The Wanchain project began in mid-2016, when the founder, Jack Lu, started looking into the idea of cross-chain transactions. Since then, it’s evolved into an exciting project with the potential to mesh the entire crypto-space together. Let’s talk some more about it.
- Wanchain offers cross-chain integration with privacy features
- Consensus follows a three step Proof of Stake model
- Crypto partnerships are strong, but “old-world” businesses are yet to show significant interest
- Its approach to the problem of scaling is inconsistent
The crypto-space currently consists of many blockchains, most of which operate in isolation from one another. But Wanchain aims to bridge this gap by connecting the different blockchains together. The whitepaper talks about building a distributed infrastructure of digital assets to connect and exchange value between different blockchains. Their vision is to eventually supersede the traditional banking framework, an ambitious goal indeed.
What Is Wanchain?
Wanchain is a cross-chain blockchain solution that enables asset transfers and dApps hosting for the financial industry. This includes investments, banking, payments, credit, and exchange. It uses its propriety currency, the Wancoin, as a mechanism to connect assets, and enable banking applications, guiding their flow on-chain and removing centralized counterparty risk.
The code was forked from Ethereum, but incorporates Monero’s ring signatures, meaning, it offers privacy features such as private sends and one-time addresses. Wanchain presents a multitude of exciting potential use cases, including decentralized exchange, asset management, and cross-chain dApps.
The circulating supply of Wancoin stands at 106,152,493 WAN, from a total supply of 210,000,000. During the bear market, the price has plummeted from a peak of $9.75 (May 2018) to around $0.03 currently.
The function of WAN is similar to that of GAS for NEO, in that it’s used as a security deposit for cross-chain transactions, as well as tokenized transactions on the network itself.
Wanchain 2.0, which was released in Summer 2018, moved the platform to a Proof of Stake model. Funds are locked in both the sender and receiver accounts until the transaction is verified, validated, and completed. The verification nodes are categorized as:
- The Vouchers – who account for cross-chain transactions. A Voucher is required to pay a security deposit in WAN. If the proof is found to be false, the security deposit will be deducted from the holding account and the authorization of The Voucher is revoked.
- The Storeman – upon receiving a notification, The Storeman is tasked with computing the signature shares according to its own part of the key, and merging the signature’s parts into a whole signature for the lock account.
- The Validator – notifies the Storeman of operational actions related to the locked account, and once proof has reached consensus, The Validator finalizes the record of the transaction on the Wanchain.
Several crypto projects aim to disrupt the banking industry. Including OmiseGo, who look to take over crypto point-of-sale retail transactions. And Zcash, who are focussing on money with strong privacy features.
But none of these projects are a direct rival to Wanchain, as Wanchain does not focus on modular elements within a transaction economy, instead, Wanchain, which is designed with interoperability in mind, offers the entire framework of a financial system.
That’s not to say others aren’t vying for the same space. There is Fusion, who have the same goal of building out an infrastructure to connect financial systems that support digitized assets. Their website emphasizes the idea of bringing together different systems under their framework, with talk of “enabling cross-border, cross-value, and cross-asset transactions on a secure, globally accessible platform”.
Having said that, given the scale of legacy systems currently in operation, there is so much scope for multiple players in this arena. Every legitimate cryptocurrency team accepts the need to work co-operatively with other projects, that way solutions to problems can be found quicker, and the end goal of building the new economy can be realized sooner.
In recognition of this, the team at Wanchain have been working with Kyber Network to solve liquidity problems. Kyber’s on-chain liquidity protocol allows decentralized token swaps to be integrated into any application, enabling seamless value exchange between all parties.
There’s also the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance, which both ICON and Aion are members of. The Alliance’s main goal is to collaborate on research on interchain transactions and communication. Members will focus on developing common industry standards, sharing research and protocol architecture.
However, the lack of notable non-crypto partnerships is a concern. A review of their 2019 roadmap shows focus entirely on technical issues, such as wallet improvements, and Proof of Staking going live on their mainnet. That being so, it’s unknown how the Wanchain team plan to attract “real world” collaborations.
Being a code fork of Ethereum, Wanchain faces some of the same issues as Ethereum. Most notably in scaling. Whilst scalability present a significant challenge for the industry as a whole, Wanchain’s strategy is to look at what others are doing first.
Whilst Ethereum, and others, are working on Sharding, Plasma, and Raiden, Wanchain’s passive approach to the problem contradicts their technical drive, as observed with their 2019 roadmap. Whilst they have openly stated that they will work with 3rd party researchers on scaling, the lack of in-house research does nothing to raise market confidence in the project.
Jack Lu (Founder & CEO) – business background with a Masters in Computer Science from Ohio State. Work experience as a software developer, but perhaps of greatest relevance is that Jack co-founded Factom – which aims to help organizations use and interact with their data. With that in mind, Jack does possess solid experience in the blockchain space.
Li Ni (VP Business Development and Operations) – Batchelors from Peking University, and a Masters in Computer Science. Li spent over 7 years working in operational roles before joining Wanchain’s parent company, Wanglu Tech. He is also involved with WanLabs (blockchain research), and WanFund, who invest in blockchain start-ups.
Oliver Birch (VP Communications) – Undergraduate of Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Oliver presents a mixed work history, it wasn’t until 2013 when he landed a marketing role with a pharmaceuticals company. But, it’s difficult to see how this transitions appropriately into the blockchain industry.
Wanchain is working towards decentralizing the financial industry. Its main function is to integrate different blockchains through a cross-chain protocol, and further uses can be found in asset management and dApps. Although there is focus on resolving technical roadblocks, this is inconsistent as far as scaling is concerned. All in all, Wanchain has great potential, yet, so far, the marketing to clients hasn’t enjoyed the same hype as that felt by retail investors.