What are the top applications/use cases for Plasma?


Plasma seems useful for a lot of applications and use cases. I could sit around all day and dream them up, but it’s more useful to know what real users/developers are asking for. I would imagine that high profile plasma projects are often approached by people who have an application in mind and would like to use plasma for it. What are the top specific use cases/applications that you have had discussions about?

For purposes of this discussion, a company or project that has an existing application in production and a real user base is more valuable than a startup or an idea that has not been validated by the market, and a team that has resources ready to allocate to developing an application on plasma is more valuable than a theoretical idea with no resources behind it (but those can still be valuable).


I think part of the reason this is a tricky question is that there’s somewhat of a chicken-egg dilemma. Plasma is a fledgling technology not well understood by users/developers and sometimes what users/devs are asking for is hard to fit into the framework. Plasma provides massive scaling opportunities, but also requires building a dispute system which differs from regular blockchain/smart contract systems.

I think the foremost use case is exchange, because there is a huge demand for centralized exchange today and we can’t meet that demand in a decentralized manner without scale. Further, it’s clear how to interpret exchange in terms of disputes.

I’d love to see crypto video games get more love, but it’s tricky to understand what disputes look like in that context–for instance OMG’s Plasma Dog is super cool, but it’s effectively a faucet which rewards points to people for playing. It’s harder to understand where on-chain disputes fit into a model where the tokens are basically being given away anyway. I think we need to better understand what the economics of crypto games will look like, so we know what the disputes will be about and what “safety” guarantees plasma can provide.


Hey Ben,

I agree with your assessment, and that exchange is a great application (though perhaps a complex one). Still, it seems like the “if we build it they will come” approach is the most risky one, and it should be possible to reduce the risk level by doing market research - i.e., identifying potential users and talking to them about their needs.

Last year may have been too early for that, but it seems like plasma is starting to reach the level of maturity where it should be possible. I’m curious about what ideas or discussions different teams have had about this topic.

One potential use case that seems interesting to me is enterprise/supply chain applications, where a plasma chain could be used as an alternative to a private or consortium chain.