Community Handbook - What Is Komodo?

Delton Rhodes
Delton Rhodes

Community Handbook - What Is Komodo?
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

You have found a community resource that helps you get up to speed on all things Komodo. Become a Komodo expert and join our community.

This is complementary material to the Komodo Developer Documentation – which is the primary resource for getting deeper into Komodo technology.

You don’t have to read everything at once. Browse around to get an overview. Bookmark this page and come back to continue reading another day.

The Komodo Handbook is a living resource that can be updated at any time. If you have suggestions for additions or revisions, let us know in the send-feedback channel on Komodo Discord.


Handbook Overview

The Komodo project wants to make sure that everyone is on the same page (both literally and figuratively) when it comes to talking about Komodo. With so much happening in the crypto space and especially for an active project such as Komodo, it can often become difficult to keep up.

Well, that’s not the case anymore, at least for Komodo. Think of this as a view from 10,000 feet.

Komodo Values and Beliefs

Our core values and beliefs.

1. Anything is possible.

Where there's a will, there's a way.

2. Everyone is welcome.

Anyone can be behind the keyboard – and you may remain anonymous. We remain accessible to all people, and where you come from or who you are doesn’t matter.

3. Collaboration is vital.

Together we can achieve anything – and alone we remain powerless.

4. Opportunities Are Everywhere.

The blockchain space is full of opportunities – everyone has a chance. Join us and find your opportunity.

5. We are all creators.

We are passionate and enthusiastic about what we care about. Find what you care about, and you will find your purpose and something to create.

6. Find your path.

We are open-minded and not afraid to discover our own path. We don’t blindly follow others or copy what they are doing. Be different and stand out.

7. Never give up.

We don't give up when we hit obstacles, and things don't go as planned. We always remain determined to meet our goals.

High-Level Overview

Komodo is a community-oriented blockchain project for passionate, dedicated, and friendly tech enthusiasts. The Komodo community helps shape the future of our technology initiatives, marketing efforts, and overall strategy.

KMD is the native cryptocurrency of the Komodo community. It is a sovereign, secure, and scalable coin that represents our community values and aspirations.

Our open-source technologies enable developers to create robust cross-protocol DeFi applications such as multi-chain wallets, DEXs, and marketplaces. We also provide the technical infrastructure for anyone to launch sovereign blockchains with no programming required.

Komodo Wallet (formerly known as 'AtomicDEX' prior to our 2023 brand unification) is a non-custodial multi-coin wallet and an integrated atomic swap DEX rolled into one app. Komodo Wallet is available on all device platforms and provides the widest cross-chain capabilities for trustless trading in the entire blockchain industry.

Additionally, Komodo offers business services for companies seeking to implement blockchain technology. Whether you want to launch your own decentralized exchange (DEX) or a fully customized feature-packed blockchain, we can work with you to build it.

No matter whether you are a HODLer, a trader, a developer, a solopreneur, or an enterprise, Komodo has something to offer you.

Komodo Ecosystem Projects

Komodo’s composable design makes it an ideal choice for a wide range of blockchain projects and decentralized applications.

Today, Komodo’s ecosystem consists of several projects building their own independent chains. The focus of these projects spans across a wide range of use cases such as digital privacy, instant messaging, gaming, and lending.

Several other blockchain projects use Komodo’s dPoW technology to prevent 51% attacks.


Komodo Platform can best be described as an open-source technology workshop that focuses specifically on advancing freedom through blockchain innovation.

Komodo Core Technologies

Komodo DeFi Framework

Komodo DeFi Framework is the underlying technology that powers secure, peer-to-peer atomic swaps. It is a complete suite of open-source blockchain development tools, which includes an atomic swap engine (backend/core), DEX feature set, and APIs. Komodo DeFi Framework provides developers with access to the blockchain industry’s widest cross-chain and cross-protocol support.

