If you have been following blockchain and cryptocurrencies for a long time, then you must know that they are great and solve most problems related to the privacy and clutches of private companies. Cryptocurrency takes control over our money and data from institutions, governments, and big companies. It then gives it back to us. All of this might sound like a dream come true.
But in reality, Blockchain is still an evolving concept and has a long way to go before it gains mass adoption. Some of the problems of Blockchain technologies that we hear time and time again are :
- Transaction throughput
So, today we will discuss one such project that tackles blockchains’ interoperability. Let us get into it.
What is AION?
Before understanding AION, we should first understand the three generations of blockchains.
- The first generation of Blockchain is Bitcoin, which essentially solves the problem of peer-to-peer money transactions without intermediaries and provides transparency of the transactions.
- The second generation is of the Ethereum blockchain, which allows developers to build decentralized applications and use sophisticated algorithms to deploy what we essentially call smart contracts.
The first and the second generation had a problem with interoperability. Many new cryptocurrencies and new chains are popping up each day. Thus, it is difficult for crypto users to sell off all their assets on a specific chain and start building them again from scratch on a new chain.
Yes, there are crypto exchanges that solve the problem of interoperability, but all of them are centralized. Moreover, there have been issues with major crypto exchanges going bankrupt.
- To solve this problem, the developers at AION created the world’s first third-generation blockchains. AION’s interoperability solution helps migrate liquid assets, values, and logic to other blockchains. What AION aims to become is essentially the internet of blockchains.
The Team Behind AION
The AION core team comprises talent from all over the world. The core team is basically based in Toronto with an additional talent pool from the U.K., Shanghai, and Barbados.
The whole team came together to solve the problem of how blockchains talk to each other. Before working on AION, the founders were working on the Dellitoe blockchain division.
Initially, the company was founded as Nuco global, but it changed its name to AION foundation in 2018. The CEO of AION is Matthew Spoke. Along with that, he is also a board member of Ethereum Enterprise Alliance and Blockchain Interoperability Alliance.
The AION team has an impressive background and experience in both blockchain technology and marketing. Thus, increasing their likelihood of success.
How does Aion blockchain work?
Aion’s multi-tier blockchain network allows the participating networks to form chains between them. The network will use this to conduct transactions.
What AION does is basically act as a central hub for participating networks. You can transfer data from one blockchain to another by passing over the AION blockchain. The multi-tier network of AION consists of 4 basic components.
- Connecting Network
- Interchain transactions
- Participating networks
Let us see them in detail to understand better how the AION network works.
Connecting Network is the protocol that provides communication between participating blockchains. Both Private and Public Chains are allowed to communicate with each other.
The bridging protocol allows routing of messages between participating blockchains. The connecting bridge might have been a centralized entity, but AION replaces it with its own blockchain. Thus providing full decentralized accountability.
The connecting network also
- makes sure the correctness of data,
- smooth flow of data,
- makes sure no data is lost in transaction,
- manage difficulties in transactions.
Now we know how AION connects different blockchains and makes what we call an amalgamation of blockchain or an interconnected system.
But how does the actual two-way communication of assets, massages, and logic occur?
Well, this is achieved by interchain transactions.
The source blockchain initiates the interchain transactions. It then flows through the bridge and the connecting networks to the targeted blockchain. All of this might seem confusing. Let us understand how it works with an example.
Suppose we have a source chain called A and another chain called B. Here we need to transfer data from chain A to B.
So, to do that :
- The source chain A initiates an interchain transaction
- The transaction flows through the bridge and connecting network.
- The transaction reaches the targeted blockchain B and successfully transfers data between them.
Each interchain transaction has some basic components:
- Payload: The actual data users intend to send from one chain to another.
- Metadata: This contains the information regarding routing and fees associated with it.
- Merkle proof: This is an optional step, and users can use this step to bypass the connecting bridge.
Bridges are the validators who validate interchain transactions.
- When a bridge validator observes an interchain transaction, then the state is changed to receive.
