This episode is sponsored by PumaPay.io.
“Whenever we see a bottleneck, whenever we see a problem, like an accessibility problem for us … that’s where we jump in,” said Hemachandra. “We’re like, okay, let’s reduce it down to three steps maximum and then let’s take [users] through these steps and then it'll make it easy for them to get into Ethereum and use Ethereum. Therefore, Ethereum will grow.”
Hemachandra has watched Ethereum grow from as early as 2014 when the network was merely a technical concept defined by a yellow paper. When the network officially launched in July 2015, Hemachandra noticed a major pain point for users trying to access the network.
There was no user-friendly interface to send and receive on-chain transactions.
As a back-end developer and web programmer by trade, Hemachandra along with his co-founder Taylor Monahan created MEW as a wallet service that could offer users an alternative for interacting with the Ethereum blockchain, which at the time could only be done through a command line interface.
Fast forward to 2021 and a lot has changed about Ethereum, as well as MEW.
MEW is one of several crypto wallet services actively helping onboard new users to the Ethereum blockchain, which has now amassed a market capitalization of over $272 billion. Ethereum has also spawned a second, parallel blockchain network known as the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain on which ETH holders can stake their coins and earn rewards.
Eth 2.0 is envisioned to one day replace Ethereum’s existing consensus mechanism from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) and thereby significantly reduce the overall energy costs of the network.
Similar to 2015, Hemachandra noticed another pain point at the creation of Eth 2.0.
To stake, "you have to be knowledgeable in running nodes, running validators, having them on 24/7, and like a lot of backend stuff,” said Hemachandra. “That’s when we jumped in. We’re like, okay, a regular user will not be able to accomplish these things so we have to make it easy for them.”
This was how the idea to introduce staking services on MEW was born. Since launching their staking services in December 2019, close to $200 million worth of ether has locked into Eth 2.0 using MEW’s 2-step solution.
To learn more about the MEW’s Eth 2.0 staking services and what Hemachandra sees as the next major pain point on Ethereum to solve, listen to this week’s episode of "Mapping Out Eth 2."
Links mentioned in this podcast:
- MEV estimations by Ryan Berckmans (https://twitter.com/RyanBerckmans/status/1401586370678829069)
- Overview of MEV concerns on Ethereum 2.0 (https://hackmd.io/@Izzy-/Eth2VevStaking)
- Vitalik Buterin’s ideas around MEV (https://ethresear.ch/t/proposer-block-builder-separation-friendly-fee-market-designs/9725)
- What is Flashbots? (https://github.com/flashbots/pm)
- Quarterly review of the staking industry by Staked (https://staking.staked.us/state-of-staking)