Online AMA in Bithumb Community Summary
- Congratulations on QuarkChain’s mainnet launch and successful mainnet token swap! Please briefly introduce QuarkChain for us.
A: QuarkChain was established in Silicon Valley last January. Most of our team members come from top technology corporations like Google and Facebook, Facebook is the company that released Libra recently. Our engineers all have backgrounds of the distributed underlying architecture. We are rich expertise in engineering.
The technology QuarkChain uses is called “sharding”. I want to emphasize the word “sharding”. It is a popular word because many blockchain projects have been talking about it. For QuarkChain, we are the first public chain to implement state sharding technology of all the present public chains.
Another point about sharding is that Ethereum 2.0 has come up with the concept of “sharding” from the very beginning. That is to say, QuarkChain has implemented state sharding technology earlier than Ethereum 2.0.
Thus, we are very proud to announce that QuarkChain has realized some ideas of Ethereum 2.0 in advance. In the past year, QuarkChain has made great achievements. For example, on April 30, 2019, our mainnet launched. Moreover, in May 2018, when we launched our ICO, more than 60,000 people took part in the ICO, and finally, 5,000 people were listed on the white list.
On July 4th of last year, QKC was first listed on Binance. That was a rare case last year. If my memory was correct, there were only two projects listed on Binance last year. Now our project is open source. As for the TPS, last year it reached a rate of 55,000 and now it is far more than that. QuarkChain also has contributed a lot to blockchain research. For example, this May we held a blockchain technology conference together with IEEE, the top computer association. It is a conference that gathered all the technological talents all over the world. It’s not about cryptocurrency space but about the academic field. At this conference, we not only presented our achievements but also held training seminars of blockchain together with Ethereum.
Recently, our main task is token swap. Since the mainnet coin and ERC20 are both available on different exchanges, sometimes it’s ERC20, and sometimes it’s mainnet coin. Token swap needs a process and the mainnet coins give users the priority use of mainnet functions. ERC 20 will have a better circulation on exchanges. The exchanges which we were recently listed on currently support ERC 20 first.
2. Sharding, layered，and cross-chain are the three future solutions for high-performance blockchains. QuarkChain has chosen sharding, can you introduce sharding technique in detail to us?
Sharding is not something totally new. Sharding is a general name for a certain kind of technology. It was not newly generated for blockchains but already existed in the centralized world first. Google and Facebook have been using sharding for many years. Engineers of our team were focusing on sharding when they worked for Google or Facebook. Some people doubted that why QuarkChain was doing well in the blockchain project while they don’t have blockchain experience. It is because we are doing something that we have always been good at, that is sharding. It’s like a combination of what we shine at and blockchain. There are different types of sharding in the market such as state sharding, transaction sharding, and network sharding. Among them, state sharding is the most difficult to realize but also the best solution.
There are two characteristics of sharding: the first is scalability, or we can say to improve the performance to a large extent. The second is flexibility. What is scalability? You can imagine the transactions in blockchain as cars moving on the highway. All the single chains are like one highway. Each blockchain such as EOS and other public chains is trying to make the transactions as fast as possible (i.e., the cars move faster on the highway). In this way, more cars will pass in a unit of time. But the problem is that cars cannot speed up without limit. It may speed up from 50 to 80 mph, but over 80 mph it becomes not safe. If cars can not speed up anymore, what should they do? The sharding technique is like a number of parallel highways for cars. If one highway is not enough, then make two highways. If two highways are not enough then make four. If four highways are not enough then make eight. New highways can be built constantly without limitation.
For instance, if there are 10 parallel highways, even if the speed of the cars is not fast enough, more cars could pass at one time. The second characteristic is flexibility. Why is it flexible? For example, there are 10 highways.. Although the highways are parallel, they are not identical. Some are surrounded by flowers while some are wider. Some are paved with concrete while some are paved with rebars. In this way, you can use different consensuses, different token economics, and different VMs.
