Frequently Asked Questions
Concordium provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as a service to stakeholders and others who are seeking information regarding the Concordium Blockchain. For questions not answered here, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is Concordium?
Concordium is a science-based proof-of-stake blockchain, the first in the world with identification built into the protocol and designed to meet regulatory requirements. See our Chairman of the Foundation, Lars Seier Christensen, describe the vision of Concordium here.
What problem is Concordium trying to solve?
Concordium is trying to solve the quadrilemma of scalability, security, decentralization, and regulation. We believe it is necessary to solve for compliance and regulatory requirements in order to unlock trillions of potential business transactions using blockchain.
What is the dominant use case for your blockchain?
Concordium GTU is a standard blockchain asset with customizable options, directly in Layer-1. Concordium is supporting secure transfers and immediate transaction settlement for multiparty transactions built in Layer-1. Concordium Smart Contracts in Layer-1 are stateless smart contracts with numerous possibilities for governed operations. These capabilities can be applied to different sectors and industries, such as IoT, Supply Chain finance, Mobility-as-a-service, as well as tackling interoperability between other platforms and blockchains.
Has the Concordium network been through a security audit?
Our security audits have so far been focused on the core critical components of the chain; our implementations of consensus and finalisation. We will soon be expanding the scope of audits to the whole node client stack as well as the other supporting off-chain components of the concordium network like the Dashboard, Demo Wallet, etc. From there we will have ongoing security audits on changes and new features. Leading formal verification expert Bas Spitters gives a great presentation on Smart Contracts and Formal Verification in this video.
What is the GTU?
The native token on Concordium is called GTU (short for Global Transaction Unit). The GTU is the base unit for value transfer. There is always a well-defined amount of GTUs in existence (current supply), and that amount is publicly known.
Why do we need another token?
The GTU is built from the ground up to be compliant and business-friendly and to avoid the pitfalls of using a network that has known illicit transactions that taint the supply. The GTU is necessary to incentivize the development, support, and security of the Concordium network.
How does the minting of new GTUs work?
GTU is minted on a pre-defined and publicly visible and verifiable rate. The control parameter GTUSEC controls how much GTU is minted per second via a control parameter. Each second, the special Mint account is increased by GTUSEC GTUs.
What are the reward schemes for GTUs?
The network has eight GTU activity streams, which are expanded upon in the Concordium Tech Whitepaper.
Is there a Foundation reward?
Yes, the Foundation receives a portion of GTUs minted on the Concordium blockchain to ensure it has the resources necessary to continue the functioning of the network and its associated ecosystem.
How can I purchase GTUs?
GTU’s will be listed on crypto-exchanges following the launch of Concordium’s Main-net blockchain in 2020. At that time, all users of the Concordium blockchain will be able to buy GTU’s on supporting exchanges.
In the period until Mainnet release, qualified investors can buy TPDAs from Concordium Foundation. TPDAs are agreements that give the purchaser the right to receive a certain number of GTUs at the time of Mainnet launch.
Can I buy GTU without being ID'd?
You can not buy GTUs for your usage on the Concordium blockchain without being identified.
On which platforms is the wallet available?
The wallet is currently a web-based demo that runs in a browser. We have iOS and Android based wrappers that may be released in future, TBC.
What is the Concordium Foundation?
The Concordium Foundation is the Swiss-based non-profit responsible for supporting the Concordium network and IP. Concordium Foundation has a responsibility to govern the Concordium blockchain and ensure further development will be done in a correct manner.
What is Concordium AG?
Concordium AG is contracted by the Foundation to build the initial release of the Concordium network. Concordium AG employs an internal science team.
What is COBRA?
COBRA stands for Concordium Blockchain Research Centre Aarhus, at Aarhus University, Denmark. COBRA produces cutting edge research into ZK proofs, consensus, and sharding, with a focus on getting this research reviewed, tested, and eventually implemented on our blockchain network. The Concordium Foundation is donating DKK 50 million (EUR 6.6 million) over five years for non-targeted research into blockchain technology. All research produced will be publicly available. Watch the inauguration ceremony for COBRA here.
What is Concordium's governance structure?
The vision of the Concordium Foundation is for the Concordium network to eventually become a fully autonomous, open, permissionless blockchain. At the end stage of full decentralization, this will mean the Foundation delegates powers to govern the blockchain to the blockchain itself. Concordium envisions using a stake-based governance system, where the influence of stakeholders is proportional to their stake. The more value an actor has staked in the blockchain, the more likely they are to participate rationally in the governance.
What is the decentralization roadmap?
Concordium is planning to fully decentralize the network over several years. Decentralization is a spectrum and all projects at the start have some degree of centralization, certain aspects are unavoidable. However, Concordium is implementing a roadmap that leads the network to a greater degree of decentralization than most projects.
How does Concordium interoperate with other blockchain networks?
