What is Qtum?
Qtum was designed as a business-ready blockchain. A relatively new project with an initial coin offering (ICO) in March 2017.
With a strong team and strong backing, Qtum can be best thought of as a hybrid between Bitcoin and Ethereum, taking good parts from both, and creating a new and accessible place for businesses to launch distributed applications built on smart contracts.
Why is Qtum important?
Qtum features a strong team lead by Patrick Dai, who was recently acknowledged as one of China’s “30 under 30” to watch, with other team members coming from prestigious and well-known Chinese tech companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent. Beyond their ICO capital, they are backed by more traditional capital from established angel and private investors in China.
A rarity in the blockchain world, Qtum is also backward compatible with ethereum contracts as well as bitcoin gateways and will remain backward compatible even after updates. This allows for easy platform adoption and a “plug and play” methodology that leans upon what other technologies in the space have done well.
Qtum is making a big push to create technology that is nimble and flexible enough to enable smart contracts on mobile devices and also plans to expand into IoT (internet of things) devices. Based in Singapore, Qtum is positioning itself to go address the Asian markets and even more specifically, the Chinese market.
How does Qtum work?
Qtum features a first-of-its-kind PoS (proof of stake) consensus protocol. This protocol achieves consensus through the agreement of computers on the network (nodes) to do the right thing, but Qtum promises something different, and more flexible.
In the future, Qtum promised to roll out iPoS (incentivized proof of stake) mechanisms which will reward participants. They claim to be the first cryptocurrency to bring together smart contracts from Ethereum, transaction models from bitcoin, and proof-of-stake as means to maintain the blockchain.
Borrowing structural code from both Bitcoin’s transaction model and Ethereum’s virtual machine and smart contract model has served Qtum well. Bitcoin’s UTXO (unspent transaction output) model and SPV (simple payments verifications) protocol are rolled into the build, which means that transactions can occur in a simple, lightweight format. The setup also allows smart contracts on mobile devices through lite wallets, and features such as QR code-based transfers like Bitcoin does when moving funds from address to address.
The smart contracts are built into Qtum’s underlying code so they can be translated into terms that both humans and machines can read. The greater the accessibility, the larger the potential market size, and the more powerful the network.
Qtum is innovating rapidly on what others have done well, and rolling these features together in a new, polished, and powerful package.