In this aspect, sharding is the only underlying architecture that can support multiple consensuses. It may be a little difficult to understand but in fact, it is simple. It’s about which one you choose when mining, PoS or Pow? Some prefer PoW while others prefer PoS. This is not a problem for sharding systems. Each shard, as I said that the whole chain contains multiple shards. We can use different consensus algorithms on different shard chains. PoS is used on this shard chain for mining while PoW is used on another shard chain. We can even use DPoS like EOS, or other new consensuses on other shards. Sharding is a very flexible underlying architecture. You don’t need to make a choice. As long as technology is adopted for blockchain society, it can be accommodated.
This table is about what I just mentioned. Any blockchain project, whether it is Ethereum, NEO, EOS or ADA, including the most popular projects such as Cosmos, Polkadot and of course QuarkChain, can be defined by these four factors.
Briefly speaking, we need to decide: first, what kind of VMs you want to use; second, what kind of consensus you use; consensus is referring to PoW and PoS we mentioned before; third, what kind of ledger models you use; and finally, what kind of token economics you use, Deflation or inflation, and for what purpose, i.e., for gas fee or something else. In 2017, many tokens were launched by replacement.
The benefit of sharding is to let everyone know that there is no need to launch a new token which has no innovation. They are not flexible at all. Take Ethereum as an example. It has adopted PoW before and now it is extremely difficult to change to PoS. It’s not easy to change. As for NEO, can its consensus be changed like EOS’s? No. Can its consensus be changed to the most popular PoS? No. All these are hard code and extremely difficult to be changed. However, for QuarkChain, as I said before, each of our shards is flexible to choose. It can choose completely different four factors for each shard: the consensus, ledge model and token economy.
3. Besides QuarkChain, many other projects also adopt sharding as a solution for blockchain scalability. What’s the difference between QuarkChain and the others?
Ethereum 2.0 was the first to come up with the concept of “sharding” . However, its development process is quite slow and it is still under development. Another project is Zilliqa with transaction sharding. It has been widely accepted nowadays that state sharding should be adopted. QuarkChain is the third project to advocate state sharding and the first one to implement it, followed by many other projects.
I believe there are two critical differences. The first difference is what I mentioned before, state sharding and transaction sharding. State sharding is the most difficult and all the new projects are focusing on state sharding. Zilliqa was very first to focus on sharding and it was transaction sharding at that time. After QuarkChain’s appearance, all projects are pursuing state sharding.
A second difference is that currently, all the projects except Ethereum 2.0 were creating homogeneous shards. That is to say, all shards are the same as each other. For example, if one chain is for PoW mining, all the shards need to use PoW. If you like staking and need to use PoS, then all your shards need to use PoS. The main point here is, QuarkChain supports heterogeneous shards. QuarkChain and Ethereum 2.0 are the only two projects that support heterogeneous shards. As for Ethereum 2.0, it’s under a slow development and may get started in the next year or the year after. QuarkChain has already implemented and that’s the biggest difference.
4. In the planning of Ethereum 2.0, Vitalik Buterin mentioned that sharding was the future of Ethereum. At the same time, Polkadot and Cosmos, both adopting cross-chain technology, are quite popular recently. What’s the difference between sharding and cross-chain?
Many people have the feeling that after the mainnet launch, the project may no longer have any progress since it seems the project is already completed. Actually many projects have no achievement after mainnet launch.
That is mainly because most projects only made some minor innovations. They may want to innovate a better consensus, a better token economy, or a new VM. For example, Facebook created a new VM. Many projects just innovated in one dimension. Once the innovation point is implemented and applied on the mainnet, there is no more to be done.
In other projects such as layered, heterogeneous sharding, and cross-chain, the innovations they make are not on one small aspect. Basically, they implement an overall architecture that can be improved and completed as time goes by.
There is a misunderstanding about cross-chain among the public. There is a view that there are 100 public chains in the world and Cosmos can combine them together so that in the future all the public chains will not be independent. In reality, it is impossible. No projects can do that, because the underlying architecture of the 100 public chains is totally different.
What cross-chain can do now is to generate many chains through its center. However, the chain underlying architecture generated by cross-chain has to be quite similar. Cross-chain transactions are happening among these chains. It is quite different from what we think of cross-chain. Sharding is quite similar because there is a root chain and there are many shards. Each shard can choose its favored consensus or token economy. A shard is like a chain and shards can interact with each other, just like cross-chain.
