Strengths and Weaknesses
- Super fast transaction speeds: 1-3 seconds with 10,000 TPS and a maximum capacity of 300,000 TPS
- Low gas fees
- High security through the protocol design and multi-signature function of the user wallet
- Self-development and service interoperability function, compatible with the Cosmos SDK as well as EVM
- Strong team members; for example, Ahn Byung, the project’s founder and president of the Korea food-tech platform; and Andre Cronje
- Uniqueness: within L1 protocols, Fantom, with its specific protocol designs, has a very fast time to finality, replacing time spent on consensus in L1 protocol
- The fWallet is quite an innovative Web 3.0 wallet in my opinion
- Hard to be a full validator (high staking requirements)
- The project’s funding was managed by the founder team, not through decentralized management
Fantom is an open-source, decentralized high-performance layer-1 (L1) platform built on its own custom blockchain protocol, called the "Fantom Opera Chain". The platform aims to provide faster and more scalable infrastructure for decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts, compared with existing solutions.
The Fantom Opera Chain uses a new consensus algorithm called "Lachesis," which allows fast and secure transactions. Additionally, it features a new data structure called the "Fast Merkle Tree," enabling faster block times and increased scalability. Fantom is designed to be interoperable with other blockchains, such as Ethereum, through its cross-chain communication protocol called "Inter-Chain Communication (ICC)". This allows dApps and smart contracts built on the Fantom Opera Chain to interact with and access data from other blockchains. Fantom uses its own custom Virtual Machine (FVM) which is EVM-compatible, which means that it can run smart contracts written in Solidity, the programming language used for Ethereum. This allows developers to easily port their existing dApps and smart contracts from Ethereum to the Fantom Opera Chain.
Fantom’s mission is to provide compatibility between all transaction bodies around the world, and create an ecosystem that allows real-time transactions and data sharing at low cost.
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Functioning of the Chain
Fantom is built on a Java base, a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) base design, and a distributed ledger that allows for fast and efficient transaction processing by using a unique consensus algorithm. This data structure is called the "Lachesis Protocol."
The Lachesis Consensus Algorithm
In the Lachesis Protocol, each node in the DAG represents a block, and the edges between the blocks represent the dependencies between them.
The blocks are ordered chronologically, with each block having a unique hash and the hashes of previous blocks in the chain. The Lachesis consensus algorithm is based on the concept of "Event Blocks" and "Event Clusters." Event Blocks are blocks that contain transactions and are linked to previous Event Blocks. Event Clusters are groups of Event Blocks that are linked together and form a sub-chain.
The protocol uses a "Validator Set" consisting of a group of validators that are responsible for creating and validating blocks. The validators are chosen based on their reputation, and their ability to provide fast, reliable transactions.
The Lachesis Protocol also features a new data structure called the "Fast Merkle Tree," which allows for faster block times and increased scalability. This data structure facilitates the efficient verification of large amounts of data and enables the network to handle more transactions per second.
The Fantom blockchain uses both Scala-Lang and Fantom-Lang programming languages.
- Scala, Java base, is used for the implementation of the node software
- Fantom-Lang is used for creating and deploying smart contracts on the network
Scala is a widely used functional programming language. A web app framework called Play is written in Scala, and it has successfully been established on numerous IT platforms such as Amazon and Coursera. The strengths of Scala have already been proven through practical applications in industry. Although Haskell is an excellent functional programming language supported by mathematicians, it does not have nearly as many users as Scala.
Fantom Virtual Machine
FVM uses a register-based model to execute smart contract code, which is more efficient than a stack-based model. It is also a Register-based Virtual Machine, which allows for more efficient execution of smart contracts, and it uses a gas-based model to ensure that smart contracts do not use too many resources. It also has built-in support for the standard Ethereum opcodes, allowing for interoperability with existing Ethereum smart contracts and tools.
The FVM is designed to be a secure, powerful virtual machine byTuring-completeness. One of the key aspects of it is very high security, another aspect is the language that can perform any computation that can be represented as an algorithm, including problems that are considered to be computationally difficult or impossible.
Structure of Opera Chain
The data structure of Fantom is quite unique; it still includes hash, signatures, time stamps, addresses, transactions, smart contracts, story, and index information. Each block, called a "Story” or “Event", contains a list of transactions and a reference to one or more previous events. This creates a web of events that form the history of the Opera Chain.
With its acyclic design, it does not form a loop. Instead, each event is linked to one or more previous events, forming a tree-like structure, resulting in a directed graph where each node has a directed edge to one or more other nodes. This data structure is more flexible than the traditional blockchain structure, which stores the history of transactions in a linear chain of blocks. It facilitates faster and more efficient processing of transactions by allowing multiple events to be processed in parallel.
