Webinar – Solutions to Enable Web3 Growth and Adoption

Webinar – Solutions to Enable Web3 Growth and Adoption

Blast Team

17 min read

With Luis Alberto Ramírez Albino, Head of DevRel at Gear Foundation

Web3 adoption has historically been a big hurdle in the path of blockchain developers and has stunted the entire sector since its inception.

In this webinar, our host Radu Enoiu, Co-founder and Head of Product at Bware Labs, is joined by the Head of DevRel at Gear Foundation, Luis Ramírez. Together attempt to give some solutions to the issue of adoption as they tackle some of the biggest questions around Web3 right now.

Their chat covers everything from Substrate to new developments in Web3, to what Vara Network is doing, how it became the inspiring story it is today, and how it’s contributing to the future of the blockchain space as a whole.

The main talking points include:

  • the challenges and solutions to Web3 adoption and growth
  • how blockchain can improve supply chain management
  • the main advantages of Substrate
  • exciting developments at Vara network and in the future of Web3

About the speakers:

Luís Ramirez, Head of DevRel @ Gear Foundation

Luis is a blockchain enthusiast and Head of DevRel at Gear Foundation and Vara Network, with a particular focus on education and adoption of blockchain technology. Starting from the dream of building his own Blockchain, Luis quickly became one of the most respected voices in Web3 adoption through his former position at Gear as Growth Development Lead for the entire LATAM region.

Radu Enoiu, Co-founder and Head of Product @ Bware Labs

With over 10 years of experience in the engineering field, Radu has explored several product management and engineering roles, working for companies like Fitbit and Google. Currently, he leverages his tech expertise and contributes to providing Web3 builders with decentralized infrastructure and high API performance.




Radu 00:02

Hello everyone and nice to have you again to a new session of Bware Labs Webinars. My name is Radu Enoiu. I am a Cofounder and Head of Product Development at Bware Labs, mostly managing Blast, our Decentralized API platform. 

Today, we are going to discuss about the gap between the web2 and web3 worlds and how it can be easily bridged. I have here with me today the Growth Development Lead from Gear Foundation and Vara Network, Luis, and we hope we will take you through most of the challenges that are encountered while bringing web2 adoption into web3 and how Vara network is well equipped and positioned to handle all that. 

But first, we’re gonna start with a short presentation and I’m going to let Luis here talk a little bit about himself, what’s the current position, what’s your background, what’s your experience and what’s interesting to you about blockchain.

Luis 01:25

Absolutely, absolutely yeah, thank you so much for the presentation. Um, I’d like to start with an update about my position. As you said, Growth Development Lead, it was a position that I had the past two years in Gear Foundation, which is a nonprofit company behind the technology of Vara Network. I’ll explain with detail later. In the last years, I’ve been working with different communities, universities in order to explain about blockchain technology and what Vara Network has provided to the ecosystem. 

Okay, so nowadays I am Head of DevRel, so mainly I am doing this in different spaces, different countries working with the communities, working with other universities in different places. So it’s really amazing and it’s really interesting to me this change because now all the experience that we have in the last 2 years, we will use it to make it better in other countries.

About my background, I’d like to share, I love to code, I have almost 18 years since I started coding for a professional landscape, both in public and private companies. And that’s why I entered into the ecosystem because years ago I was trying to bring the best technology to one development that I started 6-7 years ago, one company that I founded on the POS ecosystem here in Lat Am. And yeah, trying to bring then the newest technology. I entered into the blockchain ecosystem in 2017 with Ethereum like almost everybody, like yeah, I want to understand about the blockchain. And the first thing it comes to when you search on Google or whatever web engine is Solidity, right? Ethereum, because Ethereum was basically the first smart contract platform, and for the developers, if you want to enter into the ecosystem, it’s one of the easiest ways. 

