Last year, I was working with RSK to bring the Blockchain 4 Humanity DApp (based on my previous work under Giveth) to the RSK network. I liked working with the IOV Labs team and our goals were very much aligned. When an opportunity to evolve our collaboration appeared, and even better in the RIF Data Storage team, I immediately said yes.
I am a product owner for the RIF Data Storage team. Decentralized storage, is one of the services that sooner or later almost any DApp will need, yet currently there is no easy to use solution integrated with other services. However, it is a very interesting area to tackle. While seemingly easy – all you need to do is store and retrieve files, right? – it sits at the intersection of a number of services. In order to build a truly decentralised solution, you need a fast-payment system supporting micro transactions, name resolver, P2P communication layer, oracle system and more. This is clearly a multidisciplinary project on which I am personally very excited as it refreshes my past knowledge gained at the university, CERN and Giveth.
Rather than technical features (which are usually just a matter of time before becoming available on other systems), I see the benefits of the RSK & RIF system as a coherent integrated solution. Developing true DApps is very difficult, mainly because of the technical stack not being integrated. It is like building a car with components from all sorts of different sport cars, duck tape and a hammer. While possible, it requires ingenuity and a lot of work. Having all the underlying tools and components working together in a coherent system built by one company, definitely promises a much easier development. Does your DApp need to be accessible through a decentralized routing service so that your users don’t have to remember a long string of letters and numbers? Perfect. Just plug-in RNS. Do you also need fast & inexpensive transactions? Done. That´s what Lumino is all about.
Apart from tooling, I always found the whole mindset of “this is just an experiment and not intended for production”, very difficult to overcome. It has been a challenge to find the tools, talents and create teams that would deliver maintainable production-ready solutions. Another common pattern that I see, is the lack of collaboration and reluctance to use existing solutions which leads to reinventing the wheel.
Without a doubt, the lack of production-ready tools, solutions and their interoperability. The on-chain limits are of course high on the bottleneck list.
I think we are just now starting to see first applications that are interesting and understandable for the general public. We, the blockchain community, are beginning to realise that ease of use in combination with attracting the communities who can benefit most, is the only way to achieve adoption. I am certain this trend will continue and we will see more Apps (or even DApps) abstracting the blockchain technology. In terms of tooling, I envision more holistic system to appear tackling more than just one problem and seamlessly integrating with other layers in the development stack. Looking at what RIF is doing, I am convinced it will lead the charge to create frameworks comprising of a set of components, suited to solve the needs of small and large scale Apps or DApps.