The birth of Bitcoin in 2009 represented a big step forward in technology and a further move towards a more efficient society. However, Bitcoin was not built to scale, and its consensus mechanism—the engine that powers the blockchain—is limited by design.
Current solutions make trade-offs between three components: scalability, security and decentralization. This is known as the blockchain trilemma.
Bitcoin for example focuses on decentralization and security, which makes it less suited for any kind of transaction that requires speed and fast confirmation, like day-to-day payments, data transfer, asset trading or other transactions consumers and businesses rely on in everyday life.
Especially the legacy financial system, from the processes that happen in the back-end to consumer-facing solutions, requires high throughput and fast finality.
Decentralizing these services at scale, while providing bank-grade security represents a challenge for the whole blockchain industry.
Fantom tackles the problem at the core: its high-speed consensus mechanism, Lachesis, allows digital assets to operate at unprecedented speed and delivers dramatic improvements over the current systems.
Unlike other solutions, Fantom does not sacrifice security and decentralization in favor of scalability.
Indeed, the advantages brought by Fantom are not merely pure performance; its modular architecture allows for full customization of blockchains for digital assets, with different characteristics tailored to their use-case.
Fantom also offers exceptionally high levels of security by using a leaderless Proof-of-Stake protocol to secure the network.
Fantom’s aBFT consensus, called Lachesis, is capable of scaling to many nodes around the world in a permissionless, open environment, providing a good degree of decentralization. It does not use Delegated Proof of Stake, and has no concept of “Masternodes”.
How does Fantom work?
Fantom is modular
Lachesis represents one layer, the consensus, of the blockchain technology stack and can be plugged into any distributed ledger.
Currently, two networks are using Fantom’s consensus algorithm:
- the Opera mainnet deployment, that uses the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and it’s compatible with Ethereum;
- and Xar Network, built using the Cosmos SDK on top of Fantom’s aBFT consensus.
A fully-fledged, proprietary, open-source SDK called Fantom Virtual Machine is in the works and will be released in 2020.
The modularity makes Fantom exceptionally flexible. Developers can port their existing Ethereum-based dApps on Fantom Opera mainnet in a matter of minutes, substantially upgrading the performance and lowering the costs.
Fantom is scalable
Each network built on Fantom is independent from one another. Their performance and stability are unaffected by traffic or congestion.
The first generation of blockchain platforms (Ethereum and alike) opened the doors to smart contracts, conditional logic instructions that allow the execution of applications on the blockchain.
However, with more complex dApps and/or with the increase of the users, the whole network slows down. This happens because all the dApps use the same infrastructure. It’s similar to executing multiple applications on a computer: at some point the computer will choke and start to respond very slowly or even hang altogether.
Fantom solved the scalability issue by giving each application its own blockchain, similarly to running each application on different computers that are part of the same network.
Each blockchain is independent from one another, and can have custom tokens, tokenomics, and governance rules. However, being all plugged into Lachesis, Fantom’s uber-fast aBFT consensus, all the blockchains can interact with each other and benefit from the speed and security of the underlying technology.
Each network is completely customizable according to the specific usage.
If we think of Ethereum as a decentralized computer, Fantom is a network made of a potentially infinite number of decentralized computers. They all share the same logic, but they’re completely independent from one another. Yet, they can easily communicate with one another.
In other words, Fantom is a network of networks.
Fantom is secure and environmentally friendly
Fantom is secured by Proof-of-Stake. Unlike Proof-of-Work, used by Bitcoin and Ethereum, Proof-of-Stake prevents centralization and saves electricity.
Lachesis can provide institutional-grade security to distributed networks. Fantom offers absolute finality, which means that transactions can never be reverted like in networks with probabilistic finality.
The consensus mechanism can also scale to hundred of nodes, increasing decentralization and therefore security.
Lastly, Lachesis is leaderless. By removing leaders, security doesn’t rely on a small set of actors.
Fantom is open
Fantom is open-source
Our teams are committed to creating building blocks for anyone to use and customize to their needs. We relentlessly aim for high transparency regarding our work. Based on these principles, our code is open-source and available on Github.
Fantom is open-participation
Fantom is permissionless. Anyone can run a node.
On Fantom’s Opera Chain, a virtually unlimited number of validator nodes can participate in securing the network, as long as they keep a minimum of 3,175,000 FTM at stake.
If you own lower amounts of the token or you’re not an expert in running distributed systems, you can still participate in securing the network.
You can delegate a minimum of 1 FTM to a validator node, and get rewarded.
Where is Fantom going?
Fantom is based on Lachesis, an innovative aBFT consensus. On top of that, we are creating a blockchain ecosystem along the whole blockchain technology stack.
We’re building the infrastructure for a more connected and efficient future where people will be able to take advantage of the technological breakthroughs to improve the quality of their lives.
We are humbled and proud to be part of the digital revolution that will eventually permeate all aspects of our lives, from payments and a fully digital economy to digital identity, medical records, to create a global scale internet of digital assets.