Fantom has big name VC backers like Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, Arrington XRP CapSolanaital and BlockTower Capital. Its advisors include Andre Cronje, one of DeFi’s most notable developers. He has played a key role in building Ethereum-esque DeFi solutions for Fantom.
One possible drag on the Solana ecosystem is that it uses an alternative coding language to Ethereum and itelegram bitcoin group usat is not EVM compatible. Unlike on the Binance Smart Chain, where projects can essentially copy-paste what has already been built on Ethereum and use the same Solidity tooling, Solana developers need to start from scratch. Solana is written in Rust, which has far fewer Dapp building developers on it than Ethereum.One of the biggest issues with using Solana is the lack of multifunctional block explorers or analytics platforms such as Etherscan. Analytics or data for fundamental analysis for the Solana blockchain is very limited - something the Solana development team says it is working towards fixing.
One positive consequence of Solana’s lack of EVM compatibility is there are far fewer cash grabs and scams on it than there are on direct Ethereum clone platforms like the Binance Smart Chain.One of the reasons Solana stands out from other platform blockchains is its unique architecture and technology base. Solana is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain that uses the same hashing function as Bitcoin, SHA-256. It uses a unique, trustless way to determine the time of a transaction called Proof-of-History (PoH).The SHA-256 algorithm takes inputs from users and encrypts them to produce a unique output that is difficult to predict. Solana takes the output of a transaction and uses it as the input for the next hash. The order of the transactions is now inbuilt into the incoming hashed output. This is different from how the Bitcoin blockchain operates.The Solana PoH hashing process creates a long, unbroken chain of hashed transactions. This is designed to create a clear and verifiable order of transactions so that when a validator adds to a block, they don’t need to use a conventional timestamp.Blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain are large and unorganized. Each BTC miner adds the time and date to the block they mine based on their local time. Other nodes in the network then have to verify that the timestamp provided by the miner is valid because it may be false or differ from the time reported by other miners. This is time-consuming.
By ordering transactions into a chain of hashes, however, Solana validators are able to process and transmit less information per block. Having that hashed version of the latest state of transactions constantly recorded greatly reduces the time to confirm each block on the Solana chain. Transactions on Solana are verifiably ordered without all nodes needing to agree simultaneously. This is a key reason why it is so quick.Proof-of-History combines with other features of Solana to optimize and speed up throughput. For example, TowerBFT is Solana’s version of a Byzantine fault-tolerant Proof-of-Stake consensus model that uses the cryptographic clock enabled by PoH to speed up blockchain consensus by reducing messaging overhead and transaction latency. Selecting the next Proof-of-Stake node to validate a block of transactions becomes faster because nodes need less time to verify the order of transactions.The growth of crypto apps outpaced the growth of personal finance apps like Albert, banking apps like Bank of America Prepaid Mobile, and stock trading apps like Etoro and Stash. It’s clear that the retail crypto market is alive and kicking.
A new funnel for retail crypto users has opened in the UK with PayPal completing the rollout of its crypto service offering in the country. An announcement from PayPal on Twitter read, “We are delighted to share that all eligible customers in the UK can now buy, hold and sell #Cryptocurrencies #Bitcoin, #Ethereum, #BitcoinCash & #Litecoin from their PayPal account. Look out for it in the PayPal app.”This will mark PayPal’s first crypto service offering outside of the United States. Jose Fernandez da Ponte, PayPal’s general manager for blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies, told CNBC in an interview last month that PayPal’s crypto service has been doing “really well in the USA” and PayPal expects similar results in the UK.The Crypto Fear and Greed index measures sentiment and emotions in crypto markets using data like price volatility, social media mentions, and momentum (moving averages). The Fear and Greed index is currently neutral. The crypto markets have had a volatile September with the price of BTC ranging from highs of ~52,600 on September 7th to lows of around ~44,200 on September 13th. Traders and investors feeling a ‘neutral’ sentiment suggests they are unsure of which direction markets will move next.Trading set-ups for the week
Pro trader Josh Olszewicz explores trading options and signals for BTC and ETH - and lays out the trading setups he's watching for the upcoming week. Start your week off right with Josh's thoughts on trading strategies on a weekly basis.Crypto news for the week ahead
September 25th-26th - Cardano SummitCardano (ADA), the third-largest asset in crypto, will host its annual conference this week. The event will be held online and in-person. Leading Cardano community members and engineers will be present physically at London, Miami, Berlin, Cape Town, Wyoming (the location of IOHK's headquarters), and New York for live events as part of the summit. There has been some buzz in the last week about Hydra, Cardano’s recently announced layer 2 scaling solution. ADA is down ~12% in the last week.September 24th - Binance officially delists COVEROn Friday crypto trading giant Binance will officially delist the COVER token of decentralized insurance protocol, Cover. Binance will end the BUSD/COVER & ETH/COVER markets, as well as suspending deposits and withdrawals of the token. The delisting is occurring because the Cover and Ruler insurance protocols which underpin the token are being shut down and the UI removed. COVER is up ~3% in the last week.
