Aion: Mastery AVM Kernel Release, This month’s Showcase, “Programmable Trust” by Matt Spoke and Mike Mason, Complete video playlist from Rebuild2019 including Hacker Room, Sergio Lerner (RSK/RIF) gives a shout-out to Aion’s AVM
Biweekly update 8th May — 22nd May
Aion transparency and information sharing continues! This month’s showcase — a monthly recurring set of presentations to create information symmetry both internally and externally — includes progress from ARRT, Barbados, Accelerating Adoption, Developer Success and the AVM production team which includes the Kernel. Aion Virtual Machine is now ready for production and they are kicking off the release process! So amazing to see a Java smart-contract being successfully deployed on the Aion Mastery testnet! These weeks the team attended Consensus 2019 in New York. Matthew Spoke and Michael Mason wrote a post on Programmable Trust, the latest contribution to the Centre for International Governance Innovation series “A Practical Approach to Governance in the Digital Age”. RSK & RIF Chief Scientist, Sergio Lerner, talked about AVM in recent AMA. John Matthews (AMA special guest this week) and Aayush Rajasekaran will be leading an hour-long developer talk today on “Build Cool Stuff Quickly, with Aion”. 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 six months will be even more interesting with Aion migration to AVM (Java-based system) and Unity consensus (hybrid PoW & PoS)! Stay tuned for Aion Network updates in the coming weeks!
The team is delighted to announce that the AVM — Aion Virtual Machine is now ready for production and they are kicking off the release process.
• Read about the AVM here.
As usual, changes are released to Mastery in advance of Mainnet so Java Kernel v0.4.0 has been released for Mastery Testnet (Please note that this repo is a temporary repo and will be deprecated when the Mainnet binary is released).
Aion released the ARRT (Aion Research and Roadmap Team) draft Unity white paper. The paper explains in technical detail the approach to implement Unity, a combination Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm.
The goals they’re looking to achieve with Unity are:
- Increase the security of the network by introducing economic security via Proof-of-Stake
- Adaptable to network size and topology
- Lower barrier of entry to participate in network security via staking
- Represent a progression in Aion, simple to implement
- Retain probability distribution introduced in PoW (see below)
The initial research has led the team to be confident that Unity will improve the security of the Aion network while simultaneously improving the through-put capability. The ARRT team is still working on fork selections and slashing mechanisms but they’re very excited to have Unity on their roadmap.
For the full Unity draft white paper PDF click here
Showcase — May 1st, 2019:
Showcases are a monthly recurring set of presentations to create information symmetry both internally and externally. Showcases are an opportunity for Aion Foundation teams to share progress they’ve made in the previous four week period. They come prepared with talking points in a consumable group format that covers a 10 minute period (presentation, demo, etc.) In attendance are the members of the presenting “pod” and all “pod leads”.
Aion transparency and information sharing continues. This month’s showcase includes progress from ARRT, Barbados, Accelerating Adoption, Developer Success and the AVM production team which includes the Kernel.
AVM Production Update:
- 0.3.4 kernel release with AVM balance transfers, which added multiple steps due to some errors internally but we’re getting better at managing the releases
- Are these hackathons worth it for beginners? We are not finding the high quality of developers who will actually try out the AVM’s features. Probably need to pick where we want our attention to come from
- Last build of the AVM testnet to happen this week
- Dates for the upgrades will be set by block number and will be part of the configuration in the code
- Not too worried about the date slips
- Matt feedback: we can just launch without Rust integration and have them catch up to the hard fork
- Minh: code update will happen a day after the seed updates so there will be enough time to figure out Rust timelines
- Matt: we can figure out who’s running Rust clients and manage them accordingly
- Matt: is modularity making it easier for other networks to integrate the AVM?
- Jeff: It is already easy to do that, the modularity initiative is to make it easier to modularize the Aion codebase into SDKs. It helps test and understand breaking points in a much more efficient way.
- Matt: put more thought into which hackathons and audience we want to focus on?
- Mike: we want to productize the way we think about these use cases, and help identify what problems people are trying to solve.
- Matt: this is an opportunity to go after an audience to differentiate ourselves, while providing a toolset and have Aion as the first choice.
- Jeff: We can target Java ecosystem, why don’t we just create SDK for the enterprise version that simplifies how to do that without having them to know about the entire environment.
- Matt: we should have clear goals on the modularity aspect and how it fits into getting adoption of getting people onboard with our stack.
