The Tempo Ledger consists of three fundamental components:
- A networked cluster of nodes
- A global ledger database distributed across the nodes
- An algorithm for generating a cryptographically secure record of temporally ordered events.
An instance of Tempo is called a Universe and any event within a Universe, such as a message or transaction, is represented by an object called an Atom.
All Atoms contain at least one endpoint destination, represented by an endpoint address. Endpoint addresses are derived from an identity, such as a user's public key and are used to route events through the network.
Atoms generally take the form of either Payload Atoms or Transfer Atoms. An example of a Payload Atom is a communication, sent to one or more parties, like an email or an instant message. Transfer Atoms are used to transfer the ownership of an item, such as currency, to another party.
Atoms may also contain other Atoms, as well as various other data, depending on their purpose. This extra data might include conditional destinations, owners, participants, associations and application meta-data. Exotic Atom variants can be created for specific application purposes if required.