Qtum is an open-sourced public blockchain platform, leveraging the security of UTXO while enabling multiple virtual machines, including EVM and the revolutionary x86 VM.
The team members present in our community’s discussion were John Scianna (Qtum’s Head of Growth) and Jackson Belove (Sr. Research at Qtum).
Here are the essential points of the AMA session:
Please welcome John (JN), Jackson (JK), and the questions from our Telegram chat members (Q).
About the Platform
Q: Qtum is the first ever smart contract platform that utilizes Bitcoin’s UTXO model all wrapped up in a proof of stake consensus. Where did this idea come from and how long did it take to go from idea to mainnet?
JN: Our Co-Founder and CEO, Patrick Dai, was an early bitcoin miner. He’s from Sichuan province, where the majority of bitcoin is still mined today. But he saw that the industry was changing, with incredible foresight. Mining was becoming more competitive and proof-of-stake actually offered more security than PoW for other networks. This is still true to this day with blockchain reorgs happening on top 50 networks like Ethereum Classic. Patrick believed that the UTXO model was the most thoroughly tested blockchain, and it still is today. So, it would be easier to build from there. Every great structure has to start with a well-built foundation and that’s what the UTXO model is for us.
Q: Can you briefly discuss the major goals that Qtum is currently focusing on?
JN: In the pursuit to have cutting edge technology, Qtum is focusing on 3 major areas that need improvement:
1. The Offline Staking Protocol
2. Qtum Phantom Confidential Assets
3. Qtum Neutron and x86 based virtual machine
1.The offline staking protocol will allow users to delegate their Qtum to a super staker allowing them to earn block rewards from various wallets without the requirement of running a full node.
2. Qtum Phantom Confidential Assets will be a platform where anyone will be able to create transparent or private (untraceable) tokens on the Qtum blockchain.
3. Qtum Neutron will be a new revolutionary virtual machine that opens the doors to many programmers out there.
Q: How does Qtum maintain its accuracy and ensure the entire system operates as required? Is there a centralized server to check if everything works well?
JK: Cryptocurrency gets its name from cryptography. Blockchains, including Qtum chain, use cryptographic hashes and algorithms to verify blockchain data’s accuracy and correctness. Most blockchains, including Qtum, use a decentralized architecture, a network of independent peers to operate the network exactly because there is no single centralized server that could lead to censorship and a host of other problems. For example, what would happen if such a centralized server when down or started corrupting the data? A centralized approach is pretty much the opposite of the cryptocurrency ethos.
Q: What are some of the benefits and advantages of offline staking? How does it differ from the classic and traditional one?
JN: Offline staking brings a lot of benefits to the network.
1. Offline staking will enable more Qtum to be part of the proof-of-stake consensus increasing the security of the network
2. Offline staking will allow people to earn rewards without giving up custody, which is good for staking services that don’t take custody
3. Anyone can be a super staker, so not only can earn yield from your own coins, but other people’s coins as well.
Q: What is the role of Qtum’s Phantom protocol? Why does Qtum’s Phantom protocol use zk-SNARKs Based on Smart Contracts?
JK: The main reason for choosing zk-SNARKs is that anyone will be able to make privacy tokens on the Qtum blockchain using the zk-SNARKs based on smart contracts. Another major reason is that the technology is more mature. The transactions can be fully encrypted on the blockchain and verified all while following consensus confidentially.
Q: Qtum is compatible with BTC & ETH Blockchain while both are Qtum competitors; why do you choose to make both compatible with Qtum?
JN: Qtum chose to be compatible with BTC & ETH because we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. Building things from scratch is very costly (developers are expensive) and it presents a lot of security risks since people store value in their accounts. So even though they are our competitors, they save us time & money when building Qtum & make it more secure.
Q: Qtum is one of the projects that has a wonderful relationship with its community! How has the support received from your community been so far? How important is the community to Qtum?
JN: Community is an important part of any network, and without the community we wouldn’t know who to build for. Offline Staking was the #1 requested feature from the community, and we listened. I also think that this is the best improvement for Qtum to date. We are lucky to be supported by people from all over the world.
Qtum’s Technology & Community
Q: As I can see in your new updates and programs, Qtum uses the relatively rare Rust programming language. Please tell us why you have decided to use it and how important it is for the Neutron infrastructure?
JK: Rust is a top 20 programming language and was voted for the 5th year straight the most-loved programming language by devs in Stack Overflow’s 2020 survey. Qtum chose Rust because it is efficient for programmers to write and debug code, and is very memory safe (strongly-typed, no null pointers, no garbage collection, etc.).
Q: What did you find out while running Stake-A-Thon, a standalone Qtum Testnet test? What bugs and new features have been identified?
JN: So far we haven’t found any bugs on the testnet in regards to offline staking, this is the result of a ton of internal testing, an independent audit, and keeping the smart contract small. It’s only 180 lines of code so it’s easy to read through.
Q: As a credible decentralized application platform, how does Qtum deal with the issues of scalability, speed and interoperability associated with crypto currencies today?
JK: In terms of scalability, Qtum currently runs about 70 transactions per second, and can scale with on-chain governance (without a hard fork) to over 1,000 TPS by increasing block size. Beyond that, use layer 2 solutions like Lightning Network.
Q: What is Qtum Explorer and what is it used for?
JK: The Qtum Explorer at this website is a blockchain explorer that shows all the data and transactions on the Qtum blockchain. A recent addition supports the offline staking info, so you can see the super stakers and delegated addresses they have received. Here is the “official pool” we are exploring in the Stake-A-Thon: official pool.
Q: Will it be possible to delegate my QTUM coins to the Qtum core wallet?
JN: You will be able to operate a super staker from the Qtum core wallet as well as delegate from it.
Q: What advantages does Proof of Stake under uniform consensus rules bring to the Qtum blockchain as compared to proof of work that BTC uses?.
In this COVID19 pandemic crisis, how much progress has Qtum project had?
JK: Qtum has a distributed team working all over the world. As with the crypto winter, and with covid lockdowns, the team has continued to work throughout. Software development is easy to do remotely, and we can just jump on Slack and Zoom for coordination.
Q: What are the main differences and advantages of Super Staker from classic DPoS? Will the Super Staker feature be implemented in the future in Atomic Wallet?
JN: This is a good question because although DPoS means delegated proof-of-stake and Offline Staking allows for delegations, we believe that Offline Staking is different from DPoS networks. In DPoS there’s usually a set limit of nodes or a high requirement of coins that need to be staked. In Qtum, anyone can become a Super Staker and accept delegations, The Super Staker feature wont be integrated into Atomic Wallet because to be a Super Staker you need to be a full node, but the delegation part of Offline Staking will be integrated into Atomic Wallet!
Q: What is the maximum height that the block can reach?
JK: The blockchain continues to add blocks indefinitely, which is how people talk about “block height”, so there is no limit on that.
The size of the Qtum blocks can be adjusted through on-chain governance between 0.5 and 32 MB, currently set at 2 MB.
Qtum’S Future Plans
Q: How does the Qtum network completely hide the addresses and amounts transferred?
Q: What changes will happen in the Qtum chain after the August 28 hard fork? Will users be able to delegate their Qtum coins?
JN: This is the key change. People can become super stakers & also delegate to super stakers after the fork.