Concordium has a novel design for interoperability, which is based on the same principle as intershard signaling. In this design, an off-chain receiver of an outgoing message only needs to know the genesis block to receive a signal from the Concordium blockchain. This is in contrast to other chains, where the receiver basically needs to run the sending blockchain to trust a transaction or rely on third parties to verify the transaction. The Concordium design thus gives true interoperability where anyone can be convinced of the veracity of a transaction on the blockchain by knowing only the genesis block and receiving a single additional message. At Concordium, we believe the future will consist of an ecosystem of blockchains with true interoperability. Blockchains without true interoperability will be too cumbersome to interact with and will play a marginal role in the future blockchain ecosystem.
Why is Concordium utilizing finalization?
Concordium has developed the first provably secure Finality Layer, which runs on top of a Nakamoto-Style Consensus layer. Transactions make it into the blockchain very quickly but may still be subject to a rollback until they are finalized. This two-layer approach gives our users secure finality in a fraction of the time when compared to other blockchains. This gives the user the option to favor speed or safety when accepting transactions. Users can accept transactions after a certain number of blocks, or they can wait until a transaction is finalized to insure against the possibility of a rollback.
This design also ensures that the network will continue to function in the advent of a network partition, by being able to use finality as a mechanism for the network to adjust operational paramaters governing speed and security that are currently static in other chains The Consensus layer will continue to operate, and finality will resume once the network is healthy again. Watch our Chief Science Advisor, Professor Jesper Buus Nielsen, give an in-depth presentation of our two-layer consensus mechanism in this video.
What is the maximum TPS on the network?
The Concordium blockchain, with its unique two-layer consensus and finalization mechanism, has tested in the high 100’s of TPS. We are, nevertheless, continuously optimizing and testing the limits of our implementation. The maximum TPS is likely to be higher as we can optimize for this metric, and implementing sharding will increase speeds dramatically.
It is important to note that TPS is far from a simple metric to calculate as it depends on many factors, such as the number of nodes, the size of the finalization committee, and transaction types, to name a few. In the coming months, we will provide more data about TPS given different network geographies to highlight the performance of our blockchain given discrete parameters. Solely looking at the TPS of a blockchain is a simplistic view as tradeoffs are inevitably made in favor of maximizing TPS, and this fact is essential to any discussion about network throughput.
What is the suggested hardware required to run a full node at launch?
Ideally, a node would have a system with at least 32GB of memory, a CPU with eight cores, at a minimum connection of 1,000Mbps, for optimal performance. However, it will also be possible to run a Concordium node with regular consumer hardware.
What is the Identity Layer?
The Identity Layer is comprised of several actors: users, trusted identity issuers, the Foundation, and revokers. Trust identity issuers provide users with identity objects to serve as validations of the individual’s identity, including proofs of certain attributes such as their age and nationality for example. The user can deploy accounts with all, or a subset, of the proofs from their identity object attached. This takes place on-chain, except for the identity objects themselves, which are stored off-chain. All identity-related transactions are governed by this engine. Renowned cryptographer, Professor Ivan Damgård gives an excellent overview of Concordium’s Identity layer in this video.
Why even add the ID layer?
Concordium believes that the added ID layer is necessary to help bridge the gap between traditional businesses’ regulatory compliance and the blockchain space. By combining compliance and privacy features, the ID layer is a key link between real-world business regulatory compliance and the blockchain world.
How does the Trusted Identity Issuer work?
The first trusted identity issuers will be on-boarded by the Foundation and delegated with the task of validating and issuing ID credentials to users. There will be a market for trusted identity issuers to process user accounts. These identity issuers give credentials to users that can then be used to deploy accounts on the network and engage with smart contracts.
What are ID credentials?
When a user has an Identity Object from an Identity Issuer, they can then generate Credentials for an account. Credentials can be either attached to an existing account or used in the creation of a new account. A user can hold an indefinite number of accounts, however, the number of accounts per identity object may be restricted by the identity object itself. Listen to Professor Ivan Damgård give an excellent overview of Concordium’s Identity layer including ID credentials in this video.
Who are the anonymity revokers?
An anonymity revoker is an organization that has legal rights in a specific jurisdiction. There is a publicly visible registry of anonymity revokers that is curated by the Concordium Foundation.
How does anonymity revocation work?
Unlocking (decrypt) all credential data is a non-automatic, interactive process initiated by an anonymity revoker. It requires cooperation between the anonymity revokers and the identity issuer. Each on their own cannot reveal the identity of the owner of the credential. Practically, anonymity revokers would require a court order or some law enforcement interaction in their jurisdiction to initiate the unlocking-process. Professor Ivan Damgård gives a good overview of how revocation works on the Concordium network in this video.
Will there be a lot of blockchain bloat?
This largely depends on the usage of the network. If users are running computationally heavy smart contracts on the network, and there is a lot of activity per block, then the network will occupy a lot of memory. However, users do not need the entire chain to engage with the network. Light clients and finalization help reduce the need for users to carry the entire blockchain with them.
What project would you compare your blockchain to?
Our ID layer, zero-knowledge proof technology, and finality layer are unique in the industry, hence we prefer to not compare ourselves directly to any existing blockchain projects as our network opens up a new category of blockchains. However existing blockchains do incorporate different aspects of our network, such as ZK proofs, finality, proof-of-stake consensus and smart contracts. We believe Concordium is a new industry standard when looking at existing blockchain networks. We are the blockchain to enable the next wave of business transactions.