Building a Blockchain for the People, Not Only for Whales | Inal Kardan, Developer Advocate of Waves (FTC ep 18)

Categories: InterviewsPublished On: May 13th, 202123.8 min read

Building a Blockchain for the People, Not Only for Whales | Inal Kardan, Developer Advocate of Waves (FTC ep 18)

FinTech Chat (FTC) is a series of educational & informative interviews with world professionals in the FinTech / Crypto / Blockchain communities. We aim to provide content that is digestible in multiple mediums such as video, audio (podcast), and written (blog) form!


FTC Episode 18

In this episode, Blockchain Wayne interviews Inal Kardan, Developer Advocate of Waves. He discussed the problems that Ethereum blockchain has faced nowadays because of high gas fees. From this, he shared what his Waves team is trying to solve and build Waves as a blockchain for everyone.

Note: This transcript was automatically generated by artificial intelligence (AI) and therefore typos and grammatical errors may be present.

Intro: Interviews on crypto, blockchain with your host, Blockchain Wayne on FTC. 



BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Hey everyone, welcome and thanks for watching. Today we’re joined by Inal. Now Inal I’m excited to have on the show today. He is a developer advocate for Waves and also a member of the Waves association. You’re gonna learn more about the Waves project, but first and foremost… you know, thanks for joining us today. 


INAL KARDAN: Thanks for having me today. It’s a pleasure to talk to you. 


BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Absolutely like I said… like I said, I’m excited to hear more about your story and more about Waves. It’s been a project that I’ve been a fan of for a while, so you know, first and foremost, tell us a little bit about your background and what got you into… into the cryptocurrency space… with Waves? 


INAL KARDAN: Yeah, thanks for having me again. And my name is Inal a developer advocate at Waves and actually I started working or playing with blockchain like six years ago in 2015. I was working at university also starting there and blockchain was one of the fields… fields which was like very interesting for me, because I’m… I have a tech background. I’m a developer and blockchain as a technology was very interested. And one of the first coins I started just playing with was Doge coin. It may be pretty fun that Doge coin was… it was easy to start not like Bitcoin. And yeah and at that time also I was a co-founder of no later, just a year later, I was a co-founder of a startup. We are building some stuff for… it was a SaaS platform like for event organizers and even there, we tried to use blockchain. Because you know, NFTs or tokens for tickets, it was hot topic in 2016-17, it was pretty successful. But later I decided to leave and I just got very… very good offer from Waves team. The team was pretty small at that time. I guess it was around 30. And yeah, I joined them as a developer advocate, not just as a developer but a developer advocate. It’s a person who writes some code, it’s around 50% of his time and 50% is more about talking about code, about helping other developers to build something, and yeah, you know, conferences, events all the stuff. It’s… it’s all for developer advocates. So yeah, I joined Waves in 2018. And since then, like many things happened in crypto… you know, three years, it’s pretty pretty much. And yeah that’s my background with the crypto. 



BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome awesome. Well that’s some great stuff. Yeah, so you were working with Doge coin back when there was still some development going on too, right? It hasn’t really been a whole lot going on there from a development standpoint, even though it’s been getting a lot of attention lately. (INAL KARDAN: Yeah) So well, let’s… let’s move over and let’s talk some more about Waves. You know, Waves is something like I mentioned before, I’ve been a fan of for a while. A lot going on with there. I’ve seen a lot of development over the years. So tell us a little bit about Waves and… and kind of what… you know, what Waves’ goal and purposes is out there? 