In my opinion, heterogeneous sharding architecture is very much similar to cross-chain. From the aspect of flexibility, the sub-chains of Cosmos and the shards of QuarkChain are the most flexible because they support different consensuses. Both Ethereum and Polkadot can only adopt specific consensuses. From the aspect of security, the consensuses that Ethereum 2.0 and QuarkChain adopt have some advantages and are more secure.
At last, I want to talk about the development progress. QuarkChain and Cosmos have already launched mainnets while Ethereum 2.0 and Polkadot are still under development. As for interaction, these four projects are much similar. They all have a chain to coordinate like an intermediator, the sub-chains or shards.
It’s Beacon Chain for Ethereum 2.0, Root Chain for QuarkChain, Relay Chain for Polkadot, and Hub for Cosmos.
5. Can you explain in detail that which functions have been realized on mainnet and what the future plan of QuarkChain is?
All the characteristics aforementioned are the characteristics of QuarkChain mainnet. QuarkChain mainnet has implemented all these functions I mentioned on the underlying architecture. There will be something new that we have not added yet, since we don’t know whether a new consensus better than PoS will come out in the future. It’s like the VM of Libra, if everyone accepts it, we will add it too. These new technologies have not been added yet, but our underlying architecture was designed to incorporate them. Thus, you can consider it as plug-in-play.
Take-home messages: there are three characteristics of QuarkChain mainnet.
Sharing is born to solve the TPS problem. (All the sharding projects are focusing on the scalability problem by adding the same shards to speed up). Not to mention a rate of 100,000 TPS, even higher TPS is possible. From our point of view, once sharding is adopted, TPS is no longer a problem for blockchains. The most important problem, for now, is to find a strong application for blockchains.
The second characteristic of QuarkChain is flexibility. Only projects which support state sharding can do it. So far Ethereum 2.0 and QuarkChain can do it. That is to satisfy the requirements of different enterprises, customers and industries. A one-size-fits-all solution for all enterprises is impossible. You should adapt to your customers instead of the customers adapt to you. At the same time, all the new technologies can be compatible.
3. Operability/ Interaction
Tokens on QuarkChain are native tokens so they can decide their token economics. Besides, they can use their tokens to support Gas to solve the high Gas problem. The cross-shard transaction is as simple as single-chain but as interactive as cross-chain.
6. During the first half of the year, PoS is very popular. However, mining is becoming more popular recently. PoS vs PoW has been discussed for a long time. Which one is better? What kind of consensus does QuarkChain adopt?
QuarkChain is a project that each shard can support a different consensus. It is different from other projects that you need to choose one consensus and can only choose once. Basically, if you choose PoW, it is difficult to change. It is difficult for Ethereum 1.0 to change from PoW to PoS. QuarkChain supports both PoW and Staking, since both have their own pros and cons.
Besides, we also come up with a new consensus algorithm, PoSW, which is a Proof-of-Staked-Work. Why do we do that? The reason is that there exists a risk of the 51% attack in PoW. Combined with PoS, to attack the blockchain, the attacker needs not only to have a computing power over 51% but also holds a certain amount of tokens. Even if the 51% attack succeeds, the attacker will still suffer loss. The cost for the attack is higher and thus the entire network is more secure.
In addition, we have quite a good return from mining. If there are miners in the community, you are welcomed to join our mining pool.
7. There is a saying that in the future there will only be BTC, ETH, and a new public chain to take place in the world. What do you think?
The problem is how we define “new”. There may be a public chain using new technology next year. Then another public chain with newer technology may show up the year after. In this case, the existing public chain will be abandoned. If new projects are to be developed each time a new function is added, the cost of continuous development is quite high. What’s more, the ecosystem and community cannot keep growing. Thus, the project should have the capability to update with the development of technology. That is to say, the project can evolve itself. The public chain can keep adding these new developments instead of abandoning the old chains completely.
That is why we think state sharding is great and necessary. It is difficult for Ethereum 1.0 to upgrade. Even a single change is extremely difficult. As for QuarkChain, we were focusing on state sharding at the very beginning. Everytime when a new technique comes out, QuarkChain just accommodates it, and it makes QuarkChain a new chain.
