AMA Highlights — Chromia
On Monday 21 December, we welcomed Henrik Hjelte and Anastasia Zudina from Chromia back for a second AMA. Henrik is the CEO of ChromaWay, the creator of Chromia and Anastasia is Social Media and Community Manager.
The overall market for dApps is growing exponentially and with it are conversations about both NFTs and gaming. Chromia is a blockchain that aims to solve scalability issues for dApps and uses a relational database (relational-blockchain) that makes development more favorable for developers.
In this post, we have compiled key questions and answers from the event.
Daniel Dal Bello
Hi Henrik and welcome back — this is the first time we’ve welcomed a previous AMA guest back for another conversation!
Last time we spoke here was late February this year, time flies.
In that time our group here has grown a lot, so could we start again with some basic introductions to yourself and your work at Chromia?
Great to see you Henrik and welcome back once again! Really excited to dive into what’s new and how you are thinking about the space now.
Hi Henrik, happy to have you here!
A short intro about me. I’m the CEO of ChromaWay, the company that created Chromia (and before that created “user generated tokens” in 2012). I have a long background as a developer, since 1989. I graduated with MsC in Economics and Finance. I then became an entrepreneur/startup guy, founding this project with an ex-colleague Alex Mizrahi and Or Perelman.
Chromia is a new public blockchain, that uses a novel yet fantastic technical idea: combining blockchain with a proper database to get what we call a “Relational Blockchain” — combining the relational database model with blockchain. Why? Ask me questions and I’ll answer!
Daniel Dal Bello
We’ve talked with several NFT and gaming-focused startups recently. NFTs and gaming seem to go hand-in-hand and by bringing in tradeable NFTs and a marketplace, this can serve as a good ‘hook’ for these games.
Can you talk to us in any further detail about your vision for NFTs within the Chromia ecosystem?
Alex spoke about this in a recent AMA you had with your team and described the upcoming NFT protocol work as, “10x more advanced than other NFT protocols on the market”.
Yes. Actually, I think Chromia is the outcome of Alex wanting to do a game. He was playing Hay Day (a farm game) with his daughter and came up with the idea of taking the enterprise-focused blockchain we built and turn it into a public blockchain. So games have been a focus for a long time, not just NFTs though.
But more on NFTs: we are building something called Chromia Originals. The first thing to note is that our blockchain is also a database, so it is intended to store things on-chain. Additionally, we want to be able to store much more about an asset on-chain. It can be both graphical appearances and more metadata.
We also want to have composable NFTs: a character can be composed of a head, a body, a sword, etc — you can swap in and out sub-items to change its composition. Finally, for the Chromia Originals standard, we also want to enable logic functionality, i.e. code.
How will composable NFTs work functionally? e.g. an NFT with multiple qualities or “stacked” NFTs?
Multiple qualities but also composability. I’m not the expert, so second-hand interpretation here. The idea of logic is also quite different.
For example, using the concept of a Ball/NFT (original), someone can use that NFT and build upon it, turning it into a bouncing ball (for basketball). Perhaps a ball with a particular physics engine or a ball for snooker with rotation etc.
There will be a game announced very soon that will make use of the Chromia Originals protocol (i.e NFT++).
Daniel Dal Bello
I’d like to talk about your vision for staking and governance as we now move towards 2021. Reading about your staking mechanics, we noted that there won’t be any “free” rewards for staking with Chromia next year. To receive staking rewards, users have to be “active” in voting on governance proposals. What kind of governance decisions will be put to the staking community?
Furthermore, we have seen a definite trend toward ecosystems with community governance ideals, but in reality, do you genuinely foresee a strong community interest in governance?
Do you think staking rewards will be a sufficient incentive to drive this participation?
Governance is quite close to my interests. I have a background in political science and political philosophy. Others in the team also have similar backgrounds. Governance is one of the ideas within blockchain that excites me most.
That said, I don’t currently have a concrete answer as to what kind of governance questions to address first. We will need a discussion taking into account risks, then making a long term plan. However, the idea is that in the end, everything will be governed by users.
“A strong community interest in governance”. Originally, the community may have a particular profile. No doubt it will change as more developers build dApps, and as more users use dApps. I think both governance and interest in it will grow.
Daniel Dal Bello
Interesting to hear that your vision is the fully decentralized model over time… actually lots of projects have expressed similar ideals, only time will tell how this pans out and so we’ll stay tuned.
We note that in August, you began incubating Hedget, an options trading protocol, to bring DeFi to Chromia. We’d love to know more about the state of that partnership and its development.
Furthermore, Ethereum-based Hegic emerged suddenly with a beta product that traders have begun to use. Other than scaling benefits from Chromia, where do you think Hedget stands in terms of competitiveness following this development?
On Hedget: I don’t follow the day-to-day operations, but I believe development is going quite well, and a large effort is being made to work fast. It is also prioritized to help them.
Furthermore, there is interest and plans for other DeFi apps besides Hedget. They will share similar benefits with layer 2 on Chromia, synced to Ethereum.
