Blockchain Users are Increasing Every Day, But There’s a Problem
According to data gathered by Blockchain.Info, the number of blockchain wallet users has been increasing exponentially since 2011. Last year ended with over 21 million wallet users, and if growth continues at a similar pace, the 2018 total could more than double. Along with a similar line, ICOs continue to grow at a blistering pace. Per CoinSchedule’s ICO tracker, there have already been seventy-plus ICOs raising over 2.8 billion dollars total, almost three-quarters the amount raised last year in about 20 percent of the time. Long story short, blockchain technology will enjoy another incredible year.
However, as blockchain users and blockchain startups increase in number, the industry as a whole still has some problems that need to be addressed. Despite tremendous growth, blockchain scalability, for example, is still a concern. As the number of users and businesses increases, existing blockchain systems will continue to crack under pressure. The Ethereum Network, for example, is used as the foundational infrastructure by hundreds of platform. And yet, despite attempts to scale and reduce blockchain bloat, the network is still overcrowded. Unless a solution is implemented relatively soon, things could get pretty ugly.
In response to these dire needs, several companies have stepped up and developed unique platforms that attempt to make blockchains more user-friendly. Qtum is one example of an advanced blockchain that addresses the problems with existing decentralized networks. It can not only scale, but also contains an amount of flexibility that will attract business and industry adoption. A huge part of Qtum’s potential is its hybrid blockchain structure. Many believe hybrid chains are the next step in blockchain development.
How the Qtum Platform Solves Existing Blockchain Problems
One of the key features of Ethereum is that it lets users integrate smart contracts into their systems. These self-executing contracts actualize once the terms of the contract are reached, giving companies an incredible amount of customizability.
Unfortunately, Ethereum smart contracts use the Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol. This protocol is relatively expensive and often results in blockchain bloat. As a growing number of companies use Ethereum smart contracts and dApps (decentralized applications), there is the possibility that the blockchain becomes too big to function efficiently, train wrecking business operations. The inability to scale and effectively handle bloating may very well be the Achilles heel of the emerging industry.
In contrast to Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other dozens of other blockchains, the Qtum platform the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol to implement its smart contracts. This means the platform will scale efficiently, minimizing the risk of blockchain bloat. What’s more, “[the] consensus mechanism of Proof-of-Stake is more suited for business applications”, per the company’s white paper, making it ideally suited to grapple with the steady influx of blockchain users and companies.
Ethereum’s Casper update, which will integrate a PoS protocol, is still facing delays that are stalling its rollout. Thus Qtum maintains a significant advantage because it has used PoS from the beginning. Control over the network will be truly decentralized, mitigating the risk of a 51 percent attack or a scenario where a few miners control the networl’s operations.
A unique aspect of the Qtum platform is its combination a Bitcoin Core fork and Ethereum’s Virtual Machine (EVM). In other words, it is a hybrid blockchain. This blend results in extreme security–from the Bitcoin network–and extreme flexibility–derived from Ethereum-like smart contracts. Developers will be able to port projects from both Ethereum and Bitcoin onto Qtum’s platform with ease, keeping a level of compatibility with ongoing processes from derived both blockchains. This will save developers time and money, as key network components won’t have to be recreated from scratch.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the hybrid blockchain technology is powered by an onchain governance mechanism that lets users easily adjust the parameters of the network. Block size, gas price, and gas limit will all be easily adjustable, preventing the need for network splits and hardforks. These important features make Qtum one of the most flexible infrastructure platforms available, which will be extremely helpful for businesses as they deal with the tremendous growth of blockchain technology.