Aion: AVM is live! Ethers.js selects Aion as it’s next platform, Matt’s monthly update video including the AVM launch with Jeff Disher and Unity with Yao Sun
Biweekly update 5th June — 19th June
Aion Virtual Machine is live! The AVM is the first JVM-compliant blockchain execution environment that unlocks the entire Java ecosystem and enables smart contracts to be written in Java. The team left the JVM intact so they could fully leverage the mature ecosystem around it. The Aion protocol enables the development of a federated blockchain network, making it possible to seamlessly integrate dissimilar blockchain systems in a multi-tier hub-and-spoke model, similar to the internet. Aion is furthering its mission to promote more extensive use of blockchain and “rebuild an internet that puts users first.” With the first JVM-compliant blockchain virtual machine, they are able to remove a major obstacle for a business interested in blockchain — the cost and time needed to train their teams on unfamiliar frameworks, languages, and tools. One of the biggest challenges for the cryptocurrency sector is increasing adoption and building user-friendly products. Aion is helping to meet this challenge with their AVM, which should also help to bring blockchain to more enterprise-level users! Check out the newest blog post by Jeff Disher on some of the other benefits and opportunities ahead for the AVM! Ethers.js — another leading developer tool is now available for Aion developers with support for Java smart contracts on the new Aion Virtual Machine! Ethers.js makes it easy for Blockchain developers to interact with the Aion Blockchain through a lightweight, well-maintained, well-documented, and robust typescript library that is tailored for front-end use. Matt’s monthly update video including the AVM launch with Jeff Disher and also Unity with Yao Sun was published. And if you’re interested in the Aion Research & Roadmap Team (ARRT) and the Unity project check out Yao’s AMA on Aion official subreddit. The community constantly grows and the ecosystem is impressive and it continues to flourish! Aion Connect is live, and there are a lot of projects build on Aion. Developers have been working extremely hard over the period of the last two weeks so many updates on ecosystem projects appeared in the media landscape. What an incredible year, and the next months will be even more interesting with Aion migration to Unity consensus (hybrid PoW & PoS)! The future looks bright! Stay tuned for Aion Network updates in the coming weeks!
Developer activity (from Coinlib.io):
The AVM hard fork has officially happened!
What an incredible journey it has been to building the world’s first JVM-compliant Blockchain virtual machine. The team set out on the mission to build the AVM over a year ago and it has truly been a team effort. Part of that team includes the passionate community who have been supporting and cheering for the project through the crypto winter and into the spring !
The team made the strategic decision to leave the JVM intact so they could fully leverage the mature ecosystem around it. Leaning on a hardened language like Java was crucial since a major obstacle for a business interested in Blockchain is the cost and time needed to train their teams on unfamiliar frameworks, languages, and tools. The AVM removes those obstacles and provides developers with a familiar and reliable development experience. The team is very excited about the projects already building on the AVM and can’t wait to see them go live. Aion strives to bring Blockchain to the mainstream and the AVM is the first big step towards that vision.
If you, or someone you know is interested in building a dApp on the AVM, check out the Aion Docs for free comprehensive tutorials and tools to get started.
Lastly, the team has written a few AVM-related articles over the last year you might have missed so if you want a deeper dive, check out:
by Jeff Disher
The Aion Virtual Machine (AVM) is a component of the software running on the machines which maintain the Aion public blockchain network. Specifically, it is the part which runs the programs which users can store on the blockchain.
The key distinction of the AVM, as compared to the virtual machines on many other blockchains, is that the AVM can run blockchain programs (“smart contracts”) written in the Java programming language.
Welcome Java Developers
The biggest news here is obviously for the Java community, itself. They can now build smart contracts directly in Java.
Further, the BloxBean Aion4J Maven plugin makes testing/deploying/calling smart contracts easy to integrate into an existing build system.
Additionally, the BloxBean IntelliJ plugin means that a familiar Java IDE can be used to aid in development, testing, deployment, and debugging. Yes, even debugging! The IntelliJ plugin runs the AVM internally, so you can debug Java smart contracts with full debug support (breakpoints, variable introspection, etc), directly in the IDE.
These tools are described in greater detail on the Aion Docs site:
Some of the new capabilities of AVM may also be of interest to existing blockchain developers:
- Java object-oriented programming model, including custom types
- Rich Java ecosystem and tools and patterns
- Fast and inexpensive primitive data types
- Hybrid storage model: both a key-value store and a transparent object graph
- Strict IEEE 754 floating point support
Broader AVM Benefits
This is a big deal in terms of what can be run on a public blockchain, so those interested in the future of such systems should definitely take note of the AVM.
The AVM provides an entirely new avenue for building on-chain software.
This means that the broader ecosystem of development patterns and tools are potentially candidates for use in a blockchain environment, as in the case of the aforementioned Maven and IntelliJ plugins created by BloxBean.