Is the project planning to hold events like bounty and airdrop for distribution to the community when NFTs release?
We are planning to add NFT’s to the campaigns and events we are running very soon. Stay tuned to our Twitter.
Do you agree that community is a key factor for the success of the project? Knowing that the project has had quite successful phases, but with future plans, do you have plans to benefit some communities coming soon?
Community is always important. But what community? Is it one community or several? I believe we need to have a project that can provide benefits to several key communities:
- For token investors (often that is now what you call community?), price appreciation;
- For developers: tangible technical advantages, great documentation, great on-boarding and support;
- For users: control (through governance) and fantastic dApps that are easy to use and with real-world features needed for adoption.
Yes! I mean the communities that are interested in the real project. They are willing to invest and support.
We have one of the best communities! Chromia speaks many languages and is growing rapidly for each and everyone to be able to understand and use Chromia smoothly.
Chromia has the official channels where we translate recent news and updates into many different languages. English, Vietnamese, Turkish, Philippines, Arabic, and others.
So the future plan is to add value in all aspects to the community, I think there will be a ketchup effect soon.
Speaking of community, undoubtedly you’ve seen some growth in the developer base on Chromia over time, however, how has the community of users grown over these years?
Metrics like the number of daily users, graphic of user (if available), number of actively contributing users (marketing, outreach etc), general opinion of Chromia.
The development of users is sometimes difficult to count. However, if we check the number of wallets created, I think we quite quickly had 10’s of thousands for the testnet, largely driven from a game.
For enterprise apps, it is not just the quantity of users, but also the quality of users that counts. It is pretty cool to see large financial players use dApps on Chromia.
However, for user growth, we are still a bit before the growth-end of the hockey stick. Some releases need to happen first. Some dApps coming can potentially have millions of users. I think that is very important.
In September 2020, Chromia’s testnet reached 100k transactions. That shows the great results for a couple of months after the release of those dApps. The main dApps by transactions were Mines of Dalarnia and Chromunity, Chromia’s decentralized social network made by external developer Viktor Plane.
Daniel Dal Bello
Your initial vision was not to develop an “Eth-killer” but a general-purpose and developer-friendly blockchain designed to cater well to dApps. I think that dApps and gaming are having somewhat of a resurgence now in Q4 built off the success of DeFi, NFTs, and several games like Axie Infinity and The Sandbox.
From Chromia’s perspective, what are you looking forward to as far as dApp releases and gaming goes in 2021? It seems that you are positioned very well to take advantage of any broader gaming narrative like DeFi projects were able to earlier in the year.
There are several games in the works. One project (let’s call it game A) will be announced soon. What I can say is that it has probably a more commercial focus than both Sandbox and Axie Infinity. The idea of this game is not to get players from the “blockchain world” but ordinary people — it will be sold on a normal marketplace (first Steam) and even its target audience is a bit different (more female audience). Overall, it is a builder game with multiplayer social elements.
We have another game B being planned with a longer development horizon. It is an open-world mobile premium game. Game B, like game A targets millions of users.
In your 2020 wrap-up we saw a few screenshots from what looked like a game in development, can you tell us anything more about it? Does this happen to be game ‘A’?
Yes, that was game A. Kind of cute in its design.
Anastasia is an expert on Mines of Dalarnia. It has quite a lot of potential because it is actually fun and we intend to improve on it. Furthermore, on gaming, there are also technical tracks of improving gaming. We have the NFT standard “Chromia Originals” and talks are being done on other technical improvements.
Anastasia, what can we reveal on Mines of Dalarnia progress/update?
Reading your mind. We are planning to make it mobile friendly and to add new mods into the game, more NFT’s. I can’t reveal much at the moment, but few updates are coming soon
We released fun stickers not long ago for all the MoD fans. Check them out!
Mines of Dalarnia also has a Wiki page, Discord, Twitter, and a big community on Telegram. We are almost at every online gaming conference and we’re always happy to chat about the game. Happy to share the links to the Mines of Dalarnia game website, Twitter, Discord, and the Chromunity.
Oh. I can mention one of the game technologies to be used by both Mines of Dalarnia and another game. We have this tech called “GRA”, Chromia Game Resource API (wonderful selling name). What is cool is that it is super easy to integrate for games — no wallet required for players. Furthermore, it enables you to send assets between games. It may be less sexy than a complete logic-on-blockchain-game, but this could be an easy way of onboarding “blockchain” for a lot of games.
Daniel Dal Bello
Would love to end with this question looking forward into next year.
What is your most significant early milestone for 2021? Is it realizing your vision with the mainnet MVP as discussed in prior AMAs, or is layer-2 and Ethereum integration maybe more impactful?
Good question. What is most important? I think actually launching Layer-2/Ethereum integration would be priority #1, followed by the next step in mainnet as priority #2. But we think we can do both…
Hillrise Capital is an independent research and advisory firm exclusively focused on blockchain startups and crypto-assets.
Chromia is working to solve the scalability problem for dApps and is implementing a relational blockchain structure to improve the accessibility for users and developers.