INAL KARDAN: Yeah actually, this is a very good question. Thanks for the question, because what is Waves, it’s… it’s… it’s really hard to answer in one sentence. The shortest answer would be Waves is an ecosystem and it consists of four main products… I would say, the first product is the Waves protocol itself. This is just like it’s a blockchain, a proof of stake blockchain with some unique features like leasing. It’s taken but it’s leasing with the features like non-turing complete smart contracts language called RIDE, which is very… very secure, let’s call it so and it helps developers to build secure and draw past the apps. This is like the first thing, the protocol itself. The next thing is Waves exchange. Waves exchange is… it’s an exchange. It’s a decentralized exchange maybe some… some of your listeners or watchers, they have heard about Wave DEX. It was Waves DEX a couple years ago, but now it’s called Waves exchange. It has all the features of decentralized exchanges with… it’s the only thing it’s… it doesn’t has on-chain. You cannot put your orders on chain. It’s off chain placement, but yeah anyway, don’t want to go too deep about exchange. We will talk about a little bit later, yeah so Waves exchange very fast, but very very cool exchange. That’s the second thing. The third thing is Neutrino protocol. It’s a protocol for stable assets, let’s call it so and of course, the most popular stable asset is USDN or Neutrino USD with more than 300 million usd issued right now as far as I remember. And fourth thing is gravity. Gravity is blockchain agnostic protocol for like interchange communications. It is not a part of Wave second system actually, because Gravity is like talking less and blockchain agnostic, so there is no talking for gravity. This is just support by the Waves, supported by the Waves team, and you know, the Waves association because… like grants. And we support the team. We help… we help them to build the product, but it’s a separate team working on the Gravity. And we truly believe in interchange and interchange DeFi in the future. So we help to build Gravity. So these are four main things. There are different products on the… in the Waves ecosystem like for example Swopfi and AMM on Swop on the Waves blockchain. This is like the one of the most interesting projects because AMM is hot topic right now. There are projects built building something around NFT for example signature chain, but yeah, it’s more about products on top of the chain, on top of the protocol, but four main things in the ecosystem. It’s the blockchain itself, Waves exchange, Neutrino and Gravity like I tried to to answer your question. But it’s a little bit comfortable, maybe it sounds a little bit complicated. 



BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Yeah, no I mean that’s a great. We can… we can dive into some of those. The Waves DEX was one of the first decentralized exchanges that I used back when it was out so definitely some great stuff and… you know, people I wanted people to know that Waves is more than just I think Waves is just a coin that’s on a price list… you know, another cryptocurrency. And it’s so much more than that, so and that’s what really people need to look into when you’re looking at… at projects is what does the project develop not just what is the coin or token. And I think people miss that a lot so on the road map for Waves, what do you see as some of the biggest developments? I mean you mentioned a lot when you just answer that question, what do you think are some of the biggest developments that’s going to bring more people to Waves as they find out about it or will interest them to go check it out? 


INAL KARDAN: Yeah actually we truly believe in interchange, so we think that building a maximalist… I don’t know Ethereum or Bitcoin max… it sounds a little bit strange in 2021. Because there are many cases, there are many chains, there are many users and maybe not every user but many groups of users, they want different things. Some of them want real decentralization. Some of them want a little bit less decentralization because decentralization is not like a binary thing true or false, it’s a scale, right? So… and we truly believe that different groups of users need different tools and different protocols.And for example, whales there may be good to use Ethereum with fees around… I don’t know 20 50 or 100 bucks, but retail investors, let’s call them so, they need much lower fees, for example. So they can use Waves, Solana… I don’t know, Binance Smart Chain or anything else, because they’re much cheaper in terms of fees. So we truly believe there are different groups and there should be place for different chains, right? And one of the things that we work mostly right now is interchange. Interchange communications and Gravity protocol which is already said like blockchain agnostic thing. We have many partners. They’re helping us to build the Gravity protocol and we truly believe in a couple years, we will have like not one chain, not two chains, but… I don’t know, 12 chains with great user adoption with the mass adoption, and not 12… 12…, 20 chains with a mass adoption. And we want to connect all of them. We want to connect all of them in a digitalized way and we want to connect them without any new tokens like, hey let’s introduce one new coin. No, we do not want to go that way. We just want to build the… the protocol and let users use… I don’t know, one product in the Ethereum network, take their money from the product go to… I don’t know, Waves network and use their money there. So yeah that’s what we mostly work on. And also yeah, Waves exchange, even Waves exchange work on interchange DeFi as they call it. For example, they have different gateways centralized, decentralized gateways for… for example, Ethereum assets, so before Waves was just like a coin in the Waves blockchain, on the Waves blockchain for example, now there is an erc20 coin like for Waves for Neutrino. It’s the same for Neutrino governance talking it’s the same, so they are… there are Waves on the Wave chain, Waves on Ethereum, in the future we will see Waves on Binance Smart Chain and so on and so forth. So this is what we believe, it like interchange and let… just let users decide where they actually want to use your tools or your… your coins or whatever.



BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Nice, nice, so to… to get to the… like you said, it’s all… it’s an erc20 now to get to that, will the users have to… is there a swap protocol or do they have to buy it on the… your…? 


