The Birb Nest
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The Birb Nest

Penguin FA — Komodo ($KMD)

This article was first released to the CryptoBirb Exclusive Moon Club.
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Circulating/Max Supply: 111,024,393 /200,000,000
Masternodes ❌

Table of Contents


Komodo is a multi-chain blockchain platform that allows developers to launch their own customizable, interoperable blockchains with security and optional privacy.

Komodo is a fork of the Zcash code and therefore uses the same zk-snark technology. Their Jumblr is a currency shuffler that gives users the option to anonymously move funds from one address to another.

Delayed proof of work is the algorithm used to secure the Komodo blockchain. In addition to regular miners, there are 64 notary nodes that back up the Komodo blockchain to another blockchain (currently Bitcoin) approximately every 10 minutes. This forces potential hijackers to location of these backups are then stored back on the Komodo blockchain. Potential hijackers have to come up with enough hashing power to take down Bitcoin before they can erase Komodo’s backups. This allows Komodo’s blockchain to be secured through Bitcoin’s hashrate.

Interoperable Assetchains
New blockchains generated on the KMD platform are called ‘assetchains’. These are basically customizable forks of the Komodo blockchain that can automatically receive any updates to the main KMD chain.

Some features of assetchains include:

  • Independence means each assetchain is its own blockchain and will not be slowed down by increased usage (like Cryptokitties) by projects on other assetchains.
  • Atomic swaps allow users to safely trade tokens on one chain with tokens on another chain without a middleman or intermediary currency. Instead, they can use the Barterdex GUI to swap tokens with each other.
  • Cross-chain smart contracts will allow assetchains to communicate with each other without any trading or swapping. Instead, coins are ‘transferred’ by being burned on one chain and created on another. Projects can use this technology to scale their assetchain by linking to new assetchains and creating a cluster of chains that work together.
  • Crypto-Conditions are language agnostic, UTXO-based smart contracts. Komodo is building a library of customizable CC smart contracts that perform different functions and will be available to all assetchains. Projects that need contracts that are not already in the library can either submit a request or fork the Komodo code to add their own contracts.
  • Federated multi-chain syncing will improve scaleability for the whole network by allowing any one chain to verify transactions for any other chain on the KMD platform.
  • BarterDEX integration gives newly created tokens automatic access to trading without having to pay exchange listing fees.

Decentralized ICOs
Komodo’s dICO dApp allows projects to offer their tokens for sale on several different nodes using their atomic swap and privacy technology. This helps ensure that the ICO has no single point of failure and allows investors to anonymously purchase their tokens with no middlemen. Limits placed on buy orders also prevent whales from easily purchasing all the tokens.

Current and future Komodo-based dICO projects can be viewed here.

Multicoin Wallet

Supported Coins in Agama v0.3.2a on Mac with Advanced Features enabled

Komodo’s Agama wallet supports multiple currencies with ERC20 support planned in Agama v44.

Komodo’s ‘Dark’ History

Back in 2014, jl777/James Lee (Komodo’s core developer and founder) was an anonymous C developer working on NXT and BitcoinDark.

In August 2014, he announced the SuperNET ICO for a project that allowed for cooperation and cross promotion of features among member coins. Holders of SuperNET’s UNITY coin would receive dividends from revenue generated by member coins. BitcoinDark was one of the core coins listed in this ICO.

jl777’s response to the Nxt API changes in 2015

SuperNET was originally launched and built with the Nxt API in mind. In 2015, due to Nxt’s decision to change the API in a way that negated jl777’s work, he decided to declare “independence from any single blockchain” and move his focus over to BitcoinDark.

Announced on Bitcointalk by Azeh on July 9, 2014, BitcoinDark was a crytocurrency project focused on privacy and decentralization. About a week later, James announced that he had joined the development team for BitcoinDark and he soon became its core developer.

In late 2016, jl777 decided to stop development on BitcoinDark. Instead, he added a delayed proof of work (dPOW) feature and rebranded it as Komodo. To pay for the notarization costs of dPOW, Komodo held an ICO and raised 2639 BTC. Migration of SuperNET assets to the Komodo blockchain was announced in October 2017.

The website now redirects to the Komodo Platform website.

Token Utility

Some of the current uses for the KMD token include:

  • KMD is used to reward miners and notary nodes
  • Users who hold 10 or more KMD in their wallets will receive up to ~5% in rewards per year if they log in to claim the reward every month. This reward will keep being distributed until Komodo reaches the 200 million coin supply limit.
  • Approximately 300 KMD is required as a fee for using Komodo’s delayed proof of work blockchain security service.
  • KMD is required to use Komodo’s Jumblr privacy feature.
  • dICOs may choose to reward Komodo holders through methods such as airdrops or special bonuses.
  • KMD is used as one of the base trading pairs in Komodo’s decentralized exchange and has the highest liquidity.
  • KMD holders are allowed to participate in notary node elections.

