Parity Technologies founder Gavin Wood and his team have been at work on a new blockchain building platform that makes it faster and easier to build blockchains and create cryptocurrencies.
In a demonstration at the Web3 Summit in Berlin, Wood reportedly caused his audience of developers to gasp in amazement as he demonstrated how Substrate could be used to build a workable blockchain in a matter of minutes.
To make Substrate as easy as possible to use, Wood and Parity have taken the lessons they've learned developing Ethereum and Polkadot. Polkadot is a multichain protocol from Parity and the Web3 Foundation. Set to launch late next year, it is being pitched as the ultimate answer to interoperability between blockchains.
Substrate is the protocol on which Polkadot is being built and, as such, is completely interoperable with the Polkadot blockchain. However, it's also a protocol in its own right and unlike Polkadot, will be ready for developers and enterprises to use in around three weeks, Wood told the Web3 Summit audience.
Wood believes that the leading blockchain platforms have become "nationalistic" in vying with each other to be the platform and protocol of choice for enterprise and Dapp development.
Interoperability is a critical issue in blockchain development today. If chains cannot communicate with each other, blockchain technology will not deliver a fluid user experience when data needs to be shared or applications need to run side by side or integrate. With Polkadot, compatible blockchains run simultaneously side by side with points of connection where the state of each blockchain and the data within are shared when needed.
Substrate will reportedly allow developers to build complex and customizable blockchains, but in a simple way with "minimal effort." Its framework answers issues like networking, consensus, and security.
Additionally, Substrate answers the issue of protocol upgrades by removing the need for hard forks; Substrate-based blockchains are able to upgrade themselves. The consensus for agreeing what upgrades should be made is achieved through token holders voting in a form of proof of stake (PoS).
One Web3 attendee Keld Van Schreven of investment firm KR1, made a notable comparison:
"It's like being able to generate HTML pages without having to know HTML. In the Web 1.0 world that was transformational to the early Internet ecosystem. Substrate will make it much easier to deploy blockchains."