Q is a novel blockchain which combines the benefits of a public, open and decentralized ledger with the transparency and predictability of enforceable private contracts. Q is a unique and independent project that is in no way related to other products, projects or organizations which use the letter “Q”.
Cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based systems have historically suffered from several shortcomings, which have so far prevented mass adoption:
Most cryptocurrencies suffer from a lack of structured governance processes. Decision making is often chaotic, lacking transparency and fairness. Without clear visibility on how the protocol evolves and how decisions come about, however, many people will be reluctant to commit resources to an open-source system. “Code is law” may work for simple use cases that do not require adaptation. For more sophisticated use cases, sound governance is probably the single-most important factor driving value creation and adoption.
All cryptocurrencies struggle to make trade-offs between security, scalability and decentralization – known as the blockchain trilemma. Some blockchains are optimized for one dimension, making sacrifices on the other dimensions. This may work for specific use cases. The truth is, though, that many use cases require good performance on all three dimensions, since otherwise there are better alternatives to using blockchain-based systems. Today, it has become clear that technical solutions will ultimately not resolve the blockchain trilemma. A broader perspective is needed to make progress.
While cryptocurrencies have experienced significant growth, their underlying economics are still challenging. The volatility of cryptocurrency prices limits their usefulness as means of exchange and unit of account. More fundamentally, though, the question of whether the transition from block subsidies to transaction fees will adequately support network security in the long-term is still open. Lastly, with regards to smart contract platforms, the growth potential of applications built on those platforms is limited by the value of the underlying blockchain, since exceeding this value would lead to compromised security at the application layer. Without sound economics, users will continue to discount the value of decentralized blockchains despite their obvious benefits.
Q was conceived with the explicit goal of addressing the problems described above. It intends to do so by combining a public, open and decentralized ledger with governance concepts that have proven themselves in established legal systems. The result will be a novel blockchain with transparent and enforceable governance, high levels of security and scalability as well as sustainable economics.
The name Q was chosen for its simplicity and brevity. In different contexts, Q can have different meanings: In mathematics, Q represents the set of all rational numbers; in monetary theory, Q denotes the total quantity of all goods and services within an economy; in physics, Q stands for the electrical charge of a particle, one of the most fundamental properties of matter.
As mentioned before, Q is an open project that is not affiliated with any philosophy or worldview and is unrelated to other similarly-named projects or communities that you may have heard of.
Q is currently under development. Stay tuned to learn more about Q. If you want to get involved, we are looking forward to hearing from you!