Accumulate Frequently Asked Questions
What is Accumulate?
The Accumulate Protocol is an identity-based, Vetted Delegated Proof-of-Stake blockchain, with secure, scalable, and extensible features to power DeFi applications. Accumulate can serve as a DNS service for the internet. Other chains under Accumulate can be addressed in a standard way via URLs. A transaction between chains could be accomplished with Accumulate serving as both the communications layer and an audit layer. Accumulate will drive DeFi adoption by delivering innovative solutions. In this respect, Accumulate will become “the bridge to the digital economy.”
Accumulate is designed to address the biggest fundamental issues with blockchain technology: security, validation, scaling, pruning, and real-world integrations. Accumulate allows the construction of protocols and smart contracts that use their own validators to define rules around transactions and data on the blockchain. In contrast, other blockchains define how users can make rules for the protocol to follow. Accumulate provides the infrastructure for users to define and enforce their own rules, which allows users to retain sovereignty.
What makes Accumulate different from Bitcoin, Ethereum or other blockchains?
Accumulate enhances and helps layer 1 protocols like Bitcoin and Ethereum with interoperability that brings speed, scalability, and economical fees. As such, Accumulate helps layer 1 protocols grow their market size. Accumulate is a paradigm shift for how blockchains manage data, tokens, and users. Accumulate is the first blockchain to be completely organized around digital Identities, rather than pseudonymous addresses as is the case with blockchains like Bitcoin.
Accumulate uses Accumulate Digital Identities/Identifiers (ADIs) as its core organizational structure. Accumulate leverages ADIs to build powerful application/blockchain integrations. ADIs are used to collect, organize, validate, and publish data to smart contracts on Ethereum, Solana, Tezos, Cardano, Bitcoin, and other blockchains. ADIs give users the tools they need to dynamically model, manage, and maintain the dynamic nature of blockchain, application, organization integrations.
- Supporting a user’s need to leverage digital identities by coordinating on chain voting, polling, and group decision making
- Supporting dynamic distributed validators for decentralized blockchain and application integrations
- Using the Validator/Accumulator architecture to provide high performance, low cost transactions and data
- Separating the security and control from the organization of digital assets
- Addressing all blockchain artifacts via URLs, including the accounts that hold tokens and data for users and applications
Accumulate succeeds through its ability to create dynamic and distributed integrations between many platforms both in the real world and the entire crypto sector. This is possible by concentrating on Accumulate Digital Identities/Identifiers (ADIs), not smart contracts.
How does Accumulate enhance existing blockchain solutions?
Accumulate enhances existing blockchain solutions by providing a path to high transaction rates, low predictable costs, enhanced security, URL addressing, and robust digital identity capabilities.
Using Accumulate, applications can funnel tens of thousands of transactions a second into their hosting blockchain platforms. Transactions recorded in Accumulate are anchored directly into other platforms, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum to provide cryptographic proofs accessible directly from the host platform.
Accumulate allows Dapps to store data and transactions at an affordable cost point and provides a predictable cost model. Transaction costs on Accumulate are held constant by the protocol as businesses cannot be successful without a predictable cost model. The data and transaction are then anchored into layer 1 and 2 solutions for cross-chain access ability.
Accumulate addresses security issues by providing hierarchical private keys. Rather than associating addresses, identities, and other digital assets with a single private key Accumulate uses a set of hierarchical private keys. A compromised or lost key can be replaced using higher priority keys. By leveraging the Accumulate key management capabilities projects can painlessly add support for standard enterprise security features like key rotation and key recovery.
Accumulate provides human-readable URL-like addressing rather than randomly generated hexadecimal addresses. Using Accumulate Dapps built on existing projects can create less error-prone and more user-friendly human-readable addressing schemes that span, not only the host project but multiple projects.
Accumulate organizes the blockchain under identities, rather than by randomly generated addresses. Existing projects can leverage Accumulate identities to model the real world of companies, divisions, campuses, IoT devices, and so on.
How does Accumulate address the blockchain trilemma problem?
Accumulate addresses the blockchain trilemma by completely rethinking how a blockchain should be organized. The trilemma is a direct consequence of the address focused design of first generation blockchains. In Accumulate, everything is organized by identity and every identity is already sharded into its own chain. A transaction between identities will only touch things held in those identity chains, allowing partitioning by identities and true parallel processing. Scaling simply requires more nodes to increase the number of available partitions while maintaining enough nodes in each partition to ensure decentralized security.
