The blockchain industry has seen some highs and lows in recent months, and to try and make sense of it we talked to Herman Jacobs, cofounder Cherry Network (a layer one blockchain celebrating its mainnet launch this week)
From a founder’s perspective, what are some insights to be gleaned from the recent high-profile failures of large crypto projects? How is Cherry Network designed to prevent such failures?
The Cherry team has been active in the cryptocurrency space for over a decade. We are well aware of the many incidents and issues plaguing our communities whether stemming from malevolence or simple ignorance. As engineers, we are trained to expect the worst and consequently optimize systems for robustness and scale. We however also recognize that any architecture, no matter how well-engineered, will never be fully secure. Many of the most recent massive system failures such as the Ronin bridge hack and LUNA’s UST depeg may be described as technical issues. However, their catastrophic proportions ultimately were attributable to the human element. For this reason, we have designed distributed governance systems to thwart human points of failure in the Cherry Network. Despite publicly extolling the importance of decentralization and transparency, many major projects are, frankly, run without a shred of either. Their operators act in obscurity often simply informing their community of already made decisions. In contrast, Cherry seeks to involve our stakeholders in each major decision, sharing in-depth weekly calls and conveying detailed reports and roadmap tracking on our public accountability page: Track Cherry.
Cherry Network is addressing a technical shortcoming of the existing blockchain landscape, namely the link between smart contracts and decentralized file storage. Can you tell us what the next technical challenges are in this space, and which should be priority over the next couple of years?
We have seen recently with major layer 1 blockchains that congestion is still a major problem when there is heavy traffic. No decentralized blockchain has yet to conquer the scaling problem of the blockchain trilemma. Utilizing zero-knowledge rollups and other key pieces of blockchain infrastructure will allow Cherry to tackle the scaling issue head-on while preserving privacy and decentralization which we believe to be major catalysts to blockchain mass adoption. So to answer the question simply, scalability remains the major obstacle to more mainstream use of blockchain.
How would a developer with not much experience in the blockchain space be able to develop a dApp on the Cherry Network? (i.e. Is it a steep learning curve? What tools are available to those who wish to develop on the chain?)
Cherry Network provides an abundance of developer tools to immediately being leveraging its features. Though the core characteristics of the Cherry Protocol are designed for use within the Cherry Network, the team has made strides to provide interoperability and compatibility channels and tools for users to access the Cherry Network from across tech stacks and even other better known general purpose distributed networks such as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, etc. Cherry is written in Rust, and its native smart contracts are compiled in WebAssembly. However, Cherry will soon adopt the Ethereum Virtual Machine to allow developers already familiar with Solidity to export their code and deploy it directly onto Cherry with no modification. We want to make development on the Cherry Network as easy as possible and that’s why we have established Cherry Labs, our Cherry-focused incubator. The team at Cherry Labs is dedicated to promote the adoption of the Cherry Network. Through its expanding technical support network and staff, Cherry Labs is presently aiding over 60 projects to build on Cherry Network, and more are joining each week.
Given the current stage of development, how do you see blockchain adoption in the short-term (3-5 years) and long-term (10 years +) and where do you see Cherry Network fitting into this landscape?
We at Cherry believe that the potential of blockchain technology is massive. Not looking at market cycles, but more technology development and adoption, we feel that blockchain is on the cusp of influencing many parts of our daily lives. Our vision is of a multichain future and that is why we have stressed interoperability in our development process. We’re quietly confident that Cherry will have a place at the table with the leading crypto projects as blockchain technology goes mainstream.
Which blockchain applications do you believe will have the highest adoption rate and produce the highest returns for businesses in the next few years?
Speaking in general, the scalability issue that I mentioned earlier is the most high profile problem in this space and any project that makes headway in this regard will reap the rewards. Aside from that, anything that gets crypto-powered applications into the hands of many mainstream users will be a similarly hot commodity.
Decentralized content will be a killer app of blockchain technology. We have an exciting project called Cherish that will be the first platform to launch on the Cherry Network. Cherish is a decentralized, censorship-resistant social platform built for creators and their fans. Of course, decentralized payments and DeFi will also be game changers in the space. We are extremely excited for another early project to launch on Cherry, Unigate, which is a payments and DeFi platform which we can expect to see transacting on the Cherry Network soon after the mainnet goes live.