Gavin Wood: WebAssembly is the Future of Smart Contracts, Legacy EVM is the Present

The former Ether developer said, “It’s important to support these protocols and programming languages that need to be passed on, and that’s what we’re doing.”

Gavin Wood: WebAssembly is the Future of Smart Contracts, Legacy EVM is the Present

The Ethernet Virtual Machine (EVM) is at the forefront of blockchain developers. That’s why Gavin Wood says it’s important that his Polkadot blockchain system supports EVM – at least for the foreseeable future.

Wood was the lead developer when Ether was created and is now the founder of Parity Technologies, the company that created Polkadot and is launching the interconnected “parallel chain” system. When the original team created Ether, Wood said, they tried not to stray too far from what the world was familiar with at the time, which was Bitcoin.

At the Consensus 2021 conference, Wood acknowledged the place EVM now holds in blockchain development.

“I can’t deny that a lot of people are already using EVM, so it’s very important to support these legacy protocols and legacy languages, and that’s what we’re doing at Polkadot,” Wood said in a pre-recorded interview, “People like EVM, people use EVM – absolutely no problem until the next generation really proves its mettle.”

Polkadot’s goal is to prove itself as a leader in the next generation of smart contract blockchains.

Technology Legacy

EVM has many developers and software tools that they can use to simplify coding. Other blockchains are catching up with these tools, so Wood says, “It would be foolish to abandon them. But it’s not foolish to start thinking about what the next generation of tools are, and for me that’s using WebAssembly as a smart contract.”

WebAssembly is a software format that works across the Web and is easily compatible with multiple software languages. It was developed by large web companies and works with all major browsers.

Polkadot announced on May 17 that its sister network Kusama has launched Parallel Chain, a web chain that allows Polkadot to run different blockchains with different logic, but with the same security. This is a critical final test before running the same upgrade on Polkadot. If this happens, it will represent the realization of the Polkadot vision, which has been in progress since the initial $147 million token offering in October 2017.

While the presence of Ether enabled Parity to raise funds to launch Polkadot, the project has been intended to go beyond the initial smart contract blockchain.

The problem with EVM, you see, is that it’s a very stubborn design,” Wood said. It comes from an already very stubborn design, which is the scripting design of Bitcoin,” and his team wanted to give developers a very non-stubborn format, which is WebAssembly.

Gavin Wood: WebAssembly is the Future of Smart Contracts, Legacy EVM is the Present

In 2019, Gavin Wood (second from right, top to bottom) said : “Blockchain is no longer applicable to modern society.”

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