- The validators then sign and broadcast the transactions as valid after the forwarding fees are paid. After receiving two-thirds of the votes from validators, the state changes to On Hold.
- Additionally, the connected blockchain token will be locked and kept on hold till the transaction is completed.
- Suppose the transaction gets less than two-thirds of the vote. Then the transaction state changes to Rejected and eventually changes to Finalized.
- After the On Hold state, the transactions are then forwarded to the connecting network.
- When the target blockchain sends a confirmation, the state is changed to Confirmed and then to Finalized.
- After a Finalized report is shown, all the fees are distributed to the connecting network and bridge validators.
The AION ecosystem has some guidelines that need to be fulfilled if any network wants to be a part of it. When a network passes the criteria, then they are called participating networks. There is flexibility in what or who can be a part of the AION ecosystem, and it is not only limited to blockchain entities.
Even oracles, cryptlets, or database clusters can participate if they follow the requirements. The requirements are:
- The most obvious thing is, the participating network should be decentralized.
- Should be able to differentiate between regular and interchain transactions.
- Familiar with consensus protocol used by the bridge and storing valid transactions.
- Should have the ability to freeze up transactions when the state is On-Hold.
Benefits that the AION ecosystem offers
Aion provides the ability to transfer data between blockchains. Aion is basically like a crypto exchange, but it is decentralized, thus eliminating all risks associated with one. Moreover, it works in a bi-directional way and is extremely fast.
Users can deploy smart contracts and migrate existing Decentralized Apps or Daps from Ethereum to the AION chain in less than 5 minutes.
AION Virtual Machine
The AION virtual machine or AVM is built similar to the EVM or Ethereum Virtual Machine. But what differentiates it is that AVM is very lightweight and much faster than EVM. AVM also has attributes of the Java Virtual Machine. Thus, developers can code both in Web3 language as well as in Java. Clearly, this opens up the AVM to a wide pool of JAVA developers.
The AVM also enables applications to function across different blockchains with improved performance and scalability.
Like we mentioned above, the AVM has attributes of Java Virtual Machine. So developers can code in both Web3 and Java languages. AION also provides a vast range of tools that makes it easy for developers to code Daps on its blockchain.
The AION ecosystem has flexibility and allows the blockchain to be customized. Developers can include different consensus protocols and virtual machines. Additionally, we can do this without losing interoperability with other blockchains.
Ideal users of the AION ecosystem
Blockchain technology is all the hype in the world of technology. Every day new startups are popping up with their blockchain-based solutions. The AION ecosystem allows them to come together and provide a greater value to their clients.
The AION team is constantly upgrading their ecosystem, and this is eminent from their continuous updates on their GitHub repository. AION can be the bridge that will help companies adopt blockchain-based solutions with their existing offerings seamlessly.
Back in October of 2017, AION partnered with the renowned Moog Inc. What is worth mentioning is that Moog Inc. is a Fortune 1000 company.
Moog also specializes in manufacturing parts for the aerospace and defense industries. This collaboration aims to build a blockchain solution with the capacity to propel the manufacturing industry into the blockchain age.
These are developers who are already building decentralized applications over ethereum or on any other ecosystem. They are mostly stuck on one chain due to the lack of interoperability. AION will help them migrate to other chains and provide their applications to a bigger user pool.
Validators and Bridge builders
They form the core user base of the ecosystem. Validators validate the consensus while the bridge builders build and maintain interchain transactions. They also earn the fees associated with the transactions. Thus providing an excellent incentive to be a part of the ecosystem.
Future of AION Cryptocurrency
We know Blockchain technology is rapidly developing, and with that, interoperability has always been an issue. What AION provides is a unique solution. But it also has some challenges in terms of competitors like Wanachain, POA network, and Cosmos, who are well funded and as talented as the AION team.
To be the go-to solution for blockchain interoperability, AION needs to master it. Without a doubt, it will give a clear pathway for the adoption of blockchain.
Whether AION will update its ecosystem and make a name for itself in the future needs to be seen.
Till then, Ciao.