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qortal_101

Qortal 101

Qortal is meant to be all-inclusive, regardless of a person’s level of technical understanding, and will become simpler with time as development continues. With that said, we realize the importance of breaking things down and helping the world transition into this new space. So this page is written for ALL but especially for the newcomer whom we don't want to feel overwhelmed or discouraged. We will try to make this page tolerable so bear with us!

What is Qortal?

Qortal is infrastructure that utilizes blockchain technology with a focus on true decentralization. What’s the big hype on decentralization? Centralization leads to systems being compromised, and it’s time for sovereign solutions. Why blockchain technology? It provides the most scalable and secure solution in general, and of course the only real way for us to create a system of true decentralization. We aim to create a viable alternative to the existing Internet, internet service providers (ISP), and Ethereum (blockchain project we do not think highly of). We aim to unleash the true potential of decentralized blockchain technology like never seen before in an all-in-one platform. This is not about anarchy per se, but we are certainly building an anarchistic platform that allows us to regain control over our digital lives and cannot be hindered by third-parties including government regulations. Our dream is to build a system designed to outlive us all. We call ourselves Qortians in the virtual land of Qortia. We’ll dive more into Qortal in a moment…

What is blockchain technology?

There is plenty of information on the Internet for you to explore on this topic. Simply put, blockchain technology is multiple computers called nodes which connect to each other and create a chain network that is extremely secure. Each node helps verify each block of data before a new block can be processed. It’s a form of verifying and securing the data on each transaction, each block. This creates what is commonly referred to as an immutable ledger. Meaning this data becomes unhackable and “set in stone” per se. That is, if the technology is being used in a truly decentralized way in which the chain of block data can only move forward. Otherwise it would invalidate the chain. So it is fool-proof in this regard when truly decentralized. Bitcoin and Qortal both have immutable ledgers. Blockchain technology can offer reduced overhead, increased security and cheaper scalability for virtually any type of project.

Bitcoin was the first to gain traction in the mainstream, launching in 2009, which utilizes a network of nodes by people all over the world. Bitcoin (BTC) was designed for anyone to run a basic computer and support the immutable ledger. Bitcoin uses a mining system called Proof of Work (PoW) which rewards the block signer with a digital coin. This is known as the block reward. The coin is actually created by the blockchain one at a time, one block at a time. In the case of Bitcoin, only 21 million Bitcoins will ever be produced. You may ask what happens after the 21 million have been mined, as this removes the incentive to continue running a node, right? The answer is no, since there are transaction fees which are distributed to the miners. This separate type of reward will continue to happen indefinitely.

The problem with Bitcoin is that it creates competition between the nodes as only one node is rewarded each block for signing the block. In other words, each block has to be signed before moving onto the next block. This has led to the evolution of Bitcoin ‘miners’ which are ASIC machines built specifically for Bitcoin to run extremely fast computing and greater chance of signing blocks - putting slower machines at a disadvantage. These mining machines have become increasingly expensive and require a lot of power to run, while making basic computer nodes obsolete. To no surprise, Bitcoin mining is no longer all-inclusive and has become a system where money equals power over the network. This is totally against the fundamental principles of the Bitcoin White Paper written by the anonymous founder ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’. In some regards, Bitcoin mining is becoming less decentralized and more centralized. The reason for this is due to the PoW mining algorithm. It simply allows money to equal power over the network! Therefore PoW like this is flawed and leads to centralization! There’s a lot more we could go over with Bitcoin, but this was included to give newcomers a quick intro to blockchain tech and highlight some key areas.

