The network, which has been live since mining began in October, this week incorporated a key function: Users can now make smart contract-enabled transactions on the network.
Kadena says its public blockchain can scale in a way that Bitcoin can't. It does that by creating multiple chains so that each block requires less hash power and more transactions can be made per second. It says that in two months the network has already reached 1.3 terahashes per second in computing power, whereas Ethereum took seven months to reach the same point.
But Kadena isn't a standard public blockchain like Bitcoin or Ethereum. It was conceptualized in the Blockchain Center of Excellence, J.P. Morgan's in-house lab for testing and piloting distributed ledger technology. It has since become its own entity, though its roots within finance and JPM are strong. Its CEO, Will Martino, was lead engineer for J.P. Morgan's first pass at a blockchain, Juno. Co-founder Stuart Popejoy led the Blockchain Center of Excellence before becoming president of Kadena.
Kadena has several products, and its eponymously titled blockchain, which is public, shouldn't be confused with Kuro, its permissioned offering. The Kadena platform, it says, is a hybrid—public blockchain, private network—united by a smart contract language Kadena developed: Pact.
Whereas others have looked at creating one blockchain to rule them all, Kadena may be trying to corner the market on smart-contract languages. Pact is unabashedly Turing incomplete. Moreover, it's human-readable, which Kadena says "enables enterprises and entrepreneurs to write clearly, directly, and safely onto a blockchain." The Web3 Foundation is reportedly looking at how to use Pact within Polkadot.
When the Brooklyn company says Pact "[removes] the complexity and vulnerability of other smart contract languages," it's mostly referring to Ethereum's Solidity. A spokesperson for Kadena told Decrypt the Turing-complete nature of Ethereum's smart contracts, though it sounds good (coming from the world's most famous cryptographer and all), has actually led to "an explosion of attack vectors."
In today’s announcement, the company namechecked the DAO hack and Parity Wallet's multi-sig bug, which may have been the beginning of the end for Parity's involvement in the Ethereum project. "If Solidity were Turing incomplete, then the most costly of these attacks would not even be possible," the firm concluded.
Kadena forecasted its desired result: "Enterprises and developers alike will find that applications once considered too difficult to build are now achievable with Kadena."