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What is Aion (AION)? The Blockchain Connector Network

Aion is the world's first blockchain to think about interoperability. What is it and why is it important? Find out more in this article.

Posted February 27, 2023
Last updated June 5, 2023

AION Crypto token blog cover illustration.
AION Crypto token blog cover illustration.

Blockchain technology enables safe and transparent transactions without intermediaries. However, one problem is that over the past decade, we’ve seen so many different independent blockchains that work in isolation. 

This could be a problem in the future as networks would compete for new users, instead of working together to build a strong, cohesive network of blockchain networks. But since 2017, Aion (AION) has allowed Aion apps to talk to other blockchains, like Ethereum. It has become the first to do so in the crypto space.

Let’s explore what the Aion network has to offer in this article.

Key takeaways

  • Aion is a blockchain platform that facilitates the interoperability between blockchain networks.
  • The Aion Network is composed of 3 layers of multi-tier blockchain technology, which includes the communication layer, the consensus layer, and the application layer.
  •  Aion positions itself as a network that aims to push the boundaries of interoperability to further connect and unify the different blockchain networks in the future.

What is Aion (AION)?

Simply put, Aion is a “third-generation” blockchain that makes it possible to develop decentralised apps (dApps) that can transfer and receive value (and data) to and from other blockchains, such as Ethereum. 

For example, a banking app built on the Aion network can allow its users to send crypto to an app on the Ethereum network.

If the Aion app addresses all common use cases, it may even be possible for the user to send crypto directly to an Ethereum wallet.

Aion logo
Aion (AION) official logo in wallets. Source: Shutterstock.

Aion was developed by Matthew Speak and his Canada-based company Nuco in 2017. In November of the same year, the project received $23 million via an initial coin offering (ICO).

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Around 223 million AION tokens are in circulation as of February 2023, with a maximum of 465 million AION tokens in circulation overall. AION has a market value of around $100 million as of this writing.

Why is interoperability important?

Imagine for a second that two popular operating systems — MacOS and Windows — don’t share any app or programme that can run on both systems. The world probably has to develop two different apps for the same purpose, yet both exist on isolated systems.

This was the blockchain world from the late 2010s to the 2020s. Ethereum, Neo, and some other early programmable blockchains, although they offer a way to develop apps on top of them, don’t talk with each other.

In the crypto world, the more people join a network, the stronger the network — this is the law of network effect. It would be problematic if everyone makes their own isolated blockchain. Due to the lack of network effect, these isolated blockchains won’t stand a chance against attacks.

A more interconnected crypto space can help increase crypto adoption while staying competitive. An interconnected crypto space implies that new users and developers can be offered with more options for which blockchain to use. This also prevents monopoly of one blockchain, which can discourage innovation. 

How does Aion (AION) work?

The Aion network is made up of three layers. The three layers that make up Aion’s multi-tier blockchain technology are the communication layer, the consensus layer, and the application layer

Using the Aion development framework, developers create their dApps at the application layer. Like on all blockchains, there must at least be a consensus layer that secures the blockchain network against an attack which could override the distributed ledger.

Finally, the most innovative layer is the communication layer, which enables Aion to transfer data across other blockchains. To be extra granular, the communication layer has special programmes or APIs called blockchain bridges. 

Highway interchange representing blockchain bridges
Blockchain bridges are more like highway interchanges in reality. Photo by HUA LING on Unsplash.

The bridge works by providing a secure communications channel between Aion and the other blockchain. A system of validators must first verify transactions before it “leaves” one blockchain to “arrive” on the other. This allows the origin and destination blockchain to remain secure throughout the whole process.

The exact mechanism of the protocol is beyond the scope of this article. If you really want to know more about how Aion works, here is the documentation and news updates, which is well-maintained by an active community.

What are some of the use cases for Aion technology?

Before Aion, developers have to make the hard choice of committing to one blockchain, with its own protocol, system, and programming language.

Of course, no blockchain is perfect. Ethereum, for example, has the most diverse ecosystem of applications.

However, as of the time of writing, it hasn’t been able to scale transaction speeds and lower fees before their next biggest updates in 2024.

With Aion, developers can choose to build there, without giving up the opportunity to attract Ethereum users or those from any other blockchains.

In fact, Aion app developers can even have the flexibility to choose specific features of various blockchains to make high-quality apps.

For example, they can choose to use Bitcoin-level security from an older blockchain, flexible programming from Solana, and the app can connect to Ethereum metaverses to build a community.

A group of blocks joined together. 
Developers can mix-and-match blockchains to create an optimal application. Source: Shutterstock.

The takeaway

Aion is the blockchain that initiates the “interoperability movement”. This inspired new blockchain systems developers to create blockchains that enable cross-blockchain communication.

While this makes new blockchains competitors of Aion, Aion’s main focus on interoperability and “first to serve” advantage gives it a strong position in this field.

How to buy Aion (AION)?

With that being said, what are your own thoughts on AION?

If you’re feeling bullish on the innovations that the Aion Network has to offer in the blockchain space consider adding it to your crypto investment portfolio.

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Disclaimer: Information is current as at the date of publication. This is general information only and is not intended to be advice. Crypto is volatile, carries risk and the value can go up and down. Past performance is not an indicator of future returns. Please do your own research.

Last updated June 5, 2023

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