Advertise with BNC

WAVES Price Analysis: New programming language for the blockchain launches

With its price down 55% since January 1st, WAVES has performed poorly in 2019. While technicals remain bearish, the release of the new programming language RIDE is sparking some positivity for the blockchain, with the hope its release will drive gains during the second half of the year.

Waves (WAVES) is a public cryptographic network characterized by a simple, streamlined user experience and a multi-pronged blockchain payment network solution. It offers users and developers smart contract functionality for complex token transfers, token creation and issuance services. It includes a decentralized exchange (DEX) with fiat gateways and atomic swaps. All of these features are accessible through the Waves client which acts as the primary integrated wallet solution for the native WAVES token.

Over the last month, the price of the network’s native token WAVES has fallen ~39%, suffering from the wider bearish conditions across the altcoin market.

The blockchain is built with a unique Waves-NG ‘liquid block’ blockchain that blends proof-of-work and proof-of-stake, breaking up the chain between ‘key’ and ‘micro’ blocks. It also has a leased proof-of-stake mechanism that allows users to assign their token to a large miner who mines on their behalf, giving them access to passive rewards, without the need to sacrifice a large amount of processing power.

In late June 2019, the key Node 1.0 update was released for the WAVES mainnet. The update contains several new features and updates, chief among them is the release of ‘RIDE for Dapps’, that will enable the implementation of decentralized applications or Dapps on the WAVES blockchain.

Custom application and the Waves DEX

The value of the platform (in comparison to Ethereum), is derived from the Waves Custom Application Token (CAT) process. This allows any user to create a custom token using the easy-to-navigate Waves Lite client which can run as a desktop or mobile app. There are currently 27928 custom tokens created on Waves, with 22 new tokens created on 16/07/2019.

Waves tokens are extremely easy to create but lack the functionality of tokens created using the popular Ethereum ERC20 standard. Nonetheless, the Waves CAT format is favored by some issuers because of the speed and ease of issuance. To issue a token, a creator needs to pay a small fee in WAVES.


The top 15 tokens on the Waves blockchain. Source:

Waves CAT tokens, once created, are immediately tradable on the platform’s internal DEX (decentralized exchange). The DEX has several popular features.

The Waves DEX is semi-centralized and uses matcher nodes to match trader orders before settlement on the Waves blockchain layer. This gives it speed and transaction fee advantages over many current Ethereum solutions. However, with scalable layer 2 DEX infrastructure being built for Ethereum, and new DPoS DEX solutions arriving for networks like Binance Chain and EOS, this market advantage may not last.

The Waves DEX offers fiat gateway solutions and non-Waves based token trading via atomic swaps. The DEX has a clean UI that is comparable in features to some centralized exchanges.

WAVES token

The native token of the Wave blockchain, WAVES, is used to pay out nodes for their services in verifying transactions. Tokens are used for staking, and for allocating stake to mining pools as part of the network’s PoS mechanism. WAVES acts as the most common base for trading pairs on the Waves DEX creating utility as a liquidity tool for trading. WAVES also acts as a membership token within the Waves ecosystem. Holding the tokens gives the user access to exclusive airdrops, games, and Dapps, hosted as smart contracts on top of the network.

WAVES can also be used to make payments and peer-to-peer transfers between blockchain wallets, giving it core functionality as a cryptocurrency similar to Bitcoin and Monero.

However, the most relevant use-case for WAVES may be as a medium to make speculative bets based on market signals, the changing public perception of the Waves network, and events like the Vostok ICO in order to make a profit trading on crypto exchanges such as Binance, Bittrex or Bitfinex.

WAVES has a fixed total supply of coins set at 100 million, with no inflation. During the WAVES ICO, 1 million tokens were set aside for early supporters, 1 million for post-ICO bounties, 4 million tokens for strategic partners and backers, and 9 million tokens were reserved for the development team. If these tokens are still held by the respective parties, this suggests a possible circulating supply of 85 million WAVES.

