On October 17, proof-of-stake blockchain Qtum will complete its first hard fork to add a string of major upgrades. The smart contract network will be reborn as Qtum 2.0, a dApp deployment blockchain with a host of powerful new features and tools. The upgrade will enable Qtum to capitalize on the demand for a low-cost, high-throughput chain that can serve the needs of dApp developers. Current smart contract platforms have struggled to match growing demand, and have been slow to evolve.
Upon completing its October 17 hard fork, Qtum will be equipped with several new Qtum Improvement Proposals (QIPs) including an upgrade of its EVM to the latest Ethereum Constantinople. Because Qtum utilizes a UTXO model rather than an account-based system, it combines the best elements of Bitcoin with the smart contract functionality of Ethereum. A specially modified proof-of-stake mechanism completes Qtum’s battle-tested architecture, comprising components that have been proven in live environments for years.
“Qtum’s first hard fork brings increased usability and stability to the platform,” stated Qtum co-founder Patrick Dai. “We believe this network update addresses a lot of the friction when using smart contracts, expands the capability of applications, and offers greater and more easily implemented privacy options for developers building on top of Qtum. The wait for a smart contract network that lives up to its creators’ promises, and works as described, is over.”
The upgraded Qtum 2.0 network will sport new features including:
- More efficient use of gas, reducing deployment costs.
- Wallets that do not contain QTUM will be able to send native dapp tokens.
- Enhanced block spacing stability, increasing transaction speeds by an average of 12.5%.
- Support for third-party gas payments, allowing new users to start using dApps immediately.
- Support for zk-SNARKS, paving the way for developers to utilize new privacy features.
Second-generation blockchain networks have historically struggled to safely implement smart contracts or to transition from PoW to PoS. Qtum’s implementation of both of these core functions mean it is equipped to support a thriving ecosystem of dApps and decentralized finance products including enterprise applications. The revamped Qtum network will operate more efficiently, reducing gas usage, and with greater stability thanks to an improved difficulty adjustment algorithm that makes block times more consistent.
Qtum is an open-source smart contract blockchain platform. It leverages the security of a UTXO model while enabling multiple virtual machines including EVM. Qtum is currently in the process of developing a virtual machine interface. This will allow developers from outside the blockchain ecosystem to start prototyping their own smart contracts in familiar and mature programming languages.