Next, it is important to address Ethereum, which launched in 2015, and why it is NOT truly decentralized. Ethereum (ETH) took blockchain technology to a new level compared to Bitcoin by creating infrastructure. Ethereum allows other projects to build on its chain. A brilliant idea, as it has led to all sorts of use cases including commercial but unfortunately the centralized control has allowed blocks to move backwards, referred to as a rollback. Most of us sovereign-driven folks find this rollback completely against the fundamental principle of using blockchain technology. This is clearly an unethical action, in our founding opinion, to refund investors after Ethereum’s DAO SmartContract was hacked and millions stolen. So it is clear that Ethereum is fully controlled and only the big money people are of importance. Not to mention that due to the hack, Ethereum did not have the proper underlying security layers for its users to have complete confidence in! One of the many examples of how central control leads to unethical practices. Especially the boom of scams that launched on Ethereum which make us cringe! Ethereum has been using the PoW mining algorithm since its inception. On December 1st 2021, Ethereum will change PoW to Proof of Stake (PoS). As mentioned above, conventional PoW like this is flawed and leads to centralization by creating competition with the block reward only going to the block signer. PoS is also flawed and leads to centralization. The idea of PoS is to remove the flaws of PoW’s need for expensive hardware and high electricity usage. PoS requires nodes to hold coins, or ‘stake it’, and rewards those with higher wallet balances. The idea being that higher wallet balances have more vested and intend to authentically secure the network - not attack it. The reality of PoS is that it creates another system where money equals power. On a different note, Ethereum launched an initial coin offering (ICO) in which 72 million coins were pre-mined for the sake of raising funding. We respectfully feel that ICOs are not ethical, as they enrich selected people and historically most of the ICOs were blatant cash grab-n-dash schemes where the investors were left empty handed. A dicey situation nonetheless. Again, there’s a lot more we could go over, but this was included to give newcomers a quick intro to blockchain tech.

Qortal vs Other Projects

The blockchain space is largely full of scams or projects we feel are unethical or flawed in some aspect. At the time of beginning to build Qortal’s codebase, there were no projects in existence which had a codebase worthy of cloning or taking source code from, so it was decided to be written from scratch. Qortal was founded on ethical and egalitarian principles:

  • Qortal must be truly decentralized with a focus on mass adoption.
  • No one can buy their way into Qortal; money does not equal power over the network.
  • Qortal is all-inclusive and allows anyone to run a basic computer as a node.
  • Qortal has its own mining algorithm called ‘minting’ in which every minting node earns a portion of the block reward each block - removing any form of competition with block signing and replacing it with an attitude of genuinely supporting the network. WE DO NOT MINE, WE MINT!
  • Everything built on-chain is truly decentralized; there are no centralized aspects at all.
  • There will be no private interest ruling over the common good of the people; the Voting System will let our voices be heard and the DevTeam will always take into consideration our interests.
  • There can be no censorship or sanctioning power from the Development Team. We strongly believe it should be solely up to the individual to have complete control over their digital lives within this new system. (Admins of groups they make will have control over their subcommunity just as you’d expect as an admin on a Facebook group/page.)
  • With true decentralization, no outside forces can regulate or sanction Qortal directly. There is no intellectual property, there is no one to hold accountable for others’ actions.
  • We felt launching ICO and pre-mining QORT would be unethical, so we did not; Genesis Block #1 minted the first QORT coin.
  • We are not money-driven, we are sovereign-driven.

What are we planning to build with Qortal exactly?

  • Decentralized, censorship-free Internet which is done by running your own node and hosting your own website on your node. You’ll no longer need a third-party hosting provider or have to pay for a website url. Your registered name on Qortal is yours to keep and can be used for your website too!
  • Internet service provider (ISP) alternative utilizing mesh networks and satellite bridging. As local mesh networks grow, they depend less on their actual ISP, eventually we can utilize satellites to bridge gaps between geographical locations and one day get to the point where we are completely sovereign!
  • Peer-to-peer solutions remove any need for centralized components: 1) Voice, video and text communications should be encrypted and safe between two parties, 2) We should have complete control over our coin wallets and trade with others directly.

No Total Coin Cap

Bitcoin for example, will only produce 21 million coins into circulation. Thereafter, the transaction fees will be the remaining incentive for nodes to continue running the chain. With Qortal, we have little to no transaction fees and aim to remove them as much as possible over time. This is part of the reason behind the decision to keep Qortal’s QORT coin infinitely minting without a total cap. The other reason being that we expect Qortal to outlive us all, and with the massive potential for applicability for QORT within the system: being that it acts as a service coin and powers on-chain functionality. (QORT can also be used as a digital form of payment.)

Listing QORT on Third-Party Sites or Exchanges

We have nothing against listing QORT on third-party sites such as CoinGecko or CoinMarketCap. If anything, it gains Qortal more exposure and credibility. We have applied with CoinMarketCap. It turns out CoinGecko will only approve projects that are listed on exchanges they approve. So CoinGecko is not an option considering the next point below.

We have no interest in listing QORT on third-party exchanges: 1) we have our own Trade Portal, 2) listing on exchanges requires depositing coin/releasing custody, and 3) are centralized and totally against the Qortal ethos! These centralized exchanges are exactly why Qortal’s Trade Portal is being developed - to offer true peer-to-peer trading and local wallets without any middleman and nonsense that has historically come with it!

