Oct 30, 2020
The State of the Casper Network
CasperLabs turns 2! Looking at what lies ahead for the network and the team.
Today, CasperLabs is celebrating our second birthday! When we founded the company on October 31, 2018, our mission was to bring to life the CBC Casper protocol outlined in Vlad Zamfir’s original 2017 paper. Since then, we’ve spent our time developing the first provably live and safe consensus protocol of the CBC Casper framework and growing the Casper community.
With the state of the blockchain ecosystem today and the development of the Casper network, there’s no better time for us to celebrate our second birthday and take a minute to think about what lies ahead for the team and the technology.
Consumer Applications: DeFi
The developer and consumer markets of blockchain technology have been consumed by decentralized finance (DeFi) for well over a year. Recent DeFi interest has been driven by “yield farming” (liquidity mining) mechanisms in the Ethereum ecosystem, which have allowed savvy DeFi investors to earn astronomical yields on their investments.
Yield farming is just the latest in a string of DeFi innovations - from early foundations like DEXes and lending protocols to recent innovations like AMMs and flash loans. As with many early innovations, it comes with its own risks and barriers to entry; security incidents, fraud, skyrocketing transaction costs due to network activity, and most importantly the underlying understanding that yields simply cannot remain as high as they have been.
All of this is to say that the DeFi ecosystem as it stands today is a testament to the extraordinary efforts and innovation of brilliant developers, but has considerable room for improvement. The Casper technology we’ve been building for two years is best poised to bring DeFi into the next phase of performance, throughput, security, and UX. Solutions like predictable gas fees help users transact with confidence and provide access to smaller investors who may balk at high transaction fees on today’s DeFi dapps. More coding language options open the doors for DeFi development to a larger base of developers. Weighted key management allows developers and designers to create much more user-friendly solutions to security and custody.
Our journey to our second birthday, and beyond!
Enterprise and Institutional Adoption
Despite a few notable announcements, enterprises and institutions are still largely resistant to integrating blockchain-based solutions. Hesitation arises from two primary concerns: tech interoperability and privacy.
Enterprises still tend to view blockchain technology as its own separate stack, rather than as a set of solutions that can augment the traditional stack with which they are familiar. With Casper, we are building a network that can interoperate easily with existing enterprise stacks. Open programming languages ensure easy use by Web2 developers. Standard IDs enable simple communication among parties within a blockchain network. Upgradeable smart contracts give enterprise developers the ability to iterate and adapt as their businesses change rather than being locked into first generation code.
Enterprises also see privacy concerns as a considerable barrier to entry for blockchain adoption. Casper is being built to respond to enterprise needs for nuanced confidentiality and privacy. Our solution does not force the dichotomy of choosing a private or public chain. Casper can support private implementations that use the public chain as a trusted settlement layer, ensuring the confidentiality of private chain transactions can be supported by the security and immutability of a public chain.
Our second birthday comes at an important and exciting time for CasperLabs and the Casper network. Just this month, we announced a $14m private token sale led by crypto fund Digital Strategies. Over 50 other funds and individuals joined us in the private sale, and we were oversubscribed by 40% above our original goal of $10m.
The private raise comes just before important milestones for the Casper network. In November, we will release the Casper Delta testnet, our final testnet before mainnet launch. Delta testnet will be our most complete pre-launch opportunity to demonstrate to developers, businesses, and validators the power, performance, and opportunity of the Casper network. In Q1 2021, we will be launching the Casper network public mainnet, a culmination of years of hard work and the inauguration of many more years of development, community growth, and innovation. Our mainnet launch will occur alongside a public token sale for the Casper network native token.
From the earliest days at CasperLabs, we’ve said that we wanted to build a software company first, not just a blockchain company. With that commitment in mind, we’ve spent these past two years building, evangelizing, learning, and iterating to ensure the Casper network solution is best equipped to respond to the needs of individuals and businesses. Today, we’re celebrating all the work that has led us to this anniversary and all the exciting work that lies ahead.
Happy Birthday, Casper!
Build on Casper
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