INAL KARDAN: Actually, actually buffer versions exist because Waves, you can use native talking on the Waves blockchain. And if you want to go to ethereum for example, there is a gateway for the Waves exchange, you just… you can go to Ethereum network or from the Ethereum network to Waves network so yeah. 


BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome, I mean that’s good to know. I think a lot of… you know, Ethereum has brought a lot of users to… to the plate… you know, to the table, but it’s important to also realize that… you’re right, the biggest thing I see complaint lately is just gas fees… you know, and yeah, that as well someone’s… someone’s swapping thousands and thousands of dollars of value a 30$ 40$ gas fee doesn’t matter. But if you’re… you know, if you’re trying to buy a little bit, it could… it can really impact someone’s profitability and… and those trades. So that’s important not only that… I mean you know, as you expand, so you mentioned NFTs earlier, right? (INAL KARDAN: Yeah) Yeah, I was looking to… I had created a bunch of NFTs a few years ago on Enjin, and I was looking to… to move some of them around, and just the cost to move them was worth more than the NFT itself… 


INAL KARDAN: So yeah, that… that’s why we actually built our protocol because we truly believe that Ethereum, there are issues with scalability. There are lots of problems and at some point maybe they will solve it, but not in the nearest future. Unfortunately or fortunately, so yeah we truly believe that we can give another option just use Waves blockchain which is faster, which is cheaper in terms of fees. And yeah that’s… that’s what we actually believe in, I would say, and what… what we want to build like… give people an option to… yeah, not… not only Ethereum or not only Bitcoin yeah. 


BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Nice I think some people may not realize they think just fees are high and they don’t really understand why it’s… it’s network congestion, it’s scalability so what makes the Waves chain different in that aspect? So what if all these users shifted from Ethereum to Waves which I know, I mean it’s that’s a hypothetical question, but how’s the scalability with the Waves chain? How are they set up to scale? 


INAL KARDAN: Yeah so I can tell a short story in 2016 as far as I remember. There was a… there was a paper called Bitcoin-NG from Emin Gün Sirer, who is founder of Avalanche. He published a paper and this paper describes how you can make bitcoin like 10 times faster or even more, I do not remember exact numbers for bitcoin yeah. But if that proposal would be implemented, the bitcoin network would be ten times faster. But bitcoin… you know, their… their position like bitcoiners, so “we are fine with the current design, Satoshi was the best designer of blockchain ever so we are not going to change almost anything”. And they decided not to implement bitcoin. Of course there are some trade-offs for bitcoin network, so yeah there is not only… the reason was not only because we don’t want, but there are some trade-offs anyway, they didn’t implement Bitcoin-NG, but we implemented it in 2017. So our protocol is uses the thing which is called Waves-NG, so I’m not going to talk about tech details because there will be too many details, I guess. But the main idea is that we have blocks every minute. We have micro blocks every five seconds. We have very good network propagation protocol. We have smart contracts, they are non-turing complete, and we implemented them that way intentionally, because we do not want to have same issues as Ethereum has, because our smart contracts are pretty simple. They’re fast. They’re secure, but yeah sometimes, it’s maybe a little bit harder for developers. So the easiest way would be just to take… I don’t know, EVM solidity and let developers… okay, now you can make smart contracts on that on the Waves chain using EVM and solidity, but it is not so scalable as right and not to incomplete smart contract, smart controllers language ,so we decided to go that way. And yeah these are like two factors why Waves would be much faster than Ethereum, the first one is Bitcoin-NG or Waves-NG and the second one is smart contracts, non-turing complete smart contracts language, so yeah this is like two… two things. 



BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Cool that was a great explanation. Yeah I just wanted people to simply understand because I think a lot of people don’t really understand why the fees are high. They just… especially new people coming in, they just see fees are high and why different chains are able to have different… you know, different lower fees such as Waves can… can give you a… you know, better solution that’s more user friendly because that’s what it’s going to take to break down the barriers… you know, honestly there’s only going to be so many like you mentioned whales. There’s going to be so many whales that’ll be using these protocols but there’s going to be a lot of end users that are not dealing with… with huge amounts, but that’s who we need to really drive adoption and use so it looks like Waves are definitely doing that. 


INAL KARDAN: Well actually, I don’t know have you ever heard about the mantra of Waves. It’s a blockchain for the people, that was the mantra of Waves like we are building not for whales, but for… for mass adoption. 


BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome, yeah that’s… that’s a great great topic so… as we’re talking about people, so where can people get more information about Waves, Waves protocol, Waves exchange, all the great information that they would need to connect with Waves in the Waves community? 


INAL KARDAN: Well, there are a couple places. The first place obviously is Twitter so Waves Tech, you can find it at Waves Tech on Twitter. You can find many details about like all the announcers, all the partners, all the tech details, everything is published on Twitter. That’s the first place, but if you want to discuss not just read or see some links, but if you want to discuss and maybe ask some questions, then the best place is Telegram. So there are different chats on telegram. There is a chat for developers called Waves Dev or you can use just Waves Tech you can find by Waves Tech, it’s just like general chat where you can answer your questions about like you can ask your questions about anything… I don’t know, from price to tech details also, but yeah Telegram is the second place. And I would say the last place is Youtube, because we published some videos, we have streams where we discuss some topics, for example just a couple days ago, we had a stream about NFTs, for example which is very hot right now, so yeah we have like two weekly, biweekly streams, usually we… where you can ask your questions and we would be happy to answer all them. So yeah, three places: Twitter, Telegram chats and Youtube, everywhere just search as Waves Tech and you will find it. 



BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome awesome, so my next question, may be my last question, but we’ll see where this goes, but as far as the roadmap, I’m sure… you know, every project has a roadmap of what… what’s to come as far as what’s… you know, what’s planned in the future that you can talk about. What do you think is the biggest thing that… that we can look out for… for Waves and also some information about… you mentioned NFTs, so I do have a question about that too after, but what… what’s… what’s the biggest thing next on the roadmap? 


INAL KARDAN: I would say the biggest thing now is Neutrino, which is like stable assets protocol, let’s call it so. It is growing with a very very very good, let’s… let’s call it traction is pretty good, because the number of issued neutrinos, it’s growing. The… the number… the… for example on Curve on the Ethereum network, there are more than 300 million locked and yeah, it’s pretty… pretty good numbers for stable assets. It’s in top 10 of stable assets. It’s not… not algorithmic stabilized, but you know, this… this is in top 10 of all stable assets, not all algorithmic, let’s call it. So yeah… so yeah, I think Neutrino is the… is the… that’s the first thing. The second thing which is like from the Waves, I think we will release this month, later this month or only May, we will release a feature which is called Continuations. It’s very… very interesting tech topic if there are any developers in your community… that’s like a new… new way how smart contracts are executed, where smart contracts can smart contracting can be paused, for example if it’s too complex, and it can be resumed in the next block. So it’s something absolutely new so I’ve never heard about any blockchains doing such a thing, so this is like the next big thing and it will improve developers experience for sure. So yeah these like the two main things I would say which will like… which sounds interesting, looks interesting. And I think in the next couple months, we will get more traction in terms of developers or between users. 


BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome awesome, so what would be the biggest benefit of pausing smart contracts, with the continuation protocol you mentioned? 


INAL KARDAN: Actually we are trying to solve the issue with scalability. We do not want to have… we do not want to have problems as Ethereum has, but at the same time, we want smart contracts to be… let’s call it not so lightweight, as they are right now, so we say okay, you can write complex smart contracts, but the only thing is that for example if it’s too… too hard to compute, to calculate it right now on the chain that it can be paused, and it can be resumed in the next block, so this is like the main idea so we’re just splitting complex smart constructs into several pieces and run them in several blocks. That’s the main idea. 



BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome, so that’ll allow probably more… more development within smart contracts, probably unlock a lot more capabilities, right? (INAL KARDAN: Yes, yes exactly) Awesome awesome so next thing I wanted to ask real quick. So non-fungible tokens NFT as you mentioned, I know it’s a… it’s a hot topic right now. It’s everywhere, we’re having an… a crypto event in Miami next week and the biggest draw is the NFT crowd, so what… what can people do as far as looking at or creating NFTs on the Waves chain right now, like what’s available as resources? 


