Chain Curation is An Objective Analysis of New and Existing Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers founded by Charles Read.
Based in London, England, Charles J Read is a multi-faceted Blockchain evangelist who focuses on investment trends, technical research, and assists with user acquisition for emerging technology companies building consumer applications.
With mainnet just being launched on the 30th April, I decided a closer look at QuarkChain and their innovative sharding and scaling techniques – particularly with all the recent news about BTCSV and BTCABC, it seemed fitting. One of my favourite topics is also Interoperability and this is a unique approach that I believe will scale well as Quarkchain grows, not just technically, but from a community lead perspective as well, which is equally (if not more) important.
QuarkChain were one of the first blockchains to implement state sharding, with a roadmap goal of 100,000 on chain TPS, having already achieved 14,000 on testnet. This is extremely high and puts QuarkChain at an extreme edge in the race for Visa-like transaction speeds in the real world.
The blockchain itself is multi-layered, made up of a layer of elastic shards as the first layer, and the root, native layer underneath. The shard layer is extremely flexible and what makes QuarkChain so unique and powerful. The root layer is PoSW, a hybrid model developed exclusively by the QuarkChain team, but each individual shard is capable of different consensus mechanisms, virtual machine support, ledgers and token economic models and structures.
KEY COMPONENTS OF A BLOCKCHAIN
- Consensus Mechanism (PoW, PoS etc)
- Virtual Machine (TX Method
- Ledger (UTXO and Account Base)
- Token Economic Model
One of the problems of creating an immutable ledger, with a standard set of rules, is once the chain is launched, you cannot change the underlying infrastructure or individual 4 key components above without forking them into a new chain.
THE ETHEREUM DILEMMA
Ethereum is certainly known as a battle hardened blockchain, but its standard set of rules as above are rooted in place and can’t be easily changed. This is what birthed Ethereum Classic, diluting the community and their focus, and weakening ultimately both chains. This standard blockchain problem is also what makes it difficult to now migrate to Proof of Stake, implement new scaling solutions and more. While it can be done, it’s certainly not easy, but who could’ve known back then that we’d go this direction? While Ethereum efforts are admirable, they are definitely up against fierce competition, particularly with solutions presented by 4th gen solutions like QuarkChain.
If you build on Ethereum, you are locked into these very specific sets of rules. You have to use the Ethereum VM, ERC20 model and (for now) PoW Consensus.
THE BITCOIN DILEMMA
In Bitcoins case, we have seen over 10 separate forks, each claiming to be superior than the previous version. Sadly, this is very bad for the ecosystem – it dilutes hash power, causes controversy and divide amongst the community, and ultimately confuses external individuals and slows the wider goal of adoption.
WITH THE BITCOIN.COM AND @BITCOIN HANDLES OWNED BY BITCOIN CASH (NOW BITCOIN ABC), IT CERTAINLY DOESN’T BODE WELL FOR NEW ENTRANTS TO THE CRYPTOCURRENCY MARKET. IT’S CONFUSING, AND VERY FRUSTRATING.
WITH THE BITCOIN.COM AND @BITCOIN HANDLES OWNED BY BITCOIN CASH (NOW BITCOIN ABC), IT CERTAINLY DOESN’T BODE WELL FOR NEW ENTRANTS TO THE CRYPTOCURRENCY MARKET. IT’S CONFUSING AND VERY FRUSTRATING.
We had Bitcoin Cash (BCH) that was then forked again to Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision and Bitcoin Cash ABC. This is very unlikely to stop, and we can be confident in more forks that are often scammy and an intention to steal the Bitcoin brand to profit from it.
In short, all of these forks are due to technology or governance disagreements, and could’ve been presented if the infrastructure we prepared for them – but at these times, it simply wasn’t, so the option was to fork the chain and split the community in two..
THE QUARKCHAIN SOLUTION
With the dual layer technique mentioned earlier that QuarkChain have implemented and continue to grow out, there is a very innovative solution that aims to prevent forks and encourage a more sustainable ecosystem.