8. The community is concerned that as QKC holders, what else can investors do besides holding the tokens? How can the users take part in QuarkChain’s ecosystem construction?
QuarkChain is more like an underlying architecture rather than a single public chain because there can be other public chains building on QuarkChain. Each shard has no big differences between each chain.
Firstly, it is quite similar to ordinary public chains. You can use it to play DApp or do IXO. It doesn’t have many differences from other public chains. The only difference is that other public chains can only support the upper-level applications, like Layer2, Dapp while QuarkChain can be compatible with other public chains.
Secondly, because QuarkChain supports different consensuses, mining and staking are both available. We can also support new token economics in the future.
Thirdly, We will develop some functional sharding such as privacy shards on QKC, which is quite different from other projects. With this privacy shard, all the tokens on QKC are equipped with privacy function. However, once the privacy shard is launched, it will generate a privacy coin for the QKC holders. Thus, each time a functional sharding is added, a functional token is generated. QKC holders have the opportunity to get the functional tokens.
9. It is said that QKC community is very international. Can you introduce that?
Yes, QKC is quite a different project. QuarkChain started from Silicon Valley. Thus, our overseas community is bigger than the community in China. We have communities that speak more than 10 languages abroad, to name a few, Russia, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, and Turkey. Why QKC was first listed on Binance? One of the reasons is that we have strong overseas communities.
Bithumb Global is an exchange from Korea. Bithumb is a Korean exchange while Bithumb Global is more international. We have an office in Korea and we were listed on Upbit. Thus, we are quite popular in Korea and even interviewed by its mainstream media. The community members are quite active in our Korean community and call QuarkChain “The King of Sharding”.
This year, we plan to keep building our communities, especially our Chinese community.
Questions from community members
- What’s the relationship between QKC and QRK?
There is no relationship at all. The first day we were listed, QRK was increased by 70% because people bought them by mistake. We have been using QuarkChain as our English name to avoid confusion. However, QRK is no longer active. Thus, “Quark” usually refers to QuarkChain these days.
2. Lots of public chains are exploring Defi and Staking. What about QuarkChain?
I have already answered this question before. Different shards can use different consensuses. Currently, QuarkChain supports both PoW and Staking. We will also support new consensuses in the future. Defi is just one kind. Our underlying architecture is so flexible that we can support many kinds of requirements from the customers.
3. Which exchanges QKC will be listed? How long will the project managers’ token be locked？
QKC has been listed on over 20 exchanges such as Binance, Kucoin, Gate, MXC, Bithumb Global, Upbit and so on. PE tokens have been released this July and project managers’ have a two-year lock period before release.
4. You have always been emphasizing technology. Is QuarkChain team just focusing on the technique not the market？
If we talk about something like the market cap in public, it is against the laws in the USA. SEC will not allow it. In this aspect, QuarkChain is not as aggressive as some projects in China. Secondly, I believe that within a short period of time, technology may not be that closely related to the secondary market. They are related in the long term. However, if the company can catch up with the latest developments and follow every new, it will benefit the coin price in the long term.
5. It is said that some public chains plagiarizing codes from others. How to choose a really great public chain? In the future, will there be only one strong public chain or multiple public chains existing together?
Plagiarizing codes is low action and will be recognized easily.
I think blockchain projects can be classified into two kinds. One kind is the projects that just change one of the four factors（consensus, token economy, VM and ledger model) I mentioned and then launch a new token. These projects usually have a short lifetime. Another kind is stated shards like Ethereum 2.0 and QuarkChain as well as cross-chain structures like Cosmos and Polkadot. These projects are working on a system. Thus, they will develop, update, and progress.
There will not be too many public chains in the future because most of them will be eliminated with the development of technology. However, there will not be the only one left. In general, I think there are three categories of the existing blockchain systems, i.e., layered, sharding, and cross-chain. We haven’t seen the fourth category.
This is really long AMA, and thank you for reading the whole article. Please join in QuarkChain Telegram group and send the message “Thank you for Bithumb AMA Summary” to @Daisyszq (QuarkChain Offical Admin). The first 5 people who send the message will receive QKC rewards.