Also: Is a multichain world the answer to some of web3’s biggest problems?
There are a number of blockchains out there competing for market share. Some chains are generalists with a focus on growing the greater ecosystem, while others focus on scaling or changing the financial landscape.
Even as a handful of the big ones compete for the top slot, some think that working together toward a multichain world could be the answer to the bigger problems in the space.
“A multichain world makes it much easier for us to start moving the technology forward,” Grace Torrellas, VP of product and product lead at Polygon zkEVM, said during a panel at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023. Polygon is a layer-2 blockchain, which means it’s focused on scaling, in this case, the layer-1 blockchain Ethereum. “We are building an ecosystem of multichains that will be interoperable.”
Mo Shaikh, co-founder and CEO of layer-1 blockchain Aptos Labs, agreed. “I do think it’s a multichain world for sure. I think we’re starting to see the deep work that all of us have done really come to fruition.”
While that may be a view some blockchains have, others don’t feel the same.
“To keep things spicy, I’ll say there’s going to be a single chain,” said Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder and CEO of layer-1 blockchain Solana, explaining that there’s going to be a single execution environment, so it won’t really matter how many other settlement environments there are. “It doesn’t matter which bank USDC actually settles in, but what matters is where all the peer-to-peer or merchant-to-consumer transactions occur.”
Stressing that he’s not saying so only to be a contrarian, Yakovenko added it’s a real possibility because the main purpose for blockchains today is to move all crypto transactions, and a large portion of financial transactions, into one “single unified layer-1” chain.
“Within 20 years, we are going to see 1,000x improvement in hardware, so we’re gonna see 1,000x more capacity on a layer-1 that’s a single giant atomics state machine,” Yakovenko added. “So you can imagine that you can fit everything into one place, and usually, things are cheaper and faster and kind of more composable when they’re in one place.”
While having everything in one place sounds nice, I think it could be a bit too . . . unified. Let’s take Google as an example: Sure, we use Google’s search engine, email, cloud storage and other services, but I don’t want it to be my banking app, too. We look to Google for a number of things and use other companies’ products for others . . . and that’s okay.