An Introduction to Quai Network: Proof of Work Reimagined

Discovering Quai - Born from Texas Blockchain

An Introduction to Quai Network: Proof of Work Reimagined

Disclaimer: The author of this article (Max Bibeau) is both a member of Texas Blockchain and the Quai Network team.

Why Quai?

Blockchain technologies have experienced explosive growth since Bitcoin (7 tps) and Ethereum (30 tps) were launched in 2009 and 2014, respectively. With this growth has come drastic increases in demand for the attention of miners to confirm transactions, execute contracts, and more.

This rapid increase in demand has caused both Bitcoin and Ethereum transaction fees to skyrocket at certain points in time, with Bitcoin’s average transaction fee peaking at over $60 in April 2021. Ethereum’s gas fees have also continued to rise, approaching a $70 fee for a simple transfer of value in May 2021.

Image sourced from

While some are relying on Layer 2 (L2) solutions like the Lightning Network and zkSync to be the answer to these scaling woes, Quai Network is releasing as a new Layer 1 (L1) that has completely reimagined the limitations of Proof-of-Work (PoW), scaling a PoW consensus mechanism to levels previously thought impossible. Quai will be able to provide the same security, decentralization, and fault tolerance as traditional L1s, without the network congestion and high transaction fees. In addition, Quai Network is EVM compatible, meaning that Solidity contracts can be easily deployed and executed on Quai.


Quai Network is able to achieve this impressive feat through a technology called merged mining. Merged mining is the process of mining two or more blockchains at the same time by sharing the amount of work found within the block header. Quai Network has combined merged mining with a hierarchical chain structure to achieve tps and throughput numbers dwarfing those of traditional L1s.

Image sourced from

Quai Network is built in a 13 chain structure. The Prime chain at the top has the highest hashpower and difficulty, and longest block time. All Quai miners mine the Prime chain, and it acts as the basis of security for the subordinate Region (and thus Zone) chains.

Underneath the Prime Chain are three Region chains that miners can choose between, named Cyprus, Paxos, and Hydra. These chains have a lower difficulty and hashpower than the Prime chain, but a higher throughput and tps. Finally, there are three Zone chains subordinate to each Region chain. Zone chains have a low difficulty, and extremely high throughput. All Quai miners will mine the Prime chain, one of three Region chains, and one of nine Zone chains.

All Region and Zone chains inherit the same level of security as the Prime chain through events called coincident blocks. A coincident block is a block that represents combined levels of work across blockchains, and can connect a Prime and Region chain, a Region and Zone chain, or all three.

Quai is also infinitely scalable, with the ability to create more Region and Zone chains as demanded by the network. This process is extremely simple, and the Quai developers have future-proofed Quai by structurally preparing the network for additional Region and Zone chains.

Through merged mining and this hierarchical 13 chain structure, Quai Network expects to be able to handle upwards of 7,500 tps upon launch (250x more than Ethereum) with an asynchronous Zone block throughput of 1.11s (12x faster than Ethereum).

Merged Mining with Ethereum

Quai does not limit its use of merge mining technology to within its network. While most blockchains require dedicated miners, Quai Network has developed the ability to merge mine Quai with Ethereum through the use of the same hashing algorithm: Ethash. This means that one miner will be able to mine (and receive rewards for) the Ethereum chain, the Prime chain, one Region chain, and one Zone chain.  

This technical innovation has large implications for the security and utility of Quai Network. First, Quai Network will be able to achieve a high hashpower by onboarding Ethereum miners. This will enhance the distribution, decentralization, and hashpower in the crucial early days of the network, increasing security.

In addition, there is a “tipping point” where, when enough Ethereum miners are also merge mining Quai (estimated at around 2-3%), the network will become backwards compatible with smart contracts on Ethereum. This will allow contracts to be deployed on Quai that reference contracts previously deployed on Ethereum. This has massive implications for streamlining the process of porting projects from Ethereum to Quai, and will allow for simple and widespread adoption without requiring initial redeployment of all contracts.


Traditional L1s like Bitcoin and Ethereum are struggling to keep up with their growing transaction volume, and are turning to L2 solutions. However, Quai Network has created an innovative PoW L1 that can scale to become the world’s blockchain, without sacrificing any of the traditional L1’s security, fault tolerance, or decentralization.

In addition, Quai Network’s ability to be merge mined with Ethereum, allowing for potential compatibility with Ethereum smart contracts allows for simple and efficient adoption of the network.

To learn more about Quai Network, visit the website, follow our twitter, and join the discord. (All links attached below)


As previously stated, the author of this article is a member of Texas Blockchain and the Quai Network team.

Opinions, ideas, and statements shared in this update are delivered with numerous assumptions, risks, and uncertainties which are subject to change over time. There are multiple risk factors, including those related to blockchain, cryptographic systems, and technologies generally, as well Quai’s business, operations and results of operations, that could cause actual results or developments anticipated not to be realized or, even if substantially realized, to fail to achieve any or all of the benefits that could be expected therefrom. We reserve the right to unilaterally, completely, or partially change plans, expectations, and intentions stated herein at any time and for any reason, in our sole and absolute discretion, and we undertake no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise. ACCORDINGLY, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT RELY ON, AND DO NOT MAKE ANY FINANCIAL DECISION OR INVESTMENT BASED ON, THE STATEMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS UPDATE OR ANY OF OUR UPDATES/ARTICLES — INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY SELLING OR TRADING OF QUAI TOKENS, ETHER, OR ANY OTHER CRYPTOGRAPHIC OR BLOCKCHAIN TOKEN, OR THE SECURITIES OF ANY COMPANY.

The views, opinions, and statements made in this update are those of an individual author and not those of any institution, University, or legal entity operating within the jurisdiction of The United States or beyond. There is no association between these views, opinions, and statements and any for-profit or non-profit entity, particularly with Universities, Foundations, and other Agencies located within the United States. Any perception of such an association is purely accidental, and will be rectified immediately if brought to our attention by the reader.

Layer 2 (L2) solutions

Layer 1 (L1)

Proof-of-Work (PoW)

merged mining

coincident blocks




About the Author