We are excited to announce the public launch of ThunderCore Testnet!
ThunderCore is a public, scalable, EVM-compatible blockchain. Based on years of groundbreaking academic research in consensus protocols, ThunderCore combines decentralized trust with the performance previously exclusive to centralized systems — delivering high throughput of over 1200 TPS, sub-second confirmation times, and low costs to power the next generation of DApps at scale.
We want a more transparent, fair, and secure internet — to put power back in the hands of users. ThunderCore is for the developers who are inspired to build for this future.
Blockchains, enabled by Nakamoto style consensus, have proven that truly decentralized systems without a single point of trust are possible. They represent a possible alternative to traditional cloud services, which leverage massively parallel systems to provide high scalability and throughput — but importantly, lock users in, limit their control and privacy, and expose them to hold-up pricing.
Unfortunately, current blockchains like Ethereum are simply not viable at scale, in their current form. As blockchain usage grows, DApps simply require more performance and scalability than is available today. The failures are well-documented — Cryptokitties’ 14,000 daily users were enough to double gas prices, contribute to a 6x increase in transaction latencies, and slow the network to a halt; more recently, a Chinese exchange ran a PR campaign (that resulted in sybil attacks), clogging the Ethereum network. While 14K DAU may be meaningful to the Ethereum network, it is miniscule when compared to the millions of users of some traditional mobile and web apps. Building decentralized applications for internet scale requires a new paradigm. Developers need to be able to build and deploy DApps, trusting that the underlying blockchain will remain cheap, fast, performant, and secure as their user base scales.
ThunderCore is this new platform paradigm. The goal is simple: make it easy for developers to build and run DApps for users everywhere around the world.
Thunder’s breakthrough lies in its core consensus protocol that overcomes the fundamental limitations of Nakamoto consensus. Fully specified and backed by rigorous mathematical proofs, the Thunder Protocol (based on the groundbreaking “Thunderella” protocol) was developed by Cornell Professors Rafael Pass and Elaine Shi.
The beauty of the protocol lies in its extreme simplicity. Consensus nodes complete a single round of voting to confirm transactions in under a second. Accelerators — robust, DDoS-resilient distributed systems — coordinate the network of consensus nodes. Importantly, users do not need to trust the accelerators nor the consensus nodes; they only need to trust the honest majority. If accelerators arbitrarily act maliciously, for example, the worst that can happen is that the system slows down (to the speed of a traditional blockchain); it cannot break the system’s security guarantees nor stop the system. In this way, ThunderCore maintains fully decentralized trust.
The result is significantly better performance — high throughput, fast confirmation times, and low gas costs — while maintaining decentralized trust. Specifically, ThunderCore has already achieved over 1200 transactions per second (TPS) with sub-second confirmations, while operating a hundred consensus nodes.
All of this performance is available to DApps built for Ethereum. ThunderCore is intentionally designed to be EVM-compatible, to make it easy for existing and emerging Ethereum-based DApps to migrate to Thunder. For most DApps, migrating to Thunder requires little to no change in source code and only minutes to complete. All of the same tools that work for Ethereum also work for ThunderCore.
After years of research, months of development, and weeks of a privately available testnet, we are excited to announce that Testnet is live to the public.
We are eager to finally share what we’ve been building with the community, and to partner with developers to help build the next generation of DApps at scale. Check out the developer portal to learn how to build or migrate to ThunderCore, view ThunderScan to track live activity, and see the speed in the live chatroom demo DApp.
We have yet to issue any Thunder Tokens (TT). Thunder Tokens are ThunderCore’s native cryptocurrency, used to pay “gas” fees to confirm transactions and in the selection of committee members. TT will be available at mainnet launch, which is scheduled for Q1 2019.
Thunder brings together award-winning academics, scientists, technologists, open-source contributors and entrepreneurs who are all inspired to build for a decentralized future. This amazing 40+ person team has worked diligently to deliver ThunderCore on-time, as promised, in under eight months.
Thunder was born out of academic roots. Thunder Chief Scientist Professor Elaine Shi has been studying consensus protocols in distributed systems for nearly a decade, publishing the first academic papers and teaching the first university courses on bitcoin and smart contracts. She and Professor Rafael Pass co-founded the Initiative for Cryptocurrency and Smart Contracts (IC3), one of the top academic blockchain organizations. They co-authored “Thunderella,” the mathematically proven consensus protocol upon which ThunderCore is based.
Thunder CEO, Chris Wang, remains the youngest ever Ph.D CS grad of Carnegie Mellon (where he was officemates with Elaine). He previously co-founded and sold Playdom, a gaming ecosystem company, to Disney for over $500M dollars. Like many Thunder engineers, our CTO Chris Li is a long-time open-source contributor and Linux kernel hacker.
Our team continues to grow, and with this public launch, we are excited to grow the amazing Thunder community!
Get Started on Testnet
Click here to start building or migrating DApps — and let’s build the next chapter of the decentralized web, together.
And if you’re excited about what we’re building, consider a “👏” or fifty below to help spread the word.