Former Snap employees are launching Forge Platform for Ethereum devs

 techcrunch.com  02/13/2019 14:37:23 

Chris Lorenz, Geoffrey Anderson, and James Borow may have spent their days over the past few years working at Snap, but on nights and weekends Anderson and Lorenz were laboring on a different project — improving Ethereum development tools. 

Now the three men are finally ready to take the covers off of the labor of love they’ve been working on and launch Forge Platform, a new toolkit for distributed applications.

Both Lorenz and Anderson were heavily involved in monetization at Snap, but over the past eight months the two had dabbled in building distributed apps — and realized that the toolkits that existed for Ethereum just weren’t on par with what’s available for traditional programming.

“I’ve been interested in Ethereum for about two years now and it was about six months ago that I started to really dig in,” says Lorenz. “We saw the opportunity to prop the ecosystem up and give better tools to developers and basically provide them with what they’re used to in analogous platforms.”  

Ultimately Forge will bring a suite of products to market for distributed application developers, but for now the company is focused on a service to provide insight into the performance of smart contracts over the Ethereum network.

The first tool is designed to give distributed application developers detailed analysis of how their apps are performing across a variety of smart contracts.

“We wanted to pick a platform where the majority of developers are,” says Lorenz of the decision to work with Ethereum. “The others are really interesting projects but they were also where Ethereum was a few years ago.”

The Ethereum protocol has the most support and is making advances in its quest to improve scalability, according to Lorenz.

The company’s SDK will launch in a few months, and Forge in the process of staffing up, thanks to a $1 million seed investment from Manta Ray Ventures and Upfront Ventures.

“Over the course of the past few months we’ve had 15 companies playing with the product and jumping in and providing feedback,” says Lorenz. “We were really working on scalability testing.”

In what are still early days for blockchain-based protocols and applications, Lorenz says its important for a robust set of tools to come onto the market and help ease developers into the new computing paradigm.

“It’s ideally to make it more successful for developers to come in and offer value to customers outside of gambling,” says Lorenz of his new toolkit. “This year we’ll see a lot of interesting projects get launched.”

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