Aeternity is аn open-source blockchain-based platform designed for creating decentralized apps (dApps). It focuses on creating a highly scalable solution with smart contracts that are able to interact with real-world and real-time data via built-in oracles. It is fueled by a native utility token AE which can be used as a means of payment within the platform itself.
The platform was launched in 2016 long before the “bull-run” of 2017 which revealed the issues of Bitcoin and Ethereum related to their small throughput indices. However, the founders of Aeternity foresaw that issue and have invented a scalable solution coming with the following technical characteristics:
State channels. In order to overcome the scalability issue, Aeternity implements state channels to execute transactions and smart contracts off-chain. This helps to move the load away from the blockchain and allows executing millions of micro-transactions in a given moment in time.
Based on Erlang. Aeternity relies on the programming language Erlang that has been used in the area of telecommunications for more than 3 decades and proved its efficiency.
A new language for smart contracts. The Sophia language is based on OCaml and is similar to the Reason language which can be regarded as an advantage as it simplifies the development process.
The combination of Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS). The consensus model utilized by Aeternity uses an ASIC-resistant and power-efficient PoW mechanism named Cuckoo Cycle helping it produce new blocks every 15 seconds. The PoS approach enables governance as every AE holder can vote on system improvements.
Oracles. These are used to request real-world data from different providers and embed them into the blockchain.
Integrated naming system. This feature allows Aeternity users to create named accounts to store their funds instead of unreadable wallet addresses that are utilized by Bitcoin and Ether users.
Aeternity use cases
The platform enables numerous use cases with only a few of them listed below.
Distributed aepps ecosystem. Aeternity has its own name for dApps as it calls them “aepps”. The platform has a whole set of out-of-the-box solutions including SDKs and APIs that help to bootstrap the development of aepps.
Crowdfunding projects. Aeternity has developed smart contracts helping projects raise money and at the same time protect contributors against failure. These smart contracts imply giving a refund in case a project is unsuccessful and only release the funds after the product has been delivered.
Instant video game rewards. Aeternity enhances the gaming industry with the help of the blockchain technologies providing users with full control over their in-game transactions and reducing intermediaries.
Decentralized fintech. The platform gives the possibility to unlock payments for any contracts upon completion of one or more events helping to reduce redundant third-parties.
Trust-free exchanges. Users can make cross-chain trust-free atomic swaps between different blockchain-based assets.
Micro and nano payments. As Aeternity allows taking transactions off-chain, it removes all the obstacles preventing Bitcoin from being used on a daily basis for small transactions. Payments are conducted instantly at near-to-zero fees helping users maintain their privacy.
The Aeternity platform embeds its native utility token AE to fuel its economy and ecosystem. The token can be earned as a reward via mining as well as used for payments within the platform for smart contracts’ execution. AE holders can participate in platform governance and vote for any new features and suggestions offered by other participants.
Initially based on Ethereum’s ERC20 standard, the tokens were swapped to Aeternity’s native system after the mainnet was launched on November 27th, 2018.
The ICO was launched on May 29th and lasted until June 19th, 2017. The team has managed to raise close to 25 million USD in Ether for the future development of their product. 82% of tokens were distributed via the public sale, 1% was given away via Airdrop to BTC and ETH holders and the remaining 17% stayed in the foundation reserve.
The Aeternity team
Although the company is registered in Liechtenstein, most of its team members are located in Bulgaria.
The CEO and Founder of the project is Yanislav Malahov who names himself as the godfather of Ethereum as he collaborated with Vitalik Buterin back in 2013. He has extensive experience in development as he started his career building a stock prediction game on top of Twitter in 2010 and also developed the first Dogecoin browser wallet in 2014.
All-in-all, the team standing behind Aeternity is really big as at the time of writing it covers almost 80 different specialists.