The IC is constantly being upgraded. The network is growing and improving daily. Advancements in the blockchain are coming thick and fast, and some of them are very exciting. For the builders, here are a few of the coolest new developments to look out for.
- Websocket Implementation
Websockets allow for full duplex communication between client and server. This, in essence, means an open flow of information in both directions. Implementation of Websockets for the IC would mean improved UI, as real-time UIs could be built on top of the IC, which would remove the need for polling, the current method of pulling data from the server.
Websockets are a well-established piece of technology, and their implementation would make the IC more attractive to developers.
2. Larger Stable Memory
The current Stable Memory size is 48GiBs and while this is good enough for many applications it does not allow for the full potential functionality of canisters to be realized. An increase of Stable Memory size to 100GiBs or more would improve the functionality of canisters and would allow developers to do more with their applications.
With such an increase, single-canister apps should have their Stable Memory needs met fully for a long time into the future.
3. Improved Stable Structures
Stable Structures are large-scale core data structures on the IC network which are hooked up directly to stable storage. They have an extremely large capacity.
Stable Structures provide the building blocks for database abstractions like Sudograph, which allow large capable databases on the IC.
An improvement in ergonomics of the Stable Structure on the IC would improve network performance, specifically by way of specified max key and value sizes.
4. Demergent Labs Initial Stage Project Completion
It looks as though these three Demergent Labs projects will be at the 1.0 stage this year. Azle is a Typescript CDK, Kybra is a Python CDK, and Sudograph is a GraphQL database for the IC. Advancement of these projects should result in more robust applications being possible on the IC.
The improvement of core open source tools for the IC such as these will be a major plus for interested developers and should make development on the IC more user-friendly and more efficient.
5. Increased WASM Binary Limit
The current WASM Binary Limit is quite small, causing problems for certain applications, such as Kybra.
An increase in this limit would allow for increased functionality of Python and Typescript canisters, which in turn would improve the functionality of the IC network as a whole.
It looks as though this limit will be increased during the coming year, which is exciting news for developers.
6. Native USDC Deployment
USDC is one of the most trusted and widely used stablecoins in the crypto space, and it would be fantastic for the IC to see Circle deploy their coin natively on the IC blockchain. While the odds of this happening in 2023 are fairly slim, we can always hope that it might happen someday.
As more users are onboarded to the IC, and there is increased network effect and visibility of the blockchain within the crypto space, Circle is bound to take an interest in the IC at some point in the future.
7. Native Ethereum Integration
While many of the individual features of Ethereum integration have been implemented, the full end-to-end framework for integration of Ethereum on the IC network is still in development. We are looking forward to the day when it is complete.
Although unlikely to be finished within the next 12 months, it is very much in the pipeline and is another piece of added functionality for the IC that we can all get excited about.
With Bitcoin fully integrated, the completion of the Ethereum integration would mean compatibility of the IC with the two largest blockchains in the crypto space.
8. Improved Network Nervous System Proposals
Node machines are installed in independent data centres, which are under the control of the Network Nervous System (NNS). Implementation of a more robust proposal process for the NNS than the one currently in existence would be a step forward for the network.
A multi-stage proposal process that enforces decentralisation would be a major positive for the IC, and would be important for updates to replica code.
9. Social Recovery Advancement
Keeping crypto assets secure is a challenge for all crypto users. Many users have multiple hardware wallets, as well as multiple hot wallets, across various different blockchains and providers. It can be difficult to keep track of our passwords, security phrases, and the even locations of our assets.
There have been many instances of crypto users getting locked out of their funds. Implementation of a social recovery function by the IC, allowing users to have trusted parties sign on their behalf in certain cases, could be an interesting improvement for not only the IC, but the crypto space as a whole.
10. Proof of Unique Personhood Innovation
KYC is an issue for many crypto users, with pseudonymous use of most networks, including Twitter, being the norm. Many crypto users are fundamentally opposed to the idea of giving over their personal details.
This becomes a practical issue in many cases. Airdrop claims and NFT mints, voting in DAOs, and other activities on the blockchain have potential challenges baked in as a result of crypto's pseudonymous nature. The use of bots is further challenge that must be addressed.
Innovative solutions are needed.
What does all of this mean for the IC network?
Implementation of some or all of these features will improve the functionality of the IC, and will, in turn, make the IC more attractive to developers and, by extension, more attractive to users. Increased functionality means increased user traffic and compounded network effect. Integrations with other blockchains will further drive growth.
The more improvements we see on the IC, the more improvements we are likely to see going forward. This is good news for users, developers, and also investors.
As developments happen over time, the IC will just keep getting better and better!
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