What is VENOM? Establishing blockchain foundations with layer-0

When Venom Foundation first announced VENOM's tokenomics earlier this year, social media was ablaze with rumors of a VENOM airdrop. This was because eagle-eyed white paper readers highlighted the 22% of VENOM tokens allocated to its community. With almost 1.6 billion VENOM tokens at stake, airdrop speculators went into a frenzy. They claimed VENOM could be the next big thing as the potential VENOM airdrop rivaled some of the largest airdrops the crypto space has ever seen.

Since then, Venom has been making significant progress in expanding its ecosystem and achieving mass adoption by doling out testnet NFTs as rewards. As the first blockchain company to be licensed by Abu Dhabi Global Market, there's plenty of excitement for what Venom could bring to crypto enthusiasts across the Middle East and North Africa.

Keen to find out more about Venom and its layer-0 blockchain protocol? From dynamic sharding that enables one million transactions per second (TPS) to its asynchronous architecture that allows for simultaneous operation, here's everything you should know about Venom.

What is layer-0?

Before diving into what Venom is, it's essential to first grasp what layer-0 is and how it might change how we perceive blockchain throughput.

Layer-0 refers to the underlying infrastructure upon which layer-1 blockchains can be built. By tackling blockchain pain points like interoperability and scalability, layer-0 helps solve the inflexibility caused by layer-1 networks with monolithic architectures. With the adaptability of layer-0 as a base blockchain infrastructure, developers can essentially launch their own purpose-specific blockchains without facing scalability and interoperability limitations.

In the Venom blockchain's case, the layer-0 chain is the masterchain which serves as Venom's backbone. It's responsible for managing coordination and communication among workchains and shard chains. Now that we understand Venom's key strength, let's find out what the technology is and how it'll change the way we perceive blockchain foundations.

What is Venom?

Venom is a layer-0 blockchain that uses dynamic sharding to achieve scalability. Unlike monolithic blockchains, which have everything built on a single chain, Venom operates without bottlenecks. This is achieved through the masterchain, workchains, and shard chains all operating independently of one another. As a result, transactions won't have to go through a single consensus mechanism and the size of data on each transaction won't need to be limited.

With the success of the Venom blockchain, Venom Foundation believes it can support the widespread adoption of blockchain technology in regulated markets while meeting regulatory requirements. Driving this ambition is the goal of providing a more transparent, secure, and efficient alternative to traditional financial systems through blockchain technology.

Why is Venom so popular?

Venom achieved its first dose of internet virality thanks to the possibility of the biggest airdrop in crypto history. With more than a billion VENOM tokens available, crypto natives rushed to Venom's testnet and completed various blockchain-related tasks, hopeful of gaining a share of the assets.

"If you build it, they will come" is a mantra developers often adhere to. In crypto, it implies there can be no thriving ecosystem without quality decentralized apps (DApps) to sustain it.

Since debuting in April 2023, Venom has made plenty of progress in developing a list of DApps compatible with the network. One DApp is Chainspot, which specializes in aggregating blockchain bridges and providing on-chain analytics. Another is Venomart, a marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFT) that supports peer-to-peer NFT swaps and allows users to create AI-generated assets from text descriptions. The continued support of DApps contributes to the development of the Venom ecosystem and its growing appeal among a wider userbase.

Lastly, a major reason Venom is so popular is its backing from Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). ADGM's supportive regulatory framework is considered a driving force of the crypto movement in the Middle East as the entity recognizes blockchain's potential to revolutionize the financial landscape. With ADGM firmly backing the Venom blockchain, there's ample opportunity for eventual mass adoption among Middle Eastern crypto beginners and natives.

How does Venom work?

Unlike typical layer-1 blockchains, Venom validates and executes transactions with the masterchain. It does so as the layer-0 in charge of coordination and communication among workchains and shard chains, which are Venom's layer-1s.

Venom works as follows:

  1. A user first submits a transaction to a shard chain.

  2. The shard chain then validates the transaction and adds it to a block.

  3. The block is sent to the masterchain.

  4. The masterchain validates the block and adds it to the blockchain.

  5. The transaction is finally executed on a workchain.

Venom's dynamic sharding protocol

One key feature setting Venom apart is its dynamic sharding protocol. This allows the network to dynamically adjust the number and size of shard chains to meet the needs of the current load. Besides being responsible for maintaining the network's state and validating transactions, Venom's masterchain has the authority to create and merge shard chains.