The Waves ICO raised 30,000 BTC in 2016 – worth around $16 million at the time. From an ICO price of ~$0.19, WAVES is currently up ~1,300% but is down ~85% from its all-time high of $18.07 achieved on December 19th 2017.

RIDE: A new smart contract language

RIDE is a newly created smart contract language built for the Waves blockchain. It is designed to be easy to execute, generate deterministic computational costs and run with zero failed transactions on the network. Following the node 1.0 release, Waves users will be able to:

  • create non-fungible tokens on the Waves blockchain
  • interact with a new API that will standardize the presentation of Waves blockchain data to include: transactions, blocks, addresses, aliases and all possible entities on the Waves blockchain. A core goal of this new API program is to make interactions with the Waves infrastructure simple, fast and convenient
  • use a new fee model for the Waves DEX which will let users pay fees in any crypto asset (ETH or BTC), not just the native WAVES token.

With the launch of the RIDE programming language for mainnet, the Waves network model for issuing smart contracts and user accounts is set to evolve.

The Waves ‘Smart account’ system is a much-anticipated feature of the new Waves blockchain. Smart accounts are accounts with an attached transaction checking script that applies rules to outgoing transactions based on factors like multi-signature requirements, proofs, escrow requirements, and current blockchain height. Smart accounts power the Waves ‘Smart Asset’ protocol.

Additionally, the Waves CAT format is set to change with the launch of new ‘Smart Asset’ protocols for Waves tokens. The new features are based on RIDE scripts that can be added to issued tokens which have to go through extra confirmations when transactions of the token have to be verified on the Waves blockchain. For example, an issuer can add scripts to a smart asset that blacklists or whitelists specific blockchain addresses, or add a taxation feature that pays an issuer a transaction fee each time their token is used for a transaction. It is likely that new scripts (features) will be created as more developers experiment with the protocol.

Waves smart accounts function similarly to Ethereum smart contracts, however, they are not GAS based and operate with set fees.

Script costs are preset, and based on complexity units which max out at 100 units, with scripts not capable of being larger than 8kb. The fixed cost of adding a script is 400000 wavelets (Waves coins, 100000000 wavelets = 1 Wave). For example, if a transaction’s usual cost is 0.001 WAVES, adding a base level smart account script feature to the same transaction will cost 0.001 + 0.004 WAVES.

The Waves blockchain and WAVES token continue to mature and develop value propositions. In the short term buyers and sellers are likely to focus on the development of the project’s ongoing multi-use case model that now features more complex token creation and account features. This suggests the possibility of continued price volatility, with waves of retail buying interest around the dates of network updates and WAVES-centric events such as airdrops.


The Waves platform uses the idiosyncratic WAVES-ng protocol. The core mechanism of the consensus is to allow multiple blocks on the Waves transaction chain to be verified at the same time, theoretically resulting in increased transaction speeds.

With WAVES-ng, sequences of blocks are broken up into sections called Epochs, each epoch has a leader block from which other blocks are derived, in parallel. For example, a leader can have two unique batches of two blocks attached to it, each having the unique reference of the original leader block public key.

The key block is generated by a proof-of-stake miner and does not contain transactions, but a public key. This is used to reference subsequent micro blocks that do contain transactions.

The Waves-ng protocol extends the concept of the Bitcoin-ng model by letting miners extend the size of blocks by allowing them to be ‘liquid’ and keep growing until the next key block appears.

The proof-of-stake miner who creates the key block issues micro blocks, and does so relatively easily. The key blocks contain no transaction data and are therefore very small, meaning they can keep being produced at a relatively low processing power cost to the proof-of-stake miner, who then issues micro blocks, easily issued by signing them with a private key which references the public key of the original key block.

The micro block is then sent to the network, miners on the network compete to solve its problem, block production assignment of the micro blocks is dependent on stake, with miners owning a higher stake of WAVES more likely to be assigned a block to be published. 60% of the reward goes to the referrer, while 40% goes to the actual block producer.

