Edgeware: a multi-chain reality, not just a solo chain

Kusama, her Kabocha and polkadots (Source: @nybg on Instagram).

Whereas Kusama is Polkadot’s experimental canary net cousin, Edgeware is Polkadot’s secret love child and is quietly blooming in the background.

How did it start

In this post, we talk about Edgeware, and their second special-purpose chain called Kabocha, a parachain on Kusama. And how it all relates…

Where did it start

Born out of Polkadot’s philosophy of multi-chain minimalism, Edgeware was the first-ever chain built with the Substrate programming framework, straight after Polkadot and Kusama were launched back in 2018, and has been touted to be the first to enter the Polkadot relay network as a parachain.

Community managed

Flexing what Substrate programming framework has to offer, with sophisticated on-chain governance, enabling treasury proposal decisions and seamless upgrades, Edgeware has been creating blocks for almost 2 years, with a community lead philosophy from the get go, and without VC backers, or ICOs.

Becoming a multi-chain mother

Starting out as a solo chain with smart contract functionality has given it a sense of independence, with all the capabilities that a multi-chain has to offer, but also with a streak of “single chain maximalism” (Ethereum), like a sort of mixed breed stallion and show pony. But Edgeware looks like its evolving into the inevitable multi-chain mannerisms of its parent, focussing on breeding other chains in its own kind of way, spawning new special purpose chains and taking sizeable governance control (voting shares) in each of them, thus forming an Edgeware multi-chain eco-system, where Edgeware sits as the mummy main-chain. This, I believe, is where a significant amount of focus should go and will contribute to Edgeware being an extreme valuable multi-chain utility.

This shortish post will answer some questions, summarise and give some clarity about (at least what I think about) Edgeware’s future as a multi-chain ecosystem, and its first child, Kabocha, Edgeware’s parachain on Kusama.

About me, a community engineer contributor!

Firstly, quick introduction, I’m Ramsey, I’ve been an active Edgeware community participant for since February 2021. I’ve taken a real liking to the Polkadot philosophy and I’m doubling down on the Substrate programming framework by taking at least the past 10 months investing in learning and skills around Substrate, from customising the logic of the blockchain (using Rust), to the lower level networking components of a node: validation, block finality, wasm blobs, parachains, relays and collators, with its in depth documentation and learning materials. I’m working on integrating Edgeware’s parachain called Kabocha, with the Kusama relay network.

What excites me the most…

The reason why I am here is because i’m witnessing very sophisticated, secure and decentralised, “on-chain governance” in action. Humans are self-governing, without borders, without the need for registration of a company, or bank accounts, and completely parallel to the state. And really, the world needs to know this! I imagine many more humans will organise and function in this way, including companies, cooperatives, non-governmental organisations and even governments. I am interested in designing functionality that will further develop governance and treasury (aka DGov).

Spawner of chains…

It’s understandable in the early stages of these next generation chains, they start as a solo chain, and have the need to fend for themselves. Edgeware’s smart contract and evm capabilities, with eco-friendly nominated proof-of-stake consensus algorithm makes it an attractive option for many kinds of dApps, from Defi to NFTs, to come and build upon the Edgeware blockchain, in an Ethereum kind of way. But that approach is in stark to what multi-chain minimalism is all about.

Multi-chain minimalism is where dApps get converted into their own special purpose chains that interoperate with other chains. Yet when I first took glimpse of Edgeware, it was set up for the maximalist approach, to be a solo chain with dApps built on them, a general smart contract chain. This naturally created some philosophical tension for Edgeware, on the one hand looking to host projects in a maximalist way, but on the other hand destined for a minimalist multi-chain reality.

No need for just a smart contract mentality

Gone is the need for building applications with smart contracts only, you can build whatever you want as a blockchain without designing them with smart contracts. You can build a custom blockchain with all of the Rust programming language at your fingertips, or at least a growing list of composable and customisable Substrate “pallet” modules available to plug and play.

Community member questions:

Q: “Will Edgeware be building a parachain on the relay networks like Polkadot and Kusama?”

Yes, indeed. In the near term Edgeware is creating its own parachain, called Kabocha, which will be connected to the Kusama relay network. Actually, I have the honour of making the integration. I attained this honour as a community member who made an on-chain proposal to take on the duty and responsibility to make the parachain integration, as well as some bridging connections with other chains.

Q: “Will you still be focussing on EDG?”

By this question do you mean should we all drop our bags and go running to set up a new parachain and neglect Edgeware? Absolutely not. Actually, completely on the contrary. The aim of creating parachains is not to create competing chains to hedge our bets against Edgeware, but to actually create complimentary chains that each serve a unique purpose for the Edgeware ecosystem. In this case we are creating a parachain that connects with all the other chains on the Kusama relay network, to participate in the very important, cutting edge feats of blockchain engineering, and partake in the delivery of relay/parachain systems. Kabocha is Edgeware’s parachain and will only serve to increase the value of Edgeware.

Q: “Will EDG holders get Kabocha (KAB) tokens?”

Yes, on 15th August 2021 (to be confirmed), a snapshot of the chain state (balances, both staked and unstaked), will be uploaded on to the Kabocha network, where the same distribution of balances will be applied to KAB.

Q: “Won’t that take value out of EDG tokens?”

IMO, Edgeware as the main chain in a multi-chain eco-system will only increase its utility and value, manifold, as opposed to a standalone chain with some bridges. Especially if Edgeware will own sizeable voting shares in all of these chains.

For example:

If Kabocha (KAB) had a $400m market cap, Edgeware would have 20% control, so then it would have control of $80m of KAB shares.

So then, if Edgeware had 20% control in 20 chains that it spawned into its eco-system, who each had on average a $400m market cap, then Edgeware would have $1.6bn control of 20 different chain tokens. This would reflect in the EDG token price giving it no less than a $1.6bn valuation. Maybe someone can correct me here who is more of a technical analyst, but the point is Edgeware’s children will only compliment Edgeware.

Q: Edgeware will create relay chains

Edgeware may spawn relay chains, who would each have multiple parachains. In 10 years, when “crypto” eats into fiat and the “decentralised web” becomes “the web”, Edgeware could be a very important community and leading governance hub for many chains. There are probably some over-simplifications to what i’m saying and things will change more dynamically, but at least that is the general idea of how Edgeware could retain value.

It’s not all about tokens and market caps…
Having said that, it’s not all about market caps, many chains that Edgeware would spawn will be common good chains that have no token whatsoever. Some of these chains may be more valuable to the public than the token fuelled chains. Some of these chains may play a key role in how humans manage the most important public assets, both physical and virtual.

Q: why the name Kabocha?

Kabocha means pumpkin in Japanese, it refers to the Japanese pumpkins that are the obsession of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. She pioneered Polkadot art. This is where the names Polkadot and Kusama names come from. Kusama literally loves kabochas.

A big Kabocha behind Kusama amongst polkadots.

In my opinion the future is very exciting for Edgeware, we have a great community of humans, mostly in for the long term, and some awesome thought leaders, both technical and successful in prior industries, who have come to the Edgeware community to share ideas and design systems with next generation on-chain governance that will enable humanity to thrive.

All the best,

Ramsey (aka decentration)

Kabocha Engineer
Edgeware community participant (https://edgewa.re)
DGov founder (https://dgov.network)


Edgeware: a multi-chain reality, not just a solo chain was originally published in Coinmonks on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.