What is Quarkchain?
Quarkchain claims to be a high-capacity peer-to-peer transaction system. The website boasts a number of new innovations that allow for a high speed and scalable blockchain. The project is still in the very early stages of development, as they have just recently released their testnet in May 2018. According to the whitepaper “the QuarkChain Network is helping move blockchain into the next generation by increasing the current TPS capacity several-thousand fold of what it is now, to a projected 100,000 TPS.”
The three main challenges of a blockchain are security, decentralization and scalability. Although all three of these are important for a blockchain, as of now there are tradeoffs. For example, if you want to increase security more data is required for each transaction. This results in a lower transactions speed. In order for blockchain technology to realize its full potential, it will have to be secure, decentralized and scalable.
QuarkChain aims to achieve a secure, decentralized, and scalable blockchain. The design is based on the following principles (from the whitepaper).
- Enhancing the scalability while ensuring security and decentralization
- Enabling seamless cross-shard transactions for user quality of experience
- Simple account management for clients
- Open standard to support various Dapps
- Incentive-drive ecosystem
The QuarkChain network separates the two main functions of blocks (ledger and confirmation) into a two-layered system. The first layer uses sharding to process transactions and the second layer is a root layer that confirms blocks from the sharded layer. Each shard processes a sub-set of transactions independently.
What is sharding?
Sharding splits the network into multiple smaller databases, which allows the network to handle additional requests and process transactions simultaneously. Sharding can dramatically increase throughput and performance of high-transaction blockchains. Sharding is the main strategy that QuarkChain uses to improve transactions per second. However, there are still many challenges to overcome with implementing and designing sharding based blockcahins.
The project was founded by Qi Zhou, a former Google developer with 15+ years of development experience and a PHD from Georgia Institute of Technology. The team consists of software developers, research scientists, marketing and community managers.
Point of the Quarkchain Token
QKC is the only way of transacting value in the system and rewarding miners, so the token is needed to use the QuarkChain blockchain. As of now the token is an ERC-20 token. Quarkchain is an ERC20 project but plans to launch a mainnet blockchain in Q4 2018.
The problem with this project is the fact that there isn’t enough information out to make an informed decision. They claim to have achieved a high number of transactions per second, but only in their closed test environment. Also, most of their GitHub is private and therefore the code cannot be publicly audited.
Also, it looks like the team is participating in market manipulation. Immediately after being listed on Binance there were large sell orders that could have only come from the team. Only 20% of the QuarkChain tokens were sold in the ICO. And 16% of that 20% are locked up in pre-sale. This means only 4% of tokens became available to the public. The constriction of the supply makes it easy for the team to pump the price. Quarkchain has many features of a “pump and dump” cryptocurrency.
Quarkchain’s project is almost a carbon copy of Zilliqa with additional exaggerated claims. The team originally claimed to scale to 1 million transactions per second, but now has reduced it to 100,000.
We recommend staying away from this project. We believe that the team is using market manipulation in order to make money. We look to avoid similar behavior in cryptocurrencies. The project claims to be able to achieve many things, but so far has not been able to prove them. Even if the project isn’t a scam, sharding solutions are a long way from being complete. Even Vitalik Buterin says that Ethereum has a long way to go before they can implement sharding. We have very low confidence that this team will be able to compete with Ethereum in any meaningful way.