What do we foresee as founders and early adopters?

A new ecosystem free of any outside control. A censorship-free platform where people can remain anonymous if they choose as we don’t require KYC/AML identity verification. A new Internet where freedom of speech, free trade of information, e-commerce and job markets can thrive! Maybe the world will begin to grow closer than ever before, become a more synchronized and educated bunch, who can demand change and make change in the world like never seen before. If we can regain control over our digital lives and banking, we hold the cards in this new world and corrupt leadership will ultimately fall. This won’t happen overnight but we can surely make change and better contribute to mankind’s success.

What do you need to do to take part?

Simply run a node. This means download the core and UI to your existing computer, or build/buy a Raspberry Pi 4 setup.

What are the minimum specs for a computer to be a node?

At the present time, the core and UI will run with 2GB of ram or even less, and 1 core even, depending on the type of operating system (it's hard to give 'base specs' like that without caveats). Windows is the worst with everything, especially memory management, so specs for ideal performance on Windows would be different than any other operating system. It’s likely a minimum requirement for Windows of quad core, 8GB RAM (no other apps running ideally) and at least 50GB free strictly for the database.

Do you have to be sponsored?

You do not have to be sponsored to run a node and utilize all of the P2P features within Qortal or navigate the new Internet when it launches. Sponsorship is required to become a minter to earn your portion of the block reward and begin leveling up your account. Your account level will not only be used for your block reward, but also for the Voting System we aim to build. Wherein your account level will give you a weighted influence based on time and contribution. To become sponsored, simply engage the community, study the available content, value what we are building, and try to contribute if and when you can! We are eagerly working to sponsor newcomers and look forward to further growing the network of minters as that means greater decentralization and network stability! Learn more about the minting and sponsorship system on the Minting and Becoming A Minter pages.

Do you have to run a node 24/7?

If you don’t run a node 24/7, you will be faced with having to resync your node each time you do want to run your node. So you don’t HAVE to run a node 24/7, but it is recommended. If you do not wish to keep your existing computer running as a node 24/7, we recommend purchasing a Raspberry Pi 4 setup and building your own node. Or you can purchase one pre-configured from Crowetic.com which is a third-party service provided by co-owners Crowetic and G Factor. These devices, whether you build it yourself or purchase one from Crowetic.com, will provide you with a stand-alone desktop and blockchain node that only uses 5W/5V power which is the same as leaving a phone charging all day! They have custom kernels built specifically for Qortal and are definitely worth considering.

Please note: You need to command the core to shut down before turning off your computer. Failing to do so can corrupt your database aka db. If you have Linux, Mac or a Raspberry Pi/QORTector you will simply go into your computer terminal and enter two commands:

cd qortal
./stop.sh

Starting the node manually is:

cd qortal
./start.sh

For Windows users, you will simply right click the Qortal icon in the system tray next to the clock, then select ‘exit’. This will stop the core.

How do you turn your existing computer into a node?

Go to https://qortal.org/downloads/ and be sure to download: 1) core and 2) UI. You’ll need to have your core downloaded and running, then download the UI and open. Core must always be running, UI is only needed when you want to open it. UI is simply communicating to the Core. Core is communicating with the blockchain. Moving forward after the recent launch of core version 2.0 we no longer need to ‘bootstrap’. This means your core will automatically bootstrap or set up your node to be synced 90% or better after you download. Just let the node finish syncing the remaining blocks. You can see your ‘current block height’ in the bottom left corner of the screen, and it will show you the percentage synced next to it. You can check the current block height of Qortal’s chain at https://exqlorer.com/ if you’d like. There are help guides in this wiki for each operating system!

Can you run more than one node?

Yes. 1) You could run another node for redundancy; if your first node went down for some reason, your second node could keep your account minting. You will NOT earn any additional block rewards for doing so, this is solely for redundancy. 2) You may have someone who lives with you who would like to run a node. It is perfectly fine for both of you to have your own nodes, with your own minting accounts.

How do you setup your account on Qortal?

See Account Setup & Recovery wiki page!

For Crowetic.com customers setting up their QORTector...

See QORTector Walkthrough wiki page!

How can you contribute?

