Topl FAQ

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Intro
What is Topl?
Topl was started in 2017 By Kim Raath, James Aman, and Chris Georgen to help businesses and other groups change the world. Topl is founded upon the premise that our current economic system can improve (and become fairer and more equitable) and that ethical, social, and sustainable concerns should be central to business and policy decisions rather than marginal.

Driven by purpose, motivated by our desire to solve the steepest problems of today, Topl envisions a new way of doing business. Topl aims to create an impact technology economy.

The bridge to that impact economy is the Topl Blockchain.
What is the Topl Blockchain?
The Topl Blockchain brings businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations through a process of digital and sustainable transformation. Once integrated with the Topl Blockchain (completing the transformation) these groups get new tools and pathways for doing better commerce and having more impact in our evolving world.

Specifically, the Topl Blockchain is a next-generation proof-of-stake blockchain built for security, energy efficiency, and impact. 

Topl Blockchain can power an entire organization-wide digital and sustainable transformation, across its value chains, and regardless of geographic or industry-specific nuances. Among other new possibilities, it empowers the monetization of impact verified on the Topl Blockchain.
What advantages does the Topl Blockchain have?
The Topl Blockchain gives many advantages. Core examples include:
  • Top-of-industry security for a PoS protocol due to Topl-developed Taktikos
  • 10 million times more energy efficient than early blockchains
  • Protocol-level, user definable tokens
  • Ledger logic functionality, implemented through both chain programs (smart contracts) and extended-UTxOs
  • Low, stable transaction fees
  • Accessible from a mobile device
  • Upgradable to more than 1,000 transactions per second
How are groups using the Topl Blockchain right now?
Businesses use the Topl Blockchain across industries, including in mining, agriculture, supply chain, medicine, carbon offsets, and financial markets. If you want to learn more, we invite you to read our case studies.
Tech
What consensus does the Topl Blockchain use?
Topl uses a unique Proof-of-Stake consensus, called Taktikos, originally derived from the Ouroboros family.

Using the established body of consensus research as a starting point, Topl has expanded on Ouroboros Praos with Taktikos, a staking procedure that introduces a time-varying threshold that augments chain growth without sacrificing security. With Taktikos, the distribution of block times is steadied and improved. The result is more optimal reward sharing, better throughput, and ultimately a new level of security for a proof-of-stake blockchain.

To learn more about Taktikos, watch Topl Director of Research Aaron Shutza’s presentation or read his forthcoming blog post elucidating the staking procedure modification.

Does or will Topl have smart contracts?
Yes and no. The Topl Blockchain will have programs that act like smart contracts but differently. These programs fall under the broader umbrella of “ledger logic.”

The ledger logic of the Topl Blockchain captures complex functionality in two ways. First, there are chain programs, our version of smart contracts. Second, there are extended-UTxOs, which operate almost like sophisticated locks. extended-UTxOs require all involved parties to agree on a condition. Once this condition is then met, the program executes. Unlike smart contracts, extended-UTxOs are tied to specific assets rather than general pieces of logic.
Where can I take a deep dive learning about the Topl Blockchain?
Please visit our Tech Wiki or GitHub.
Tokens
Has Topl done an ICO?
Topl has not yet done an ICO. We are taking a gradual, carefully researched approach to token release, which will be happening soon but not very soon. We want to make sure that we release tokens in the best, fairest way across Topl’s broad ecosystem of users, contributors, and investors.
Can I buy Topl’s tokens?
Again, not yet. We plan to release tokens publicly sometime in 2023 or 2024. Please sign up for our mailing list or follow us on social media for new details as they emerge.  
Impact
Why does Topl have an impact focus?
Topl grew out of a desire to not only make our own positive impact, but to give other organizations an affordable, user friendly, tangible way to make and monetize their own impact. Today’s business climate and global needs present an unparalleled opportunity to engage in opportunities that result in impact.

Topl’s impact focus is informed by the UN’s 17 Sustainability Development Goals. Many of the groups using the Topl Blockchain have similarly high-impact ambitions, such as mining environmentally and socially sound conflict-free diamonds, paying farmers fair wages for their food production, or providing fragile medical products the critical supply chain infrastructure they need. 

The challenges outlined in the SDGs are steep. They demand action today. Further, from a financial standpoint, having impact is proving to be increasingly smart business. And finally, Topl strives to be among the successful companies that prioritize impact, thereby encouraging other companies to follow suit, helping to drive the necessary transition to more sustainable economies.

Where can I learn more about Topl and impact?
You can read our case studies, blog, and SDG story series. You can listen to podcasts Topl team members have appeared on or hosted. You can also watch our video: What is Impact?
Product
My company wants to use the Topl Blockchain. How can we?
Topl currently offers three ways to use the Topl Blockchain: BaaS, BaaS+, and Lattice (Q1 2022).

First, there is our Blockchain-as-a-Service, or BaaS, offering. BaaS provides seamless connection to Topl Blockchain through a suite of hosted tools and services. The BaaS offering has three escalating tiers that provide different features for companies with different needs. Each BaaS offering has free access to our testing network and support. This offering is perfect for those with existing digital solutions such as traceability platforms or certification software.

Second, there is BaaS+. BaaS+ offers deeper collaboration between Topl and organizations. Anything requiring a complete all-inclusive, user-friendly integration or development solution for achieving digital traceability and sustainability goals as well as a more holistic partnership qualifies for our BaaS+ offering. Perfect for end-to-end software development support or personalized blockchain solutions.

Third, Topl offers Lattice. Lattice is an open-source traceability and impact-mapping platform designed to highlight the features of the Topl Blockchain and serve as a starting point for anyone interested in leveraging the Topl Blockchain for supply chain traceability and transparency. Currently, Lattice is only available in the reference customer program, planned public launch Q1 2022. Contact us for more details.
What does it cost to use the Topl Blockchain?
To start, there are three tiers of BaaS, two with subscription fees. These allow groups to plug into the Topl Blockchain through our hosted nodes and dedicated API Access. Once you’ve integrated with the Topl Blockchain, transactions cost a small fee. 
Are transaction fees expensive?
Each transaction costs $0.15. Some subscriptions may come with a transaction fee discount. Nevertheless, this is a set rate immune to fluctuation based on network congestion.
Can the Topl Blockchain work with IoT, SaaS, and other existing systems?
Yes. In fact, the Topl Blockchain has been designed to complement other systems. Think of it as the underlying foundation that brings trust, proof, interoperability, and new logistics capabilities to existing tech stacks. The Topl Blockchain is compatible with SaaS, IoT, and plenty of other systems. One purpose is to augment these systems with new methods of proof and new ways to interact and transact with one another. 
Contact
Where can I reach developers for support?
The best places to reach our developers are via email at support@topl.me.
How can I get in touch with Topl for non-technical questions?
Please email us at community@topl.me.
Where can I sign up for Topl newsletters and other mailings?
Join the Topl community through this signup form.
Where can I follow Topl on social media? 
For regular updates and postings, give us a follow on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram