What is Qtum?
Qtum (QTUM) is a cryptocurrency used for making secured transactions all over the world. What makes Qtum stand out among other cryptocurrencies is its structure. Namely, Qtum is built on a hybrid blockchain, which is the major difference that separates it from similar currencies. The hybrid blockchain combines the Bitcoin protocol with the Ethereum Virtual Machine into one. This combination allows Qtum to keep the simple and stable nature of Bitcoin and integrate the smart contract and DAPP (decentralized application) possibilities of Ethereum on top of that. A decentralized application is a type of app whose back-end code runs on a completely decentralized peer-to-peer network. These applications have one major advantage, which is the increased security that makes them difficult to breach through. Interested in buying or selling Qtum? Get started right now!
Table of Contents
- The History of Qtum
- The Technical Specifications of Qtum
- The Price of Qtum
- Unique Aspects of Qtum
- Why Use Qtum?
- Resources of Qtum
QTUM was founded in 2016 by Patrick Dai a computer scientist, Jordan Earls, a veteran programmer, and Neil Mahi, a blockchain architect. Prior to launching Qtum, this team of three had looked at several existing projects in order to combine the best of multiple concepts and create their own version of a smart contracts platform.
Much like many other cryptocurrencies, Qtum relied on crowdfunding in its initial stages. The developers held an I.C.O. or an Initial Coin Offering (a type of fundraising for cryptocurrencies) to raise capital in March of 2017. The crowdfunding event was an enormous success as it raised approximately 15.6 million U.S. dollars within five days.
The Qtum Foundation
The raised funds were managed by a foundation called the “Qtum Foundation”. The Qtum team set this institution in place to oversee the development of the project and to promote the safety and harmony of the open source ecosystem. Much like any other cryptocurrency, Qtum needed an authoritative body to lead it during its development stages.
Combining BTC, ETH and BLK
By integrating open source code from Bitcoin, Ethereum and Blackcoin, Qtum’s developers avoided starting from scratch. The QTUM team has been able to create an Ethereum-based smart contracts system that runs on top of a block-chain similar to that of Bitcoin. As a means to reach consensus, QTUM makes use of a modified version of the Proof of Stake algorithm that was originally designed for Blackcoin.
|Founder(s)||Jordan Earls & Patrick Dai|
|Date of Release||Medio 2016|
|Consensus mechanism||Proof of Stake|
|Hashing Algorithm||Scalable Consensus Algorithm|
|Average Block Time||2 minutes|
|Mining / Staking reward||9.8% yearly|
|Average blocksize||2 mb|
|Next Block Halving||n/a|
We already mentioned that QTUM’s developers didn’t start from scratch because they used portions of Bitcoin and Ethereum to build a solid foundation. However, creating such a hybrid system took a lot of expertise and innovation. To make this possible, the developers used the Account Abstraction Layer or AAL for short. This piece of code was placed between the Ethereum Virtual Machine and Bitcoin’s code in order to allow the two to communicate. Without AAL, the communication between EVM and Bitcoin would be impossible, which would make the entire concept of QTUM impossible as well. Thus, the AAL is what makes this entire system hybrid as it serves as the bridge between the two cryptocurrencies.
A Modified Algorithm
One of the most unique aspects of Qtum is their modified PoS algorithm. Cryptocurrencies that operate on a proof-of-work algorithm, such as Bitcoin for example, use mining keep the chain growing. Mining refers to solving a variety of puzzles to validate transactions and create additional blocks in the chain. However, Qtum operates completely differently because its proof-of-stake algorithm takes into consideration the users’ “stake” (that is, wealth and age) to randomly choose the creator of the next block.
The Unique Vision
The creators of QTUM have a vision of a future in which a blockchain will have its own self-awareness in the sense that it will be able to determine what problems need resolving. They believe that blockchain systems can be developed to the point where they can propose potential solutions on their own.
How To Make the Vision a Reality
QTUM’s developers believe this can be achieved by making use of smart-contracts that are specifically designed to monitor the network and detect technical points of failure. These contracts could then generate proposals for solutions based on the information regarding the network’s “health” that is constantly being collected. This could lead to a network that is constantly self-improving by self-modifying, without the need for developers to identify and locate problems or come up with possible solutions.
The QTUM platform is very unique in the sense that it allows users to interact with existing Ethereum contracts as well as any existing Bitcoin services and gateways, whilst still maintaining backward-compatibility. In other words, the network enables users to execute smart contracts from lite wallets that run on mobile devices.
Better User Experience
While this type of flexibility is tremendously important for the overall user experience, it can also effectively increase the usage of smart-contracts in general. One of the main goals of QTUM at this moment is to introduce this concept of flexibility to more users that are not yet familiar with it.
The Proof of Stake Algorithm
Moreover, this cryptocurrency uses a Proof of Stake algorithm to verify transactions in the Qtum network. Proof of Stake, or PoS for short, is a type of consensus algorithm used to achieve agreement among users within a network. The PoS algorithm randomly chooses the creator of the next block based on their wealth or age, which are known as the “stake.”
A Blend Between Bitcoin and Ethereum
By combining Bitcoin’s and Ethereum’s assets, developers have created a platform that can provide Bitcoin’s reliability while offering the capacity of the Ethereum blockchain. This allows users to run any decentralized application or piece of code on QTUM’s blockchain without points of failure.