Komodo DeFi Framework — and its Wallet API and DEX API — help facilitate the trustless, secure exchange of digital assets across multiple blockchain networks. Both UTXO-based and account-based networks are supported. Any asset that supports time-locked or hash-locked payments can be integrated.

Bitcoin, Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens, and Litecoin are just a few examples of digital assets that are already supported. Komodo DeFi Framework is both asset-agnostic and protocol-agnostic, meaning developers can continuously expand support to new protocols.

Developers, as well as enterprises that want to partner with Komodo, use Komodo Komodo DeFi Framework to build non-custodial multi-chain wallets, DEXs, and other powerful financial applications. Komodo Wallet is the first set of end-user applications built on top of Komodo DeFi Framework, showcasing the capabilities of this open source technology.

Komodo Wallet

Komodo Wallet is a secure cryptocurrency wallet with an integrated atomic swap DEX rolled into one application. Store your digital assets and make cross-chain swaps without a middleman and with minimal fees.

Unlike most DEXs, Komodo Wallet doesn’t limit trading to a single blockchain protocol. Komodo Wallet offers the widest cross-chain and cross-protocol support in the entire blockchain industry. It’s easy to trade BTC, ETH, ERC-20 tokens, KMD, and hundreds of other digital assets natively from dozens of blockchains — no proxy tokens required. Komodo Wallet is the first end-user application built with Komodo DeFi Framework, which is a suite of blockchain development tools that can be used to build a wide array of robust financial applications.

Our mission is to drive the widest cross-protocol support in the industry. The Komodo Wallet DEX's swap protocol facilitates the trustless, secure exchange of digital assets across multiple blockchains, both UTXO-based and account-based. We are adding new assets with each release.

Trustless — Trade without a middleman. No exchange deposits or withdrawals are required.

Cross-Protocol — Works across blockchain protocols. Swap BTC, ETH, XTZ, and more directly from your wallet.

Low Fees — Market makers don't pay any fees. Takers pay only ~0.13% (1/77 of the transaction).

Efficient — Robust market-making solutions and a unified liquidity pool ensure order books operate efficiently.

Delayed Proof of Work (dPoW)

Komodo’s uses a multi-chain architecture, which means there are no network fees and each chain has enhanced scalability. Each chain has its own coin and all transactions can be made in that coin.

Notary Nodes are 64 dedicated servers that are elected annually by the Komodo community. They are responsible for running delayed Proof of Work (dPoW) — a security mechanism that recycles the giant hash rate of the Litecoin network (previously used the Bitcoin network prior to June 2021) through a series of cross-chain notarizations.

Komodo’s own blockchain network is secured by dPoW. Available to both PoW and PoS independent chains built on Komodo technology as well as UTXO-based chains not built on Komodo technology, every dPoW-protected blockchain’s decentralized network validates each transaction and approves dPoW notarizations. dPoW has successfully defended against real 51% attack attempts and currently secures over 30 production blockchains, protecting several hundred million dollars in value. Annual fees are marginal compared to the level of security provided.

Komodo Core Protocol

Komodo's multi-chain architecture enables anyone to launch an independent, customized blockchain (called a smart chain), which gets its own native coin. Each smart chain can set its coin name, consensus rules, mining and/or staking rewards, block times, and other features. Once you have confirmed these configurations, it takes less than 60 seconds to generate your chain and its native coin.

Projects have the option to secure their chains with Komodo’s delayed Proof of Work (dPoW), a second layer consensus mechanism that recycles the hash rate of the Bitcoin network to provide optimized 51% security. The Komodo blockchain protocol uses a multi-chain architecture, which means any chain created on Komodo's multi-chain network has built-in scalability and zero gas fees. Transaction costs are always paid in your chain’s native coin.

Developers can create smart chains via the command-line interface using Komodo Core Protocol (previously known as Komodo Daemon).

Komodo SDK Alpha

Komodo Custom Contracts

Komodo Custom Contracts is a set of Turing complete smart contracts that provides customized features for chains built on Komodo's multi-chain network. Examples of solutions that can be created with this technology include fixed-supply tokens, stablecoins, micropayment channels, and oracles.

