KomodoWorld’s short guide to Komodo

-22/11/2018 minor corrections
-27/11/2018 many corrections


    Komodo is a complete ecosystem for the creation of any blockchain-based project. The founder and lead developer jl777 sought to find a solution to the main bottlenecks of crypto: security, privacy, scalability and interoperability, without making compromises with decentralization.

Project Background

    Komodo history dates back to 2014 as the SuperNet project, it aimed to jumpstart mass adoption by uniting the most interesting cryptocurrencies under a common infrastructure and allowing to build more decentralized projects on top. In this design Bitcoin was the basic currency, while most backend leveraged Nxt technology and other coins or dapps provided specific features like privacy, marketplace, assets exchange, file storage, games, etc. Users could have easily accessed all main features and innovations from a single interface.

    Despite success of the Multigateway asset exchange and a beta release of the SuperNet UI, it proved impratical to coordinate and release a stable product across so many underlying projects. Too many moving parts that often made backward-incompatible changes or failed or were abandoned for their own reasons. This experience urged the developers to completely rebuild the SuperNet project on its own codebase and make every part as modular and independent as possible, while also offering the same flexibility to any project built on it.

Komodo ICO

    Komodo first 100 million coins were created at genesis. 70 millions were distributed to Bitcoindark holders (the privacy coin used in the previous SuperNet project), 10 millions were kept for development and 20 millions sold to new users during the ICO from october 14 to november 19, 2016. The ICO raised 2636 Bitcoin. Most of the funds are used to pay fee for dPoW notarizations until the ecosystem becomes self-sustaining.

Komodo coin – Specs & supply

    Komodo is a Zcash fork using the same PoW equihash algo and the zero-knowledge privacy tech. Max Komodo supply is 200 millions, to be reached in ~14 years from genesis. Block reward is 3 Komodo per block, with a block every minute. A unique feature is the automatic 5% yearly reward that doesn’t require any active staking. The reward must be claimed at least once a month, because it stop accruing after being unclaimed for ~30 days.

Komodo Technologies

1) dPoW (delayed-Proof-of-Work)

    Recognizing that Bitcoin has by far the most secure PoW hashrate and that smaller PoW blockchains are easy targets for attack, Komodo uses a set of Notary Nodes to create checkpoints on the Bitcoin chain. Adding checkpoints is usually a centralized process, however dPoW adds checkpoints automatically using a randomized process between the 64 elected Notary Nodes. This is like a ‘write-protect’ feature on top of the existing consensus of Komodo or other blockchains using it. This protection allows to have many independent blockchains with Bitcoin-level security.

    Notary Nodes are elected yearly by a stake-weighted vote, the best performing 32 (by number of notarizations) keep their spot, while the other 32 are up for election. In exchange for their service, Notary Nodes receive a mining advantage that consists in 75% of blocks while the remaining 25% is for independent miners.
dPoW was initially available only to Komodo and other blockchains created with Komodo technology but it’s now open to external blockchains.

2) Blockchain creation kit

    Komodo allows easy creation of an independent and customized blockchain for coins, securities, tokens, dapps or any other blockchain-based project. Unlike the sidechain/childchain concepts, the Komodo-created blockchains are fully independent and not tied to any ‘parent’ chain. They live on their own. In this way the blockchains so created are completely unaffected by issues or congestion that can happen on other parts of the ecosystem. Developers have complete freedom to choose which Komodo features to use, even dPoW is optional, or they can even go their separate ways.

    The customization parameters include about 300 combinations and are planned to be steadily increased and enhanced, up to include custom consensus rules.

3) BarterDEX

    BarterDEX is the Komodo ecosystem’s atomic-swaps decentralized exchange (DEX) that functions with p2p orderbooks, ordermatching and liquidity providers.
Komodo team pioneered atomic-swaps based on Tier Nolan’s concept, making many test swaps between 2014-16. This work resulted in the release of BarterDEX in september 2017. The first release supported Komodo, all Komodo-ecosystem blockchains, Bitcoin and most other Bitcoin-based coins (Bch, Ltc, Dash, Zec, etc.).
Further enhancements soon included the following:
  • Atomic swaps in lite mode, via Electrum servers, without need for full blockchains
  • Fast 0conf swaps, without waiting for all confirms (by using Komodo as collateral)
  • Support for Ethereum and Erc20 tokens by a method called ‘Etomic’

    Currently a vastly improved core written in Rust (marketmaker2.0) and an user-friendly gui (HyperDEX) are in the works, to be released in Q1 2019. The new core will also support more non-Bitcoin based coins.

4) dICO

    Decentralized initial coin offerings (dICOs) use the BarterDEX technology to distribute tokens directly from the issuer to the investors, via atomic swaps. This avoids centralized points of failure like a website and the slow paced nature prevents whales from scooping up most tokens in a short time. The issuer can accept any coin integrated in BarterDEX as means of payment. Users can also more easily protect their privacy, including jumblring their funds in case of Komodo.

