A Guide to Better Understand Komodo

in #komodo8 years ago


Understanding Komodo could be divided into three topics: 1) Zcash, 2) dPoW, 3) SuperNET. Lastly we will explain why we are hosting this ICO in the first place - why we need funding and how we will use those funds to better the whole crypto scene.

If we would have to describe Komodo in one sentence it would be:

Komodo is a Zcash fork that adds the dPoW consensus on top of it and integrates into the SuperNET ecosystem.

1. Zcash

Komodo is a Zcash fork, so it will have all the same privacy features. This includes having both transparent and private transactions that are protected by zero knowledge proofs. We will also use the same trusted setup as they do.

What is Zcash?

Zcash is an implementation of the "Zerocash" protocol. Based on Bitcoin's code, it intends to offer a far higher standard of privacy and anonymity through a sophisticated zero-knowledge proving scheme which preserves confidentiality of transaction metadata.

Relationship with Zcash

Komodo is not involved with the Zcash project in any way. However our lead developer jl777 was involved with discussions about Zcash protocol design.

Trusted setup

Some people have criticized Zcash because there is no way to verify whatever they did successfully destroyed the "toxic waste". This question is highly relevant for us too, because we will use the same parameters. It should be noted though, that it is enough if just one person from their team manages to successfully destroy their private key.

Here are is what jl777 said about the trustworthiness of Zcash team:

Knowing the zcash devs, I put zero probability that ALL of them are govt operatives. And it would require all of them to be cooperating. So, what is required is that all of their systems are compromised without their knowing about it. Now there are not just the average joe computer users, they are arguably the most skilled in the field

However if they all would collude and not destroy the toxic waste it would grant them the power to counterfeit more Zcash as well as KMD coins. Even in this case the Zcash or Komodo wouldn’t lose its privacy features.

In another post jl777 continues:

And if there is such a collusion and it is used to inflate the currency supply, it will be discovered and ALL the participants would be found out that they colluded. Also, market value of zcash will plummet, so it seems that smart people wouldnt collude together to be exposed as a colluding group, even if they were unethical and open to stealing.

More info can be found from the Zcash blog posts generating Zcash parameters and the design of the ceremony.


Our initial consensus will have the same equihash PoW mining as Zcash has. However the mining aspects are not the same because we add the delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) consensus mechanism on top of the PoW mining. See dPoW section for more information.

Competition with Zcash

We don't see ourselves competing with Zcash as we are simply the first fork of many Zcash forks we expect to see. Zcash's open source code allows any project to integrate a privacy technology to their platform. The open source model allows developers to borrow ideas and features from each other in order to advance the ecosystem as a whole. - just like we are doing

Our lead developer jl777 has written a lot about this frequently asked question.

2. Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW)

dPoW is a brand new consensus mechanism that provides bitcoin security to all other dPoW chains. Only Komodo has to attach itself to the Bitcoin blockchain, as it would be more economical for others to attach themselves to the Komodo blockchain since Komodo has lower tx fees than bitcoin.

Why dPoW?

We developed dPoW so that 1) we can get better security for Komodo, 2) third party blockchains can use Komodo as an additional security layer, 3) SuperNET can achieve its own vision of independent assetchains.

Notary Nodes

64 notary nodes will handle the bitcoin blockchain notarization. Notary nodes are elected by Komodo coin holders.

Elections and running a notary node

If you want to run a notary node we highly recommend you to start one on our testnet. Join #notarynode channel on SuperNET slack. For more info:
Komodo Elections & Candidates
Guide: Setup Komodo Notary Node
Steemit Article: Notary Node Elections
Q&A: Can you give me information about the notary nodes election process?


Notary nodes will do the majority of the mining because they will have a lower difficulty. The other 'normal nodes' can also mine, but it won't be that profitable or even economical if the notary nodes are also online.

Round robin mining will ensure that there won't be notary node mining wars and that Komodo tx fees will stay low. Round robin mining means that each notary node will be able to mine with lower difficulty on their own turn. For more info see our development blog ‘Notary mining wars – and how to avoid them’

5% APR

Every KMD holder will get 5% annual percentage rate (APR) automatically. No other action is required than moving the funds between wallets once a year. Once the funds get moved the new address will be credited with new KMD coins based on how long they were in the previous address. The process has nothing to do with mining or notary nodes. For more info see our development blog ‘How to Implement 5% APR’.


Komodo's block hashes are recorded to Bitcoin blockchain through group signed transactions. The Komodo blockhain history cannot be changed without also changing bitcoin’s blockchain history. Thus if you make a komodo transaction and wait for it to get notarized, then that transaction will be secured by Bitcoin's hashrate.

Value Proposition

Third party blockchains can use Komodo to achieve Bitcoin level security. The dPoW consensus can be thought as an additional security layer or a two-factor authentication method for blockchains. We believe that we will continue to see more and more blockchain projects that will require a way to secure themselves. By using Komodo they pay tx fees to our network, and additionally they can choose to use our high capacity notary nodes.

