“We don’t see killer apps because blockchain structure is not reliable today”: Lava Network core contributor

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The Remote Procedure Call (RPC) got the attention of investors recently, propelled by an issue on Solana’s network with dropped transactions. As reported by Crypto Briefing, one of the reasons behind this issue is RPC nodes getting overloaded with transactions.


Modular infrastructure Lava Network core contributor Yair Cleper shared his insights with Crypto Briefing about the importance of RPC’s integrity, interoperability

Crypto Briefing – What are RPCs and why are they important for a blockchain to thrive?

Yair Cleper – In general, I can start by asking you what languages you speak. RPC is like the language of blockchains. The way it works is that everyone using the blockchain needs to make RPC requests every time they interact with the blockchain.

So, for example, if you buy an NFT, if you interact with a contract: you’re swapping a token, you are opening your MetaMask, then MetaMask is querying the blockchain. This is RPC. It’s called a Remote Procedure Call, and you use this language to interact with the blockchain, there are generally different RPC and API requests for every blockchain. There are dozens of hundreds of APIs.

At the end of the day, each blockchain has a specific way to communicate with the end users or the user has to communicate with the blockchain themselves. The way end users consume this data, they need to use the RPC. But to do that, they can run a node. They can use a decentralized provider, Alchemy, or Infura, or they can use a public RPC that’s being offered by the chains themselves. So this is basically what is RPC.

When you trust a single provider to bring you RPC, there is suddenly an overload. There is a congestion. And suddenly, there is a downturn. And as a middleman, it’s a very, very difficult job.

In Lava, we realized from the get-go that there are a lot of problems, but that’s what we want to address. The gap of how neglected, I would say, is this space with the communication protocol, access, and the values of Web3.

Crypto Briefing – Cross-chain interoperability is a topic discussed since the last bull run, and recently became a thing again with the deployment of different blockchains. Can you describe a few problems that new chains are having related to RPC?

Yair Cleper – That’s the point that brought us to develop Lava. And I will divide that into two main problems. The first problem is for the chains themselves, for all apps, the blockchain. And the second problem is for the users and dApps.

When I jumped into Web3, it was three years ago. And a year later, the bear market started and everyone was talking to me about there’s going to be a consolidation of all these chains into one chain, or two, or five maximum. But the reality is that the other way happened, right? We see an explosion of different blockchain rollups and you have different doctrines in the field.

You have the monolithic, like Solana and Ethereum, you have the roll-up centric, and you have the modular. We can see at the end of the day that there’s not only one, not 10, not 100, there are gonna be thousands of different chains that are likely to only be revealed this year. This is the trend, right?

The new chains are launching, and they need a quick way to launch and also have a scalable and reliable infrastructure. So the first top what they do is outsource that to community RPC node runners. If they want to invite developers to come and build, they need to have scalable RPC and node runners.

However, there’s no great way to ensure that the high quality of service and the optimized trend are being served because those community node runners are not professional node runners. So it’s kind of a favor for the ecosystem.

Those new projects then go to the centralized providers, which I mentioned before, but the centralized providers aren’t able to scale and adapt quickly with how the ecosystem is fast today. Still, chains need to continue and use these RPC nodes this way. In the end, what they do is just run the RPC node, which is a waste of time, and resources.

They don’t need these DevOps to run that infrastructure. And instead of focusing on the core product, they’re focusing on DevOps and info. That’s in a nutshell, the different problems for the blockchain as in rollups.

The second problem is for the users. You think about today and find user-centralized providers, they have a single point of failure. So when they have access and Infura is down, they cannot get to MetaMask. They cannot bring the information and the data back to the users.

Imagine you are in a supermarket, and you want to charge your credit card. And the cashier says: “Sorry, for the next four hours, you cannot charge.” It’s not scalable. We believe that this is one of the reasons you don’t see any killer apps today, because the infrastructure is not resilient, is not scalable, and it doesn’t create the assurance for dApps [decentralized applications] to build.

What we see at the end of the day is that the dApps start implementing load balancers, backups, disaster recovery, and all of this stuff of things that also they don’t need to do. So they’re wasting a lot of resources and there are usually small teams that don’t have that.

There are actually three problems, the third one is censorship. For example, the Venezuelan government asks Infura to stop using MetaMask. You see problems like Web2 going back to selling data, collecting the data of the dApps, and selling them to other third parties.

And privacy, you don’t have any privacy when you use them. Those are the main problems, both for blockchains and end users.

Crypto Briefing – How does Lava help to tackle this lack of scalability on RPCs issue?

Yair Cleper – Definitely. If you want to scale, you need different layers, and you need different options for developers to build. I think what we’re gonna see in the next few years is like the community vision, where every chain is unique in a special way, so there’s not gonna be one community.

Modularity really boosted that vision, you have different layers that help you to serve. You have the execution layer, the settlement layer, the consensus, and data availability. And what we believe is missing is the access layer for every blockchain rollup. And this is exactly what we think is Lava.

We design one data access layer, one network, that anyone building a blockchain or a rollup can plug in and allow the best data access infrastructure. We’re speaking about low latency, developing a peer-to-peer communication protocol, SDK [software development kit], straight from the browser you get access to top providers.

Other features are dual caching and constant availability that doesn’t matter even if the Lava network is down, the dApps still has service. We also speak about cost-efficiency, because the providers themselves get paid not because of their reputation, but based on the quality of service.

If there is a provider that just spins up nodes in rural areas in Eastern Africa, because there was an NFT drop and he made a very good performance, he needs to get paid and needs to get paid according to the demand. So if he is the only supplier, obviously he’s getting a lot of money. The last thing that is unique for the Lava is the decentralization.

So Lava is a decentralized network of high-profile nodes that need to stake Lava for accountability and receive rewards based on their performance.

Crypto Briefing – Lava is doing an incentive program with Magma points. A question that arises is: “wen token?”

Yair Cleper – Everyone is asking. I know the Foundation is dropping the audit, and they coming with Mainnet in the next few weeks. So hopefully we’re gonna see an announcement about listing the token also around that time.

Crypto Briefing – What role does Lava play in fostering blockchain growth?

Yair Cleper – You know, I think if you want to understand that, we like a couple of analogies that help understand it. I think that Lava is kind of building the door for all the blockchains. And it’s very unique because it doesn’t matter what person has to go through the door, the door is flexible according to the person. So that’s one analogy.

Another analogy is thinking about Amazon. Lava is the permissionless Amazon for any Web3 service. Imagine that Amazon is offering consumers to buy from every merchant, any type of item.

In the same way, Lava is allowing data consumers, the dApp users, to buy and access any type of data through providers, which is kind of like the merchants there. And because Lava is permissionless and open source, every ecosystem can spin up the pools, putting incentives there, and invite providers to serve.

It’s the same way when Amazon wants to go to a new country that they have never been before. Imagine Amazon is calling all the providers from furniture to cars, to pens, it doesn’t matter which items. And they say: “We have now a pool of a few million dollars.” Everyone who joins first and brings a good quality service will get the incentive.

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