What is Qtum?
Qtum is a hybrid Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain platform. Qtum (pronounced Quantum) was created by adding an account abstraction layer on top of a Bitcoin fork code to allow sidechain integration with blockchain virtual machines like the Ethereum Virtual Machine. This hybrid model combines the best of both worlds, adding Bitcoin’s value-storing capabilities to Ethereum’s smart-contract platform.
It is touted as quantum computing for the masses and developers, a payment system for the business world and an AI-powered, watertight smart contract system that can change the way we do business.
Introduction to the Qtum Blockchain
Qtum (pronounced “Quantum”) is an open-sourced platform that merges Ethereum’s smart contract network with Bitcoin’s value transfer protocol. This Singapore-based blockchain is focused on the mobile dApp (decentralized application) market, and it built a developer ecosystem with strong community support.
Co-founders Jordan Earls, Patrick Dai, and Neil Mahi have deep roots in blockchain and enterprise technology. They’ve worked at companies like Alibaba, Nasdaq, and Baidu, and Qtum resolves many of Ethereum’s scalability issues.
But many of Qtum’s biggest strengths have already been duplicated. It was the first Proof-of-Stake blockchain network, but Nano and others have adapted PoS, and even Ethereum may convert.
And while the dual-layer sidechain concept was once innovative, it’s now considered standard in today’s blockchain market. NEO, MOAC, and a slew of competitors are hoping to grab the same market share…So can Qtum still compete?
Its development team believes it can, and it created Unita, an enterprise-grade scalable consensus algorithm (SCAR) to prove it. The Qtum Foundation also ended 2018 with a $400,000 donation to blockchain researchers at Columbia University.
Before discussing its technical and business chops, let’s review how QTUM, the proprietary cryptocurrency used on the Qtum network, is performing on the cryptocurrency market.
Market Performance of Quantum’s QTUM Cryptocurrency
The peak price of QTUM so far was $103.45 on January 6, 2018. The maximum coin supply is 107,822,406 QTUM.
The QTUM ICO raised $15.7 million in five days, from March 12-17, 2017. Investment came in the form of 11,156.766 BTC and 77,081.031 ETH. During the ICO, 51,000,000 QTUM (51 percent of the total supply) were distributed to the public. Twenty-nine million was allocated to community incentives, and 20 percent was withheld by the founders and development team.
In order to stake QTUM, you’ll need to operate a full node and stake QTUM in a wallet. The more QTUM is staked, the higher your chance of being selected to verify a block and earn the 4 QTUM reward.
Over $83 million worth of QTUM is traded on a daily basis. It’s traded on a variety of cryptocurrency exchange markets, including LBank, CoinEgg, EXX, Bithumb, Quantfury, ZB.com, Allcoin, Bibox, and BitForex. Its trading pairs include USDT, ETH, and BTC.
Benefits of Qtum Forking Both Bitcoin and Ethereum
While there are certainly a lot of blockchain 2.0 competitors, Qtum has an advantage in that it forked Bitcoin’s code to be compatible with Ethereum.
This means it benefits from the development community created for both, and application layers like the Lightning Network and Raiden Network can more easily be adapted. Think of it like adjusting your Android KitKat app for Marshmallow devices versus having to fully recreate it on iOS. It also uses an x85 Virtual Machine (VM) that supports a variety of development languages.
Because Bitcoin and Ethereum are the highest-profile blockchain projects (in the western world, anyway), Qtum took a very smart development shortcut for rapid, iterative improvements. The long story short is Qtum is standing on the shoulders of giants, and it’s not the worst idea in this case.
Blockchain is moving toward interconnectivity, and the idea of one chain ruling them all is shortsighted. I have no doubt there will be a Facebook, Google, or Amazon of blockchain (despite all three of these tech giants working on proprietary blockchain tech).
However, there are millions of web-based businesses that exist on the market and generate revenue. They’re not all publicly traded, and few of those that are reach Facebook levels. Many, like Crypto Briefing itself, are small teams that compete in this crowded market. There’s room for every blockchain and crypto.
The endgame of cryptocurrency is localized currencies, meaning every city, state, country, business, person, etc. is able to issue a currency, so long as it can be backed by something. There are already over ten times more cryptocurrencies than fiat currencies on the market, so the idea of one crypto to rule them all isn’t real.
Qtum has a place on the crypto market because it’s building for the future of blockchain. The gamble is whether or not the Qtum Foundation can hold everything together until then.
Why Proof of Stake and Who’s Using Qtum?
As mentioned at the top, the Qtum blockchain was the first to implement PoS smart contracts. This is important because the previous section makes it sound like it rides the coattails of Bitcoin and Ethereum, but it beat both to PoS.
PoS is more energy efficient to mine cryptocurrency and provides a sleeker consensus at the expense of decentralization. This is how Qtum is able to focus on mobile-first applications, and it’s already attracting the perfect partners to compete in both today’s and tomorrow’s blockchain markets.
For starters, Qtum partnered with Amazon Web Services and is now listed on the AWS Marketplace. Amazon is offering the Qtum blockchain to beef up its blockchain offerings and compete better with Microsoft Azure’s Blockchain as a Service marketplace.
We also previously covered how the release of No Postage Necessary on the Qtum blockchain jumpstarted Hollywood’s move to blockchain-based releases. This release strategy will have major effects on the resale and piracy markets.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Qtum Foundation’s agile development model gives the team time to continue forging partnerships, and its listing on Amazon’s BaaS platform is the best ad it could have ever hoped for.
With developers seemingly running away from Ethereum in droves, it’s no wonder Qtum is so beloved by the blockchain community.
Qtum is a mobile-focused hybrid of both Bitcoin and Ethereum’s blockchains. It combines value transfer capabilities on one layer with smart contract processing on the second. This enables both dApp and financial ecosystems to develop and flourish. Qtum’s success is fueled by these key factors.
- Qtum was the first Proof-of-Stake blockchain, proving it’s more nimble than Ethereum. It still benefits from development on both Ethereum and Bitcoin, giving it the best of both worlds.
- The Qtum Foundation partnered with Amazon as part of the AWS marketplace BaaS offering. It also expanded partnerships during 2018’s bear market.
- Because it’s based on Bitcoin and Ethereum, Qtum is an attractive option for developers looking to migrate away from these popular platforms.
With these pieces in place, Qtum is well-positioned for success. It truly lives up to its promise of merging the best of Bitcoin and Ethereum. One can only wonder if that’ll be enough to truly shine in tomorrow’s blockchain market.