The Aion Network, or simply known as AION, is a blockchain protocol designed to provide interoperability between blockchains as well as address scalability and privacy through a multi-tier blockchain system. AION is the first project issued by Nuco Inc. which was founded by a group of ex-Deloitte employees in 2016. AION is based on Ethereum and has an ERC-20 token associated with it. development started for it in May 2017 with the code for it being released in March 2018 followed by the phase one main network launch in April 2018.
The Aion protocol is running on its own native blockchain called Kilimanjaro on its own virtual machine called the Fast Virtual Machine or FVM. The next version of their 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 defined as 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 can also be in theory oracles, crpytlets, or database clusters. There are specific standards that participating standards must meet to be considered Aion-compliant and include supporting 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.
In addition, participating blockchains will use the Aion network of connecting networks and bridges to generate interchain communication; for example, 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 in a similar manner as 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 and will have control over their internal functionality, yet, they 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, either by 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.
The purpose of a bridge is to ensure 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.
Matthew Spoke is the Founder and CEO at Aion Network and Nuco Inc. He previously was a blockchain specialist at Deloitte Canada. Jin Tu is the CTO at Aion Network and was previously a blockchain architect and lead developer at Deloitte Canada. Kesem Frank is Founder and COO at Aion Network and previously was a senior consultant and blockchain specialist at Deloitte Canada.
The Aion Team is primarily based in Toronto with employees based in the United Kingdom, Shanghai, and Barbados. Aion's advisors include Dr. Moe Levin, Eric Gu, Steven Nerayoff, Jeff Pulver, Michael Terpin, Anthony Di Iorio, Salim Ismail, John Lee, Eric Wetlaufer, and Kasem Frank.
Aion conducted two token sales during September and October 2017. First was a private sale to institutional and accredited investors and followed by a pre-sale to the public. The project initially scheduled a main public token sale, but canceled it in late 2017 citing volatile markets and enough funding from the previous sales. A total of 466.0 million tokens were created.
Of the 466 million tokens minted, Aion Foundation and Founding Partners were each allocated 20% (93 million AION), while 51.5% (240 million AION; most of which came from tokens earmarked for cancelled public sale) were allocated for redistribution to token holders as a part of the Token Release Schedule (TRS), which was designed to incentivize long-term commitment from public token holders and the Aion Foundation/Founding Partners. The intent prior to the cancelation of the public sale was for any leftover tokens from all sale rounds to be allocated to the TRS redistribution pool.
The public TRS was allocated 120 million tokens, which in addition to the amount contributed to the TRS (37 million AION), are being released to token holders who chose to contribute over 12 months, 31.25% of which was distributed in the first month (49 million AION), with a continued release of 6.25% (9.8 million AION) over the remaining 11 months, ending November 15, 2018.
The private TRS was allocated 120 million tokens, which in addition to the amount contributed to the TRS (186 million AION), are being released to the Aion Foundation and Founding Partners evenly over 36 months at a rate of 2.8% per month (8.6 million AION), ending November 15, 2020.
In April 2018, the Aion team announced a monetary policy with a fixed inflationary model of an annual 1.0% inflation of total supply to be rewarded to validators for verifying the network. The expected daily rewards will be approximately 12,943 AION per day for the first year.