Aion is a distributed smart contract platform designed to help developers build a new generation of applications with unique attributes such as end-user privacy preservation, crypto-currency based business models, censorship resistance and verifiable payments without the need for an intermediary. In simple terms, Aion is a blockchain but unlike the Bitcoin blockchain it has a virtual machine that allows it to execute smart contracts.
The Aion smart contract platform works by running a network of machines worldwide that act as a distributed database called a ledger, to which developers can deploy applications called smart contracts. The logic in these smart contracts trigger outcomes that are verifiably true, making them an important piece of infrastructure for modern applications.
Aion aims to solve many of the big issues persistent with blockchain technology. These include in no specific order:
Also known as transaction throughput.
The ability for the network to resist a coordinated attack. Providing confidence in a new world of blockchain.
A blockchain should not be a resource burden on the world.
Nor should it pose a burden on a user for interacting with it. We aim to be the most developer-friendly platform.
The ability to pass logic and assets between multiple blockchains
We focus our time and energy on these problems so that we can serve our ultimate purpose of empowering application developers to rebuild an internet that puts users first.
Opening the true potential of smart contracts, Aion has decided to go into the direction of releasing the Aion Virtual Machine (based on the JVM). Aion now supports Java smart contracts which makes it easy to:
- Write robust code due to the ability to construct complex user-defined types
- Combined with the compiler (embedded AVM) immediately verifying contracts
- IDEs being able to provide code completion and debugging processes
This doesn’t even begin to tap into the treasure trove of open source tools which have grown around the Java ecosystem, many of which can be applied to this environment to improve quality and velocity.
Quality strengths of the AVM:
- Performance: The AVM uses the JIT compiler which optimizes the DApp code. It also features multi-threading, allowing increased throughput via concurrent transaction execution as opposed to most blockchain VMs
- Reliability & Maturity: The AVM uses the JIT compiler which optimizes the DApp code. It also features multi-threading, allowing increased throughput via concurrent transaction execution as opposed to most blockchain VMs.
- Developer Friendly: The Java-based AVM leverages the entire Java tooling ecosystem, making developer onboarding and experience extremely streamlined. You get the full developer package including the compiler and IDE straight out of the box! That said, the AVM taps into a well-established community that has claimed the top spot for the #1 language (Java) in the past few years.
High level comparison of JVM
Read more about the direction of utilizing the Java Virtual Machine for the AVM:
Distributed Network powered by Proof of Work: The Aion Platform is powered by a distributed network with an optimized modification of the equihash proof of work consensus algorithm.
Write and Deploy Java applications
Extensive Documentation and University (English & Chinese)
Ecosystem of third party developer tools: For a recommended environment setup and list of tools and plugins to get started, you can view our up to date list of tooling by category.
Free shared hosted node infrastructure: When prototyping, and deploying contracts to both the Mastery test network or Main network, you can use free shared nodes powered by Nodesmith.
Community driven Q/A: Visit stack overflow community driven question and answers to common questions you face in development.
Incentive driven bounty and grants program: Our bounty and grants program is a good channel for funding efforts that are complementary to the ecosystem.
The Aion Virtual Machine (AVM): https://docs.aion.network/docs/aion-virtual-machine
The Aion Kernel: Software run by every node on our distributed network
An up to date list of tooling by category, as well as exchanges and wallets can be found here.