Fantom is one of layer-one smart contract platforms. However, unlike its analog counterparts, it is multi-chain and is not powered by blockchain at its core. Instead, it utilizes direct acyclic graph, secured by an original consensus layer Lachesis. By using a DAG, Fantom makes it so that there are no competing chains or requirements to join the network of validators.
The FTM token is different for each chain Fantom communicates with. It is a native token of the Fantom's application layer Opera, as well as a token on Ethereum, and BNB Chain. FTM was sold in an Initial Coin Offering in 2018 to investors from VCs to retail. Fantom houses a variety of DeFi applications, from completely original and native to multi-chain projects such as Curve and SushiSwap.