As institutions and people are becoming aware of cryptocurrency, digital art that isn’t physical being sold for millions dollars on secondary markets, Bitcoin and Ethereum experiencing all time highs not seen since the infamous 2017 “everyone is getting rich and you’re not” bull run, will there be mass adoption of this technology soon? And will it be on Ethereum? According to an emerging industry leader Christian Deciga in web3, many of the dApps (software not owned by anyone, ) deployed by developers on this open and permission-less world, are currently not optimized for mass adoption of non-blockchain people or “normies”. They are made for blockchain people for “blockchain people”.
In late 2018, Uniswap, developed by first time solidity (programming language to write smart contracts) developer Hayden Adams removed the need for order books used by centralized exchanges like Coin base and Binance. Instead of paying centralized exchanges listing fees that cost projects millions of dollars, developers could list their newly minted tokens and provide liquidity for them on Uniswap without permission. This decentralized exchange acted like a vending machine where users can buy different tokens with an easy to use interface without giving up their personal information (required by centralized exchanges). The only requirement needed to interact with it? An Ethereum wallet address, the most popular being Metamask (a key to interact with web3 applications like Uniswap that is free to use).
During the summer of 2020, Ethereum saw huge adoption of its decentralized finance applications built by solidity developers. These developers essentially put the old world onto the new one that is coming. Current internet users are experiencing “web 2”, where the networks profit from users data. On “web 3 or web3”, users become owners of their data and have shares (similar to equity in private companies) in these networks by owning the tokens created by them. The underlying technology that makes Bitcoin work, ate away at legacy finance, with over $50 billion in total value locked as of writing (the total value of users’ assets deposited into the smart contracts of these applications). Will 2021 be the year that there is mass adoption by this technology on the world’s second largest blockchain?
Setting the stage for the next wave: Gamers and “normies”
Christian Deciga who has been interacting with blockchain technology since entering the industry in late 2017, learned to understand how the technology works, teaching himself how to program each step of the way. He was an early purchaser of the Hashmasks NFT collection and made the Everipedia entry of PancakeSwap. “I may not have been part of the early days of the Bitcoin revolution, but I am grateful that I was able to take part in the DeFi revolution, seeing and building the future with industry leaders I can call my friends.” -quote
Deciga was also involved with Frax Finance, the world’s first algorithmic stable coin founded by Everipedia’s Sam Kazemian in 2019. He credits Kazemian for molding him into a leader, picking up smart contract development in the process. Stable coins are like Bitcoin and Ethereum but without the price volatility and pegged to $1.These make them suitable for everyday use by the public. Seeing that stable coins were going to be the next hot topic, Kazemian proclaimed to everyone from the teams he leads, friends, family, and to the world that “2020 will be the year of stablecoins”. He got to work on what would be the most successful project to enter the market at the last minute, deploying the smart contracts to mainnet Christmas week. In an attempt to capture the billion dollar market value that Kazemian predicted, copycat projects of the Frax design launched. Other stable coin projects like Basis Cash, Ample forth, Empty Set Project, also began to appear.
Even having a late entry to market, the Frax team were able to have a successful launch while keeping it’s peg to $1. Frax Finance is being hailed as the “king of stable coins”, becoming a top ten project on Uniswap in early 2021. “Frax is hard to fork”, Deciga remembers Kazemian telling him. Frax Finance also did not receive any coverage from leading industry publications Coin desk and Coin telegraph. “Community and the people that build the projects is all that matters here.” , says Deciga.
Deciga discovered his Frax Finance moment when he played with the Flow blockchain, the same creators of cryptokittes, that introduced the world to the concept of NFTs in late 2017.
“What made DeFi (short for decentralized finance) take off on Ethereum in 2020, was that the developer sandbox to reinvent financial applications was made easily accessible to developers for the first time in history.” – states Deciga
Deciga learned from working with Kazemian and the projects at Everipedia that, “in order to build new technology, you have to understand how it works first.”
Deciga sees the Flow blockchain as being the main chain that drives user adoption because of the fact that gaming applications are built with “non-chain’” people in mind. Flow is also not a copycat clone like most others and is built completely from the ground up. The sports industry sees it too. He has already begun working on the project with a Gen Z figure and Fortnite personality he believes are role models of their generation. Just how the Frax team led by Kazemian couldn’t be fazed, Deciga says he will do the same with friends he has recruited, called the “Kingsman” to wade off the suits and cashgrabs that come. “We are at the cusp of a new chapter, and the protagonists have already been chosen.”