The advantage of the WAVES-ng protocol is its fluidity and the ability of key block miners to facilitate multiple blocks being published by multiple producers. The WAVES-NG blockchain launched in December 2017. Based on testnet data, it was proposed that the Waves network was capable of handling a volume of 100 txps.

It appears, however, that the network has not had to manage this sort of transaction volume in recent times. In 2018 the network’s busiest day was the 28th of March when it handled 167714 transactions in 24 hours or ~1.94 transactions per second. We are yet to see how the network performs at scale, and if nodes will be capable of handling a potential network bottleneck.

However it is difficult to compare the transaction volume on from before April 2018 to afterwards, before an added feature called "Mass Transfer" was implemented. A Mass transfer lets a user make a payment to as many as 100 recipients, implying that it would be useful for moving a large volume of tokens when making an enterprise payment or for an Airdrop.

There has been a sharp pick up in daily transaction count since the 13th of July, which is likely associated with the release of RIDE for the Waves blockchain.


Since the 10th of July, there has been a sharp uptick in ‘InvokeScript’ operations (based on interacting with RIDE scripts) on the Waves blockchain. This growth has eventually reflected in a rise in total transaction operations on the blockchain with ‘InvokeScript’ operation now making up ~36% of total daily transactions. The majority of Waves transactions are dominated by this activity. Source:

There also appears to be the possibility of a feudal-style mining system materializing on WAVES-ng, given the nature of proof-of-stake, which favors resource-heavy miners within the network, who can purchase a sizable stake and weight mining rewards in their favor.

Presently, the top five miners on the Waves blockchain, control ~59% of the network mining activity. This appears somewhat skewed, given that there are ~75 nodes operating in the network. Issues can arise when a small group of nodes controls the block production of a network. It can lead to a blockchain that is less decentralized, and therefore less censorship-resistant and immutable. It can also lead to political issues and cause potential miners to opt-out of the network, given the reward odds are skewed against them and towards larger miners on the network.

However, because Waves uses leased proof-of-stake functionality, any user on the blockchain can lease their full balance of WAVES to a proof-of-stake miner or mining pool and earn rewards passively, without setting up node infrastructure, in proportion to the size of their allocation. There is a hand over of fiduciary responsibility from the user to the mining pool, but pools are still accountable for their ‘work’ on the blockchains because users always have the option to switch staking pools.

The Waves blockchain, currently hosts 18763 stakeholders, with a total of ~67,755,447 WAVES set aside for PoS. ~66% of this total is made up of stake that has been allocated to pools. This suggests that a significant portion of the 100,000,000 WAVES supply is being used for the easy to access Wave leased-PoS rewards.

The minimum amount required to become a miner is 1000 WAVES.


Approximate staking yields for the Waves network. Source:

Vostok ICO

A recent driver of positive price momentum for WAVES was the buzz surrounding a large, recently issued Waves ICO project, Vostok (VST tokens). The Vostok project created buying pressure for WAVES tokens by creating new utility for it as a medium to participate in the new project’s token sales and airdrops.

It also implied an increase in value for WAVES due to the market’s growing understanding that the Waves ecosystem is attaching itself to high-value projects.

The Vostok project was developed by the Waves Platform team specifically for large enterprises and public institutions, to enable them to build distributed IT systems. Vostok will launch with a public network that runs on VST tokens, with corporate, private sub-chains being secured by anchoring to the public permissioned chain.

VST acts as a utility token that defines payment relationships between a Vostok integrator company that functions on the public chain and builds IT systems solutions for private sub-chains, and enterprises that use the Vostok platform for privacy purposes. For example, holding a certain quantity of VST may guarantee free support for an enterprise from the Vostok integrator company.

Over the next few months, the Vostok and Waves teams will announce new consensus mechanisms and finalized docker container smart contracts. Planned features of the Vostok network include enhanced transaction confidentiality, permission access control, and specific industry use case products.

