Qortal Blockchain Project - What is the Qortal Project?
A Collaborative effort by the Qortal Founders which is meant to give a better overall understanding of the core principles and concepts behind the Qortal Blockchain Project.
What is the Qortal Project?
The Qortal Project is a completely written from scratch, new concept of utilizing blockchain technology in order to provide infrastructure for virtually any ethical system to be built on. Qortal aims to rebuild the Internet as we know it, build a fair worldwide cryptographic economic system, and to provide the world with a much needed and truly democratic approach to some of most commonly used services:
- Account encryption and SOTA security measures
- Decentralized peer-to-peer asset trading
- Decentralized web hosting and data storage
- Freedom of speech social media and encrypted communication
- Mesh networking and satellite data service
- True democracy and delegation within Qortal by means of voting on-chain
- Infrastructure for ethical public or private projects to be built securely
Qortal’s Mission Statement
The Qortal Network will bring back individual sovereignty to a worldwide economy . Qortal will: 1) rebuild the Internet in an unhackable fashion, 2) resolve devastation caused by exchange hacks and thefts, 3) build a new worldwide economic system based on honesty, openness, trust, democracy, and transparency, 4) implement a true DAO and democratic system with a voting system where the individual's influence is weighted based on contribution, and 5) establish a fair system with room for everyone to earn their place in Qortal!
Founding Principles of Qortal
Let’s be honest, the world as we know it is full of corrupt leadership and inexcusable censored control over our lives worldwide. The time is past due for the people of the world to unite, live in harmony, and regain control of their lives as much as can reasonably be obtained. Qortal aims to put the power back in the hands of the people worldwide when it comes to banking, free trade, freedom of speech, freedom of unethical censorship, right to privacy, and right to a truly democratic system where their vote matters. Welcome to Qortal. The first revolutionary concept that aims to achieve all of these rights within a platform and network utilizing blockchain technology.
The Founders of the Qortal Project understand that in a picture perfect world, everything would be 100% decentralized in all facets, although the reality is that governance is still needed as the world is still full of bad actors. Therefore, Qortal’s goal is to focus on true democracy, not 100% decentralization. Although we even said this, our original slogan was “Decentralize The World” which is in regard to decentralization from conventional government and commercial control as we know it. Qortal’s core infrastructure will maintain a small amount, but necessary centralized control over the project’s core network in order to mitigate and sanction bad acting as it arises. For example, the creators and admins of a social media group which is engaging in illicit activity. The admins are in charge of managing and sanctioning their members accordingly. When a group fails to govern its people and the community raises the issue to Qortal’s Voting System, the community will be able to vote and determine the appropriate sanction. In this example, the community can come together to decide whether certain individuals or the group in its entirety need to be sanctioned. Ultimately, the community will vote, where their voting influence is based on their account level within the Qortal system (which is based on their level of contribution over time) and the decision is brought forth to the Qortal Core Development Team. From this point, the current Dev Team will be authorized to act on that decision.
The current Dev Team are a set of accredited Founders initially who will maintain the sole power to auto-update the blockchain. A minimum of 25% approval is needed between the accredited Devs during a vote to authorize auto-updates to the chain. It’s important to note that more Devs will be added to this accredited group with time and after careful consideration. This is an important point to make in order for everyone to understand that the Founders aim to help direct the project in the proper direction, then ideally be able to elect more team members who can help further the project’s development with less need for the Founders as Qortal is designed to be a project that can outlive us all if done correctly.
The Founders also pay homage to the founding concepts behind the original blockchain project which brought this technology to the world’s attention - Bitcoin. To briefly recap, the original concepts behind the white paper of Bitcoin were to:
- Create electronic “cash” with an emphasis on anonymity and independence from conventional financial institutions
- Create a method for peer-to-peer transactions to take place on-chain securely
- Create a way for people to be rewarded for supporting the network
- Make all of this possible with basic computer systems
The problem that Bitcoin ultimately ran into was a flaw in the mining algorithm which was intended to create a fair rewards system but instead became unfair and dependent upon the individual’s financial capabilities. The original concept behind Bitcoin’s original whitepaper also included a concept that allowed people to mine BTC on their home computers as opposed to expensive hardware and power costs. Over time, however, that was destroyed by the invention of mining software that was much faster running on Graphics processors, then eventually running on ASIC machines, specifically built to mine Bitcoin’s mining algorithm. This led to the centralization of power on Bitcoin’s network and into the hands of people who have enough money to buy massive amounts of the ASIC machines as well as financial means to afford the massive power costs.
Qortal's 'minting' system resolves this flaw experienced with Bitcoin. Minting is the process of ‘finding blocks’ in the chain. Qortal does not use Proof of Work (PoW) or Proof of Stake (PoS) like most traditional chains, but instead uses ‘minting’. Qortal does not reward the block signer but rather rewards every minter who is online, synced, and minting! Say goodbye to the battle of MINING and welcome in a fair new system where everyone is rewarded for EVERY block minted. Minting does not use high amounts of electricity, and it also does not require the users wishing to mint, to have a huge amount of QORT or any other asset with which to do so. Instead, minters must prove themselves as a 'productive member' of the network, to be a minter. In other words, every account is rewarded for running a full node and supporting the network.
