This week our Faast Coin of the Week is Aeternity (AE), a project based out the tiny European country of Liechtenstein. Aeternity is similar to Ethereum in some ways, and is focused on solving scalability problems with dapps and smart contracts by moving them off-chain. Intrigued? Let’s dig into the details and see what makes Aeternity unique, and what it might mean for the future of blockchain tech.Aeternity in a Nutshell
Ethereum as we all know was a game changer for blockchain technology. For the first time, it was now possible to use blockchains for more than just exchanges of value. Developers could now build dapps, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and smart contracts, but it did not take long for critical vulnerabilities in the Ethereum network to manifest themselves.
The increase in users brought on by the massive bull market of 2017, as well as apps like Crypto Kitties slowed the network to a crawl. Many began to wonder: if Ethereum could be brought to its knees by a silly app, how could it ever live up to all the high hopes of blockchain enthusiasts? While Ethereum is making progress at dealing with this issue, this hasn’t stopped other developers who anticipated these scaling challenges from working on their own solutions. Aeternity is one of these projects.
While there are numerous projects trying to outdo Ethereum, Aeternity has 3 unique attributes that make it stand out from the rest:
1) State Channels. There are 3 basic approaches to solving the scalability problem: sharding, using a different consensus mechanism (like Delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance with NEO), or simply moving certain activities off-chain. The “state channel” approach used by Aeternity is an example of the third option. A state channel is a direct line of communication between the two (or more) parties involved in a smart contract, which is moved off the main blockchain.
Using this method, the only state update hand...