How many transactions can Accumulate process and how is high TPS achieved?
Accumulate has a theoretical throughput of ~70,000 tps. The transaction rate of Accumulate is bounded by the number of block validators, and the number of transactions each block validator can process. As Accumulate usage grows, the number of transactions that block validators can process can be increased, and the number of block validators can be increased. By scaling up, processing millions of transactions per second is possible.
How are tokens managed in Accumulate?
In Accumulate, transactions are managed in individual token chains identified by the chain’s URL (account). Each token chain represents a list of transactions created by a user against an account, and the deposits created externally to the account. This works much like how typical bank accounts manage dollars.
This partitioning of tokens across individual chains contrasts with blockchains like Ethereum, which record and validate transactions for every account and address in a single ledger.
Each account holds a particular type of token. An ADI (Accumulate Digital Identifier) can hold accounts for many token types, and even multiple accounts for the same token type. For example, an account can be created for long term savings, and a different account for payments.
Users can also issue their own tokens, and those tokens will be identified by the token’s URL. These user tokens are handled just like the native Accumulate tokens. Users can manage their tokens and define rules for their tokens just like the protocol does for Accumulate tokens.
Is Accumulate suitable for peer-to-peer transactions?
Accumulate supports peer-to-peer transacting. Tokens can be issued by different organizations and protocols to provide the ability to do peer-to-peer transactions in tokens from across the blockchain ecosystem that otherwise would be limited by scale or infrastructure. Transaction fees are not only kept low but also at a fixed, stable rate, allowing users and organizations more seamless management of budgets for on-chain operations.
What advantages does Accumulate have over existing protocols?
Accumulate breaks up the functionality of the blockchain into separate, simple pieces. These pieces can be processed independently and in parallel to give the protocol an unprecedented ability to scale. Accumulate also gives users the ability to add validation rules they process themselves and export those rules across the accumulate protocol. This adds to the processing that is done on Accumulate, without adding any additional overhead onto the Accumulate protocol.
What are some of the benefits of Accumulate?
What problems is Accumulate trying to solve in the blockchain ecosystem?
Freeing smart contracts from the limitations of running on chain, frees them to interact asynchronously with the rest of the financial universe. Breaking smart contracts free of the walled garden inherent in existing protocols means new smart contracts can be built using an organization’s existing technology stack. No new, special purpose, tools and languages are required and all the attendant costs and risks of introducing new technology.
How is interoperability achieved between Accumulate and other layer 1 protocols?
How will existing and future technology stacks leverage Accumulate into their platforms?
Does Accumulate do anything to address the Blockchain Oracle Problem?
Is Accumulate’s technology patentable?
|Issued Patents||Factom #||Patent #|
|Validating Documents via a Blockchain||1||10,419,225|
|Secret Sharing via Blockchains||3||10,411,897|
|Auditing of Electronic Documents||7||10,817,873|
|Due Diligence in Electronic Documents||8||10,685,399|
|Data Reproducibility using Blockchains||9||10,270,599|
|Secret Sharing via Blockchain Distribution||9 CON1||10,693,652|
|Import and Export in Blockchain Environments||12||10,783,164|
Patents that have been issued to Factom as well as Inveniam will serve as the intellectual property foundation for the Accumulate Protocol.
Who designed the Accumulate Protocol?
Along with Paul, the team consists of blockchain engineers, technologists, executors, and SMEs, with an extensive experience who have previously built and launched successful blockchain products.
What is Accumulate’s relation to Factom?
The Accumulate protocol is based on many of the best concepts that came of the Factom protocol, including data and identity focus while combining the components in a new and unique configuration. The Factom team has learned much from launching and running the Factom protocol since 2015 and those lessons are being incorporated into Accumulate while at the same time leveraging the deep business acumen brought to the table by Inveniam and DeFi Devs.
Factom was acquired by Inveniam in Q2 2021. Inveniam’s subsidiary DeFi Devs is the lead community developer for Accumulate.
What is ACME?
“ACME” is the symbol of a cryptographic token used in the Accumulate protocol. The ACME token, which is a traditional spendable token, like, ETH and BTC and it is issued by the protocol to reward those providing services to the protocol. For example, Validators will be awarded staking fees in ACME.
Is ACME an ERC-20 token?