Each use of Komodo Custom Contracts only requires a single transaction fee, paid in your chain’s native coin — no gas fees required. Experienced C and C++ developers can even write their own custom smart contracts needed to build more advanced blockchain-based games, dApps, and software.

Dilithium - Quantum-resistant transactions

Oracles - Off-chain data feeds

Gateways - On-chain, high speed trading

Rust - API for modern blockchain apps

Pegs - Decentralized Stablecoin mechanism


The team behind Komodo Platform is building a revolutionary set of use cases for KMD. We are building the next generation of DEX & DeFi technology that will transform the entire blockchain space, and KMD will be at the center of this initiative.

What Is KMD?

KMD is the community currency of the Komodo Platform ecosystem. It is secured by Proof of Work (PoW) as well as delayed Proof of Work (dPoW), a mechanism that recycles the hash rate of the Bitcoin network to provide advanced security from 51% attacks.

KMD Quick Facts

Block Size: 4 MB

Block Time: 1 Minute

Block Rewards: 3 KMD. In September 2024 (coinciding with the annual network upgrade), the block reward will reduce to 1 KMD.

Total Supply: ~135.9 million (as of July 2, 2024)

Max Supply: 200 million


Komodo Wallet is the official multi-platform wallet of Komodo. You can securely store KMD and numerous other digital assets on web, browser extension, desktop (available on Windows, macOS, and Linux) or mobile (available on iOS and Android). You can also make atomic swaps directly from your wallet.

Komodo OceanQT is an official desktop wallet (available on Windows, macOS, and Linux). It’s a native wallet so you must download and sync the KMD blockchain. Note that your private keys are stored in a wallet.dat file, and you will have to make backups of it.

There are several additional third-party wallets for desktop, mobile, and hardware devices that support KMD.


KMD is listed on Komodo Wallet, where it can be traded against BTC, ETH, ERC-20 tokens, ZEC, and other assets. KMD is also listed on several of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, including Binance, HTX, KuCoin among others. A full list of active exchanges and trading pairs can be found here.


Both online and offline merchants from around the globe accept KMD. This includes retailers, software providers, business service providers, gaming platforms, and numerous other businesses. Payment gateways and Bitcoin ATMs also provide an easy way to buy KMD with fiat. A full list of merchants can be found here.

Block Explorers

The official block explorer for KMD is You can use it to find information such as KMD block height, price, hashrate, difficulty, historical block rewards, and much more. Explorers for Komodo Wallet include and

Complete Ecosystem Guide

A full ecosystem list can be found here.


From our humble origins as an underground project in 2014 to all the ground-breaking innovations and evolution of the project ever since.


Komodo is an established project in the crypto space. Our origins go back to 2014, a year of great innovations and not just for our project. That was the year that NASA and the European Space Agency launched groundbreaking missions, the first hoverboard prototype was launched, 3D printing became mainstream, and wireless charging technology advanced. Plus, season 1 of ‘Silicon Valley’, the classic television program debuted in 2014.

Wouldn’t you say that we’re in good company?

Komodo’s blockchain technology has continued to evolve over the years at a blazing speed of innovation. Our story defines our past, present, and future. Let’s learn more about the journey.

The Early Days

The first project that James ‘jl777’ Lee ever led was called MultiGateWay (MGW). Built on the NXT platform, one of the earliest platforms in the blockchain space, the MultiGateWay allowed users to lock Bitcoin and other UTXO-based assets into a multi-sig wallet, withdraw NXT-based tokens that represented those real assets at a 1:1 ratio, and then trade the tokenized derivatives in a peer-to-peer manner on the NXT Asset Exchange.

While MGW didn’t provide fully non-custodial trading, it was one of the first proxy token decentralized exchanges in the blockchain space. Users had to lock their coins in a multi-sig wallet, thus forfeiting sole custody of those funds, but at least all user funds were not sitting in a single wallet controlled by a single person, as was the case with Mark Karpelès and Mt. Gox.

