Qortal Project

The future of blockchain platforms

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Qortal In A Nutshell

A Quick Overview of Qortal

The Qortal Project will provide a viable solution to the infringement of our digital lives. Our data and communications are being monitored, free speech censored, social media accounts sanctioned or permanently banned unfairly, and so much more. The blockchain space is riddled with problems such as: 1) Bitcoin and other blockchains have become centralized, 2) projects claiming to be decentralized are usually not, 3) centralized exchanges have historically lost coin holder’s assets and not reimbursed the account holder, and 4) scam projects run rampant. We believe in restoring balance to the people of the world. We envision a platform that provides infrastructure for a new system. One that cannot be hacked or compromised, as it is truly decentralized and self-empowering.

Qortal aims to provide an unhackable censorship-free platform for a new Internet and systems to be built securely. This technology can provide the world with the freedom we deserve with non-fiat banking, payment transactions, speech, information trade, communication privacy, and more:

  • Local wallets that the individual has complete and sole control over
  • True peer-to-peer trading (P2P)
  • Web hosting and data storage where freedom of speech and trade of information can thrive
  • Social media safe haven where only admins of self-created groups can censor and have control over
  • Encrypted peer-to-peer text, voice, and video communications
  • Mesh network data service with satellite bridging as an alternative to an internet service provider (ISP)
  • Infrastructure for ethical third-party projects to build on

The Qortal DevTeam does not have any control over accounts, balances, censorship, etc. It is up to individuals to engage in the new system responsibly and admins to manage their sub-communities without oversight. Qortal does not have any intellectual property or centralized properties for legal responsibility. No government or powers that be can do anything about it other than shut down the entire Internet and ISP backbone. This is simply not realistic as virtually everything operates on the Internet and we would have much bigger problems at that point. We realize this is a debatable topic, but need to focus on the positive that Qortal aims to solve this vulnerability. We have plans to implement a mesh network and satellite bridge ISP alternative to remove the need for existing internet service providers (ISP) and the entire network can be run on devices as low powered as 5w5v (as much as a phone charger) so can easily be run on a solar panel. With this new sovereignty worldwide, we can grow together like never before and unify. This is the beauty of what can come from true decentralization utilizing blockchain technology.

So who controls the codebase of this ambitious project and are there any vulnerabilities? Qortal has a ‘DevTeam’ with 'DevTeam Admins' who are elected developers in charge of updating the codebase. This is the only ‘centralized’ aspect, but a necessary control over the code to maintain its integrity. Anyone can join the DevTeam and become a DevTeam Admin with time and contribution, as nothing within Qortal can be bought. Such as account levels and admin privileges. The DevTeam Admins require a group approval (with an on-chain transaction) of 60% in order to issue an auto-update. This means that an individual DevTeam Admin is not capable of going rogue and sabotaging the chain. As time goes on, more devs are added to the Admin team and the group becomes more decentralized, so-to-speak. Most of these individuals, who are located in various parts of the world, prefer to remain anonymous and this is extremely strategic as it ensures the codebase could never be overthrown - even if those whose identities are found were kidnapped or however our imagination wanders, where they would be ‘forced’ to corrupt the chain, it simply isn’t possible without the 60% approval.

We launched the Genesis block on June 29th 2020, and have a lot to work towards, but all of this can and will be done thanks to the strong community we’ve built and continue to grow. We’ve made it this far with hardly any funding and limited developer resources! The codebase is open source for both the blockchain and the Raspberry Pi hardware which can operate as a stand-alone desktop and blockchain node. Crowetic Hardware Development (CHD) is a new company that three of the Qortal founders formed to sell these devices to those who would like a plug-n-play device or want to support the team as CHD will profit share with the Qortal DevTeam (www.Crowetic.com). For those more technically inclined, they can buy the hardware themselves and follow the help files on the wiki, as well as seek tech support in Telegram, Discord or our very own blockchain-based Q-chat to build their own device. Virtually any modern computer can be ran as a node, and the help guides to do so are also on the wiki!

Qortal has its own coin called QORT which is both a service coin to power on-chain functionality, as well as a digital currency, which can be used as a form of payment on-chain. Businesses and services can accept whatever cryptocurrencies Qortal supports as payment methods. Qortal will provide a safe haven for a new Internet of e-commerce and job marketplaces where smart contracts can be utilized to make payments in cryptocurrency. Virtually any new, ethical system can be built on Qortal’s infrastructure!

Qortal will implement a voting system where the community will be able to vote on the project’s direction. The account levels and blocks minted will give members a weighted vote. This will allow the community to earn a heavier weighted vote based on time and contribution. Everyone reaches the same max level 10 account in time. This will keep the community involved and not force every decision to be left solely in the hands of the DevTeam.

A Deeper Dive Into Qortal

Qortal is not a clone of any other blockchain project. The codebase is written from scratch other than a few bits of code taken from QORA dealing with the transaction framework.

QORA is the original project of Qortal which has been in development for over 8 years and has evolved into a much more ambitious, all-encompassing focus on decentralization. QORA required nearly a complete rewrite of its codebase which led to the evolution of the project to what is now called Qortal.

CIYAM is a third-party group of developers who created the ‘AT’ SmartContract system which was the first of its kind to conduct a true peer-to-peer trade in the blockchain space. Qortal includes this CIYAM trade framework along with some customization known as the ‘TradeBot’ which allows automation of the multiple transactions involved in each cross-chain trade. The TradeBot of Qortal keeps track of each trade on behalf of the user who created them and can only be accessed by the user that created the trade. The custom TradeBot ultimately makes the Trade Portal more user-friendly with automation on the backend.

