Aeternity (AE) Buying Guide: All that you Need to Know
With so many digital currencies and blockchains being introduced in the market every few weeks, it’s indeed difficult to accurately predict cryptocurrencies that have a potential to make it big. Also, it’s increasingly difficult for these digital currencies to stand out from already existing tokens.
One approach taken by new blockchains on the market is to – focus on a niche of the cryptocurrency world and try to establish their control over it, thereby avoiding existing competition. However, Aeternity is not one among them.
Aeternity, the project in focus in today’s article, has big ambitions and has huge plans to take on the giants of the crypto-world. It has a lofty vision to emerge as the blockchain people think of when they hear the word, “smart contracts.”
It aims to achieve this by figuring out solutions to the problems faced by existing blockchains like scalability and real-world integration.
Initially, it was launched as an ERC-20 token, but it aims to become a fully operational blockchain, once it’s mainnet launches sometime later this year. Aeternity is the name of the project and Aeon (AE) is the token’s name.
What is Aeternity? What does it Aim to do?
The simpler answer to this question would be – what doesn’t Aeternity do? To make it clear, Aeternity has no aims to become a digital currency that people use for daily use. That doesn’t mean the AE token cannot be used as a cryptocurrency. Yes, it can. But, that isn’t the priority of the project.
The focus of the Aeternity project is real world data handling. A look at the Aeternity whitepaper gives you a better idea of the aim of the project. This research paper identifies three main drawbacks of existing blockchain technology and comes up with innovative solutions for all.
How is Aeternity different from other Existing Blockchains?
- Stateful Design
Aeternity has a specific design that will help to minimize on-chain transactions, thereby freeing up resources, which in turn improves the overall efficiency of the blockchain. According to this idea, most of the information necessary for a transaction is handled off-chain, in a dedicated side channel. This means, only the bare information is passed on to the main chain.
While other blockchain projects have suggested a similar side chain concept, it wasn’t part of the initial design but a retrofit.
By starting with off-chain solutions right from the start, Aeternity hopes to avoid the scalability problems faced by existing blockchains.
- Real-world data Integration using the “Oracle” system
This is the second problem that Aeternity hopes to resolve. It wants to integrate real-world and real-time information on to the blockchain reliably.
For instance, let’s assume that you’re looking to book a ticket to an outdoor concert. But, you want the ticket to be confirmed only if it doesn’t rain on the day of the event. An ideal system must be able to process your payment for the ticket, only if it doesn’t rain on the day.
Aeternity uses an “Oracle” system that is a combination of two main strategies. The first one is non-human sources. For instance, real-time data from sensors continuously pass information to the blockchain without any human intervention.
In the above example, rain sensors placed at the venue, would pass whether it’s raining or not to the ticketing system on the blockchain. And, then the ticketing system would take the appropriate action based on the input.
The second is information gathered by human consensus. Blockchain users can post, “Yes” or “No” questions to the network, with a deadline. Other users can vote for any one of the two outcomes by paying Aeons. The answer that gets the highest votes is considered as true.
This “Oracle” system can create smart contracts that are reliant on information from the two parties involved in it, without the need for any third-party to interfere.
- Consensus Mechanism
The third problem Aeternity addresses is the consensus mechanism. Both Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithms have their drawbacks. Aeternity proposes a combination of the PoW and PoS algorithms that counterbalances the cons of each method.
Overview of the AE Token:
- Token – AE
- Network – Aeternity
- Current market value – $1.97
- Market Cap – $459,264,709
- Trading Volume (24h) – $39,711,400
- Circulating Supply – 233,020,472 AE
- Total Supply – 273,685,830 AE
A look at the Development of Aeternity
The Aeternity project was launched in early 2017 and the ICO was offered in June of that year. It was initially launched as an ERC-20 token. But, this is just a temporary step and was primarily to build funds for the initial launch and development.
