from here to æternity

a new scalable blockchain endeavour

I just mined the first block of a new blockchain, the æternity testnet blockchain (Github). We have the 8th birthday of Bitcoin. And it is the first days of year 2017. Last year, in 2016, suddenly everybody started talking about blockchain. Banks, Businesses, Governments, Regulators, Economists, Accountants, Pharma, you name it.

Popular meme: Blockchain, Blokchain everywhere!

I have been around in the blockchain space for a while. And it is time to start something new. Something which solves plenty of issues of current blockchain design, learning from the past 8 years of blockchain’s existence.

Æternity Blockchain

Recently we published a whitepaper for a new scalable blockchain architecture, with Zack Hess and Jack Pettersson: Æternity Blockchain – the trustless, decentralized and purely-functional Oracle Machine.

Both, Zack and Jack brought in valuable knowledge from previous blockchain projects. Zack was developing the augur blockchain, before they switched to Ethereum (a mistake in our eyes). Jack was working for Synereo, where he created a new language to write smart contracts. Then there is me, the “Godfather of Ethereum“.

Back to our paper, let me first explain what an oracle machine is:

The Oracle Machine

Oracle machine is something more powerful than a Turing-machine. It can give answer to any question, in a single step. It is essentially a magical construct from theoretical computer science.

In complexity theory and computability theory, an oracle machine is an abstract machine used to study decision problems. It can be visualized as a Turing machine with a black box, called an oracle, which is able to solve certain decision problems in a single operation. The problem can be of any complexity class. Even undecidable problems, such as the halting problem, can be used. – from Wikipedia.

Æternity builds up a decentralized oracle, one which can’t be easily corrupted, similarly to Augur and Gnosis but with a few crucial differences, which effect especially efficiency and security of the oracle.

A machine with an oracle for the halting problem can determine whether particular Turing machines will halt on particular inputs, but they cannot determine, in general, if machines equivalent to themselves will halt. This creates a hierarchy of machines, each with a more powerful halting oracle and an even harder halting problem. This hierarchy of machines can be used to define the arithmetical hierarchy (Börger 1989). – from Wikipdia.

On Scalability – From Payment-Channels to State-Channels

It is well known to many, that blockchains, in their current design, can’t scale up to the worlds requirements. The Lightning network (aka Raiden in Ethereum) is supposed to solve this issue for payments with bitcoins (or ether), via creating a network of payment-channels. If Bitcoin succeeds to upgrade, then there can be theoretically almost infinite amount of transactions per second. Bitcoin might just stay as it is now though. The incentive to stay the same and not to break anything is too big (“never touch a running system”).

Jeff Coleman nicely describes the idea of having state-channels instead of simple payment-channels in his blog post

“What it all ultimately breaks down to is that participants open the channel by setting up a “judge” smart contract, sign promises to each other which the judge can enforce and adjudicate if necessary, and then close the channel by agreeing amongst themselves so that the judge’s adjudication isn’t needed. As long as the “judge” mechanism can be assumed to be reliable, these promises can be counted as instant transfers, with the judge only appealed to in exceptional circumstances, such as when one party disappears.” – Jeff Coleman in his seminal blog post ‘State Channels’.

With æternity, state-channels are build into the core blockchain. No upgrade required. This way æternity assures from day one to scale up to the worlds needs, and to bank all unbanked. Also corporations will profit from state-channels. Privacy gets greatly increased by not having all the transactions, code and state on-chain.

More on æternity’s state channels in one of the following blog-posts. Meanwhile please have a look into the whitepaper or our website for more information, also about other innovative features of æternity.

If blockchain tech scales, it will allow several billion people to get access to our global market. It is the next stage of globalization. A stage without barriers to access, without financial borders, with full sovereignty for the user.

æternity is mobile first

æternity empowers people: creating opportunities on global scale.

And all people need to do is to have a smartphone and download a wallet to transact – freely and securely.

with æternity everybody gets access to blockchain technology

Bootstraping Decentralization from Liechtenstein

Aeternity Establishment has the mission ‘to decentralize’ by building and delivering a decentralized blockchain. The company is head-quarted in the beautiful Rhine valley in the Principality of Liechtenstein in the Alps, very close to Munich (Germany), where I grew up and studied.

Andreas Kohl, one of æternity’s early advisors, dubs Liechtenstein as the ‘world’s freest country’- watch his full talk on Youtube to know more about this.

From Andreas Kohl's talk on Youtube.

Join Us

æternity is a big project. Additionally to the establishment we are in the process of creating a non-profit foundation and an incubator, in order to fund open-source projects which build upon æternity blockchain. We are fully commited to deliver a useful platform, as well as the first meaningful æpps. Please get in touch with us.

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