The underlying complexity and lack of general familiarity with cryptocurrencies have made onboarding mainstream users to the crypto space one of the industry’s most formidable challenges. The promise of decentralized applications and the use of cryptocurrencies as mediums of exchange have made some headway, but there are still technical problems that cause friction with the end-users’ experiences.
Some of the prevailing issues hindering wider adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain networks include high gas costs and clunky user-interfaces, convoluted markets of tokens and their roles within broader public blockchains, and awareness of the advantages of using decentralized applications (dapps).
One of the more promising areas that dapps and public blockchains are working to make an impact currently is in the financial sector. And not just with cryptocurrencies functioning as mediums of exchange either.
A wave of dapps focusing on collateralized lending, stablecoin issuance, and derivatives instruments has emerged as part of crypto’s ballooning “DeFi” narrative. Many blossoming blockchain platforms and crypto startups believe financial applications will be the frontier from which mainstream recognition and, eventually, adoption are cultivated.
However, bringing in mainstream users requires a more performant infrastructure — a model where the previously complex, and under-performing, mechanics of public blockchains can be masked and improved, respectively. TomoChain, a rising public blockchain network out of SE Asia, is striving to build the requisite infrastructure to breach the gates of mainstream crypto adoption.
I had a chance to chat with Long Vuong, Founder & CEO of TomoChain, on his perspective on the race to mass crypto adoption, the challenges ahead, and the broader role of public blockchains in the push towards the Web 3.0
Joresa Blount: You recently announced your flagship product — TomoZ — which is integral in making blockchains much more accessible to mainstream users. Can you elaborate on what TomoZ is and its major advantages compared to its competition in the crypto landscape?
Long Vuong: TomoZ — Zero Friction Protocol — provides inroads to mainstream users who find crypto to be unnecessarily complex. It is the first on-chain protocol that offers the ability for any user to pay transaction fees with the same token that the user is holding.
TomoZ removes the friction of having to hold native blockchain coins/tokens to send to other wallets or to interact with dapps. Users/customers of all businesses using our solution will have a smooth experience without even knowing that they are using the blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.
Tokens issued with the TomoZ protocol follow a new standard called TRC-21 (TRC is the abbreviation of TomoChain Request for Comments). Everyone can create a TRC-21 token on TomoChain in a few clicks using TomoIssuer — a user-friendly token issuance dashboard. No need to spend thousands of USD hiring blockchain developers.
Joresa: TomoChain is a speaker and sponsor at Consensus Singapore, on the heels of the rollout of your flagship product — TomoZ. What do you think the message of Singapore Consensus will be this year looking back on the narratives and developments over the last year? What are the most important goals for the broader crypto industry moving forward?
Long: The vision of Web 3.0 and decentralized applications are still a very important part of the crypto and blockchain industry. But at this time more than ever, we need applications that can break through and reach a more mainstream set of users. That means solving all the major frictions that hinder onboarding more users to crypto products, including UX issues, asset custody issues, blockchain performance issues, and more.
I think overall Web 3.0 development is still at a very early stage, similar to the development of the Internet in the 1990s. As a whole, we are still experimenting to find the right infrastructure, models, and products that will attract more users over the next few years.
Joresa: TomoChain is compatible with Ethereum’s EVM, and has just launched TomoZ at a time when numerous projects are seeking to grab market share from Ethereum. Can you talk about how you think an ecosystem of multiple different token standards (i.e., TRC-21, ERC-20, BEP-2, etc.) will unfold? Can they co-exist as interoperable platforms for DeFi and gamers or will network effects fuel the emergence of one over the rest?
Long: The ERC-20 token standard was a game-changer in 2017 and 2018 that enabled a wave of ICO fundraising. Another Ethereum innovation is the non-fungible token, ERC-721 which can be used for unique in-game items, or unique digital arts, etc. However, Ether (ETH) is needed to pay for gas when transferring ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens, and that creates significant friction for people who are not already familiar with how Ethereum’s blockchain operates.
TomoChain also has tokens standards like TRC-20 and TRC-721, which are analogous to ERC-20 and ERC- 721, respectively. The TRC-21 standard is for fungible tokens like TRC-20, but one of its fundamental properties is to enable the token holders to pay transaction fees using the token itself.
For example, I can issue Stamp token, set the transaction fee at 0.01 Stamp for a transaction, and airdrop one thousand of them to my Stamp community. Stamp token holders can start to send and receive tokens immediately paying transaction fees in Stamp. TomoZ can be tailored for issuing stablecoins as well. Projects can build a digital wallet and a payment system based on TomoZ very quickly and inexpensively.
Developers and projects can choose to use a token standard that fits their user needs.
Joresa: The Dapp.com Q2 Market Report highlighted how a significant portion of TomoChain’s transaction volume was used in financial dapps. Can you explain why you think that is and how TomoChain is conducive to blockchain-based financial applications?
Long: Blockchains are excellent mediums for transferring value, and TomoChain is a blockchain, albeit designed to be more performant than the current set of public blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Naturally, financial apps like TomoMaster, TomoSwap are attracting an initial set of early adopters for use in a broad array of financial applications.
We aim to be one of the first public blockchains that can attract a significant portion of the mainstream audience, and finance is one of the most effective ways to foster interest in the platform.
Joresa: We’ve seen significant expansion of DeFi and exchange-oriented crypto products in Asia recently, particularly with derivatives instruments and loan-making vehicles offered by exchanges (e.g., Huobi). Can you provide some insights into the regulatory sentiment around the likes of Bitcoin, TomoChain, stablecoins (i.e., Tether), and the growth of institutional-focused products like crypto derivatives exchanges in SE Asia?
Long: The market and the use of stablecoins are proliferating. Users can lend stablecoins at an interest rate of 8-9 percent annually, while they get 0-1 percent annually holding USDs in the bank, so that’s a very attractive use case. On top of that, we’re seeing the institutionalization of Bitcoin and other crypto assets, so it is great to watch the maturation of various investment vehicles, like derivatives instruments on leading Asian exchanges.
Exchanges are very important parts of the ecosystem, and I hope established exchanges in the region like Binance, KuCoin, and others can do more to support public blockchains and their application development. We share the same goal of building a decentralized web, and the relationship is symbiotic.
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