Once the main net of Aeternity becomes functional sometime later this year, AE token holders can exchange their tokens for the coins of the new blockchain. However, it hasn’t yet been announced whether this would be “One AE coin for one new coin” or any other proportionate value.
The Team behind the Aeternity Project
According to the official website of the Aeternity project, there are around fifty members on the core team headed by Yanislav Malahov, who is also the founder.
Malahov has given himself the nickname, “the Godfather of Ethereum.” He was involved in a project with the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, involving colored coins. This was before the creation of Ethereum tokens.
In a blog post on Medium.com, Malahov credits his conversations with Vitalik as the source of inspiration for the latter to create Ethereum. While there’s no substantial proof for this claim, it’s safe to say that Malahov has been involved in cryptocurrency right from the early days.
The Aeternity team has a dynamic group of professionals including business developers and engineers. However, there’s no clear information about who are the main investors of the project. It is to be noted that Aeternity had a successful ICO and managed to raise around $23 million.
Apart from partnerships with cryptoexchanges and DEXs, Aeternity doesn’t have plenty of other ties. However, the recent partnership with Erlang Solutions to address scalability issues of blockchain networks, has changed it all. By bagging such a prestigious collaboration, Aeternity has managed to win the confidence of several crypto investors.
Challenges and Competitors of Aeternity
Unlike other upcoming blockchain projects that target a particular niche, Aeternity aims to be the world’s default blockchain for smart contracts. This places them in direct competition with the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum.
While Aeternity has a long uphill climb before it can overthrow Ethereum, one thing’s sure in the cryptocurrency world – nothing is certain here. If Ethereum were to hit some major stumbling blocks, then Aeternity could emerge well ahead in the race.
There’s no technical proof that states whether PoW or PoS is the better of the two consensus algorithms. There are hard-core supporters and opposers for both. Aeternity will have a difficult time convincing both these groups that a suitable compromise can be achieved by combining the two algorithms.
How to Purchase and Store AE (Aeternity) Tokens?
Right now, AE tokens are available on several leading cryptoexchanges and can be traded for other popular digital currencies like BTC, ETH, etc. Since, it’s an ERC-20 token, it can be stored on any Ethereum-compatible wallet like Ledger, Trezor, MyEtherWallet and more.
When the Aeternity main net is launched, it will have its own blockchain. And the AE tokens will be switched over to the native tokens of the network. Mostly, Aeternity will launch a dedicated wallet at that time to store the new tokens.
In a Nutshell: Pros and Cons of Aeternity
- Scalability – Aeternity will be able to handle 1000s of transactions per second.
- Mobile First – Aeternity’s user and developer interface will be built using a mobile-first approach.
- Oracles – Data can be easily moved off-chain thereby speeding up the transaction speed.
- Mining – Mining of AE coins can be done even with mobile devices.
- Support for dApps – Aeternity provides an easy way for existing dApps to move to the Aeternity platform.
- The date of launch of the Main net has not yet been announced.
- On-chain governance is not yet resolved.
- It faces severe competition from some of the big players in the crypto space.
- Aeternity doesn’t have a strong community like other popular digital coins like Ethereum, Ripple, ZCash and more.
Final Thoughts: Aeternity has a Long Way to Go
Aeternity is a long way off from establishing itself as a reliable blockchain network for real world data using the “Oracle” method. However, if it manages to achieve these goals, it can very well become one of the most sought-after blockchains in the world, especially in the era of IoT (Internet of Things).
One of the biggest challenges for Aeternity is to catch up with the popularity of Ethereum and win the support of the extensive community of Ethereum developers. With that said, Ethereum has plenty of scaling problems, and Aeternity has ingenious solutions to overcome scaling problems right from the go.
The team behind the Aeternity project looks stable and their proposed solutions have reliable studies and background research.
It’s a long climb from an obscure and new blockchain to become the world’s default choice for smart contracts. And, it’s too early to tell whether Aeternity will make it or not. Right now, the project looks interesting and has captured the attention of the crypto world and that’s a good start.
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