“Our humanity should rise above technology.” — Albert Einstein
Native token refers to tokens that are directly issued by the blockchain infrastructure for maintaining normal operations. These tokens are used for realizing equity and for implementing fixed functions of the blockchain systems. Prime examples are Bitcoin, Ethereum, and QKC. On the basis of application protocols, tokens that are built on top of existing blockchain systems and are used for deploying smart contracts are known as smart contract tokens. It is widely adopted on the dApps of different public chains, of which ERC20 protocol is the most famous.
The ERC20 protocol that runs on Ethereum stands out as the common standard for the digital token market thanks to its versatility and convenience. The ERC20 tokens that are issued by such contracts became a credible proof of assets that help smart and medium scale projects to raise funds. In particular, during 2017, thousands of projects issued ERC20 tokens for financing, which became a propelling force for the bull market of cryptocurrencies to flourish that year.
However, the ERC-20 contract is crippled by its functions and relevance: it only has two main usages: approval and exchange, which significantly impact the room of applications and usages. Many public chains have issued dynamic tokens using the ERC20 standard. If one can add more functionalities to the ERC20 contract, such that the tokens issued can realize functionalities that resemble that of Ethereum’s native token ETH, it can result in multiple benefits. Not only can it can lower users’ costs and benefits more developers, it would also stimulate more developers to build applications on the platform. In addition, the convenience of multinative tokens will significantly lower the frequency of token exchanges within DeFi applications, which in turn streamline the operations and thus lower cost of processing fees, all of which makes DeFi easier to use.
A. The functional value of smart contract tokens (such as ERC-20) as an financial instrument:
The ERC20 standard that was launched in 2015 has transformed the landscape of the cryptocurrency industry. The ERC20 standard requires a smart token contract to specify six parameters and realize a number of credible, widely-adopted basic functionalities.
- Functions that assign the initial distribution of tokens:
The totalSupply function sets up the initial distribution of tokens, which limits the maximum supply of a certain token. This smart contract will stop issuing tokens when the maximum is reached.
The balanceOf function provides the number of tokens held by a given address.
2. Functions that realize token transfer:
The transfer function transfers a number of tokens directly from the message sender to another address.
The transferFrom function allows a user (or contract) to delegate another user (or contract) to transfer owner funds to a third party address.
3. Functions that execute approval of delegation:
The approve function allows the approval of a delegation. It approves the delegator to use transformFrom to transfer tokens for the delegatee with uplimit allowance , which provides the maximum number of tokens allowed to be transferred from a given address by another given address.
By this design, different participants are able to make barrier-free transactions based on the same protocol. Also, the code of different exchanges and wallets can be consistent and is compatible with any token based on ERC20, which allows ERC20 tokens to enjoy ultimate liquidity. Moreover, the transaction fee needed for paying for frequent transactions pushes the demand for the native token, which in turn helps Ethereum rank second by market capitalization and applications.
B. Bottleneck of Massive Adoption Faced By Smart Contract Tokens Such as ERC20:
There exists some weaknesses in ERC20 other than its financing function. These deficiencies create a certain degree of inconvenience and in some cases, even irreversible loss of assets.
- Loss of tokens
When a user wants to transfer tokens to a particular smart contract and deploy such smart contract such as for borrowing purpose, an intuitive way is to transfer ETH or ERC 20 token to the target contract address. ETH can be transferred in this manner easily whilst ERC20 can be transferred yet the transferred ERC20 tokens will enter into an forever-inoperable state, which is the same as if the tokens have disappeared.
2. Gas fees require to be paid using native tokens and heightens the hurdles for new users to enter
When using ERC20 tokens for transactions, in order to process the transaction, one would need to pay transaction fees using ETH native tokens since ERC20 tokens do not carry such functional value; such constraint exists due to the positioning of the original design of ERC20. Within such design, during buying and selling of securities, one would need to prepare an extra type of currency to pay for the transactions, a type of currency that only serves for that particular purpose and for nothing else. In comparison, while buying or selling stocks in real life, one can simply deduct the cost of transactions by deducting the equivalent monetary amount of security with no additional cash. ERC20 transactions are different from that since users need to acquire Ethereum to pay for ERC20 transactions and to painstakingly study the reasons for which ETH is necessary for paying transactions fees; this extra step becomes daunting for novice who are new to cryptocurrencies and blockchains.
