July 8, 2019
July 8, 2019
Part of the LongHash Hatch program batch 2, Plasm is founded by Sota Watanabe, who has always been interested in wanting to help make the world a better and more equal place. We caught up with this well-travelled founder to find out more about his project.
LongHash: So Sota, tell me more about what you did before Plasm.
Sota: I worked at non-profit organisations in 4 different countries, India, Russia, China, and Japan, and saw many societal problems like poverty, disparity, discrimination, and so on. It got me thinking about how I can help create a world where everyone can pursue opportunities with a sense of purpose.
I returned to Japan where I worked at SoftBank Robotics and was engaged in AI and Robotics because these industries have considerable potential to re-shape the world. This was when I first heard of blockchain technology. I thought, this is what I’m looking for. This technology which can empower the people I met at the edge of the world.
Then, I went to Silicon Valley and worked at Chronicled, a blockchain startup with a mission to bring more trust into supply chains by facilitating the creation of trusted and fully decentralized industry ecosystems. After returning to Japan, I founded Staked Technologies.
LH: That was quite the journey! What convinced you take the plunge and go into blockchain full time?
Sota: This is the first movement in my generation where I can be involved in from the beginning. It is fascinating for me because I believe technology always updates society, and blockchain is the key.
LH: Why does the world need Plasm?
Sota: A public blockchain is slow by design. Transaction speed is a problem faced by every single public blockchain project. We improve transaction speed by providing new blockchain architecture called Plasma in the Polkadot network.
Plasm is a Substrate Runtime Module Library which allows developers to add Plasma functions to their Substrate chain. By adding a Plasm Substrate Runtime Module Library, you can get scalable blockchains within a few minutes.
Some people might not know about the Substrate Runtime Module Library. Basically, Substrate consists of 2 components, Substrate Core and Substrate Runtime Module Library aka SRML. We can customize Substrate Core with SRML and make an original Substrate chain. Some might not know Plasma. Plasma is a layer2 scaling solution which makes it possible for scalable computation by structuring economic incentives to operate the blockchain autonomously. Ideally, it brings infinite scalability into your blockchain.
By solving the scaling problem, we want to make blockchain more useful and the de-facto standard.
In addition, since we are creating an SRML, we can also create a Plasma chain with Substrate. Once Polkadot is launched, we will connect our root chain to Polkadot, and we aim to be one of the parachains.
LH: When will you consider Plasm to have fulfilled the vision you had hoped for when you first started the project?
Sota: Since we founded Plasm, our vision has been to “Re-Build Digital Economy Where Everyone Belongs.” Of course, our product includes this vision and our philosophy.
Plasm has two core concepts:
1. Decentralized governance without monopolies. The platformer(s) won’t supervise the ecosystem.
2. The transparency and fairness of wealth redistribution.
These are our proposal to update the existing capitalist society and our trial to achieve real democracy. To make these happen, some of our milestones are as follows:
LH: What did you have to sacrifice for Plasm?
Sota: Before starting Plasm, we created a decentralized exchange on the 0x protocol and had plans to expand. It was tough to pivot our domain.
LH: How would you best summarize Plasm?
Sota: We are making blockchain accessible and useful for everyone by solving the biggest problem, scalability.
You can find out more about Plasm here