The initial proposal for the Multi-GateWay was made over six years ago, on February 12, 2014. James stated the purpose of MGW very clearly in this first proposal:

I want to have a way for everyone to be able to trade cryptos in a decentralized way with a minimal amount of trust required.

This seems like a commonplace comment in the context of the present day, but it was visionary in 2014. If Komodo’s leadership with respect to decentralized trading technologies are ever in question, one can simply read through these old forum posts for confirmation.

The first commit to the MGW GitHub repo was made on February 28 and things took off quickly from there. James posted an update thread in late March to inform the community that the deposit side of MGW was “almost fully coded.” A guide to MGW was published in late May and an MGW bounty campaign to bring in new users was launched in July.

Not long after, in August 2014, James announced a second project that he would be spearheading: SuperNET. SuperNET was a separate project from MGW but the two worked together in tandem to create a decentralized trading ecosystem. As the name implies, the MultiGateWay served as the gateway between various Bitcoin-protocol coins— BTC, LTC, DOGE, etc.— and the NXT tokens that represented those real coins.

The Birth of SuperNET

“In crypto, the competition is not each other, it is fiat. If any crypto does well, we all benefit.” – James ‘jl777’ Lee

At the time, the 500+ cryptocurrencies which were already in existence highly siloed, meaning each user needed to go through a fairly complex process to benefit from the innovations each coin offers.

James set out to change that with the SuperNET. Unlike previous projects which were merely individual coins, the SuperNET was envisioned as a way to enable once siloed coins to communicate value amongst each other. It was best described as the internet of coins.

SuperNET (as well as MGW) were just tokens created on the NXT blockchain, in exactly the same way that ERC-20 tokens are created on the Ethereum blockchain. The developer who creates the tokens does not have a sovereign blockchain; instead, they are paying fees to use someone else’s blockchain. Fees are always paid in the platform’s coin (NXT in this case), not in the token that the developer created.

It’s also worth pointing out that the NXT Asset Exchange, where users could swap their SuperNET assets with one another, was very similar to Ethereum token exchanges like 0x and Loopring. These exchanges are not centralized, as they use smart contracts to enable peer-to-peer trading, but they only support tokens created in the Ethereum ecosystem. The same was true for the NXT AE— it only supported NXT tokens, but users could make swaps without a trusted intermediary.

James Lee was not part of the NXT team, nor did he have a hand in the development of the platform itself. At that time, he was a third-party dApp developer. For over a year, the dApp ecosystem that James had built was thriving. MGW and SuperNET were both experiencing a significant amount of adoption and usage. Everything was going well until the NXT Dev Team announced version 1.6 of the NXT code base.

On October 21, 2015, NXT announced that two new versions of the NXT code base were coming soon: v1.6.2 and v1.7.1. While the update to v1.6.2 was optional, the update to v1.7.1 was mandatory. Various bugs in the update, lack of backwards compatibility and a required 10x increase in the network fee structure led jl777 to publish his Blockchain Declaration of Independence.

Although SuperNET was originally envisioned to include several applications, one app shined above the rest and gained traction. InstantDEX was an early crypto-to-crypto exchange. While it was somewhat rudimentary by today’s standards, it provided groundbreaking technology that would later become a major focus of Komodo.

Bitcoin Dark Era

Originally, Bitcoin Dark was designed to use Bitcoin’s SHA-256, along with a “hybrid” hashing algorithm, combining the best bits of Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS). However, the project was abandoned at the beginning of 2018 before a total of 22 million Bitcoin Dark coins were produced.

The Bitcoin Dark team eventually moved to the development of Komodo (KMD), a cryptocurrency that introduced a consensus mechanism called delayed Proof-of-Work (dPoW) and Zcash’s zero-knowledge proofs to offer anonymous transactions.

