ATOMIC is a blockchain that seeks to act as a ledger for any and all cross-chain transactions. It’s billed as a Decentralized Autonomous Corporation and can also be used as a decentralized exchange for all cryptocurrencies. It’s currently unreleased and in development, set to launch before the end of 2014.
Of special interest: “Any merchant that accepts cryptocurrency payments in one coin or another is by default already accepting ATOMIC payments,” the ATOMIC site reports.
The ATOMIC blockchain will be mined by Proof Of Exchange (POE) and Proof Of Gateway (POG), which are “two brand new cryptocurrency technologies, which will allow for members of the network performing exchanges and verifications to profit in entirely new ways, without any special mining hardware or setup.”
Cryptaxe Patrick is ATOMIC’s lead developer and answered a few questions about his open-source project.
CoinTelegraph: The ATOMIC slogan is “Making cross-chain transactions a reality.” Does that mean that ATOMIC would serve the same purpose as the proposed “sidechains” in Bitcoin?
Cryptaxe Patrick: Sidechains are an interesting idea, I've been looking forward to hearing more about it and I can't wait for some code! Communication between blockchains that opt-in is certainly a great feature and could add to Bitcoin but the goal of ATOMIC is to act as a decentralized ledger for all blockchain-based technology, not a platform of communication limited to those coins that do opt-in to the sidechains (although we still have no idea what the process for becoming a pegged chain will be, what the requirements will be, etc).
There are other features of ATOMIC inherent by being part of the superNET, such as being able to make use of all of the features of any other coin on the network, which is not something the sidechain project appears to be working on.
Keeping track of exchanges between blockchains in a decentralized way would cause the Bitcoin blockchain to rapidly expand in size, causing problems for the already existing applications of the technology. ATOMIC, however, would like to become a public ledger, or the public ledger, for any kind of data that must be backed and proven by a decentralized network.
This means that Bitcoin and pegged sidechains both could benefit from the use of the ATOMIC network, as the ATOMIC network could be used to actually store and cryptographically verify the communication between sidechains.
CP: As the ATOMIC network is making use of blockchain technology, but is not just a typical altcoin, we have decided to call the coins on the network Atoms. These Atoms will be used first as a way to append transactions onto the ATOMIC ledger, and they will be used to reward nodes on the network, or “miners.”
CT: So are miners and nodes one-in-the-same on the ATOMIC network?
CP: We only use the word “miner” to help people understand the network in this pre-release stage. Nodes are one-in-the-same as miners!
CT: ATOMIC is verified through proof-of-exchange and proof-of-gateway. How do they work? And do they cryptographically secure the ATOMIC blockchain the way Bitcoin's proof-of-work secures its blockchain?
CP: This is a complicated one so I'll include a link to the documentation. POE and POG are both protocols which function to cryptographically secure the ATOMIC ledger/blockchain just like POW or POS.
Proof-of-exchange is actually an expansion of proof-of-work, so we are not taking anything away from the security that Satoshi programmed—we are actually adding to it. Proof-of-gateway, however, is a non-cryptographic concept and is being used simply to determine and rank the nodes of the network in order to further optimize the exchanges on the ATOMIC network.
Interested in learning more or contributing code to this open-source project? Get further details on the ATOMIC documentation page.
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Of special interest: “Any merchant that accepts cryptocurrency payments in one coin or another is by default already accepting ATOMIC […]