What Is Fantom (FTM)?
Fantom is a directed acyclic graph (DAG) smart contract platform providing decentralized finance (DeFi) services to developers using its own bespoke consensus algorithm.
Together with its in-house token FTM, Fantom aims to solve problems associated with smart-contract platforms, specifically transaction speed, which developers say they have reduced to under two seconds.
The Fantom Foundation, which oversees the Fantom product offering, was originally created in 2018, with the launch of OPERA, Fantom’s mainnet, coming in December 2019.
Who Are the Founders of Fantom?
The Fantom Foundation was founded by South Korean computer scientist Dr. Ahn Byung Ik. Currently, the platform’s CEO is Michael Kong.
The team behind Fantom has extensive experience primarily in the field of full-stack blockchain development, and aimed to create a smart contract platform which privileges scalability, decentralization and security.
According to its official website, Fantom’s team also consists of specialist engineers, scientists, researchers, designers and entrepreneurs. Employees are located throughout the world, matching the ethos of a distributed platform.
History of Fantom (FTM).
The Fantom Foundation has built a new model for reaching a consensus on transactions called the Lachesis consensus engine (or Lachesis protocol). It uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) based algorithm to achieve asynchronous Byzantine fault tolerance (aBFT). Lachesis has four key qualities:
- Asynchronous: Participants have the freedom to process commands at different times
- Leaderless: No participant plays a “special” role in block production
- Byzantine Fault-Tolerant: Supports one-third of faulty nodes
- Near-Instant Finality: Transactions are confirmed in 1-2 seconds.
Fantom has implemented Lachesis as a consensus layer that can extend to additional layers within the system. The Fantom ecosystem may eventually consist of multiple blockchain layers with Lachesis at the core. The first additional layer within Fantom was Opera, an EVM-compatible smart contract platform that launched in December 2019. Opera is a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) layer whose validator set uses Lachesis to validate transactions and produce new blocks. It now features several decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, including SushiSwap and Curve.
In May 2019, Fantom announced that it would with Binance Chain to improve interoperability through the creation of a multi-asset and cross-chain ecosystem. This multi-asset initiative would introduce various new token standards to Fantom, including Fantom versions of Ethereum’s ERC-20 and Binance Chain’s BEP-2. These standards set the stage for integrating popular Ethereum applications on Opera in early 2021.
The Fantom Foundation has turned its focus towards DeFi use cases with the help of Yearn Finance founder Andre Cronje, who serves as a technical advisor to Fantom. Andre has advised and helped promote Fantom’s multi-chain efforts, such as the launch of Fantom’s bridge to Ethereum.
What Makes Fantom Unique?
Fantom attempts to use a new scratch-built consensus mechanism to facilitate DeFi and related services on the basis of smart contracts.
The mechanism, Lachesis, promises much higher capacity and two-second transaction finalization, along with improvements to security over traditional proof-of-stake (PoS) algorithm-based platforms.
Matching Ethereum, the project appeals to developers looking to deploy decentralized solutions. According to its official literature, its mission is to “grant compatibility between all transaction bodies around the world.”
Its in-house PoS token, FTM, forms the backbone of transactions, and allows fee collection and staking activities, along with the user rewards the latter represents.
Through token sales in 2018, Fantom raised almost $40 million to fund development.