We interviewed Beni Hakak, CEO at LiquidApps, about their products, which he hopes will change the future of blockchain scalability, collaboration, and interoperability.
Could you introduce LiquidApps and the DAPP Network for us?
During the growth phases of 2017-2018, we saw lots of projects across the ecosystem struggling to reach their development milestones. The immaturity of decentralized infrastructure meant that teams had to build everything from scratch. This left them little time to focus on delivering valuable experiences for their end users.
Blockchain developers faced significant scarcities of key resources, such as storage and computation. They lacked fundamental development tools for building scalable decentralized applications (dApps).
We are now in 2020 and developers are still lacking critical resources. Volatile markets caused networks to congest, leading to difficulties for users, especially those using Decentralized Finance (DeFi) services. This showed just how crucial scalability services actually still are, especially today.
With the DAPP Network, developers can now access a whole suite of powerful services that are essential for building scalable dApps. From abundant decentralized storage, to robust oracles, and even LiquidChains – a blockchain-as-a-service solution that allows anyone to easily spin up a customizable EOSIO chain. All these services are easily accessible on the Dapp Network, as a single ‘plug-and-play’ platform, optimizing the speed, and affordability of decentralized development.
And as an added bonus, the DAPP Network is the first universal middleware to work across multiple blockchains. By connecting the various chains it allows dApps to scale and grow their user bases wherever the Layer 1 traction emerges or shifts.
What inspired you to create LiquidApps?
We’re big believers in the potential of blockchain technology and its capacity to transform both the financial system and the internet with value-creating collaboration opportunities.
In our view, end users should not be exposed to the backend of the applications with which they interact, whether they are built on blockchain technology or not. Likewise, developers should have a seamless experience building dApps.
Our co-founders realized that the difficulties developers were experiencing in trying to scale products on Ethereum and the EOS public network were commonplace within the industry. As long as these problems persisted, blockchain adoption would remain a dream.
So, we committed ourselves to solving these problems by providing developers with a one-stop shop for crucial services. This makes it easier for them to build compelling and usable dApps for the mainstream, and hence, LiquidApps was born.
Why did you decide to use blockchain technology, and specifically EOSIO?
Blockchain’s unique value proposition is in eliminating the role of trust between network stakeholders and replacing it with decentralized consensus. This has far-reaching ramifications for the way business and finance can be done as the number of trustless connections between companies and individuals can accelerate exponentially. As soon as we realized this, we set out to build the tools and infrastructure that would allow decentralization to grow and evolve into the foundation of our next generation economy and society.
We gravitated towards Block.one’s EOSIO due to its flexible transaction model and sub-second block times, which give EOSIO-based chains their enhanced scalability features. As firm believers in the power of interoperability, we were also drawn to the vision of EOSIO: multiple EOSIO-based chains connected together to form a single, powerful blockchain layer. This is now possible through our blockchain bridge, LiquidX.
It is a privilege to be a part of the EOSIO community, and we’re so impressed by the talented teams and individuals pushing the boundaries of decentralized technology.
What stage is LiquidApps at today?
The DAPP Network was launched in February 2019, and has since grown into a vibrant community of developers, entrepreneurs, and marketers. On day one we launched the first service, a decentralized memory solution called vRAM, on the DAPP Network. Since then, the DAPP Network community has matured and released 14 additional services. Some of them are already production grade stable while others are in advanced stages of testing and deployment.
What are the challenges you have had to overcome, and how did you do it?
We had to focus on long-term growth and sustainability over short-term hype, at every moment. Furthermore, there were also technical challenges we had to solve with the DAPP Network middleware layer.
Thankfully, we have an excellent team that is creating breakthrough technology and an engaged community that believes in the strategic vision of what we’re doing. We have patents pending for resource management, allowing reading and writing data on second tier blockchain nodes, and more. This is particularly exciting as the industry tries to move towards primetime, because several layers of efficiencies will be needed.
Additionally, COVID-19 was a disruptive force for the entire economy, our company included. When we saw that we could put our technology to use in order to aid in the fight for a vaccine, we initiated a community project and mobilized some of our resources to build CoVax.
The CoVax app, which is based on a dedicated LiquidChain that LiquidApps has created, allows users to donate processing power from their phones or desktops towards researchers working to find a cure for COVID-19. CoVax is a community-driven initiative, and we have already been joined by a number of entities in the ecosystem who participate as Block Producers and DAPP Service Providers on the CoVax LiquidChain. We are excited to see how the blockchain community will come together to accelerate these global efforts as the situation unfolds.
What are your plans for scaling?
The DAPP Network was built from the ground up to exponentially scale horizontally. This approach enables connecting blockchains to one another so they work together in harmony. The DAPP Network Inter-blockchain Communication (IBC) solution has already demonstrated a connection between the EOS public network and Ethereum, and has most recently connected the EOS public network to WAX and Telos.
