æternity is a public, open-source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform that builds upon existing platforms such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. Real-world data can interface with smart contracts through decentralized “oracles”. Scalability and trustless Turing-completestate channels set æternity apart from other Blockchain 2.0 projects.
æternity provides a decentralized virtual machine which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes connected to the blockchain and through state channels. æternity provides a value token called an “æon”, which can be transferred between participants and is used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. Tokens are used to pay for space and computation time on the virtual machine and prevent spam on the network while allocating storage and computation time proportionally to the incentive offered by the request.
æternity's blockchain architecture with a hybrid Proof-of-Work and Proof of Stake consensus mechanism is built for privacy and scalability. Tokens can be transferred between parties of a smart contract through channels without storing the code of the contract on-chain. The blockchain intervenes if the verification in the channels fails or there is a dispute, acting like a crypto-court.
æternity can program complex relationships for large numbers of users and handle high volumes of products and information in parallel. Only the parties who participate in a smart contract know of its contents. When a channel is settled on-chain, it only changes the blockchain state by changing account balances. No contract state is stored on-chain, so all channels are independent from each other. Transaction speed is limited only by bandwidth, so the æternity system can scale as well as or even better than known centralized solutions available today.
Large throughput and relative privacy enables the use of æternity by enterprises, and it can be the main vector of micro-transactions needed for all internet-of-things use cases. In the same time this will make smart contracts easier to analyze and faster to process, with no substantial loss in functionality.
æternity held a first contribution campaign round in which the team raised 121,212 Ethers and 324 Bitcoins, the rough equivalent of 12,500,00 USD at the time. A second round was scheduled for 29 May 2017, in which the team's ambition was to raise a maximum capped amount of 21,000,000 CHF (21,500,000 USD).
æternity has a working test-net as of February 2017. A launch of the æternity main-net is scheduled for 2018.