The Vostok announcement has created buzz and positive momentum for a few reasons. The project raised USD 120 million in December through a sale of 200 million VST tokens to a group of private and institutional investors. A second round of investment was scheduled for May 31, 2019. The round aimed to sell 100 million VST at an estimated price of $1.20, which represents 10% of the future issue. This means $120 million would be raised at an estimated capitalization of $1.2 billion.

The Waves platform has also earned mainstream recognition through a partnership with international audit giant Deloitte, to help provide a compliant legal framework for ICO projects choosing to launch on WAVES. It is likely the partnership was designed with deals like the Vostok launch in mind.

The initial Vostok announcement on December 17th had an immediate impact on price. In the 48 hours that followed, the price of WAVES rose over 60%, from ~$2.5 to just over $4.

There was another smaller Vostok driven pump on the 17th of January when following the release of details on how to participate in the VST public airdrop, the price of WAVES rose ~20% over a week. VST tokens were allocated to both WAVES and WCT holders as part of the airdrop.


Objective on-chain indicators

NVT Signal

Derived from the NVT (Network Value to Transactions) ratio, the NVT signal is a responsive blockchain valuation metric developed by Willy Woo and Dmitriy Kalichkin. It is akin to the price/earnings ratio signals used in traditional equity markets. Crypto markets are prone to bubbles of speculative purchasing, that are not reflective of underlying network performance and activity. The NVT signal is a tool to assess drivers of these patterns.

The NVT signal provides some insight into what stage of a price cycle a token is at. A high NVT signal is indicative of a network that is going through one of these bubble periods and may move towards a position of becoming overbought/overvalued, as market speculation runs out of steam.


The indications lean short term bearish, however, it may provide fuel for medium-term optimism. Around April 2019 the NVT signal began to fall after hitting an ‘overbought’ inflection. This falling NVT signal has coincided with a fall in the price of the WAVES token that is likely to continue until the external value and on-chain fundamentals realign.

However, a falling NVT signal means on-chain volume is rising relatively against external token value. If this pattern continues it is likely to translate into price gains once cyclical selling pressure diminishes. If trends like the growing usage of the Waves network continue, then the current cyclical period of WAVES selling should end more quickly.


Metcalfe’s law is a measure of the connections in a network, as established by Robert Metcalfe, the founder of Ethernet. It has subsequently been used to analyze the true value of network-based financial products like Facebook and Bitcoin. By comparing it to price, it can provide a useful tool to assess whether a token is over or undervalued.

It is also a more straightforward metric to assess when compared to on-chain transaction volume, which can be challenging to measure accurately in USD terms. Addresses are measured as the number of unique sending and receiving addresses participating in transactions daily.


The PMR for WAVES, similar to the NVT signal, sends mixed signals. It has continuously touched new highs for 2019, every month of the year, and this suggests that any price support that might come from active address growth, or a potential network effect is currently missing.

A cryptocurrency’s network effects increase when new users join and strengthen the network, making it more valuable for existing users. The most direct network effects are improved liquidity and utility. More daily active users can be indicative of higher demand for WAVES token creation and Dapp development. Once the Waves developer ecosystem begins to experiment more actively with the RIDE language and build more utility for the WAVES token, the value of the token may rise backed by rising network effects.

Exchanges and Trading pairs


The most popular trading option for WAVES is BTC with the pair handling ~64% of the daily trading volume. The second most popular market is the WAVES/USDT and together the top two pairs make up over 80% of the daily trading volume. The total USD value of the daily volume of the entire WAVES trading market is just ~USD 43.6 Million.


A mix of exchanges dominates the WAVES trading marketplace, with 4 different platforms operating the top 5 trading pairs. The WAVES/BTC market on Binance is the most active in the ecosystem. WAVES is also tradeable on high profile exchanges such as Bittrex and Huobi Global.

