Opera Mainnet (Fantom): Exploring the Framework
Opera, also known as the Fantom mainnet, was launched in December 2019, making it one of the more recent operational blockchains.
Fantom employs the Lachesis consensus mechanism, combining Proof-of-Stake (PoS) and Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (aBFT) to facilitate faster and more cost-effective transactions compared to other blockchains while maintaining high security.
What Sets Fantom Apart?
First and second-generation blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, were not initially designed for scalability.
Their primary focus was on security and decentralization.
Consequently, transaction speeds on these networks became slow as more nodes were added.
For instance, a transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain could take up to 15 minutes, whereas transactions on the Fantom network can be completed within seconds.
The PoS mechanism in Lachesis allows validators to generate new blocks by staking their FTM tokens.
The aBFT protocol plays a vital role in Lachesis by enabling nodes to independently construct blocks.
Even with broken or malicious nodes in the network, the Byzantine Fault Tolerance ensures consensus.
The network can handle up to one-third of malfunctioning or malicious nodes without experiencing a network outage.
This eliminates the need for a leader node to create blocks, resulting in faster transactions while maintaining excellent security.
What is the Fantom Virtual Machine?
The Fantom Virtual Machine (FVM) is the software development kit used on the Fantom Opera mainnet.
It provides tools for creating and deploying decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, also known as dApps, on the network.
In addition, Opera supports the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), allowing developers to seamlessly migrate their Ethereum-based dApps to the Fantom network, ensuring compatibility with the largest smart contract-based platform in the world.
Fantom differentiates itself by utilizing its consensus mechanism called Lachesis rather than replicating the Proof-of-Work (PoW) processes used by Bitcoin and Ethereum.
According to the creators of the project, Lachesis enables Fantom to achieve significantly higher speed and scalability than previous blockchains.
The speed advantage makes Fantom particularly suitable for applications requiring high throughput.
Solving Scalability Challenges
Lachesis is renowned for its Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (aBFT) consensus mechanism.
The creators of Fantom claim to have found a solution to the long-standing challenge of scaling blockchains without compromising other important network characteristics, such as decentralization and security.
One key advantage of Lachesis over Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerant (pBFT) consensus systems is its resilience against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
Furthermore, aBFT systems are designed to be faster than pBFT-based consensus methods.
Innovating Event Order
It is worth noting that aBFT incorporates Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) technology, which is common in other emerging blockchain consensus systems.
Each network node maintains a local DAG, which is later used to determine the final order of events.
Unlike previous blockchain systems, transaction events are compared with other nodes on the network rather than the blocks themselves.
By effectively overcoming the scalability trilemma, which states that consensus algorithms can include only two out of three requirements at a time, Fantom achieves remarkable scalability while maintaining security and decentralization.
The Architecture of Fantom
The Fantom architecture consists of three layers resembling a sandwich: Opera Core, Opera Ware, and the Application Layer.
The top bun, Opera Application, offers publicly available APIs allowing developers to connect with the Opera Ware layer through their dApps.
An intriguing application that emerges from this architecture is “Story Data,” which is a fundamental function for storing vast and immutable data records, particularly beneficial for applications like supply-chain management.