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Waves is a multi-purpose blockchain platform which supports various use cases including decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts.
Launched in June 2016 following one of the cryptocurrency industry’s earliest initial coin offerings (ICO), Waves initially set out to improve on the first blockchain platforms by increasing speed, utility and user-friendliness.
The platform has undergone various changes and added new spin-off features to build on its original design.
Waves’ native token is WAVES, an uncapped supply token used for standard payments such as block rewards.
Waves is synonymous with its founder, Ukrainian-born scientist Alexander Ivanov (also known as Sasha Ivanov).
Prior to creating Waves, Ivanov was already active in the cryptocurrency space, having released the now-defunct instant exchange Coinomat and indexing site Cooleindex. He also created an early version of a stablecoin, CoinoUSD, tied to the U.S. dollar.
Ivanov is publicly active in his promotion of Waves, giving frequent interviews on the platform and trends in the wider blockchain industry.
According to Waves’ marketing literature, the company now employs over 180 people at locations including Moscow and Switzerland.
As one of the first offerings in its field, Waves set out to improve on the early blockchain platforms and products.
From the outset, it aimed to appeal to prospective business clients looking to use blockchain to improve processes or create new services.
Waves supported smart contract and DApp development, ensuring that speeds and ease-of-use surpassed competition at the time.
Since then, other products have appeared, including Gravity, a cross-chain and oracle network, and decentralized finance (DeFi) focused platform Neutrino. Waves DEX is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange.
In 2020, Waves announced that its platform would be interoperable with the Ethereum network by releasing the WAVES token as an ERC-20 standard asset.
WAVES began as a fixed-cap token for the Waves platform with 100 million tokens available.
In its ICO — which raised 30,000 BTC — 85% of the supply went to sale participants, 4% to partners and supporters, 9% to the developers and 1% each to early supporters and bounty schemes which occurred after the ICO.
Its utility increased in time, and in 2019, it was decided to remove the supply cap, with decision-making transferred to network participants.
Currently, the block reward is 6 WAVES, and any changes come in the form of votes — users must choose whether or not to decrease the block reward by 0.5 WAVES every 110,000 blocks.
Waves uses a modified proof-of-stake algorithm called WavesNG. The technology is based on Bitcoin-NG, a scaling proposal by well-known Bitcoin advocate, Cornell University developer Emin Gün Sirer.
Waves highlights that its code is open source, allowing for more trust and ease of maintenance than closed source enterprise blockchain solutions.