Enterprise adoption of blockchain technologies is still held back by the challenges involved in integrating legacy technologies with the myriad new distributed ledgers that are continually evolving and coming to market.
Nonetheless, dozens of platforms are beginning to create the tools and products needed to bridge this gap. One of these is Quant, a suite of enterprise blockchain solutions built around a blockchain operating system called Overledger.
Quant: The Basics
Quant (QNT) is a blockchain interoperability network and operating system that was first announced in 2018. The project was funded through an initial coin offering (ICO), in which $11 million was raised (out of a $36.9 million hard cap).
The project falls squarely into the interoperability solutions category of blockchain platforms. It's designed to help bridge the gap between various different blockchains and enterprise software using a simple plug-and-play solution that doesn't require teams to deploy any new infrastructure.
It uses a continually expanding list of DLT and API connectors to allow different blockchains to communicate with one another via Quant’s Overledger API gateway. This is achieved without sacrificing the autonomy, efficiency or speed of each chain, ensuring that each retains its unique properties.
The Quant Network's founders are Gilbert Verdian, Colin Paterson and Paolo Tasca. Verdian is an early blockchain pioneer with a wealth of experience in the technology and security sectors. Prior to his role as Quant's CEO, he held several managing and C-level roles at prominent firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, BP, and Vocalink (a Mastercard firm). He also founded the Blockchain ISO Standard TC307, which is currently being implemented in over 50 countries.
Paterson and Tasca are similarly distinguished in the blockchain and online technology spaces but are no longer with the company.
How Does Quant Work?
Using a technology known as the Overledger DLT gateway, Quant is able to seamlessly connect different decentralized networks, regardless of which specific distributed ledger technology they use (e.g. blockchain, DAG, or another protocol).
Quant's main product is its Overledger Enterprise platform, which it has billed as the first DLT gateway for business. It's used as a simple API gateway to various distributed ledgers, allowing companies to easily connect their pre-existing infrastructure to the blockchain. The platform provides an easy-to-use REST API that provides a standardized way to interface with a wide variety of blockchains.
The technology allows businesses to create what Quant describes as “multi-DLT smart contracts,” or MAPPs. These are essentially smart contracts that exist across multiple distributed ledgers, thereby allowing decentralized applications (DApps) to leverage the data and capabilities of multiple platforms to provide functionality that was not possible before.
Quant also supports so-called multi-ledger tokens (MLTs), which are digital assets backed by real funds held in escrow with a financial institution. These MLTs can be used to represent stablecoins, vouchers, loyalty points, central bank digital currencies, and more. They can be issued and used across multiple distributed ledgers thanks to Quant's Overledger technology.
As of June 2021, Quant is operating on version 1.5 of its mainnet, and Overledger 2.0 is now operational. The platform doesn't have a fixed roadmap but the team behind the platform is at present largely focused on onboarding developers, blockchains and applications to the Overledger network.
What Makes Quant Unique?
Quant aims to help enterprises to streamline their workflows and improve efficiency through the integration of blockchain technology. The platform incorporates a number of unique features that help distinguish it from the competition out there.
Quant is designed to provide an interoperability solution that works with any existing distributed ledger, regardless of its architecture and individual properties. Likewise, Quant's Overledger DLT Gateway can be easily integrated into legacy financial infrastructure, allowing developers to easily leverage the capabilities of different blockchains using a REST API.
Unlike some existing layer 2 solutions, Quant’s Overledger platform doesn’t require any modifications to the base chain in order to integrate it, making it completely plug and play.
The Quant Token
Like most blockchain-powered platforms, Quant features its own native utility token, known simply as Quant (QNT). As a utility token, it is designed to have several functions within the Quant ecosystem.
For one, developers and enterprises need to purchase licenses to use the platform. This is paid to the Quant treasury in fiat currency and is then used to purchase QNT tokens, which are then locked for 12 months in layer 2 payment channels. Users also need to pay an annual fee in QNT tokens for running a gateway. In return, they receive a cut of the transaction fees going through their setup.
Quant has completed several fundraising rounds, raising $11 million in an ICO in March 2018 and a further undisclosed sum in a further seed round led by Alpha Sigma Capital. As a result, it is one of just a minority of 2018-era projects to still be actively developing and growing in 2021.
Quant is one of the few projects to have a true community-governed treasury, which allows stakeholders in the Quant economy to help direct the growth of the Quant ecosystem. This is structured as one of several MApps running on the blockchain.