3. Other supplementary contracts are not compatible to the original ERC20 contract, necessitating forking or reissuance of new tokens
ERC20 resembles a “second-class citizen” on the Ethereum blockchain. When it carries out contract-related interactions, it is not allowed to directly use the default functions to execute. Instead, it would require going through multiple cumbersome procedures and increase the level of difficulty of creating dApps. Adding to the disadvantages against existing internet competitors are the longer execution time of dApps and higher transaction fees compared to its Internet counterparts. Therefore, for some developers, in order to develop dApps more freely, free of the limitations of ERC20 tokens imposed by the Ethereum ecosystems, they choose to develop their own public chains and have their own say in the infrastructure, which at the end lowers the efficiency of writing dApps.
Looking at the landscape of public chains in general, some public chains that are modeled after Ethereum have also adopted a similar design where its smart contract tokens also bear similar deficiencies. While the industry is growing over time, such deficiencies have plagued the entire industry.
C. QuarkChain’s multi-native token provides upgrades for smart contract token
To overcome this limitation in functionality, QuarkChain is now launching a unique multi-native token contract (referencing QCEP-5, QCEP-6), which attempts to resolve the problems appeared in smart contract tokens such as those appearing in ERC20. The tokens living on QuarkChain’s ecosystem have the same rights as those enjoyed by native tokens QKC and can take up more functional values such as contract deployment and payment of transaction fees than merely as an financial instrument. Developers and users no longer need to face the quagmire of two-tokens-with-different-rights and forsake developing and using smart contract tokens. QuarkChain’s multi-native token will lower the cost of development and learning, enabling more industry applications to appear.
The Advantages of Multi-native Tokens
On the QuarkChain mainnet, multinative tokens have the same status as that of QKC within the QuarkChain system; it can deploy contracts, cross chains, and pay for transaction fees if certain criteria are satisfied. Other than not being able to participate in governing the QKC network, native tokens can realize all functions of QKC, including cross-chain transfer of fees; it will also overcome the problem of inconvenience encountered by most of the DeFi. In future contracts, we will improve the functions of multinative tokens to be identical as that of QKC and eliminate the last barrier of applications of multinative token.
How to Launch Native Tokens
- At the beginning phase of project development, we will host regular auctions on the chain (weekly or monthly, TBD). Participants will need to bid using QKC and only one winning bidder will obtain the rights to mint tokens from this round of auction.
- Once a token name has been taken by a winning bidder, it cannot be auctioned again. The only way to get the token name is to have its ownership transferred from the existing token owner.
- At the end of the auction, if any participants in the community need to use the newly minted native tokens to pay for transaction fees, they can deposit a certain quantity of QKC as the reserve for transaction fees. When executing the transaction, the network will look up the transaction fee and the exchange rate between issuing amount and transaction fees and deduct the corresponding amount from the QKC reserve. The token economics will be determined by the winning bidder. If one would like to keep the total number of tokens constant over time, after issuing the tokens, the winning bidder can pass the right to token issuance to a system address.
The Design of Transactions Fees for Multi-native Token
QCEP-6 contracts will be configured on each shard. The participants within the token community can choose to equip the token with the ability to pay for transaction fees. To enable this feature, community participants will need to provide QKC to be saved on system contracts whereby the system will convert QKC automatically for exchanging tokens. This conversion is analogous to exchanging foreign currencies from a bank. After conversion, the converted QKC will become the transaction fees for the miners.
In terms of exchange rate, the QuarkChain mainnet allows users to specify the exchange rate between the multinative token and QKC. Any user can interact with the “universal native token manager” smart contract to propose exchange rate. The agreed exchange rate will convert multinative token into corresponding amount in QKC to pay for transaction fees. In this way, normal users would not require buying extra QKC to pay for transaction fees, making this process more convenient for all.
Estimated Time of Announcement
The first Multinative token will be announced soon. As for the time for Multinative token auction, please pay attention to our official channels for latest announcements.
For more details:
- Auction: https://github.com/QuarkChain/QCEPs/blob/master/QCEP/qcep-5.md
- Using multi-native token to pay for transaction fees: https://github.com/QuarkChain/QCEPs/blob/master/QCEP/qcep-6.md
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