There is no pressure to contribute per se. We are simply community-driven and contribute when we can, where we can, how we can. Even if you just happen to be in one of our chat systems and see a question you can answer, we appreciate all the help we can get! Marketing, content creation, constructive criticism, and any other type of genuine contributions are highly appreciated! Everyone finds their way of helping with time. You could also reach out to @crowetic and purchase QORT from DevFund sell orders to help support the DevTeam!

The DevFund

The DevFund is an account managed by @crowetic to send QORT or other coins we support to the DevTeam for their work. You can easily see the DevFund transactions at https://exqlorer.com/address/QWfYVQfuz2rVskYkpkVvLxL3kUPmBgKhHV which will show what addresses have sent coin to the DevFund, and what addresses have been sent coin from the DevFund. Learn more about the exqlorer here Exqlorer.com. You can also view the transactions by QuickMythril’s spreadsheet, which will update regularly, by selecting ‘DevFund’ in the columns: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/13CkBGQU-pNEcLiShO9s9ExsTJhTIXRmmjW1jqXSkCNg

The DevFund has sold a lot of QORT since launch which we are extremely grateful for! The liquidity has helped us pay devs in LTC and buy equipment for special circumstances. We haven’t had any real funding, we didn’t launch with an ICO or any other non-ethical tactic of raising funds. It has been an extremely challenging journey with such a lack of funding but we have and will continue to prevail! We see it would be best for the DevFund to change direction at this point. That is, to hang onto more QORT as surely it will rise in value here soon? We have data hosting and other development in the works that will surely bring more value and adoption. So really the DevFund should hold more QORT for future value and taking care of devs in future. Selling at such low prices now seems to almost be counterproductive when devs could receive QORT and sell themselves if they really want to. Surely devs should see the future value and want to HODL. Investing in their contributions now for the longer run.

Utilizing the Trade Portal

Qortal’s Trade Portal is truly decentralized. This means there is no centralized vault where you can buy coin directly based on whatever amount you’d like. This means you’ll have to run a node, fully synced (does not require sponsorship or a minting account), to utilize the Trade Portal. You’ll need to buy LTC or other coins we support in Trade Portal (currently DOGE is the only other coin), from a third-party exchange such as Coinbase. Then you can transfer that coin to your Qortal wallet address. For example, buy LTC on Coinbase, then send LTC to your Qortal LTC wallet address. Thereafter, you can go to the Trade Portal and buy listed sell orders. Trades are not immediate, as this is a true cross-chain trade and takes a few minutes. You can track the transaction in your wallet section, you can also see the completed transaction in the Exqlorer. See Exqlorer.com for more info!

What kind of developers do we need?

Core is written in Java. UI is written in JavaScript. Have any interested developers join us in Discord or Telegram and we’ll take it from there! Official links: Official Links

BE SURE TO SAVE A BACKUP FILE!

Qortal is truly decentralized. Therefore, if you lose your keys to your account, there is NO account recovery. Fear not. All you need to do is download a backup file during the process of creating your account in the UI. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! During account creation, you can also select the ‘Advanced User’ option and write down your seedphrase. This can also be used to recover your account. A lot of our community members memorize this seedphrase as well as keep a backup file. See Account Recovery & Backup File for more info.

We have 3 chat systems available!

We have Official chat channels on Discord, Telegram, and our blockchain-based Q-Chat! Eventually we would like to permanently get off of Discord and Telegram as we are building our own sovereign solution on Qortal’s blockchain: Q-Chat. We have a lot of plans for Q-Chat, so it is currently underdeveloped but does provide basic chat-based functionality now. Eventually we will have the ability to do video and voice calling, image attachments, and more! See Official Links for our Discord and Telegram channels.

The Qortal Wiki

We strive to build this wiki into a melting pot of information related to Qortal. Obviously this will be an infinite task of updating so bear with us and please take the time to study the content when you can. If you have any suggestions for content to add to the wiki, please let us know! There is a search bar in the top right corner which hopefully becomes a successful tool to easily find answers to questions. Below are a list of important reads on the wiki:

Qortal Project Overview

Qortal In A Nutshell

The Big Picture of Qortal

Qortal's Fundamental Principles

The Qortal Credo

The QORT Coin

The Future of Qortal

Most Common Questions

Q & A Time!

Wiki Help Videos

Be sure to check out the help videos on the wiki - expect more of these! Click here: Help Videos

qortal_101.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/03 18:06 by gfactor