Technical Analysis

Moving Averages and Price Momentum

WAVES began 2019 with a bang; skyrocketing ~300% from its November 2018 lows. From that point, price was largely confined within a tight trading range, which broke to the downside in late-April. Since then, price action has been demonstrably negative. On the 1D chart, a death cross occurred in late-April and persists still. Furthermore, the 50 and 200 day EMAs have consistently acted as strong resistance to price’s attempts to recover. At the time of writing, price is well below 50 and 200 day EMAs with little support until the November 2018 “bottom” level of ~$1, which is 28% lower than WAVES’ current trading price of $1.39.


In order for WAVES to avoid the aforementioned fall to the $1 level, price will need to reclaim the 0.786 Fibonacci retracement level of $1.62.


On the 1D chart, the volume flow indicator (VFI) is currently inching beneath 0. Again, if WAVES is to avoid another 28% fall to $1, the 0 level of VFI will need to hold and begin increasing; sufficient to buoy price above $1.62 (0.786 Fibonacci). In the likely event 0 does not hold, -12 for the VFI has acted as support several times in the past, which is probable to coincide with nearing the $1 price level in the event of a fall.


Ichimoku Clouds with Relative Strength Indicator (RSI)

The Ichimoku Cloud uses four metrics to determine if a trend exists; the current price in relation to the Cloud, the color of the Cloud (red for bearish, green for bullish), the Tenkan (T) and Kijun (K) cross, Lagging Span (Chikou), and Senkou Span (A & B).

The status of the current Cloud metrics on the 1D frame with singled settings (10/30/60/30) for quicker signals are bearish: price is below the Cloud, Cloud is bearish, the TK cross is bearish, and the Lagging Span is below Cloud and price.

A traditional long entry would occur with a price break above the Cloud, known as a Kumo breakout, with price holding above the Cloud. From there, the trader would use either the Tenkan, Kijun, or Senkou A as their trailing stop.

Currently, price is demonstrably beneath the Cloud and showing few signs of revival. Price is so far below the Cloud that it would need to recover to $1.88 just to face Cloud resistance. Despite the current unlikelihood, RSI is oversold at the moment, which may offer a short term reprieve from selling pressure. If that reprieve falters, $1.23 and $1 are support levels.


The status of the current Cloud metrics on the 1D time frame with doubled settings (20/60/120/30) for more accurate signals are bearish: price is below the Cloud, Cloud is bearish, the TK cross is bearish, and the Lagging Span is below the Cloud and price.

The slower settings yield an equally grim picture for WAVES with price’s best bet is for a strong bounce from oversold RSI levels to bait additional buying volume into the market.



Following a strong finish to 2018, the price of the WAVES token has stagnated in 2019. Price has fallen ~51% year-to-date. However, since the start of the year, the project has released a key fundamental update in the form of the new RIDE programming release. RIDE has the potential to define the utility of the WAVES token and inherent of the Waves network.

The new language underpins a new Smart account and asset model which adds significant functionality to the legacy Waves transaction model and enables more complex Dapp building systems that could set the stage for renewed interest in the platform from developers. The recent uptick in on-chain transactions driven by an increase in smart contract operations back this narrative.

The platform blockchain space is competitive. Ethereum is a clear market leader. Whether the Waves network can attract developer interest to build using RIDE will be key to token gains heading into Q3 and Q4 2019. In the meantime, WAVES leverages the fundamentals of its internal DEX solution and unique consensus model.

The technicals for WAVES are currently bearish. A realistic attempt at a fresh Kumo breakout is highly unlikely at this point. However, if price can make a strong oversold bounce back to $1.62 (0.786 Fibonacci level) and hold that level, WAVES has a shot at reversing the bearish tide. However, if the aforementioned does not occur, little stands in the way of price falling back to $1.


BNC AdvertisingPlanning your 2024 crypto-media spend? Brave New Coin’s combined website, podcast, newsletters and YouTube channel deliver over 500,000 brand impressions a month to engaged crypto fans worldwide.
Don’t miss out – Find out more today

Advertise with BNC
Advertise with BNC
BNC Newsletters: A weekly digest of the most important news and analysis.
Advertise with BNC
Submit an event on
Latest Insights More
Advertise with BNC