Technology, Announcements, Insights, Klaytn Core

Dive into Kaia 

With the impending launch of Kaia, the merged mainnet of the Finschia Foundation and the Klaytn Foundation, the blockchain industry eagerly anticipates the innovative features and changes it will introduce. In this interview, we gain insights from Aidan, the current mainnet development lead at the Klaytn Foundation. Since joining the Klaytn project in March 2019, Aidan has played a pivotal role in the development of the Klaytn Square and the Klip key management system. Now, he spearheads not only the mainnet development for Kaia but also the advancement of Kaia Square and Kaia Portal, ensuring seamless integration across business, marketing, and governance domains.

Hello Aidan, you must be very busy with the mainnet merge. How is it going, and what improvements can we expect in the future?

Merging two live chains is quite rare, particularly for large-scale chains like Finschia and Klaytn. We have meticulously planned to minimize the impact on each ecosystem’s services. Klaytn has been publicly operational for over five years, onboarding numerous partners independently. Conversely, Finschia, while having fewer anonymous projects, boasts stronger ties with its partners, facilitating direct communication. To streamline the process, we decided to migrate projects that are easy to communicate with to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) as it is the quickest method with minimal ecosystem disruption.

Adopting EVM was the optimal choice since its specifications cover over 50% of the global blockchain environment, enabling us to onboard more services with the launch of the Kaia mainnet. Utilizing EVM for its accessibility allows us to quickly activate Kaia’s initial ecosystem and subsequently leverage Finschia’s exceptional features. This approach ensures a faster integration while minimizing direct impacts on the ecosystem.

It is crucial to understand that the chain merge signifies the beginning of Kaia, not its culmination. Beyond uniting Finschia and Klaytn, we are defining Kaia’s distinct identity. As the merge progresses, we will share more details about Kaia’s future direction and the innovative steps we are taking.

Was there an option to merge based on Cosmos?

The community suggested that, given Cosmos’s previous integration with EVM, we might consider building on Cosmos. However, re-implementing Klaytn’s functionalities and performance enhancements on Cosmos would have been excessively time-consuming. Abandoning compatibility with the existing Klaytn ecosystem would have resulted in significant technical and policy-related challenges as well. To expedite integration, we opted for a method that minimized complexity and facilitated smoother transitions.

What challenges did you encounter during the development process?

Time was our primary constraint. Following the approval of the merge proposal in February, we had roughly three months to complete the development. We faced differences in understanding and context between the Finschia and Klaytn developers. Cultural and communication variances further complicated matters, as we had to rapidly develop together without much time to acclimate.

Setting new and ambitious goals beyond mere technical integration was also crucial. Despite both teams’ extensive mainnet development experience, our approaches to new challenges varied. Fortunately, continuous communication and coordination have resolved many issues, and we are now progressing in a unified direction.

Kaia Chain is known for prioritizing security. How do you ensure this?

Security is a paramount concern for us. Over half of Klaytn’s mainnet developers hold advanced degrees in security, underscoring our sensitivity to potential threats. We conduct comprehensive tests, including synchronization tests that verify the correct processing of all past blocks with new versions, and these results are shared publicly on Github. Additionally, we integrate the experience of Finschia developers and their robust security development framework to enhance our systematic approach. 

Blockchain development is inherently complex and demands meticulous attention, as errors can have irreversible consequences. To minimize risks, we actively engage in peer reviews and operate a bug bounty program.

What do you focus on during testing?

Obviously, operational aspects. Both Finschia and Klaytn maintain a relatively closed validator structure compared to public networks like Ethereum, allowing for swift issue resolution. If a problem arises, the foundation can quickly assess the situation and communicate with validators, ensuring a rapid and responsible response. This operational approach enables reliable and low-latency performance in real-world environments.

Klaytn has operated the Baobab testnet alongside the mainnet from the beginning, allowing us to identify and address potential issues in an environment identical to the mainnet. While maintaining two chains increases size and energy consumption, Baobab’s value in predicting and mitigating future problems is immense. Now, as Baobab transitions to Kaia’s testnet, Kairos, we anticipate it will play an even larger role.

