Read our guide to the Qtum platform, the QTUM cryptocurrency and how you can trade it in the US.
Qtum (pronounced “Quantum”) is an open-source blockchain project designed to combine Ethereum’s smart contracts with bitcoin’s blockchain. Its aim is to allow for the development of faster and more secure smart contracts and decentralized applications on a business-friendly blockchain.
QTUM is the native token of the network, so keep reading for more details on the uses for this token and how to buy QTUM in the US.
Where to buy QTUM
You can buy QTUM on a wide variety of popular cryptocurrency exchanges, including the following:
A step-by-step guide to buying QTUM
If you want to buy QTUM, read on to find out how you can do it.
Step 1. Register for an account with an exchange that allows you to buy QTUM
To get started, search for an exchange that lists QTUM in one or more currency pairings. You’ll then need to sign up for an account by entering your email address and creating a password.
Many exchanges will require your full name, contact details and a valid form of photo ID before you can deposit funds and start trading. We also recommend enabling two-factor authentication on your account for an added layer of security.
Step 2. Deposit funds into your account
Many cryptocurrency exchanges don’t allow the direct exchange of fiat currency, such as US dollars (USD), for QTUM. As a result, you will often have to first acquire a crypto that’s listed in a currency pairing with QTUM, like Ether (ETH) or bitcoin (BTC) for example, and then exchange it for QTUM.
Step 3. Buy QTUM
Now it’s time to click through to the markets section of your chosen exchange and search for your desired currency pairing, like BTC/QTUM. Look for links to buy and you should be given the option to either enter the amount of USD, BTC or ETH you want to spend or the number of QTUM you want to buy.
Before confirming your purchase, make sure you review the full details of the transaction and are happy with the total cost.
How to sell QTUM
If you want to sell your QTUM holdings, you’ll need to complete a similar process to that outlined in step 3, but with the key difference that you’ll need to look for the sell link. It’s also important to remember that it often won’t be possible to directly exchange QTUM for the currency you want.
Which wallets can I use to hold QTUM?
Unless you’re preparing to place a trade, storing cryptocurrency in an account based on a cryptocurrency exchange is not recommended for security reasons. Instead, it’s generally much safer to store QTUM in a secure wallet.
There are several wallet options you can use to store QTUM, including the following:
- Desktop wallets. The official Qtum Core wallet is available for download on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems, while you can also access the Qtum Electrum wallet for Mac and Windows from the same link.
- Mobile wallets. You can download the official Qtum Core app for Android and iOS devices or choose to use the Qbao or Bitpie apps.
- Web wallet. The Qtum web wallet is available online.
- Hardware wallet. If you prefer the security of offline storage in a hardware wallet, Qtum directs users to the Ledger Nano S.
How the Qtum platform works
Developed by the Singapore-based Qtum Foundation, Qtum is a hybrid blockchain application platform designed to bring together the best parts of the bitcoin and Ethereum projects and to facilitate interoperability between the two. Its core focus is on the business applications of smart contracts, with an aim to introduce a wide range of organizations to blockchain-based solutions that increase efficiency and reduce costs.
The Qtum platform is built on a bitcoin core fork, chosen for its simplicity and stability, and then an account abstraction layer that includes multiple virtual machines that contribute different functionalities. Headlining these is the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which gives Qtum the ability to create its own smart contracts.
The network is also built on bitcoin’s UTXO transaction model but uses proof-of-stake consensus that randomizes the creator of every new block on the chain. This is designed to create faster transactions and lower fees as well as to remove the need for mining.
Dapps built with Qtum are designed to be compatible with other major blockchain ecosystems and to support mobile and Internet of Things devices.
The Qtum Foundation also aims to build a range of other products and services designed to help link businesses with blockchain technology. These include smart contract templates for specific business use cases and tools to facilitate the fast creation of dapps.
QTUM is the native token of the Qtum network, and tokens are required to use Qtum apps and the Qtum blockchain. A token crowdsale took place in March 2017 and raised $15 million in five days, resulting in the distribution of 51 million QTUM.
Key things to consider if you’re thinking about buying QTUM
All cryptocurrencies are complicated, volatile and highly speculative, and there are many different factors that can influence their value. Before purchasing or holding any crypto, it’s essential that you’re fully aware of all the risks involved.
If you’re thinking of buying QTUM, first make sure you consider the following:
- Supply. According to CoinMarketCap at the time of writing (February 14, 2018), the circulating supply of QTUM was 73,879,756 out of a total supply of 100,379,756 QTUM.
- Distribution. Approximately 51%, or 51 million QTUM, were distributed following the crowdsale, with the remaining tokens to be used as follows:
- 20% to Qtum Foundation initiators, early backers and the development team
- 20% for business development
- 9% for academic research, education and market expansion
Additionally, according to the company’s white paper, 100% of the tokens will ultimately be allocated to the community so that Qtum can become a truly open-source community. Other factors you might want to research include the following:
- White paper. If you want a more detailed explanation of how the Qtum platform works, you can check out the white paper.
- Real-world uses. The popularity and widespread use (or otherwise) of the Qtum platform will be crucial to determining the value of the QTUM cryptocurrency. There are potential real-world applications for Qtum across a variety of industries, including mobile telecommunications, counterfeit protection, finance, logistics and manufacturing; however, the level of adoption the platform will achieve remains to be seen.
- Dapps. More than 20 dapps have already been launched on the Qtum network, including Energo, Qbao and BeeChat.
- Commercial partnerships. Qtum recently secured a commercial partnership with Starbucks, the exact nature of which is currently unknown. It has also joined forces with China’s 360 Finance to create a blockchain technology laboratory and Baofeng Bokocloud to create a blockchain consensus network service.
Researching the above and other factors affecting QTUM’s value will help you make an informed decision about purchasing.