It could be that the next major wave of blockchain trends involves creating projects that are designed from the start to appeal to big businesses.
While many projects today seem to be created by or for people that want freedom from centralized businesses, monopolies, and big government, others have decided to take a wholly different route in a bid to differentiate themselves.
Qtum is a blockchain project based in Singapore that is aimed squarely at the face of big businesses. Read on as we go over some of the basics of Qtum, what it is, and what it’s trying to be.
Qtum, blockchain for businesses?
Image via Forbes.com
Some companies have a negative opinion on cryptocurrency in general. This could be for a number reasons, but one of the biggest complaints is that they feel the decentralized and uncontrolled nature of them makes them unreliable and unpredictable.
Some businesses may even falsely associate all cryptocurrencies with criminal activity, or perhaps even anti-government tendencies.
Qtum is a cryptocurrency project that offers smart contracts and aims to provide cross-blockchain interoperability. Qtum appears to be either a fork of Ethereum, or something of a clone. While Ethereum today still runs purely on proof-of-work mining, Qtum is already on proof-of-stake and plans to stay that way.
As Qtum is targeted at businesses, there has been some posts on line indicating that Qtum has already made business deals with two large companies. The first of which is the coffee conglomerate, Starbucks, though no details of what this partnership would entail are cited.
The second of which was with a Chinese company known as 360 Finance that provides antivirus and firewall software, and also runs a Chinese language search engine. While 360 has nowhere near the market share as by do, it does reportedly represent up to 10% of the Chinese search market, making it quite valuable.
Qtum had somewhat of an odd start earlier this year. Initially, a series of Qtum tokens were released as ERC-20 tokens. These tokens, however, were not intended to be the final Qtum cryptocurrency.
Instead, they were created with the intent of eventually being swapped for what would later become the Qtum main net tokens. Today, the swap for most people has already finished and not many of the original ERC-20 tokens remain.
Unfortunately, swaps like this tend to cause a lot of confusion, especially among those who do not necessarily understand the difference between an ERC-20 and a non ERC-20 token. It is conceivable that some people may have accidentally sent the new Qtum tokens to an ERC-20 compliant Ethereum wallet and not a proper Qtum main net wallet.
Qtum tokens have seen steady growth in the last few months, but their price per bitcoin has seen some wild up and down swings. Today, one Qtum token is going for about $38 each. This means that those who got in early on Qtum have earned at least some degree of profit.
In addition, as Qtum is a proof-of-stake model, early buyers will likely be able to conduct staking much easier then latecomers that have to pay higher entry fees.
A competitor for Ethereum?
It seems that the largest difference between Qtum and Ethereum is mostly based on marketing, and that Qtum is already running proof-of-stake consensus. Unfortunately for Qtum, Ethereum already has a massive head start and already includes many hundreds of different projects, with many major corporations such as Microsoft getting involved.
This does not mean that all hope is lost for Qtum, however, as their offerings are different enough that they may be able to attract enough business to be viable. It should also be noted that Qtum is not the only smart contract platform that is aimed at big businesses.
NEM is also doing a similar tactic and is targeting themselves at big businesses as their primary focus of growth. NEM has been around for several years now and has also seen steady growth. When comparing the valuations of the two currencies on coinmarketcap.com, we can see that Qtum is valued at $2.7 billion where as NEM has an overall valuation of $6.5 billion.
Individual units of NEM go for less than a dollar typically, because there is a total supply of almost 9 billion units, whereas Qtum has a supply of around 100 million or so.
Who is behind Qtum?
The Qtum Team. Source: Qtum.org
Qtum is run by the Qtum foundation which is led by Patrick Dai. Dai comes from a background at Chinese conglomerate Alibaba and graduated from Draper University which is based in Silicon Valley. Draper University appears to be a for-profit technical college. Dai also appeared on Chinese state-run media to talk about Qtum recently.
Other members of the team have experience in business administration, software development, web development, mobile development, and several other projects. The team itself is made up of people that are mostly of a mainland China based background, and a few others from around the globe.
The company website also lists Roger Ver as a “backer”. For those who don’t know, Roger is quite infamous in the bitcoin community. He frequently makes extremely pro-bitcoin cash and anti-bitcoin core statements. While he has many supporters, he is a contentious figure to say the least.
Does Qtum stand a chance?
While it appears that there are suddenly quite a large number of Ethereum clones on the market today that all want to offer smart contracts and other business oriented solutions, there will certainly be enough room in the market for more than one player.
What’s going to be an important deciding factor is how these projects are able to differentiate themselves from each other. As Ethereum was first to market, it has already become the gold standard of smart contract platforms.
Much in the same way, bitcoin has become the gold standard of cryptocurrency. Qtum has quite a lot of competition, including the well-known NEO project which also comes from China.
Qtum has a few interesting features such as its proof-of-stake model, and its focus on mobile support. Will this be enough to make it a success? Or even just a viable player a few years down the road? All we can say is, we are excited to see how things unfold.
Featured Image via Qtum.org