The worldwide crypto market is now worth $149 billion, and the amount of ICOs announced daily is very exciting for the industry. Banks, corporations and governments are announcing their own blockchain projects at an encouraging rate, which is a promising sign of the increased legitimacy of the technology in the eyes of the corporate world. In fact, even while decrying cryptocurrencies, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon described blockchains as ‘useful.’
But it is still a new industry, and if blockchain technology wants to continue to enjoy widespread business adoption it needs to address some of the wider issues that have caused concern in the community in recent months, such as delayed transactions and slow processing times (which were part of the reason for the Bitcoin fork and the Ethereum and Bitcoin payment networks).
This all suggests that the proliferation of new blockchains poses a risk as much as an opportunity. Imagine a world where almost every major business using blockchain for complex transactions and smart contracts, sending data from these blockchains to other platforms based all over.
Anyone with experience in corporate IT has heard of the negative repercussions of badly integrated solutions that cause bottlenecks. Several projects are aiming to avoid the same technical issues plaguing the blockchain world. With a technology as complex as crypto, protocols of communication and data transfer will be instrumental. One such project is the Aion blockchain from Nuco, aiming to make blockchain communication easier.
The Problems of Speed and Scalability
Aion provides a means for several blockchains (whether owned by the same organization or not) to transact easily. This seems like a basic consideration, but when you consider the extremely complex nature of some transactions and smart contracts (for example, grain shipments that cancel contracts based on realtime sensor readings), you get an idea of the demands placed on the blockchain networks involved. This has caused some commentators to be quite pessimistic about the potential for many touted transactions. Thankfully, many in the cryptosphere are working to resolve these issues.
There are three main dimensions to the problems faced by the ecosystem of blockchains. First of all, there is the obvious issue of compatibility. Executing a smart contract across several public and proprietary blockchains needs complete data interoperability or transactions simply will not work. Add to this the need for the protocol to be easy to interpret; arcane requirements that are hard for developers to work with will discourage application development on the platform.
Second is the issue of scale. As with the motivation for moving transactions off scale with the Lightning Network and Raiden Network of Bitcoin and Ethereum respectively, there has been a big push in the crypto world to make transactions as lightweight and fast as possible. In an enterprise environment, users will not tolerate some of the processing times that congested networks cause.
The final issue is privacy. The transactions we see as standard now will change a lot in terms of encryption and transparency in the next few years. Things that are unimportant to consumers (like the balance of wallets being freely visible) would be unacceptable in corporate situations.
Taken together, these challenges show the need for a more official and streamlined protocol that meets the considerable demands of enterprise customers.
Bringing Blockchains Together
The Canadian-based team called Nuco is trying to address these issues with their Aion blockchain solution. The soon-to-be-released Aion-1 chain will enable faster, more secure, and more scaleable transactions between any participating blockchains (whether private or public). Once a blockchain is participating with others through the Aion protocol, transactions between it and other blockchains will be faster and easier as per the design of their platform.
The multi-tiered Aion blockchain provides both a technical infrastructure as well as an economic incentive (through smart fee allocation) to allow enterprise clients to bridge with their partners and customers in a secure and frictionless way. Given the many teething problems the blockchain and cryptocurrency world has faced in the past couple of years, a fully-fledged protocol like Aion-1 should rapidly increase uptake of blockchain technology by corporations and governments.
Since there are billions of dollars currently routed through the many channels of the cryptocurrency world, if Nuco can gain large market share with the Aion solution they could position themselves at the forefront of the wave of investment that will flow into the next generation of blockchain development.
Speaking the Language of Corporations
The team behind Aion has some relevant experience in the world of corporate IT. Nuco was founded by the same creators of the Deloitte blockchain practice, Rubix. Along with the rest of the 20 person Nuco team, the founders have brought extensive corporate experience to the table.
Nuco is also a member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and has high-profile advisors from the cryptocurrency world.
An ecosystem lives and dies by the contributions of 3rd party developers, so the Nuco team have incentivized development with the creating of Aion tokens and what they hope is an attractive fee structure. The token sale goes live on October 3rd, and tokens purchased can be used in the developing of applications on the Aion blockchain. Aion tokens will allow user to power their own application on the Aion blockchain, bridge with other blockchains, and create their own blockchains that are readily integrated with the Aion chain.
The Promise of Protocols in a Blockchained World
Despite the many hurdles to adoption surrounding cryptocurrency (and blockchain applications to a lesser extent) in its short history, the corporate world has been consistently interested in the potential of decentralized ledgers, smart contracts, and other crypto features.
Considering how much money big enterprises are pumping into blockchain development, it isn’t surprising that there is a need for protocols and networks to release the potential for network effects in the new business landscape. The market is $150 Billion and growing, so the race to become the dominant protocol for enterprise transactions is heating up.