Building distributed systems software is its own journey, and it was no different in 2020. The crypto space grew at unprecedented levels and had numerous setbacks. However, the builders over the past few years have been battle-hardening the tech faithful to our common missions, and we were able to overcome those small obstacles as a community.
Qtum is a team of individuals that dedicate their lives to the technological contribution of both Bitcoin’s UTXO model and Ethereum’s Virtual Machine while bringing our own genuine innovations to the blockchain industry. Qtum can implement any of the technical features from Bitcoin and Ethereum’s Virtual Machine, but the research that goes into Qtum can benefit Bitcoin or Ethereum.
One display of this is when David Jaenson, from the Qtum development team, found a Bitcoin vulnerability, which could have potentially brought down the Bitcoin network. David provided proof of the attack in test form and informed the correct people to resolve the issue before any exploit on Bitcoin was ever made. Do you recall seeing some videos of the world’s best computer developers try to break Bitcoin? Ya, that’s right, David broke Bitcoin. Not only does this prove David to be a strong developer, but the whole Qtum development team made it possible by keeping the Qtum blockchain up-to-date with Bitcoins’ current UTXO model. This is when you know and have
proof that your team has the best blockchain developers in the world.
New Releases of Qtum Core and Supporting Software
Qtum started 2020 with Qtum Core version 0.19.0 and finished with Qtum Core v0.20.1, having several notable upgrades over the year. The Offline Staking Protocol upgrade to v0.19.1 in August has changed the Qtum Blockchain forever, allowing anyone to delegate their Qtum to super staker without having to run a node or give away custody of their delegated coins. The Offline Staking Protocol also allowed anyone to run a super staker where people can delegate their Qtum to earn a percentage of block rewards from the delegator. You can even delegate your QTUM from a cold wallet to a super staker. To sum it up, Offline Staking allows pretty much anyone the ability to help secure the network while earning block rewards on or offline.
The Qtum Galaxy Full Nodes Program continued from 2019 and ended before the Qtum Offline Staking Protocol Hardfork with the Qtum Stake-A-Thon following. The Qtum Stake-A-Thon is a program made to promote the Offline Staking Protocol by incentivizing everyone to participate in securing the network by delegating QTUM to a pool, super staker, or running a super staker. The program was a huge success. With more than 2 million Qtum addresses activated, the network weight has increased, providing more security to the blockchain while giving everyone a chance to stake their QTUM.
In March, the Qtum Foundation completed the final scheduled vesting of funds. The funds are allocated for future business development, marketing, academic research, and education.
Diving into DeFi
In August, Qtum announced a shift in focus to Decentralized Finance. In the hope of building an expanding defi ecosystem, Qtum launched the Decentralized Finance Incentive Program, where developers can apply for a grant to build or bridge or Defi project on the Qtum blockchain. Why is Qtum better for Defi? Qtum offers higher TPS and lower transaction fees. Since the Qtum blockchain uses a version of Ethereum’s Virtual Machine, existing projects on Ethereum can make their project compatible with the Qtum blockchain expanding their user base. Janus is another set of developer tools that Qtum has continues in development. Janus makes porting over projects to Qtum easier than ever before. So if you’re a developer with some worthy tech, come check us out and apply for a grant to build your project on Qtum.
As the Defi program started, some DeFi projects have come about like QiSwap, a fully decentralized protocol that automatically provides liquidity for QTUM based on automated market-making (AMM) algorithms. QiSwap is an essential building block in the DeFi industry. Another decentralized exchange that has announced support for QRC20 is the Komodo AtomicDex. With decentralized exchanges like QiSwap and AtomicDex, developers can have a place to list QRC20 tokens when they bring their DeFi project to Qtum.
Neutron & Phantom
Neutron and Phantom will still be developed but prioritized according to the importance of Qtum’s current goals. The end of year tweets from both Jordan Earls and Patrick Dai gave an insight into future developments and some plans with Qtum Neutron. Jordan posted an example of Qtum Neutron running in testnet and has mentioned an upcoming article about Qtum Neutron and the development phases moving forward. Patrick Dai also sent tweets with thoughts of future developments on Qtum, and maybe a sneak peek of what to look out for on this year’s 2021 Qtum Road Map.