- Jeff: we need to prove that people be able to use it.
- Mike: the product is the smart contract platform and the AVM is only a part of it, and the people interfacing with us are not blockchain builders or only looking at AVM, they are people who have problems.
- Matt: we need to figure out if these are two parts of the same strategy. Ethereum has grown into bigger ecosystem because people are coming up with creative contracts and protocols that we might not fully understand all these things.
- Mike: The smart contract templates and getting standards is what pushes those things to the protocol. This could be where Aion differentiates and sets it itself up for success by moving faster.
Acceleration Adoption Showcase:
- Trust Wallet — Also working on dApp integration with them
- KMS Chain — Connecting them with partners that need re-encryption service
- NFT — being build by William, kicking off in the next week
- Chain Link — working on short-term oracle functionality into Aion Java contracts before their mainnet launch
- Bidali — working on Mobile SDK integration for gift card off-ramps
- Velocia — Finalizing prep for Miami, contracts reviewed ready for the 2–3K university user group to start beta
- Mike: Looks like we have a lot of good wallets and pools going live — more than meeting our requirements. Where should we be focusing our efforts next in terms of capital and time?
- Mike: We still definitely have a need for an off/on ramp for Fiat to Aion. How are we tracking towards this?
- Karim: Yes we are targeting and working with certain exchanges that support this functionality like Changelly and Bidali. Also in the process for others.
- Matt: Lets keep investigating how to collaborate on with others foundations on common grants that can create stand-alone successful products that support multiple protocols (ex: browser extension)
- NXT — Looked at pure staking solutions, they have to have poisson process. With this criteria, you can leverage existing assumptions and proofs for Nakamoto Consensus.
- Tendermint — makes tradeoffs with liveness
- Beacon chain — promising, but has issues with decoupling with their main chain
- dPOS — other problems (described in the rebuild video presentation)
- Decred — good solution, but has an imbalance between block validators and producers.
- Unity — we like NXT and simplicity, but can we keep that property with mining and have it better than Decred
- Results were pretty convincing — the graphs shows PoS distribution that gives us the stochastic properties we want. This gives us a fair representation of power for each mechanism that is consistent with 10 second blocks.
- Casper FFG, GRANDPA — could work in parallel to us as Unity would be treated like any other block production layer. We would need to see if restrictions on the fork choice rule this would impose could affect the protocol.
- Jeff: we should start calling out problems in the space that are unsolvable, essentially to remind people why certain proposals are not good and will never work
- Matt: if we can prove designs are broken, it can be utilized as a marketing scheme
- Jeff: we do not want to be drinking the “cool aid” that people in the space is having. We need to have the statement from the top-level and on a lower-level on how blockchains should be implemented and decide the right timing to make those decisions and communicate it to the public.
- Matt: What is the rest of the ARRT team proposing to focus on after unity? What is worth doing now is making sure we put everything that should be considered so we look at the full list of items and prioritize them.
- Yao: we have ideas of what we could do, but we want to focus on implementing the current research. We will propose what we should do and get feedback. I wonder if us proposing sets the tone and puts some bias.
- Matt: what we can do with ARRT, what are the pain points with regular software that Aion can solve?
- Jeff: this is more of a product discussion and not research.
- Ian: do we expect feedback in the next 2 weeks before the final draft on May 17? Is there a distribution list for people to see and evaluate the white-paper draft?
- Matt: let’s put this in front of Cosmos on why we didn’t choose Tendermint and see their feedback — it will be valuable to get that from high quality projects. We can try with Vitalik and 10–15 other projects.
- Sam: would be great to publish all the insights we’ve gathered over this in-depth research around consensus
- Mike: it should have a collaborative vibe when doing these articles
Dev Success Showcase:
- Analytics — improvements every month on every single category, which shows a greater audience and awareness
- Target 5% and we got 3.2%, which is good but no there yet
- Hackathon — helped us better provide docs, and improve overall dev exp etc.
- Coming up next is
- “What is” series
- Roundtable videos
- Better process of video production
- Working with an agency to work on new productizing docs website and finalizing the scope end of week
- Ian: do we know who is consuming the docs?
- Mike: most is coming from coinmarketcap
- Sam: How are we doing on stack overflow? Kim: will ramp up much more on AVM launch
- Sam: let’s push all the conversations we have onto stack overflow to show live conversation and questions
- Ian: let’s make sure we get a bonus when helping out any applications to launch. We want to help influence and understand these metrics
- Matt: are we revisiting the reason to have learn and docs to be separate?