LiquidChains offer another avenue for scaling, especially in times of congestion on public networks. Multiple LiquidChains can be configured to interact and work simultaneously on different parts of the application code and different parts of the transaction process, allowing for more effective use of resources (such as sharding), right now.
For example, dApps that are concerned about congestion on a specific public chain can spin up their own LiquidChain, store their data and run computations on that chain, and connect to a public chain of their choice at any time in the application-interaction life cycle, should they wish to do so.
A LiquidChain connected to various chains with DAPP Network IBC can serve as the ‘glue’ that stitches disparate networks into a single, interoperable mesh. dApps on EOSIO, Ethereum, or potentially any other smart contract chain can migrate their operations on to a LiquidChain for gas-reduced quick computation, all while retaining a connection to the main network of their choice, as needed.
An additional advantage of harnessing DAPP Network scaling is increased affordability. dApp developers face a number of economic decisions when building and running their blockchain application, and their costs can be lowered significantly by integrating the DAPP Network’s vRAM System. This is exactly what we want to demonstrate, that in order to achieve real mainstream adoption, we need scalability and affordability.
What EOSIO community initiatives have you participated in and how has the community responded to LiquidApps?
When LiquidApps launched with vRAM, the community was immediately excited by the scaling innovations we brought to the table. Since then we have kept engaging and growing together with the community, and have run a number of initiatives to encourage active participation in the DAPP Network.
Our first community initiative was the DAPP token AirHODL, under which pioneer EOS public network token holders of that time were entitled to receive a free allocation of DAPP tokens. An airdrop with a twist, the AirHODL consists of a vesting mechanism that encourages token holders to ‘HODL’ and participate in the long-term growth of the DAPP Network.
One of our unequivocal highlights from last year was the DAPP Network Hackathon. This online and remote hackathon was one of the biggest EOSIO-based hackathons in 2019, and it brought together a global community of developers, entrepreneurs, marketers, and product designers to build scalable products on EOSIO using LiquidApps’ distributed network services.
In all, 234 participants from across 12 time zones got involved, with 20 projects submitted. The hackathon was mentored by some of the brightest talents in EOSIO, and judged by a panel of industry leaders. The winning projects are still being developed and we can’t wait for them to be shared with the world.
We currently have a number of open grants and bounties, and invite everyone to participate for a chance to win great prizes and collaboration opportunities.
Thus far, the community responses to these initiatives have been incredible. It is gratifying and humbling to witness the DAPP Network bringing together so many awesome teams and individuals from around the world to create breakthrough technology on EOSIO.
Can you introduce your team?
LiquidApps was born out of a unique synergy between the cofounders, CEO Beni Hakak and CTO Tal Muskal.
Beni (right) is an experienced strategist that brings technology managerial experience and crypto economic expertise to the table.
Tal (left) is a serial technology entrepreneur with a wealth of experience in scaling complex software systems who built an ad network that served up to 1 billion impressions a day.
This unique merging of minds led to the creation of LiquidApps and the DAPP Network.
Tal and Beni work with a multidisciplinary team which includes all-star engineers, operations managers, and content creators, many of whom have founded their own EOSIO projects in the past. This team includes, among others:
- Nathan Rempel, previously from Karma/GenerEOS
- Nat Prudhomme, a well-known EOSIO mentor
- David Benchimol, previously from Bancor, experienced in developing on EOSIO and Ethereum
- Zack Gall, the host of Everything EOS – the longest-running EOSIO podcast
What other projects have you collaborated on?
We collaborate with others across three primary domains:
Block Producers(BPs)/DAPP Service Providers(DSPs): Many of the DAPP Service Providers (DSPs) on the DAPP Network are Block Producers (BPs) on one or more EOSIO-based chains. Some of the DSPs on the DAPP Network include EOS Nation, Blockstart, Cafe Block, EOS USA, EOS Rio, Malta Block and DAPP Solutions.
EOSIO-based Chains: The DAPP Network is blockchain agnostic, and as such, we work with a number of EOSIO-based chains to integrate DAPP Network services natively on their networks. Currently, the DAPP Network is live and running on both Wax and Telos, in addition to the EOS public network.
dApps and Services: These are projects, such as Equilibrium, Chintai, and DAPP accounts, that harness DAPP Network services to power their dApps.
Where do you see LiquidApps in the future?
We have said openly from the start that we believe that tribalism within the blockchain industry is counterproductive. We are actively engaged in breaking down the walls between chains by making it as seamless as possible to collaborate.
We believe the future is truly multi-chain, and have set out to provide developers with access to scaling services and trustless functionality regardless of whether they want to use the EOS public network, a different EOSIO blockchain network (WAX, Telos, etc), Ethereum, Tezos or any other smart contract chain. In that sense, we aim to be the cross-chain solution for EOSIO and other blockchains, enabling each to scale in its own unique way.
In one sentence, how do you want readers to remember LiquidApps and the DAPP Network?
The DAPP Network provides the building blocks for scalable decentralized applications – wherever they may live. Or just The Sultans of Scale in short.
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