When will ACME activate?
The ACME activation is targeted for October/Q4 2022 with the mainnet release of the Accumulate protocol.
Will there be any public sale of ACME before the mainnet launch?
No, there will be no public sale of ACME before the mainnet launch. All Factom (FCT) holders will convert to ACME, so users can buy or hold Factom (FCT) if they would like to have ACME after the mainnet launch.
Which wallets support ACME?
Presently, only the Accumulate Mobile Wallet. Other wallets for ACME will be announced in the future.
What will be the total supply of ACME and the activation block supply?
500 million will be the fixed total supply. Accumulate will be a hard fork of the Factom protocol. Upon activation of the fork, 150 million ACME will be created in the activation block with 50 million ACME created for the FCT conversion. The total ACME created in the activation block will be 200 million.
Where can ACME be bought?
Is there a burn rate for ACME?
What is the conversion rate of Factom’s FCT to Accumulate’s ACME?
The conversion rate is 5:1. Holders of FCT will receive 5 ACME for every 1 FCT after the hard fork.
What do I need to do if I hold FCT for it to convert to ACME?
What do I need to do if I hold FCT on an exchange like Bittrex?
Will WFCT holders convert to ACME?
What is Accumulate’s Token Model?
What are the benefits of having Credits in Accumulate?
What are the economics of Credits?
At the same time, as the network gets busier, putting demand on ACME tokens and driving up the price, the higher price of the tokens will both support the Validators, as they add additional hardware, and generate a greater supply of Credits to service the demand. The network will tend toward a natural balance point at any demand level.
What is Accumulate’s fee model and how is Accumulate able to achieve low predictable fees?
In our model, the fees are burned, rather than going to the Miners/Authority Nodes/Validators. In this way, their incentive is fully aligned to maximizing the value of the network rather than trying to produce the set of transactions that will maximize fees. In addition, economic values can be realized by building application on Accumulate protocol due to low and predictable transaction costs. Fees will be dependent on the actions taken by the end user including:
- Identity Creation
- Token URL Creation
- Token Transactions
- Data Chain Creation
- Writing to the Data Chain (per 250 bytes)
- Scratch Chain Creation
- Writing to the Scratch Chain (per 250 bytes)
- Token Issue
- Key Update
What are synthetic transactions?
How long are Accumulate block times, and how many blocks does it take for Accumulate to finalize transactions?
Accumulate Digital Identifiers (ADIs)
What is an ADI?
The W3C Digital Identifier standard outlines how multi blockchain Digital Identifiers (DDIs) can be made interoperable. Why use ADIs instead of DDIs?
How can ADIs be used, and what do they add to various blockchain use cases?
ADIs allow smart contracts, consensus building, validator networks, and enterprise level management of digital assets. ADIs coupled with Accumulate’s unique blockchain architecture allows validators to manage the content of the blockchain dynamically, so that smart contracts can integrate with real world operations. The ADI/Accumulate approach goes beyond the simple and constrained smart contract-based frameworks of other blockchains.
What is a simple use case of ADIs?
How are ADIs used to manage security, tokens, and data?
For instance, an ADI can have a token chain, which keeps track of token transactions and token issuance as well as a data chain that records data entries. Accumulate implements many innovations for organizing and securing a blockchain. One example is the key chain, whereby permissions tied to an ADI are managed by a hierarchy of keys. Another is the option of scratch chains to coordinate the construction of complicated multiparty transactions. Scratch chains are cryptographically secure but pruned from the long-term history of the blockchain.
Can ADIs be used to build networks of blockchain services, data, and endpoints for processes supporting payments, business, education, regulation, entertainment, and social networks?
Can you show how URLs can be leveraged in Accumulate?
Naming services allow users to easily create human-readable URL addresses for their accounts. Optimized key management enables Accumulate to provide an accessible way for users to organize their accounts using these URLs. Traditional technology stacks easily integrate with URL addressable data and endpoints.
The following table shows how Accumulate URLs compare to addresses on other major blockchains:
The above table shows how the “RedWagon” company might use a URL to define an identity on Accumulate. Building from that identity, the RedWagon company can accept tokens from its URL. Sending 10 ACME from GreenRock to RedWagon could be done with a command like:
tx create acc://GreenRock/Tokens key1 acc://RedWagon/Tokens 10
If RedWagon wishes to issue a token, they could name such a token and direct it to another party:
issue acc://RedWagon/Tokens acc://WagonToken 1000
tx create acc://RedWagon/Tokens GreenRock/Tokens WagonToken 10
What is a Lite Token Account?
