The blockchain trilemma of scalability, security and decentralization has been the main focus for many ICO’s. Promising solutions are in development or were already found, the next major challenge: User Experience.
Why ‘User Experience (UX)’ matters
When you picture what mass adoption looks like in crypto, you will probably envision a world where anybody can use cryptocurrency or blockchain no matter their background. Even your grandma. Right now this isn’t the case.
A multi-trillion dollar marketcap has been predicted by multiple figureheads in the financial industry. For example, CEO of Pantera Capital, Dan Morehead, stated that even a $40 trillion marketcap is a possibility one day. Most agree that within the next 5 years or so a total marketcap of 1–3 trillion dollars is very realistic.
These predictions sure sound very positive, but before we can imagine reaching those numbers one of the bigger challenges include reaching out to those that live beyond our contained little bubble. A bubble which likely contains mostly speculative traders. For the industry to grow it is paramount for the industry to expand upon their products to allow a seamless interaction between both product and end-user. Average people, like your grandma, should be able to use it.
Products and services are needed that absolutely anyone can use with no prior knowledge or experience required at all. Just remember the first time you needed to set up a wallet or transfer an ‘x’ number of bitcoin and the amount of hassle and reading work this required. Now imagine your grandma trying to do the same…and the massive headache that probably comes along with it. Avoiding that seems best for dear old grannie.
On Binance Launchpad soon
For mass adoption to happen, using crypto or blockchain-services should be intuitive. Like buying a book on Amazon, it’s so simple these days that even grandma can do it. This is the direction the blockchain industry needs to go in to pave the way to mass adoption. The next big successes therefore not only solve the well-known blockchain trilemma but have a passionate obsession over the design aspects as well. Ideally, your grandma should be able to use blockchain without even knowing or noticing it.
April 24th you will have the possibility of investing in one of those projects, called Matic Network. Set to launch on Binance Launchpad soon. For a detailed and condensed overview I would recommend checking out the research report of Binance as well.
In order to celebrate and spread awareness about this projects I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the founders of Matic Network, mister Sandeep Nailwal.
You can build the best tools but without users they will amount to nothing.– Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder Matic Network
Matic Network interview
Reading the articles on Matic Network it becomes clear to me its main focus are scalability and user experience in order to support the development of Dapps . It’s a clear and smart choice Matic markets itself for developers first and explain the main advantages to them. In this interview I’d like to flip the script and tackle the project from an investor’s perspective as well, most of which are only familiar with the technology on a basic level. In light of the upcoming IEO let’s dig deeper on the token economy as well. But first, a bit more about the project itself, then the team and eventually about the token itself.
For those that are unfamiliar with the project, could you explain in your own words what Matic Network is?
“In short, it allows anyone to create scalable DApps while ensuring a superior user experience in a secure and decentralized manner. It has a working implementation for Ethereum on Ropsten Testnet. Matic intends to support other blockchains in the future which will enable it to provide interoperability features alongside offering scalability to existing public blockchains. Furthermore, Matic provides scalable, secure and instant transactions using sidechains based on an adapted implementation of Plasma framework for asset security and a decentralized network of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) validators.”
Further reading: What is Matic Network
Matic mentions that the main hurdles for blockchain mass-adoption are scalability and user experience. Can you explain how Matic aims to tackle those?
“With Matic Network, we aim to solve this by having Plasma-based side-chains on top of Ethereum for high scalability and secure transactions. Long waiting times and high transaction fees make current applications on the blockchain hard to use for the masses. Using our unique approach for scaling, as explained above, Matic aims to tackle the scaling issue head on.”
“As compared to their centralized counterparts, the UI of blockchain infrastructure is still sub par. Imagine sending a transaction via Venmo/Wechat to your friends. Now contrast that with using Metamask for making transactions on Ethereum. Not only is it non-intuitive for a new user but is also challenging to use and maintain.
To provide Better UX/UI DApps, Matic intends to provide Matic wallet, payment APIs and SDKs, products, and other enabling solutions that will allow developers to design more user friendly DApps with superior UI & UX than those that currently exist.
Besides, Key Management is also very cumbersome and average users are prone to mistakes which may result in accidental loss of funds. With Walletconnect, Matic aims to provide one place key management for end user and authorizations from that one place to interact with any number of applications over the internet.”
You have mentioned how Matic aims to solve scalability issues. This is however just one issue within the so-called blockchain trilemma. How does Matic ensure a secure and decentralized network?
“The scalability trilemma states that one can only have two out three from decentralization, scalability and security. Trade-offs need to be made as it is difficult to achieve all three. If you focus on scalability and decentralization then that means sacrificing security. Most agree such an approach is unacceptable.
One of the solutions in dealing with the scalability trilemma without compromise is via an off-chain scaling solution. Matic uses a three layered security mechanism explained below to successfully address the scaling trilemma.
Matic trades off with one of the aspects on one layer but then claims it back with another layer making the overall Matic Network, which is a combination of all of these layers, amply secure, decentralized and scalable.”
While scalability is well-discussed subject within blockchain, very few companies market user experience as one of their main selling points. What was the motivation for Matic Network to focus on this issue in particular?
“We keep the end user at the heart of any decision we take here at Matic. You can build the best tools but without users they will amount to nothing.
We want to build a network with products that will help onboard a billion new users in the coming future into the blockchain ecosystem. That is where we derive inspiration from, while being a highly sophisticated technical protocol team, when we ship we ensure that the end product is user friendly. This mantra is ingrained in our philosophy.”
Some of the main competitors you mention are Loom and Celer. In your view, what makes Matic Network stand out from these competitors?
“We have published a detailed blog on highlighting differences between us and our competitors.”
In terms of marketing, what can we expect from Matic Network in the foreseeable future?