No user can obtain any influence in the Qortal Network by any other method other than obtaining sponsorship from another minter of Level 5+ or a Founder. Therefore the minters on Qortal are created by other minters and remain legitimate by continuing to run a minting node to support the network where their account gains in level and thus influence. This influence is then portrayed in the Voting System, so the only way influence can be gained on the network is by proving yourself as a legit network node and helping to process transactions. See the Sponsorship section for more info on this.
As the platform develops further, other methods of ‘leveling’ will be implemented. Other verified methods of supporting the system will be given the power to level and increase their vote weight on the voting system. For example, a system in the future that rewards content creators for creating good content, that the other users will view and upvote, could be used to create a second method of leveling wherein good content is rewarded. Another concept is that of users looking to make use of Qortal’s Trade Portal will bring liquidity to the platform. Liquidity providers could be rewarded in terms of leveling. There will be many other leveling methods devised in the future. At the moment the only method to level is the initial one of minting.
The Qortal Constitution
We the People of the Qortal Blockchain Project (‘Qortians’), in order to form a more perfect democratic system to benefit every interested person, establish a platform to decentralize, build a network for true freedom, and come together as one for the common good of the people worldwide. This is our Constitution.
Section 1. We will structure a platform that puts the power back into the people’s hands with a fair system for all and a limited governing system designed only to combat illicit activity. Qortal will not infringe upon your right to free speech, free trade, right to information, nor right to build together. All major decisions on the platform will be made via a vote by every leveled account.
Section 2. Qortal will have its own decentralized trade portal that features true peer-to-peer transactions without the need for a middle man that historically has proven to be flawed. Qortal will have its own decentralized hosting service for websites, blogs, data storage, social media, and encrypted communication. Qortal will have its own decentralized mesh-network and satellite technology that encrypts data and ensures privacy. Qortal will provide infrastructure for virtually any ethical public or private project to be built on-chain and take part in a new economic model within the Qortal Network.
Section 3. Qortal will never be empowered to censor nor force a political agenda upon its people. That is, with the exclusion of a zero-tolerance policy towards illicit activity including attempts related to 1) gaming the Qortal system, 2) violence, 3) terrorism, 4) child pornography, 5) human trafficking, 6) and drug trafficking. (The methods for defining and proving these ‘bad actors’ will take place via vote as well. Ultimately, unless the raised issue demands immediate action or is needing to be removed under these guidelines, then the decision must be made via the Voting System.)
Section 4. Qortal will enact a delegative system where bad actors are sanctioned automatically and without the need for a Voting System if the individual case matter pertains to Section 3 of the Qortal Constitution. Any other case matter will be raised via a Ticket System and placed on the Voting System docket for Qortal accounts Level 1-10 as well as the Founders to vote and determine the outcome. The Ticket System will be managed by the Founders and those who are individually elected to support the management of processing raised issues to determine the decision and make public as to whether the ticket meets Section 3 of the Qortal Constitution or does not and requires a community vote. This reserved power to the Founders and elected Support Team members will be particularly important, but not limited, to when a critical issue is raised with little time to act. All raised issues within the Ticket System and Dispositions will be required to be posted publicly to maintain transparency with the People of Qortal. The goal will be to 1) minimize as much centralized control as possible while only allowing enough control to ensure Qortal’s proper direction and integrity, and 2) ensure that every raised issue is heard.
Section 5. It is the duty of the Founders to ensure the project builds a strong base network of community members and minters during the initial process of launching the Qortal Project. It is virtually impossible to prevent every case of bad acting, but it will be the duty and expectation that the Founders and elected Officials will work diligently to continue to build methods to prevent and penalize illicit activity as needed. Every raised issue in the Ticket System will be heard, and every ethical person within the Qortal Network matters equally.
Section 6. Founders and any other account within the Qortal Network are all subject to the same sanctions. If a Founder or any other account is deemed a bad actor for valid reasons, sanctions will be imposed up to and including account removal. Qortal will maintain a zero-tolerance for illicit activity at all account levels.
Section 7. Everyone within the Qortal Network is expected to engage and contribute in an ethical fashion. Qortal provides an opportunity for the world to come together, despite our differences (excluding the illicit activities mentioned in Section 3 of the Qortal Constitution). If we are all here with the genuine intent of furthering mankind and building a brighter future for all, then the project is destined to succeed and positively impact the world. Qortal will put the power back into the People’s hands worldwide. United we stand or divided we fall. If we are going to reinvent the wheel, we must have patience, respect, and understanding between us all.
Intended To Outlive The Founders
The beauty of blockchain technology and Qortal is that the chain cannot be stopped and the project will carry on without hardware dependency of any single person! Qortal is intended to outlive the Founders and become an unstoppable infrastructure for the world to adopt. Qortal will provide an opportunity for anyone in the world to get involved and be rewarded for their contribution to the network regardless of technical expertise, geographical location, or financial status. In theory, virtually any type of ethical online service and operating system could utilize the backbone infrastructure of Qortal.
With a vision of a platform designed to outlive us all, the current Dev Team is merely that - the current Dev Team. More qualified developers will be elected to join the Core Team over time, and the Voting System will delegate a fair direction for the future team to move towards. Ultimately, Qortal aims to achieve a truly decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) where the system is controlled by the community members and not by any outside government. Finally, a system that can be utilized worldwide that is built by the people, for the people!
