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What is Koinos and $KOIN ?


This chapter has been copied from You may find more resources and tutorial on this website to help you understand Koinos and smart-contract development. You may also want to read Koinos whitepaper

Kanvas is a smart-contract uploaded on Koinos. The Koinos project was announced on October 8th, 2020 as an ERC-20 token and fully transitioned to it's own main net on November 5th 2022. The native token, used for performing transactions ant that is being traded on exchanges, is called $KOIN.

Instead of performing an ICO, the early ERC-20 $KOIN token was distributed through Proof of Work (PoW) mining only. Early supporters who ran the ERC-20 Koinos miner submitted PoW hashes to an Ethereum smart contract in return for ERC-20 $KOIN. This is known as the "fair mine" approach.

Any person could operate a miner, which forced the team to participate in mining along side early supporters. The token quickly began trading on uniswap with 100% of liquidity provided by the community.

Characteristics of the Koinos Blockchain

The Koinos Blockchain has the following characteristics which we will define individually:

  • Modular upgradeability
  • Provably decentralized
  • Feeless
  • Permissionless
  • General purpose
  • Layer 1
  • High performance
  • Microservice based
  • Energy efficient

But why are these characteristics important?

Modular upgradeability

Koinos blockchain functionalities, such as resource management, are themselves smart-contracts on the Koinos platform. They are therefore modular. Moreover, Koinos allows contracts to be updated by successive uploads to the same address. In this way, even Koinos' own operating mechanisms can be modified forklessly, particularly in the event of a security breach.

Provably decentralized

Koinos is provably decentralized through the implementation of its Proof of Burn (PoB) consensus algorithm. PoB ensures a fair and egalitarian distribution of resources and opportunities within the network, making it difficult for any single party to gain control or manipulate the system.

This consensus algorithm, along with Koinos' modular upgradeability allows for fork-less upgrades to ensure that decentralization is maintained and the network resources remain accessible to a wide range of end-users, developers, and node operators.

Nodes do not require specialized hardware and accessible to profiessional and hobbist using typical home computers. Koinos does not benefit from the use of ASICs or high powered GPUs making the network highly accesible to normal users thus increasing network decentralization.

Learn more about Proof of Burn

You can learn more about the consensus mechanism, Proof of Burn, on the Koinos website. Check it out here !


Carrying out a transaction on the Koinos blockchain, such as a token transfer, costs no $KOIN. To ensure that the blockchain is not spammed with transactions, the right to use the resource is represented by MANA. A transaction consumes MANA and not $KOIN. MANA is then recharged over time at a rate determined by the amount of $KOIN in the account.

The use of the Koinos blockchain is therefore free of charge, which is necessary in the case of Kanvas since players will be placing a large number of pixels.

MANA is not a token !

MANA is not a token. It cannot be transferred, but can be delegated so that a user can play without holding a $KOIN. The MANA is intimately linked to the $KOIN and is moved with it each time $KOIN is transferred.


Anyone may operating a non-consensus node which maintains a full copy of the network state.

Any $KOIN token holder may burn $KOIN to power a Koinos mining node and validate transactions on the network in return for $KOIN rewards.

There are no restrictions on who may upload smart contracts to the Koinos blockchain, provided they have sufficent network resources (Mana) to perform the upload. This does not require the consumption of $KOIN making the Koinos smart contracts free to use.

General purpose

Koinos uses a Web Assembly Virtual Machine (WASM) and is turing complete. This makes Koinos suitable for a wide range of applications, especially games like Kanvas !

Layer 1

All transactions are settled on the Koinos blockchain and is therefore considered a Layer 1 blockchain.

The Koinos Blockchain itself is built using the Koinos Blockchain Framework, which is suitable for launching private enterprise blockchains. This framework is considered Layer 0.

High performance

Koinos has not been fully optimized for performance however, there are several planned performance improvements. Current benchmark performance is 454 transactions per a block with, a finality of 60 blocks and an average block time of 3 seconds.

Microservice based

Koinos is built with microservice architecture allowing developers to fully customize their own non consensus microservices.

Energy efficient

Koinos uses a Koinos Proof-of-Burn which is comparable to the energy usage of Proof of Stake. Nodes can be run by normal computers at home and do not require nor benefit from ASICs or high powered GPUs.

Comparison table

Here's a comparison table between Koinos and the best-known cryptocurrencies

Fair launch
High performance
Free accounts
Free transfers
Free smart-contracts
Universal language support
Easily upgradeable

Credits to Planet Koinos for this comparison table