Today’s blockchains are facing several limitations. Scalability, immutability and the use of energy-consuming consensus mechanisms are some of those limitations. One of the next-generation platforms attempting to address these limitations is Fantom.
What is Fantom? #
Launched in December 2019, Fantom is a compelling Ethereum alternative for blockchain designers. As an open-source smart contract enabled blockchain, it allows designers to develop secure, comprehensive and modular DApps (Decentralized Apps).
Fantom is designed to overcome all the limitations of the previous generation of blockchain platforms. The biggest limitation of the previous generation of blockchains is widely known as the blockchain trilemma. This involves three aspects: decentralization, security and scalability. To improve on one of these aspects, it will have to come at the expense of one of the other two.
Bitcoin, for example, has focused entirely on decentralization and security, at the cost of scalability. This makes Bitcoin less suitable for daily small transactions that require a high transaction speed. Thanks to its DAG (Directed Acyclic Graphs) based Lachesis aBFT (Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant) consensus mechanism, this is no longer a problem for Fantom. Simply put, Fantom is a high-performance, scalable and secure smart contract platform that can easily process over 20,000 transactions per second.
Another advantage of Fantom is that the platform is EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible, which means that developers can easily transfer their DApps that they have developed on Ethereum to the Fantom network. This also brings advantages to users: Web3 wallets such as MetaMask can easily connect to the Fantom network so that users can seamlessly switch between Ethereum and Fantom in the same wallet.
Fantom’s goal #
The main goal of Fantom is ambitious. It is intended to be a smart contract platform that will function as the “nervous system for smart cities”. Fantom wants to become the IT infrastructure backbone for complex data-generating industries that require both large amounts of data and great speed. These industries can, for example, focus on public utilities, smart living product and services or healthcare.
Thanks to electrically automated equipment, the quality of our lives and our cities have improved significantly. However, today’s cities still face problems such as inefficient, isolated and disconnected management. This is where Fantom enters the picture. Fantom’s goal is to solve these issues by building smart cities through data-sharing networks that connect all existing city solutions.
Beyond this ambitious plan, Fantom’s blockchain also supports DApps. Fantom has promised all users and developers an all-in-one package of DeFi (Decentralized Finance) capabilities. Thanks to its DAG technology, Fantom is technologically superior to other DeFi compatible platforms: Fantom can process transactions faster and more cheaply, while keeping decentralization and security at a high level.
How does Fantom work? #
Fantom’s mainnet is the Opera Chain. It facilitates staking services and EVM support. The main token of this blockchain is FTM, which is used for paying transaction fees and securing the network via staking.
Opera is completely open-source and permissionless: any developer can build DApps on the Opera Chain. It supports smart contracts through Ethereum’s programming language, Solidity.
The Lachesis aBFT consensus mechanism ensures that the nodes on the Opera Chain maintain consensus. The mechanism uses DAG technology to confirm trades. An advantage of DAG technology is that the nodes on the network can process the transactions asynchronously. Each transaction is processed in a manner very similar to how a traditional blockchain stores its transactions. By utilizing DAG technology, it is not necessary to store all transaction data on each node within the network.
The network also uses a second type of node, namely the witness node. These nodes use a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus. These secondary nodes are responsible for controlling and validating the data stored by the primary nodes. In this way, transactions can be executed faster while the network remains secure.
As a second layer, Fantom has the Opera Ware Layer. This layer sits in the middle of the protocol and has been developed to perform certain functions on the platform, such as issuing rewards, payments and writing Story Data. Fantom uses Story Data to trace all transactions in the past. Every transaction and smart contract interaction on the Fantom network stores a small amount of data. With this data, transactions that have taken place in the past can be retrieved.
The third layer is the Opera Application Layer. This layer keeps track of all the publicly accessible APIs that developers use to link their DApps to the Opera Ware layer. This allows DApps to forward their Story Data links to the Opera Ware Layer.
Although Fantom is still in its early stages, it offers major advantages over more popular platforms such as Ethereum and the Binance Smart Chain. Thanks to its DAG-based Lachemis aBFT consensus mechanism, Fantom ensures high scalability without compromising its decentralized nature or security. If Fantom continues on its current course, it could become a major player in the DeFi sector.