July 18, 2019
Meet WEB3SCAN, the creators of Polkascan and part of the LONGHASH Hatch program batch 2, WEB3SCAN has 3 founders originating from The Netherlands. We spoke with Emiel Sebastiaan, Arjan Zijderveld and Dave Hoogendoorn to find out more about this multichain explorer.
LongHash: So guys, tell us a little more about yourselves. What were your lives before Polkascan?
WEB3SCAN: Our early work was mainly triggered by curiosity. Popular block explorers like ‘blockchain.info’ and ‘etherscan.io’ offered all sorts of valuable data about Bitcoin and Ethereum that was not directly accessible through blockchain node’s API itself. Because Etherscan’s software (and method) is not open-source, we decided to reverse engineer that block explorer. This exercise gave us valuable insights into the inner workings of the EVM and blockchain in general.
We as founders have been active as entrepreneurs for quite some time. In general, we have been adding value for our customers by either enabling them to be more cost-effective or to allow our customers to strategically better position themselves, all by applying cutting edge technologies. As with blockchain it’s the same story, new technology but the drive to run a business and add value is still the same. Leveraging the team’s competencies in engineering, computer science, software development, programme- and project management we started out building a generalized EVM block explorer and some dapps. With the increased knowledge of blockchain and the increased comprehension of the ecosystem our notion of a multi-chain universe started to take form, resulting in WEB3SCAN as a company and Polkascan as one if its first products.
LH: What attracted you to blockchain and inspired you to start your own?
WEB3SCAN: As mentioned earlier, our early work was mainly triggered by curiosity. Working on these block explorer technologies made us clear that there were a lot of ‘old-school’ IT skills, such as database management, performance management and IT service management needed to make a block explorer sustainable. Since we already were very confident with these IT management aspects from previous occupations, it all made perfect sense. The next step was about combining all elements and make a business out of it.
LH: Tell us more about your product, what problem you are trying to solve?
WEB3SCAN: With the launch of Energy Web Foundation in 2017 it became clear to us that there will be many blockchains and there will be industry based blockchains with major enterprise adoption. This triggered our work on the notion of a multi-chain explorer. We wanted to build a technology stack that would enable us to make data from many blockchains accessible and understandable. We believe that the majority of future blockchains will be built with a handful of different technology frameworks. With the birth of Polkadot we were able to validate our proof-of-concept resulting in Polkascan.io.
Polkascan.io is a generalized explorer for the Substrate technology and Polkadot network that makes multi-chain blockchain data accessible and understandable.
LH: What is your vision for your product?
Polkascan: We believe that block explorer technologies provide key strategic infrastructure components of a healthy blockchain ecosystem. Our vision is to have strong strategic partnerships with key entities composing a strong alliance in the major 3rd wave blockchain ecosystems.
LH: Tell us about some of the sacrifices you’ve had to make to start this project?
WEB3SCAN: The team spent 4 years of our own resources on R&D and eventually we chose to focus on the Polkadot ecosystem before anyone else. We, however, still strongly believe that we can justify our choices. The Web3 Foundation Wave 1 grant is testament to that, and we can make a strong case to be a valuable ecosystem partner, providing key infrastructure tools and with key ecosystem data-assets.
LH: Describe your project in one sentence.
WEB3SCAN: WEB3SCAN makes multi-chain data accessible and understandable.
You can find out more about Polkascan here