We are slowly seeing the altcoin market emerge from its marketing and outreach phase to a time where we can measure how sound the product actually is. The end of Q2 and start of Q3 is turning out to be quite an eventful time for several projects. EOS, VeChain, Ontology may be the ones receiving all of the attention, but there are others that also have gone live or launched their testnets to the public.
Despite the sluggish episode the market is suffering from, projects are preparing themselves for the long haul, believing that the market’s current uncertainty is just a blip on the path to global adoption. With mainnet and testnet launches, teams can fine-tune their platforms for the inevitable time when distributed ledger platforms become an integral part of multiple industries.
Here, we cover some of the projects whose recent launches have been overlooked amidst the flurry of activity by more well-known projects.
Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL) Mainnet Launched on June 26
Some concern has been raised over the encryption capabilities of blockchain technology, with studies pointing out that quantum computers could one day quite easily break it, rendering the entire system useless. That is a very important concern, but proponents of blockchain argue that that time is far away, and in the meantime projects can improve upon their protocols to ensure they stay safe from quantum decryption.
One such project is Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL), which was designed with the upcoming quantum age in mind. Developed by Dr. Peter Waterland, the project protects against quantum computing by adding new digital signatures into transactions. The team also claims that it will be able to run on low-power devices like laptops and Raspberry Pis. Additional plans include support for the Ledger wallets, Proof-of-Stake, and ephemeral messaging.
With the QRL mainnet launched on June 26, users have already begun hopping onto the network, mining and spending tokens. The team reported that there have been no major security issues, and the whole process has gone off without a hitch. The project offers desktop wallets for all major operating systems, as well a web wallet. The block explorer can be viewed here.
Having launched their mainnet, the QRL joins IOTA in being one of the first projects to be able to resist quantum computation. Like IOTA, it utilizes Winternitz One Time Signatures to enable quantum resistance. Of course, given that their primary feature requires a commercially available quantum computer to properly test their usefulness, it may be a while before we see QRL making major headlines.
Trinity Protocol Released on June 27
The Trinity Protocol, created by NEO and seen as its equivalent to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, is a scaling solution that is considered one of the cornerstones of NEO’s developing blockchain infrastructure. The open-source network uses its own token, the Trinity Network Credit (TNC), to bring about privacy, microtransactions, and low transaction times and fees.
Trinity uses State Channel technology, which is a second protocol layer that enables 1-to-1 payment channels between network users that later get settled on the mainchain.
For further details on how it operates and what it means for NEO, read our guide to the Trinity Protocol.
The Trinity team released their protocol to the public on June 27, releasing alongside it Faucet, a web wallet, an online shop, and a network explorer. They now hope that developers will get onboard with the new and efficient features and contribute to the ecosystem by developing decentralized applications. The team continues to optimize the protocol for better performance.
IOStoken Released Public Testnet on June 29
IOST is a project that is working on raising throughput, and operates on a distinct consensus mechanism called Proof-of-Believability. This, along with their “Efficient Distributed Sharding,” is what drives their scaling solution. The PoB consensus mechanism operates on node contribution and behavior, with an algorithm that ensures that nodes are picked fairly. This algorithm takes into account both token balance and number of transactions verified. Their website showcases their investors and partners, which includes Huobi, Sequioa, and Consensus Capital.
According to the team, internal tests resulted in a transaction rate of 7,000-8,000 transactions per second, which for the moment is much better than most crypto counterparts.
Late last month, IOST launched their public testnet, which is the first chance for them to test their high TPS in a real setting. “Everest”, testnet version v0.5, is the precursor to the mainnet release, which is expected in the last quarter of 2018. The testnet features the PoB, a faucet, a wallet, smart contract testing, and the ability to build private test networks.
The team will release a few more major updates to the testnet before proceeding to launch the mainnet. Furthermore, there is research being conducted on how to further improve the transaction throughput.
Elastos DID Went Live on July 1
Motivated by the vision of becoming the “internet of the future,” the Elastos team leverages blockchain’s security features to develop a smartweb that is interoperable with other blockchains and operating systems. It will have its own OS, called the Elastos OS, which is internet-based, so apps built on Elastos need not necessarily run on the blockchain.
The project has been running for many years and did not initially begin as a blockchain project, though it did incorporate blockchain elements into its early design strategy. The implementation of sidechains also addresses the scalability problem.
We’ve covered Elastos in greater detail before, so you can take a look to learn more about the project.
On July 1, the Elastos DID went live, and the team upgraded the mainchain to support the transfer of assets between the mainchain and sidechains, as well as allowing the sidechain to merge mine through the mainchain. Merge mining refers to the fact that Bitcoin miners will be able to use the Elastos mainchain.
Following this, the ID chain nodes could be used to create and store information on the sidechains, and perform the aforementioned upgrades. This first sidechain, called the ID Sidechain, plays an important part in securing trust on the network.
Bigger projects may have all of the headlines, but there is plenty of exciting progress being made with projects that are varied and taking distinct approaches to solving many of the challenges the industry faces.
While other projects might have more confidence backing them, there is ample opportunity for these newer and lesser-known projects to make a mark and survive in the long run. Earlier blockchain projects built on older technology, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, are not guaranteed to survive in the long run, and this is more than enough reason for altcoins to press on with their unique approaches to blockchain challenges.