Performance of Opera Chain
As mentioned above, many complex designs could provide tons of potential to the Opera chain. The developer team claims that the maximum speed capacity is 300,000 TPS.
Multiple Layers of Opera
The Opera chain is composed of two main layers: the Opera Core Layer and the Opera Ware Layer.
The Opera Core Layer is the underlying layer of the Opera Chain and is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the blockchain. This layer is powered by the Lachesis protocol, a novel consensus mechanism that uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) to achieve fast and efficient consensus.
The Opera Ware Layer is the application layer of the Opera Chain and is where dApps and smart contracts are executed. This layer is powered by the Fantom Virtual Machine (FVM), a secure, powerful, Turing-complete virtual machine that supports a wide range of programming languages, including Solidity and Rust.
By separating the consensus and application layers, the Opera Chain is able to achieve high performance and scalability while also providing a secure and flexible environment for dApp and smart contract development.
One of the highlights of Fantom, fWallet, was designed to be the e-wallet, with which clients can use distributed services and multi-address management (like a traditional bank account). This provides more convenience and minimizes damage when under attack, and includes address verification, encryption / decryption processing, and transaction currency exchange components.
The wallet management provides services that easily recognize the e-wallet address of service users through QR code scanning, and instantly engages in transactions once a quantity has been entered. Also, using IOS / Android Native and Web methods, it should allow external businesses using the e-wallet service to deploy dApps on various service environments and operating systems.
Security is an area to which the team gives high priority, and is composed of:
- Private key management: the wallet uses a hierarchical deterministic (HD) structure, which allows users to generate an unlimited number of private keys from a single seed phrase. This makes it easy to back up and restore the wallet, and also allows for the use of hardware wallets
- Multi-signature support
- Encryption: the wallet encrypts all private keys and seed phrases using industry-standard AES-256 encryption, which helps to protect against potential hacking attempts
- Regular security updates
Fantom Opera Ware Protocol
The Fantom Opera Ware Protocol is composed of Transaction Protocol, Smart Contract Protocol, Story Protocol, Reputation Protocol and Reward Protocol as seen in the picture below. These architectures allow many dApps to be built on top of the chain with more ease, lower cost, and a higher level of security.
The Opera Ware layer provides open-source APIs, smart contract scripts, a functional programming language, wallets, and Middleware (Payment, Reputation, Reward), which can be used with various dApps. In the Opera Ware layer, fantom ($FTM) is a fundamental component of any transactions. In addition to this core functionality of $FTM, Opera Ware allows the payment of the appropriate reward associated with transactions.
With Middleware availability comes new dApps, more security, reduced time and cost for new developers, and an improved rate of adoption.
Regarding the fWallet, other features include multi-chain support, a built-in Decentralized Exchange (DEX), security and privacy. This wallet uses cutting-edge security features to protect users' assets and private keys, including biometric authentication and hardware wallet support, a user-friendly interface, staking and governance, plugins and dApps which support multiple languages for developers.
2018, June 15
- Stage 1 — Intermezzo; Design Lachesis protocol and Fantom architecture, Fantom fWallet development and distribution, Middleware beta launch
- Stage 2 — Seria; main Middleware and public API disclosure launch, start of Opera Ware Mainnet, Opera Core Layer, beta launch
- Stage 3 — Buffa; main Opera core layer established, function language, virtual machine beta and smart contract production tool launch
- Stage 4 — Operetta; Opera chain mainnet launch, complete consensus and fee model, complete composition of decentralized network, main VM launch, POS / commerce application services
- Stage 5 — Grand Opera; Global platform expansion, Fantom technology development council and research support agency established, logistics and financial service application services launch
- Afghan Government Partnership, a commercial partnership with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health focused on securing the pharmaceutical supply chain
- Fantom Foundation announces it will deliver a presentation to the UN International Telecommunications Unit (ITU) as part of its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) working group
- Go-Opera update; the update was successfully rolled out, allowing the Fantom network to achieve an average time-to-finality of 1 second
- Fantom announced support with blockchain infrastructure services provider, Chainstack, Web 3.0 infrastructure provider, Blocknative, and open-source oracle provider, DIA
- Fantom Foundation launched a massive liquidity mining program of 370 million $FTM
- collaborations with Chainlink, API3, and Band Protocol
- Multiple strategic partnerships with many countries and use-cases; from the storage of intellectual property records (Ukraine), and development of enterprise software for prisons (Pakistan), to working with the Dubai government in the development of blockchain-based solutions for the city, central bank digital currency and e-government infrastructure development (Tajikistan) and supply chain uses (Uzbekistan)
Dr. Ahn Byung Ik, Fantom Chain CEO, and Korea Food-Tech Association President, initially aimed to develop dApps focused on food delivery, supply chain management, and food-related payments. However, after Dr. Ahn's quiet departure from the board, the project was put on hold.
