QuarkChain (QKC) is one among the latest players among blockchain which has the vision of creating a secure and immensely scalable blockchain, with the potential to manage 100,000 transactions per second, with the help of a dual layer blockchain system.
The aim of the company is to bring cryptocurrencies to a much huger audience than that exists today. QuarkChain also uses Ethereum Virtual Machine, so as to support smart contacts. This also ensures that developers who work on it and effortlessly port and function dApps, which are built on Ethereum to QuarkChain provided the mainnet is live, giving QuarkChain immense potential.
Blockchain scalability is the topmost concern in the crypto world, making it one the most debated topic.
Let’s take a deeper look into blockchain scalability.
Blockchain scalability can be defined as its potential to manage huge amounts of transactions in the blockchain network, without creating negative results.
For example, if all the seats in a restaurant are full, and more people come in, they will have to wait in order to receive the services that they require.
Blockchain scalability plays its role when we consider transactions. By transaction what we mean can be easily understood as regular transactions, with bitcoins. On contrast to QuarkChain, Bitcoin and Ethereum have very low transaction rates, about 7 and 15 respectively. This would mean that transactions would take a very long time period and would become a hugely time-consuming process.
The obvious question is can we make this faster and if so how.
Blockchains compared to Financial Payment Systems
Visa has the capacity to handle up to 60,000 transactions per second on peak periods while AliPay is able to process a massive 256,000 transactions.
Compared to the potential QuarkChain has, these transaction capacities are very limited and blockchain scalability does require a clear-cut answer to its limitation.
QuarkChain has the vision to create a much more reliable blockchain which can handle millions of transactions per second and to be decentralised and user friendly simultaneously.
Scalability has been the primary objective while planning and it has been thoroughly integrated into the design of QuarkChain. Thus they went out to create a platform with the potential of supporting various industries, from finance to gaming and everything in between.
Issues persisting with Blockchain
Decentralization, Security and Scalability are the three major blocks that are looked at while creating a blockchain. However all the three never comes together as when Blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum succeed in achieving decentralization and security, they fail to be scalable. When you go for security and scalability, an allowed centralized blockchain, it will lack decentralization altogether, the old school banks and Visa being the best examples.
Before thinking about how to achieve all the three major milestones altogether, we should understand why and how Decentralization, Security and Scalability form the core of a blockchain.
The factors that make sure that a blockchain is secure includes preventing invalid transactions from being made and ensuring the network is unharmed by malicious attacks.
These factors are essential to instill a sense of reliability among the users as no one should be able to steal their tokens and use it, nor should be one able to produce illegal cryptocurrencies and use it. This might even lead to a situation of inflation, reducing the value of the cryptocurrency altogether, which are issues in the current world with money.
Decentralization is the process of ensuring that the mining and transactions are not done at one place or by a person. Doing this will ensure that the human factors of corruption and other illegalities wont come into play.
Making a blockchain with centralization would mean there is one a solo miner, who mines all the crypto. This would require the transactors to place blind faith on the miner as he is the one who is in charge of everything and also hoping that he is not even slightly corrupt.
Provided such a miner exists, another major issue is that, given there is only place to attack after this, the black hats will have an easy job at hand.
Security and decentralization creates an environment of fast growth and better future. With both of those factors staying intact, the number of transactions, storage requirements, improving bandwidths and the sheer amounts of data would mean a downfall in the scalability of the system.
Currently, there are three solutions in offer for the issues regarding scalability.
Multi-blockchains, Lightning Network and Sharding.
However, these solutions are not perfect and have their own drawbacks.
Multi-blockchains would mean that they are more vulnerable and there are chances of them being attacked. Lightning network is also again a solution that is not very efficient and again with sharing comes limitations like cross-shard transactions and single shard takeovers.
None of these solutions are efficient enough to be called perfect and this is where QuarkChain comes into play, extending stability unachievable otherwise due to multiple factors and merging that with improved decentralization and security.
QuarkChain’s approach to scalability is created with the two core functions of a blockchain, acting as a public ledger, which are:
Keeping a track of the transactions made and the state of a ledger.
Making sure that only valid transactions are being confirmed and they are recorded in the ledger.
State of a ledger
In layman’s language, ledger can be defined as a thing which is used to keep a record of all your bank account activities.
All bank accounts will have an ongoing list of credits and debits whenever money is sent from or received in your account.
So the state of the ledger can be defined as the current balance in your account. If someone credits money into your account, the new state of your account will be your previous balance plus the new balance.
Confirmation of Transactions
Making a transaction alone would not mean that the transaction is complete. If you make a transaction through your bank account, the bank first makes sure that you have sufficient balance to complete the transaction and then only will the transaction be completed. This is known as confirmation of transactions.
QuarkChain’s Dual Layered Blockchain System
The QuarkChain dual layered system which supports the improved scalability is consisted of:
A layer of elastic sharded blockchains and
A layer with root blockchain.
