Topos is a work in progress. The following FAQ will continue to be updated as Topos evolves.
Is Topos a blockchain?
Topos is not a blockchain. It's an interoperability protocol that allows various public and private blockchains to communicate with each other.
Furthermore, the TCE does not rely on consensus but merely on a broadcast primitive.
How do subnets prove the validity of their state transitions?
Topos employs STARK—a cryptographic system—to prove computational integrity of subnets' state transitions.
How is subnets' privacy preserved?
Topos STARK system is executed with zero-knowledge. Keeping state transitions unknown to verifiers allows to preserve subnets' privacy.
How can subnets identify a certificate's origin?
The protocol leverages ICE-FROST, an in-house made Schnorr-based threshold signature scheme, to authenticate certificates.
Who will be able to participate in the TCE network?
The TCE network is permissionless, so anyone will be able to join and participate in the system.
What are the hardware requirements for running a TCE node?
Running a TCE node is not computationaly expensive, so the entry cost to participate is low and common hardware is sufficient.
How many subnets can join the Topos ecosystem?
There is no theoritical bound on the number of subnets which can participate and submit certificates.
How will I be able to create a subnet?
Subnets can be developed with Topos and community DevKits, and registered on the TCE by means of a special certificate.
Will I be able to create private subnets?
Topos UCI abstracts the underlying data layer (subnets) to grant you full development flexibility and allows you to create any type of subnet including private subnets.
Will subnets support smart contracts, NFTs, etc.?
As Topos abstracts the internal structure of subnets, you are free to implement any feature including smart contracts, NFTs, etc.
What are the advantages of Topos's reliable broadcast over consensus?
The use of a reliable broadcast primitive results in a simpler, more efficient and more robust system than consensus-based solutions, which is great from a security perspective.
What is the difference between Topos and Eth2, Polkadot, Cosmos, or NEAR?
Unlike projects like Eth2, Polkadot, Cosmos, or NEAR, Topos does not rely on a consensus-based solution (e.g. Beacon Chain, Relay Chain, Hub) to ensure consistency of cross-chain message passing between subnets. Furthermore, in Topos, state transition validity is guaranteed mathematically by cryptographic proofs instead of relying on validators for validity checks.