A lite token account is an unstructured account that is similar to an address such as Bitcoin, a string of non-human readable characters. Lite Token Accounts are free to create. Accumulate represents these accounts as so:
Lite Token Accounts are not associated with an identity and are not acknowledged by the Accumulate network until they have ACME tokens or Credits.
What is an Accumulate Digital Identifier (ADI)?
An Identity has accounts which holds its assets, whether that is tokens, data, or keys.
An identity can be represented as so:
Identities provide structure on the Accumulate Blockchain.
What is an ADI Token Account?
An ADI Token Account is one of the types of accounts an ADI can control. An ADI token account holds tokens. An ADI token account can be represented as so:
When you are sending or receiving tokens you would specify this URL.
Identities provide structure on the Accumulate Blockchain.
What is the relationship between Lite Token Accounts and ADI Token Accounts?
Lite Token Accounts can send tokens to other Lite Token Accounts or ADI token accounts. ADI token accounts can also send tokens to other ADI token accounts.
Can you have multiple ADI Token Accounts?
How are URLs used in Accumulate?
One of the unique features BUILT IN (not requiring a Layer 2 solution) to the protocol is how Accumulate is structured using human readable URLs.
What are credits?
All actions in Accumulate require credits such as the creation of an identity, making transactions, creating an ADI token account. Credits can be purchased using ACME and have a fixed cost. For example, creating an ADI costs $5 worth in credit tokens.
Lite Token Accounts can have both an ACME balance and a Credit Balance. Credits reside with an ADI on a Key Page and hold an ACME balance in an ADI token Account.
What is the business value of having fixed credits?
Are credits transferable?
Can you convert credits to ACME?
No, you cannot convert credits to ACME.
Can you buy credits with tokens other than ACME?
How do you create an ADI?
Creating an ADI requires credits. To create an ADI, you need to use a Lite Account which has a credit balance or a previously created ADI that has a credit balance held by an ADI’s Key Page.
Can you explain the management of keys in Accumulate?
Managing an identity requires management of keys over time. The security around public and private keys is complex and difficult. The ability to update keys and upgrade technology over time is critical to building a blockchain to manage data and value for organizations. The keys for an Identity (e.g. signers on an account) can be managed so that new Identities do not have to be issued just because a company must shift responsibilities over time. Having a hierarchical set of permission-based keys ensures high security around tokens, data, and the management of that security over time.
What are key books?
A Key Book can be represented as so:
Can you create multiple Key Books?
What are key pages?
A Key Page defines the set of Keys required to validate a transaction. A Key Page specify one or more Keys possible and how many such Keys are required to validate a transaction. As an example, a Key Page with an m of n of 3 of 4 means that the page contains 4 keys and 3 of those 4 keys are required to sign transactions. This transaction would be considered multi-sig whereas an m of n of 1 of 1 would be single-sig. Key Pages store credits.
A Key Page can be represented as so:
Can you create multiple Key Pages?
What are keys?
Can you have zero keys in the highest priority Key Page?
Can you modify your key without having to meet the m of n requirements in a Key Page?
When creating an ADI what Key Management needs to be assigned to it?
During the creation of an ADI, a Key Book, Key Page, and Key need to be assigned to it. If none are explicitly assigned, the name of the Key Book is acc://Bob/ssg0, the name of the Key Page is acc://Bob/sigspec0, and a named or unnamed Key.
When creating an ADI account what Key Management needs to be assigned to it?
What are managed chains?
What is an example of a use for a managed chain?
For example, a security token could be issued on Accumulate by Bob (an ADI) on a managed chain that Bob manages. These tokens could be distributed to other ADIs by sending tokens to token chains controlled by those ADIs but also managed by Bob. Because Bob is the manager of all chains that hold the security token, Bob could enforce the restriction that chains that hold the security tokens are accredited. Bob would reject attempts to send the token to chains not managed by Bob, or to ADIs that are not accredited.
Note that accreditation is a real-world status, and the protocol allows the validator(s) of Bob to use real-world platforms to establish the accreditation status of ADIs.
Can managed chains be used to implement sophisticated smart contracts involving large real world data sets?
What is scratch space?
