Exclusive interview with Wanchain (WAN) CEO & founder Jack Lu at the Beyond Blocks Summit Tokyo in Japan. Lu also founded Factom (FCT) & is using blockchain technology to create financial markets for the digital economy.
Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. I absolve myself of all responsibility (directly or indirectly) for any damage, loss caused, alleged to be caused by, or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article. As usual, DYOR.
Operating as a non-profit organization, the Wanchain Foundation has offices in Singapore and Austin, Texas and an impressive team behind it. Jack Lu, a respected player in the blockchain space, is the project’s founder as well as its current CEO. Before Wanchain, Lu co-founded the successful Factom, which currently has a market cap of just over 250 million USD. Lu also started Wanglu Tech, a blockchain development company which is currently the main contributor to the Wanchain project. Blockchain veteran Dustin Byington is the project’s president. In 2014 he founded Bitcoin College and also co-founded Tendermint, which is a software mechanism that replicates applications across machines. Byington is also one the founders of Satoshi Talent, a platform which blockchain entrepreneurs can use to connect with developers. The team is comprised of 23 members and 11 advisors with extended experience across their various business domains. The Wanchain team is comprised of experts from the fields of cryptography, finance, software engineering, and media and community management. Aside from the team’s rich commercial expertise, it also has resources in countries such as China, Singapore and the United States.
Wanchain is a type of blockchain technology aimed at creating financial markets for the constantly growing digital economy. Similar to the way in which traditional banks make up the infrastructure of today’s financial industry, Wanchain’s purpose is to build a new infrastructure for the digital economy. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, Wanchain connects and exchanges value between different blockchains in a distributed manner. It implements cryptography into its protocol, while its distributed ledger records both intra-chain and cross-chain transactions. This means that any and all blockchains that integrate with Wanchain, whether they are public, private or consortium chains, are able to establish connections with different ledgers and transfer assets in a safe and private manner.
In case things are getting a bit confusing, it’s worth noting that what Wanchain essentially aims at doing is creating a distributed bank that facilitates transactions between different blockchains. Despite the number of tokens, coins and blockchains in the current cryptocurrency ecosystem, there hasn’t really been a decentralized, efficient manner of exchanging value amongst them. This is a problem that Wanchain aims at fixing by connecting accounts from independent chains and providing them with a framework to exchange digital assets.
With Wanchain each institution or individual can basically create their own virtual teller window in order to provide a number of bank-like services such as credit payment, asset exchange, transaction settlements or lending. Since Wanchain was forked from Ethereum, it therefore retains a number of its key features, such as the ability to create and run smart contracts, thus enabling community developers to create more complicated applications. Privacy is another major advantage as Wanchain is one of the first blockchain projects to implement privacy within smart contracts. Its features include ring signatures and One Time Addresses. The signatures necessary to verify a transaction are disguised within a larger group of them, making it hard to determine the true originator of a transaction. Users can also opt to generate a new address with each transaction, thus making it harder to trace an individual’s transaction history.