Waves LogoKnown as Waves, this blockchain-powered token platform, allows users to initiate crowdfunding and currency transactions across the globe. The goal? To offer tokenized national currencies that counterbalance the permissioned, closed blockchain model that a growing number of financial institutions aspire towards in their reinvention efforts.

Waves is a tool for issuing, transferring, swapping, or trading custom blockchain tokens on an integrated, peer-to-peer exchange.  Tokens called “WAVES” serve as shares in a crowdfunding initiative, financial instrument, or other means of transacting inherent value.  

This platform seeks to maintain KYC/AML compliant practices while providing low maintenance costs, data transparency, and new global market access.

Waves is the brainchild of Sasha Ivanov, a theoretical physics graduate from Moscow State University who is best known for his instant exchange service Coinomat. This year, the Waves crowdfunding campaign yielded the interest of nearly 6,000 investors, raising more than $16m in funding.  

Says Ivanov about the company’s guiding philosophy:

“It’s not our intent to invent a new kind of money. Rather, we believe that old money should be used in a better way and that fiat and national currencies should transact on blockchain as well.  Of course, we support fully decentralized money, but we think it’s important to have one decentralized money system as the leading one, which we believe should be Bitcoin.”

Utilizing a model that Ivanov and his team are developing, fiat currencies will situate on top of the Waves blockchain in a form of IoU’s from trusted gateways. Companies with validated financial licenses will then have the ability to create their own fiat tokens using a transaction layer that facilitates the transfer via the blockchain.

The Waves platform will make use of Proof-of-Stake-based consensus rules with the number of digital tokens issued capped at 100 million. Additionally, platform users will eventually have access to an encrypted messaging tool and a voting system.

Ivanov notes that one of the biggest challenges facing his startup is navigating the often treacherous regulatory waters of monetary exchange.

“We are maintaining a careful approach to local laws concerning securities,  money transfers, and KYC/AML procedures. This involves developing an environment that supports the creation of fully compliant business structures.  We are confident that with the right approach blockchain technology can be integrated into the existing legal framework.”

At present, Waves desires users to utilize the site as a means of attracting direct investments and crowdfunding dollars.  Says Ivanov:

“Direct investment is growing, and it will likely compete with venture investment in near future. For many projects, it might be a preferable, more appropriate way to raise money because it is cost efficient. Along with the funds captured from their campaigns, those using the Waves platform will have access to testers, user feedback,  as well as promotions from an active and vibrant community.  Moreover, the community allows users to identify people with similar visions  as theirs, which can be much more difficult with venture funds.”

Ivanov notes that Waves will eventually add smart contracts and multi-sig capabilities to its suite of features. And his company has just entered into a working relationship with Mycelium, one of the longest running, secure mobile wallets in the cryptocurrency space.  

“We plan to facilitate fiat value transfers within their mobile cryptocurrency wallet.  We view this as a first step towards a bigger goal – creating an independent money transfer network that is versatile and cost efficient. Mycelium has developed several innovate projects that can be launched on top of such a network, including a hardware wallet/payment card, that has disruptive potential.”  

He also notes that the Blockchain offers an ideal natural environment for crowdfunding-based token creation and circulation. “Any user can create their own token and sell it at the crowd sale. Investors can start trading it immediately directly on the blockchain.  This is in a stark contrast to the prevailing Kickstarter model, where users have no recourse in terms of withdrawing their crowdfunding pledge.”

After a lengthy beta test period, Waves is now engaged in the final stages of launching the first functioning version of Waves network. This milestone will provide custom token functionality, allowing applications to be launched on it. The Waves team is  approaching financial institutions in an effort to create gateways and promote the platform to start-ups who want to crowdfund. The full network is expected to be up and running in September, with asset exchange and other functionality such as messaging and voting to be built on top of the platform later in 2016.

WAVES Snapshot: 

Waves on CoinCap: http://coincap.io/WAVES

Waves Website: https://wavesplatform.com/

Waves on Twitter: https://twitter.com/wavesplatform