Authored by Colin Schwarz
In January of this year, ChainSafe was awarded a grant by the Web3 Foundation to build the second implementation of the Polkadot Runtime Environment (PRE). We call our implementation Gossamer and we have been working diligently to deliver it ever since. I'm writing this article to articulate some of the reasons we are so excited to be working on such an interesting and cutting edge project. However, before we dive in, we'll need some context about Web3, Polkadot and the PRE. Check out my previous article, if you are unfamiliar with any of these concepts.
What Makes Us So Excited About Gossamer
Over the summer, I had the privilege of interviewing members of ChainSafe's Gossamer team about their work on the project. This article will be the first in a series that delves into these interviews to give the reader an inside look at the fascinating process behind building the second ever implementation of the PRE.
I am personally excited about Gossamer for all of the reasons touched upon in my previous article. However, I wanted to ask members of the Gossamer team themselves what excites them most about the project. Developer David Asermino and ChainSafe CEO Aidan Hyman were most excited about the intersection of emerging technologies that Gossamer represents.
(Some quotes edited for clarity and conciseness)
"I think the intersection of emerging technologies such as libp2p and Wasm kind of coming together to build such a sophisticated system is very interesting. As well, Polkadot is bringing quite a new perspective to the blockchain space, so kind of trying to adjust existing ideas to fit that mold has been quite cool, and seeing how things we're trying to implement now might exist later on with this system."
ChainSafe CEO Aidan Hyman agrees:
"I'm extremely excited that we're contributing to tooling that empowers developers like ourselves to be able to build the things that we want to every day." Later in the interview, Aidan elaborated: "One of the major things that makes Polkadot so exciting is how much infrastructure is being developed, in unison, across a multitude of different teams with different implementations of the Polkadot Runtime Environment being worked on currently, and outside of Gossamer of course.... Up until now, only really Ethereum has attempted to have such client diversity."
One of the coolest parts of our development process is that the more integrations that we do within the project, the more possibilities for future integration and cooperation become apparent. Because we are using so many new technologies and libraries that are still being developed, to create software that is itself new and evolving, we could end up contributing back to the very technologies and libraries that we are drawing from. This sort of symbiotic relationship is indicative of blockchain development and will likely be prevalent as we continue to develop Gossamer. It is one of the primary reasons why we are so excited by this awesome project.
Like myself, software engineer Elizabeth Binks and project manager Amer Ameen, were most excited about the wider implications of Gossamer and Polkadot in general. Elizabeth is looking forward to when Gossamer actually syncs with the greater Polkadot network. She is most excited about seeing Gossamer launch, and especially about what sort of projects our software will enable. I will get into some of her ideas for Polkadot Runtime Modules in a future article. Amer had an especially in-depth take on what makes Gossamer so exciting:
**"**I think it's super exciting to be involved in something so innovative and potentially revolutionary at such a ground level. Being able to be a part of the research and development phase, like working with Web3, working with all these other organizations around the world to hash this out, to make sure it works, is a huge privilege and one of the greatest learning opportunities that I've ever had."
Whether it's facilitating the integration of new technologies, gaining fascinating first hand knowledge of a revolutionary protocol, or simply anticipating all the things that can be done with such a dynamic network, myself and ChainSafe's Gossamer team are very excited to be working on Polkadot. For more technical information on Gossamer check out Update #0 and Update #1. In the coming weeks, I'll be releasing more articles about our work on Gossamer and the Polkadot network in general. Stay tuned!