What factors might affect the value of QTUM, and how could its price change this year and beyond?
Qtum (pronounced “Quantum”) is a hybrid blockchain platform focused on the business applications of smart contracts. Built on a bitcoin core fork, it combines bitcoin’s stable blockchain with an Ethereum-like virtual machine.
QTUM is the network’s native token and regularly features in the top 20 cryptocurrencies in terms of market cap. But is this token one you should consider buying, or is it headed for a drop in price?
|Coin name||QTUM token|
|Launch date||March 2016|
QTUM price prediction
There are several factors that could contribute to the growth or decline of QTUM’s value. Cryptocurrencies are volatile and complicated assets, so you’ll need to research the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead to get a clearer idea of where the price of QTUM could be headed. Some of the factors to take into account are outlined in the table below.
What could drive Qtum’s growth?
- Supply and demand. According to CoinMarketCap at the time of writing, the circulating supply of QTUM was 73,947,180 out of a total supply of 100,447,180 QTUM. If the Qtum platform can become a leading network for the creation of business-oriented dapps, this will help increase demand for the platform and its native token.
- Token distribution. Approximately 51% of all QTUM tokens were distributed following the project’s March 2017 crowdsale. Of the remaining tokens, 20% were set aside for Qtum Foundation initiators, early backers and the development team; 20% for business development; and 9% for academic research, education and market expansion.
- Qtum Foundation. Qtum is directed and supervised by The Qtum Foundation, a nonprofit organization registered in Singapore. Established under the guidance of PwC, the foundation’s role is to “oversee the development of the Qtum Blockchain, advocate governance transparency and promote the safety and harmony of the open-source ecosystem”.
- Availability. QTUM can be bought and sold on a wide range of cryptocurrency exchanges, which not only makes it easy to access for buyers but also helps lend credibility to what is still a relatively new project.
- Baofeng partnership. In January 2018, Qtum announced that it had formed a partnership with online audio and video entertainment services provider Baofeng Bokocloud. This agreement will see Qtum’s blockchain help Baofeng with its blockchain consensus network infrastructure, and Baofeng help Qtum run more than 50,000 full nodes on its Bokocloud service (for context, the bitcoin network had, at writing, around 10,000, and Ethereum had 20,000 full nodes).
- Compatibility. One of Qtum’s strengths is its support of the Ethereum Virtual Machine, which means that Ethereum-based dapps should be able to be easily ported over to Qtum. Plans to support other virtual machines in the future could increase its usefulness.
- Dapps. More than 50 dapps have already been launched on Qtum, including dapps for Energo, Qbao and Vevue. If a larger number of successful dapps can be created in the months ahead, this will help drive the growth of the platform.
What could hold Qtum back?
- Lack of widespread adoption. The key to Qtum’s success will be in whether or not it is adopted by major companies. If it can’t create enough partnerships with major corporate names, this could impact the success of the platform and its native token.
- Stiff competition. There are several other smart-contract platforms battling for market share. The biggest is no doubt Ethereum, but Qtum will also face stiff competition from the likes of NEO, Lisk and EOS. The challenge of dethroning Ethereum and achieving greater popularity than other projects will be a big one.
- Still in development. While Ethereum is a well-established platform that’s been around since July 2015, Qtum has only been in existence for a much shorter timeframe. While there certainly appears to be plenty of promise behind the platform, it’s still in its early days.
- Bitcoin and Ethereum problems. As Qtum combines technology from both bitcoin and Ethereum, any tech issues facing those two platforms (for example problems with scalability) could also carry over to Qtum. On the flipside, this also means that Qtum can benefit from bitcoin and Ethereum’s efforts to improve network scalability.
Where to buy QTUM
What’s coming up in Qtum’s roadmap
Future developments and tech upgrades can also affect the price of a cryptocurrency. Qtum’s official roadmap for 2018 and beyond lists some of the key milestones coming up in the future. Unfortunately, unless specified, there are no specific dates to go with these goals:
- X86 Virtual Machine. This will add more programming language support for smart contracts and provide a range of other benefits. It’s scheduled for Mainnet integration in late 2018.
- New wallets and wallet support. These include the Qbao Wallet, the Dedge Mobile Wallet and support for the QTUM token on the Ledger Nano S.
- Lightning Network and Atomic Swap. According to the roadmap, it will take between 6 and 18 months for these to be incorporated into the Qtum Ignition Main Network.
- Qtum API. A set of APIs for developer usage.
- Dapp store. A decentralized app store for dapps on the Qtum network.
- Satellite launch. In February 2018, Qtum announced that it had partnered with the SpaceChain Foundation to launch a blockchain node into space and lower the cost of blockchain usage.
There are several projects that aim to help businesses integrate blockchain technology into their systems and operations. Qtum will face competition from a number of other projects in the coming months, and developments from those competitors could either positively or negatively influence the price of QTUM.
Some of the projects to keep an eye on include:
- Ethereum (ETH). The world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is currently the biggest dapps platform on the planet. Launched in July 2015, it’s the project that all other smart-contract platforms are compared against.
- NEO (NEO). Often referred to as China’s answer to Ethereum, NEO is a platform for the development of digital assets and smart contracts. Launched in August 2014, it’s one of the world’s top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap.
- Cardano (ADA). A relatively new player on the block, Cardano is still in development but aims to provide complex programmable transfers of value in a secure and scalable fashion. It’s also one of the world’s top 10 cryptocurrencies in terms of market cap.
- EOS (EOS). Built with the aim of becoming a scalable and easier-to-use version of Ethereum, EOS offers a scalable infrastructure for dapps.
Beyond 2018: What does the future hold for Qtum?
Cryptocurrencies are famously volatile, so making an accurate prediction about the future price of QTUM is no easy task. However, what we know for certain is that there are some big opportunities and challenges coming up for the project.
One of the biggest strengths of Qtum is that it combines some of the best features of bitcoin and Ethereum. It uses a bitcoin-based UTXO blockchain as its settlement layer, so it can take advantage of any upgrades to bitcoin tech, while its use of the Ethereum Virtual Machine means that any projects building on Ethereum can be easily ported to Qtum. The X86 Virtual Machine, scheduled for integration into the network in Q3 2018, should further increase functionality.
Qtum also has some impressive partnerships to its name. As well as the Baofeng Bokocloud agreement mentioned above, it’s also developing a blockchain research laboratory with China’s 360 Finance and has a rumored partnership with coffee giant Starbucks.
However, Qtum does face an uphill battle to achieve widespread adoption. Ethereum is currently the clear leader among the many dapp platforms, and its early-mover advantage means it will be hard to catch. Attracting more partners willing to build and deploy dapps on the Qtum network will be crucial to its success.
Qtum offers interesting technology and is a project that has the potential to make a mark in the highly competitive world of dapps. However, whether or not it can break into the mainstream and become a serious competitor for Ethereum remains to be seen.
With this in mind, make sure you thoroughly research the technology behind Qtum, the potential benefits it offers, as well as any factors that may hamper its chances of success. You’ll then be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to buy any QTUM tokens.
At the time of writing, the author holds IOTA and XLM.