- Mike: docs becomes universal source of truth and learn will transition pending research
- Sam: how we make decisions on learn topic
- Mike: based on content roadmap, John has been working on productizing docs but we will re-emphasize who is our audience and what we are and are not doing by next showcase.
- Matt: with a new audience, what can we do to simplify the process for the bottlenecks for each audience
- Sam: we commoditize all the components into the docs that we co-create with a specific audience and have a product owner for that portion
Barbados Team Showcase:
- Ian: Backlog gromming, who is helping here
- Minh: Standing meeting weekly to push requirements to Barbados. Toronto gathers resources/requirements and feeds it to them
- Matt: AVM support on dashboard, where are we here?
- Andre: We need code to stable. Contract call functionality shown on dash is limited anyway, just ATS coins. This week we ran tests to pull chain into SQL db.
- Matt: For contract templates in Java, can we make sure that the dashboard roadmap takes these templates into account to feed dashboard.
- Sam: yes, this is contract functionality that Barbados should be made aware of. Lets also loop in Barbados on ATS contract template updates, send them a few links
- Sam: You mentioned you made changes to token on dashboard, truncating the characters to 45, what is the fix for profane coins on the dash? We have a roadmap for this feature but we are trying not to have a knee jerk reaction
- Sam: There was a crash on the dashboard from a contract. We don’t have access to the contract ABI unfortunately
Programmable Trust — A Practical Approach to Governance in the Digital Age by Michael Mason Matthew Spoke
Programmable Trust is the latest contribution to the Centre for International Governance Innovation series “A Practical Approach to Governance in the Digital Age”.
These weeks events:
- May 13th-15th, 2019: Aion at Consensus 2019 NY.
- May 20th-23rd, 2019: Collision Conference, Toronto: Matt Spoke speaking (enterprise blockchain panel) and Alex McDougall (Bicameral Ventures) mentoring startups.
- May 22nd, 2019: Bicameral Ventures Portfolio Showcase, Toronto.
- May 29th-31st, 2019: Patrick Mandic (MavenNet) and Jim Regenor (BRG) will be speaking at Supply Chain Mgmt. Ass’n conference in Montreal.
- Yao Sun — Unity Consensus Algorithm: Hear Yao Sun, part of the ARRT — AION Research & Roadmap Team — introduction the new Hybrid Consensus Protocol called Unity.
- The Hacker Room videos are now live! That means all 34 videos from REBUILD 2019 are now available on the Aion YouTube Channel for your enjoyment. The hacker room videos in the playlist start here.
- Weekly Community AMA — Week ending May 17 — Special guest John Matthews (Developer Success team). John Matthews (u/aion_john) works on Aion’s Developer Success team to make developers happy by scripting videos, writing docs, interacting with them online, hosting hackathons, and attending meetups to get to know devs in person. He’s currently spear-heading the project to revamp Aion docs in an effort to make Aion the most approachable blockchain to everyone (not just devs).
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 continues to set a new standard of accountability with a focus on long-term impact. To that end, the Aion Foundation has to publish the Aion Foundation Report Q1 2019. These reports will serve the purpose of providing insight into the internal operations, metrics, and strategies of the Aion Foundation.
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
• mid-May: AVM Testnet
• June: AVM Mainnet Launch
• Q4: Unity Consensus (PoW/PoS hybrid)
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
Nice shout out on Aion Java-based AVM (Aion Virtual Machine) from the RSK team during their AMA:
- You can see the list of Aion partnerships on Aion Connect.
- Nodesmith Techstars Demo Day: Nodesmith’s presentation at Techstars Seattle Demo Day 2019.
- End of May: Velocia launches Miami pilot.
- ClanPlay is running a tournament throughout Consensus with big AION prizes.
- Vault Wallet is to give ClanPlay winners a great mobile wallet to store their AION winnings.
- Cryptonetworks will challenge infrastructure monopolies by Michael O’Rourke in Pocket Network blog.
- Metalyfe Announces Strategic Partnership with Gath3r.
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.
Excited to announce the AVM is officially live on our public test network! So amazing to see a Java smart-contract being successfully deployed on the Aion Mastery testnet. Start building your Java dApps now! #Java #Blockchain
Active Reddit discussions:
Aion Cryptocurrency: The Interoperability Blockchain: video review by Hashoshi.
Social media metrics
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