During the Polkadot Decoded 2022 conference in New York, Sota Watanabe, founder, and CEO of ASTAR network introduced ASTAR to the world. He discussed the problems which plague the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Then, he justifies why Astar Network could be the solution by bringing Web Assembly (WASM) to the table. In this article, you will discover more about this smart contract platform.
What is Astar Network?
Astar Network is a multi-chain smart contracts platform. It is also a dApp hub and is EVM compatible. Shortly, it hopes to be interoperable between EVM and WebAssembly.
Source: Astar Network
ASTAR is built on top of the relay chain on the Polkadot network. If you’d like a recap on how Polkadot supports other blockchains through its relay chain, you can refer to our previous research. ASTAR was the 3rd project to win a Parachain slot auction. Now, let’s take a look at two problems that this platform solves:
Problem #1 – EVM
Simply put, EVM is like a decentralized computer running and deploying smart contracts. Sota stated that EVM, in its current state, has the following limits:
- Low performance.
- Limited language support.
- Mainly for Ethereum developers.
However, many blockchains are compatible with EVM today. This includes popular blockchains such as Binance Smart Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, and Polkadot. Sota hopes to change that for Polkadot in particular.
Problem #2 – Developer Costs
Moving on, Sota commented that developers are footing the bill for deploying smart contracts. This is due to high gas fees on Ethereum.
Solution – WASM
With this, Sota brings in his proposed solution WASM. WASM has higher performance and supports a greater number of languages. In today’s Web2 world, WASM already has a strong foothold. With this, Sota believes WASM can attract more developers to build better smart contracts on Polkadot.
A list of benefits of WASM is highlighted below:
dApps Staking Integration with Astar
Next, Sota went on to talk about dApps staking. This is an interesting feature of the ASTAR network. It allows $ASTR token holders to stake directly on specific dApps. This will provide a basic income for developers of said dApps. Sota described this feature as the “Apple Store” of Polkadot.
Astar – Progress Update
Sota then went on to provide an update on ASTAR’s progress. Firstly, he mentioned that ASTAR has successfully integrated Cross-chain messaging (XCM). Simply put, XCM will allow Astar to interact with other Parachains on the Polkadot relay chain. Secondly, he revealed that Shiden (Astar’s equivalent Parachain on Kusama) has successfully integrated WASM contracts. Moving forward, Polkadot will be seeing the implementation of WASM smart contracts soon.
Lastly, Sota ended off his talk with a call for developers to join ASTAR. Indeed, it is rare for projects to be hiring in today’s bear market climate. However, ASTAR does need developers to achieve its mission – To bring WASM to Polkadot, and to create a sustainable ecosystem that incentivizes developers. If you’d like to check out Sota’s presentation, you can find it in his tweet below.
— Sota Watanabe (@WatanabeSota) June 30, 2022
Also, moving forward, I’m hopeful that they can bring Polkadot to greater heights.
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