Nowadays, Ethereum has a lot of users, applications, volume, and yeah, they started this and they are moving pretty well as, as we know the technology changed and, technically talking, that’s the core feature of Vara Network. And let me tell you why, because Vara Network it’s layer 1 sovereign that provides the chance to the developers to create the apps in a really fast way using very sophisticated technology. 

So at the end, if somebody wants to involve in the ecosystem, Vara Network provides the best tools and infrastructure to make it possible. So, I guess that’s a good introduction just to start, but we will explain with more detail later.

Radu 05:01

Thank you for that. It’s quite an impressive experience that you have, and really glad to have you here today. You actually got us a little bit into my next question. Basically what I wanted to ask is for you to talk a little bit more about Vara Network, emphasizing why do you think there’s a need for an ecosystem such as Vara in the web3 space? Basically, my question would be why would we need a new layer 1 such as Vara, and what do you guys bring to the table in order to boost web3 adoption and bridge web2 users to web3?

Luis 05:45

Yeah, absolutely. To explain this question we need to talk about the source of Vara Network, right? Vara Network comes from the technology behind Substrate. Substrate is a framework to create modular blockchains. It was built by Parity. So when the Substrate was built, Nikolai, which actually is the CEO of Gear Foundation, was working on Parity and with all the experience that he had building different kinds of implementations on Bitcoin, Ethereum, C-cash, and building the substrate framework with other core developers, Nikolai understood that we need to give a new platform, new option for the developers to come into the web3 landscape, but with easiest tools but powerful so that’s the region of the technology behind the Vara Network.

So, a new protocol was created called Gear protocol, it’s based on Substrate, okay. So at the end, it changed mainly in the way how we integrate and understand smart contracts than like a Substrate. 

One of the powerful features of Substrate is the modularity, the pallets which is the model that understands the contract, the pallet contract was changed completely and implemented a new one to provide a more powerful solution for the smart contracts. 

We use three pillars, the first one is actual model, second one is persistent memory, and the third one is web assembly. I’d like to explain more about web assembly to complete the question that you asked me because web assembly is focused on different directions but one of those directions is the adoption, why? 

Because actually, web assembly is compatible with almost 22 programming languages, so if one developer wants to enter into the ecosystem as we are compatible with web assembly then they will be able to enter into the ecosystem with the programming language they already know, so it’s a different story as I told you like a lot of years ago when I started to understand about the blockchain ecosystem and I knew I need to learn a new program language, right?

So right now if somebody wants to enter into the blockchain ecosystem and for example all the Rust developers, they will be ready to enter into the Blockchain ecosystem just because they already understand the language.

Radu 08:44

Basically what you’re saying just to make it clear for the people watching is that on Vara, you can build decentralized applications using any web assembly compatible language and you don’t need to basically use Rust or Solidity or anything but anything that is web assembly compatible.

Luis 09:07

Yeah, actually, we support Rust and Assembly script and we are working to bring more programming languages to the platform so yeah, the final idea is that any developer which already uses one of these programming languages they will be able to come and build web3 applications.

Radu 09:32

Okay, I think you explained quite well why there’s a need for such an ecosystem, basically making it as easy as possible for to onboard new builders into web3 and with the new builders there will come new products that would bring also the masses.

Yeah, and we all know that this is one of the primary challenges of web3, to onboard sufficient users because right now we have a lot of users in web3 but it’s mostly degens, right? You have people that are here for trading, people who like the Web3 product, but you don’t have access to the I don’t know the normal people that are not early adopters and are not web3 enthusiasts, so that’s where we have to be.

Luis 10:28

Yeah, and let me complement this with numbers because actually it’s really interesting how much people are involved right now and developers of course because if we understand that the users will enter when they have applications that they can use but we don’t have no applications for those users then we need more developers, then we need more developers into the ecosystem, right?

