Overcoming the Top Challenges of Building Web3 Projects with Jiri Kobelka at Dcentral Conference in Miami

Written by
Tatum team
October 13, 2023
min. read

During the Dcentral Conference in Miami, Jiri Kobelka, CEO of Tatum, provided insights into the top challenges faced by Web3 projects. He highlighted the importance of changing the way we approach Web3 development, addressing issues like the shortage of developers, common blockchain misconceptions, and the challenges of building apps from scratch. Discover valuable recommendations and strategies for successful Web3 project development in a fast-evolving digital landscape.


So for our next panel at DCentral Miami, well, it's not a panel it's a single presentation right before lunch because tacos are coming and I can't wait but we have Jiri from Tatum, and he's going to talk about the top challenges of Web3, the top challenges of the 100 000 Web3 projects because we know there is a lot.

Jiri Kobelka, CEO of Tatum

Hi guys, it's my pleasure to be here and thank you, that you are here. I'm here to talk about building in Web3 space and how we are building in the blockchain as builders. This is more for guys who are building their own Web3 apps.

The reason I can talk about this is our experience from the space. It is because Tatum is a developer tooling, and we are being used by over 110,000 projects right now. We have quite a lot of experience when it comes to how you guys should build things today. What we see a lot recently is that when you build your Web3 project, you don't have much developers in Web3 space. Unless you go to LinkedIn, you can see a lot of Web3 experts. You can see like a half a million of them, Web3 developers, but most of them are really not good ones. If you are a business owner or just running some project, you want to build it, you go outside and hire them, and it will suck.

The problem is that if you think about the blockchain space today, the way how we see it today, we all think about blockchain as something magical, right? We think about blockchain as something which is somehow different than any other technology in the world and it's not true.

Blockchain is just another technology, it's just a database. You can write, you can read, you have some logic inside which we call smart contracts and that's pretty much it. It's just a database, it's nothing else.

But we are just somehow crazy about it, it's hype and we are doing very stupid mistakes we were working with other technologies 20 years ago. So in other technologies the way how it works, if you build something you use normal developers and they are using something we call developer tooling, developer frameworks.

Today you have to hire experts because they are building everything from scratch. They're building everything just for one chain or multiple chains. The way how it works outside the blockchain space, you just utilize developers you like inside your company, inside your team. You already have some great developers, use them, give them tooling so they can actually build something.

And the way how it works in Web3 space, you have to go and hire experts and it doesn't make sense, they're expensive and you don't have enough of them. So the recommendation we have is just give your existing developers some proper tooling, that's pretty much it.

So what also is important when you are building Web3 project is that every blockchain has a different specifics inside and how it works inside. So what we see a lot is we are building on EVM compatible chains, they are all the same. We can actually build multi-chain app, NFT marketplace whatever and it will be the same because we build it on Ethereum so it can work on other chains.

You can't be more wrong. EVM compatibility is just about the way how you can code smart contracts. It's not saying anything about how the actual blockchain works. For example if you build on Ethereum, and not many people knows, that you have something which we call reorgs. What means that last five six blocks are not final. A lot of projects are trying to catch the tip of chain. They are basically going and scanning new blocks to get the most recent information. So, what happens is they just scan something, scanning the chain, and trying to get the last information, but that information change 30 seconds later. So their information is wrong. And then they are surprised that in a year they have wrong data. They actually have even negative balances, which is not even possible on chain. That's just fucked up.

So what happens is, you actually have to wait either like a minute or something or you have to verify your data. And that's Ethereum. But other chains, like for example Celo, which is even compatible, is actually kind of better Ethereum. They don't have it. So if you build on Celo, you are okay. But if you migrate to Ethereum, it will start doing mistakes, that you will find out maybe after few weeks or few months. There are a lot of specifics you have to be aware of and you need to understand them if you are leveraging the experts.

Now the experts, they can understand usually just one chain barely, but they can, hopefully. But the thing is, if you want to build multi-chain, which is recommended way today, you have to either hire multiple developers or even teams to get there or you basically become vendor-locked, which means you will just work with one chain. It's not 2017 anymore. We should be smarter. There should be some risk management in place. You shouldn't put your business on one chain anymore, unless you are a huge fan of one chain for some reason.

The way how you can avoid this is just use again some developer tooling which abstracts you from specific chain. We don't do that in normal Web2 space, we don't code, we don't build apps on one specific technology anymore. It's not 2005 guys, right? We don't do that anymore. So if you want to build something, use something we call abstraction. You don't have to go to assembler anymore, you can just be smarter than that. And the major thing what is happening, I already mentioned that, is building from scratch. So basically everyone is building from scratch. They're reinventing all the mistakes from scratch. It takes like a year, two years, to build something a little bit serious than, like minting NFC or something, and you will fail a couple of times to get it right. That's our average what we have seen in the projects. Two times you have to make it wrong to actually figure out how it should be done.

So again in normal technologies in Web2 space the way how builders work is they're using existing frameworks and features for developers. So they can actually build things super fast. It's already battle-tested by hundreds of thousands of other developers so they don't have to reinvent the wheel over and over again and you have quicker time to market security things all that built in.

That's the problem because we don't have that in Web3 space that much so everyone is going to the RPC node and they are building from scratch. So again what we suggest is use developer tooling.

We actually built one in Tatum so I just want to I just want to show you that we have built something where you don't only have RPC nodes you also have abstraction framework and toolkit around it.

A lot of projects are built in order to be successful at first but the most projects in the Web3 space fails when they become successful, they can't scale and for different reasons they are on chain, they are too expensive, they just can't do that much transactions. The whole business logic is wrong. So I would definitely suggest you guys to think more about how you scale.

Again, good developer tooling will help you to scale with that.