The rise of blockchain technology has created new opportunities for developers and businesses alike, allowing them to harness the power of decentralized systems. However, these technologies can be challenging to implement and manage without the right tools. That’s where Ankr steps in. With its cutting-edge platform, Ankr is making it easier than ever before for developers and businesses to deploy and manage blockchain services seamlessly. In this exclusive TechBullion interview with Chandler Song, CEO of Ankr, we’ll take a closer look at how their ground-breaking technology is revolutionizing the industry and paving the way for a brighter future in blockchain development.
Please tell us a little more about yourself?
Of course – my name is Chandler Song, and I am the co-founder and CEO of Ankr. I’m now an experienced entrepreneur with about a decade of experience in the tech industry and starting Web3 companies. But back when I was a student at UC Berkeley, I discovered Bitcoin, and my previous interests in decentralized systems, finance, and cryptography all kind of clicked together to form into a passion for the crypto movement, which was just being born. Soon after graduating, I was working as an AWS engineer when I had the first iteration of an idea for a platform that could provide the node infrastructure for blockchain-based systems in a novel way. I pitched this idea to the Ankr co-founders, and the platform went on to become an early success story in the blockchain industry. Other than that, I’m an avid artist, Sacramento Kings fan, and advocate of decentralization.
What is Ankr, and what unique solutions do you bring to the blockchain market?
Ankr is a Web3 infrastructure company that has created a whole suite of solutions designed to make the lives of blockchain developers easier. We’ve become a first stop for Web3 builders because the first thing they need on their journey is a high-performance connection to the blockchains they’re building on. But once they land on Ankr, they will find basically everything they need to build their project, whether it’s an NFT platform or DeFi protocol. Everything from blockchain RPC connections to staking solutions, Ankr has it. Our unique solution is that we have the most globally distributed network of nodes (both full nodes and validators) running on more blockchains than any provider. This allows us to provide the fastest and most reliable connection to blockchains which makes for fast and reliable Web3 applications, which is very important.
How does Ankr connect developers, dApps, wallets, exchanges and businesses to blockchains, could you give us a walkthrough of the Ankr technology and how it works?
Our core product at Ankr is our “RPC” (Remote Procedure Call) service that connects these different users to blockchains. Whenever a Web3 app, wallet, or exchange needs to initiate a transaction, check a wallet balance, or perform any sort of smart contract execution, it will need to make an RPC “request” to blockchain nodes to complete the desired action. Ankr’s nodes, which we have running on over 30 blockchain networks, will provide a response to these requests by delivering the correct information so the application can quickly execute its desired task. Basically, Ankr ensures that all the applications of Web3 can reach and communicate with the underlying blockchain technology by providing a sort of messenger service in between. Our other products also use our node infrastructure and allow clients to stake their assets, build new blockchains, and access Web3 data in a variety of ways.
Could you give us some insights into your recent partnerships with Microsoft and Tencent Cloud, and how this benefits Web2 companies?
Absolutely! Our partnerships with cloud providers like Microsoft and Tencent Cloud allow us to reach a new market in the form of enterprise marketplace users looking for easy and streamlined solutions for blockchain technology. Partnering with these trusted companies will make it easier than ever to bridge the gap between Web2 enterprises and Web3 solutions. As Web2 companies now have a way to build on Web3 that’s fast, secure, and built right into marketplaces they already use, it will speed adoption, and new solutions will come from companies entering Web3 faster than ever. The bottom line is that partnering with these two companies will make it much easier for Web2 companies to explore and build solutions for initiatives they may have already been considering, whether that’s an NFT platform, virtual world, or anything else.
Can you explain the concept of Web3 and its relevance to Ankr, how is Web3 influencing the tech industry, and what impact is it making in people’s lives?
A simple way to think about Web3 is this: In 2008, Bitcoin introduced a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system.” Over time, Bitcoin created an alternative to fiat money, proving a use case for this kind of digital currency that doesn’t rely on any bank, government, or institution. What Web3 is doing is taking this idea of cutting out the intermediary and expanding it into nearly every aspect of the internet, using blockchain tech and smart contracts to provide decentralized alternatives for things like storage, gaming, ticketing systems, social media, and a lot more. Ankr’s job is to empower the developers who are building these new use cases with every tool and blockchain connection they need to create them. In the end, we are helping them build alternatives to centralized companies and systems that will force them to compete and provide more transparency, user benefits, and democratic decision-making.
How can blockchain systems help disrupt intermediaries and gatekeepers in various industries, could you give us some use cases and a market overview of this disruption?
Of course, I like to go back to gaming as a good example of this. The gaming industry sees customers spending billions of dollars per year on games – more specifically, on in-game assets like digital apparel and items. However, once you buy them, you can’t generally sell or trade them. What decentralized gaming is doing is creating an environment where players can actually own the items they win or purchase from another player. Blockchain and NFT technology can take gaming from a one-way transaction where only game studios profit, to an entirely new marketplace and digital economy where everyone can play to earn. Decentralized versions of social media and other consumer applications can expand on this idea and reward users for the value they provide rather than just extracting value from them.
Why is democratization important when it comes to finance and data storage, and which industries does this trend impact the most?
Democratization is crucial in decentralized finance and data storage as it enables individuals to take more control and ownership of the money and data that they should rightfully own. With centralized companies, we often see a discrepancy between the interests of companies and shareholders versus customers. For instance, companies want customers to pay as much as possible for as little as possible. However, in decentralized systems, the needs of the user are prioritized because we’ve been able to replace many functions of companies with blockchain and smart contracts. This is important because Web2 saw such a concentration of power to internet companies that abused it. Web3 can bring this power back to users as they democratize internet services and systems in favor of their needs.
What are some other examples of successful partnerships that Ankr has formed with other companies working in the Web3 space, do you have more opportunities for partnerships or investors?
Ankr has a long list of different partnerships we’ve formed with blockchains and traditional companies alike. The nature of Web3 has always been extremely collaborative, and so we’ve partnered with dozens of blockchain foundations and projects. We work very closely with organizations like Binance, Polygon, Optimism, and many others to build better infrastructure and tools that are a win-win for communities of developers, node operators, and end users.
What are you currently working on at Ankr and what is next on your roadmap?
I don’t want to give too much away, but we are working on some solutions that are looking very promising to boost the scalability and UX of Web3 across the board. We are also always working to improve our core services as well with feedback from our community of developers and stakers.
Do you have more information to share with our readers today?
I think one more thing I can add is that 2023 will be a very exciting year for blockchain. We are only getting closer to improving the scalability, UX, and security of Web3 to transition to a mature industry that can suit the needs of even the largest enterprises that have strict requirements for compliance. We will only be seeing more Web3 integrations from organizations of all kinds as we roll out technologies that build a stronger industry, like zkEVM, application-specific blockchains, and others that will improve the scalability and experience of using Web3 applications beyond anything we’ve seen to date.
For more information, visit the website: https://www.ankr.com/