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Cardano Ecosystem

Paribus

12/14/2023

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The Interoperability Maze

One of the most challenging things for newcomers to understand about crypto is the lack of interoperability between ecosystems.

The Interoperability Maze

One of the most challenging things for newcomers to understand about crypto is the lack of interoperability between ecosystems. Unless they know some of the technical aspects of blockchains, it’s natural for them to assume that all cryptocurrencies can work together.

When people buy tokens for the first time, they often do it through centralized exchanges like Coinbase. While users can keep all their tokens in one wallet and trade them from a single dashboard, the reality of limited interoperability becomes apparent when they begin self-custody or use decentralized exchanges.

From the outset of developing Paribus, we’ve always had the upcoming bull market in mind, especially the number of new users it will draw into crypto. That’s why we made interoperability a core principle of our project.

Even though we support Cardano, it might seem strange that we initially used Solidity, a language native to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The reason was simple: at the time, Cardano had just integrated smart contracts, and it was easier to find developers and security audits for Solidity than experts in Cardano’s native language, Plutus. Also, Cardano had plans for an EVM-compatible sidechain, meaning we could code in Solidity and still launch on Cardano.

As Deniz, our CEO, explains, “Initially, when we started about two years ago, we spoke to IOG, and they had a plan for a KEVM sidechain to be developed. So we thought at the time, ok, Solidity developers are cheap, so we’ll hire Solidity developers instead of Haskell or Plutus, and we’ll deploy everything onto KEVM.

“But as time went on, things changed, and IOG dropped the KEVM idea. That’s the reason our codebase is written in Solidity. It was always designed and intended to bring liquidity to Cardano. The only way to do that is to allow people to bridge their liquidity back and forth across Cardano. So we want to sit between Cardano and any other chain.”

As Deniz explained, due to the changing nature of development in the space, when the time came to launch Paribus, it became apparent that releasing it on a Cardano sidechain wouldn’t be possible. Having released our single-sided staking program on the Ethereum base layer and seeing the issue with gas fees, even during quiet times, we launched our mainnet V1 on Arbitrum.

In addition to much lower transaction costs, Arbitrum had a large volume of transactions and liquidity. As Wilson, our COO, said, “It’s one of the ecosystems with a lot of growth potential and some similarities to Cardano in its focus on having lower transaction costs. This is a big thing that’s plagued Ethereum for a very long time. That’s something that we don’t want to have as a main focus for our platform because gas fees suck, and we don’t want that to be a huge deterrent to people who are participating with our platform.”

Our ultimate goal is to make Paribus available on as many blockchain networks as possible. We want people to use our platform regardless of the chain their assets are on. To achieve this, we’re working on enabling different versions of Paribus to communicate with each other, effectively pooling liquidity while maintaining native support on each blockchain.

While we wait for the technology to catch up with our vision, we’re also exploring deploying on Coinbase’s chain, Base. Since Base is a Layer 2 chain built on top of Ethereum, deploying on it should be a relatively straightforward process.

We look forward to a future where seamless cross-chain transactions become a reality, enabling users to access Paribus regardless of their preferred blockchain. Together, we’re building a more interconnected crypto ecosystem for everyone.

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