Want to learn how to work with Facebook’s Libra blockchain? Do it with zombies.
Facebook announced in June its plan to create a new global stablecoin along with dozens of partners from major companies.
“We went to a Libra meetup in Bangkok and 100 developers came out and none of them were blockchain people,” Loom CEO Matthew Campbell told CoinDesk, adding:
“We really think this is the project that will bring a lot more normal developers into the blockchain space.”
As an Asia-based company, Campbell and his colleagues have watched WeChat and Alipay come to dominate digital payments. As such, Campbell thinks there is “going to be an equivalently large wave” in the West, adding that he suspects mobile payments are viewed as a make-or-break feature within Facebook.
While the CryptoZombies Libra tutorial isn’t the first place to learn about developing on the new blockchain, it does have the advantage of being online and free.
What to expect
Loom is a company that’s focused on enhancing the blockchain developer experience, particularly in the gaming space.
The company’s theory is that games will lead users into crypto, and in turn, Loom uses games to lead online students through lessons in coding.
“We’re going to have you make a little game, and you’re going to have a little payment system in the game,” Campbell said.
Receiving and sending payments is the primary part of what Facebook subsidiary Calibra has put out for Libra’s codebase so far. Users running Libra on a testnet can also create tokens. The virtual machine, however, is not ready yet. So there’s a fair amount that users can do, but a lot they still can’t.
Like Loom’s CryptoZombies program for ethereum (which has been used by thousands of developers), the company plans to release more units as more Libra code comes out.
Participants who sign up now can expect to learn about these early functions and get the basics of Facebook’s new programming language, Move.
Campbell said that each chapter usually requires writing about 15 or fewer lines of code. The learning modules are meant to make be easy-to-digest.
Why Loom built it
“For us, we’re all about developer onboarding,” Campbell told CoinDesk. “The Loom chain is all about interoperability. We already support four chains. We see Libra as just another chain we’re going to support.”
Loom is a Layer 2 solution that allows developers to evade scalability issues or bottlenecks on base-layer blockchains by offloading operations to its own delegated proof-of-stake chain. Its validators stake the loom token to participate in its consensus model and the company is working now to take that token from ERC-20 only to a multichain token, on chains like Binance and, hopefully, Libra.
“We’ll teach a bunch of people how to use Libra and they’ll be aware of Loom and want to use our platform in conjunction with Libra,” Campbell said.
Campbell said that as long as Libra gets built so that it supports multi-signatures where only a portion of the validators have to sign for a transaction to be valid, Loom will be able to run its token on Libra.
Despite skepticism about Facebook’s efforts to date, Campbell is eager to see what happens when Libra gets into the wild. He said:
“This isn’t the crypto we wanted, but it’s going to get everybody started. I think it’s going to be the gateway drug that we needed to get people into other cryptos.”
Zombie selfie image via Shutterstock
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