Token Economics

Of the 100 million tokens created during the ICO, 20 million went to investors, 70 million was reserved for BitcoinDark swaps, and 10 million went to the Komodo project.

Note that the development team also received BTCD tokens and most likely swapped their BTCD for KMD, which means some of the 70 million KMD reserved for swaps probably went to some of the developers as well.

New coins are introduced via mining, with 64 elected notary nodes getting 75% of the block rewards.

Coins are also introduced via a monthly 5% reward for those who hold 10 or more KMD in their wallets. No internet connection is required for the reward. This inflation will continue until the supply reaches 200 million. Long term holders should remember to collect this reward to keep up with the coin inflation.


From Interview with anonymous founder of Komodo
Part of James‘ response when asked about exchange listings on Komodo’s Discord

James Lee (jl777) is the anonymous Core Developer and Founder of Komodo. Though we don’t know much about his identity, James has clearly proven his blockchain programming expertise with his involvement in SuperNET and Nxt. He claims to be “not money motivated” and views it as his responsibility to “make the tech that can solve the real world problems”. James also seems to be a good leader and planner. In May 2017, he recognized that they needed to prepare for “the next bear market…to ensure the long term survival of KMD.”

Aside from James, there are 23 other developers currently listed on the Komodo website. Full information is not available for most of them, though Core Developer Mihailo Milenković has over 10 years of experience as a C++ developer listed on his LinkedIn. Judging from what Komodo has already accomplished, James Lee and this team of developers are quite capable of coding their ideas into reality.

Komodo isn’t all coders though. To balance things out, they have a Marketing and Development team of 8 people. With the website rebranding and the technical nature of the updates and new features, this marketing team will need to find a concise way to easily explain Komodo’s advantages in order to attract more projects to it.

Komodo’s Executive Leadership Team

CTO Kadan Stadelmann has IT security expertise and should be able to help guide Komodo to develop features that protect it from hackers.

General Manager Ben Fairbank is an experienced manager who most recently worked for Grab, the ride-sharing company that bought out Uber in Southeast Asia.

Chief Marketing Officer Steve Lee previously worked as an ‘Executive Content and Messaging Strategist’ for Hewlett Packard Enterprise for two and a half years. With approximately a decade of experience in sales and marketing, he seems well suited for the role.

Though Komodo appears to have a large team, a lot of them are volunteers. This is probably because they only kept 10% of the ICO tokens and cannot afford to hire a large full-time staff. This means that the presence of key team members like jl777 are crucial to steady, continued progress for this project.

The team can be easily reached on their Discord

In terms of communication, the Komodo team can be easily reached on Discord, with jl777 frequently popping on himself to answer technical and non-technical questions.

Overall Komodo has a very strong dev team with good communication and should be able to achieve what they are planning to do.


Komodo’s Roadmap as seen on:

Komodo has already released features such as delayed proof of work, atomic swaps, assetchains, BarterDEX, and their multi-currency Agama wallet.

More recently, they completed the Sapling and Verus Hash algorithm upgrade for more than 40 blockchains. What’s interesting here is that the main Komodo chain was able to integrate the upgrades and new features that Verus (an assetchain) developed. They then broadcast the update to all of the other assetchains. This is an example of how innovations developed on one assetchain can benefit all projects built on Komodo.

There are still many big things in store for Komodo’s future. Agama has plans for Ethereum and ERC20 token support in v44 (current version on Dec 25, 2018 is 0.3.2a). Important features like the Ethereum smart contract bridge and cross-chain smart contracts still have to be completed. More customizable Crypto-Conditions smart contracts still need to be added to Komodo’s library. The team has proven that they have the coding chops to deliver in the past, so it is reasonable to assume they can also deliver on these ambitious new features.

Komodo’s rebranding will take place throughout 2019
Marketing Manager Audo Kowitz explains the reasons for Komodo’s rebranding

Aside from this developer-intensive work, Komodo also has a rebranding planned for 2019. This should give the team a chance to rebuild Komodo’s image and attract new investors who may not be aware or do not fully understand the potential impact of Komodo’s new features.


Komodo is in the highly competitive blockchain platform space. It is unique in that it is actually a platform for platforms


Ethereum is still the blockchain platform to beat. A lot of exchanges and projects support and work with Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. The Amazon Managed Blockchain service currently works with Hyperledger, with Ethereum following soon. Ethereum developers are currently working on solutions for its scaling issues.