Truly Decentralized P2P Trade Portal
Qortal’s Trade Portal aims to remove the need for centralized exchanges and ‘decentralized exchanges’ which riddle the blockchain space with all sorts of flaws. That is not to say that all exchanges which claim to be decentralized are flawed, but surely most are. The idea of the Trade Portal is to provide true peer-to-peer (p2p) transactions between buyers and sellers without the need of the middle man by utilizing cross-chain trades in the form of the ‘ACCT’ SmartContract (Atomic Cross Chain Trade) on Qortal’s SmartContract system by CIYAM Developers (http://ciyam.org/at). The only authority over a trade taking place is solely between the buyer and seller! The custom trade bot for the buyer and seller automate the multiple stages involved in a true cross-chain trade so that the Trade Portal is as simple to use as any centralized service but without any of the associated risks such as 1) historically these exchanges have been prone to hacks and failure, 2) depositing assets into a wallet or temporarily releasing control of assets during a trade, 3) any need for KYC/AML tools since the bots conduct direct cross-chain trades between the buyer and seller.
How can Qortal guarantee no theft can occur within the Trade Portal? Simple. The fact is, the Trade Portal utilizes LOCAL wallets to make trades. At the time of this publication, Bitcoin is natively supported and Litecoin is being tested (nearly ready to be implemented). This implementation of cross-chain trades can be reused for any number of Bitcoin forks that work on the same transaction sending and address generation schemes. The Dev Team has taken extensive time to ensure that only LOCAL wallets are made use of and the keys for those wallets are never exposed in an unencrypted fashion. Therefore, the Trade Portal is just as secure as sending from a local wallet to another, except they are one chain to another.
Decentralized Web Hosting & Data Storage
This is where the rebuilding of the infrastructure of the current Internet begins. No longer will there be a need to use centralized services for hosting websites, storing data, and using social media platforms that censor content for unethical reasons (i.e. political motifs). There obviously will be a lot of work to be done in this arena, but the current need could not be greater for a decentralized solution that can be preserved and free of shutdown by utilizing blockchain technology. The finer details of this system have yet to be decided, therefore, very limited information can be elaborated on at this time.
Social Media & Third-Party App Hosting
Qortal will eventually have its own social media platform that allows the world to speak freely and not have their voice censored (as long as they are not engaging in illicit activity). No longer will political agendas dictate and censor the content within our social media outlets. Qortal already offers a demo-version ‘Q-Chat’ chat system which provides anonymous and encrypted messaging. This is the tip of the iceberg!
Qortal also is not looking to compete with other projects and aims to welcome ethical public and private projects of any kind to the chain. Qortal will be able to provide a more secure and ethical backbone for current and future projects to consider building on. Especially with the ability to create tokens for new projects built on-chain or accept payment for services with Qortal’s QORT coin. Yes, you read that right, Qortal will provide a platform where projects can be built on-chain and also be able to create their own tokens. The creators and admins of these projects will have full control over their apps - so long as they are not engaging in illicit activities - which in that case, the community will raise the issue, and then vote to deem a sanction or removal necessary. The Dev Team will then have the final say as if a Supreme Court would ensure that a fair and proper vote was initiated to legitimize the sanction or removal. The arguments for and against such a democratic system have been considered, and the decision has been made that this is necessary in order to prevent a Wild West where illicit activity can run rampant on Qortal. Other than that, the world is our oyster!
Qortal allows the average computer to operate as a full node, although a cheaper and revolutionary concept has emerged: the QORTector. These current hardware device models utilize OrangePi and RaspberryPi boards with a custom kernel that operates on an average 5W power consumption - the equivalent to charging a phone! Comparing that to the dreaded power-hungry ASIC miners of Bitcoin, it becomes apparent how incredible the options are for running a node on the Qortal Network. For those who are technically inclined to do so, the images for the QORTectors are made available for download so you can purchase and configure your OrangePi or RaspberryPi on your own. Currently, there are four boards which have custom kernels written and available after tedious testing: Gen 1) Orange Pi Prime H5, Gen 2) Raspberry Pi 4, Gen 3) Raspberry Pi 3, Gen 4) Orange Pi H6. For those less capable, Crowetic Computers LLC is a third party supplier that is gearing up to assemble and ship devices to customers anywhere in the world (tech support and warranty coverage are being considered).
The QORT Service Coin
Qortal has its own chain and native asset called QORT, which by definition makes it a coin. QORT is meant to power on-chain services and act as a service coin (or function as a utility token). For example, QORT will be the payment method for the fees associated with hosting a website or storing data on Qortal’s chain. It will also power on-chain services including the Trade Portal, such as with BTC-LTC trades, QORT is used as the base pair. No matter the use case, QORT will power on-chain services.
It is expected that the value of QORT will be low initially, but as the usability for QORT increases on-chain, so will its value. Therefore, it may be reasonable to speculate that QORT could reach a future value that meets the value of Ethereum’s coin.
Recap: Qortal's 'minting' system resolves a flaw experienced with Bitcoin. Minting is the process of ‘finding blocks’ in the chain. Qortal does not use PoW or PoS like most traditional chains, but instead, uses ‘minting’. Qortal does not reward the block signer but rather rewards every minter who is online, synced, and minting! Say goodbye to the battle of MINING and welcome in a fair new system where everyone is rewarded for EVERY block minted. Minting does not use high amounts of electricity, and it also does not require the users wishing to mint, to have a huge amount of QORT or any other asset with which to do so. Instead, minters must prove themselves as a 'productive member' of the network, in order to be a minter. In other words, every account is rewarded for running a full node and supporting the network.
