Interview with: Fantom

Yellowblock July 10, 2020
Updated 2020/07/10 at 4:47 PM
9 Min Read

Could you briefly tell us why we should love Fantom?

We couldn’t nail it down to a single reason, so we’ve got a couple different angles that we believe are quite exciting about Fantom.

First of all is the tech, at the very heart of our Opera Network we have the consensus mechanism that started our entire journey, which is the very first Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus that actually works in a decentralized setting (with dynamic participation, people can come and leave, and it supports as many validator nodes as we’d like to see, rather than just 15 or 20 as seen in many other attempts from projects trying to build aBFT).

On the other hand, we believe that the applications built on top of Fantom, which are being used by large institutions around the world make it easy to love Fantom. We recently started a blockchain project with the Afghan Ministry of Health and three big pharma companies, to label and track 80.000 medical products, tackling a huge problem with counterfeit medication in the Middle-East which undermines the basic human right to health.


The blockchain industry is extremely saturated, what competitive advantage and features differentiates Fantom from other consensus-as-a-service platforms?

Well I’d say there are two topics being addressed in this question.

One is the saturation we see in the blockchain space, with the obscene amount of new blockchains popping up, and secondly is the rise of a handful of consensus-as-a-service platforms that try to address that saturation by providing a key module so people don’t spend so much time and resources rebuilding everything from scratch for their new bespoke blockchain.

Our believe that our CaaS platform is truly consensus at your service, rather than a marketing trick to make our ecosystem seem bigger than it truly is. We’ve seen too many projects claim that they’re CaaS, when in fact their stack isn’t compatible with any of the other exciting modules being built in the space in regards to middleware or virtual machines.

On our end, we’ve made sure to open-source ever nook and cranny of our Github repos, we’ve put in the extra research hours to make sure it’s ABCI-compatible, EVM compatible, and compatible with any piece of technology that will become popular in the coming years. Blockchain is a space full of succession, very few people who are in this space in 2020 remember which projects put down the building blocks for the space today back in the earlier half of the decade, but their research and development lives on in other projects that are succesful nowadays.

Fantom strives to create value and to stay relevant in an ever-changing space, but CaaS also ensures that if we may not succeed, that the value we produced in this space will be used and kept for the next generation of distributed ledgers.


How did Fantom adjust to the changing ecosystem and market in order to remain as relevant throughout the years?

In all honesty, most of our pivots and changes come from a sustainability perspective. Doing a second raise in this space is paired with too many problems, so finding a way for the foundation behind Fantom to maximize the value out of the funds raised initially when building something can only be done when it’s subsidized by the institutional users of the technology.


What is the purpose of the $FTM token within the Fantom ecosystem? And are there any staking services?

FTM is pretty much the oil in this huge engine.

First and foremost, FTM is being used to secure the network by our validator nodes, who stake FTM as a deterrent against malicious behaviour (they are slashed if they behave maliciously), and it’s given as a reward to validators and stakers who behave as the protocol dictates they should.

But in addition to that, it is also used for network governance, settling transaction fees, and in our new DeFi stack which will be launching gradually in the upcoming weeks and months. This will allow FTM holders to use their $FTM as collateral to mint a multi-collateral stablecoin called fUSD, which can be used to trade synthethic assets on our chain, and which can be used to lend and borrow on our lending product called fLend.


Fantom’s Foundation has a wide array of partners, how do they add value to the ecoystem?

We have a couple different categories when it comes to partners.

We have technical partners such as V-ID and Chekkit, which play a crucial role in helping institutions with real world use-cases by deploying their technologies on top of the Fantom Opera Network.

But we also have development partners such as GoFantom, which work closely with the foundation and the core team in the development of ecosystem tools such as wallets, but also help secure the network through their own validator node.

And last but not least, we have the institutional partners such as governments and enterprises, who ensure that usage of the products we build is pushed forward.


How does Fantom play a critical role in authenticating and verifying medicine?

We received a mandate from the Afghan Ministry of Health to work on a solution that could detect counterfeit medicine, which is still in the works, but for now our focus has been on deploying a QR code labeling solution in collaboration with our partners at Chekkit.

We put a label with QR code on a tub of medicine, and track its journey from producer to user. Of course, that doesn’t wipe out super sophisticated counterfeiting businesses immediately, but it definitely scares off a majority of counterfeiters, and it allows us to identify the breachpoints that allow large-scale counterfeiters to circulate their bad products to consumers.


Fantom’s ecosystem has become the go-to for crypto-agnostic DeFi solution; How exactly did Fantom enable that to happen?

Well, we saw a big gap in the market with the majority of the top 100 coins/tokens in terms of market capitalization not being represented on Ethereum-based DeFi platforms.

Most of these coins/tokens are on other chains, or even on their own chains, so most platforms in the Ethereum DeFi ecosystem (which is fairly enclosed) don’t want to deal with finding an interoperability solution or a wrapping solution to get these assets onto their platforms.

Most of these chains will probably try to launch their own DeFi solutions to counter that, but they wont have the network effects and adoption that Ethereum-based DeFi has, so that’s going to be a tough route for them.

We figured that the best way to deal with this, is to become a stand-alone DeFi ecosystem where all the assets of those bespoke chains and networks could come together, and where they could borrow/lend against one another, and where we can benefit from the network effects of each and every participating network.


Every project has short, medium and long term goals. What can we expect to see from Fantom?

We have only one goal, and that’s to create value for others. Whether it’s through DeFi, healthcare on the blockchain, anchoring documents on top of our chain, or building Consensus-as-a-service.

That’s the goal on the short term, the medium term and long term.

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