CEX.IO Spotlight:What is Everscale?
Key information (September 14, 2022)
- Circulating Supply — 1,231,346,368 EVER
- Total supply — 2,049,945,261 EVER
- Sector — Smart Contract Platforms
- Token Type — Native
- Token Usage — Governance, voting, staking, payments
- Consensus Algorithm — PoS
- Launch date: May 7, 2020
- All-time high — $2.56
- ATH Date — October 13, 2020
- Market Cap — $113,938,225
What is Everscale?
If you know the story of David and Goliath, you know that it symbolizes the triumph of the underdog. In modern use, this phrase usually represents a situation where a smaller and weaker opponent faces a much bigger and more powerful adversary. This analogy applies to countless real-life situations, one of which is the cryptocurrency Everscale (EVER).
With a name like Everscale, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out the ultimate goal behind this crypto asset: continuous growth through scaling. But, since bigger is usually better in the crypto world, up-and-coming blockchains are often overshadowed at first by their more famous counterparts. Therein lies Everscale’s Goliath: Ethereum (ETH).
However, unlike the ancient illustration, the David in today’s spotlight piece (Everscale) has a head start. It is not a mere marketing exaggeration to say that Everscale is among the most technologically advanced blockchains today. By incorporating the major blockchain innovations of recent years into one complete package, Everscale is a tremendously potent competitor among smart contract platforms.
Among the numerous features that set Everscale apart from the rest, it boasts one that no other blockchain can offer at the moment. This feature is its dynamic sharding and multithreading technology, which enables endless sharding to handle any load size and increase node production. Consequently, many predict it will become one of the leaders of the blockchain industry in the future. But, first things first.
A brief history of Everscale (EVER)
Initially named Free TON (Telegram Open Network), this decentralized, peer-to-peer blockchain launched on May 7, 2020. At its core, the Everscale platform codebase is based on TON technology, originally developed by Nikolai Durov, the CTO of the messaging application Telegram. The Everscale community consequently built the blockchain on top of that codebase.
Following a months-long battle with the U.S. SEC, which took issue with the legality of the secondary sales for GRAM (Telegram’s proposed token), Telegram shuttered its project. However, the company made its codebase open-source in response, which enabled the Everscale community to take over development efforts in the future.
Therefore, Everscale is a project managed by a collection of professional validators and community developers. It is a separate project, even though it is based on Telegram’s blockchain.
Understanding how Everscale works
Everscale’s architecture features a Masterchain and numerous workchains (shards). Any time the capacity of all current workchains is 90% used, a new work chain can be added to avoid even the slightest congestion. Similar to Ethereum 2.0 and Polkadot, the network’s security depends on the Masterchain, as it contains block proofs from every workchain in the network.
Simultaneously, every workchain exists as a separate blockchain that features its own set of data, rules, and validators (which also uploads its proofs to the Masterchain). Nodes that produce blocks on the workchains and Masterchain also act as validators. However, producing and validating blocks requires a validator to first lock more than 350,000 EVER to join the network. The stakes of validators who try to act maliciously (such as trying to send incorrect blocks) are slashed.
The issues that Everscale (EVER) fixes
This blockchain’s real pièce de résistance is the fact that its architecture features both multithreading and sharding. It is the only blockchain in existence to encompass both of these features simultaneously, allowing it to scale with unparalleled effectiveness.
Note that whenever a new validator node joins this blockchain, it is assigned to a thread and a workchain. Since a workchain is a shard, that shard’s validators do not need to process the entire network’s data. Instead, they only handle a limited amount of data. Therefore, the network’s overall throughput equals the cumulative amount of transactions that the shards collectively process.
Imagine having two dApps: one is a popular decentralized exchange with countless users, and the other is a small app for wrapping tokens that are only used periodically. Each of these dApps requires very different processing power. Since a thread that executes smart contracts for the decentralized exchange can become overloaded with too many requests, it can result in slow performance.
Therefore, multithreading is a way to avoid slow performance, which is why every workchain validator is assigned to a thread. In other words, every thread can split into two, thanks to different validator groups executing different sets of smart contracts.
The network can scale almost infinitely thanks to multithreading and sharding. However, at this point, astute crypto enthusiasts typically wonder why no one attempts to send an incorrect block to the Masterchain. The answer is that Everscale implements the SMFT (Soft Majority Fault Tolerance) protocol to increase network security. This protocol is a variant of the Proof of Stake consensus model.
The SMFT Protocol requires verification of every block sent to the network to prevent the propagation of false blocks. The process works as follows:
- A thread collator (for example, a validator proposing a new block) sends the new block to all of the nodes on the workchain.
