Frequently Asked Questions
What is Elph?
Elph is a decentralized network of scalable Plasma sidechains that achieves high transaction throughput on top of Ethereum. Backed by the security of Ethereum via Plasma, all transactions first occur on Elph's network, are periodically consolidated into batches, and then recorded as a single transaction on Ethereum. This allows for hundreds of thousands of transactions to be recorded in a single block confirmation.
What is Plasma?
Plasma is a framework for building secure, scalable blockchain applications. It allows layer-2 blockchains, like Elph Plasma Chain, to interact with existing layer-1 blockchains, like Ethereum, in a secure and trustless manner. Plasma's architecture forges a programmable guarantee that allows users with digital assets on the layer-2 chain to withdraw their assets to the layer-1 chain, in spite of any mishaps that happen on the layer-2 chain (gets hacked, consensus model breaks, it goes down, etc.) By implementing and improving on Plasma, Elph is able to create a network of Plasma Chains that can all work together, while still being backed by the security of Ethereum.
Who is Elph for?
Elph is ideal for any developer that wants their decentralize app to scale without incurring exorbitant fees.
What problems does Elph solve?
Elph is solving the scalability problem present with today's blockchains like Ethereum. Currently, Ethereum suffers from low transaction throughput, slow transaction speeds, and high, volatile fees. These problems are all deterrents to widespread adoption for both businesses and consumers to flourish on blockchains today. Elph is solving these problems to make blockchain infrastructure a viable choice for end users.
How is Elph different from other scaling solutions?
There are a number of differences as compared to other blockchain scalability solutions.
Elph is Ethereum-compatible right out of the box. This means that Ethereum's assets (ETH, ERC20 tokens, ERC721 NFTs) are compatible with Elph's Plasma Chains. EVM smart contract support is coming next.
Elph is built using Plasma architecture, which provides Ethereum-level security on all digital assets stored on Elph's Plasma Chain. This means that users can always withdraw their assets back to Ethereum, regardless of what happens to Elph.
Elph is also blockchain-agnostic. Its Plasma architecture can be adapted to be used with most other smart contract compatible blockchains, making Elph a fantastic interoperable bridge between different chains. It's Ethereum-first, but not Ethereum-only.
Elph's unique fee model makes it easier on end users to use dApps deployed on Elph. Developers are responsible for funding the dApp's usage through a staking-based model, similar to how cloud storage pricing works today.
And most importantly, Elph is live and being tested today. Most other scaling solutions have a whitepaper and are still under development or haven't been heard from. At Elph, we prioritize getting something that's usable, secure, and well-tested out as a product for the end user.
What is a sidechain?
Sidechains are layer-2 blockchains that allow digital assets from one blockchain to be used in a separate blockchain and moved back to the original one if needed. They act as two-way pegs to move assets around for specific purposes (e.g., sidechains can compromise on certain aspects of decentralization to achieve higher scalability).
Elph's Plasma Chain is a sidechain that's backed by the security of Ethereum. This allows Elph to achieve scalability as a sidechain, while maintaining a peg to allow users to withdraw their assets back to Ethereum if needed.
How does Elph interact with Ethereum?
Elph has a smart contract deployed on Ethereum that acts as the "root chain contract" to its Plasma Chain. The Plasma Chain listens for certain events on the root chain contract that translate into actions on the Plasma Chain (e.g., a "Deposit" event deposits the appropriate amount of assets into the user's account on the Plasma Chain). Transactions that occur on an Elph Plasma Chain periodically get consolidated, cryptographically hashed in a specific structure, and published back to the root chain contract. This is what allows any user to be able to talk to the root chain contract to withdraw their funds at any time without the Plasma Chain's involvement.
How can I contact Elph?
How can I run my dApp on Elph?
What programming languages does Elph support?
For our initial use case of value transfers, Elph Plasma Chains expose a generic JSON-RPC interface to execute actions on them. This means that you can use any language that has the appropriate networking capabilities and the ability to interface over JSON-RPC.
To run smart contracts, Elph will use the EVM to ensure compatibility with existing contracts on Ethereum. All EVM-compatible languages will work, with Solidity being the most popular one.
Is there any open source software I can use?
Yes! All our open source software is available on our Github page. It'll be constantly updated with new changes and new software over time — follow our page and star the projects you're interested in to stay updated!
What blockchains does Elph work with?
Elph's Plasma architecture is currently compatible with the Ethereum blockchain. This means that assets on Ethereum (ETH, ERC20 tokens, ERC721 NFTs) can be transferred from Ethereum to Elph's Plasma sidechains and vice versa. In the future, Elph will be compatible with other blockchains as well and will follow a similar Plasma architecture design as it has with Ethereum.
Is there a token sale?
We have not officially announced a token sale. We are actively working with our law firm to set up a regulated, compliant token sale that abides by the law in the jurisdictions we decide to hold a token sale. We are collecting preliminary interest from all users that sign up. If you're interested in hearing about a potential token sale in the future, please sign up here and we'll keep you updated!
What does the ELPH token do?
The ELPH token is used to secure the network's Plasma sidechains. The Plasma sidechains are secured using Proof-of-Stake consensus. ELPH tokens are staked behind validators. Validators are selected based on the number of ELPH tokens staked behind their nomination (either by themselves or interested third parties). Developers also stake ELPH tokens, proportionate to the amount of transaction throughput they desire for their dApp(s). New ELPH tokens are periodically minted following an on-chain inflationary minting policy, and are distributed to validators as compensation for securing the network.
Do I need the ELPH token to use Elph?
It depends. If you're a user using a decentralized app on Elph, you don't need any ELPH tokens or pay any fees. If you're a developer running a decentralized app on Elph, you need to stake ELPH tokens proportionate to the amount of transaction throughput your dApp needs. It's like how cloud hosting works today, where developers are responsible for server costs.
Does Elph store my password or private key?
Absolutely not! Your secret data (passwords, private keys, etc.) are never stored by Elph's servers, Plasma nodes, or any other software component. Elph's software is built to allow you to sign and send transactions directly from your device and without any middlemen or server interference.
Can Elph steal my cryptocurrency?
Absolutely not! Elph's Plasma architecture ensures that you can always withdraw your digital assets back to Ethereum, even if Elph is hacked, goes down, or does anything else out of the ordinary. This means that Elph cannot steal your cryptocurrency; only you can decide what to do with it.
So am I protected against everything and everyone?
Elph's Plasma architecture protects you even if Elph is hacked. But please remember that Elph cannot protect you against others that gain access to your computer, or if your IT department accesses your computer at work. Since your computer controls your private key — and therefore your digital assets — anyone that accesses your computer also has the same level of access. It's important to follow the best security practices and have a strong, secure computer password, encrypt your hard drive, and make sure to lock or log out of your account on your computer when you're not using it.
Is Elph's software open source?
Yes! We have many of our software packages open sourced and available on our Github page. We're always working on more open source software and will continue updating our Github page over time.
Yes! You can find it here.
Do you have a terms of service?
Yes! You can find it here.