Beyond blockchain, interest in DAG ledger technologies is growing.
The University of Sydney has commenced a new research partnership with Fantom. The partnership includes a donation from Fantom – whose June 2018 ICO raised AUD$55 million from prominent cryptocurrency funds – to the university’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
That donation will support a dedicated research group at the University of Sydney, focused primarily on building automatic bug-checking software for safer smart contract development, along with developing a new programming methodology for smart contracts, extending the Solidity programming language to be safer to use and creating a new and more efficient virtual machine.
Better smart contract scanners would be a major help in the cryptocurrency world, with Fantom chief innovation officer Michael Kong noting that “the need for increased security in cryptocurrencies and distributed ledgers is paramount. From multi-million dollar hacks to wallet freezes, we have seen that poorly-written smart contracts have disastrous consequences for the entire industry.”
The entire blockchain industry would benefit greatly from smarter smart contracts.
However, Fantom doesn’t actually use a blockchain per se. It’s one of just a handful of cryptocurrencies that uses a “directed acrylic graph” (DAG) ledger instead of a blockchain. And within that, it’s the only public cryptocurrency project in the world to currently use a recently proposed network design called Opera Chain, with the Lachesis consensus protocol.