Waves currently provides a suite of developer and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) tools for building and deploying decentralized applications (dapps).
The Waves blockchain relies on a unique form of consensus called leased proof-of-stake (LPoS) consensus, which enables token holders to ‘lease’ their tokens to full staking nodes, which have a minimum staking requirement of 1,000 WAVES -- reducing the barrier to consensus validation participation.
One of the core features of Waves is its decentralized exchange (DEX), which has both a desktop and mobile version.
Waves Blockchain Features and DEX
The Waves blockchain, known as Waves-NG, addresses the problem of reconciling block sizes and block intervals to help a network scale by creating ‘liquid blocks’ that consist of key blocks and a chain of micro-blocks. The purpose of liquid blocks is to improve the bandwidth and latency of the network and empowers the network to reach roughly 100 transactions per second.
There are 13 types of transactions on Waves, and the network is compatible with smart contracts. Notably, it does not require the use of GAS for consuming computational resources like Ethereum, and its recently released RIDE programming language for dapps is specifically designed not to be Turing-complete. According to the Waves team:
“After seeing the vulnerabilities and edge cases that have arisen on Ethereum, Waves has always maintained that Turing-completeness should not be essential for on-chain blockchain computations. The RIDE language itself is deliberately non-Turing complete for this reason.”
However, Waves goes on to detail how Turing-completeness can be achieved by spreading computation over consecutive blocks only if the functionality is required.
The speed and consensus design of Waves is particularly relevant to businesses concerning the speed of block creation and ‘smart asset’ transaction capabilities, which creates faster settlement times for transactions and more manageable transfers, respectively. The network can also sustain distributed loads of crowdsales and trading, supplementing a core feature of Waves -- the DEX.
The Waves DEX is an open-source, P2P matchmaking engine that allows nodes to operate as their own matchmakers and for users to issue and trade tokens. Most trades go through the Waves central matchmaker, however.
Other features and products of Waves include a multi-asset desktop and mobile wallet and the Waves Keeper browser extension used for interacting with Waves dapps and Waves-enabled web services -- similar to Ethereum’s MetaMask.
Waves Labs, Future Development, and Monetary Policy
The company behind the Waves Platform, Waves Platform AG, reportedly raised $120 million in private funding in December 2018 to help fund the rollout of its universal blockchain solution for large enterprises and the public sector -- Vostok. A permissioned (i.e., private) blockchain, Vostok is separate from the Waves Platform and targets corporations and governments who want scalability and more control over the network.
Waves Platform also recently partnered with BlockPass, the digital identity startup, to bring KYC to the network, ensuring compliance and helping Waves broaden its trading services to securitized assets.
Waves supports and finances decentralized development projects on its platform using its Waves Labs grant system, which covers everything from technical consulting to networking and marketing.
All 100 million WAVES tokens were created in the genesis block, and 85 million were sold during the ICO. The remaining 15 million tokens were distributed to the development team, early supporters, partners, and more.