Quai Network and how it uses merged mining

Mark Zilla
4 min readOct 24, 2022


Using a new combination of merged mining and segmentation, Quai Network supports high decentralization and security, while achieving a radical improvement in throughput compared to traditional blockchains. If segmentation is a term that can be found quite often in the crypto industry, it is relatively rare to hear about merged mining. What is it and how does Quai Network apply it?

What is merged mining?

The idea of merged mining was first introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto in December 2010. During the discussion of the project to create a decentralized DNS system, Satoshi described the theoretical possibility of “a completely separate network and a separate chain of blocks, that share processor power with Bitcoin.” This would allow the chain to inherit the same security and decentralization of Bitcoin without requiring special miners.

Quai Network

Quai Network believes that the merged mining technology is able to solve the scalability problems that most blockchains face today. By combining merged mining with a hierarchical chain structure, Quai Network is able to achieve more than a 250x increase in throughput with the same capabilities of security, decentralization, and smart contracts.

Why merged mining?

In general, merged mining is able to provide the blockchain with a long list of advantages, but only a few of them have not yet been fully implemented.

Firstly, the blockchain can get additional hash power (which means security and decentralization), which otherwise it would not be able to achieve. If a blockchain requires special miners, then at first it may be difficult to find 100 unique miners around the world. Such a blockchain will be extremely weak and vulnerable to attacks. On the other hand, if a blockchain is launched with the possibility of merging with an already secured chain, it can inherit a fair share of the security of the parent chain, providing security and decentralization in the early stages.

Combined with the concept of modularity, merged mining provides increased speed and throughput without the need for L2 solutions. Quai Network, for example, combines three “levels” of chains: Prime, Region, and Zone. The Prime chain is mined by all miners, while miners can choose which of the 3 Region chains and 9 Zone chains they want to mine. This hierarchical structure allows 13 unique chains to have the same security as if all miners in the network mined each of these chains.

Finally, merged mining can provide backward compatibility with smart contracts created on the parent chain. Quai, for example, offers the possibility of merging mining with Ethereum after the launch of the network. As soon as a sufficient number of Ethereum miners start mining Quai (about 2–3%), it will be possible to deploy contracts on the Quai network that will link to contracts previously deployed on Ethereum. This will allow users and developers to easily integrate into the ecosystem.

How it all works?

The header of a Quai block contains data for the Prime, Region, and Zone blockchain. Validity is determined by the amount of work found for the header. By combining Prime, Region, and Zone blockchains, the Quai Network is able to secure the three networks above and below the hierarchy.

Miners select the last header from the Prime blockchain, one of the three Region chains, and one of the three Zone chains that belong to the specified Region. So, in this 3-on-3 network, the miner can choose from 9 different parts of it.

When mining a merged header, the miner will be able to pick blocks based on the complexity requirements of each header. It is assumed that Zone blocks will have the lowest complexity, which will give them the lowest block time. If a block from Prime or Region chains is found, all blocks below the required complexity will also remain valid. Thus, when the Prime chain expands, the Region and Zone chains do also.


With segment chains, Quai network validators only need to store/execute data for the segment being validated, not the entire network. This speeds up performance and significantly reduces hardware requirements. In other blockchains, the alternative is to scale by increasing the size of the existing database. For this, network validators need more powerful and expensive computers.

The more affordable the network in terms of hardware, the better the conditions for validators to provide security in blockchains with a Proof-of-Work consensus. And the more decentralized the network, the less vulnerable it is to attacks.

_________________________________________________________________ 👉 Website — https://quai.network/

👉Twitter — https://twitter.com/QuaiNetwork

👉 Discord — https://discord.com/invite/ngw88VXXnV

👉 Medium — https://blog.quai.network/



Mark Zilla

Crypto-enthusiast, You-Nube blogger, social media commentator, node-runner, and crypto fan.