INAL KARDAN: Yeah so there are couple projects building some… something or interesting thing is around NFTs. The… the biggest project as far as I know is called Signature Cheat or SIGN Art. Yeah SIGN art is the proper name of it. They built an NFT marketplace for like about everything is about art, I cannot talk much about SIGN Art. I just don’t know enough about it. I just want to highlight that there are like more than a couple hundred of artists right now. They’re selling that there’s a primary market right now. I’m not sure about the secondary market yet, but yeah and the biggest bid I’ve seen there is $600k for… for a picture of a duck, because you know, ducks are like mascots in the Waves… like a system right now. So yeah, though the project isn’t pretty interesting, I would recommend to visit their website telegram chats, it’s pretty pretty awesome regarding NFTs. We have launched like in last week, we had launched an NFT game, which is called Duck Hunters. It’s a game for all our community members, they can do some tasks… I don’t know, some tweets. I cannot disclose all the details, but they get some tasks. They can do that, they get… they get eggs, and they can… later they can change it for ducks, they can breed ducks, they can do lots of things about NFTs. It’s kind of a… kind of fun way to let users try NFTs, because NFT is on the Waves blockchain. They’re like… for example, you should to issue an NFT, you have to pay only 0.001 Waves. It’s around like two cents, I guess, it’s yeah… two cents less… even like even less than two cents, and to transfer for example NFT, you have to pay the same amount, so just two cents more to transfer it to somebody, or just just to trade with it. But so yeah, we just want with the game, we just want to show that NFTs are pretty cool, and at the same time to show that it… is really… really easy to use them. It is not as expensive as… for example, on the ethereum network, because last… during the last, we had a stream as already mentioned, we had… we have youtube and we had a stream there about NFTs. And we have minted an NFT with a screenshot of our stream right during our stream. And it cost as far as I remember, it was like 30 bucks, just to put that NFT on OpenSea, so compared with 30 bucks, and like two cents, it’s… it makes… makes sense to use Waves. So we just want to show that it’s really easy it’s really cheap not like as an Ethereum yeah. 



BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: nice well I’m personally going to look into it. I love the NFT space, I’ve tested out mining NFTs on different chains, so I definitely want to look into the Waves one as well, and dabble around with that. I’m sure other users as well because it’s important if someone selling like a six hundred thousand dollar piece of art, a thirty dollar gas fee is not that bad, but if… you know, if you’re looking for NFTs for gaming or collectibles or something that’s gonna be traded, often you can’t have 30 dollar fees, so that’s… yes it’s an amazing… you know, amazing thing, so and also note to self if I create any art for an NFT, it will be a duck, and I’m going to go cello on the way. 


INAL KARDAN: Yeah actually, you can go to Twitter and find there, I guess. There is a hashtag duck hunters… or ducks hunters, something like that, so you can find the Tweet there, which explains how it’s gonna work like how you can use NFTs, how you can breed ducks and all this all this… 


BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome awesome, and now… you know, thanks for joining us today. It’s been a great conversation. We learned a lot about Waves, myself personally, even though I’ve been… you know, I’ve been a fan of the project for a while, it’s great to hear that a lot’s happening, a lot’s going on. And it’s great for people to understand that too that it’s more than just looking at a coin price or token price which we didn’t talk about, but it’s been doing great, but you know, look at what’s… what’s being built in the ecosystem, so any final words, any other thoughts you want before we wrap up? 


INAL KARDAN: Just to want to… just want to say thank you very much for having me today. It was a pleasure to talk and I would be happy to answer all the questions from your listeners, from your users, so if you have any questions, feel free to find me on Twitter or on Telegram if you find Waves Tech, you can find me in the chat here, so DM me or just ask in any telegram chats about Waves, so we’d be happy to answer. 


BLOCKCHAIN WAYNE: Awesome awesome, thanks again and now everyone, make sure you go and look up Inal, find and look up Waves and follow them, follow what’s going on, because it’s definitely something you’re going to want to keep up with. So thanks for getting now, thanks everyone for watching and we will see you all on the next episode.

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About Inal Kardan


As a software developer, manager and co-founder, Inal Kardan was working on several edtech, fintech products, and startups.


Since 2018, Inal has worked at Waves Platform as a Developers Advocate, experiments with blockchain, judges hackathons, develops a lot and shares all his insights at many conferences.


About Blockchain Wayne (Host)

Wayne has been managing, teaching, and coaching high performing teams for over 20 years. He has a passion for helping and teaching people and a passion for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects. He has created various coaching programs and partnerships with select education platforms and cryptocurrency program tools.


You can learn more on his website:

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