When the network experiences an increase in transaction volume, the protocol automatically triggers the creation of new shard chains, effectively dividing the workload and reducing congestion. Conversely, when transaction volume decreases, the protocol can merge existing shard chains, conserving resources and maintaining efficient operations.

This dynamic approach to sharding makes sure the Venom blockchain can handle any level of transaction demand without compromising performance or security. It allows Venom to scale seamlessly, accommodating a growing user base and facilitating the development of demanding DApps.

Benefits of Venom's asynchronous architecture

While Venom's asynchronous architecture may be confusing at first, it ultimately brings three key benefits to the blockchain.

Enhanced scalability

By using shard chains, Venom can effectively distribute transaction processing across multiple parallel chains. This significantly increases its throughput and allows for the effective handling of a large volume of transactions. What's more, this scalability is crucial for applications that demand high transaction speeds and low fees. Venom's current throughput is at 100,000 TPS. However, the entity has claimed the blockchain could theoretically achieve throughput of 1,000,000 TPS — far beyond Toncoin's TPS record.

Customizable workchains for each use case

According to Venom Foundation, since blockchains built for gaming and financial applications have differing requirements for transaction processing speeds and security measures, flexibility is key to making sure all use cases can be addressed. Thanks to workchains, Venom can provide a flexible and adaptable framework for deploying custom blockchain solutions tailored to specific use cases and requirements. This allows developers to create specialized DApps with unique governance models and configurations to suit any situation.

Reduced transaction costs

By distributing transaction processing across shard chains, Venom significantly reduces transaction fees compared to traditional monolithic blockchains. This cost-efficiency makes Venom an attractive option for applications that require a high volume of low-value transactions. While other blockchains have already pushed this reduced transaction cost to fractions of a penny, Venom goes one step further by claiming that average transaction fees are $0.0002. This will go a long way towards normalizing blockchains as a payment method since average transaction fees are becoming nominal thanks to innovators like Venom pushing gas fee boundaries.

Venom vs other layer-0 blockchains

One question crypto natives might have is how Venom stacks up against other layer-0 blockchains like Cosmos, Polkadot, and Avalanche. Here's a quick reference table comparing Venom to other layer-0 blockchains.

Venom

Polkadot

Cosmos

Avalanche

Architecture

Masterchain, shard chains, workchains

Relay chain, parachains

Zones, hubs

Subnetworks, channels, C-chain

Sharding

Dynamic sharding

Static sharding

Fixed sharding

Semi-static sharding

Consensus mechanism

Delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS)

Nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS)

Tendermint

Snowman

Virtual machine compatibility

TVM

EVM

EVM

EVM

Transaction Speed

0.2-0.3 seconds

1-2 seconds

1-3 seconds

1-2 seconds

Transaction throughput

15,000 TPS

1,000 TPS

4,000 TPS

2,000 TPS

Gas fees

$0.0002 per transaction

$0.001 per transaction

$0.001 per transaction

$0.002 per transaction

Venom seems to excel against its competing layer-0 blockchains in the areas of transaction speeds, throughput, and gas fee affordability. However, as Venom is still in its infancy and yet to launch its mainnet, the figures reported above should ultimately be taken with a grain of salt.

One interesting comparison is that Venom isn't Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible, unlike Polkadot, Cosmos, and Avalanche, which have benefitted greatly from the shared interoperability of DApps. This means developers can't simply shift their EVM-compatible DApps over to Venom. This may be a stumbling block in the future when attempting to improve ecosystem adoption.

By opting for Threaded Virtual Machine (TVM), Venom blockchain can run smart contracts written in other languages, such as Rust and Go. This important compatibility allows developers to write smart contracts in their preferred language, helping with original DApp creation for the Venom ecosystem in the near future.

Final word and next steps

Can Venom be the alternative to TradFi while maintaining the principles of decentralization that are fundamental to blockchain technology? From dynamic sharding to asynchronous architecture, we hope you've found our guide to Venom useful, so you can answer this question yourself.

Using the analogy of construction, Venom seems to have built solid foundations from which to build a successful skyscraper in the Middle East. As a layer-0 blockchain with unparalleled scalability, strong customizability, and the regulatory backing to succeed, Venom appears to have the right structural framework to preserve its stability and integrity for years to come.

With a mainnet on the horizon and its VENOM tokens hitting the crypto scene soon, crypto natives and beginners are definitely on the lookout for when it goes live. Until then, Venom fans will just have to wait a little longer before Venom Foundation realizes its goal of finding the balance between TradFi and DeFi.

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