Beyond prices, crypto and blockchain have had a fruitful 2020. Across the globe, the coronavirus pandemic caused a paradigm shift. The result was more influx of investors and their doubling down on several potent projects.
In all this, IOST is emerging as a leader in smart contracting. In every performance angle, the enterprise-grade network compares—and even exceeds Ethereum in some metrics.
For this, the concluding ranking from China’s CCID ranked IOST as the best blockchain platform under Basic Technology, better than Ethereum, EOS, and every other smart contracting platform evaluated by the agency.
It shows the quality and the ability of the development team to roll out a product that’s better, innovative, and reflective of their true desire to be the best in the sphere.
Olympus, Hyperledger, and NFT
Over and above this highlight, the IOST platform scored some important milestones development-wise, and their ability to adapt to changing landscapes was unparalleled. In the first half of 2020, IOST developers launched the updated version of the Olympus.
Roughly a year after launching the first version of Olympus, IOST kept on improving and decentralizing. Within 12 months, they had attracted over 400 partner nodes to be one of the most decentralized and high performant networks. Version 3.2.2 of Olympus completed the cryptographic library, laying the framework for interoperability and atomic swapping. Added features included tools for cropping block data reducing block space, and stabilizing nodes leading to a more resilient network.
Beyond this, the Enterprise Arm of IOST, Aiou Technology, officially joined Hyperledger alongside Walmart, Clear, and Conduent to “strengthen the community and promote the development of the blockchain industry.” Of note, Hyperledger is guided by the open-source and decentralization spirit according to blockchain principles dictate.
IOST also unveiled a new staking mechanism under the IOST Node Program v2.0, reducing the time users take to unstake their assets. Before this, there was a one-week freeze period for unstaking. It now takes three days, introducing more flexibility and a channel for IOST users to enjoy higher returns.
Additionally, IOST activated the IRC-721 NFT Standard, a huge milestone considering the increasing significance and application of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Unlike existing NFT standards in competing platforms, IRC-721 introduces a seamless mode of cross-chain transfer of assets.
NFTs are unique, indivisible, and not interchangeable. The standard made it easier for developers to use it, allowing them to easily issue out NFTs from a scalable and cheap platform. Conversely, there would be an opportunity for network users to promote NFTs, consequently helping increase the circulation of these digital assets within the IOST ecosystem.
Collaboration with Governments and Enterprises
On the collaboration front, the enterprise-grade blockchain joined hands with the Coinbene Blockchain Research Institute for the overarching objective of accelerating partnerships between governments and enterprises.
Under this deal, IOST and Coinbene would explore blockchain technology, create innovative solutions, build brands, and deepen the collaboration between governments and businesses. IOST was also the first firm to be interviewed and advertised by Amazon AWS China as part of their collaboration that will see IOST deploy their servers using Amazon AWS infrastructure.
Aiou Technology also became a qualified developer of China’s Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN). BSN is a China-led project looking to create a new base layer cheaply connecting regions, governments, and enterprises.
It is backed by China’s State Information Center (SIC) with support from multi-billion firms, including Unionpay and Red Date Technology. They also deepen their collaboration with the Chinese government to foster blockchain adoption after joining hands with the National Archives Administration.
Development in H2: Focus on DeFi and NFT
The second half saw IOST adapting, and prioritizing the development of a vibrant DeFi ecosystem. Towards this end, they have partnered with ProDeFi, Ramp DeFi, Watermelon, Bidao, Proxi, Pumpkin, Aegis DeFi, and PowerDEFI, even launching a $1 million program to bootstrap the growth of DeFi, especially Oracles, and another $6 million DeFi incentive program
However, it also continued to extend its presence in other SE Asia countries, especially in Japan. For instance, the IOST coin is now listed at CoinCheck, INDODAX—the largest Indonesian digital asset exchange, and Huobi. Besides, a Japanese political party, SANSEITO, is now using IOST for voting after implementing GUILD developed by PHI—an IOST partner in Japan.
IOST also worked with several partners to promote gaming and spark the development of NFT projects. For example, they distributed 1,000 redeemable NFTs to celebrate the launch of Pumpkin, embarked on another giveaway to celebrate their listing at CoinCheck, and another yearlong Limited Edition NFT badge program.