Fantom co-founder Andre Cronje is hoping to give blockchain technology as we know it a facelift.

"Blockchain technology is stuck in the eighties," he told Decrypt. "The internet and tech back then were predominantly used for financial applications simply because financial transactions were the only thing that made economic sense to digitize."

Cronje added that today's standards mean those kinds of transactions now cost a fraction of a penny, something that "would cost you much more" on networks like Ethereum. Bitcoin is slower and can be more expensive, too, as the market has already seen during the rise of Ordinals.


His fix? A key upgrade to Fantom's tech stack called Sonic—optimized, as the name suggests, for speed.

Fantom, in its current form, is one of several layer-1 blockchain networks like Avalanche and Solana aimed at improving speeds and reducing costs when spending internet coins. Launched in 2019 after raising $40 million, Fantom operates using a variation of the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism called Lachesis, and is also compatible with Ethereum.

In terms of purported stats, Sonic will apparently speed up Fantom by another 65x, make it easier to launch a node, as well as slashing the storage costs for network nodes. The idea here is to lower the barrier for everyday users to securing the network. "We believe it will be top tier in every metric," said Cronje.

To do that, though they'll still need to stake a hefty 50,000 native FTM tokens, which, at today's prices, comes out to $11,222, per CoinGecko data.


In terms of Sonic's ideal clientele, Cronje is hoping to lure in credit card companies and international banks. He was light on names but told Decrypt that he and his team are "having multiple conversations" with such firms.

"The problem with current blockchain technology is that it is slow, unscalable, and far too expensive. Institutions don’t build on 56k dialup and 486 processors for the same reason," he said. "The tech needs to catch up and we’re confident Sonic is a step towards developing what institutions need when leveraging blockchain."

Fantom has only just rolled out the Sonic testnet yesterdaya sort of sandbox for developers and users to kick a network's tiresbut a full launch is expected next Spring.

More updates are for the testnet planned for later this year too, and developers are invited to get started experimenting with the network.

Edited by Stephen Graves

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