Board of Directors and team members
- Founder - PhD in Computer Science from Yonsei University, President of the Korea Foodtech Association, Co-Founder of food-tech platform, SikSin
- CEO / CIO - Bachelor of IT and Commerce, Former CTO at Digital Currency Holdings, Advisor for Enosi Foundation, and Developer at Block8
- CMO - Former Consultant at Fusion Foundation, Business Development at Origin X Capital, and Marketing Strategist at The BlockCloud Company
- Director, Former Managing CEO at Mid-Ocean Consulting Ltd., President of Oceanic Bank and Trust.
- Technical Advisor, Former Chief Crypto Code Reviewer at CryptoBriefing, Technology Analyst at Leminiscap, and Blockchain Infrastructure Engineer at CryptoCurve
- Legal Counsel, Partner at TCM Capital, General Counsel at Grasshopper Capital, former Global Head of Compliance at ANZ
- Head of Innovation - CEO of Blockchain Partners Holdings, Co-Founder of Innovate Society
Decentralized On-Chain Governance
This mechanism is meant to support multiple proposals by any members and the contract supports multi-delegations between voters. Each proposal can diverge into multiple options and votes can be held for each option. Each action requires a fee ($FTM) during the operation.
Revenue & Tokenomics
- Decentralized - the revenue for Fantom comes from various sources such as transaction fees, staking rewards for validators, and incentivizing app developers to build on the Fantom platform, among others. These revenues are distributed among the participants of the network, such as validators, stakers, and developers. It is important to note that the revenue generated by the Fantom network is subject to market conditions and the overall success of the platform
- Centralized - as we can see in Fantom's timeline, Fantom is trying to provide many use-cases and develop a range of As-a-Service business models to help traditional businesses transition into the Web 3.0 economy
Fantom ($FTM): ERC-20 token, a native delegated on-chain vote
$FTM is a core of the platform and can be used:
- to pay fees on the network
- to participate in consensus as a node validator
- to enable access to decentralized applications (dApps) built on the network
- for governance and decision-making within the network
- for staking and delegating to earn rewards
Max Supply $FTM: 3,175,000,000
Circulating Supply $FTM: 2,772,904,312
Total $FTM Staked: 1,391,052,794
Daily expected distribution of $FTM: 501,201.64
$FTM Raised Capital: 40,000,000 USD (in 2 rounds in 2018)
40 % allocated to public and private sale investors, including private sale bonuses - these $FTM have no vesting schedule
15 % allocated to advisors, with a 3-month lockup
10 % allocated to the founding team - this allocation features a 24-month vesting period with monthly cliffs
3.6 % allocated to a strategic reserve - these $FTM have no vesting schedule
31.4 % reserved for staking rewards, to be distributed daily until 2024
Initial Supply Breakdown;
As in this picture, around 70 % of all coins are with investors and the founder team.
On the other hand, only 20 % of the remaining supply will have been emitted by 2024, shown proportionally in the picture below.
Total funding of all rounds is 40 million USD. Around 1.2 billion $FTM was sold.
The Uniqueness of the Chain
The uniqueness of the chain, in my opinion, lies with the vision of the founder, who designed the program’s architecture in such a way that it could seamlessly connect with a traditional business. With its unique language protocol, speed and low gas fees, it could really drive mass adoption in the real world.
Fantom has presented many use-cases to governments and top projects around the world. This will ultimately bring more opportunities to Fantom in the future.
The protocol design was prepared for high scaling, security, and low gas fees. It’s really amazing if you read the details of the Opera chain.
The fWallet contains many technologies, features, and has huge potential.
How the Network is Secured
Fantom has implemented various security measures to improve the security of its blockchain. Some of these measures include:
- The Consensus algorithm which is a combination of Proof of Stake (PoS) and Lachesis consensus
- Network Security is monitored by a large number of validators
- Encryption: all transactions on the Fantom network are encrypted, providing a layer of security for users
- Code review: the Fantom team constantly reviews the code and the network architecture to identify and fix potential security vulnerabilities
- Audits: the Fantom code has been audited by reputable security firms to ensure that the code is secure and that potential vulnerabilities have been addressed
The Fantom team uses a combination of cryptography, game theory, and network design to ensure that the network is resistant to 51 % attacks, Sybil attacks, and other potential security risks. In addition, the network is designed to be highly decentralized, with a large and distributed node network to maintain the integrity of the blockchain. There is also a slashing mechanism to control malicious nodes.