- In the second step, some of these nodes (called BP or Broadcast Protectors) check to verify that at least 51% of all validators have received the proposed block. BPs then send this info to the Masterchain.
- A number of Verifiers are then chosen by validators at random. These Verifiers must confirm that the block is correct, after which they submit the proof to the Masterchain.
It is vital to note that, during any of these steps, malicious nodes attempting to corrupt the network can suffer financial punishment. Examples include verifiers losing a part of their stake as punishment for not sending a verification message, validators having their stakes slashed for failing to send proof of receiving the block, or even a collator suffering stake slashing as punishment for submitting an invalid block.
In other words, since it is impossible to calculate (predict) which node will become a verifier, a successful attack on the network would require the majority of nodes to be malicious. Therefore, staying honest is the best strategy for validators looking to keep their stake intact. Consequently, in terms of security, the SMFT protocol makes Everscale comparable only to Bitcoin.
Everscale’s revolutionary approach to smart contracts
To truly understand why Everscale is so groundbreaking, we’ll observe how it solves (yet) another issue that plagues blockchain technology in general.
Most blockchains associate a public key with every wallet in an attempt to keep things straightforward. The wallet can contain tokens or a smart contract, but Everscale takes a different approach: it associates a deployed smart contract with every active address. Here’s how this approach works:
- Deploying a smart contract to an address is the only way to generate a usable Everscale address.
- Calculating the wallet address requires a combination of two factors. The first is the public key belonging to the user, and the second is the hash of the initial data (including the smart contract code deployed to that address).
- Millions of addresses can be associated with a public key in Everscale because individual users can deploy any number of smart contracts.
This process ultimately leads to something called “distributed programming.” This new blockchain development paradigm is making old types of contracts (like BEP-20, ERC-20, etc.) obsolete.
These and other ERC-type tokens work by typically storing a hashmap with all token balances for their respective tokens, as well as addresses. However, Everscale does not need to call the root contract and use the entire blockchain to store data because every address on Everscale is a de facto smart contract.
In other words, the root contract sends its code to the new address during the deployment process. Once that happens, there is no need for a newly deployed contract to request anything from its parent.
Ultimately, the distributed programming paradigm calls for having a different mindset as a developer (even though writing smart contracts in Solidity on Everscale is possible). But on the upside, that makes the network more decentralized and also gives more capabilities to the developer.
Everscale’s native token: EVER
This blockchain’s native token is called EVER, and it has a total supply of 2,049,945,261 EVER. It serves as a governance and fee token, where all fees go to validators as compensation for producing blocks and securing the network.
Additionally, users can also stake their EVER tokens via the EverPools dApp or Ever Surf. Another method is receiving farming rewards for providing liquidity on FlatQube.
Note that Everscale enables almost anyone to launch their own token. On the spectrum’s other end, the lives of product developers can quickly turn into nightmares thanks to this approach since developing a DEX with hundreds of different tokens would call for the manual integration of each token.
To circumvent this issue, the developer community designed numerous token standards to be used by all dApps across the network. For instance, the standard for NFTs is TIP-4, and the latest approved standard for utility tokens is TIP-3.1.
Everscale: The Ethereum Killer…?
It is said that three elements comprise the perfect blockchain: scalability, decentralization, and security. The last two inherently go hand in hand, considering that the backbone of blockchain technology is decentralization. Since network nodes must approve a transaction, this validation method also maintains security while eliminating the need for intermediaries like central banks.
Early blockchains met these two criteria by default, meaning that scalability is the lacking component of blockchains. While Ethereum (ETH) is becoming the gold standard for dApps, the increasing number of transactions has contributed to higher gas fees and slower transaction times. Moreover, since factors like convenience play a vital role in the adoption of any new technology, an unscalable network doesn’t present a compelling case.
The concept of the trilemma was introduced by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin after recognizing the need for all three previously mentioned elements of security. Countless industry experts and enthusiasts are seeking a solution where all three components can coexist, especially since scalability has become a widespread industry problem.
Consequently, the opportunity to become the successor to Ethereum (we prefer the cooler-sounding “Ethereum Killer,” though) will ultimately go to the crypto player that can solve this trilemma.
Enter Everscale, which is a top contender for this title, thanks to its innovative consensus mechanism that leverages layer-1 sharding with a single protocol. Simultaneously, this blockchain strives to deliver secure and friendly user interfaces on the front end, aiming to ensure its widespread adoption as an effective trilemma solution.
In the ancient illustration mentioned at the beginning, David managed to beat Goliath. Everscale seems like it’s dead-set on repeating history, but only time will tell.
In any case, at CEX.IO, we look forward to observing this exciting match between the underdog and the giant. Care to join us? We’ve got ringside seats (and we’ll bring the popcorn!)