Alexey Koloskov | May 10 2022
Alexey Koloskov | May 10 2022
Fantom Deep Dive: high-performance blockchain on Orion
What is Fantom?
Fantom is a leaderless, asynchronous, and byzantine fault-tolerant Layer 1 blockchain protocol. It offers high-performance, EVM-compatibility, and scalability on a highly secure smart contract platform. Fantom takes other primitive concepts within blockchain and transforms the possibilities of what is achievable on a grand scale. Lachesis, Fantom’s consensus mechanism, delivers fast transaction speeds at a very low cost and deterministic finality. Fantom remains permissionless, decentralized, and open-source.
The exceptionally high security characteristics of Fantom revolve around the leaderless Proof-of-Stake protocol that secures the network. Lachesis is aBFT, meaning that it can process transactions asynchronously, as soon as they are submitted, and it can withstand up to ⅓ of the network failing.
Without a centralized entity validating transactions, it is up to the decentralized consensus protocol to make sure that every participant in the network has achieved “agreement.” It is the network itself which validates the transactions in a fully trustless way.
Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (aBFT)
Fantom’s aBFT is the highest standard of consensus algorithm as it solves blockchain’s general scalability issues which are determined by only being able to solve two of: decentralization, security, and stability. The aBFT enables maximum effect of all three categories as the network reaches consensus by independently conveying the information without needing to exchange finalized blocks. Without excessive communication needed in other consensus algorithms, it allows Fantom a far greater scalability potential.
Lachesis is a DAG-based aBFT consensus algorithm and solves the limitations of previous consensus algorithms while creating an ideal solution for high-throughput applications. It is built around the reliability and need to facilitate fast finality to match demanding real world uses. This covers various sectors such as payment transactions, supply chain tracking, healthcare data storage and many more. Lachesis is perfectly suited to Orion’s DeFi world, producing superfast transaction speeds and incredible bank-grade security.
How Lachesis works
“Each Lachesis node stores a local acyclic directed graph (DAG) composed of event blocks, each of which contains transactions. The DAG, capturing the happens-before relationship between the events, is used to calculate an exact final order of events—and hence transactions—independently on each node.
Event blocks are divided into confirmed and unconfirmed event blocks. New event blocks are unconfirmed, while event blocks from the past 2-3+ frames are all confirmed, and subsequently ordered by honest nodes.
Consensus results in batches of confirmed event blocks, where each batch of events is called a block. Finalized blocks forming the final chain are calculated from event blocks independently on each node.
Unlike Proof-of-Work, round-robin Proof-of-Stake, coinage Proof-of-Stake, and sync BFT, Lachesis nodes don’t; send blocks to each other. Only the events are being synced between nodes. Validators don’t vote on a concrete state of the network; instead, they periodically exchange observed transactions and events with peers.
Unlike Classical consensus, such as pBFT, Lachesis doesn’t use new events in the current election; instead, new events are used to vote for the events in 2-3+ previous virtual elections simultaneously. This leads to a smaller number of created consensus messages, as the same event is reused in different elections.
Hence, Lachesis achieves a lower time to finality and a smaller communication overhead compared to synchronous BFT.” - Fantom Foundation
Fantom is modular, therefore making it extremely flexible across the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), allowing it to be compatible with Ethereum, arguably the most popular and well-known of all smart contract-based blockchains. The adaptability of Fantom’s design allows it to be accessible for developers, as porting from Ethereum-based apps is possible in a matter of minutes. This provides exceptional scalability and performance for currently limited Ethereum projects and lowers the costs associated.
Secure + environmentally friendly
By being Proof-of-Stake-based, rather than Proof-of-Work, this limits any centralization and also helps to save electricity. As Fantom offers absolute finality, transactions can never be reversed and it offers institutional-grade security to distributed networks.
Based on a permissionless foundation, anybody can run a node, with a potentially unlimited number of nodes being able to help secure the network. The innovative Lachesis consensus allows for a connectable blockchain future, which seeks to improve upon Ethereum-based limitations and provide the tools necessary for blockchain technology to thrive on a global scale.
Opera is a permissionless and open-source environment to build decentralized applications. Using Fantom’s exceptional aBFT consensus algorithm, developers make full use of the speed and fast finality on Fantom, ensuring that real-world projects can function optimally on Fantom with no congestion or long confirmation times like with other blockchains.
- Leaderless Proof-of-Stake: removing leaders increases network security substantially.
- Fast Finality: transactions settled in around one second.
- EVM compatibility: fast deployment of smart contracts for devs as they would on Ethereum
- Open-source: easy to build dApps on the Opera mainnet.
The FTM token
FTM is the main functional token on the Fantom network, and is used for staking, governance, payments and more. FTM’s primary utility is to secure the network via a Proof-of-Stake system. Validator nodes need to hold a minimum of 3,175,000 FTM, and stakers need to lock up their FTM. in return, both are rewarded with epoch fees.
Payments of FTM are a highly-desirable feature of Fantom, as they combine speed, fast finality, and low fees. On-chain governance lets the FTM token be used by participants in the voting process, and contribute to the decentralized ecosystem. For FTM as network fees, Fantom has fees for actions such as deploying new smart contracts and creating new networks. Although the fees are cheap, they are sufficient enough to make it extremely expensive for any potential malicious actor to carry out an attack.
DeFi on Fantom
Fantom’s design makes it faster, cheaper, and more reliable than other similar projects, and for DeFi, this incredible performance translates into a much-improved experience when transacting crypto assets.
Fantom’s integration into Orion Terminal opens up significant opportunities for improved utility of FTM as users now have one location to access multiple liquidity sources in one place. Using Orion’s liquidity aggregator means users are able to access centralized liquidity attributed to FTM projects via their own wallet. Unlike centralized locations which require an account and personal details to be shared, Orion Terminal only requires the user’s wallet to be connected as transactions are carried out via secure smart contracts.
Whereas Fantom holders and traders prior to integration with Orion Protocol have been used to conducting trades across many individual swap facilities, Orion Terminal has the ability to combine each of those sources into one place, providing a one-stop shop for all Fantom trading. The more sources connected to Orion’s decentralized liqudity aggregator, the deeper the liquidity, the better the value for its users. This essentially removes any need for trading on any other single exchange; centralized or decentralized.
Fantom Wallet is the native wallet for FTM Opera Mainnet. fWallet enables users to send, receive, and stake FTM in the Fantom DeFi ecosystem. MetaMask also lets users store mainnet FTM as well as interact with Fantom dApps, along with popular wallets such as Ledger, Coinbase Wallet and more.
Fantom is a fast, scalable, and secure layer-1 EVM-compatible platform built on a permissionless aBFT consensus protocol. On Fantom, transactions are confirmed in 1 second and cost just a few cents. Speed, low transaction costs, and high throughput make Fantom ideal for DeFi applications and real-world use-cases.
Orion Protocol is the chain-agnostic protocol building the single point of access to the crypto market - powered by Orion's Universal Liquidity Aggregator. Orion Protocol is the first, and only, platform to provide decentralized access to CEXs, DEXs, and swap pools in one place, directly from users' wallets. As the first cross-chain, cross-exchange trading Terminal in market, Orion Terminal aggregates siloed liquidity into one place.