Aelf (ELF), also known as Ælf, is a multi-chain parallel computing and communication protocol that wants to create a blockchain ecosystem with cross-chain capabilities. Formerly known as Grid, the Singapore-based project provides a Linux-like system model that enables interoperability between both existing and future blockchains. ELF is the native token of the Aelf ecosystem. The ELD token is used for transaction fees, voting rights, investing/rewarding good projects built inside the ecosystem, and adding or removing side chains from the main chain.
The biggest obstacle in the way of the mass adoption of blockchain technology is its inability to meet the needs of complex business scenarios. For example, digital payment processing or ticket issuance would require a large number of transactions per second, but most blockchains place an emphasis on security and reliability over speed. In an ideal world, there would be one blockchain that is efficient, flexible, adaptable, and compatible with all other existing blockchains.
The Aelf team wants to bring that vision to life by establishing a multi-layered blockchain protocol that will act as a “central business district” for other blockchains. Its aim is to solve the key challenges currently being faced by established blockchains, such as:
Scalability – Most existing blockchains are not scalable and the performance of the entire system is dependent on the performance of its nodes.
Governance – Many blockchains don’t have a pre-defined consensus model for the adoption of updates or new technology.
Performance – Blockchains with smart contract functionality don’t segregate resources for different smart contracts. This leads to interference in the execution of various smart contracts (e.g. Cryptokitties).
Cross-chain interoperability – Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other blockchain platforms aren’t interoperable. Consequently, existing smart contracts and dApps are limited to their respective chains.
Aelf Pricing, Market Cap and Volume
The Aelf team decided to move away from the public ICO trend by releasing its token in a private placement held in November 2017. The private token sale was only open to top-tier private investors, such as FBG Capital (Singapore), Signum Capital (Singapore), Block Tower (U.S.), Alphabit (UK), Hashed (South Korea) and Galaxy Partners (U.S.) among others.
The team chose to do a private placement for several reasons, primarily because it enabled them to easily comply with investment regulations; they were able to conduct KYC for everyone involved and mostly chose investors with a track record in token investments. Additionally, the established cap was small enough to be funded by a small group of long-term investors. None of the investors will receive discounted rates or bonus tokens for their investments. The Aelf team was able to raise approximately 55,000 Ether within two weeks.
ELF Token Distribution
25% (250 million tokens) were sold during the private placement
25% is held by the Aelf Foundation
16% is held by the Aelf team
12% is set aside for PoW + PoS rewards
12% will be used for airdrops and other marketing initiatives
10% is set aside for advisers and partners
After the private placement ended, ELF was officially launched with a market capitalization of ~$250 million USD. Its price has gone up and down in the months following its release, but its market cap has remained relatively constant by cryptocurrency standards.
How Aelf Works
Aelf wants to solve problems in three primary areas: resource segregation, performance, and governance. It contains a series of features to help it achieve this goals, such as:
Multi-layer side chains – Aelf introduces multi-layered side chains to handle different commercial scenarios. One chain can be used for one individual use case, and different tasks can be distributed on multiple chains to improve processing efficiency.
Cross-chain communication – The Aelf ecosystem can interact with external blockchain systems and form a Merkle tree that exchanges information between side chains and public blockchains. Aelf is meant to complement, not replace, existing blockchains.
Parallel processing – The Aelf ecosystem permits parallel processing for cloud-base services and non-competing transactions. When a block is formed, nodes assign transactions to different groups. Transactions within a group will be processed in sequence, and all groups will process their transactions in parallel.
Scalable performance – Aelf enables each node to operate on a cluster of machines, which means whenever a new node joins the network, it not only enhances the system’s security, but also proportionally increases the network’s transaction speeds.
Staked consensus – Aelf allows stakeholders to approve changes to the protocol. Side chains can also join or leave the main chain dynamically based on consensus. This is meant to encourage competition and provide incentive for improving side chains.
Aelf vs. Other Cryptocurrencies
Aelf is somewhat similar to Polkadot; both are multi-chain systems that provide scaling and governance solutions to existing blockchains. However, Polkadot is designed to be a heterogeneous multi-chain structure that improves interoperability, while Aelf is a framework that leverages parallel computing to fulfill large-scale business needs.
Aelf’s mission is to create a complete blockchain ecosystem that is compatible with other blockchains and is suitable for industrial use. That goal is what sets it apart from Polkadot and other similar projects.
Buying, Storing and Selling Aelf
Aelf can be traded on a variety of online exchanges including Binance, Bitfinex, BigONE, Bibox, CEX, Huobi, OKEx, Gate.io, Hypex, and Kyber Network. Binance currently has the largest volume of ELF trading on a daily basis. Aelf is an ERC20 token, which means it can be stored on any wallet that supports that standard. There a number of desktop clients, online wallets and even hardware wallets that support ELF.
Liquidity of Aelf
Aelf isn’t well known in the crypto community, though it has managed to climb its way into the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. This is largely because they didn’t have a public ICO and its creators haven’t launched any international marketing campaigns. As a result, ELF tokens are not very liquid outside of the Asian markets.
The Aelf project appears to have caught the attention of many Asian “whales” who have chosen to become long-term investors. Whether the project and its token will translate as well in the Western market still remains to be seen. The Aelf mainnet is scheduled to launch sometime in May 2018.