And one that is one of the key features in Vara Network because actually, as we speak, there are like 32 million developers around the globe using any programming language, you know, okay, all the programming languages. If we have all the developers together it will be 32 million developers into the web3 ecosystem. It is 25-30,000 developers so if you compare it’s nothing – we need to have more developers in order to create more sophisticated applications and if we join all the developers that build on a web assembly program language compatible we will have 20 million so that’s one of the focuses to bring developers that use this technology and after yeah, of course, work with more sophisticated solutions but provide this infrastructure for them to come.

Solutions to Mass Web3 Adoption

Radu 12:02

That sounds like a hell of a mission and I mean I’m a big fan of, I don’t know, standardization in a way and making it as accessible as possible for people to build. I think that bringing builders automatically attracts users as well but let’s talk a little bit about that.

I’m curious, I’m always asking people this because, people this because it’s I saw different opinions in different parts of the world, what would be the areas that you feel would be best suited to bring, do you think it would be trying to revolutionize traditional finance and banks and replace banks actually? Or do you think we should focus more on consumer products such as games or socialfy or this type of applications, what do you think would have a bigger chance of bringing mass adoption to web3?

Luis 13:09

Okay, that’s an interesting question because I always start before to say that it’s DeFi or gamify or any other category on the blockchain ecosystem. I’m pretty sure that it makes sense to start with education so that’s one key feature also on Vara Network because we’re working really near with universities and communities to provide enough information to educate about the blockchain. 

You and I, we are speaking about this because we understand what is and what it’s trying to solve and we are in the landscape, right? 

But a lot of people want to enter into the system and they don’t know what is and obviously they don’t know how to build or how to interact with this technology, so that is to start and also yeah when we have enough people here just to be part of the ecosystem we need to focus on different categories like, uh, long. 

This technology is really huge, yeah, blockchain is incredible, huge technology from the source to the implementation like I wake up ERC20 as a token, ERC721 as an NFT, and different kind of categories, right? 

So we can implement Oracle, supply chain, DEXus, DeFi, gamify, a lot of solutions if we focus on the solutions that are enabling to grow the web3 landscape, we can say that we have gamify, either DeFi, why? DeFi, it’s the category that brings more volume to the ecosystem so there you can find all the people that want to make money, that want to invest, that want to land, yeah so it’s an important part and yeah, Vara Network it provides an infrastructure for all the developers that want to build a DeFi solution, that’s for sure because we are a really split network with low cost and that’s important on one side, on the other side we have gamify and yeah if we check information about what is the category that make more transactions into the ecosystem it’s gamify because a game itself it’s a transactional machine like you are gaming, you are playing with your friends and every time that you do a movement that you get one item of the marketplace or whatever you are executing one transaction, right?

So yeah the gamify is an escape that we have a lot of transactions in and that’s important for the blockchain ecosystem, yeah absolutely.

How Vara Uses Blockchain to Improve Supply Chain Management?

Radu 16:13

Okay, makes sense. So basically, you think the best strategy would be to onboard the DeFi spectrum of the Web3 space because that allows a chain to grow and get traction. But then, in order to also bring the people outside of Web3 or coming from Web2, you have to have something that is not actually involving trading or, I don’t know, trying to make money, but rather doing something fun. And that’s how you bring the huge amount of people, the masses, into Web3. That’s, I think, it makes sense from a strategic standpoint. I think you’re right.

I have one question that is more like a curiosity. It’s, I saw on your website as one of the use cases for Vara network or for bridging the Web2 to Web3 gap and I’ve also heard it through some conferences, but I’ve never had it explained, I never heard an explication. You have the use case of supply chain management that could be solved through your protocol and I was wondering if you’d be able to explain to our audience how would you do that or what, how you use blockchain technology to improve supply chain management?

Luis 17:45

Absolutely, yeah, well, supply chain is a category that actually works on Web2 right now as we speak and it works well. I will say like this because we cannot trust that the information stored in the system is right because that’s the main problem of Web2 technology, right? That you can manipulate information because it’s the database, it’s on the side of the people that are building the application. So, at the end, if you change something in the database, the user, we are not sure that the information is right, okay? So on the supply chain, the processes, the time, the people involved, it could be changed without any notification for the final user and that’s a problem.

