Even the lesser-known cryptocurrencies tend to undergo radical development changes. Qtum is one interesting example, as the network has entered its second phase earlier this week. Similar to most currencies, this project underwent a hard fork in its own right. Some crucial changes have been introduced which need to be highlighted.
More Blocks and Staking Rewards
Whereas most cryptocurrencies become deflationary as time progresses, the Qtum 2.0 upgrade ushers in a slightly different change. The developers have purposefully opted to increase the number of blocks generated by the network per day. This will make it easier to process more transactions quicker, which is always a welcome change. Reducing long block spaces between different blocks is always a welcome change of pace.
There is a secondary purpose to this approach. Because Qtum offers proof-of-stake capabilities, stakers will earn more coins because of this change. It is expected their raise will equal to 12.5%, which is something all asset holders will look forward to. More specifically, those who upgraded their wallets will reap the benefits, whereas everyone else will be disconnected from the network altogether. Users have had plenty of time to upgrade their wallet accordingly.
The QIPs Explained
As is usually the case where hard forks are concerned, other network improvements are provided as well. For Qtum, there are several improvements and additions being made to the network as a whole. The first addition comes in the form of more convenient smart contract functionality. Not only will this make the network more versatile, but it can also pave the way for broader development and adoption of dApps.
To support smart contracts, there is a precompiled contract and code library for verification purposes. These smart contracts will also be compatible with Ethereum through both its Byzantium and Constantinople network operations, which shows the developers want to promote cross-chain development of sorts. All of these changes show the network is starting to hit its stride in full. Regarding the new block spacing, the spacing will be reduced to 128 seconds on average. That makes Qtum one of the faster altcoin networks supporting smart contracts and dApps.
The Future of This Project
It is a major upgrade for Qtum which unlocks a lot of extra functionality and allows stakers to earn more rewards. That also means there will be more coins being brought into circulation, which can have all kinds of effects on the price. Over time, it seems evident even more functionality will be added to this project, albeit the developers have not yet confirmed what they will be working on next.