Blockchain can change the world. Through a story packed with incident, controversy, success, and setbacks, the promise of the technology has remained.
The Algorand Foundation is delivering on this promise. Chief Technology Officer, John Woods, joined the company because he believed it is the first chain that has the scalability, security and robustness that makes it fit for purpose and able to grasp blockchain’s opportunities.
In just over four years of existence, Algorand has processed over 1.1 billion transactions, created 32 million blocks, and provided 33 million wallets to users. Their ecosystem supports over 10 million standard assets on-chain, demonstrating significant adoption and growth. The organisation has worked with governments, banks, financial institutions, and household names like FIFA.
But there was a major roadblock to further innovation: developer adoption. While the web 2.0 developer community was vast, transitioning them into the web 3.0 world was often fraught with hurdles and bottlenecks. In Algorand’s case, they lacked a coherent, holistic framework to build an application.
Woods explains, “The question was very simple: how do you take an idea from your brain to running code on Algorand? And the answer for us wasn’t where we needed to be. We had to bring simple, intuitive programming languages and experiences to help developers express their business intent. And we needed to do it fast.”
The team at Algorand are not just world-renowned cryptographers, mathematicians, and systems engineers. They are evangelists and advocates for blockchain and its applications.
They wanted a partner to match.
“You very rarely get a partner to build a product like they're building it for themselves," explains Woods. “That’s what we needed, and that’s the distinction between MakerX and other companies.”
Working together, the two companies created AlgoKit.
The process began in Singapore in 2022, when the Algorand and MakerX teams holed up in a meeting room and began with the basics. They quickly found that they were aligned on over 90% of the vision and direction, and by starting with the business objectives and using MakerX’s unique methodology and approach, the team co-created a strategy and roadmap for the year ahead.
Released in March 2023, AlgoKit v1.0 simplified the developer experience, removing the friction of setting up complex environments and streamlining the process of building decentralised applications. It allowed developers to get to the fun part - creating and experimenting - much more quickly.
The difference has been stark, says Head of Product, Alessandro Cappellato Ferrari.
“What we have now is all the pieces in place. We focused a lot on onboarding, the project lifecycle management, and the deployment of smart contracts. We recognise that at the beginning of this journey, but by focusing on the core issues, we’ve reduced the go to market time and reduced maintenance costs, which means it's easy to pick up and get going.”
The release of AlgoKit has already seen new developers use the Algorand ecosystem, including those from web 2.0 backgrounds. These developers have been key to a dramatic increase in the creation of real-world applications with genuine market potential.
These are not limited to gaming or NFT marketplaces. Instead, they represent a new wave of projects with scalability, demonstrating Algorand is more than just a blockchain - it is an enabler of innovative startups and large enterprises alike.
The design of AlgoKit has had an additional benefit. The distributed nature of the technology has allowed some ecosystem projects to create their own templates, widgets, and gadgets on top of MakerX’s initial product.
Fred Estante, Head of Product Marketing at The Algorand Foundation picks up the story, “We’ve created a system which encourages composability, allowing developers to build not only on top of AlgoKit, but also using what other developers are adding to it. It’s allowed more complicated and more intricate solutions and is further evidence of the power of the blockchain and our approach to it.”
As the launch of AlgoKit 2.0 approaches, The Algorand Foundation is excited about the immense potential of further opportunities for developers to build and innovate on its platform.
“We're now at a position where we can start looking at stuff that really supercharges the developer experience,” says Woods. “We’re introducing a whole host of new features that we’ll be able to gather feedback on and evolve based on real-world usage.”
The future is bright, and Algorand’s work with MakerX is just getting started.
“Woods explains: “The MakerX team doesn’t work as if they’re a consultancy. They’re part of the team. As we listen, learn, and iterate, their approach to continually seeking and applying feedback is invaluable.”
With blockchain usage always of keen interest, AlgoKit 2.0 will generate its fair share of discussion. It represents another huge step forward and is sure to draw attention from developers, ecosystem projects, and investors. The real excitement, however, is what those people build next, empowered by a fit-for-purpose blockchain and a top-class developer experience.