QTUM is a blockchain and cryptocurrency designed to support mobile DApps and is described as a hybrid of Bitcoin and Ethereum. The QTUM platform supports the transfer of value, as is the case with Bitcoin while supporting DApps and also smart contracts as is the case of Ethereum.
One of the big issues that the QTUM platform looks to address is a requirement for users to synchronize the entire blockchain, which fails to deliver the concept of light clients, with synchronization of the entire blockchain required.
QTUM and uses a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm in order to reduce energy consumption in the quantum experienced by Bitcoin and Ethereum miners. The PoS consensus means that blocks are usually forged, or minted instead of being mined, with block rewards in addition to transaction fees and forgers receive a percentage of interest for the amount of funds they stake.
QTUM is essentially a variation of Bitcoin with Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility.
The QTUM EVM is constantly backward compatible ensuring access for a wider number of internet users, even in low bandwidth environments, to deliver decentralizing PoS transaction validation.
With internet traffic continuing to shift towards mobile devices, QTUM aims to address lack of availability of certain blockchains and smart contracts to mobile users and users in low bandwidth areas.
In addition to giving greater blockchain access, QTUM also addresses one of Ethereum’s flaws, that being a requirement for a smart contract to be initiated from within the blockchain.
Key characteristics of the QTUM network include:
- Account Abstraction Layer (AAL): Allows the EVM to function on the QTUM blockchain without significant modifications to the virtual machine and existing Ethereum contracts.
- UTXO: Bitcoin’s ledger uses unspent transaction outputs, making the UTXO-based blockchain incompatible with Ethereum’s data storage, Ethereum using account balances. The issue as address with QTUM’s AAL, which converts outputs into account balances, enabling the transfer of information between the blockchain and EVM.
- Decentralized Governance Protocol (DGP): Incorporated to solidify the governance framework and rules into contracts, ensuring that decisions are made in a democratic way when needed and to automatically complete the blockchain state management.
- GAS Model: Taken from Ethereum, each EVM opcode executed has a price and each transaction has an amount of gas to be spent. Post-transaction remaining gas is refunded to the sender. QTUM calculates the value of gas by comparing existing prices in Ethereum with the amount of processing and blockchain resources need for each opcode to QTUM.
QTUM was launched in March 2017, co-founded by Jordan Earls, Patrick Dai and Neil Mahi, with a total supply of 100,000,000 QTUM coins and an inflation rate of approximately 1% per annum
Some distinct differences and characteristics of the QTUM Platform include:
- The use of AAL ensures that QTUM gets to benefit from advancements made in both Bitcoin and Ethereum.
- QTUM was developed to deliver smart contracts to a wider audience by removing proof of work consensus, addressing business concerns over miner influence on the blockchain.
- QTUM delivers the security and stability from the Bitcoin blockchain and the easier to use programming from Ethereum.