We will make it as easy as possible for other blockchains to get the bitcoin security through Komodo. For instance, the Stratis Platform is already interested in using dPoW to secure their private chains. See their complete answer once asked about it in a Stratis Investor Q&A session.

Seamless transition

If all the notary nodes would suddenly disappear, the Komodo blockchain could continue to function as it would through a seamless transition into equihash PoW mining. In other words the 'normal nodes' would find all the blocks. However, without notary nodes the system would lose the bitcoin protection.

More Info

The picture below illustrates the dPoW consensus mechanism. The most important thing is to understand that there are two blockchains: 1) dPoW (komodo) blockchain, and 2) PoW (Bitcoin) blockchain. There are also two types of nodes: 1) Notary Nodes, and 2) normal nodes. Notary nodes are elected by the community, but normal nodes can be ran by anyone.

dPoW Consensus Mechanism

Our Steemit article ‘Komodo: Zcash PoW with dPoW Consensus Mechanism’ goes into greater detail about the role of the PoW mining and dPoW notary nodes. To understand the concept even more deeply read the dPoW whitepaper.

3. SuperNET

Komodo is part of a broader project called SuperNET. SuperNET has created Komodo because:

  • SuperNET needs the best anonymity technology
  • it will use dPoW to secure SuperNET's assetchains
  • The ecosystem needs an infrastructure coin - a blockchain that other SuperNET technologies can use. (SuperNET aka UNITY is an asset without blockchain.)


SuperNET has an extremely ambitious roadmap that includes

  1. assetchains that allow anyone to create their own asset with its own blockchain
  2. multiwallet where those assets can be stored, including many coins like Bitcoin and Komodo
  3. atomic swaps, so that people can trade their coins from the multiwallet without counterparty risks
  4. pegged assets - which are a form of price-stable assets created on the assetchains - these assets solve the problem of price volatility by attaching themselves to the value of stable currencies like EUR or USD.

A Short History

SuperNET had an ICO back in 2014. Its original vision was to build services on top of NXT, and cooperate with other blockchain projects, aka 'corecoins'.

SuperNET successfully created a decentralized exchange where custom tokens were traded on Nxt Asset Exchange. This project is known as MultiGateway and is still working today. Related to this is a multiwallet called SuperNET lite client, that was also build on top of Nxt. That project is also still actively used.

The next big thing coming from the team was InstantDEX, an ambitious project that would create a decentralized trading layer between decentralized and centralized exchanges. The backend was build on top of the Nxt and only a GUI was missing. However, due to Nxt's new development path the Nxt's dependency had to be removed from all SuperNET services.

It was a hard choice made by jl777 that caused the entire project to take multible steps back, and InstantDEX never had its release. Because of that choice, the SuperNET's roadmap was considerably widened with even more ambitious goals. jl777 wanted SuperNET to be independent on third party services/blockchains and began developing Iguana.

Overall this caused a lot of concern among some investors, who started to believe nothing would ever be fully finished. Nonetheless the development continued and progress was made, but it has been gone under the radar of most casual observers.

Today the backend code is working, and jl777 is connecting all the pieces together. Our community/team is finding bugs and the technology is more and more polished every day. We also have freelance GUI devs working and we are getting ready to introduce our ecosystem to the broader crypto community.

Komodo is a major missing piece that will ensure we get Notary Nodes, dPoW, and funding for development.

If you are still in doubt that there would not have been progress then read this post that combines many jl777’s answers with additional explanations.

Our GUI Projects

Komodo can be used through the Iguana GUI in its transparent mode. Another GUI is being developed that will also have the protected (anonymous) mode.

Iguana is the SuperNET’s multiwallet and it has been in development for some time now. Its GUI is being developed by Boogieman and his team, for all the GUI updates see this gallery. The other GUI is related to EasyDEX GUI and it is being developed by Satinder Grewal. For more info read our Steemit post ‘Komodo GUI (Graphic User Interface) Update’.


Assetchains enable anyone to create assets that have their own blockchain. Unlike the colored coins concept these assets are totally independent from any other blockchain platform. The problem is that low value assets have low security, and because of that we will secure them with the delayed Proof of Work system.


SuperNET’s Pegged Asset Exchange (PAX) enables users to buy and sell pegged assets that represent currencies such as dollars and euros. Each asset is created with the ‘assetchain’ technology and thus they will all have their own blockcahin. Those assets can be stored in the multiwallet and traded on a decentralized exchange.

For more info see this infographic and PAX FAQ on bitcoindark’s website. The old materials are 80% up-to-date. We are currently planning to add fiat assets only.


Everything our lead developer and architect jl777 has been developing ties together into this big ecosystem of decentralized solutions. The different parts complement each other and together they will power-up a greater system that will go head-to-head against the outdated fiat system. In this vision the dPoW and Komodo play a key role.