The abandonment of the Bitcoin Dark project meant that BTCD owners could swap their tokens for KMD coins for a set time. This period has now passed, with Bitcoin Dark left with no operational blockchain or a working wallet to house them.

The Dragon Saga Begins

  • ICO started on October 15th, 2016
  • ICO Ended on November 20th, 2016
  • Coin distribution equivalent to 2,639 BTC happened on January 31st, 2017.

With no bonus, 1 BTC bought you about 7747 KMD, meaning the price was 0.00012909 BTC per KMD.

After the ICO, it was possible to swap BTCD to KMD. The swap rate was set at roughly 50 KMD per BTCD, decreasing every day with an annual rate of 5%.

The starting KMD supply was 100 million coins, with 70% of KMD swapped to BTCD holders, 20% sold to investors, and the remaining 10% held as working capital for Komodo’s development and marketing.

Privacy Coin Era

“Komodo started as a privacy coin, evolved into a platform, and is now a growing ecosystem.”

The Komodo blockchain launched as a fork of Zcash, meaning that the technology implemented zk-SNARK protocol technology and Zcash parameters. At the time, Komodo was described as a coin with “Zero-Knowledge Privacy Secured by Bitcoin.” Privacy was one of the core components of Komodo’s messaging in the early days of the project.

Eventually, the project began to launch new products and expanded its focus to new areas within the realm of blockchain technology.

In February 2019, shielded z-addresses were disabled for KMD. This decision was made to ensure that the project would fully comply with global financial/legal regulations and ensure that KMD would remain listed on various global crypto exchanges.

Rather than providing privacy for KMD itself, Komodo began to focus on providing open-source technologies that enabled projects to build their own independent blockchains. Ecosystem projects such as Verus Coin (VRSC) and Pirate Chain (ARRR) have since carried on with this initial privacy-focused vision.

Just to be clear, KMD Is no longer a privacy coin!

Komodo Expands Its Technology Suite

Komodo was the industry’s first multi-chain platform and has offered independent blockchain creation since the mainnet went live in January 2017. Today (yes, for you reading this at this very moment) the multi-chain vision is still alive.

Komodo introduced technology that enables anyone to easily launch their own independent blockchain and write UTXO-based contracts for customizable features (Komodo Custom Contracts) and integrate atomic swap technology for DeFi applications (Komodo DeFi Framework).

Komodo Officially Enters the DeFi Era

“Komodo has been DeFi, since before the term “DeFi” even existed.”

With atomic swap research efforts going back to 2014, Komodo is an industry pioneer in this area. Previous generations of atomic swap platforms built by Komodo included InstaDEX and BarterDEX. While they were highly beneficial for advancing the atomic swap technology, they weren’t quite ready for mainstream adoption.

Komodo Wallet, Komodo’s third-generation DEX technology, has achieved the scalability required to be recognized as one of the industry’s most robust platforms. This was made possible by continuous advancements to Komodo DeFi Framework, the technology that powers cross-protocol applications.

In July 2019, we released Komodo Wallet as the first flagship application built with Komodo DeFi Framework. Komodo Wallet is both a non-custodial wallet and an atomic swap DEX rolled into one application. In 2020, support expanded to include mobile and desktop. In 2021, we released Komodo Wallet (Stable Beta) — the world’s first cross-protocol DEX capable of supporting mainstream adoption.

What’s Next For Komodo?

“History is in the making as we speak because we are building it every day.”

Komodo continues to provide security, freedom, and independence to all people through blockchain technology to create a flourishing, decentralized world.

As Komodo CTO Kadan ‘ca333’ Stadelmann says, “Our long-term vision is to be the ultimate cross-protocol platform for all things DeFi. We aim to provide developers with the infrastructure necessary to launch decentralized applications for derivatives, synthetic assets, non-fungible tokens, real-world assets, and much more.”


Komodo welcomes you to join our community. The easiest way to get started is to sign up for our open discussions and workshops happening throughout 2021.

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