Not only are we deploying the M1 sidechain, which addresses all of the aforementioned problems for Solidity developers, but by thinking a few steps ahead we are building a generalized sidechain protocol which is owned by its users and can deploy new sidechains that target other smart contract languages/VMs: the Milkomeda protocol (name based off of the collision of the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies).
We understand that Solidity/EVM is the most popular today, however developer tech preferences change quickly, especially within the blockchain environment. There is no doubt that Plutus will serve as one of the predominant smart contract languages going forward, yet many developers may not have enough spare time to dedicate to learning functional programming while also understanding the EUTXO model.
As such, it is vital for L1 blockchains such as Cardano to offer all of these developers an opportunity to be integrated into the ecosystem no matter which smart contract language they know. This will be possible by reusing the VMs and smart contract languages of competing L1 blockchains to deploy sidechains that are directly connected to Cardano, use ADA for gas and transaction fees, and are 100% controlled by the users.
There are several potential sidechains that can be deployed on top of the Milkomeda protocol using existing VMs today including the EVM (Solidity), WASM, IELE, Facebook’s Move VM, Solana VM, Flow/Cadence, Hyperledger Fabric, Quorum, NEAR VM, among others.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, these sidechains will be governed by users on the via the Milkomeda DAO. This means that everything from protocol parameters, the validator set, which tokens are supported, adding wrapped smart contracts, and more, are all decided upon by Cardano users taking part in the DAO.
In this way the project is naturally controlled by the community, which provides the flexibility to adapt to future conditions by voting on proposals to improve existing sidechains and deploying brand new sidechains as needed.
The M1 sidechain tied to Cardano is just the first step and is the most obvious low hanging fruit out there. By generalizing the Milkomeda protocol and giving the power to the community to decide where it goes, we empower the users to be the ones who provide an environment to entice smart contract developers from other ecosystems to come over to theirs.