What are Kaia’s strengths and differentiators compared to other blockchains?

Kaia boasts the shortest latency from transaction creation to confirmation, ensuring unmatched reliability. While some chains claim shorter block times, actual usage often reveals inconsistencies. In contrast, Kaia has consistently demonstrated 2-second transaction confirmations on the mainnet, outperforming well-known chains in both speed and stability.

What about TPS (Transactions Per Second)?

Kaia inherits the 4,000 TPS capability from Klaytn, which was ranked 5th by Chainspect’s Max Recorded TPS. Many chains often tout ideal TPS figures, but Klaytn’s results come from real-world conditions. Under ideal circumstances, Klaytn could have achieved tens of thousands of TPS, indicating that Kaia can maintain top-level global performance.

Which categories of services are best suited for Kaia’s business potential?

We are primarily targeting major messaging platforms like LINE and KakaoTalk, which align with our background and Kaia’s strengths. Inspired by the success of TON, we aim to integrate with messengers first, leveraging their role as super apps. Unlike anonymous-focused platforms, our messenger apps offer expansive service integration opportunities.

Technically, we plan to include Discord and Telegram, aiming for broad blockchain integration through messengers as intermediaries. Though regulatory and social challenges exist, we intend to overcome these step-by-step, showcasing Kaia’s strengths and differentiation to Web2 companies. Ultimately, Kaia aims to expand into a super app, bridging blockchain with various Web2 services.

How is technical development going to make the project stand out among other blockchain networks?

Though still in the early stages, we are exploring new layers of development. Rather than building blockchain applications within nodes, we’re considering lightweight, plugin-like development to reduce the burden on developers. This approach would simplify blockchain integration and allow for the shared use of developed outcomes, akin to using SaaS services.

For users, receiving KAIA tokens could trigger simple plugin registrations for notifications, while service providers could offer KAIA tokens as rewards without requiring coding, using reusable modules. This user-friendly approach will enable easy blockchain integration, even for those unfamiliar with the technology, facilitating direct implementation within messengers or related services.

What support plans are in place for the smooth onboarding of dApp developers to the Kaia ecosystem?

Launching services on the Kaia network involves code audits, endpoint utilization, and cloud server costs. We have secured key partners and operate the IOK program to provide better prices and conditions.

Strategically, we target essential services like DeFi protocols, vital for Kaia’s ecosystem. The core element of DeFi is liquidity provision, and we plan to offer data platforms to showcase service performance. To foster a comprehensive DeFi ecosystem, we are preparing for the seamless integration of bridges, oracles, and other components.

We also aim to nurture projects in underrepresented sectors, focusing on sustainable support like liquidity provision or platform integration, rather than one-time grants that could pressure KAIA holders. Additionally, we are organizing hackathons and acceleration programs to further support development within the ecosystem.

What are the success metrics for the Kaia chain?

Well, defining success metrics is challenging. While transaction volume, active users, token inflation, and the stability of tokenomics are important, market capitalization is the ultimate indicator. Market cap is increasingly crucial due to the interest of institutional investors. In Singapore, for example, traditional financial institutions tend to include substantial tokens in their portfolios, making market cap a critical criterion.

Despite Kaia’s technical excellence, the leveling of layer-1 network technologies means differentiation through technology alone is tough. To thrive, we must enter the top tier of market cap within 1-2 years, ensuring continued user adoption and economic growth through institutional investor inflows.

Any final words?

On behalf of all developers from our team as well as the Finschia team, I can say that we firmly believe in blockchain’s potential to create a transparent and fair society. However, we have also faced technical limitations and fragmented investments, which have hindered effective user experiences. This means we constantly ponder how to bring blockchain transparency into everyday life.

We envision merging Kaia’s technology with various blockchain innovations to eventually provide protocols offering tangible transparency and fairness. Despite the volatility in token prices, we remain steadfast in our mission. We continue to lead blockchain development, awaiting the moment when our technological efforts translate into real-world impact. We look forward to your journey with us in the Kaia ecosystem and anticipate a thriving symbiosis with many developers.