Qtum Foundation Pte Ltd (Qtum) announced its collaboration with the SpaceChain Foundation to launch a standardized CubeSat. The satellite would carry Qtum’s blockchain software technology on a Raspberry Pi device to provide unique advantages for Qtum users.
The electricity required for cryptocurrency mining has increased exponentially over the years. The Guardian quoted Digiconomist’s report that Bitcoin mining alone resulted in 30.14 TWH, which exceeded the power consumption of 19 European countries in November 2017. Today, Digiconomist calculated that Bitcoin mining power consumption had increased 56.2% over four months to hit 47.07 TWH, costing US$2,353,276,312 per year consuming 0.21% of the world’s electricity.
In Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithms, power consumption is necessary for transaction verification which is done through PoW ‘mining’. By launching a satellite into space with a comparatively lighter proof-of-stake algorithm, Qtum can increase its reliability with a future satellite network expansion.
Company derived three real-world application advantages for Qtum’s satellite-enabled blockchain technology:
Cost Effective Proof-of-Stake Mining for Qtum Wallet Holders on Smart Phones
While most blockchain technologies use PoW for their mining operations, Qtum uses a form of PoS for its transaction verifications in the network. The satellite launch provides energy savings and a cheap hardware platform for Qtum to excel. Instead of buying expensive specialized mining equipment that cost thousands of dollars to purchase, setup, and maintain, Qtum wallet holders can mine for Qtum tokens on the lightest of devices.
Secure Consensus Improved Stability and Cybersecurity
The Qtum blockchain is more stable given that it is based on the benefits of two major blockchain platforms: Bitcoin and Ethereum. The stability of Qtum comes with Qtum’s Smart Staking technology which allows it to build a more secure consensus with smart contracts through the networks block rewards and fee distribution mechanism. Such secure consensus acts as a natural barrier against cyberattacks such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) and offsets traditional PoS issues such as “nothing at stake” which leads to consensus failure and reduces the blockchain’s stability.
DGP Enhancement of Smart Contract System
Another major advantage of the Qtum blockchain comes from its scalability features which allow it to be more adaptable in supporting third-party technologies. The Qtum blockchain supports technologies such as Simple Payment Protocol (SPV) for efficient payment verification, the Ethereum Virtual Machines (EVM) for execution of Ethereum Smart Contracts and N Account Abstract Layer (AAL) to allow the UTXO model to have states for smart contracts.
The adaptability of the Qtum platform was improved for the space launch. We introduced the Decentralized Governance Protocol (DGP) which embeds a smart contract into the network to allow for users to mitigate attacks and scale the blockchain. DGP is a core innovation of Qtum that allows for seamless upgrades, rapid iterations, and distribution throughout the blockchain in a decentralized manner. DGP supports parameter changes such as those to the block size, gas limit, gas scheduling, and block time. Beyond that, Qtum is also developing a new virtual machine that will address the shortcoming of the Ethereum Virtual Machine such as weak support for standard libraries. In short, the Qtum Foundation is building an efficient and adaptable smart contract system.
Qtum’s Satellite Advantage
The barriers to entry for cryptocurrencies are low, and we now have over 14,000 cryptocurrencies in the world aside from the major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. However, these cryptocurrencies are costly to maintain which ironically increase the barrier for widespread industrial adaption.
With the satellite launch, Qtum has lowered the cost of industrial usage which would set the stage for mass adaption of Qtum and also future application advantages. This satellite launch may be expensive, but it sets Qtum aside from the competition. It is the undisputed demonstration of our resolve to be the leading cryptocurrency and blockchain platform in the world.