Running a Node (Validator)
Validator nodes are an essential part of the Fantom network. Validators run a full-node and participate in consensus to increase security and to forge new blocks. The Maximum number of nodes will be 1,000 in the future.
Minimum requirements to become a validator:
- 500,000 $FTM at last update
- Maximum validator size: 15x the self-stake amount
- Earn staking rewards and a 15 % fee on delegators rewards
- Minimum hardware requirements: AWS T2.large EC2 (or equivalent)
- At least 800 GB of Amazon EBS General Purpose SSD (gp2) storage (or equivalent)
The advantage of the Fantom node validator
Validators play a crucial role in the network. You can help secure Fantom’s decentralized system by staking and setting up a node. After running the node, the validator can get involved with the direction of the project through the Node Proposal System and receiving $FTM as a reward for participation in securing the network.
The main advantage of being a delegator is that it allows users to delegate their $FTM to validators and earn rewards without having to actively participate in consensus themselves. This can be particularly useful for users who do not have the technical expertise or resources to run a validating node themselves.
A guide how to become a Fantom validator / delegator.
Staking rewards: Participants can choose to lock up their FTM coins for a reward rate proportional to the lock-up period – up to 365 days and 5.98 % APY – the minimum lock-up for the base rate – 1.95 % APY is 14 days (as of January, 2023). There is also an option of Liquidity Staking by staking $FTM then minting $sFTM and reinvesting it again.
More information about liquid staking, fluid rewards and running a node can be found by clicking here.
Previous planned use cases include the following:
- Peer-2-Peer payments without financial intermediaries
- "Sharing economy" applications, such as ride-sharing, without intermediaries taking a cut
- Supply-chain management can be tracked at every step, with data saved on an immutable ledger
- Governments and organizations can communicate with each other through a shared ledger or database
The 2023 Road Map, according to an interview with Cronje, involves:
- Gas monetization - reduce gas burn by 75 % and introduce it as an incentive for protocol participants
- improvements to the Fantom Virtual Machine, and a storage mechanism
Gas monetization will allow revenue sharing for decentralized applications as a development incentive. In addition, due to gas subsidies, Fantom dApps would be able to interact without a wallet needing to pay the gas fees.
The blockchain has an impressive community and extensive social marketing, such as:
- Keeping the community up to date with the latest developments via many live events
- Attending, supporting, and hosting hackathons and DevCons
- Ambassador program
- Gamifying elements in network participation to incentivize community members to run validator nodes
- Community infographic contest
With these programs, events, and support, the Fantom community is empowered and incentivized.
List of Investors
Fantom has attracted a number of high-profile investors, including:
- Hashed: a blockchain investment and development firm based in South Korea. Hashed has invested in a number of prominent blockchain projects, including Cosmos, Terra, and ChainGuardian
- Signum Capital: a Singapore-based venture capital firm that focuses on investments in blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. Signum Capital has invested in projects such as Ocean Protocol, ChainGuardian, and Solana
- NGC Ventures: a venture capital firm that focuses on investing in blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. NGC Ventures has invested in projects such as ChainGuardian, Ocean Protocol, and Algorand
- Kosmos Capital: a venture capital firm that invests in blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. Kosmos Capital has invested in projects such as ChainGuardian, Ocean Protocol, and Solana
- LD Capital: a venture capital firm that invests in blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. LD Capital has invested in projects such as ChainGuardian, Ocean Protocol, and Solana
- Fantom has also received support from the South Korean government, which has recognized the project as an important contributor to the country's blockchain ecosystem
Fantom supports many software (SW) and hardware (HW) wallets, including: MetaMask, Ledger, Exodus, Coinbase wallet, and Trust Wallet. For an up-to-date list, please follow the official link.
I recommend trying fWallet, as it was built as the native wallet for the Fantom chain.
In my opinion, Fantom is undervalued. As a very high-performance layer-1 protocol, Fantom has put in place a careful plan, facilitated by quality team members. I am really impressed with the project and its goal to connect with traditional businesses. With its programming architecture, the Fantom Opera Chain is really exciting and has massive potential.
The on-chain platforms are still relatively few, although with high performance such as Spooky and Geist Finance. There are also partnerships with many projects such as Travala, which is like booking.com but with crypto payments and many countries in which Fantom has helped with blockchain infrastructure. This is a huge opportunity for Fantom in the future. With 726 million USD in funding, the project is in the top 10 for global dev funding, and this has brought many quality projects to the chain.
After Andre Cronje joined the team, he carried out several impressive updates, and I am looking forward to seeing the official 2023 Road Map.
One last thing that I am very curious about is the $FTM distribution, as more than 50 % of the supply is currently locked in not many wallets, meaning that relatively little is in circulation. This could result in the price of the coin being quite volatile.