Polywrap Strategic Update
A comprehensive update on the Polywrap ecosystem, with focus on our Toolchain, Ops, Treasury, and Integrations.
Our DAO has progressed so much these recent months! We’ve grown both as a team and as humans. We’ve also achieved several milestones in all areas of the project since our last update, and increased our momentum to a new development paradigm in the web3 ecosystem.
For this report we’ve prepared three quick interviews with lead contributors that have been working closely on these project verticals:
Treasury and DAO Operations,
So let’s cut to the chase and begin the Q&A!
Jordan, you are the principal technical lead of the Polywrap Toolchain, responsible for the first Polywrap prototype, as well as a big chunk of the code we have today.
What is the most interesting part of the toolchain that you are developing today?
If only I could pick one!
So first off, one of the coolest parts of this project to me is that I no longer develop a majority of the features. Instead we have an ever growing community of contributors building out the Polywrap ecosystem, which readers will learn more about further down in this article. For me I mostly spend my time helping others architect and build, and I try to spend as much time as I can reviewing pull requests in the core toolchain repo.
We've made 64 releases so far in our "pre-alpha" phase, all of which can be viewed here, including release notes!
The toolchain's main goal is to facilitate the rapid development of highly composable WebAssembly modules, usable in any language. We achieve this goal in the following ways (some more WIP than others):
One Step Setup: Default and user defined templates for all types of Polywrap projects (wrappers, apps, plugins).
One Step Build: Reproducibly build your wrappers, regardless of what language you're writing them in, or operating system you're building on.
One Step Deploy: For local testing, development releases, and production releases versioned on the Polywrap Registry (see below).
Build in Any Language: Integrate wrappers in any application, build wrappers in any wasm compatible language.
Create Simple Schemas: Expose types and functions to the outside world through easy-to-author schema interfaces.
Define Integration Standards: Future-proof your applications using Polywrap standard interfaces, making extendability and aggregation possible.
Governed Specification: The Polywrap Standard is a well documented technical specification, governed by the Polywrap DAO.
What are the obstacles that you see ahead in the technical roadmap?
I think the hardest problem is going to be prioritizing features and use-cases. We have a lot of great ideas, but we need to ensure that the first production release of the toolchain is as reliable and usable as possible for new developers.
This includes not just building your wrappers, but also: developing plugins, integrating wrappers into applications, publishing wrappers to the registry, and an all around solid development experience.
We don't take this lightly, and are establishing structures to ensure that we're making the best technical decisions as possible, while still rapidly shipping code.
Some initial thoughts on things we have planned for the future:
This is non-comprehensive, just a few things that came to mind. If you’re looking to learn more, start with the monorepo’s issues on GitHub.
How are you organizing the teams today to ship high-quality code?
So as you might have presumed, we started with a small team of devs building out the core toolchain. Since then we've branched off into multiple parallel working groups:
We'll continue to fractalize our development into specific "working groups" as the project grows and new needs arise. Each working group listed above has one or more technical leads that are in charge of maintaining a high quality bar.
Since we work in the open, sync regularly, and help each other out, we regularly provide feedback on each other's work. When it comes time to move the whole project closer to production readiness, we'll have internal and external audits performed on each critical piece of the project.
We do not take our role in developer operational security lightly, as we know that all developer middleware must shield itself against supply-chain based attacks. Luckily by leveraging secure-by-default polywrappers this becomes a whole lot easier (thank you WebAssembly).
If you'd like to discuss more about how we're planning on making the critical sections of our toolchain secure, please don't hesitate to jump into the forum, github, or discord and ask any questions you may have.
One final question, Jordan; What is the “Technical Council” and how does it change the Polywrap toolchain?
As Polywrap grows and hardens, we want to continue making better technical decisions than we have in the past.
Over the past year we've done a number of feature audits & research based specifications (examples: 1, 2, 3). This has helped us create a technical culture of "propose, discuss, research, & specify". We'd like to make this practice a continual habit, so that decisions can be made effectively, and in a timely manner.
We have been envisioning this as its own working group called the “Technical Council”. How the Technical Council will function is still being defined. It will likely start simple with bi-weekly meetings, and a process for forming the agenda.
The Technical Council will discuss new feature proposals, areas of research, and general planning / release methodologies.
Our goal is to operate with fluidity, consistency, and reliability. We want Polywrap to be a standard / toolchain that every type of developer can rely on.
Kevin, you’re the first Individual Contributor to be hired by the Polywrap DAO, since then you’ve been involved in all areas from code, applications, budgets, legal, ops, and more.
How many individuals are building with the Polywrap DAO? Are there any independent contributors?
We have 13 core contributors at Polywrap today. On top of this, we have project contributors and community contributors. Most of these individuals are contributing to Polywrap through a development shop today, but we do have a few great independent contributors. These contributors are working on organization design, operations, technical documentation, data analytics and more. I’m an independent contributor as well as Evan Jacobs, who’s designing our organization structure.
In overview, how much of the treasury has been spent in development, marketing, legal?
Most of our spend (>70%) goes towards development with the remainder going towards marketing, legal, and administrative expenses. I am also working on a financial planning & analysis (FP&A) framework for the DAO. This would let us forecast our expenses throughout the year. It’ll also make spending proposals much more transparent and efficient because DAO members will have clear expectations of what will be spent on, when it will be spent, and how that spend aligns with our overall roadmap.
What organizational models have you seen most effective within the Polywrap DAO?
As a DAO, we listen to what each team member is interested in contributing, and if it meets our budget, we give DAO members the resources to build out what they’re passionate about. Amazing projects have come out of this organizational model like the Defiwrapper, which was conceived by a core engineer, Niraj.