Accumulate provides scratch space on the blockchain that can be used by parties to come to consensus, but whose data availability is not retained by Accumulate forever. Scratch space allows processes to provide cryptographic proof of validation and process transactions without overburdening the blockchain.
Scratch Chain Features:
- Coordination — multi-party transaction construction on the blockchain
- Limited availability — Not guaranteed after 20,000 blocks (about 2.3 weeks)
- Segregated witness — Bulky authorizations don’t bloat the blockchain
- Blockchain rewriting — Blends advantages of 1 second blocks with 10 minute blocks
What is a pending chain?
What is an ADI data account?
To write Data you would specify this URL.
What is a lite data chain?
What are scratch chains (ADI scratch data accounts)?
What is a Token Issuer?
What is a Sub-ADI?
An ADI can contain another ADI. We call this a sub-ADI. While an ADI contains accounts, a sub-ADI contains sub-accounts.
What is a chain validator/executor?
Chain validators can be thought of as transaction executors. The actual code for executors is per-transaction (type), not per-chain. As an example, the creation of an identity would have a specified executor. The validation of the signature for instance is handled by the overall validator/executor.
What is a BVN (Block Validator Network? What is a BVNN (Block Validator Network Node)?
A BVN executes transactions against records. At the end of each block, the BVN collects Merkle DAG roots (anchors) from the transaction chain of records modified by one or more transactions in the block, appending them to the BVN’s root chain. The anchor from the root chain is sent to the DN. A BVNN is a node with a BVN.
What is a DN (Directory Network)? What is a DNN (Directory Node Network)?
What are Network Anchors?
Anchors represent the state of a particular chain, BVN, or DN up to a certain point in time.
What are minor blocks?
Tendermint collects incoming transactions and presents them to the application in blocks, generally once per second. These are minor blocks. At the end of each minor block, for each record that was modified by a transaction within the block, a Merkle DAG root (anchor) is taken from the main transaction chain of the record and appended to the DN or BVN’s minor root chain.
What are major blocks?
How does Accumulate Anchor to other Layer 1 blocks?
How does Accumulate define blocks?
Does Accumulate support Smart Contracts?
Accumulate supports smart contracts with unique qualities:
Smart contracts can be executed off-chain, due to the validation process being specific to the application on a particular chain. Smart contracts are not limited in terms of parallel execution, which is also allowed through Accumulate’s multi-chain architecture. Unlike first generation protocols, Accumulate does not force mixing the data layer and the application logic layers. All application code should be in one application layer, not split up, some of it on app servers, some of it in a blockchain as it is exponentially more difficult to maintain, test, and debug multi-platform code. The above engineering issue is one of the reasons for many of the very public and costly failures due to smart contract bugs in the DeFi space. Having multiple layers reduces risk because layered systems are far easier to test and less prone to costly bugs. Lower cost because layered software is easier to maintain.
What technology stack is required for creating Smart Contracts?
Can Accumulate (ACME) tokens be staked?
Yes, Accumulate will have a Vetted Delegated Proof-of-Stake model.
What is Accumulate’s consensus building architecture?
Accumulate uses Vetted Delegated Proof of Stake. An approval process ensures a bad actor does not create many sock puppet actors to take control of the Accumulate protocol.
Additionally, Accumulate minimizes hardware requirements to operate a blockchain. Accumulate requires only standard server hardware for validator nodes to achieve consensus and secure the network. Unlike most distributed ledger platforms, Accumulate also has a small footprint and verifier node that can run on smart phones. As a result, transactions can be fully verified against the entire chain with minimal connectivity such as a mobile phone or edge computing device in rural areas. Accumulate also uses anchoring to make use of the security generated by mined protocols. Billions of dollars of security infrastructure behind mined coins can be inexpensively applied to Accumulate’s historical record.
How many validator nodes are needed for decentralization of the Accumulate Network? How does this decentralization compare to other blockchains?
What are the hardware processing specifications needed to run a validator node?
If I just want to run a follower node, do I need to keep up with the state of the entire blockchain? Do you support light nodes?
You can operate a follower node using a regular off-the-shelf desktop or laptop. If you are running a follower node, the storage requirement will be the same as for running a validator node, however the CPU and memory requirements of the follower nodes are minimal. If you wish to only track user chains that you care about then the storage footprint is even smaller. For example, to track a token address will only require about 100 MB of storage after several years of transactions.