- On November 26, 2018 aeternity launched its mainnet
- aeternity helps users move their AE tokens from Ethereum to the mainnet via a series of hardforks
- The first hardfork will be executed on February 20, 2019
What is aeternity?
aeternity (note: it has to be written with a small letter) is a project aiming to create a dApp platform that has none of the issues that plague current ones, such as poor scalability and suboptimal security level. aeternity tries to solve all the aforementioned problems with several tools, some of which currently have no analogues in the whole cryptocurrency industry:
- State channels – allows parties to communicate within a smart contract, connecting to blockchain only to adjudicate or transfer value, speeding up the whole system and using fewer resources because parties do not need to pay the network fee for every transaction
- Integrated naming system – this feature could radically change the user experience when dealing with wallet addresses similarly to how human-readable website addresses changed the internet
- Oracle machine – eliminates the highly vulnerable centralized data stream by decentralizing oracles, which provide access to information hosted outside the blockchain
- Hybrid consensus mechanism – combines both Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS). It is ASIC-resistant (or, rather, it was), memory-bound and power efficient PoW called the Cuckoo Cycle, is used for transaction approval, while the PoS mechanism that is used for governance, allowing AE token holders to vote on system values such as block size, fees, and forks
In order to do so, the system has to run on its own blockchain. At the time of writing, aeternity has technically already launched the mainnet, but the migration process from Ethereum is still ongoing. The Aeon token migration process will happen during 2019 and will happen in 4 stages explained in this article.
The multi-stage hardfork
In order to unleash the full potential of the system, aeternity has to run on its own blockchain. This process is associated with many hurdles. Because aeternity has previously run on Ethereum blockchain, its Aeon (AE) coin was an ERC-20 token. That means that the tokens have to be migrated to the mainnet. It is important to point out that it will be possible to migrate AE tokens to the mainnet up until the end of the last phase in the end of September 2019. What’s more, the new blockchain has to be tested for bugs to ensure it is stable enough for use. The aeternity team hopes to overcome these inconveniences by splitting the migration procedure into four phases. Each of them ends with a hardfork, with the first hardfork scheduled for February 20, 2019.
Phase 0 (completed)
The completion Phase 0 might just be the most impressive achievement of the aeternity team to date. On November 25, 2018 aeternity mainnet launched; the first release was named Roma. Before the genesis block was mined, it was possible for ERC-20 Aeon (AE) token holders to transfer their tokens to the aeternity mainnet. If they had managed to do it prior to the deadline, their tokens were available on the mainnet immediately after its launch. As is often the case with early versions of any blockchain, the Roma releases, were targeted at experienced and technically advanced users — primarily miners and developers.
Phase 1 (in progress)
This phase started in November 2018 and will end in February 2019 with the release of the second version of the aeternity mainnet named Minerva. Even though the hardfork itself will be executed on February 20, it will not be activated straightaway. Instead, the aeternity core team will observe the network for some time and test it for bugs.
Even though there is no exact activation date, users can expect the Minerva to go live on March 6, 2019. The tokens transferred to the mainnet before February 15 will become available after Minerva launch. The update brings along several consensus-breaking changes, which are supposed to bring improvements to AEVM, the Sophia language and state channels.
Phases 2&3 (did not start yet)
Both phases should be similar to phase 1. Here are the approximate timeframes of both of them:
- Phase 2 will start immediately after the February 20, 2019 and will end in May 2019
- Phase 3 will start after Phase 2 ends and will end on September 2, 2019
At the end of Phase 3 ERC-20 Aeon (AE) tokens become non-transferrable.
It is possible to track aeternity development closely using this tool.
aeternity tried to make migration process as intuitive for users as possible. During each phase it is possible to migrate AE tokens to the mainnet. It has to be noted that these tokens will not show up in the wallet immediately after migration: it happens at the end of each phase, when respective hardfork is launched. Aeternity recommends to use MetaMask or MyEtherWallet for migration. It is possible to find detailed instructions for the migration process here.
However, the procedure will change significantly after the end of Phase 3 on September 2, 2019. After that day, Ethereum AE tokens will become non-transferable. Fortunately, users will still be able to migrate their AE tokens on the condition they don’t use a smart contract to manage them. The aeternity core team will release more detailed information as the date approaches.
Costs of migration
AE migration process is free, with only costs being the transaction fees of the Ethereum network, which have to be paid due to the migration process utilizing Ethereum. Other additional costs are present in case tokens are stored on a wallet which does not provide user access to addresses’ private keys/seed (“leased wallet”). If that is true, users have to move them to an Ethereum wallet before starting the migration process. The transaction fee for withdrawing tokens from an exchange or a leased wallet can vary depending on the transaction fee policy of the service.