Why was Factom built? The Bitcoin Blockchain has several core issues. Factom was built in order meet these needs. Entering data into the Bitcoin blockchain is prohibitively expensive at volume. In addition, the Bitcoin blockchain cannot handle high transactional volumes. The Factom blockchain is orders of magnitude less expensive and has orders of magnitude more capacity for transaction volume. Factom also has built-in layers of redundant security that other blockchain do not offer. The Factom Blockchain anchors itself into the Bitcoin blockchain, among others, to take advantage of the security of Bitcoin’s hashrate. The layering effect of security, ensures the immutability of its blocks. Another feature that the Factom blockchain offers, that helps those wishing to do large volumes of transaction, is it also has a theme tracking capability. What this enables is the ability to chain together data you care about and forget the rest of the data set. Unlike the Bitcoin Blockchain that requires you have all of the data to prove any of the data, Factom allows you to prove your data set without need all the data in Factom. Why does Factom matter? Factom provides a distributed mechanism to lock in data, making data verifiable and independently auditable. This simple function is extremely powerful when applied to business transactions and processes. Factom enables people and businesses to use a mathematically provable “notarization” service. Factom’s use cases span from being used as a shared ledger for multiple parties as a source of truth (secured by multi-signature keys) to creating an immutable, indisputable trail for “proof of process” or “standard of care” What is the origin of the Factom name? Factom comes from the Latin Factum for “Anything stated and made certain.” How does one use Factom? Factom is a technology used by applications. Existing or new applications can publish relevant data directly to Factom blockchain using Factom API calls. Factom serves as a protocol for Applications to provide functions and features beyond currency transactions. Factom constructs a standard, effective, and secure foundation for these Applications to run faster, cheaper, and without bloating Bitcoin. Commercial applications sit on top of the Factom protocol, which in turn use the Bitcoin Blockchain to secure its own data (anchoring). As a designer of business applications, why should I consider using Factom? Factom is a method of creating an immutable audit trail. It is also a mechanism to communicate changes in a system. If your application needs a central server to coordinate processes, you might be able to eliminate the central server in favor of using Factom. How would banks use Factom? Banks are just collections of databases. They trust themselves to be honest, but not their peers. Factom will be a disimpassioned 3rd party that allows banks to synchronize databases which doesn’t allow their peers to tweak history without evidence. http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/317dhq/economic_analysis_of_factom/cpzbhjr Who are likely to be the first users of Factom? We are working with a number of parties to use Factom technology in their applications. We should see Factom in 2016 supporting applications for asset trading and management, security applications, coordinating systems of record, simple proof of publishing, and more. Is Factom an Open Source project? Yes. Who controls Factom? Factom is a distributed, decentralized protocol running on top of Bitcoin. That means nobody controls it, but that it is software that people all over the world run to make the protocol work. The Factom Foundation is releasing and maintaining the software. But the software is open source, and anyone is free to use it for any purpose. Why does it need to be decentralized? If there is a central party, they get to filter spam from valid usage. Disfavored parties can be treated as spam and censored. Factom bounces control around to 32 independent parties, which makes it difficult to censor specific users. Who runs the Factom Servers? Individuals wishing to run Factom Servers will set up a profile in Factom (to be specified), and recruit user support. The top servers ranked by user support will be the Federated Servers, followed by the Audit Servers (that stand by to step in were a Federated Server to lose support or is offline). Where do I learn how to build on Factom? You can find the full coding tool set on GitHub. You’ll also find useful links to developer tools and documentation. You can also find some developers guides at https://factom.com/howto. How can I help make Factom Successful? You can join the community to give us feedback, work on the infrastructure, build applications using Factom, get involved in the community, spread the world via social media… Really any number of ways. Talking to the Factom team is a good idea, as we are working to document and acknowledge everyone in the community that is part of the effort.