Top 10 Crypto SummaryBitcoin aside, performance in the digital asset markets was generally poor in the last week. Solana (SOL) was the biggest loser in the top 10, falling by almost 14%. Last week the Solana network experienced an outage for 16 hours due to high transaction loads. The blockchain appears to have suffered a coordinated denial of service attack. The network is back to running normally however the attack has shown that the network is not antifragile.The price of Bitcoin (BTC) ends the week hovering around the US$47,000 price level. Glassnode reported last week that miners have gone into accumulation mode and are increasing their holdings of the asset instead of selling it. This indicates that miners, a key stakeholder in the bitcoin markets, are bullish about BTC’s future price prospects.In 2021, platform blockchains have captured the imagination of crypto investors. Retail investors, traders, and venture capitalists are throwing money at projects hoping to find the new Ethereum, Cardano, or Solana. Will Fantom be the next smart contract chain to achieve escape velocity?
Fantom (FTM) is one of the leading candidates from the emerging platform blockchain pack to next attract mainstream investor interest. On January 1st, Fantom’s native token FTM was the 164th largest asset in crypto. It had a market cap of US$47 million and each token was priced at US$0.0182. Six months later, by early June, FTM was the 92nd largest asset in crypto with a market cap of ~US$869 million, with each token priced at US$0.3418. At the time of writing, FTM has climbed to be 53rd largest asset in crypto with a market cap of ~US$3.31 billion, with each token priced at ~US$1.31.Since the start of the year, the price of FTM has risen by ~7098%, while the market cap has risen by 6,942%. That represents face melting gains for a project that has established market relevance quickly in the last year and continues to grow.
A working productFantom has a working blockchain product that is live and in active use. DeFi Llama reports that the total value locked into the Fantom DeFi ecosystem is US$1.3 billion. This number is up ~108,000% in the last 5 months. The Fantom DeFi ecosystem is enjoying a period of Hockey Stick like growth with the real inflection point happening around mid-July of this year.
The most popular Dapp on Fantom is a Uniswap style AMM decentralized exchange called SpookySwap. It constitutes ~27% of Fantom’s DeFi TVL. Spookyswap also offers a bridging product that lets users move tokens over from chains such as Ethereum and the Binance Smart Chain.Popular platforms that were built on other protocols, Curve Finance and Sushiswap, are available on the Fantom network.Daily active addresses on the network have been surging since June and have gone parabolic in August. There are presently just over 10,000 new Fantom unique addresses being added to the network every day.Daily transactions on the Fantom network have also been growing rapidly. The growth of transactions and active addresses is higher than the amount of TVL. This is potentially bullish which indicates that new users of the Fantom network are active rather than passive. This should translate to higher fees generated and faster token velocity.Worldwide Search interest for the terms ‘Fantom crypto’ and ‘FTM coin’ have surged in the last fortnight to hit new all-time highs.Other social metrics also suggest that social sentiment for Fantom is strong. Data from Crypto data provider Santiment show that sentiment for Fantom on Twitter has been almost exclusively net positive since June of this year. Active Fantom social users peaked during May of this year, this surge was likely correlated with the bull run when the price of FTM hit a new all-time high of ~US$0.917.
The price of FTM has since eclipsed these all-time highs hitting US$1.66 on September 10th. This more recent price pickup, however, has not been accompanied by a sharp rise in social activity. This suggests that other buyers outside of the normal retail crowd are pushing up the price of FTM this time around. Steady accumulation of FTM continues.Given the rise in onchain activity, it may be crypto natives and DeFi users driving this most recent price rise as opposed to speculators who are more likely to be exposed to Fantom through social networks. According to Santiment, Fantom makes about ~0.20% of crypto social mentions, while FTM makes up about ~0.14% of the crypto market capitalization. This is not a significant mismatch by crypto standards.
The technology backing FantomThe Fantom project began in 2018 and was founded by Korean developer Dr. Ahn Byung Ik. The management and development of the Fantom network is currently handled by the Fantom Foundation. The current CEO of the company is Sydney based Michael Kong.