Beyond that, the AVM also opens the door to further performance improvements on the nodes running the chain, which creates the possibility of allowing more complex blocks in the future . Some of this comes from our ability to capitalize on the performance of the JVM, but some of it also comes from Aion new hybrid storage model, and a great deal comes from Aion ability to run transactions concurrently.
Doing all the DB waiting at once
Note that the team demonstrated this concurrent transaction execution benefit prior to the fork, where they switched to using the AVM for balance transfers, back in Java kernel 0.3.4. By running multiple transactions at the same time, they can hide the time spent waiting for the DB.
The Future of AVM
Now that the team has AVM at their disposal, here are some of their future ideas:
- Other JVM language support: All the team would need is to build blockchain-hardened versions of the runtime libraries these languages require and verify that they have no other hidden assumptions they would need to more directly support/restrict.
- Optimizations: The team has already made some changes to improve some worst-case scenarios of internal execution cost and they have some other experiments to try to further hide the cost of going to the DB.
- Client-side tooling: The team already compiles the ABI, on the client-side, and they are in the midst of expanding this client-side pipeline to further reduce deployment cost.
- Smaller user libraries: In order to keep the surface area of the AVM small, much functionality is delivered as user libraries, which are packaged along with the contract, when deployed. Some of these are more sophisticated than they need to be so smaller ones would suffice and save on deployment cost. Since these are packaged with the contract, the team doesn’t need to wait for a hard-fork to change these.
- Ease of API expansion: New features targeting smart contracts will be easy to expose in the AVM, since it exposes blockchain functionality as normal API calls, as opposed to special-case opcodes at the VM level. This means they can expand functionality without modifying any of the rest of the tooling stack.
Aion Founder Matt along with Jeff from the Production team and Yao from the Research team share updates on AVM mainnet launch that is happening today, Unity paper and proof of concept, and Aion Token Recovery Swap program.
These weeks events:
- June 10th: Jim Regenor speaking about VeriTX at LiveWorx Enterprise Blockchain Summit, Boston
- June 25th: Matt Spoke will be speaking at Proptech Toronto
- Velocia mobility rewards pilot launch in Miami mid-June
- Unity Consensus launch ETA Q4 2019
Build Cool Stuff Quickly with Aion | Consensus 2019: The AION Foundation’s John Matthews and Aayush Rajasekaran speak at Consensus 2019.
Yao Sun (u/ys_aion) leads the Aion Research and Roadmap Team, who recently released a high-level vision of Aion’s upcoming POW/POS hybrid consensus algorithm — Unity:
Yao was one of the first Nuco employees and worked on the original Aion whitepaper, kernel, and token bridge. In fact, he had the honor of pushing the start button to mine the first Aion block! He’s also a big fan of sci-fi, particularly Interstellar (the movie). Yao’s a great person to answer technical questions, particularly about Unity.
- Weekly Community AMA — Week ending June 14: Mike Mason (Aion Ecosystem Development) answers community questions here at the end of each week!
Token holders and the number of transactions dynamics (from Aion Explorer):
There is a stable slight grows in the number of token-holders these weeks.
Aion Asset Profile by Messari
Phase 2: Denali
- Aion Virtual Machine (AVM) Version 1
This AVM is a custom-built, lightweight, performant, and stable VM that leverages key characteristics of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), providing concurrency and robustness within a blockchain-specific context. The AVM is responsible for running applications on top of Aion. The AVM will include its own scripting language.
- Aion Scripting Language
The Aion scripting language is used for writing chain logic that runs on Aion-Everest and potentially any connecting/participating network. The Aion language is compiled into AVM bytecode and executed by the AVM. The Aion language provides the following features: Defensive programming, Blockchain runtime environment, Blockchain context injection, Security.
- Proof-of-Intelligence Consensus Algorithm
An economic measure to deter denial of service attacks by requiring participants, solvers in Aion-Everest, to perform artificial intelligence (AI) computation. The intent is to motivate the creation of AI-specific or specialized hardware that could be used for machine learning and neural network training in the future.
Phase 3: Everest 2019
- Participating Network Bridging
The generic bridge protocol is designed to enable the atomic movement of value and data between heterogeneous networks. This will enable the development of cross-blockchain contract logic and free-floating token supplies.
- Complete Validator Nomination
The Hybrid DPoS / PoI consensus mechanism aims to achieve high performance while providing a fair and decentralized validator set. This is achieved through a token staking system and partly through a novel verification algorithm based on concepts used in modern neural networks called Proof-of- Intelligence.
- Aion Virtual Machine (AVM) Version 2
• June: AVM Mainnet Launch
• Q4: Unity Consensus (PoW/PoS hybrid)
A Methodology for Roadmapping Public Blockchain Networks: publication in official Aion blog.
