• Cryptoasset Report
  • April 26, 2019

An alternative DLT to blockchain aiming for speed and throughput, by sharding many nodes with low hardware requirements, with a token aiming to keep a stable value relative to a basket of assets.


Radix, formerly eMunie, hope to provide an alternative to prevalent DLT offering minimal hardware requirements, functionality scaling linearly with adoption and a reward system necessarily proportional to contributions. Radix aim to provide a suitable infrastructure for dApp development and token issuance. Citing scalability concerns for conventional blockchains, and related DAG technologies, Radix propose a peer-to-peer network of nodes operating ‘logic clocks’ to help resolve the double-spend problem. CTO Dan Hughes has a background in mobile payments technology in addition to being a consistent founder with 3 startup exits; CEO Piers Ridyard comes from a YCombinator backed ‘decentralised dataroom’; CPO Albert Castellan was on the initial team of the NEM foundation and Chief Scientist Stephen Thornton designed firmware supporting an encrypted mesh network for the British Ministry of Defense. To date, Radix has raised $2.8 million in equity funding in addition to $2 million from the founder’s personal funds; the team are seeking another $5 million between now and a mainnet launch, with an undisclosed amount more projected to be needed for full development of the network’s incentive structure. Radix have been in developer Alpha as of mid 2018.

Project Details

Radix consider the Bitcoin reward system to be prone to centralization and risk of collusion and manipulation, the consensus mechanism based on chronological ordering of events across sharded databases does not present prohibitive hardware requirements and the reward structure is different to that typically found in PoW. Rather than utilizing a ‘first to mine’ approach whereby transaction fees and a block reward are issued to the first person to produce a valid hash, Radix aim to consistently reward participants in proportion to their contribution. Rather than treating transactions as a fundamental unit to alter the state of the network, Radix have a notion of Atoms; distinguishing between generic encrypted data and certificates of transfer of ownership (payload atoms and transfer atoms, respectively). Theses packages of data are configurable based on user requirements and carry a fee proportional to the overall computational complexity of the ‘atom’ (analogous to gas for Ethereum transactions), this fee will be configurable on the basis of network consensus.

Each instance of Radix’s Tempo Ledger (termed a Universe) involves an initial configuration of shards. Shards needn’t maintain a complete global state and whenever there is a transfer between shards it will be recorded on nodes contained in both shards. Nodes can redistribute around shards to manage computational load – allowing a flexible parallelization of the network and thereby scalability of the networks capacity. ‘Logic clocks’ essentially track chronology by counting every new event (atom) a node witnesses. Between logic clocks, a gossip protocol and linking information between shards, Radix designs for a network capable of supporting asynchronous processes; meaning that tasks don’t need to wait for others to finish in order to progress. Nodes publish commitments to the ledger either when performing a ‘Temporal Provisioning’ of events or somewhat arbitrarily; these commitments are Merkle roots linking such commitments to every other commitment the node has made and all atoms that have come across their path since.

Asset Details

The Radix network’s native token Rad (XRD) endeavors to provide predictable rewards. XRD shall have an algorithmically controlled supply, minted and burnt accordingly, with the desired effect of maintaining an approximately stable value with respect to the weighted value of a designated basket of assets. It is intended that XRD will maintain a stable value relative to an Index token, XRI, which is itself backed by a weighted basket of assets – initially USD and in the future a collection of tokens built upon the Radix DLT. If these tokens include various fiat currency backed tokens on Radix then the XRI could potentially be exposed to less volatility then any individual currency. Radix have opened up their economic model up for community review prior to iteration and refinement. The Radix Foundation will hold 15.2% of the genesis token supply and shall have dominion over various network policy, including fee policies, in addition to governance decisions such as budgetary choices and roadmap planning.