ChromiaGuest Articles

Q&A — Henrik Hjelte, CEO Chromaway / Chromia


Chromia is a project which is born out of its Swedish blockchain-focused mother company ChromaWay which has been around since 2014.

Their CHR token is trading on KucoinBitmax, and BittrexIt had some aggressive price action lately which could be a sign for what the future brings, but regardless of that, Chromia is steady building to make its mark in the world of dapps.

I had the chance to do a Q&A with Chromia’s CEO Henrik Hjelteand ask him about his view on the current state of dapps and his newest venture is all about.

Without further ado, let’s start!

“Hi Henrik, what is your background and for how long have you been involved with blockchain technology?”

I studied computer science at university, but soon thought I knew all about it and switched to economics, business administration, philosophy etc. After exams, I soon got a job as a Financial Software Consultant. I got bored with the bad tech used, and instead started a Web 2.0 startup.

We used a weird programming language called Common-Lisp, and it was hard to hire people, but I found a great dev in Ukraine, Alex.

The web-startup failed, but one day Alex approached me and explained that I should take a look at Bitcoin.

Alex had come up with a way to add tokens to Bitcoin and formed an open-source project around it, the colored-coins project. I joined first as a developer, but the open-source project split up into lots of different companies and projects in 2014.

Some guy came up with the idea for Ethereum, some started other companies and then we started ChromaWay.

First, we continued on the open-source tokens on Bitcoin, but then started a broader approach and also did technologies for private/federated blockchains suitable for enterprises. But now we are back into public blockchains, with Chromia. Feels like coming home.

“The tagline on your website says: “Power to the Public” can you explain what Chromia wants to emphasize by this?”

Decentralization is a technical word that does not tell the full story of what this technology can enable, a powershift from producers /owners of applications to users.

We like the term publicly hosted applications, Public Applications, like in Public Goods, owned by the general public. So far we have not seen much of these kinds of applications materialize. Part of the reason is that it is really hard to do complex applications like this using existing blockchains. All applications are a lot about data. And handling complex data is normally done with a database, not a ledger, and not even with NoSQL.

Only Chromia has a good, proper, normal database built-in. What we want to see in the future is social media and other applications where users have a say. It could be applications where users have formal rights to approve changes and vote, applications which are impossible to shut down, censor and discontinue. Not even the application developer would have full rights. It is a solution to the free software movements issues with open-source and servers. Even if the code is free software and open-source, once it is sitting on a server the owner of the server is in control.

Chromia can fix this, this is Power to the Public.

There is a great blog post by our CTO on this:

Towards publicly-hosted applicationsIt is often said that blockchain is a solution in search of a problem. Chromia is a response to problems that we have…

The big technical unique thing about Chromia is that it is both a blockchain and a relational database. This means faster development and better quality.

There is a reason that relational databases (often called SQL) are the defacto standard with over 90% of the database market. And a database is always used when you do an application that interacts with many people. Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, IBM DB2, SAP Hana, all are examples of relational databases.

To think that we can replace them with only a ledger is naive.

When we can prove productivity and quality improvements over the existing blockchains, developers will start to look Chromia. When someone says that Solidity already is dominant, I often mention that PHP was once the completely dominant language of the Web, but it isn’t really anymore since more productive tools appeared such as node.js and javascript frameworks.

“Talking about dapps, Chromia is clearly challenging Ethereum’s platform. Why is it that Chromia is built on ERC-20?”

Actually, you can go between ERC-20 to a native token and back. Chromia has a native metatoken which is used for financing dapps. The metatoken has a correspondent ERC-20 token with a gateway for exchange.

We decided to use ERC-20 in the beginning to piggyback on existing infrastructure: it’s much easier to integrate ERC-20 to wallets and exchanges, but that doesn’t mean we will not be pushing for our own blockchain integrations.

Note that dapp creators will be free to create custom tokens for their dapps. They can but don’t have to use the Chroma token.

“From a developer perspective, what makes Chromia’s platform so useful to create & launch dapps on?”

We allow the developers to scale their applications to a larger extent than normal blockchains would allow, we also allow them more freedom, for example setting their own fee structure within the dapp. Blockchain data and application state are stored in a relational database, which gives several benefits such as enable the developers to make queries and to index information in an efficient way.

Dapps are written in RELL, a new general purpose language similar to SQL and closely connected to the relational database, but improved with static type checks and a more concise syntax. Rell can be learned well in less than a week. The large advantages with all this is that you can write complex decentralized applications much easier and faster, and do things that are really hard to do with other blockchains.

Actually, SQL is now the 3rd largest technology after Javascript and HTML

Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2019Each month, about 50 million people visit Stack Overflow to learn, share, and build their careers. We estimate that 21…

Solidity is not even on the list. We have hopes that Rell will be really attractive because developers are always looking at better and more productive tools. That is why new languages like Go and Rust can get traction despite there already were established market leaders, because they provide technical benefits.

“For the average user, how will the user-experience improve for dapps compared to the ones that aren’t built on Chromia?”

Chromia will allow dapps to scale almost infinitely as each dapp runs on its own blockchain, the user also has a better experience as the delay of transactions is much smaller than traditional blockchains.

We also allow for light-clients enabling users to use less powerful devices such as mobile phones to interact with the blockchain.

Chromia dApps
Chromia – “Where dApps thrive”

And very important it is not always the case that users will have to own a token to use an application. It is up to the application developer to decide.

