Edgeware is a self-improving smart contract blockchain built on the Polkadot ecosystem, utilizing Wasm to enhance its self-upgrading features.
Although blockchain technology brought a massive revolution, there has been a hindrance in interconnecting technologies in the centralized and decentralized worlds. Nowadays, conventional technologies are being hooked with distributed ledger technologies (DLT).
WebAssembly (Wasm) is an example of a traditional technology being mixed with DLT to scale blockchain-based platforms.
Edgeware, for example, uses Wasm to increase throughput. A key advantage with the conventional technology is that developers do not need to write platform-specific code.
Instead, they code in a language they’re comfortable in and it is converted into Wasm bytecode that runs on the client machine, which are mostly web browsers, after being converted to machine code. With this approach, execution happens at high speeds.
To get how a blockchain network incorporates this technology and how it helps in the decentralized ecosystem, let’s dismantle Edgeware into its most basic components.
Edgeware is a project of Commonwealth Labs.
The founding team and advisors of the platform include Dillon Chen (an investor at Turing Capital), Raymond Zhong (an engineer at AngelList), Drew Stone (an Ethereum developer), Michael Karnjanaprakorn (Skillshare’s founder), and Ryan Zurrer (a former director at Web3 Foundation). The system is built on the basis of scalability and enhanced on-chain governance.
What is Edgeware?
It’s “a self-improving smart contract blockchain.” The platform is built on the Polkadot ecosystem, utilizing Wasm to enhance its self-upgrading features, and uses a proof of stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. By employing traditional technology, Edgeware takes an unconventional approach to improve scalability.
Apart from adopting Wasm, the project uses a critical governance model that allows its native token holders to vote on-chain. With everything done on-chain, the platform improves transparency and reduces overhead costs.
A unique feature of the protocol is its ability to be run any client. This is made possible because all the other components are handled by a PoS block validation and PBFT (practical byzantine fault tolerance) consensus mechanism, leaving the client to merely download, execute, and validate network blocks.
Key Edgeware components
Modules host the platform’s logic. They are written in the Rust programming language and compiled using Wasm. Some modules available on the network include utility modules that interact with other modules and fees module.
Smart contracts on Edgeware are written in a Wasm compatible manner. Using available tools, code written in C++, Rust, and C can be made Wasm-ready. However, more Wasm toolchains are in development to enable Edgeware smart contracts to improve expressiveness, security, and portability.
On the surface, smart contracts on the network function the same way as contracts developed and deployed on the Ethereum blockchain.
The connection between smart contracts and modules is made using selected interfaces. For example, contracts can access information on council and identity modules. Also, contracts can execute parallelized transactions.
As earlier mentioned, Edgeware uses a nominated PoS consensus. Here, there are no fixed transaction validators; they are rotated. Validators execute and seal blocks with the platform allowing a 5-second block time.
Being a PoS system, the protocol supports the locking of funds to become a validator. Validators have a token-lock period of three months. Although they are chosen at random, there’s a specific number of them that remain at the helm to occupy leadership positions for a set amount of time.
Edgeware uses accounts to keep track of users’ balances. Transfer of balances between accounts is governed by variables that are constant across the platform. The variables define things like the amount staked, minimum account balance, transfer fees, and account creation fees.
Using Polkadot, the platform has its eyes set on inter-chain interactions. For instance, Polkadot connects Edgeware with Ethereum, opening up the decentralized finance (DeFi) space. Also, such a connection allows blockchain assets from one network to be leveraged on the other.
Note that Ethereum provides a place to run highly sensitive financial applications while Edgeware provides a progressive system for applications requiring a high throughput.
Lockdrop, a One-of-a-kind Feature
In the world of airdrops, a lockdrop is a form of an airdrop where users of a network have to first lock their funds on a smart contract before receiving airdropped coins. This method delivers free coins only to the active addresses.
Edgeware uses this method requiring ETH holders to lock their coins for 3, 6, or 12 months. However, the platform provides an option called ‘Signal’ that eliminates the need to lock funds but still participate in the airdrop. The lockdrop contracted was edited by Quantstamp.
Edgeware uses lockdrop because:
- It has a non-zero opportunity cost.
- Has downside protection.
- It’s open and easily accessible.
- The locked funds are secure since a user contract is created to hold the coins.
Edgeware Token (EDG)
EDG is a native currency on the network with a capitalization of five billion tokens. The tokens have a 20 percent inflation rate in the first year. The inflation rate decrease year after year with the possibility of conducting community engagement on whether to change it.
Uses of Edgeware token (EDG)
- Voting right.
- Ability to delegate voting and staking to another account on the protocol.
- Paying transaction cost within Wasm smart contract.
Edgeware’s governance is another selling-point for the protocol.
Most decentralized platforms are struggling to get the on-chain governance concept right. Some are using the delegated PoS consensus, direct token-weighted voting instances, and on-chain treasuries to power on-chain voting. Unfortunately, models such as direct token-weighted voting lead to power being centralized around those with large token holdings.
A complicated user interface and communication hurdles are also part of the ills bedeviling on-chain governance. However, Edgeware has a way out.
The protocol accelerates the use of technologies such as sharding, PoS, and making tweaks to the run-time environment. Acceleration of these core technologies enhances on-chain governance, voting, etc.
Although previously done using decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), on-chain voting faces challenges such as the centralization of power among muscled token holders. With Edgeware, this is likely to change since the platform provides enhanced voting and governance systems.
Also, the network is easy to coordinate and upgrade using Wasm technology. Edgeware’s lockdrop approach ensures that only active addresses are eligible to receive free tokens. The longer the lock period, the more free coins received.