One of the biggest pain points in DeFi and blockchain is the automated process that allows users to unilaterally submit to the blockchain. However, we are still faced with an exhaustive process of understanding what is happening on any given chain of time.
Imagine an entirely new technology infrastructure that is logically, architecturally, and politically centralized, like the legacy IT systems we’ve embraced and adapted to, but not managed, replaceable, and with extremely low failure rates .
For decades, economic systems have been run by centralized technologies such as email, APIs, CRM, ERP, SQL databases, and cloud computing—until the concept of decentralization emerged, allowing for a tectonic shift we now call Web3.
As we continue to move toward Web3, the entire community—innovators and consumers—has enough information, background, and understanding to fully embrace these new technologies so that we can truly transition to Web3.
Currently, our focus only on maximally decentralized solutions limits our ability to notice and embrace acceptable compromises that make our legacy IT systems easier to use.
These technologies or “glueers” don’t need to be perfect (nor to be completely trusted), but they do need to be fully functional. The reliability of any system is based on the sum of its components, requiring many gluers to help keep the machine running.
To better understand this new form of technology, it’s worth comparing IFTTT technology or “if this, then that” services to see how blockchain can really bridge back to consumers with an IFTTT-like notification system.
A $63M Backed Connectivity Network
Back in 2010, the IFTTT or “If This Then That” service was launched, allowing software platforms to integrate with connected applications, devices and services from various developers (such as Ring and BMW) to trigger one or more automations, including these applications, devices and services.
These “automations” are achieved through applets or macros that connect multiple applications to run customized automated tasks. Users can “turn on” or “close” the applet using IFTTT’s website or through the mobile app.
For example, the ability to connect a smart light bulb to your smart home assistant (like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home) enables consumers to set IFTTT commands when an individual walks into or leaves their home.
According to IFTTT, as of 2022, there will be more than 90 million Mini Program connections activated. When it first launched, the company raised $63 million in venture capital funding from investors including Andreesen Horowitz.
By encouraging industry to shift focus to these “glue”, it will enable our digital economy to build an economic system based on dense interactions between decentralized and centralized components, based on which components developers and companies will make informed decisions about how Mixing them requires distrust.
In other words, centralization doesn’t have to be “evil” – if it’s fungible rather than managed.
Addressing the lack of “visibility” in blockchain and DeFi
Right now, some see the two biggest pain points facing DeFi and blockchain technology as visibility and automation.
“It’s still hard to understand what’s going on on the blockchain,” said Manlio Polttonieri, co-founder and CTO of HAL to Be.[In]ETHDenver’s cryptocurrency.
“It’s hard to see what kind of operations are happening because you’re refreshing most of the time — whether it’s an ether scan or your various dashboards to see if your NFTs have arrived or been transferred correctly. You have to be online a lot It takes roaming to understand what’s going on, and it’s very inefficient.”
HAL.XYZ is America’s digital asset management tool for developers, protocols and companies to query, trigger, monitor and automate blockchain data. In short, think of Web3’s modernized version of IFTTT.
Back in January, HAL raised $3 million in a seed round from CoinFund, Eden Block, Animoca Brands, and participation from Piquet Ventures, Hashkey Capital, imTokenVentures, SkyVision, Wintermute, and Bitcoin.com, among others.
HAL’s mission is to automate and query blockchain data by helping anyone (not just developers and coders) – from Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Avalanche, and Polygon to monitor and trigger Twitter, Telegram , Discord, Slack, and more.
Currently, the company has more than 40 APIs to integrate with “recipes,” and the company says that by automating simple updates, any project can consult the HAL to resolve time-consuming processes.
Routing DeFi and blockchain “visibility” into workflows
Polttonieri continued the conversation by highlighting what they saw as a bigger problem—automating processes.
A year ago, he said the company rolled out its first prototype to help developers more easily create workflows and automations around common use cases, starting with DeFi. Currently, HAL has shifted its focus to NFTs and the gamer economy.
“We realized it was very technical,” Polttonieri said. “We came up with the idea of ’recipes’, which are prepackaged triggers for specific use cases. For example, if you want to track your health factors to prevent liquidation – you can set up a trigger that triggers how you go through different channels ( Email, Twitter, Discord, Telegram, etc.) to create workflows. This automation of on-chain notifications and off-chain actions is critical and has a lot of untapped potential,” he explained.
The CTO described HAL as a kind of “IFTTT” for blockchain, pointing to Oracle and emphasizing its mission to bridge the gap between blockchain and Web2. “You have this connection between Web2, like transferring data to the blockchain; we’re doing the exact opposite. Instead, we’re connecting exactly what’s happening on the blockchain to Web2,” he noted.
In terms of making modern workflows more efficient, HAL says that by creating workflows, it’s able to “deliver notifications into web hooks, which can then power an API, product, or whatever the project needs.”
For developers and builders, conferences like ETHDenver, NFT.NYC, and NFT LA are both the perfect networking opportunity and the ability to interact with other dApps, exchanges, and protocols to improve retention and what may still exist UX features lack some form.
“With Web2, these companies have spent years developing user experiences to help maintain retention and make customers’ lives easier—in the sense that notifications have always been critical,” Polttonieri said.
However, he said that one of the things that was missing from Web3 when we started dabbling was the “notification” aspect.
“You interact with the blockchain from a technical point of view, so you provide things to the blockchain — but the blockchain can’t reach you and tell you what’s going on in it. So our focus is on how to help projects achieve better users Experience. If there’s anything to take away from these meetings, it’s that the user experience will be significantly improved,” he concluded.
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