That’s why supply chain is one of the categories that blockchain can solve pretty well, why? Because first, blockchain provides the immutability, right? So once you save information into the blockchain, this information is impossible to change it. That’s a key feature and really important for the supply chain.

The Main Advantages of Substrate

Radu 21:00

“And that makes sense based on this argument or explanation. I would love to see government spending put on blockchain. The ability would be amazing, like ideal. Okay, and I wanted, since we have you here, and you have like a very long technical experience, I would like to clarify a little bit for the people watching. Actually, to talk a little bit more about Substrate as a technology because I don’t know, I’m feeling that in this, lately the last two years, Substrate was kind of overlooked in the market in terms of hype. And because now you have all the Ethereum rollups, the Cosmos SDK but if you talk to the hardcore engineers, they will always tell you that Substrate has a lot of advantages. I would like for you to explain some of those and basically clarify a little bit why.

Luis 22:16

I would like to share something related to this question because also when I start learning about blockchain, I start with Solidity and I start reading about creating blockchain from scratch right. And creating a blockchain from scratch is really difficult because you need to learn a lot of things. Even though you have experience on the technical side, you need to be an expert on cryptography, mathematics, financial and different stuff to create one blockchain, okay? 

And I read in that moment different kinds of implementations to achieve this like the Cosmos SDK, the Substrate framework and other technologies. At the end, Substrate provided really huge and interesting technology.

I will mention somebody in the process of this, Gavin Wood because as we know, Gavin Wood was part of Ethereum at one moment, he was the CTO. Basically, Gavin Wood was the person behind Solidity so when he changed his mind to create something more sophisticated, a new blockchain, he started building Substrate, okay? 

So if I explained that one of the people more emblematic into the web3 ecosystem changed the technology, instead of using Solidity using Rust, instead of using EVM using web assembly, then it makes sense that this technology is really huge, it’s really good okay.

In this process, Nikolai Wolf was also working on the implementation of Substrate. Nikolai, with his experience, understood that there was a way to make it better. That is Vara network, which I would say is the evolution of the technology on the smart contract side. If you want to compare Substrate, for example, with other frameworks of technology, I would say that Substrate has something interesting related. 

Let’s see, for example, Substrate and Cosmos. Substrate provides a modular way to implement blockchains. It means that if you want to use different consensus, for example, you will be able to choose between proof of work, proof of stake, or for example, proof of authority. If you want to use Ora or the way you start and ends out the blocks, the finalization of the blocks, you can start using BABE with GRANDPA and it’s modular. 

Okay, on the other side, if you are using, for example, Cosmos, they have a Tendermint. Tendermint is an operation of proof of stake, it’s a delegation proof of stake, which actually is a different way to validate blocks through delegators and but you cannot choose between other consensus. 

So I will say this – it’s important the modularity of Substrate, it’s really nice and it provides the flexibility for the developers to have different options. That’s the one side. You mention also rollups. Well, and this is interesting because well, the rollups basically focus on scaling different Blockchains, right?

I would talk about, for example, optimistic rollups on Ethereum. We’re talking about to scale Ethereum, to make Ethereum faster through a layer 2, and execute off-chain transaction and send the transaction, send the vessels to the main net of Ethereum. And well, Substrate, it was built to provide this as a part of the modularity. And for example, one implementation of Substrate is Polkadot, okay? So Polkadot enables to execute a lot of transactions at the same time because it utilizes different Blockchains around it, it’s called parachains with a shared governance. Sorry, shared security. Because the validators are the validators of the network, and this is really strong.

Actually, I read months ago that Cosmos was implementing also shared security because it’s really powerful. So at the end, I will say that Substrate is a framework that was thought really well on the architectural and also the implementation. It’s a pretty nice technology. All the technology is good and all, there are a lot of people working to make it better. But without a doubt, Substrate is a great implementation to make it easier, faster, better.