With every shard created, you can create a fresh technology stack as you please, you are not at the mercy of the QuarkChain consensus, token model, or ledger. As you see below, one shard may contain the Ethereum Virtual Machine, Proof of Work, and use an Account Based Ledger, but another shard here can use a completely technology stack.
This makes QuarkChain the first infrastructure that enables multiple consensuses, multiple ledgers, and multiple token economic models in one ecosystem.
As the space evolves, so will what is considered to be the most popular ledgers, consensuses and more. New consensus mechanisms and smart contract engines will be hard to keep up with, and for most, already are, with so much emerging research and open source contributions.
Where as some people may only support PoW or PoS now, something better (for them) may be around the corner, and the ability to pivot is extremely important in such a rapidly innovative market – particularly if the goal is building solutions for businesses that need to future-proof.
By allowing multiple combinations under each shard, you open up lots of possibilities for specific solutions. In the case of a Decentralized Exchange, the orderbook must be stored on the ledger which is very easy to arrange using QuarkChain.
The ability to support multiple Virtual Machines is also important here, as technology advances quickly, allowing the integration of future virtual machines helps to create a robust future proof solution.
With this dual layer blockchain, all shards also benefit from infrastructure upgrades to the main chain. For example if privacy features are added to QKC, they can be easily implemented on the shards. As QuarkChain adds features in the infrastructure, all other tokens in the QuarkChain system will enjoy the benefits of the entire ecosystem. For example, when a privacy shard is built into QuarkChain, all other tokens in the network can enjoy the benefit of a privacy cryptocurrency.
COLLABORATIVE MINING TO BUILD AND STRENGTHEN COMMUNITIES AND REDUCE CENTRALISED POWER.
Another scaling trick is the collaborative mining on the root (PoW) chain. The hash powers are incentivized to distribute evenly among all shards, ensuring all shards are mined evenly and the system TPS increases and the number of shards increases. The root chain takes over 50% of the hash power of the whole network, to prevent double spend attacks and malicious mining.
As QuarkChain uses this unique sharding method, note that a network who are using the system have several minor blockchains (shards) and one root blockchain. This means each blockchain offering miners different incentives and difficulties, allowing them to choose any chain optimal for their hashpower without joining a mining pool. As all shards and the root chain benefit, everyone who takes part is still incentivized and rewarded in a fair way.
To make this even more attractive to miners, Quarkchain aim to support multiple mining algorithms, including its own unique algorithm called Qkchash – a customized ASIC resistant, CPU mining algorithm, which encourages CPU mining. As mentioned before, users can also choose whether to mine on the root chain, or on smaller shards depending on their computing power. By allowing and actually encouraging a wider variety of miners on the network, a scaleable community model is created.
This creates a very unique, open market model for miners
My initial concern was that the importance of the native token would be diluted and become less essential in the ecosystem, given that there can be multi-native tokens, but I quickly understood that to create a shard, you have to stake QuarkChain tokens – you also have to pay all smart contract fees in the QKC native token, meaning everyone who builds a shard still has a vested interest in the wider community. This is extremely important to the longevity of the project.
As well as this, there is a staking governance model so people can vote in the ecosystem, also taking tokens out of circulation.
All Smart Contracts also still require QKC, making it the fuel of the ecosystem.
Something that was overlooked was the launch of QPocket, QuarkChains Smart Wallet that supports QuarkChain, Ethereum and Tron blockchain tokens. It’s extremely user friendly and easy to connect to dApps through the dApp Store.
With over 250 shards on the Quarkchain Testnet, it’s important that QuarkChain have a smart wallet in place for the future that is both user friendly and scalable. Having it already launched, and also supporting multiple chains gives them a good headstart for the launch of mainnet.
You can learn more about it here:
Overall the solutions presented by QuarkChain are really exciting, particularly as they approach scaling from both angles: Technical and Community, something most teams seem to overlook. With the mining collaboration technique opening mining up to CPU users and on smaller chains (shards), allowing more aggressive reward structures, I expect this to be very well received by people who have been put off from mining previously.
The QuarkChain Mainnet launched on the 30th April, and you can learn more about it here:
The Daily Chain – Inform. Educate. Succeed.