Scalable smart contracts interfacing with real world data.

Disclaimer: æternity was a sponsor of Future Thinkers podcast in 2017

Watch the interview series we did with the founders of æternity while attending the D10e conference in February 2017.

What is æternity blockchain?

æternity is a new blockchain platform in the making, which aims to tackle current issues in blockchain, such as scalability, privacy, and transaction speed. æternity’s technology is meant to to be ready for mainstream adoption by using new features like state channels, oracle machine, and hybrid proof of stake and proof of work.

You can learn more about æternity’s blockchain technology in their whitepaper.

æternity’s first testnet is now online, where you can check out some of the features. You can create an account and start mining æon right away. Start interacting with æternity by visiting GitHub.

æon are the access tokens to the æternity blockchain and act as a unit of account for the resources spent on æternity. æon are the energy (or “crypto-fuel”) used to power any application implemented on the platform.

Every action (and even inaction) on the æternity platform costs something, even if only fractions of cents.
æon are the fuel for the new types of trustless apps that will be be enabled. For more information regarding applications, consult the æternity whitepaper, visit the website or continue reading this FAQ.

  • æternity enables a high transaction throughput. Broadly speaking, any type of application that requires high transactional speed will run smoothly on æternity. Here are some of those:
    Nano and micro payments.
  • Smart-contracts using oracles to initiate millions of parallel transactions.
  • Side-chained blockchain networks that can communicate efficiently and securely.
  • Multiplayer video games where the rules are enforced by the blockchain. Poker, chess, Go, first person shooter games.
  • Investment opportunities for ventures that are specializing in predicting the price of food.
  • Contracts for powering crowdsales to finance public goods and create a sustainable economy.
  • Lie detectors to know when leaders or experts are hiding the truth.
  • Prediction markets that can help us better prepare for the future.
  • Everything else that we (and you) haven’t thought of yet.

Manifold factors contribute to æternity’s uniqueness! One major advantage of æternity smart contracts is the fact that they are created off-chain. This allows to — once created — to interact with other participating parties blazingly fast and has important privacy implications. The users’ interactions stay off-chain and are kept secure. Only in cases of disagreement, a transaction will be submitted on-chain. The æternity blockchain will function as a crypto-court.

Furthermore, there is no limit to the volume of smart contracts that can be processed per second, since æternity smart contracts don’t share state, they can be processed in parallel.

In comparison to ‘legacy’ Ethereum, we switched from being goto-based to being function-based. Thus, it is a lot simpler to reason about and write more secure smart contract code.

æternity is building a state-of-the-art virtual machine for secure and efficient blockchain computations. For example, they’ve have added a tool for ‘merklizing’ the code, so that the users only publish the portion of code that actually gets executed.

æternity’s smart contracts can be massive, gigabytes to terabytes in volume, not a problem — as long as the part that gets executed is relatively small.

The primary reason for using Ethereum-created tokens for the token sale is that æternity is not functional yet. Once æternity launches, tokens will exist on æternity. However even if æternity did exist, it wouldn’t give us the ability to do a decentralized token sale — Ethereum is great for this type of use-cases, that require a fully public index of things (e.g. tokens, …). æternity is focusing on scalable, real-world uses-cases. Most of those don’t require data to be openly shared all of the time.

æternity is incorporated in Liechtenstein and is in regular contact with regulators to keep track of the project’s legal status. The team includes a legal adviser and makes use of additional legal consultancy on an ad-hoc basis.

A wallet is a piece of software that is used to interact with æternity. It allows you to make accounts and channels. It will allow users to make channel contracts, to bet, to play games, to buy/sell assets, provides identity, communicate with other users, etc.

Yes.

  • Some nodes will be providing liquidity to the lightning network. They will have lots of channels with lots of people, so if you make a channel with them, you will be able to establish state channel contracts with many users. Using a channel contract through such a node will involve a fee.
  • Some nodes will run trustless exchanges for any asset. They will also collect transaction fees. We envision nodes that let people use state channels to play games like Go, Monopoly, slot machines, or poker. Either single player, or with your friends, or with strangers. æternity enables trustless financial applications. They are not necessarily decentralized. Anyone can start a “centralized server” and use our software to create trustless financial tools.
  • There can be ‘servers/nodes’ which you can use to invest in stocks, derivatives or metals. You can gamble at sports in a fully trustless and efficient way. Other nodes can specialize in recycling old accounts. There is a fee for having an account open. If the account runs out of money, anyone will be able to delete it and get a small reward.
  • Some nodes will just run trading software. They will buy and sell assets offered by market makers in order to make a profit. Some nodes will specialize in participation in prediction markets, running the consensus mechanism. This will be profitable because transaction fees are the initial liquidity in these markets.

The first testnet is now ready! We will be adding more features all the time. Start interacting with æternity by visiting GitHub.

Your feedback will be highly appreciated! Join their public chat on Gitter.

You can also get in touch with them on their Facebook page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn account, Bitcointalk post and their subreddit.

A detailed roadmap is also in the making. You can get an update on this by subscribing to their newsletter.

æternity Blockchain Explainer Infographic

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