Qtum, a Blockchain platform, in a recent press release statement on Wednesday, Jan. 9th 2019, announced that it completed the first Bitcoin (BTC) atomic swaps on the mainnet.
Blockchain industry’s inability to perform cross-chain swaps is an issue that greatly constrains the blockchain applications. The only solution among others, that ensures both, the atomicity of cross-chain transactions and security, is HTLC (Hash Time-Locked Contract). Atomic swaps is a technology that enables exchange between two cryptocurrencies without a trusted third party app or a centralized exchange.
Qtum achieved the BTC atomic swaps i.e. Qtum-to-BTC cross-chain swap by leveraging the Hash Time-Locked Contracts (HTLCs) technology, based on the open source code of cryptocurrency Decred.
Qtum team also plans to release “0 Value UTXOs (unspent transaction outputs),” enabling non-Qtum token holders to interact with smart contracts with third-party fees payments.
Ethereum (ETH), which arguably is the most popular cryptocurrency platform, also supports smart contracts and DApps, just like Qtum, but the only difference between the two platforms is that Qtum uses the Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO), enabling lightweight smart contract interactions.
Last year in Dec. 2018, Qtum sanctioned a $400K R&D grant to a team of researchers at Columbia University to come up with a new programming language for Ethereum (ETH)-style smart contracts. The team was tasked to develop a new programming language named “DeepSEA”, and integrate it with Ethereum-style smart contracts.