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Aion is the first project built out of Nuco, Inc, with the goal to provide private and public blockchains with a solution that allows them to interoperate, scale, and communicate with any other private or public blockchain. Nuco was founded by a group of ex-Deloitte employees in 2016 to focus on production-ready enterprise blockchain infrastructure. Development of Aion started in May 2017, and the code was released in March 2018 followed by the launch of the phase one main network in April. The project aims to provide a protocol and standard for dissimilar blockchains to conduct on-chain communication of arbitrary information, logic, or value with any number of distinct private or public blockchains. Nuco had been developing solutions for the Ethereum blockchain and formalized the concept of the “Enterprise Ethereum Stack” leading to the early implementation of Aion being based on Ethereum. In the future the team plans to migrate the protocol to a native blockchain called Aion-1 with will run on its own virtual machine.
The Aion protocol is already running on its own native blockchain called Kilimanjaro with its own virtual machine called the Fast Virtual Machine or FVM. The next version of our virtual machine will be the Aion Virtual Machine (AVM) which is Java-based and will be released in the first half of 2019. Participating networks are any networks that integrate with the Aion network through a connecting network and bridge. Typically, a participating network will be a private or public blockchain, but participating networks, in theory, can also be oracles, crpytlets, or database clusters. Participants must meet specific standards to be Aion-compliant. Blockchains must support atomic transactions, recognize interchain transactions as distinct from regular transactions, integrate appropriately with the Aion network of connecting networks and bridges, and allow for locktime or a similar mechanism that will enable tokens to be held in escrow for a specified period. Participating blockchains will use the Aion network of connecting networks and bridges to generate interchain communication, such as transactions. Interchain transactions are created from a source blockchain, processed and forwarded by bridges and connecting networks, and received by target blockchains. The participating network that creates an interchain transaction must pay a transaction fee in Aion (AION) tokens to the network of connecting networks and bridges. Connecting networks will function similar to decentralized exchanges that use relayers to coordinate the exchange of tokens. Aion aims to develop a protocol allowing third parties called ‘connecting networks’ to facilitate interchain communication and interchain transactions between private and public blockchains. Connecting networks will provide an interface for blockchain developers and users to route messages and transactions between different networks through a common bridging protocol. Connecting networks will have control over their internal functionality, but must adhere to the standardized Aion network protocol for external functionality. Consensus on connecting networks will use a hybrid proof-of-stake verification and a proprietary verification algorithm called proof-of-intelligence. Participating nodes can self-nominate to become a validator in the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism. Users back proposed validators through two methods: staking AION tokens or contributing resources to solve machine learning-based cryptographic puzzles through the proof-of intelligence algorithm. Validators that receive the most backing are elected to secure the network for a specified term. Once the term is over, the process repeats and new validators are chosen. Validators and backers receive AION for their role in securing the network. An Aion network bridge aims to serve as a communication protocol that facilitates communication between participating networks and connecting networks. A bridge is meant to ensure that communication from the source blockchain reaches the destination blockchain. Bridges will have a separate and distinct network of validators, who will use a Byzantine Fault Tolerance BFT-based algorithm to validate the authenticity of messages and reach consensus on the chain state. Each bridge will have their own set of validators who vote “yes” or “no” to interchain communication. If over two-thirds vote yes, the connecting network will change state, and the communication will be processed, otherwise, the transaction will fail, and the state will remain the same. Anyone can attempt to become a validator by staking tokens to publicly available bridges; however only a particular set of validators will be chosen by the network.
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