The point to make here is that the DevTeam did not find any existing codebase in the blockchain space suitable for what Qortal required and decided that what we aim for can be done, but will require the codebase to be written from scratch (other than the QORA and CIYAM framework implemented). Furthermore, Qortal will likely be the codebase that other projects will want to clone, although we are building infrastructure for any ethical project to build with Qortal, rather than against. Ethereum provides a platform for third-party projects to build on, but in our opinion, is extremely flawed and Qortal will become the more suitable option. We also do not aim to 'compete' with other projects. We simply aim to build regardless, in a complete stand-alone solution.

Funding Qortal has been extremely challenging as there is no intellectual property and was launched ethically with no ICO (initial coin offering), pre-mine, or airdrop. All of our developers currently have full-time jobs to support a base income and help with Qortal in their free time. Although it is extremely admirable of the devs to make themselves available for Qortal, it ultimately has caused a slower rate of production than would be possible if we could bring devs on full-time. With such an ambitious and revolutionary project, the rate of production has been a bit frustrating but we are proud to say development is moving forward nonetheless.

So what do we have so far after all these years of hardship and perseverance? Today, Qortal has an amazing community of developers and people of all walks of life, from all over the world, who truly value what we aim for. In just 18 months of launching Qortal, we have nearly as many nodes as Litecoin. Litecoin has been live since November 2013 and for a very long time was the #2 coin in terms of market cap and is extremely well-known. Anyone who has heard of Bitcoin, has most likely also heard of Litecoin. Given these facts, it is obvious that the model with which Qortal was constructed (which had a major focus toward making a larger network of full nodes for security of the overall blockchain) has played out exactly as intended: giving Qortal a much stronger network with more individual validators for the chain and more decentralization.

Phase 1 of our plan was to launch a stable base network, with an immutable ledger, account leveling, sponsorship system, and local wallets. This was quite a hurdle to overcome but we can proudly say that we have succeeded in this objective. Although with that said, as we build this infrastructure from scratch and new features are released, we still have our hoops and hurdles. We have identified areas of improvement, made changes, and foresee further modifications as needed. With limited dev time and resources, prioritizing and completing the workload has been challenging.

During Phase 2, we launched the Trade Portal for peer-to-peer (P2P) trading. BTC was the first coin we had supported in the Trade Portal but was realized to be too slow and costly for the time being, so BTC trading is not live at this time (but will be in the near future). Local wallets currently support QORT, BTC, LTC, DOGE, DGB, and RVN. The Trade Portal currently supports trading of LTC, DOGE, DGB, and RVN. The idea is to provide a gateway of obtaining QORT, and eventually we can circle back to adding more coins. We prioritized Phase 3 for building the new Internet, which we will cover shortly. If there’s anywhere folks should be safely storing their precious coin, it’s within Qortal as only the account holder has control over their keys and their coin cannot be compromised within the system. Q-Chat is also live: a blockchain-based messaging system that still needs a lot of work but currently provides true P2P encrypted messaging. Group messaging is live within Q-Chat but currently does not provide encryption (coming soon). The Voting System has been postponed to focus on other critical areas, but is expected to be implemented during Phase 3. Thereafter, the community will help decide which coins to add to the Trade Portal and local wallets.

Phase 3 has begun! Core version 3.0+ includes the data hosting which creates the opportunity for a new Internet with free web hosting and public data storage. Websites and data can be found within the Qortal UI as with all of the other plugins. Data hosting will eventually allow Q-Chat to have messages that stay on-chain longer than the 24 hour period they do now, including the ability to send pictures, videos and GIFs. Phase 3 will create the stepping stone we seek towards a new Internet where e-commerce and job markets can thrive as well as unhindered freedom of speech and trade of information.

Once we have these key elements in place and mass adoption begins to take place, we can begin to pursue the next sovereign solution: the ISP alternative referred to as Mesh Networking. We’ll have more focus on this area when we have more nodes on the network, although some of our devs are looking into it now. Mesh networking will be possible on the QORTector devices as well as any device with an added antenna solution! Satellite bridging will also be possible and we already have a satellite prototype in development. All of this is certainly possible. When it is ready, we will begin to remove the need for an existing ISP backbone and work towards becoming completely independent.

The last key component to cover with building on Qortal’s infrastructure, is third-party projects. Any project will be able to build in the App Center when it is live and provide a viable alternative to Ethereum. Projects wishing to launch a minting system with tokens will require the DevTeam to vet the project, then the Qortal community to vote for its approval, and then the DevTeam Admins will be authorized to give this asset permission to the project. This will be our way of ensuring only ethical projects wishing to have their own tokens are legitimate, opposed to the historic scam show we've seen unfold on blockchains like Ethereum. To clarify, when a blockchain has its own asset, this is called a coin. Such as Qortal and Ethereum. When projects build on a third-party blockchain so-to-speak, these assets are called tokens, such as ERC-20 tokens on Ethereum. We are just getting started and foresee this area of interest increasing exponentially with time as we gain more exposure in the crypto space. Users will be able to opt into these third-party features and services within the Qortal UI. The community will be able to rate and review these apps to let other users know how well received the apps are, just as we see today in the App Store on Apple and Android devices.

qortal_in_a_nutshell.txt · Last modified: 03/28/2023 11:30 by gfactor