With a young and digital-savvy population, it’s no surprise that India established itself as a technology powerhouse more than a decade ago. Many multinational corporations took advantage of salary arbitrage to outsource or offshore their IT operations, leading to an explosion in India’s digital economy. As of 2018, the Indian tech industry was worth $181 billion.
However, in the blockchain space, things look somewhat different. The US is home to Coinbase, Switzerland can boast of the Ethereum Foundation, Singapore has the Litecoin Foundation, and China has NEO. But so far, although there is a blockchain scene in India, it’s failed to take hold in the same way as some of the more cryptocurrency-friendly jurisdictions.
Perhaps the government reluctance to embrace cryptocurrencies explains why only 0.25 percent of Indian programmers are familiar with blockchain technology. While this could be lamentable, a more optimistic view of the situation could see it as a massive opportunity for the global blockchain sector. It’s a vast programmer talent pool, just waiting to be tapped.
So, perhaps the establishment of a big-name blockchain company in India could be just the catalyst needed to inspire local programmers to make the shift. Currently, Mumbai-based Matic Network is making waves in the blockchain space. Now, it could prove to be the flagship project that kicks off a new era for the blockchain sector in India.
Why all the excitement? Because Matic has taken the Ethereum smart contract platform and put it on steroids. What’s more, its success in doing so is capturing the attention of some of the biggest names in the space.
Ethereum – Bigger, Better, Faster
Scalability issues have long haunted Ethereum, which five years after launching, is still trudging along at 10-20 transactions per second. To get an idea of how significant this scalability challenge is, consider that two years ago, the entire network nearly ground to a halt due to the traffic of a single application. At the recent Ethereum DevCon held in Osaka, developers confirmed it could be up to two years before the long-awaited Eth 2.0 achieves scalability.
Despite these issues, Ethereum still has one of the biggest user bases and developer communities of any other blockchain project out there. So, rather than building an entirely new platform from scratch, Matic has taken a more pragmatic approach.
Leveraging their extensive experience in a scaling solution known as Plasma, the team has implemented a second layer on top of the Ethereum blockchain. It can handle up to 65,000 transactions per second, with all the decentralization benefits of the Ethereum network.
Building on the existing platform means that Matic’s solution will appeal to the established Ethereum community, giving them access to a ready-made base of supporters.
Finding Strength in Partnerships
The word “partnership” has become almost problematic in the blockchain space. Historically, marketers have had the propensity to overuse the term to describe any loose collaboration. For example, in 2017, Internet-of-Things-meets-blockchain project IOTA had to confess that it didn’t have the partnership with Microsoft that it had previously announced.
So, it’s refreshing when a project comes along that can demonstrate real, meaningful partnerships on development activities that enable both parties to become greater than the sum of their parts.
Two of the biggest backers of Matic also happen to be two of the biggest names in the sector. Binance is the biggest crypto exchange in the world, and last year, it branched out into running token offerings on behalf of startups. Matic ran a successful token sale with Binance in April of this year, attracting investment from Coinbase Ventures shortly afterward.
The partnership with Binance has now expanded into working with the exchange giant on the integration of Binance chain to the Matic Network.
Interoperability – The Future of Blockchain
There’s plenty more. Blockchain platform Harmony, which also ran a token sale with Binance, has also teamed up with Matic. Harmony released a blog post explaining how its open infrastructure will benefit from Matic’s off-chain processing capability, enabling even faster transaction speeds.
Similarly, Matic has also established a research partnership with another blockchain project called Elrond, aimed at improving blockchain interoperability. Matic is particularly interested in Elrond’s consensus method, while Elrond stands to learn more from Matic about the potential for enhanced scalability.
These partnerships are the kind that is much-needed in the blockchain space overall. Until now, blockchains have tended to exist in isolation, so interoperability between different platforms is an ongoing challenge. The only way to solve it is through collaboration, enabling blockchain platforms to work together in a meshed ecosystem, free of Chinese walls.
This strong ethos of partnerships could also help Matic to accelerate the development of the blockchain space on its home soil. If up-and-coming programmers see what the team is doing, and how they’re gaining credibility across the sector, it may empower them to make their own foray into the blockchain space. Given that India is already a behemoth in the broader technology sector, it isn’t a huge leap to make.
With the backing of Coinbase and Binance, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Matic is proving itself as one of the hottest projects of 2019. On the strength of its platform and substantial portfolio of collaborative partners, it looks set to continue soaring into 2020 and beyond.