Southeast Asia is arguably the most dynamic part of the world economy – the region has to some extent become the workshop of the world. It is not surprising therefore to find its companies at the forefront of developments in the cryptocurrency sector. One of the rising stars of the industry is Qtum, based in Singapore.
Singapore is a Mandarin and English-speaking city state rooted in the commercial history of the region and as such has always offered opportunities for the entrepreneurial. It is developing fast as a hub for blockchain-focused companies, so Qtum is in the right place to prosper.
Locale and networks aside though, success in the red hot crypto sector is ultimately down to the product itself and Qtum’s cutting-edge blockchain tech could be considered best of breed.
Its unique selling point is that it has succeeded in leveraging the security of bitcoin and the smart contracts of Ethereum and putting that on a level that solves scalability issues and banishes the prohibitive costs associated with proof-of-work consensus mechanisms. Qtum has developed a business-ready blockchain that is hybrid in form, with interoperability at its core.
Despite its technological achievements and growing roster of projects using its blockchain, Qtum is somewhat in the shade in comparison to projects such as NEO and Cardano, two other Asian-based purveyors of blockchain platforms, although the latter’s is not finished yet.
OK, so maybe Qtum is not one to blow its own trumpet and prefers to let the evidence of its quality product speak for itself. That’s worth exploring because there is no better way of judging a blockchain’s worth than to assess who is using it or planning to do so. From that vantage it has to said the partnerships and customers Qtum is stacking up are impressive and do indeed speak to a company that looks like it’s gaining traction.
Partnerships across Asia
Let’s take a look at some of them.
In January it inked a partnership with Qihoo 360, one of China’s market leaders in cyber security, which saw the Qtum Foundation joining the 360 Blockchain Research Center. It is tasked with setting up a blockchain lab to develop solutions for 360’s products. Also participating in the center is the BTN Foundation of the BitMex exchange.
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Although it is not as well known in the West as the likes of Alibaba and Tencent, in China it is a household name by virtue of the prevalence of its desktop security anti-virus software 360 Total Security, which is used by 500 million consumers.
Qtum will be helping to bring blockchain solutions to many of those products, so the deal puts it at the center of the Asian tech story.
The Opera browser has an innovative track-record and recently implemented software to detect and block crypto-jacking, a problem that is growing exponentially.
Patrick Dai, founder and chief executive of the Qtum Foundation, said at the time that he was “delighted” by the partnership, describing it as “a win-win-win partnership that can tap the shared strengths to promote the multi-lateral collaboration and the adoption of the blockchain technology in commercial contexts”.
Video content delivery on a 50,000-node blockchain
In January it also announced a “strategic collaboration” with Hong Kong-headquartered Baofeng, another Chinese company with a ubiquitous consumer-facing Baofeng Player software, this time in the field of video and audio players.
The publicly listed company plans to use the Qtum blockchain as the platform on which it aims to build a decentralised content delivery network, which will be the first of its kind. Baofeng envisages its Bokocloud network running on 50,000 nodes, which would be a substantial achievement bearing in mind that bitcoin runs on 10,000 nodes and Ethereum on twice that number.
Baofeng is capitalized at $1.2 billion on the Shenzhen Stock Market, and its Baofeng Player delivers high-quality video to 200 million users. It is planned that Qtum and Baofeng will work together to run 50,000 full nodes on the Bokocloud network (Bitcoin runs on 10,000 nodes, Ethereum 20,000). The end game is to deliver decentralized solutions for video distribution, rights management and payment.
Another company jumping on board the Qtum blockchain is BINGO, a games company that is marrying the Pan Entertainment ecosystem with blockchain. By doing so they want to solve three key problems in the $170 billion gaming industry: fairness; data visibility between developers and publishers and improving gaming experience.
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Patrick Dai is one of its advisors to the project and so too is Tencent-backed Mob Arts Entertainment, the online games operator with seven years’ experience in the industry. Its House of Heroes was launched across Tencent platforms such as WeChat to rave reviews. BINGO is partnered with another Asia-based project in the Qtum orbit, BeeChat.
Cutting-edge messaging and social media
Maybe you’ve heard about Telegram’s plan to leverage blockchain but there is an app already out there doing just that. BeeChat is a messaging app serving the cryptocurrency community and the wider world with more than two million users and is built from the ground up on Qtum’s blockchain. The platform is moving forward with rolling out new features to include daily airdrops to reward users, verification services, credit reporting and transaction systems and plans for a developer platform in which HCASH, the cross-platform cryptocurrency, is also playing a role.
There’s a lot going on in Qtum’s world but before we finish Mithril, the social media blockchain project announced this month it would be developing its decentralised apps on Qtum. Mithril wants to turn social media upside down by rewarding users for the content they provide.
Taiwan-based Jeffrey Huang and founder of Mithril is well-known in the entertainment and technology arenas and is also the founder of 17 Media, a live-streaming platform that has been downloaded 27 million times. He was attracted to Qtum by the interoperability at the heart of the system and its business-ready attributes.
We have only touched on some of what Qtum has been up to in Asia, and from this brief survey alone it’s not unreasonable to see this company emerging as one of the darlings upstarts of Asia and the world beyond.
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