Aion is a multi-tier blockchain system that is being designed to address the issues of scalability, privacy, and interoperability in blockchains. It was developed by Nuco, a Canada-based tech company focused on building blockchain protocols that solve many of the issues that have been preventing mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.
There are currently hundreds, if not thousands, of blockchains in existence and none of them can easily communicate with each other. Aion wants to change that by creating a federated blockchain network where data and value can be seamlessly transferred from one blockchain to another. Aion will enable its users to:
Federate – Transfer data and value between any two blockchains using a bridging mechanism.
Scale – Gives all Aion blockchains the ability to process transactions quickly using the Aion virtual machine.
Spoke – Create custom blockchains that are inter-operable with other blockchains. Publishers can choose participation, consensus mechanisms, token issuance, and governance.
Aion features a native token of its namesake (called “AION”) which is used to secure the network, build and deploy applications, establish bridges between blockchains, and create new participating blockchains. AION was launched on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC20 token standard. The available supply will be converted into native network tokens once the Aion mainnet is operational.
AION Pricing, Market Cap and Volume
AION was launched after a private sale and public pre-sale held in October 2017 that raised $23 million USD. There was to be a public sale after the pre-sale round ended, but that was canceled. The project raised sufficient funds to fulfill its initial roadmap from the private sale and public pre-sale.
The total available supply of AION caps at 465 million tokens and they are distributed as follows:
– 30 million was sold in the private sale.
– 10 million was sold in the public pre-sale.
– 185 million is held by the Aion Foundation. 2.78% of that amount will be distributed every month for the next three years.
– 120 million is set aside for the Token Release Schedule (TRS) contract.
– 120 million is set aside for the founders bonus.
The Aion team initiated a Token Release Schedule (TRS) contract after the final pre-sale round. Users who sign up for the contract will receive a 322% redistribution bonus. For example, if you sent 100 AION to the TRS wallet address before the deadline, you will receive 422 AION (100 + 322 bonus) when the contract ends. The TRS deadline was December 8, 2017.
A percentage of the tokens set aside for the TRS contract will be released to participants in twelve payouts starting from December 15, 2017 with the distribution of 31.25% of the total amount. 6.25% of the remaining supply will be released every month after until November 2018. While the supply of AION will be diluted with each TRS release, implementing the TRS contract was an effective way to discourage pump-and-dump day traders and attract long-term investors who are genuinely interested in the success of the project.
However, periodically adding to the circulating pool has lowered the value of AION. Its market cap reached an all-time high of ~$633 million USD in January 2018 and has since gradually gone down. It’s still too early to tell if the TRS contract will help improve AION’s value in the long run—that’ll depend on how well the Aion mainnet does once it goes live.
How Aion Works
To fulfill its use case, the Aion network features a public blockchain called Aion-1 that serves as a “router” connection other blockchains.
About The Aion-1 Blockchain
– Allows the creation of unlimited custom blockchains that connect with other Aion network blockchains.
– Enables communication of data and value between all Aion network blockchains.
– Connects with Ethereum and allows AION tokens to be transferred from itself to Ethereum and vice versa.
– Supports an economic model to incentivize and secure the operation of the Aion network.
– Creates decentralized apps that inter-operate with connected networks through the Aion virtual machine.
Aion-1 is the common blockchain that provides the initial foundation for transmitting transactions across blockchains. The developers are focusing on establishing an Ethereum bridge first before building bridges to connect other public protocols.
The first version of the Aion blockchain will use a proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism. Validators will receive traditional mining rewards that are calculated based on a 1% annual inflation of the total supply of AION. During its first year, the Aion network’s annual mining reward will be approximately 4.56 million AION.
The launch of Aion-1 is the next major milestone in the project’s roadmap. Aion-1 will use a Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus algorithm combined with a hybrid protocol known as proof-of-intelligence that uses neural networks for verification. It uses a representative consensus model; network participants can back validators who actively participate in the consensus process and receive a share of the validator’s reward.
The backing algorithm is split into two categories:
Staking – Participants can stake AION tokens towards a chosen validator over a period of time. The tokens are returned when the staking period ends or the user can choose to continue staking their tokens. In exchange, they receive a portion of the validator’s reward.
Solving – Participants (solvers) can perform a unique puzzle through the proof-of-intelligence algorithm to prove to the network that they backed a specified amount of tokens for a particular validator. Solvers receive a reward proportionate to the amount backed. Proof of intelligence is an effective measure against denial of service attacks.
The existing Aion blockchain (PoW) and Aion-1 will be bridged and the total supply of AION will live across both blockchains. The 1% inflation-based validation reward will also operate across all Aion blockchains as the developers continue to conduct research on the reward structures for the different consensus models used by each native Aion blockchain.
Aion’s bridging mechanism relies on the BFT consensus algorithm to ensure the validity of cross-chain communications. In situations where incentives are unreliable or insufficient, the system uses proof-of-intelligence verification to ensure that transfers between chains are reliable and secure.
Aion vs. Other Cryptocurrencies
Aion bills itself as a third-generation blockchain protocol because it’s among an emerging group of blockchains that can federate value and data across two or more different blockchains. First-generation blockchains are those that were inspired by Bitcoin to enable users to perform secure digital transactions that are recorded on an immutable, decentralized public ledger. Ethereum and similar projects represent second-generation blockchains for introducing the ability to build and execute applications upon blockchain networks.
Blockchain interoperability appears to be the next logical step, and that’s what makes Aion so special. It stands out from many other cryptocurrencies for three reasons:
Bridging Protocol – Aion features a bridging mechanism that enables inter-chain communication. The network uses incentives to encourage participants to connect their own or other blockchain networks by building a bridge. The fee structure and features of the connecting bridges can be customized based on market demand.
Scalability and Performance – Commercial blockchain applications often require high transaction throughput, but most blockchains are not designed to handle large amounts of data. Aion addresses these problems by introducing a high-performance virtual machine and scalable database solution.
Customization – Many companies are showing interest in blockchain technology for privacy, security, or business reasons. The number of blockchain-related use cases are numerous enough that a large company may need multiple blockchains, each with different governance, semantic, or operational properties—while maintaining secure communication between them. Aion allows custom blockchain designs without sacrificing interoperability. Blockchains can use different consensus algorithms and VMs and still remain inter-operable.
Buying and Storing AION
AION can be acquired on Binance, Kucoin, LATOKEN, Bancor Network, Liqui, and IDEX. Binance currently has the largest daily trading volume among online exchanges. As an ERC20 token, AION can be securely stored in any Ethereum wallet that supports the ERC-20 token standard. Popular desktop and web-based wallets include MyEtherWallet (MEW), Parity, Mist, and Jaxx while hardware wallets like Ledger Nano S and Trezor should also work fine.
Liquidity of AION Tokens
The buzz Aion has generated in the crypto world has helped it maintain good market liquidity so far. In addition to its promising use case, the project is collaborating and forming partnerships with several tech entities. The developers revealed in November 2017 that Aion is collaborating with Wanchain and ICON to form the Blockchain Interoperability Alliance. The alliance is centered around developing a universal set of rules for blockchain interoperability.
Aion has also partnered with Bancor to offer inter-chain liquidity via Bancor’s Smart Tokens technology. Moog Inc., a Fortune 1000 company that makes specialized parts for the aerospace and defense industry, announced a partnership with Aion in October 2017. All these partnerships and collaborations have helped to keep Aion in the public eye. It’s definitely a project worth watching.