Elastic Sharded Blockchains
The sharded blockchains can be added or removed according to the requirement and thus ELASTIC.
Each of the tiny shard of the blockchain which contains only a small amount of all transactions that are done. This process enables QuarkChain to have higher scalability by utilizing SHARDED blockchains.
The BLOCKCHAINS keep a record of the state of the ledger and also track data that are relevant like transactions and user accounts.
Root Blockchain forms the second layer and executes the function of confirming transactions that are occurring. This is executed by sending block headers from the minor blockchains, which contains the information about the transactions, to the root blockchain and then it creates a new block which consists of all the block headers after confirming the transactions.
The second layer of the QuarkChain provides an increased number of transactions while also creating bottlenecks resulting from factors like internet bandwidth, computing power and data storage.
QuarkChain’s 2nd Layered Blockchain Structure
Is it Decentralized?
QuarkChain has included multiple features to make sure that the network is decentralized.
Game theory incentives to ensure that selfish behaviour by miners during collaborative mining is in par with what is best for the system.
Hash power is distributed evenly within the sharded minor blockchains and the root blockchain by designing mining difficulty algorithms.
Each blockchain has been designed to have unique difficulty levels and rewards to ensure that all miners can achieve expected returns without having to join a mining pool, which may lead minor decentralization.
Using the Ethereal Virtual Machine, QuarkChain has the potential to support smart contracts, giving sharded blockchains the ability to run their own smart contracts to the blockchain.
Sharded blockchains can be considered as smaller versions of Ethereum that function simultaneously along with individual wallets assigned to them.
Considering the fact that each sharded blockchain has its own unique wallet, it results in having to manage thousands of sharded blockchains. To face this issue, too features have been offered by QuarkChain, which are:
Simple Account Management | Smart Wallet
QuarkChain users are provided with a primary account which keeps all the funds together, making them more manageable. This makes sending fund to another sharded blockchain a lot more convenient.
The Primary Account has a Smart Wallet which handles all the cross shard transactions i.e., sending fund from one sharded blockchain to another. This system also ensures that the transactions are always possible to do and confirmations are done quickly.
QuarkChain can be called an unique Proof-of-Work which uses an ASIC-resistant version. Each of the sharded blockchain follows a root chain first consensus, so as to deal with forks, using Proof-of-Work.
Owing to the dual-layered system, an advisor is required to first reverse transactions in the second layer (root + chain) before he/she can revert the transaction in the level of sharded blockchain.
Initially, when the prototype was created, a block could be confirmed within 10 seconds and in 2-5 minutes the root blockchain could confirm the blocks.
As mentioned before, individual blockchains in the network offer difficulty and reward uniquely, miners have the ability to choose the best blockchain which gives them the best rewards according to the hash power they have.
This also helps in making mining an open market, giving miners the potential to reap better rewards, provided they have higher power and hashing.
QuarkChain has designed its mining difficulty algorithms in such a way that of the total hash power, 50% is the capacity allocated for root blockchains and the remaining is spread out for shared blockchains.
A malicious member who tries to attack QuarkChain will require a minimum of 25% of the total hash power in the network while for Bitcoin, it is 51%.
Keeping a track of all the transactions that are made keeping a record on it requires a lot of resources and doing the same for a blockchain requires even more.
When you become a full node in major blockchains like Bitcoin, this is the way it works.
For a blockchain that even does 500,000 transactions per second, the requirement will be 10 terabytes of data storage which will have to be stored by the miners, who are also using at least a 1GBPS internet connection.
However, the issue with this is that, miners capable of such capacity will be people who do it commercially and it will get centralized among them, reducing the role of smaller miners.
The concept of clustering is implemented by QuarkChain, enabling the smaller nodes to pool together and work, creating a full node.
Each of the mini node which constitutes the cluster works to validate and then combines the work to create a completed validation that is done in the network.
This can be compared to our previous example of functioning in a bank. The completed validation can be compared to a bank having all the details of the bank accounts and transactions altogether while the information with the minor node is similar to a bank having details of only a few of the accounts in their bank and the rest of the nodes having the information about the rest of the accounts.
If these mini nodes have to know the overall picture, they will have to combine the data from all these nodes to create that which requires an immense effort. However, when it comes to the perspective of miners, this means that the amount of storage they will have to provide is comparatively less, compared to a full node.
QuarkChain has already achieved a transaction per second rate of 100-200 with just 8 sharded blockchains, performing privately, while the total transaction per second rate is in the range of 1000-2000.
QuarkChain is a promising project and does have a working product that can easily blow away Ethereum and all the rest of the competitors for sure.
There is a strong talented team behind the projects helm and without a doubt, QKC will be hot for 2018 and the years to follow.
One thing is for sure that its no coincidence that Binance picked this token up, so soon in the projects post-ICO phase.
So is QKC an Ethereum Killer? The tech under its hood says YES and I am personally going long. What do you think?
Featured Post Image, credit to Steemit