5) Jumblr

    Jumblr is an optional decentralized shuffler on top of Komodo zero-knowledge privacy. It automates a process that users of Zcash-based coins must do manually, in order to effectively severe any currency trails. Jumblr moves the funds from a transparent address, through a series of shielded addresses, and then returns the funds in standard sizes of 10/100/1000 Komodo to new transparent addresses. Jumblr is purposefully designed to be slow in order to be also resistant against time-based analysis. It requires the node running for several hours for the process to finish.

    For now this feature is available only for Komodo and not for the other blockchains created with Komodo technology.

6) Multichain scaling

    Komodo scaling technology leverages the security provided by dPoW to create multiple blockchains that can do cross-chain transactions with each other. A group of such fungible blockchains is called a ‘cluster’. Unlike ‘sharding’, that makes important security tradeoffs, every independent blockchain has its own proven blockchain logic and consistency. A burn protocol allows to erase coins from a chain and recreate the exact amount on another one, mantaining the same overall supply across a cluster. The same Notary Nodes that add the dPoW layer, also agree on the valid proofs of burning.
    The vision is that, at mass scale, there will be many independent blockchains for different states, cities, regions or groups of people or use-cases. Each customized for its specific needs. Users will only run the blockchain they most often transact with, yet they can also send coins to users on another chain.

    This concept has been successfully tested in may 2018 with 20k tps sustained for 14 minutes. Another test using 8192 blockchains for an overall throughput of 1million tps is planned by end of year. The same scaling method is available to all blockchains built with Komodo technology, if they need more space they can add another blockchain to their cluster.

7) Crypto Conditions

    Komodo has implemented CryptoConditions, an utxo-based smart contract protocol or rather a ‘custom consensus module’. They’re totally unlike anything else seen so far.
    In its simplest form, CryptoConditions locks a utxo in a publicly-known address and prevents it from being spent until a certain set of conditions are met. This allows to add and subtract properties from it, including properties that allow for Turing-complete programming and to create a smart-contract functionality that is dramatically cheaper to utilize, and more secure in practice, than the gas-based models of the other platforms.
    Since they are hard-coded into the Komodo codebase and run in the daemon, developers can avoid the hassles of having to run code in a virtual machine. Also being an extension of the Bitcoin protocol, a series of RPC calls can be created. Eventually, once a large variety of RPC calls exists, it will become possible to build entire decentralized applications based on RPC calls alone.
    They can also be written in any compiled programming language that can create a linkable library capable of calling and being called by C/C++ functions. In that sense, Komodo’s utxo-based smart contracts are language agnostic.

    For dapps creators it’s possible to pay fees not in Komodo but with the coin of developer and user’s choice. Also freemium model is possible via faucets.

A first set of base CryptoConditions contracts are in advanced testing. Possibilities done or discussed include:

  • Faucet: anybody can add funds or ask for 0.1 coins
  • Asset: fully featured colored coins and trading system, including non-fungible tokens
  • Gateway: assetize Bitcoin or any other external coin
  • Oracle: market for external data
  • Rewards: simulation of masternodes where users get extra reward for locking funds
  • Channel: secure instant payment mechanism via on-chain channels
  • Dice: provably random and blockchain-enforced dice game
  • Auction: both normal and dutch-style
  • Pegs: migration from one chain to another in the same cluster
  • Vault: thief-secure address that requires time to unlock, with another key to undo the operation
  • Heir: automatic send balance to another address if inactive for a long time
  • Balance: add balance system logic on top of utxo system
  • Stablecoin: algo-based
  • Solidity/Wasm/Python interpreters
  • Schnorr signatures

    CryptoConditions allows significant customizations at consensus level. Almost any blockchain innovation can be integrated via a custom CC. It’s one of the methods (along with new blockchain creation parameters) to integrate new technologies into the Komodo ecosystem.

7) Interoperability

Beside atomic swaps via BarterDEX and the possibility to assetize external coins, the long term roadmap includes blockchain bridges to further enhance interoperability across the whole cryptocurrency arena.

The Komodo ecosystem

    With all the features above, Komodo is trying to plant seeds in many areas and eventually have many high quality projects loosely tied to the same ecosystem. There are already countless ideas being experimented by companies, independent developers and miners. These include blockchain streaming videos, games, betting, mesh networks, otc trading, post-dated cheques, marketplaces, file storage, supply chains, etc… All these projects are completely independent and without any obligation towards Komodo, but they may voluntarily choose to have their innovations go back to a common pool of technologies that other projects can then make use of. So far the whole ecosystem has been very collaborative.
A partnership with the University of Texas at Arlington has also been established, that will help train more future blockchain developers.
Given the importance of friendly-gui in order to onboard normal users, a full remake of Agama wallet is in the works by IdeasByNature, that is one of leading ux designer companies in crypto.


Official Komodo website

Article from Komodo website with history and other links

Naomi Brockwell interview with jl777

Crypto Zombie interview with jl777 (pages 10-15)

Whitepaper (incomplete, missing all tech developed after publication)




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