Aeternity is a new open-source, public blockchain-based platform that improves upon the fundamentals of bitcoin and Ethereum’s blockchains. Find out everything you need to know about Aeternity today.
What Is Aeternity?
Aeternity is a blockchain platform that began its development in October 2016. The platform is an open-source, distributed computing platform that builds upon the precedents set by bitcoin and Ethereum.
The key technology behind Aeternity is its decentralized virtual machine. That virtual machine can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes – all of which are connected to the blockchain and through state channels.
The Aeternity ecosystem revolves around a token called the Aeternity token. That token can be transferred between participants. Like other blockchain tokens, the Aeternity token is used to compensate nodes for computations they perform.
The Aeternity token can also be used to pay for space and computation time on the virtual machine. Aeternity has even built an anti-spam feature into its token.
Aeternity launched on a testnet in February 2017. The developers plan to launch the Aeternity main-net in Q1 2018.
The official name of the platform, by the way, is æternity. However, it’s frequently referred to as Aeternity or AEternity.
How Does Aeternity Work?
Aeternity’s blockchain is built on both bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain technologies. Aeternity uses a hybrid proof of work and proof of stake consensus mechanism. The primary purpose of this technology is for privacy and scalability.
With Aeternity, tokens can be transferred between parties of a smart-contract through channels without storing the code of the contract on-chain. Here, the blockchain only intervenes if the verification in the channel fails, or if there is a dispute. This is Aeternity’s “crypto court” mechanism.
Therein lies the primary strength of Aeternity: the primary strength is its ability to program complex relationships for large numbers of users while handling a high volume of products and information in parallel.
With Aeternity, only the parties who participated in a smart contract know about the benefits of that smart contract. When a channel is settled on-chain, the only way it changes the blockchain state is by changing account balances. No contract state is stored on-chain. That means all channels are independent from each other.
To improve the speed of blockchain transactions, Aeternity is only limited by bandwidth. That means the blockchain can scale as well – or even better than – known centralized solutions available today.
Ultimately, there are a lot of complex features in the Aeternity blockchain, but it promises to be an innovative, feature-rich platform that vastly improves blockchain technology.
Aeternity offers the following core features on its platform:
Industrial Grade Code Base:
Aeternity has an “industrial grade code base”, with the core Aeternity platform written in Erlang. This language is described as “the perfect language choice to write a blockchain from scratch” because it allows superior operational stability and performance.
Stateless Smart Contracts:
Aeternity’s stateless smart contract system allows for the writing of distributed, fault-tolerant, soft real-time and highly available non-stop applications.
Aeternity offers state channels that allow for highly scalable trust-less transactions of value. The channels are functional, easily verifiable Turing-complete smart contracts.
Integrated Name System:
Aeternity has a name system (DNS) built into the platform. The DNS is easy to use, and is both decentralized and secure while still supporting memorable, human-friendly names. If you don’t like the alphanumeric addresses found on other blockchains, then Aeternity’s DNS may be the right choice for you (although Ethereum’s DNS offers similar functionality).
Oracles are a crucial feature for smart contracts. They can be encoded into a contract as text or as code. We’ve seen examples of oracles on other blockchains. Basically, they’re pieces of code that draw data from the outside world. In betting games, for example, there could be a sports scores oracle.
That oracle enforces a smart contract by checking the scores based on outside data. Aeternity’s blockchain will support oracles through an “Oracle Machine” that provides real-world data to the smart contracts in a way that is closely integrated into the blockchain.
Aeternity users can create and own their identity on the network. They can use that identity on the web, in real life, or while voting.
The Cuckoo Cycle Mining Algorithm:
Aeternity has a memory-efficient mining algorithm that solves the ASIC problem that affects proof of work-based blockchains. The mining algorithm also purportedly provides great decentralization potential because anyone can efficiently mine – even on low-powered computers like smartphones.
Who’s Behind Aeternity?
Aeternity is actively under development. The company includes founder Yanislav Malahov, described as the “Godfather of Ethereum”.
You can view detailed information about the Aeternity team, including further details about the Aeternity technology, at the project’s Wikipedia page.
Development on the project started in early 2017 with the launch of a testnet. The first backing campaign took place in Q2 2017. By Q4 2017, they plan to perform a complete security audit. And by Q1 2018, they hope to launch Aeternity onto the mainnet.
Aeternity can be used for a variety of purposes. The developers’ official website mentions information markets, crowdfunding projects, and instant video game rewards as a few of the possible uses for their blockchain. The blockchain can also be used for decentralized fintech projects, trustless exchanges, and micro/nano payments.
Aeternity has obviously introduced some key innovations to the blockchain industry – including state channels, decentralized oracles, consensus, and unique governance. All of these features improve upon features seen in the bitcoin or Ethereum blockchains. They vastly improve the usability of a feature like a smart contract oracle.
To learn more about the Aeternity project, read the whitepaper on their website today.