Technology

What is a blockchain?

Blockchains represent a revolutionary new form of networked data structure for enabling digital scarcity and verifiable traceability. Unlike traditional database systems, which do not provide any assurances on the veracity of the data they contain, blockchains have built-in proofing structures which can provide mathematical guarantees of correctness. A number of key components are elegantly combined to form the security basis of blockchain technology including:

1
​​Data hashing and hash-chaining to ensure verifiability and immutability of past records
2
Network level duplication of the ledger to provide censorship resistance
3
​​Implementation of consensus algorithms to secure the network through game-theoretic economic incentives

The Topl Blockchain

When Topl started in 2017, we studied the state of the blockchain space and decided that to accomplish our goals we had to “roll our own chain”. Our engineers realized that the deployment, management, and operation of our infrastructure as a complex dApp (decentralized application) on an existing popular public chain would be prohibitively expensive and fragile. Furthermore, development of our own chain would allow us to decouple from the often sporadic upgrade schedules of the popular public networks.
Borrowing from the best of the blockchain space and layering in our own innovations, the Topl Infrastructure is an application specific public permission-less blockchain focused on asset mirroring, value capture, and transparency. Built from the Scorex 2.0 framework, our Scala-based ledger incorporates the latest GraalVM for improved on-chain programming extensibility and performant security.
In line with Topl's mission to empower sustainable economic growth, our chain will utilize the Ouroborous Genesis proof-of-stake consensus algorithm, developed by researchers at IOHK, to provide a climate-friendly and inclusive, yet, robustly secure blockchain for global usage.

Features of the Topl blockchain

The Topl blockchain features an “asset-first” approach by allowing users to create chain-level Smart Assets. These highly customizable digital assets can represent any number of fungible and non-fungible physical assets such as diamonds, coffee beans, or even electricity. ​​Furthermore, Smart Asset functionality can be extended to capital assets such as solar panels, farms, and mines. Capital assets allow for partial ownership shares and direct revenue disbursement among stakeholders as well as traceable asset generation and chain-mediated data provenance.
Beyond our asset-first approach, the Topl blockchain takes a novel approach to on-chain programming and transaction fee collection. Our primary node client includes a GraalVM-powered chain program engine, which supports Modular Chain Programs that are highly composable, scalable, and secure by design. Finally, while most blockchains apply fees based on the volatile price of a native cryptocurrency, Topl’s blockchain collects fees at a constant rate of 0.25% of a transaction’s value.