“We are focused on reaching out to developers and that will comprise of a major chunk of our Marketing outreach. We want more and more protocols and DApps to build on Matic Network!
In terms of attracting developers we are already part of most of the leading Ethereum hackathons as mentors and sponsors. You can expect to see a lot more of Matic Network in the upcoming hackathons. Also we are about to launch an exciting Bounty program for Developers that will leverage Github for identity verification.”
How will Matic Network entice developers to leverage their blockchain?
“We aim to offer the best developer experience than any other developer platform.
We ensure that developers have the necessary support to focus solely on building their DApp and don’t have to worry about the Scaling and UI/UX issues in the ecosystem.
On a side note we also plan to run Developer Bounties — which will help attract developers to build on Matic network while also incentivizing users to use the apps hosted on top of Matic.”
Matic has also launched its Developer Support Program recently.
How many people are employed by Matic network and what are their respective backgrounds?
“The Matic team currently consists of 12 employees, consisting of 3 technical co-founders, 6 added developers, two marketing specialists, and a product manager.
For full information on the Matic team, please visit their team page https://matic.network/about
What are the main strengths of the team?
“Each team member of Matic has unique strengths that they bring to the table.
Jaynti is also the de facto CTO of Matic Network. He is the main architect at Matic, and involved in key technology and product decisions. He is a prolific contributor to the Ethereum ecosystem and has been involved in Plasma implementation right from 2017.
Sandeep has a unique mix of marketing and community building skills, along with handling key operational responsibilities. Previously he used to run a blockchain services firm, which holds him in good stead.
Anurag has significant fintech product management experience and a deep understanding of how blockchain patterns can be woven into real-world products.
All three founders have an engineering background, and Sandeep has an MBA from a top business school.
The core team is also comprised of a great mix of talent and experience. Vaibhav is a young blockchain developer who juggles Solidity and Golang. He has almost singlehandedly implemented the Validator node for our Proof-of-Stake layer. Ashish and Arpit (ex-Google) are our Solidity go-to guys. They are responsible for our Plasma and Stake Manager contracts. They also work on our block producer layer (Golang).
Our Head of Engineering, Bhavir and fellow dev Sayli work on the consumer facing products, especially the Plasma wallet in React Native (iOS and Android apps). In addition, they program in React, Vue and Nodejs for other web applications such as the Web wallet, Stake Manager UI, etc. Dalpat is our go-to User Experience and Visual Design person, and Tarun handles the User Interface portion of our mobile and web apps.
Infrastructure is handled by the excellent Vishal. The task of keeping everyone organised is done by Delroy, who is an accomplished project manager.
Siddharth is our VP-Marketing & Ops, and is from a top B-school in India. He is the brains behind our robust marketing strategy and tactical implementation. He also handles a suite of online and offline brand-building stuff such as the 20+ hackathons we held at colleges all over India last year. Nirbhik is our excellent community manager.”
What are some of the previous projects the team has worked on?
“The team has proved itself many a time by making important contributions to open source infrastructure tools on Ethereum such as wallet connect and had also built the first ever implementation of Plasma MVP. We are also the creators of Dagger- A famous notification engine tool that is used by many teams building on top of ethereum.”
Matic Network launches on Binance Launchpad soon, congratulations on that. With that in mind, could you explain why people should buy MATIC tokens on the upcoming IEO? For example, what are the utilities of MATIC? Are there any incentives for holding MATIC?
“The MATIC token has three key use cases:
- Participating in the Proof of Stake consensus
Matic sidechains enforce consensus using a Proof of Stake (PoS) layer in which network participants stake Matic tokens in order to participate as validators. Thus, they are incentivized to participate in the network as they will earn the staking rewards.
- Paying for the transaction fees in the network
The transaction fees on Matic sidechains are paid in MATIC tokens. The more users on-board to use the apps on Matic Network, the more the transaction volume and hence the transaction fees.
With higher transaction volume the demand for MATIC tokens will increase proportionally , benefiting the token holders.
- Staking tokens to support Dapp Developers
Having taken inspiration from Livepeer and its Protocol funding the ecosystem model, Matic intends to enable a separate staking mechanism for supporting the ecosystem projects. This will help create a fund out of the “block rewards” that can help support developers working on features and dApps needed by the network to get a part of block rewards. This mechanism is funded by reserving a percentage of the transaction fees in-protocol to support the projects building for enhancing Matic Ecosystem.”
Could you elaborate how Matic aims to incentivize people in being a delegate or transaction validator? Specifically, what are the rewards for staking MATIC?
“Matic will have two sets of validators: block producers and check pointers. These validators will have to stake MATIC tokens in order to participate in the network. This will provide an incentive for token holders to lock their tokens in order to help the network and also to get staking rewards.
The details on the validator rewards will be shared in an upcoming article.”
Can you elaborate what the short-term and long-term plans of Matic Network are to ensure a stable network and a healthy token economy?
“As elaborated in our roadmap we are working on a lot of features that will help enable Decentralized finance #DeFi based protocols and applications to be hosted on to Matic sidechains. We believe that having users and high volume of transactions is a major step in order to have a stable network and a healthy token economy. Thus enabling decentralized finance applications to ensure a borderless economy is one of the first goals for Matic, although we would be supporting other DApps and games on the network as well.”
Is there anything else you would like to share for the upcoming IEO on Binance Launchpad?
“Even after the IEO we have a lot of exciting stuff coming up. So please stay tuned to our announcement channels below.”
For the roadmap, other upcoming updates, technical overview and more I highly recommend checking out Binance’s research report on Matic Network as well.
Disclaimer: Special thanks to both Sandeep Nailwal and TorqueVC for the opportunity of having this interview with Matic Network. In return for my writing services I received a small compensation.