Qortal's Founders believe that ‘minting’ is a superior method in multiple ways, as it does not require coin holding requirement for minting (thus minting does NOT favor the users with more capital), but it also focuses on ensuring a strong and ever-expanding network of full nodes on the Qortal Network. This method leads to a much stronger base node network, and will be much less likely to run into issues as other blockchain projects do, wherein their base network has a lack of enough full nodes, which makes the chain much less secure overall. This is against the principles that Bitcoin initially put into the world. The entire idea of the Bitcoin system, was to be totally decentralized and put the power in the hands of the people. The way things are going now in Bitcoin and many other projects, is the exact opposite of these ideals. Qortal aims to go back to the original Bitcoin concepts, putting the power solely in the hands of its users on the network which maintains a very strong network with full nodes spread out across the globe.
UPDATE TO ORIGINAL DESIGN: It is impossible to prevent all gaming in a system that respects anonymity and aims to remove as much central control as possible. With that in mind, a change is being considered to limit the number of sponsorships Level 5+ minters currently have as well as to create a ‘group’ in which the Founders and select accounts may have unlimited sponsorship abilities. This idea stems from the realization that there may currently be Level 5+ accounts that are sponsoring new accounts for personal gain as opposed to truly building a strong base network of ethically-driven community members. Other ideas are also being thought out to combat concerns of ‘gaming’ the current system of minting in relation to block rewards and voting influence. With voting, the current idea yet to be implemented would be a weighted influenced factored by 1) account level and 2) blocks minted whereby more contribution to supporting the network rewards a greater influence.
Minting Quick Bullets:
- Minting does NOT reward you based on the QORT coin held, but by simply verifying you are a legitimate full node and online.
- Minting rewards are NOT reliant upon being the signer of the block.
- Every minter is rewarded EVERY BLOCK in Qortal (60 seconds on average).
- To become a minter, a new account must be 'sponsored' by a level 5+ minter or a Founder.
- The sponsorship requirement is a security feature to combat gaming the system.
- The period of running a node to become a Level 1 is set at 7200 blocks (after obtaining sponsorship and an average 5 days to complete).
- The period to become a Level 5 takes nearly 14 months in which the account can begin sponsoring others.
- The highest level for a Qortal account is Level 10. The period to become a Level 10 takes nearly 7 years 9 months.
- Other portions of the system are possible to change in the future as well.
- The system VERIFIES online minters by utilizing the minting keys. So you MUST STAY ONLINE to be rewarded.
- The whole point of minting, is to GROW AND MAKE THE NETWORK EXTREMELY STRONG.
- Only a node that is YOUR NODE can be used as a minting node. You cannot access the assignment of minting keys without having full localhost access to the node you're attempting to assign keys on.
- Each 2 level 'tier' shares a set reward percentage, of EVERY BLOCK.
- As your level goes up, you eventually move into higher leveled tiers, and your shared reward percentage increases.
To become a minter on the Qortal Network, a user will need to be 'sponsored' by a Founder or level 5+ minting account (if you did not purchase a QORTector device before launch of the Genesis block or are a QORA Forger). This process will take place by the Founder or level 5+ minter issuing a 'reward share' transaction to the newbie that wishes to become a minter. (This process will take place via the Qortal UI. The explanation of the process is to show what is happening in the back end, it isn't necessary for the users to fully understand it, as the UI will make it very straightforward.)
As the required number of blocks go by, the people in 'reward share' situations are checked for 'online status' where they issue a timestamp that is verified by other members on the network in 5 min intervals. All users in the reward shares will be counted as online. Initially, 5 days (or specifically, 7200 'online blocks') of online blocks are required to enable minting at account Level 1. There will only be a certain amount of 'reward share' transactions for the creation of new minters that will be possible at any given time. Thus, a limitation of the creation of new minters is created.
Once a user has run a node for 7200 blocks and the account becomes Level 1, the user can then issue a reward share transaction to one of their addresses for 'free' (without a fee) at which point they are enabled (officially a minter on the network) and can obtain their shared portion of the block reward. See the Rewards System section for more info on this.
Sponsorships are given away only to people that have integrity, have studied the available information, and are here for the right reasons. Qortal is not a place for people to ‘mine’ coin or game the system. Qortal is a project that rewards those who run a full node to support the chain, increases the level of each account over time as they continue to support the chain, and with an increase in level the account will have a more weighted influence within the Voting System. Ultimately, Qortal aims to welcome in genuine people with a fair system, a true decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) with a Voting System, and real-world solutions to p2p trading, decentralized hosting, decentralized social media, encrypted communication, and infrastructure for other projects to be built securely. Ideally, Qortal also aims to decentralize Internet data service which could be done via mesh networking and satellite technology. Finally, a worldwide decentralized and democratic concept that can put the power back into the people’s hands utilizing blockchain technology. A system that rewards people for their contributions, and only holds enough centralized power to sanction bad actors - not the power to censor people with a biased agenda as seen with current social media, news, and the Internet at large.