Fantom is a programmable platform blockchain built to support Dapps. It was designed to be scalable and positions itself as a chain that can maintain fast, cheap transactions even when the network is busy. It uses a consensus algorithm called Lachesis.As well as being fast and cheap, Fantom is marketed as a more environmentally friendly alternative to Ethereum because it achieves consensus through proof-of-stake as opposed to proof-of-work, the consensus algorithm still used by Ethereum. PoS is much less processing power-intensive than proof-of-work and requires less energy to function.
Using the Fantom network will be intuitive for anyone who has interacted with the Ethereum blockchain before. Fantom’s mainnet deployment, Opera, has the exact same functionality as Ethereum because it supports the Solidity programming language and is integrated with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Applications can be built to be completely interoperable with EVM chains, while still maintaining the transaction model of Fantom. The Fantom website has an excellent guide on how to use Fantom with Metamask.Opera, an EVM compatible mainnet, was launched in December 2019. Fantom is a third-generation blockchain (as are Cardano, Solana, and Polkadot). It seeks to challenge the incumbent centralized, legacy financial network by learning from and improving the architecture used by first and second-generation blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.Fantom differs from Cardano and Solana in that it directly builds on top of what has already been built for Ethereum.Fantom is marketed as a cheaper, more scalable version of Ethereum. It uses an Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (aBFT) Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism called Lachesis. Lachesis uses a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) model that is leaderless, unlike the Delegated Proof of Stake consensus model used on other EVM chains like the Binance Smart Chain.
The model allows for network data to be processed at different times with the network also capable of tolerating up to one-third of its participants engaging in faulty or malicious behavior without network processes being affected. Lachesis aims to balance fast transaction speed with good security.Each network node on Lachesis contains its own DAG. They each record the chronology of event blocks and respective transactions. Each node achieves consensus independently from the rest of the network. Confirmed batches of event blocks are then compiled into finalized blocks that are later confirmed by the wider Fantom network.
Nodes on the Fantom network do communicate with each other occasionally about some transaction but there is no network-wide consensus that needs to be achieved on finalized blocks or to confirm the state of the network, unlike operations on proof-of-work networks. This architecture is the reason why Fantom is able to process transactions so quickly.Fantom is a three-layer blockchain. The first layer is the Opera Core Layer, its function is to maintain consensus through the nodes. This is the DAG layer of Fantom and this is the means by which different transactions across the network can be confirmed simultaneously.
The middle layer of the protocol executes functions on the network. It issues rewards and payments and manages the ‘story data’ of the network. The story data tracks the past transactions of the network.The final layer is the application layer. This layer maintains the public APIs that enable Dapp developers on Fantom to interact with their Dapps.
Fantom has noted that there are some advantages to building on Fantom directly as opposed to porting Dapps from Ethereum onto Fantom. One of these is the ‘story data’ feature of the protocol layer that allows for the tracking of past transactions on the network.The project’s backersIn May 2019, Fantom announced that it would be partnering with the Binance Smart Chain to improve its interoperability by launching a multi-asset, cross chain interoperability project. The multi asset initiative was meant to bring in new token standards, which would include Fantom versions of Ethereum’s ERC20 standard and the Binance Smart Chain’s BEP20. Interoperability has always been a key focus of the project and this continued with the launch of Opera and Ethereum style apps.Fantom has big name VC backers like Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, Arrington XRP Capital and BlockTower Capital. Its advisors include Andre Cronje, one of DeFi’s most notable developers. He has played a key role in building Ethereum-esque DeFi solutions for Fantom.
The TokenThe FTM token is the native token of the Fantom network. It secures the network, and it is the primary network token used for payments and to assign governance rights.
Fantom is a proof-of-stake network where validators are assigned work on the blockchain, and the ability to earn rewards, in proportion to their holdings of the network digital asset. Fantom validator nodes must hold a min of 3,175,000 FTM to participate while stakers are to assign their tokens to a staking pool that earns rewards on their behalf. The minimum for a staker is 1 FTM. Nodes and stakers are assigned rewards regularly for their services to the network.A secondary utility of the tokens is payments enabled by Fantom’s fast speeds. Finally, FTM is used as the gas to power any smart contract interaction on the network.
The Fantom staking mechanismAs mentioned, Fantom is a proof-of-stake blockchain where users can either run their own validator nodes or assign their stake to a validator which will earn rewards on their behalf. This means that anyone who holds FTM tokens can choose to delegate some of their SOL to one or more validators, who process transactions and run the network.