aelf: A Year in Review

chen Zhuling
Oct 10, 2018 · 5 min read

aelf white paper was first uploaded onto Github on September 13, 2017. In the past twelve months, the project has witnessed exponential growth, substantial developments, and accelerating progress and collaboration in pursuit of blockchain’s introduction to mainstream adoption and real-world business applications. aelf’s first anniversary is the perfect opportunity to reflect on how far the project and community have come since their inception one year ago, and to look forward to everything the future has in store.

How a Dream Became a Reality

In September 2017, blockchain was being discussed by everyone from regulators to media to traders. In a few short years, blockchain had developed first as a secured decentralised P2P transfer mechanism, in the form of Bitcoinand then with more and more use cases in the form of color coins. However, while blockchain was being used to support hundreds of different digital projects — the barriers between the blockchain community and real-world business had yet to be broken. We were at a turning point where integration between blockchain and the physical business world was needed for it to enter into the mainstream and for more solid digital assets to come to market.

aelf was founded in order to meet the requirements of making the vision of integrating blockchain into business a reality, by overcoming the three most significant obstacles to its application in enterprise: its limited performance; lack of resource segregation; and a working governance model. It was with this vision that my Co-founder, Ma Haobo and myself, established Grid, renamed aelf in November 2017, and began building a solution which would allow businesses of all sizes to leverage scalable, fit-for-purpose multichain blockchain infrastructures.

In one year, aelf has moved from strength to strength — with an initial team of less than 10 growing to 45, with some of our team members now based in six countries. As a result of this growth, aelf today is a truly global, fully decentralised project.

Major Milestones — Token sale, testnet, South Korea, Innovation Alliance

The past year has seen a number of major milestones for aelf, from the public release of our official white paper in September 2017 to our private token sale, which was concluded in December 2017. The aelf testnet results were announced in August 2018 which achieved 15,000 transactions per second. Another noteworthy milestone was our entrance into one of the most active markets in the cryptocurrency economy — South Korea. We achieved this via a three-pronged approach that covered a high-profile partnership with the country’s largest digital asset fund, Hashed; the listing of ELF on one of South Korea’s fastest and most reliable cryptocurrency exchanges, GOPAX and Bithumb; and a stratigically located aelf Head of Global Operations, JB Lee, former McKinsey & Company Associate.

The aelf token sale was a particularly important step for us, as we chose to shift away from the popular public token sale model and focused on onboarding suitable investors in private. The number of commitments from global top tier investors was highly encouraging — with the private placement being six times oversubscribed within two weeks of launch. A large part of this success was the result of our willingness to engage in healthy discussion on the project itself and the clear necessity for a bridge built between the worlds of blockchain and business.

Since the conclusion of aelf’s private sale, we have continued to move forward in our journey with a series of big and small steps:

  1. Candy system was releasedto enhance participation of the aelf community, offering reward points in the form of ELF tokens for community engagement, boosting aelf’s social media visibility, and project integration with platforms including Twitter, Telegram, and Github. The success of our candy programme is reflected in the rapid expansion and dedication of the aelf community, which now stands at almost 500,000 throughout the world. Without the support and shared belief of this community, we would not be where we are today.
  2. At Consensus Invest 2017, we announced aelf’s vision of establishing a Central Business District for industry applications of blockchain. This will result in a thrilling and vibrant blockchain ecosystem where we will enable the adoption of business innovation on blockchain.
  3. We have continued to expand our network of partners and advisors, with over a dozen partnerships with leading actors within the blockchain and business sectors.
  4. aelf has now been listed on more than 20 exchanges, including Bitfinex; Binance; bithumb; and Huobi.

In May 2018, we announced the launch of aelf Innovation Alliance. This alliance, a coalition of prominent industry players, is aimed at fast-tracking mainstream businesses toward blockchain adoption.

Alliance of the Ages

Despite the progress we have made since our launch last year, in order for blockchain to truly be introduced to the mainstream of enterprise and commerce, collaboration and communication must be fundamental in bringing blockchain to the masses. With this in mind, we launched our Innovation Alliance in May 2018. The Innovation Alliance marks a significant turning point for aelf and the wider blockchain ecosystem, bringing some of the most prominent and influential industry actors to fast-track large corporations and startups on the road to blockchain adoption.

The founding members of this alliance include Signum Capital, Singapore’s largest and most influential blockchain fund; FBG Capital, a major cryptocurrency and blockchain hedge fund; Roland Berger, a leading global strategy consulting firm; Huobi Labs; and Michael Arrington, Silicon Valley mogul and founder of TechCrunch and Arrington XRP Capital.

The coalition was also joined by Republic, an SEC-licensed, FINRA-regulated investment platform compliant token pre-sales platform, CertiK, a formal verification platform for smart contracts and blockchain ecosystems, and Celer Network, a highly scalable off-chain operating platform for decentralised applications, earlier this year.

The aim of the alliance is to encourage information sharing within the crypto and blockchain community, inviting businesses of all sizes to join the conversation and to seek counsel from some of the most prominent blockchain experts from across the globe. Through this initiative, we have been able to leverage the expertise and skills of like-minded industry leaders to accelerate the rate of blockchain adoption and to strengthen blockchain’s role in enterprise by providing support to SMEs and dApps in terms of knowledge, incubation and capital, and commercial best practice advice so that the blockchain industry may grow in a holistic way.

This is Only the Beginning…

To ensure that 2019 sees the continued evolution of blockchain in business, we believe that more can be done to raise awareness of blockchain’s potential. Our dedication to the promotion of understanding and education surrounding blockchain is shown by our recent announcement that we have launched a global-scale commercial survey, “The Road to Mainstream Adoption:Making Sense of Blockchain in Business”,so that we may better understand where businesses see the values of blockchain and what the barriers to adoption are.

After a year of growth and substantial developments for aelf, we remain dedicated to our goal of breaking down the barriers between traditional businesses and the thriving blockchain ecosystem. We believe that the coming year will witness the first batch of pioneers to emerge, who will be the first users to build applications on the aelf platform. Without this adoption, blockchain technology’s value will not be recognised.

After a monumental first year, we are excited to see what the future holds — with the support of our team, our community, our partners, and Innovation Alliance members, we believe that this is just the very beginning for aelf.


ælf, the next breakthrough in Blockchain.

chen Zhuling

Written by

Co-founder of aelf blockchain



ælf, the next breakthrough in Blockchain.

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