Exciting Developments in Web3

Radu 27:47

That makes total sense, thanks for the clarification. It was like a very broad overview that you presented. I also learned something here.

Okay, so now I think after this more technical question, I would like to go into like a somewhat lighter one. I was curious that given the current traction and overall positive sentiment of the market right now, what are you most excited about like in the near future? In the medium future, long future?

Luis 28:27

Whoa, it’s interesting talking about blockchain because the speed of the development blockchain is really crazy. 

As we speak every year, we have one big feature that makes blockchain better or that makes blockchain the best solution to implement different kind of elements. For example right now, as we speak, there is something that it’s pretty important to have and implement which actually is the ZK, the zero knowledge proofs and yeah, we have one part of Vara Network that used the Zero Knowledge proof with machine learning to validate all the transactions off-chain and also send the information to the smart contract into the blockchain. And this kind of implementation without a doubt are really a key feature in the whole blockchain ecosystem, right? 

So, we are focused on that also. I cannot say a lot because we are working on different solutions related to zero knowledge. We have this mode,l the zero knowledge with machine learning is public so everybody that wants to know more about this or even implement it, you can download the component and use it. 

But also we’re working on this side to bring the high load computing into the blockchain ecosystem. But just to say something, I will mention just this, when the solution will be complete and we have it ready for the public, I will let you know through our social media. So yeah, just stay tuned. I just want to share this because sometimes I’m really passionate about what we’re building but we cannot say a lot.

Radu 30:34

I love having Alphas on the webinars so…

Luis 30:41

Sometimes it’s really easy to say it but yeah, we need to wait a little bit and we’ll know more detail about this in the future.

More on Vara Network and Gear Foundation

Radu 30:54

And now since I’m out of questions for this session, I’d like to ask if you have any things that you want to tell our viewers about Vara and why should they be excited about the project before we conclude our session for today.

Luis 31:17

Yeah, well, I feel really proud to be part of this revolution of the technology. I mention for example, Nikolai Wolf who started this on the technology side, but also the community is incredible. 

Now as we speak we have a lot of community in different countries that understand the roots of Vara network and that they are helping to bring more people into the web3 ecosystem because as I mention also, one of the key features of Vara network is the educational site and we work a lot with universities, communities, developers and it’s pretty amazing to see that a lot of people around the globe share these values and they want to bring more people to this technology because of the technology yeah. Because when we hear about the Blockchain some people say like yeah, I am because of technology but to be honest, they want to gain money only and it’s a part of the ecosystem, right? We cannot say that that’s a bad thing, we all want to gain money, of course, but there are people that want to share information and want to educate just to provide a better option for the people to have a better life.

 That’s something to start and also I invite all the people to learn more about Vara Network. You can enter into the official website Vara.Network and if you want to read more about the nonprofit company that supports this technology, it’s Gear Foundation so the website is Gear.Foundation and there you can learn a lot about Blockchain, about concepts, about technology, and also what Vara Network is doing into the last landscape, actually.

We have an ambassadors program for all the people who want to join Vara Network as an ambassador executing different tasks like a technical task, translation, or different elements that you can help. If you want to build a nice application, a disruptive application with the latest and good technology that Vara Network provides, you also are able to get a grant for this. So, I invite all the developers to join and provide this cool application, and we can help you in all the steps. We provide technical support and we provide different kinds of trainings.

So it’s really nice if you want to build on top of Vara Network. Please come and join us, and you, you will be really happy to use this interesting and powerful technology.

Radu 34:26

Thank you, sir, for joining. It was a very pleasant conversation, and we were really happy to have you here. So yeah – keep up the good work, and let’s work together for a mainstream adoption of web3.

Luis 34:46

Thank you so much, thank you so much for the time. Thanks so much for everything, Radu, and I hope that we see you soon.

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