Aion team splits the scope of projects within the blockchain space between:
- Tinkerers: Those that innovate use-cases on top of a blockchain platform, using existing tools that are available.
- Tool Builders: Those that seek to expand the toolbox.
The best roadmaps are ones from projects that have a statistically viable sample to draw requirements from, ones that must be diligent and organized about roadmaps for their impact to downstream dependencies. Aion team found similarities within roadmaps for these projects that convinced them of the effectiveness:
- Thematic Consistency
- A Logical Breakdown
- Clarity of content
In the coming weeks Aion will be releasing their roadmap to the public with this format as their guide. The roadmap takes into account work being undertaken across the Foundation from research, to production development, to ecosystem funding, documentation and more. From all the things they looked at, arguably the most important was “Recommendations”, a roadmap feature they only saw from the React project.
Partnerships and team members
Ethers.js makes it easy for Blockchain developers to interact with the Aion Blockchain through a lightweight, well-maintained, well-documented, and robust typescript library that is tailored for front-end use.
Apart from being significantly smaller than other Blockchain frameworks at only 88kb compressed, Ethers.js is focused on developer-friendliness. The main features include:
- Keep your private keys safe
- Automatically connect to a NodeSmith endpoint
- Fully TypeScript ready, with definition files and full TypeScript source
- Created under an MIT License including ALL dependencies; completely open source for you to use as you please
With a variety of smart contract platforms emerging, why choose Aion? The author of Ethers.js Richard Moore, stated:
“With the Aion Network adding a Java-based smart contract Blockchain, it enables a whole industry (especially enterprise) of developers along with their tool-chains to get involved. The Java ecosystem has been around for quite some time, and has fostered a well-established collection of talent, debuggers, libraries, build-systems and knowledge-base of practices and security which will benefit the Blockchain space quite nicely.”
Ethers.js initially launched on the Ethereum network in 2017 as a much-needed alternative to the Web3.js library for Blockchain developers. The Ethereum community seems to be split on Web3.js vs Ethers.js; however, Ether.js was released to the community almost two years after the release of Web3.js and it has quite notably generated much more interest and usage in a shorter time span.
“I am still quite focused on Ethereum as a whole, but there is huge value in having a larger and more diverse community of blockchain developers.” — said Richard Moore.
A grant was issued by the Aion Foundation to Richard Moore to support this integration to continue to improve the developer experience on the Aion Network.
If you are interested in learning more:
- Check out the Aion Network Ethers.js tutorials and documentation
- See the official Ethers.js documentation
- View the Ethers.JS x Aion GitHub
- Read Richard Moore’s blog post on the Ethers.js integration with Aion Network
- Follow Richard Moore on Twitter
You can see the list of Aion partnerships on Aion Connect.
This Week’s Cranberry. Mining Rewards Jackpot is Over 22k AION
Projects Building on Aion:
• Digital Liquidity Factory
• THÉO (theoproject.io) (with Syná wallets)
• Agora (beta.agora.theoproject.io)
• Spiro (centrys.io/enterprise)
See also Aion Connect.
Social media metrics
Aion Community Commitment: a few initiatives that will involve participation from everyone and enable two-way communication.
Social media activity:
Social media dynamics:
There is a slight fluctuation in the number of subscribers of Aion social media channels.
Twitter — Average number of retweets is 15–30 for one post. The number of followers has increased by 5 thousand over the last week.
Facebook — 10–15 likes per publication.
Reddit — Threads with 2–10 comments. The community is quite active discussing latest news, development, mining, token price and possible partnerships.
The graph above shows the dynamics of changes in the number of Aion Reddit subscribers, Twitter followers and Facebook likes. The information is taken from Coingecko.com.
Aion Community is the new unofficial community-run Telegram channel for humor, memes, and trading discussion.
New Developer Subreddit — r/AIONgineering.
Discord — Active discussions on the latest updates and mining.
Aion forum — Discussions on mining, news, network statistics etc. Popular topics:
- Missing coins to my wallet
- Aion Bridge Stats
- Aion bridge user experience
- Any way to suppress “WARN P2P [p2p-tcp]: tcp-connect-peer pass max-active-nodes”?
- 亚洲 Aion 采矿服务器 — Glorypool.io
- SmartMiner EOL, Author call switching to EWBF miner.
- Aion network statistics.
- Aion Beta Testnet Rewards.
- Aion Token Bridge — Alpha Version Megathread.
- How to — build CUDA-based aionminer on Ubuntu 16.04.
Global Telegram Channels:
- Korea — Kakao chat
- Russia — @AionNetworkRU
- Poland — @Aion_Poland
- Spanish — @AionNetworkES
- Kenya — @AionKenya
- Netherlands/Belgium — @AionBenelux
- India @Aion_India