Account Levels & Rewards System
In Qortal, there is a system of 'levels' that are given to those who choose to become a minter. The minimum level is 1 and the maximum level is 10. At first, the minter account type is the only type that can obtain and gain in levels. This means that the minters are the only ones who can vote for changes in the system, create committees, and any of the other aspects that are relevant to the leveling system. At a later date, other Qortal account types will emerge (data hosting nodes & liquidity providers).
The first accounts able to level in the system are the minters. Minting is extremely important to the system, as it is the way that blocks are signed into the chain, and the chain progresses forward. Without the minters, the chain doesn't move. Due to the extreme importance of the minters, they are rewarded with the block rewards on the system. The rewards of every block, are split evenly among the total amount of active minters in each tier below:
- Levels 1 & 2 share 5% of the block reward
- Levels 3 & 4 share 10% of the block reward
- Levels 5 & 6 share 15% of the block reward
- Levels 7 & 8 share 20% of the block reward
- Levels 9 & 10 share 25% of the block reward
- QORA holders transitioning into QORT obtain 20% of the block reward (see the QORA Transition for more info on this)
- Founders will obtain a minimum 5% of the block reward, and the rewards for Levels 7-10 until there are accounts in a tier level to obtain the reward.
Please note: QORA holders who burned their QORA before the due date of 6/6/20 do NOT have to be active minters (running a full node) to earn their transition into QORT coin. Whereas founders and everyone else do.
Also important to note: If minters are OFFLINE, a larger percentage of the block reward percentage goes to the minters who are ONLINE. So be sure to keep your node ONLINE as much as possible - to both garner your earned reward as well as your 'online block count' for leveling up.
As the entire design of the minting system suggests, the importance of minters in Qortal is that of supporting the chain as a full node. A full node can be a computer or hardware device such as Qortal’s QORTector which connects to the chain, supports the chain with processing and validating transactions, and is rewarded for doing so. For further information on this concept for those new to the blockchain space, any general video or article can further explain the basics of how blockchains and nodes work. Full nodes are very important for the overall health of any blockchain. For this reason, we have decided to delegate that importance by enforcing the minters to be online and synced as the main contributing factor. It is impossible to 'trick the core' into thinking a node is online when it is not, as every node that has a minting key assigned to it, must 'verify' itself every block by performing a special signature tied with a timestamp and submitted to be verified every block. This verification takes place every 5 blocks (average 5 minutes, average block time is 60 seconds). When a newbie is sponsored, the sponsor assigns a reward share key in which the newbie assigns to their node via Qortal UI. The Qortal Core will notice that the newbie’s node is tied to a full node (sponsor’s node) which then is recorded and credited towards the newbie’s 7200 blocks ‘online blocks’ to become a full node and Level 1.
Each minting account will increase in level as it continues to prove itself a supporting node and increase its count of 'online blocks'. Leveling up provides the advantages of:
- Increased block rewards
- Increased voting influence
- Ability to sponsor new accounts after reaching Level 5
- More to be determined as the system evolves
Minters can assign their minting key to multiple nodes. The same key can be used on multiple nodes, to provide 'redundancy' for the minter of the assigned key. This means an account can have more than one computer or hardware device minting so if a device stops minting for whatever reason, other devices are still supporting the chain and the account continues to earn the associated reward. In the future, there will be a 'bonus' given to minters who have decided to provide their key to multiple nodes and thus provide further support to the network. However, at first, there is no benefit other than redundancy for the minter.
With an average 60 second block time, the following shows the number of blocks needed from one level to the next. These are NOT CUMULATIVE and must be accomplished EACH LEVEL starting back at count 0 upon each level increase taking place.
- From Level 0 to 1: 7,200 blocks
- From Level 1 to 2: 64,800 blocks
- From Level 2 to 3: 129,600 blocks
- From Level 3 to 4: 172,800 blocks
- From Level 4 to 5: 244,00 blocks (approximately 14 mo. from Level 1)
- From Level 5 to 6: 345,600 blocks
- From Level 6 to 7: 518,400 blocks
- From Level 7 to 8: 691,200 blocks
- From Level 8 to 9: 864,000 blocks
- From Level 9 to 10: 1,036,800 blocks (approximately 7 yr. 9 mo. from Level 1)
The block rewards on Qortal are meant to be never-ending. Since QORT is a coin on-chain, there should always be new QORT available to power the various services on the network. Therefore, there is no total cap on QORT coin, meaning there will always be a reward for every block. Every average ‘6 months’ there is a decrease in block reward from its start at 5 QORT per block, by .25, until 2 QORT is the reward. Unless a vote is made with the suggestion of a change, which is also possible by submission of a proposal in the system and subsequent vote. The potential for an increase or decrease of up to 1 QORT per block is possible via vote, however, this type of vote can only take place one time per ‘year’ (in blocks).
The following is how the Reward Schedule and Reduction model is currently designed:
- Block 1+ Reward: 5.00
- Block 259,201+ Reward: 4.75
- Block 518,401+ Reward: 4.50
- Block 777,601+ Reward: 4.25
- Block 1,036,801+ Reward: 4.00
- Block 1,296,001+ Reward: 3.75
- Block 1,555,201+ Reward: 3.50
- Block 1,814,401+ Reward: 3.25
- Block 2,073,601+ Reward: 3.00
- Block 2,332,801+ Reward: 2.75
- Block 2,592,001+ Reward: 2.50
- Block 2,851,201+ Reward: 2.25
- Block 3,110,401+ Reward: 2.00
Please remember: No rule is forever in the Qortal Network, it is only as long as it remains agreed upon and not challenged by a proposal and subsequent vote.
