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For the eighth part of Unhashed, I reached out to Tom Tirman, the co-founder and CEO of Parsiq, a project working on connecting blockchains with Web2 apps and services, and discussed how the project is solving challenges in the blockhain space. Furthermore, he shared his opinion on the possibility of a DeFi-only financial ecosystem and regulatory compliance in the crypto space.
Q1. What was the first thing that piqued your interest in blockchain and crypto and inspired you to join this space? How did you come by the idea of Parsiq?
Answer: I got into crypto relatively late — in 2017. For me, it wasn’t ever much about the investment part and I did not even speculate or invest much into cryptos. Rather, it was the technology and the fundamentals that piqued my interest in the blockchain and crypto space.
I knew there had to be something behind the immeasurable hype I was witnessing. And as I researched the technology and everything around it, the potential disruption could possibly come from blockchain became obvious. And there wasn’t a speck of doubt that it was still early in the industry.
When I met my co-founders, we unanimously agreed about the untapped niches and unsolved major points in the industry that needed addressing. The first problem was blockchain data, which, while mostly public, was not easy to consume, understand, and make actionable.
The second was connectivity between decentralized networks and centralized systems — mass adoption won’t come anytime soon, unless we have infrastructure to connect the isolated blockchains to centralized apps, web services, and legacy systems that most of the world uses. That’s when the idea of PARSIQ was born.
Q2. Please explain a little about Parsiq and what it aims to achieve in the blockchain and crypto space?
Answer: There is a lack of infrastructure to bridge blockchain activity and real-world actions. This is essential to push forward the mass adoption of blockchain technology as all the new innovative and disrupting projects in the space need to connect their decentralized applications and protocols to user-facing front-ends, while traditional enterprises who are slowly transitioning towards distributed ledger technologies need the middleware for it to work seamlessly with their existing systems.
PARSIQ aims to be the bridge between Web2 and Web3 by providing data processing, interoperability, and workflow automation while reducing the costs and complexities related to connecting these two worlds.
Q3. We have witnessed many crypto projects failing due to the inability to scale. Considering the fact that for every transaction on your native streams (6 Nos.), multiple processes take place on the Parsiq platform to produce triggers and aggregate data, the platform will need huge numbers of transactions. How does Parsiq tackle this issue of scalability?
Answer: We have selected the right infrastructural and architectural approach to run Smart Triggers that process real-time data in bulk from the very beginning. And we are maintaining and upgrading it all the time so that PARSIQ Platform can accommodate any blockchain in existence. This will allow our platform to leverage the scalability of networks that offer higher throughput.
Q4. You have developed a domain-specific language — ParsiQL intended to manipulate streams. Can you explain why you chose to skip the existing language and create an exclusive one and what is its practical use?
Answer: With ParsiQL developers can quickly and easily create Smart-Triggers, which are essentially blockchain to off-chain smart contracts deployed in PARSIQ environment.
Languages like SQL are for querying and not stream processing. We saw more opportunities with a custom language. Yes, a lot of people, developers and otherwise, may be familiar with SQL, but it does not scale well for solving problems in our domain, where we allow to build workflows, automation, and perform actions… all of it in real-time.
We can have that level of comfort, low overhead, high efficiency execution with ParsiQL. Because with other languages, developers have to be familiar with top libraries, framework for manipulating streams, have to write up tons of boilerplate, think about configurations, and have access to databases. Many other languages (non domain-specific) are universal and require more thinking and design to approach problem solving correctly. With ParsiQL you are in action from the very first moment.
Q5. With Chainlink, IQ Protocol, and upcoming Ocean Protocol, DeFi integration to the real world is moving at pace. How do you view DeFi? Is a DeFi-only financial system feasible? Or are we looking at a hybrid?
Answer: DeFi is still very much in the experimental stage. There are severe technical, security and financial risks involved, but a trustless decentralized financial system with superior user experience certainly has the potential to become feasible in the long-term.
That being said, centralized financial services aren’t going anywhere in the near future. We do expect a shift towards a hybrid model. For example centralized exchanges with non-custodial wallets. Users hold custody of their assets and briefly transfer custody only to execute trades. This is something PARSIQ is also addressing with our non-custodial wallet deployment system Ncase
Q6. Parsiq recently invested in Metis rollup. How should one view this investment with regard to blockchain scalability and cost-effectiveness?
Answer: PARSIQ is bullish on all layer 2 projects that are delivering. We deal with big data every day and understand that layer 2 scaling solutions are necessary for the whole ecosystem to bring us to a point where mass adoption of blockchain tech will accelerate. As a fast-growing company, we want to offer our technical expertise and support to projects that in our opinion will help achieve these goals faster.
Q7. The call for crypto regulation is growing by the day. As a pioneer of blockchain data analysis and crypto exchange compliance, can Parsiq assist global regtech?
Answer: While compliance is simply one of many use cases of PARSIQ, we do believe our technology can assist regtech. We are always in constant discussions with regulators across the globe. PARSIQ tech stack has all the necessary tools and integrations within our platform that work out-of-the-box for blockchain regtech/fintech companies and unlike most other solutions in the market, you have almost instant time-to-value, no friction from long onboarding and integration processes. So, we’re fairly confident that Parsiq will bring a strong addition to the crypto industry in terms of regtech and make it more compliant with regulatory requirements.
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