How the Sonic Upgrade Can Alter Fantom’s Future

By  Pratik May 23, 2024

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Introduction

As the blockchain ecosystem continues to evolve, Fantom is making significant strides with its upcoming Sonic upgrade. Scheduled for release in the spring of 2024, this upgrade aims to enhance the Fantom network's scalability, speed, and storage capabilities, setting a new benchmark for layer 1 blockchain technology.

What is the Sonic upgrade?

The Sonic upgrade is the latest iteration of the Fantom blockchain, designed to address key issues related to transaction speed, storage efficiency, and overall network performance. This upgrade does not require a hard fork, ensuring full compatibility with existing smart contracts and services on the Fantom Opera mainnet. Sonic incorporates three main components: a new virtual machine, advanced database storage, and an optimized consensus mechanism.

Sonic will effectively be a full rebrand for Fantom, with a new token launching ($S), a new organization made up of Sonic Labs and the Sonic Foundation, and a new chain entirely. The token will be 1:1 convertible from the existing FTM tokens, however the chains themselves are separate.

Key Features of Sonic

While the Sonic upgrade is set to introduce numerous enhancements, here are some of the most noteworthy features:

  1. Enhanced Transaction Throughput and Finality: One of the standout features of Sonic is its ability to handle over 2,000 transactions per second (TPS), with a transaction finality time of just one second . This makes it significantly faster than many existing blockchain networks, providing a near-instantaneous user experience.
  2. Fantom Virtual Machine (FVM): The FVM is a critical component of the Sonic upgrade. It offers superior execution performance compared to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), processing over 65 times more transactions per second. This is achieved through the seamless conversion of EVM bytecode into a new virtual machine format that supports super instructions, optimized bundles of commonly occurring instruction patterns, which reduce execution time.
  3. Carmen Database Storage: The Carmen database storage system is another innovation introduced with Sonic. It uses flat storage structures instead of traditional tree-like structures, significantly reducing storage requirements. For instance, the size of archive nodes is reduced from over 11 terabytes to less than one terabyte. Carmen also supports live pruning, allowing validators to discard unnecessary historical data while remaining online, enhancing operational efficiency.
  4. Optimized Lachesis Consensus Mechanism: The Lachesis consensus mechanism, already known for its efficiency, has been further optimized in Sonic. Improvements include a more efficient transaction pool for collecting and processing user transactions. This ensures faster and more reliable network performance.

How does it impact DeFi on Fantom?

According to the team, the Sonic upgrade is set to have a profound impact on DeFi and the dApps that run on top of the network. The increased transaction speed and reduced costs will attract more developers to build on Fantom, enhancing the overall ecosystem. Additionally, Sonic's capabilities will support more complex and resource-intensive dApps, such as those in gaming and NFTs, providing users with faster and more cost-effective interactions.

The upgrade also includes liquidity staking opportunities, which can attract more liquidity to the DeFi ecosystem on Fantom. This influx of liquidity can enhance the efficiency of decentralized exchanges, lending protocols, and other DeFi applications on the network.

Moreover, Sonic introduces cross-chain functionality with minimal trust bridges, allowing for seamless interaction with other blockchain networks. This feature can open up new opportunities for DeFi projects on Fantom to connect with external networks and assets, expanding the ecosystem's capabilities.

The Sonic (S) Token

The latest upgrade also comes with its own native cryptocurrency, the "S" token. While details are a bit vague at the moment, users will have the option to convert their existing FTM tokens to the new Sonic Token at a 1:1 ratio. This $S token is a key component of the upgrade and is designed to enhance the network's capabilities, offering improved performance, security, and features like zero-knowledge technology and simplified liquid staking.

There is also the possibility that the Fantom Foundation can airdrop $S tokens to incentivize user interaction and engagement with the Sonic network. In recent times, this process has gained significant traction in the crypto market and Fantom may opt to follow suit. In such events, users can potentially increase their airdrop allocation by actively participating and adding value to the network.

Future Roadmap & Prospects

Fantom has also introduced various initiatives to foster ecosystem growth and incentivize developers. The gas monetization program allows dApps to earn 15% of the gas fees they generate, providing a sustainable income stream for developers. Furthermore, Fantom's grant programs offer funding to projects that contribute to the network's growth and innovation​.

Conclusion

With the Layer-1 market intensifying with new blockchains and their unique characteristics, Sonic comes as a much-needed upgrade for Fantom to position itself as a leading blockchain in terms of speed, efficiency, and scalability. Claimed to have enhanced transaction throughput, reduced storage requirements, and an optimized consensus mechanism, the Fantom Foundation has its hopes high on attracting a larger developer pool; which in turn could set the stage for interactive dApps that users can interact with.