Every user from the QORA project will have the ability to transition into Qortal (given the fact that they were either a holder of QORA coin in a private wallet they control or a forger who has the private key of an account that had forged blocks on QORA during the given time frame). Methods for this transition will vary depending on QORA holder vs. QORA forger. THE DATE TO BURN QORA HAS PASSED, NO MORE BURNING WILL BE ACCEPTED AS OF 6/6/2020 23:59 PM UTC.
Forgers on QORA will be able to transition to Qortal as a 'minter'. This will allow them to begin earning rewards on Qortal in the form of QORT coin, by providing their full node to the network and remaining synchronized/online. The level at which the QORA forger will come into Qortal will be determined based on the number of blocks forged on QORA during a set time frame (when QORA was no longer listed on exchanges and thus the forgers were not forging for personal gain but instead to help keep the chain running). The highest level that a new minter can start from as a QORA forger is Level 5.
Holders of QORA on the original QORA chain will also be able to transition to Qortal. Upon registration for their account on the Qortal platform, these users will be asked to input their private QORA key. When they do this, Qortal will automatically implement the assigning of an asset on the chain, called QORA. Then distribute this asset in a 1:1 ratio with the QORA held in the imported private key. Once this has been completed, the user will then have a QORA balance on Qortal. The QORA asset is not sendable nor will it be able to be used in any fashion other than to be a 'marker' for the previously held QORA. Private keys will only be allowed ONE IMPORT, so there will not be a way to double the balance. The QORA asset will solely be a representation of previously held QORA on QORA chain. The asset will then determine both the amount of QORT coin the user will attain from said QORA coin as well as the rate at which that QORT coin will be given.
Sanctions For Illicit Activity
Qortal will not be a platform for a new ‘Wild West’ where there is no reasonable governing control to combat illicit activity. It would be naive and arrogant to assume that our system would be any different than what we see elsewhere in the world and more importantly, the blockchain space. Bad actors will attempt to game the system. Terrorism, child porn, trafficking, and other terrible acts of evil will continue to exist in the world. Qortal will have a zero-tolerance policy for illicit activities of this nature. The Founders only want as much control over the project as is necessary to ensure Qortal and its ethical third-party apps can thrive.
The Voting System and Reporting System have yet to be fully designed but ideally everyone will have the ability to report illicit activity through a public ticket system. Qortal’s support team will carefully review each ticket. If the raised issue is not a clear violation of the Qortal Constitution which authorizes the Dev Team to sanction without going through the Voting System, the ticket will be placed in the Voting System for the community to resolve (which authorizes what action the Dev Team will make). Complete removal actions may only be possible for groups, websites, data storage, and third-party projects of illicit content. Complete removal actions cannot be applied to accounts and deplete wallets or anything of that nature. Accounts can only be sanctioned by the removal of sponsorship privileges and reduction in leveling. See the Voting System for more info on this.
Qortal aims to create a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) where no outside government or party will have control. Instead, the people who contribute to Qortal will increase their account level over time which will then give their voting power more weight. Accounts will have a voting influence factored by 1) the account’s level and 2) the blocks minted count. For example, this means that a new Level 1 would have less influence than a Level 1 which is nearly able to become a Level 2 in terms of blocks minted count. The Founders will have a voting influence equivalent to that of the max account level 10 plus their existing level (Founder accounts still level up based on their block count as other accounts do, the only difference being the ‘F’ assigned to the account which gives these accounts specific ability to sponsor and their weighted influence in the Voting System). As other accounts increase their level and associated influence, the Founder’s voting influence will diminish into a fair system with less centralized control. The Founders are intended to only have the larger amount of control during the beginning to ensure the project develops in the proper direction. Thereafter, the network will have a strong base network and vested members who will share the same interest in Qortal’s ethical success.
No rule is forever in the Qortal Network, it is only as long as it remains agreed upon and not challenged by a proposal and subsequent vote. This of course excludes the Qortal Constitution. Everyone will have the ability to report any illicit activity through a public ticket system. Qortal’s support team will carefully review each ticket. If the raised issue is not a clear violation of the Qortal Constitution which authorizes the Dev Team to sanction without going through the Voting System, the ticket will be placed in the Voting System for the community to resolve (which authorizes what action the Dev Team will make). The support team that will assist in moderating the Ticket System will be individually selected (not limited to Founders) to ensure integrity is maintained with managing such a system. The goal is to 1) minimize as much centralized control while only allowing enough control to ensure Qortal’s proper direction and integrity, and 2) ensure that every raised issue is heard.
One of the main differences between the traditional Internet and Qortal overall, is the fact that there is no centralized authentication system, but at the same time, there IS a system that can authenticate users that isn’t controlled by any one user or group. This opens the door for many different things to take place in a much more secure fashion.
Another difference is the fact that no information that can be used to authenticate a user to an account, is ever saved without being encrypted. The ‘seed phrase’ for a Qortal account’s authentication information (when created in the default method without the ‘advanced user’ checkbox) is saved locally on the device that created the account and encrypted with a passphrase made up by the user upon creation. The encrypted backup information can then be saved both in the Qortal UI app (if the option is checked) or web browser (if accessed that way) or by the saving of the encrypted backup file to a drive.
