What will come of Qtum’s second testnet? Before we get into details of the second version of the testnet, let’s have a brief review of the release of their first version called Sparknet.

On June 28, 2017, the Sparknet was released from Qtum which is mainly for developers. The Sparknet integrates Qtum’s the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) through its Account Abstraction Layer (AAL). What’s unique about Qtum’s approach is that they decoupled the EVM from the blockchain through their Account Abstraction Layer. This means that transactions that don’t involve smart contracts can be processed without the virtual machine. The main difference between the Qtum and Ethereum is that the Qtum offers backwards compatibility since the virtual machine isn’t directly connected to the blockchain. So, on Qtum you can have the EVM and EVM2 as well as any other VM running on top of the blockchain at the same time. Qtum is then combined with a POS (Proof of Stake) protocol and is all based on Bitcoin’s UTXO (Unspent Transaction Output) model while maintaining compatibility with many existing tools and technology. This sets a new standard for the smart contract industry and is the first time in blockchain history that any team has ever completed such a task.

I will just mention a few benefits of the revolutionary combination of the AAL, POS, and UTXO:

1. A more secure network

2. Less forks (hard and soft)

3. More scalable

4. Less expensive to operate

Along with the Sparknet release, the test mobile wallets for iOS and Android systems are available as well. Users who wish to try out the test versions of the mobile wallets can message various team members and they will be sent a version to their mobile devices.

Upon testing the wallets, both the core and mobile, my transactions were almost instant. I’m very impressed with the work the team has done with both applications.

The second testnet will have a name, but at this moment it is still undetermined. So what do we as a Qtum community have to look forward to in mid-August when the second testnet will be released?

1. DGP (Decentralized Governance Protocol)

DGP is a new technology solely created by the Qtum team. DGP is a specifically designed smart contract created to self-govern blockchain parameters to help avoid divisive soft or hard forks. The DGP itself can create a proposal to fix an issue or problem in the blockchain with little to no interruption making it unnecessary for users to have to make any changes. The DGP will make a proposal to fix an issue or a problem. Next a voting process will take place from programmed smart contracts. If enough votes are collected to make the change, then the change will be implemented. If there are not enough votes to make the change, then nothing will be changed. The DGP makes Qtum the first ever blockchain that has self-governing technology. Did you know that developers can integrate the DGP functionality into their DApp(s)? This allows team members to be able to focus their time on more important issues with their application.

2. Smart Stake Protocol (SSP)

Smart Stake Protocol is a security measure that is put in place to deter attacks on the network. If someone does successfully attack the network, they will not be able to mint their own transactions and keep the fees; they will be forced to share the fees with other POS miners.

3. Possible partial GUI (Graphical User Interface) interface.

Since the GUI (Graphical User Interface) isn’t complete, developers must use the qtum-cli at the commandline or use qtum-qt debud window for all smart contract integrations. A partial GUI could save developers valuable time needed to focus on other aspects of their developments. There may not be enough time to implement the partial GUI, but we can all keep our hopes high.

4. 100% Ethereum compatibility

Various changes which will make Qtum smart contract 100% compatible with Ethereum. In the current testnet some operations in Solidity behaved differently on Qtum. This included getting blockhash, block time, difficulty, and coinbase. On the second testnet, they have been changed so that they match Ethereum’s behavior completely.

The team has been working around the clock to make sure everything is delivered in a timely manner. After all these changes are implemented onto the new testnet network, Qtum will be securing their path to a successful mainnet release towards the middle to end of September.