Taking a moment to look at the progress of the ICO industry this year paints quite the stunning picture of success at first glance. A total of 813 ICOs have so far collectively raised a considerable figure of more than $18.5 billion this year as shown below. This figure is already more than three times the funding attained through ICOs in the entirety of 2017.
The number of ICOs successfully launched since last year has more than doubled resulting in a 300% increase in ICO funding so far this year which is quite commendable. While it is true that superstar ICOs such as EOS and Telegram have contributed a large slice of this very wealthy cake raising $4 Billion and $1.7 Billion respectively, there are numerous fresh faces that have been quite successful in their crowdfunding efforts.
One such project that gained significant traction is Fantom, a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) smart contract platform that aims to securely provide global real time transactions and data sharing allowing for wide-scale compatibility across the worldwide financial ecosystem.
A scalable smart contract platform that aim to improve on existing DAG protocols, Fantom utilizes a novel consensus mechanism known as the Lachesis protocol to improve the performance and security of DAG-based Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Building on their Fantom OPERA chain, a three layer multi-functional build that is intended to process up to 300,000 Transactions Per Second (TPS). This team intends to lead the next generation of DLTs by molding Fantom into the infrastructure of the future of finance.
The Lachesis Consensus Algorithm
The Lachesis Consensus Algorithm (LCA) is a Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus algorithm described as guaranteeing a similar level of consensus as existing blockchains. The Lachesis DAG structure is a set of interlinked event blocks that contain immutable and secured information such as transactions, data stories, smart contracts, and of course previous event values. These event blocks can be asynchronously created by nodes with many safeguards in place to safeguard against problems such as double-spending and malicious attacks.
Fantom aims to solve scalability issues of existing DLTs and have the created the OPERA chain. One unique feature of the OPERA chain is its intent to also store historical information through Story data in addition to transaction information. Story data blocks can contain smart contract script, historical information, reputation management and rewards. All crucial pieces of information to the proper functioning of the Fantom ecosystem. An added benefit of the Story data is that it allows the OPERA chain to manage itself completely independently and self-sufficiently without having to access third-party databases. Story data may also hold large future enterprise potential particularly in terms of supply chain management.
The OPERA chain consists of three layers with distinct functionality and purpose. The OPERA Core layer manages and processes transactions at scale while at the same time while serving as the layer where the core technology for ensuring reliable transactions and exchange of information within the ecosystem resides. This works in conjunction with the OPERA Ware layer which brings most of the high level functionality to the Decentralized Application (DApp) Fantom platform including open-source Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and Smart Contract scripts.
The Fantom team have made it a point to emphasize the speed and reliability of their system with estimates of 300,000 TPS. Anyone familiar with payment processing protocols will appreciate the potential but it is important to acknowledge these figures are yet to be achieved in practice. Of the Fantom teams own admission this estimated TPS may be out of reach as other factors such as network latency were not accounted for.
Unlike a large portion of the projects in the crypto space today Fantom has chosen an inflationary model, with a 5% annual inflation rate that aims to “expand their ecosystem”. This annual inflation rate is set to decrease as the number of users increases and most of the total inflation will be used to reward nodes and users of the ecosystem. Vesting periods for team and founders along with that of advisors and contributors are 24 and 3 months respectively. At ICO the price of their native token was 1 FTM = 0.04 USD and a $39,400,000 funding round in mid-2018 fulfilled their crowdsale expectations.
- 40% Token Sale
- 30% Market Development
- 15% Advisors / Contributors
- 15% FANTOM team and Founders
A multi-tiered roadmap was released by the Fantom Foundation detailing the steps leading up to the platforms global expansion and rollout, with the Mainnet being hoped to launch sometime in late 2019.
Team and Roadmap
The Fantom team hails largely from South Korea, with a number of senior team members having well established ties in the Korean industry.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ahn Byung Ik, is also president of the South Korea FoodTech Association, a company with over 90 members. He has extensive experience running a tech company after establishing SikSin, an app that has more than 3.5 million downloads.
Chief Operating Officer (COO) Bob Tucker has over 25 years of experience working for multiple big banks such as Barclays and a period working as the head of Global Markets, and Institutional Loans department at ANZ bank.
Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Yunsung has notably served as the manager for Fintech business development department at the Industrial Bank of Korea.
Fantom is a project that is leveraging the benefits of DAG technologies for payment services while also creating a developer friendly ecosystem in order to facilitate the creation of a dApp ecosystem. For Fantom to be able to compete with its better established competitors such as Nano or IOTA it must emphasize and perfect their dApp platform. This demonstrates a key area where they are uniquely positioned due to the lack of projects that have implemented smart contract development capabilities on their platforms.
Fantom aims to leverage existing connections within their current team and gain access to the South Korean food tech industry by building a dApp ecosystem compatible with delivery services, food reservations, and supply chain logistics. Past performance for previous generation DAG protocols indicates the market will react positively to this project particularly due to the level of buzz garnered by their ICO. A focus on improving scalability is sure to attract the eyes of many dApp developers who are facing difficulties scaling their projects on more commonly used platforms such as Ethereum. However, one concerning aspect of the Fantom Foundation’s plan is their scheduled release of the mainnet in Q3 2019. This is sure to give competitors such as Constellation and Hedera Hashgraph time to launch and infiltrate a share of the market by providing smart contract compatibility. Maximizing on building as many enterprise partnership will be crucial until this time in order to maximize on the Fantom platforms future use case benefits.