Komodo clearly views itself as an upgrade to Ethereum

In terms of technological advancements, Komodo appears to have the advantage over Ethereum. Unlike Ethereum, Komodo’s UTXO-based smart contracts are language agnostic and do not require gas fees for all processes. The assetchain structure gives Komodo much greater scalability than Ethereum while still allowing it to benefiting from Komodo’s dPOW security. However, Ethereum is still much more popular and well-known. Many developers and projects are working on solutions for Ethereum’s scaling issues. Komodo’s marketing team have to bring their A game if they want to convince more projects to pick Komodo over the more well-known Ethereum.


Pirl’s all-in-one project ‘Poseidon’

In contrast to Komodo’s current cutting edge tech-first approach, Pirl is an Ethereum fork with masternodes that is more focused on providing an all-in-one decentralized app that does everything in one convenient place. Pirl also has 51% attack protection in the form of their PirlGuard protocol combined with notarizing to the Pirl and Ethereum blockchain.

Komodo’s plans for interoperability and scaleability are much more ambitious and revolutionary than Pirl’s. Yet projects like Pirl that are focused on convenience and ease to facilitate adoption could attract enough users to gain significant market share (and thus lure developers who want access to those users) while Komodo is still building out its advanced tech.

For more information about Pirl, please check out my article Penguin FA — Pirl ($PIRL).


Blocknet is an interoperability-enabling solution that allows for communication between different blockchains.

  • XRouter will allow dApps to use decentralized APIs to call upon services and functions from other blockchains.
  • XBridge will connect nodes on different blockchains and enable atomic swaps of cryptocurrencies across blockchains. Like Komodo, Blocknet also has an atomic swap-powered decentralized exchange called Block DX.
  • XCloud will provide decentralized hosting for dApps and services.

Blocknet is quite similar to Komodo with regards to interoperability. Barterdex and Block DX can be viewed as direct decentralized exchange competitors.

However, Blocknet is more of an enabler than a blockchain platform. Blocknet does not have features such as security through proof of work, customizable assetchain creation, cross-chain smart contracts for linking of assetchains, and a library of crypto conditions smart contracts that developers can call on.

Team member Jeff Madgett discusses cuts that have been made to lower Blocknet’s costs
Blocknet developer Michael discusses possibly leaving the project if funding cannot be secured

The Blocknet team currently looks to be having funding issues due to the bear market. Recent discussions in the #project-funding channel on their Discord show that the team is being forced to make cuts and are looking for ways to save on costs. Komodo does not appear to have this problem and as stated earlier, jl777 had already mentioned the need to prepare for a bear market in May 2017.


Komodo is quite an ambitious project focusing on fixing big blockchain issues like scalability and interoperability. If successful, developers will be able to easily create secure, scaleable, and interoperable blockchains with a library of smart contracts/features to help them customize everything to their needs.

Founder jl777’s anonymity may be concerning for some investors, but he has proven his skills as a coder since getting involved in the blockchain space in 2014. Under James, the Komodo team have created a working product that innovative projects such as Pirate Coin and Verus are already using.

Komodo’s Agama Wallet (v0.3.2a) is functional but could be more user-friendly
An Agama user expresses his frustration on the Komodo Subreddit (Source)

However, Komodo needs to work on ease of use and understanding of its features. For example, the Agama Wallet is functional but can be confusing and unintuitive for the average user.

Barterdex works, but suffers from low liquidity

Barterdex is also functional but like many decentralized exchanges suffers from low liquidity. Atomic swaps are impossible if you cannot find anybody to swap with you. Improving its ease of use could be one factor that helps to draw more traders to the exchange.

Redefining blockchain platforms through a ‘federated multi-chain architecture’

With all the different features and new technology being coded, Komodo has great potential. To attract more users, the team needs to make their technology more easy to use while finding a way to concisely explain Komodo and its tech in an easy way that the average user/investor can quickly understand. In the image above from Komodo’s current website, they describe themselves as redefining blockchain platforms through a ‘federated multi-chain architecture’. How many people would know what that is without an explanation?

Hopefully the rebranding efforts throughout 2019 will give Komodo a chance to reinvent its image in a way that is more easily understood. That should do a lot to draw more users and supporters. The upcoming Ethereum smart contract bridge and interoperability features should also help attract more developers over to Komodo.

With the right marketing push, Komodo could attract the developers and users it needs to truly start revolutionizing the blockchain world.

Like all other cryptocurrencies, the KMD token price is significantly down from its all time high. The team’s steady progress, ambitious plans, and innovative new features make this a very interesting long term investment.

Recommended Resources

History of Komodo and Introduction to Assetchains

Naomi Brockwell Interview with Jl777

Vleppo Interview with GM of Komodo

Crypto Rich Interview with Komodo Technical Writer

SuperNET ICO Pdf Copy Hosted By Nxter

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