We will soon enter a new era in crypto.

Our open source code

Iguana - https://github.com/jl777/SuperNET
Komodo - https://github.com/jl777/komodo
Assetchains - https://github.com/jl777/assetchains

More info

Steemit article: The Silent Progress of Deep Tech
Steemit article: Q & A: SuperNET, Iguana, and the Role of Komodo

4. Why we need funding

In short, we need funding for two main areas:

  1. dPoW implementation
  2. development

dPoW & Notary Nodes

It costs a lot of money to do constant group signed Bitcoin transactions. About 100 notarizations per day would cost ~0.3 BTC/day, which is 9 BTC/month.

Our plan is to attract third party blockchain to use Komodo's dPoW as an additional security layer (like 2FA for blockchains), we will make the process as easy and intuitive as possible and, according to jl777, they might not even need a hard fork to implement this technology. However, for them to take our service seriously we must be able to show them that we are able to continue running the service long in the future. Thus we have decided that we need at least 10 year buffer of tx fees. The tx fees alone would cost 1200 BTC in the 10 year period. Of course eventually the system will become self-sustaining as other blockchains will use our service and pay tx fees to Komodo.

Then we have the 64 high capacity notary nodes. To them we guarantee an income of at least $500 / month. They will get revenue from the block tx fees and block rewards. However if that is not enough we will pay the difference, so that they will receive at least $500. From that info we can calculate worse case scenario where we would pay the full $500/month: 64 NN x $500/month x 12 months = 384 000 USD/year.


Komodo has a central role as an infrastructure coin in the SuperNET ecosystem. Komodo is in fact the only coin as all the others are just assets, e.g. SuperNET (UNITY) is an asset on the NXT blockchain. Komodo will bring security via dPoW and privacy via Zcash zero knowledge proofs.

  • We need GUI devs: jl777 has created a lot of the basic low level tech, but many applications are still missing GUI.
  • We need project managers: jl777 is the lead developer / architect - not a project manager - and our project really needs a strong management team
  • We need C devs: currently it would take a lot of time for someone to replace jl777, so we need more people who understand the low level tech we have
  • We need testers: we need to remove all the bugs before the end users can use our product.

So far, the SuperNET development has been going on with half steam, as we 1) haven't had a strong project manager, 2) we have had only part-time freelance GUI devs, 3) testing has been done by the community members on their free time... however jl777 has been coding non stop since he started the project in 2014, and that is really the reason why we have gotten as far as we have.

That said, we are currently hiring so send us your application and resume: [email protected]

Balance between notarization costs and development

Komodo block time is 1 minute, Bitcoin block time is ~10 minutes. Ideally we would have one Komodo notarization per bitcoin block. That means we would do the notarization every 10th Komodo block (that is the current plan). However we can decrease the costs of notarization by decreasing the notarization speed, for example every 20th Komodo block.

We also have the option to decrease the amount of notary nodes, which would also bring the costs down. Ideally we would like to have 64 of them, but less would get the job done also.

It's all about reaching a balance between notarization costs vs development costs.

Final Words

Thank you for reading thus far!

Komodo has an ongoing ICO that will end on November 20th.

If you would like to learn more keep following us and join our Slack.

See you there!


Interesting. There are certainly some very troubling aspects to Zcash which have recently been brought to my attention. I am certainly interested.

Not to mention jl777's name is legend. Very strong developer with a proven track record despite the InstantDEX failure to launch.

Yes well respected in the crypto community.

Why they are hiding team faces in their website?

Presumably because they want privacy. Why don't we know who Satoshi is?

I agree, wouldn't spend a dime on a group thats afrade to show their faces. smells of scam.

But you own Bitcoin? When did you meet Satoshi?

I'll follow this project. But with no money unfortunally(

I am a crypto enthusiast. This project sounds very interesting and could provide a lot of utility to people. Shame it isn't being talked about more.

Good Post. I have not known that it is a Zcash Fork. Just bought 400 KMD!

Very informative read; great post!
I've been an early investor of Komodo and this has probably been the clearest, practical explanation of it I have found so far.

Promising project.

Interesting blog. I was about to post a similair thread. What if you give somebody a lot of money, they are less likely to work hard, smart and fight for their secure future. Starting a business is simply not easy. Companies have fight and go through the darkest times to get there. Starting of with a big bunch of money that most of this icos don't have simply doesn't help. An interesting website I found: https://www.coincheckup.com I'm really happy with this site that gives complete coin analysis for every single crypto. Check for example: https://www.coincheckup.com/coins/Zcash#analysis For the Zcash Detailed analysis

Komodo have really became my favourite crypto-project, I consider it as the future core of my crypto set up and tool kit.
<3!1st ATOMIC_SWAP_!!!_.jpg

Really recommend giving it a try <3

we owe thanks to komodoplatform..

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