There was recently a proposal to set up the Polywrap Foundation, can you detail the importance of this event for the DAO?
The Polywrap Foundation makes it possible for us to sign IRL agreements through a foundation representative. This rep executes on the decisions made by the DAO.
Roberto, you’ve provided support as Project Manager on projects that want to adopt the Polywrap toolchain, as well as with the growth, and integration efforts of the DAO.
What working integrations have been developed?
Right now the Polywrap toolchain can interact with L1 protocols like Ethereum, and other EVMs, Tezos, Near, decentralized hosting with IPFS, and DeFi protocols like Uniswap v2 and v3. An important part of the wrappers today have been spontaneously built by the community, like the solidity token primitives (ERC-20 & ERC-721 wrappers), and the Defiwrapper, a wrapper that can query top EVM DeFi protocols and forks, as well as other financial services like Coingecko. The Tezos wrapper built by Blockwatch is also integrating Tezos Name Service, Hic et Nunc for NFTs, and more native protocols right off the bat.
On top of this list, our launch partner Gelato recently released the polywrap resolver, which allows automation of smart-contract interactions based on any business logic you embed to your wrapper. Today, this feature enables the creation of new stacks of infrastructure, like the Poolsharks team who is building an innovative dApp stack that leverages the Polywrap Resolver’s strengths with those of IPFS, The Graph, and Uniswap to provide grouped limit orders on EVMs.
As you could expect, the Polywrap toolchain allows for other basic interoperability that works out of the box, like HTTPS, SHA3, Logger, UTS46, and FileSystem. When it comes to the near future, we’re coordinating with the different stakeholders and dev teams to begin development of integrations with ecosystems like Polkadot, Algorand, and Solana.
What projects or teams are currently working with Polywrap?
We’re more than glad to be working with the smart teams like Gelato, Gnosis, Poolsharks, Uniswap Grants, Talisman, and 3Box Labs, who have been actively building and researching to improve the stack. Also, the dev team over at Pocket Network has helped us design important parts of the architecture of the current Polywrap toolchain. Internally, we have product teams like the DeFi SDK, Polyfolio, The Hub, and The Registry. The most active development agencies that are contributing to the codebase are dOrg, Chainsafe, Consider It Done Tech, PWV, and BlockWatch. It’s worth mentioning also that we have been onboarding highly skilled technical advisors who have joined the DAO as individual contributors. There are more teams who have brought feedback, so excuse me if I’ve not made the list exhaustive this time!
We’re looking forward to onboard more top-tier collaborators all the time. So if you want to build with us, just jump on the Discord and say hi!
Any integrations you look forward to seeing developed?
At the base layer, I’m excited to see a working integration across the L1s that are actively growing today.
On the side of protocol infrastructure, there’s a latent opportunity to create novel and decentralised node infrastructure; today systems like POKT, and Gelato can act as a reliable backbone for primordial systems, and by seeing how Polywrap can enhance these systems, I’m eager to support more examples of this kind being developed.
When it comes to DeFi, I look forward to having more wrappers for primitives like derivatives and other synthetic assets, as well as more turn-key solutions for prevalent business logic like dollar cost averaging, limit orders just to mention a few. I think that as we ease the learning curve and such tools become more prevalent, we are also allowing smart and engaged users to build up generational wealth in a permissionless manner. I expect that having a comprehensive list of wrappers which are executable from all of Polywrap’s clients will accelerate the adoption of the toolchain, and subsequently the adoption of web3 as a whole,
Finally, on the application side, or at the farther end of the non-developer spectrum, is where I see the biggest potential. For example, I’d like to see “Polywrap Recipes” become more widespread and used; these functions would allow anyone to share complex business logic that is executable by anyone with a web3 wallet like Metamask.
Imagine sharing your strategy for dollar-cost-averaging the DAI/ETH pair on Polygon, setting up limit orders across multiple EVM chains in parallel, and automatically compounding yield that you have staked across Solana, Ethereum, and Near protocols every time it’s statistically profitable. This ways your friends or anyone you share your recipe with will be able connect their wallet and “ape into” your own defi strategy.
And I haven’t mentioned any metaverse and I.o.T. use cases, but that might require a whole new blog-post to expand on!
What type of skillsets do developers need to start integrating wrappers today?
Additionally, understanding basic GraphQL syntax will be useful to interact with wrappers, as you’ll be performing “query” and “mutation” operations to read and write data respectively.
I’d suggest thinking through the lenses of composability. Polywrap today is “composed” of a diverse and growing set of systems which can assembled if needed (Multiple L1s, Defi and NFT primitives, automations, DAO tooling, oracles, and much more ). All of these systems are independent of each other, and publicly accessible for everyone through wrappers.
Also, power-users with sector-specific knowledge that use polywrap will have open doors to build their closest use case, as most applications are yet to be developed. DeFi engineers might be able to create solutions which improve capital efficiency, and NFT developers can think of intricate ways to exchange non-fungible assets in the metaverse.
Finally, communication is golden. When you find blockers or questions, you must bring them up to peers in the Discord, as many of the bugs you may find will have a working patch or a PR being reviewed. Reporting bugs helps everyone have a more robust toolchain to build with.
Well, that’s it for this issue, we’re glad to let you know that every day we’re getting closer to our vision of enabling mass adoption of web3.
See you soon with an update on the Products being developed currently by the Polywrap DAO: The Hub, Defiwrapper, Polyfolio, and Registry.
In the mean time; you too can get involved today, contribute and earn governance tokens or stablecoin!