You can make an app which is free to use and does not require owning or even knowing what a cryptocurrency is.

“What will be the main use of your native CHR token?”

The tokens can be used to pay for dapp hosting and other services on the Chromia network, it is also used to create incentives for the network consensus to work by rewarding providers who follow the rules and punish those that try to cheat. And it can be used as a currency in applications, and to move values between applications.

“You recently held a successful IEO on Kucoin, in regards to further market adoption do you have any strategy in place?”

Our strategy is to onboard as much 3rd parties teams as possible. We have something which is more developer-friendly than anything else on the market and will give faster time to market for entrepreneurs.

But: in order to show what we are promising with power and ease of development and fast time to market, we will need to show some cases for real.

So our strategy involves creating examples of various kinds, often together with a partner, of real applications. We now have several real-world applications being built, from enterprise applications in finance and legal to games, expect a steady flow of announcements, demos and launches from now on. More dapps means more adoption and more demand for Chroma as a native token of the ecosystem.

“What can you tell us about Chromia’s team?”

ChromaWay, the parent of Chromia, has been a company since 2014. Did a payments project with a stable-coin as one of the first blockchain-projects with a bank (LHV Bank, Estonia), the award-winning “Cuber”.

We have been doing many enterprise projects with customers (among others) such as:

  • Swedish Land Registry
  • New South Wales Land Registry
  • Colombia Chambers of Commerce
  • Daimler Real Estate
  • UN Women

These projects were always built on its own tech-stack, often Postchain as blockchain, often with Esplix (client-side smart contracts) for signed workflows. Chromia is an idea we got one and a half years ago, and now we are expanding the team, now approaching 50 including interns and freelancers. We have some awesome people across the world, but here are profiles of the founding team.

Chromia Founders
Chromia’s founders Henrik Hjetle (CEO), Or Perelman (COO) & Alex Mizrahi (CTO)

Alex Mizrahi, Co-founder & CTO.

Alex Mizrahi – CTO / Co-founder – ChromaWay | LinkedInSoftware developer Indirect3D Open source software projects: 3D graphics framework, scene editor, file manager with 3D…

Alex has programming since he was 10 years old, everything ranging from 3D graphics and user interfaces, down to low-level performance optimizations in assembly. He has a strong background in mathematics, computer science, algorithms, object-oriented design, and programming language theory.

Alex graduated with honors from Donetsk national university MSc in applied mathematics, he got into crypto in 2011 by building the first-ever decentralized exchange which he never launched.

Alex was one of the sidechain concept inventors which later Blockstream popularized — he also appeared in one of Adam Back’s white papers

Vision, Vitalik, Dan Larimer

Or Perelman, Co-founder & COO.

or perelman – COO and co-founder – Chromia | LinkedInCOO and co-founder ChromaWay Stockholm, Sweden ChromaWay was founded in 2014 and is an early pioneer of what is now…

Finished LLB in Law from College of Netanya, used to work at his family-owned company Chemipal LTD which is the biggest pharma distribution company in Israel today a few years in the marketing division and also served in the Israeli army for three years.

Or used to build websites since he was 13 years old and was involved in gaming cracking groups just for the heck of it, trying to study reverse engineering.

He co-founded one of the first user-friendly bitcoin wallets in 2011 which was called Safebit with Stefan Thomas as it’s CTO (up until recently, Ripple’s CTO) and was the first-ever Bitcoin company to ever be featured in tech-crunch.

Or also co-founded the colored coins project with Alex and Henrik.

Henrik Hjelte, Co-founder & CEO.

Henrik Hjelte – CEO / Co-founder – ChromaWay | LinkedInView Henrik Hjelte’s profile on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional community. Henrik has 12 jobs listed on…

Henrik has been a developer for 30 years, Finished Master’s degree in business administration and economics from Uppsala University, worked at Nordea, Swedbank, Six Financial, Eniro, Nasdaq, Kambi sports solutions and more, Henrik is in crypto since 2012 and Alex and Henrik work together before crypto in a company Henrik founded which was a web 2.0 startup called

Henrik was a developer on the colored coins project which was a big cornerstone project in the crypto industry which was the first issuance platform for tokens on top of bitcoin. Henrik contributed his first open-source project in 2002, the first unit-testing framework for SQL Server.

“Looking at your roadmap, what are you most excited for?”

We started Chromaway in 2014, so the progress is significant.

Regarding our roadmap, we are different from other projects, we don’t have a fixed roadmap, because we want to remain as flexible as possible.

Our public Bootstrap mainnet is scheduled for the end of August and that’s really exciting. We also started testnet at the end of May, with first working dapps on it — forum with full on-chain logic and wallet with real users testing the software. We are also very excited about the projects that are started their development on Chromia but still in stealth mode.

Stay tuned for more updates!

“How can people stay up-to-date?”

I am not a financial advisor who tells people to buy certain assets.

That being said, besides being invested in Chromia (CHR), I am being compensated for my time writing this article.

Thanks for reading,

Mr. Backwards

For more Guest articles like this Chromia Q&A click here.

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*Disclaimer – Chromia are our Media Partners and therefore this content is sponsored by them. The fees paid by this project are used to pay for The Daily Chain salaries, dev work, hosting services, travel expenses etc.. that are required to make this company a success and continue to provide the community with great content on a daily basis.

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