is dynamic and the client characteristics are not standardized. To adapt to such a market, we need to experiment and gain experience along with project development. Along with cross chain assets, we figured out many specific demands from projects and we keep improving features.
In terms of roadmap, the vague view is three steps: asset, application and agency:
Asset: the name speaks to itself. We are currently working on this part and the first iteration of the product is launched. There are many ways of cross chain assets because there are many scenarios: 1) new projects with non-issued assets 2) existing projects with only Ethereum-issued assets 3) existing projects with assets issued on all chains. The cross chain solution to handle different scenarios are different. I want to emphasize that the cross chain asset solution is not a rocket science since many projects have been revealed and there is no big difference.
Application: When assets are cross chain, the next step is very straightforward. To make a simple cross chain application example, you can earn compound interest rates from your assets on Binance Smart Chain. Imagine being able to apply cross chain to all defi applications.
Agency: There are many cases when users do not have cross chain wallets or gas to pay for on chain activities on other smart chains. As a result, we need agencies in the network to provide those types of services. These agencies are node operators who have a money incentive for acquiring fees. There are two main use cases for agency: 1) You do not have a wallet on other chains and you need to conduct defi activities or use assets. Agencies can create a mirror smart contract wallet for you to facilitate. 2) Agents pay gas for you. Agency activities vary from cross chain assets to cross application.
If you have ever learnt human geography or urban economics, you know the theory of a formation of a major city: You need a place where two important roads or rivers cross each other. Then you have two lines of traffic meeting there. Services such as hotels and restaurants start to open to serve the people who stop by. Then businesses attract more people and expand. The place grows from a town to a city.
What Chainswap is doing is the very first step, which is cross chain. But assets never live or stay on Chainswap as of now. However, when more people use Chainswap and more assets flow around Chainswap, some capital will be deposited and live on Chainswap for a longer period of time. So more Chainswap infrastructure services can be created to service the capital. We can expand from swap to interest earning.
The final goal is to build a hub for all smart chains.