Blockchain is seemingly forever on the cusp of mainstream adoption, but not for long. For those who have a broader perspective on the technology’s current capabilities and history, the idea that blockchain is anywhere close to reaching critical mass is laughable.
Despite retail investor interest in cryptocurrencies, the things that blockchain technology can do are less limited. But the world still needs a prevalent blockchain app — even a decade following its introduction alongside Bitcoin.
There’s no doubt blockchain is slow to deliver value, but its enormous potential gives enthusiasts and the cryptocurrency market justification for their hope. The crown jewel of blockchain in 2019 is its nascent application ecosystem, nurtured via a sparse array of upstart decentralized computing networks including Ethereum, NEO, and EOS.
Blockchain: We’re still in the dawn of decentralized applications, but it has become apparent that these dApps—and their developers—are the best bet for blockchain’s eventual ascension to the retail market.
Dev Access Unlocks Blockchain for All
Given that networks like EOS and Ethereum are ground zero for blockchain progress making it easy and inexpensive for developers to create things on these blockchains is paramount. This is a notion that’s been embraced by the blockchain community more in recent years. Major projects now focus the bulk of their efforts on making development a welcome and familiar experience, but also ensuring that any successful dApps are able to effortlessly scale with demand.
The latter issue was contentious in the community at the peak of the previous cryptocurrency bubble. At that time it became apparent the market’s legacy ecosystems were incapable of supporting demand for their dApps. Trusted blockchains such as Ethereum had reached a point where they had accommodating virtual machines and other accessible dev tools, but the market did not react optimistically when the network couldn’t handle traffic on the first favorite apps (Crypto Kitties is the most representative example).
Even if the “killer app” of blockchain was created now, networks wouldn’t be able to handle the herd of users. In the post-bull market, the community’s optimism hinges solely on blockchain’s ability to produce tangible and reliable value via applications, not on the idea that it can do so marginally or sometime in the future.
With a more mature industry this time around, the best way to help developers deliver on these ambitions is second-layer solutions being amalgamated to the most popular blockchains.
Second Layers Accommodate Developers
EOS itself was created as a response to Ethereum’s sluggish transaction speeds. and It’s now waving the banner for blockchain scaling with internal, but also external endeavors to make it the fastest chain around. With a quicker DPoS (Delegated Proof of Stake) consensus model the blockchain’s transaction speeds are faster, and a multi-threaded developer environment makes it possible to run apps on multiple computer cores. Even with these groundbreaking developments, promising second-layer upgrades to EOS are just as powerful.
An exemplary project is called LiquidApps, which slides into the EOS software stack seamlessly to provide increased memory to resource-hungry applications on the network. Knowing that EOS is limited to 90MB of RAM and is therefore sometimes expensive, with 58 EOS required for a single 1MB block.
The development platform makes it possible for EOS users to also take advantage of vRAM and therefore lower hosting costs. This simulated storage is connected to EOS and is integrated effortlessly with the underlying blockchain, making it easier to support more and better apps, wider audiences, and faster transfers of value.
Even Bitcoin rests its hopes on the second layer, with the Lightning Network a “household name” among off-chain solutions for its yet unfulfilled ability to drastically increase the speed of