All of these methods encrypt every bit of information which means the only way a user could access another user’s account, would be to either have the device/method/passphrase of a saved account, or the backup file/passphrase (which can be different on each backup saved) and access to a full Qortal Core / UI installation. Each user saves their account information in this fashion, making Qortal extremely secure at the base level.
Another aspect that makes Qortal more secure, is the fact that information is never sent outside of the user’s local machine which could be utilized to gain authentication over a Qortal account. For example: A transaction in Qortal being created is fully started, created, and signed IN THE UI of Qortal. Then the SIGNED TX is sent to the Core (which is also local) for broadcast to the network.
There are two entirely separate encryption engines in Qortal - the Core and the User Interface (UI). The Core can verify the transaction created by the UI and ensure it was created correctly, but the Core doesn’t need the information that created the transaction. Traditional systems contain a database of username/password information that could be hacked. Qortal does not have a database of information, it merely allows transactions to be created, signed, and submitted as long as the user contains the keys necessary to do so. Therefore, there is NO DATABASE OF USER INFO TO HACK.
Qortal’s security when compared to credit cards, is a perfect example. If you lose your card, any other person could make use of it since the information to USE THE ACCOUNT, is printed ON THE CARD. This is NO SECURITY AT ALL. So credit card companies often have to rely upon ‘fraud prevention’ and ‘refunds’ to people since they experience countless fraudulent transactions daily. In Qortal, it simply isn’t possible for any other user to access an account, unless the creator of the account gives the other user the passphrase to decrypt their locally saved backup information. Qortal’s security system is as simple as that, it just isn’t possible to access another user’s account without the account owner providing the information to do so.
Now if we take the same method of security used for the accounting side of Qortal, and applying it to on-chain services within Qortal, Qortal now provides secure INFRASTRUCTURE that can rebuild nearly every application, website, social media, communications, etc. that exist today in the world. On top of that, is the ability to utilize the verification system of Qortal - to verify other applications. Therefore, Qortal can make its own or host a third-party application securely, while at the same time not requiring users to need individual username/password combinations for each app. In other words, once the users verify with Qortal, they are verified for any application that utilizes Qortal!
Qortal can become a global authentication system so users NEVER NEED TO REMEMBER A BUNCH OF USER/PASSWORD COMBINATIONS AGAIN. While also providing a level of security to the overall that has yet to be seen in the world. This means there is no centralized database to hack, no need for multiple different user/password combos for different apps/sites, and complete security for the world.
Taking the method Qortal uses for verification and applying it to other avenues is the overall goal of Qortal. Blockchains are by far the most secure databases in the world, and the methods Qortal uses are more secure than most blockchains. Therefore, making use of the security of the base level of Qortal and taking it to other aspects of the world’s needs is the overall goal.
For example, Qortal can utilize its security for data and web hosting. When this is completed, data that is put up for a user or a website is verified by the user’s account that put the data there, in which it is ONLY ABLE TO BE CHANGED BY THE USER. It's truly as simple as that. Any other method will not allow the data to be changed so the account that created the data is the only account that can modify it.
Continuing to utilize these methods and improving them in the Qortal Network will allow a TRULY SECURE infrastructure that the future world may utilize to bring back SECURITY and individual sovereignty worldwide.
Phased Roll-Out Plan
Phase 1 - Establish Network: Launch Genesis block, Establish a strong base network of minters, Identify and resolve bugs, etc.
Phase 2 - Trade Portal & Voting System: Launch the Trade Portal with basic BTC-QORT trade functions, Begin development of and implementation of LTC cross-chain trades, Launch the Voting System, Identify and resolve bugs, etc.
Phase 3 - Web Hosting & Data Storage: Launch Web Hosting for client-side languages, Data Storage, Data Nodes, Data SuperNodes, Rewards to Data Node Supporters.
Phase 4 - Social Media & Third-Party App Hosting: Launch the Qortal Social Network with basic functions, Welcome in third-party apps to build their projects on-chain.
Trade portal 8/6/20
What Does Qortal Have Now?
The mainnet Genesis block was launched on 6/29/20. The basic Trade Portal was launched on 8/6/20.
Authentication System: Qortal's authentication system (which is currently utilized for obtaining the authorization by which transactions may be carried out on behalf of a specific Qortal account). The authorization system does not require a centralized database and does not send any private information that could be utilized to gain authorization over an account if the information is ever sent anywhere outside of the local machine running Qortal. This means that the authorization system has no centralized oversight needed and as such, is much more secure than a typical centralized authorization system that we see being utilized with nearly every service on the Internet.
When utilizing the Qortal authentication system, a centralized service provider may allow any Qortal user to utilize their centralized service, WITHOUT the need to create an 'account' within the service itself. Any Qortal user (unless decided by the service provider to only allow certain users which is also an option by way of the existing 'groups' system) may make use of the service, without any need for any other account creation and subsequent need for remembering user/password for each individual provider (like we have with the Internet currently.)
Future Options (applications and UI plugins): The options below could be built now to be utilized on the Qortal Network. These options could be built by any member of the community in coordination with the current lead developers or on behalf of a partner built for them by the current lead development team. With a small amount of effort the following ideas may be created within a short time.
