The Quant project encompasses the Overledger blockchain operating system and QNT token, both tasked with ensuring interoperability between multiple blockchains and enabling linking between global networks and chains with more flexibility.
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What is Quant?
The heart of the Quant project is the Quant Network as a technology which automates the trust functions between multiple blockchains with the help of the Overledger operating system. The system is billed as the first OS to be built for blockchains, with the goal to connect blockchains and networks (such as those for the provision of financial services, healthcare and others) on a global scale, yet without hampering their interoperability.
The Overledger represents the core around which a future digital economy ecosystem is supposed to be built, allowing the developers and businesses in it to build decentralized multi-chain applications (known as MApps) for their customers. Becoming part of the Overledger, however, will be secured only with the use of QUANT (QNT) tokens which are utilized to pay for the platform use fees or annual licenses.
What is Quant Trying to Achieve?
The idea for the creation of the Overledger/Quant was birthed in the head of the project’s CEO and founder Gilbert Verdian while he was working in the healthcare sector. Back then, he identified the key role of interoperability in ensuring coverage for patients registered on diverse networks and featured across multiple datasets. With that in mind, the team led by Verdian set on resolving a set of issues in order to bring about a future concept called the “Internet of Trust”:
- While blockchain and distributed ledger technologies manage to find an increasing number of use cases, they still lack seamless interoperability, both among the internal ledgers and external networks. Quant is supposed to bridge this gap as a blockchain’s “missing link”. Overledger is supposed to provide any network used for a particular purpose with a gateway to all other blockchains, not unlike a “magic” portal with a functional interface. The same goes for supporting communication between every application within the ecosystem with the desired blockchain. At the same time, interoperability is not limited to transferring value between blockchains as it also covers the exchange of messages and data by adding a hash of a message to the metadata of any transaction. Without being forced to add another blockchain, the users can rely on the trust and security of the source chain.
- Development of specific blockchain-based solutions does not have to drive higher costs and technological demands. Overledger hopes to support the development of tailor-made solutions for specific sectors, with its architecture serving as a shortcut to cutting high costs of doing so and removing the requirement to own complex infrastructure encompassing multiple chains. With Quant, businesses are not limited to access to a single blockchain only, which means that their applications can implement and offer a diverse array of features from all blockchains the platform enables access to.
- Overledger is a technologically agnostic platform, meaning that the users looking to work with it are not limited to a single tech provider in trying to link with various networks and blockchains. Trying to pick out the best system based on the need to meet diverse technological and business requirements of blockchains for the use with dApps, can be a complicated affair. By allowing the users to make use of the Overledger, the team behind it hopes to speed up the adoption of both new applications and their features.
How Does Overledger Work?
Removal of the communication barriers between blockchains and support for the use of MApps as dApps running on multiple different ledgers, prompted the Overledger team to design an architecture which should support both interoperability and scaling. The architecture in question was actually inspired by the TCP/IP models used with the communication networks. The developers decided that organizing it based on the layers which perform individual tasks is the best way to achieve the platform’s goals, leaving the Overledger with the following components:
- Transaction Layer. This layer handles the storage of transactions using ledger technology. It is home to all operations which are required to reach the consensus in several blockchain domains. This process is made simpler by placing all of the related operations in a single layer. Yet, the scope of transactions made on a specific blockchain is limited to that domain, meaning that they cannot be made valid in other ledgers as well. This is why this layer is made up of both varied and isolated ledgers.
- Messaging Layer. This logical layer tackles all information retrieved from the ledgers which are deemed relevant. Types of information involved include smart contract data, metadata and transaction data. When it comes to metadata, the strings which are added usually represent the digest of out-of-chain messages which can be interpreted as the payload. This layer is also used for the storage of all transaction information and the digests of the messaging between multiple applications.
- Filtering and Ordering Layer. This layer also handles messages, particularly those which are extracted and composed of the transaction information. Messages referenced in the transaction via a hash which is exchanged out-of-chain undergo ordering and filtering. In addition to this, this layer is tasked with establishing connections between messages originating in the Messaging Layer. This layer also validates out-of-chain messages for the metadata. The validation engine checks the application requirements which can be defined on the transaction data. For instance, an application in question can be set to accept only transactions involving a particular address or it may need payment in tokens which are to be transferred. Based on the filtering done on this layer, the applications can take into account only the messages that involve transferring a predefined amount of tokens to a specific address.
- Application Layer. Messages deemed valid based on having the required format and signatures can update the state of application relevant to them. Various applications can share identical messages or make references to messages related to other applications. These references use one-of-the-kind hash pointers referring to the ledger transactions with the message digest. These pointers essentially refer back to the storage location of a particular cryptographic hash. They also function as identifiers which can be used to pick out a transaction from a database and confirm its unchanged status.
What is Quant App Store?
Based on this architecture, the Quant Network was able to demonstrate the ability to read and monitor transactions across multiple ledgers which initially included Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, with the promise to add support for more of these as the platform develops. Similarly, the same architecture which supports MApps should allow the Quant team to start working on the Quant App Store, as one of several sources of revenue within its ecosystem.
The App Store is supposed to deliver the following functionality:
- Developers can create and release MApps.
- Applications can feature zero charge rates for the usage and transactions. Other options include one-time fees per transaction or the use of an application, as well as an optional monthly subscription model.
- In any case, the customers wanting to use it will be required to hold a pre-set number of Quant tokens in order to gain access to the platform.
What Is Quant SAAS?
In addition to the App Store, Quant has also made plans to launch their own Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) for the enterprise and middleware applications. These will feature solutions tailored to the needs of individual sectors based on the demands of various industries. In line with this, the developers promise to focus on sectors such as healthcare, supply chain, government and financial services. One of these products is Quant Health which is used to help healthcare institutions to keep their systems operational with the help of blockchain.
Quant Enterprise and Middleware Products
The Quant team is also working on creating business applications that will allow their users to benefit from the decentralized nature of the Quant platform and its potential to deliver operability across multiple chains. While the use cases are still being developed, some of the fields which may prove to be of interest include:
- Electronic health records
- Decentralized messaging solution
- Middleware products such as treaty contracts
- Identity broker solution which can be used to authenticate users and authorize them to be given access to blockchains
- Fiat currency gateways
In addition to these products, the Quant team is also working on the licensing scheme for its core technology which would be offered to various internet and blockchain providers and manufacturers.
QNT are tokens whose main role is to provide digital access to a particular service or an application (MApp) which are made part of the Quant platform. The access is provided to both users and developers.
In addition to the number of tokens, the access fee will be also based on the fixed fiat currency amount. For example, the consumption fees for developers and enterprises in the amount of USD 10 per month entail making payments to the Quant Treasury based on the equivalent price in QNT tokens.
With the rise in the number of users and the accompanying change in the demand for QNT, the total number of the tokens required for access to the platform and applications may vary depending on the value of tokens and their number in circulation (as of March 2019, these figures stood at more than 9 million out of 14.6 million in total supply). Fixing the value of access fees to fiat values should allow the developers to hold more flexible amounts of QNT since its price may change in relation to the fiat. As of March 2019, the market cap for Quant stood at USD 34 million, with the QTN being traded on cryptocurrency exchanges such as Bittrex, HotBit and others.
Gilbert Verdian (CEO) has been active in the security industry for more than two decades now. He is the founder of the Blockchain ISO Standard TC307. Other key persons include chief architect Jean-Paul de Jong and Colin Paterson (CTO). The team managed the ICO which took place in April 2018 and managed to raise about USD 11 million. Potential competitors for the Quant platform include WAN, Cosmos, Polkadot and similar projects.