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Fantom is a directed acyclic graph (DAG) smart contract platform providing decentralized finance (DeFi) services to developers using its own bespoke consensus algorithm.
Together with its in-house token FTM, Fantom aims to solve problems associated with smart-contract platforms, specifically transaction speed, which developers say they have reduced to under two seconds.
The Fantom Foundation, which oversees the Fantom product offering, was originally created in 2018, with the launch of OPERA, Fantom’s mainnet, coming in December 2019.
The Fantom Foundation was founded by South Korean computer scientist Dr. Ahn Byung Ik. Currently, the platform’s CEO is David Richardson, former managing CEO at Mid-Ocean Consulting.
The team behind Fantom has extensive experience primarily in the field of full-stack blockchain development, and aimed to create a smart contract platform which privileges scalability, decentralization and security.
According to its official website, Fantom’s team also consists of specialist engineers, scientists, researchers, designers and entrepreneurs. Employees are located throughout the world, matching the ethos of a distributed platform.
Fantom attempts to use a new scratch-built consensus mechanism to facilitate DeFi and related services on the basis of smart contracts.
The mechanism, Lachesis, promises much higher capacity and two-second transaction finalization, along with improvements to security over traditional proof-of-stake (PoS) algorithm-based platforms.
Matching Ethereum, the project appeals to developers looking to deploy decentralized solutions. According to its official literature, its mission is to “grant compatibility between all transaction bodies around the world.”
Its in-house PoS token, FTM, forms the backbone of transactions, and allows fee collection and staking activities, along with the user rewards the latter represents.
Through token sales in 2018, Fantom raised almost $40 million to fund development.
FTM is a proof-of-stake (PoS) token which in fact exists in several incarnations.
The platform’s compatibility with Ethereum means that users can purchase an ERC-20 standard FTM, which is automatically converted to native FTM once received to their wallet. Another version of FTM is available on Binance Chain using its BEP2 standard. Only the native FTM can be used on the Fantom OPERA mainnet itself.
The total supply of FTM is 3.175 billion tokens, of which 2,134,638,448 FTM is currently in circulation. The rest will be released subject to a schedule running through 2023.
Staking forms an important part of tokenomics, with a proportion of the supply reserved specifically for staking rewards to users who hold FTM.
Fantom uses a bespoke variety of proof-of-stake algorithm to provide services and secure its network. Known as Lachesis, it is an example of a so-called asynchronous byzantine fault tolerant (aBFT) consensus mechanism.
By removing leadership among network participants, Fantom avoids low-cost attack risk, while staking adds further user incentives to secure operations using FTM token holdings.