Jump Crypto has announced its intention to build a new validator client for the Solana network, written in the C++ programming language.
The project is spearheaded by Jump Crypto executive Kevin Bowers, a former UC-Berkeley researcher.
The Jump Trading subsidiary, famous for its investment in the infamous Wormhole project that saw $320 million lost, has assembled a cryptocurrency team of over 100, including a team dedicated to building on Solana.
What the project hopes to achieve
The new validator will be written in C++, the same programming language used for the core Bitcoin network.
Becoming a validator requires locking up or “staking” SOL tokens for a chance to verify the legitimacy of transactions on Solana and earn a reward. Coinbase Cloud and Jump Crypto act as validator pools, allowing smaller holders of SOL to earn rewards when the two companies provide the service. Solana uses proof-of-history, a cryptographic way to track time by creating time stamps in a blockchain. Unlike Ethereum, which uses a centralized entity to timestamp transaction blocks, Solana’s timestamping is decentralized and thus better suited to a distributed system. It can describe when the transaction occurred in the past and future of the blockchain.
But Solana has its share of critics that argue the network sacrifices decentralization for transaction speed. Furthermore, Jump crypto’s heavy investment in Solana seems at odds with a decentralized philosophy.
In defense of the Jump validator, CEO Kanav Kariya said that his company would be the first company outside the Solana engineering team to run the Solana blockchain. The new validator will coexist with Solana’s existing version.
According to Jump Crypto, the project will aid in ramping up Solana adoption and contribute to further technical enhancements and the network’s decentralization.
Project will leverage Jump’s expertise
Jump Crypto’s expertise in market-making for crypto come from its parent company’s background as a quantitative trading company that saw the transition of market-making from paper to computer algorithms that take advantage of minute price movements. It is known for VC-like investments in crypto projects. It was a big backer of Wormhole, a crypto project enabling the movement of tokens across different blockchains.
Jump Crypto supported the failed TerraUSD project in the hopes of delving into the new market of algorithmic stablecoins.
Because it has the backing of its quantitative trading arm, it can experiment more freely than companies whose core business is crypto.
For two years, recruitment staff worked around the clock, recruiting talent from the world’s best universities to build out Jump’s crypto team. The company hosted a Solana boot camp in Chicago, where interns opted to build a metaverse-like project on Solana.
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