Qortal-Authorized UI Plugins: Using the method described above and the EXISTING UI, a plugin that would be self-installed after the initial UI installation could be created. This plugin would show up just like all of the 'default plugins' in the UI, but would do so after being installed by the user looking to make use of the plugin.
Qortal 'App Store' (future option): 'Non-default plugins' made by any user or service provider (meant to be inside the existing UI) could be published in a Qortal 'app store’. The apps allowed to be displayed as 'approved' will be voted on by the Qortal Network users. A 'private' app could also be created for government or internal company use cases.
Qortal-Authorized Web Apps: Should any developer decide to, they may create a web application making use of Qortal as authentication. Any application that requires authentication for users to accomplish actions within the app could utilize Qortal for said authentication. Just as the applications that make use of other blockchains do, they may make use of Qortal in a similar fashion. The application could be built without the need for registration, storage, and verification by centralized means.
The Dev Fund
A separate account has been allocated to act as a Dev Fund. This account provides a wallet to receive donations and be used to sell QORT coins to further development or the coin could be used to pay for new developers who are interested in assisting. Unfortunately, we have not established a real market yet and there are no current on-chain services that utilize QORT. Since QORT is intended to power on-chain services, the coin is expected to increase in value with its increase in usability. Until then, we have a large Dev Fund with no real means to liquidate to further fund development.
What Kind of Hardships Have We Endured?
It is important to be transparent on all fronts, so with that, comes the financial situation of the project. When Jason Crowe (Crowetic) took over the development of QORA in 2016, it was determined that the QORA code would not be practical to continue building on. Therefore, the decision was made to rewrite the codebase in a clean Java code. Furthermore, the decision was made to completely rewrite every aspect of code that was to be considered from the original QORA and ultimately a new project was born that encompassed ideas from QORA and new concepts for an all-inclusive project known today as Qortal.
During this time, Crowetic was actively trading cryptocurrency on various platforms, had a small mining operation between two houses, and a self-started business providing computer repair, IT service, and blockchain consulting. Crowetic never expected to have to fully fund the Qortal Project on his own, but that ended up being the case for most of the story to be told. With the vision of what Qortal could offer the world, and how the current blockchain space was beginning to look less promising for a future where its applicability seemed to be overlooked, Crowetic made the decision to make a full commitment to Qortal’s development. He and the main core developer ‘Cat’ worked tirelessly to design and build a working core product. Crowetic devised a plan for a large mining operation to be done in Alberta, Canada. He and a couple partners pooled funds together, purchased land when an agreement was made with the agent on behalf of the local power company, and had the perfect plan to create cash flow for Qortal’s development. Thereafter, the power company went against the agreement and raised the price of power to an unfeasible rate as the operation was just underway. Having gone ‘all-in’ financially between the partners, there were no financial means to prevail from a mining operation stand-point. Crowetic did what he could to help smooth things over with his partners, and try to focus on the day trades and asset HODLing he was already engaged in daily.
With only one core developer, who by the way is extremely talented, the development within the core carried on but to no surprise was not at a sustainable rate (concerning the current financial constraint). Attempts were made by Crowetic and others to secure funding for the development of Qortal. These attempts led to the project carrying on for some time further, but ultimately led to October of 2020 where everyone involved including Crowetic and Cat have no other choice but to secure day jobs, a base income, and less time to allocate to development. Surely no one involved has given up nor will they, but with a project still in the works, so much to be done, and hardly any marketing done while waiting for the project to reach certain milestones, the time has come to adapt. There was a considerable funding opportunity on the table in the earlier part of 2020, although as petty as it may sound to blame COVID-19, the truth of the matter is that it derailed and postponed a critical funding opportunity.
Qortal has a lot already built on the core, a decent start within the UI, and a very promising group of developers and community members. It is time to share with the world what all has been in the works, share the big picture, and hopefully be able to obtain funding for further development. The Founders hate to sell people on a dream, although there is already a considerable amount of proof in the codebase and ‘beta-testing’ of sorts that we have a capable core team, but surely the right minds will see what we have in our reach.
The Founders hope that this document will be studied by its current community members and shared with people around the world. That those newcomers will study and see what this project truly aims to provide the world with. Qortal welcomes people of all types from around the world, no matter your technical expertise, availability to engage within the community chat channels, geographical location, or financial status. It would be highly appreciated if everyone would help share the good word of what Qortal aims to provide, and by more exposure, hopefully we can be successful in pursuing the CrowdFund idea.
Two of the things that the core team believes would be well received by the public are CrowdFunding for 1) ad space on YouTube and other platforms with the forced viewed ad feature to discuss the concepts of Qortal and rouse the masses, and 2) development of a first-of-its-kind mobile app and wallet for Qortal with basic Q-Chat functionality that can be downloaded on the Google and Apple app stores. The mobile app version will likely utilize load-balanced core nodes hosted by the team to access the basic wallet and Q-chat functions in Qortal until one can be built with a more enhanced core that does efficient trimming and allows a top-only sync method. This will create a new core syncing method that will allow for mobile app minting and various other functionalities!
There’s also a direct investment opportunity into Crowetic Computers LLC to take lead with hardware sales, assembly, and tech support services related to the QORTector devices.
How Can You Get Involved?
We invite you to join us on our official Discord. Yes Discord is a gamer app but you’ll be surprised how advanced and organized our Discord happens to be! We also have an official Twitter account that could use some love.
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