Radix To Become The Wix Of DeFi
The website building platform Wix has taken the internet by storm, helping millions of people without software skills to build slick and stylish websites that are bursting with functionality seamlessly.
Wix uses a simple drag-and-drop interface, combined with a healthy dose of artificial intelligence-powered logic. Whether you’re making an entirely new website or refreshing one that’s out of date, Wix’s all-in-one website builder provides everything that novice and professional users require. The platform makes it possible to quickly and easily create beautiful websites that even the most creative of designers would be proud of.
It’s this level of convenience and simple functionality that the layer-1 blockchain protocol Radix is attempting to bring to the world of decentralized applications. So-called dApps are notoriously tricky things to build, with developmental know-how and lots of time and energy required to create functional services that don’t break. Until now, the dApp building space has been the domain of only the most seasoned programmers. As a result, getting a dApp built is slow and costly. Radix is hoping to change with its Wix-like DeFi development tools.
What is Wix?
To understand how radically different Radix has made the dApp building process, we need to see how Wix has transformed website development. The biggest appeal of Wix is that it’s basically free, with users only required to pay for premium features and functionality, and extremely easy to use. With Wix, users don’t need any programming or development skills. All that’s required is to be comfortable with using a computer. However, more experienced users can add complexity to their websites if they wish, adding functionality around eCommerce, scheduling, support services and more.
Wix starts with the basics and users can build from that base, adding more functionality as they require it. Simply choose a template and start adding text and images and take it from there.
What’s really clever about Wix is its Artificial Design Intelligence. All the user has to do is answer a few basic questions about their website, its purpose and what they want it to look like, and then the ADI will set about designing it. It’s able to spin up beautiful, functioning websites within minutes via a fully-automated process. Once done, users can edit just about any aspect of their website to get it looking and working just how they want it.
As well as the ADI, Wix offers a huge catalog of website templates that users can choose from and adapt to suit their purposes. These templates cover a range of website designs, including blogs, online stores, fashion sites, restaurants, gaming blogs, online services, and more, and each one can be customized to reflect the user’s needs. Once the basic template has been established, users can drag and drop images and text to get it looking just right.
Wix goes further than just building a website, providing everything needed to get it up and running and drive traffic. For instance, there are web hosting services on offer, additional security tools, and customized SEO to improve the site’s search engine rankings for specific keywords. It even provides traffic analytics plus additional marketing tools such as email campaigns. If the user ever gets stuck, they can avail of Wix’s live chat support staff to get some assistance.
DeFi Lego Bricks
Just as Wix has made it possible to build a professional-looking website with advanced functionality in a matter of minutes, Radix intends to do the same for DeFi applications.
Building dApps is an incredibly complex task that involves writing numerous smart contracts to manage blockchain interactions. With blockchains like Ethereum, smart contracts have to be written individually from scratch for each function within a new dApp. It’s an incredibly time-consuming process that’s also a major security headache, as each line of code can potentially contain vulnerabilities. To avoid this hassle and effort, Radix simplifies the process with a radical new approach that automates much of the effort that goes into writing smart contracts, similar to how Wix automates website design.
The Radix platform is made up of the Radix Engine, which defines cryptocurrency tokens and NFTs as key features of its smart contracts, and the Scrypto language, an asset-oriented programming language based on Rust. In addition, Radix offers a so-called “Blueprint Catalog” of pre-written functions for smart contracts.
With Radix, building a dApp is just a matter of putting together various dApp components - which can be thought of as DeFi Lego bricks - to make more complex applications. To save developers time, Radix Blueprint Catalog offers access to a wide range of pre-built components, written in the Scrypto language, which can be reused again and again by anyone.
This kind of off-the-shelf functionality makes perfect sense. In DeFi, there are many standard functions that recur across hundreds of dApps. For instance, things like assets, shares, accounts, liquidity pools, swaps, purchases, and data oracles. Rather than write unique smart contracts for each of these functions, developers can simply use an already-built component from Radix’s catalog.
What Radix has done is an industry-first - it has brought open-source-style collaboration to the blockchain. Once someone has built a useful component, they can add it to the Blueprint Catalog for anyone to reuse or combine with other components.
With traditional smart contracts, developers write their code and push it to the network where it becomes an active smart contract that others can interact with. Blueprints serve as an alternative, acting as a kind of template that can be customized easily with various parameters.
To use a blueprint from the catalog, all the developer has to do is “Instantiate” it from the template. The resulting component will then be given its own identity on the Radix network, with its actions made available to any other user.
To summarize, Blueprints begin life as Scrypto code that’s deployed within the catalog on the Radix Network. From there, developers can easily configure them to meet their needs, then instantiate them into components, or import them into other blueprints.
Instantiation is done using an API, meaning no code is required. Blueprints generally include configuration parameters that allow them to be customized. For instance, a token definition blueprint allows anyone to instantiate and mint their own token definition - essentially, create their own cryptocurrency token with its unique name, symbol, maximum supply and so on. In this way, it becomes simple for developers to issue new assets and access simple functionality created by others, without writing any code.
Developers can take things further by using the functionality of an existing blueprint, then add to it or customize what it can do. This is done by creating an entirely new blueprint that uses an import command for the original blueprint’s functionality. Then, whatever additional functionality they create can be layered on top, using Scrypto code. Importing blueprints is done simply using its catalog ID.
dApp Development Simplified
Just like Wix offers an ever-growing library of website functionality and design tools, Radix is committed to constantly growing its Blueprint Catalog with various new blueprints that enable common dApp behaviors and elements. The blueprints cover everything from assets such as cryptocurrency tokens and NFTs, to higher-level primitives such as swapping systems, liquidity pools, data oracles and more. What’s more, each blueprint can be instantiated as it is, or customized to provide more enhanced functionality.
In this way, Radix has made dApp development almost as easy as building a fully functional website with Wix. While it isn’t quite at the same level of drag-and-drop simplicity, Radix vastly simplifies the process of building complex dApps and keeps the coding required to an absolute minimum.
What’s more, it doesn’t stop there. By publishing a catalog of reliable blueprints that have been carefully vetted by the community, the risk of vulnerabilities sneaking into smart contracts is kept to a minimum. Moreover, developers who contribute blueprints can even earn royalties for their work whenever it’s reused by others. Not only is DeFi dApp development made simple with Radix, but users are given a big incentive to contribute and make life easier for their peers.