Alephium Mainnet Throws Enters DeFi Race With Greater Scalability & Smart Contracts
As the competition to host DeFi protocols escalates, Lausanne, Switzerland-based Alephium has unveiled its live mainnet, complete with innovations on the core designs of the Bitcoin network alongside the Ethereum ecosystem’s novel capabilities.
Just months after its token pre-sale garnered $3.6 million in funding from contributors, 91% of whom invested less than $100,000 in the network, Alephium has wrapped up testing and auditing, introducing a brand new, scalable platform for dApps and smart contracts. The network employs a highly efficient layer-1 sharding design to improve upon the throughput hurdles faced by Bitcoin and Ethereum while lowering costs and delivering superior security.
Based on a stateful UTXO transaction model, Alephium effectively combines the best attributes of both legacy ecosystems and advances their technical capabilities and security through its unique BlockFlow sharding consensus. Sharding effectively refers to database partitioning, allowing a network to process transactions in parallel instead of one at a time, which has historically created transaction confirmation bottlenecks in Bitcoin and Ethereum.
However, unlike other proposed sharding models, Alephium’s single-step cross-shard transactability is purposefully designed to avoid the possibility of a single shard being compromised in what is known as a 1% shard attack. Instead, the architecture raises the threshold to a 51% attack while maintaining the user-friendly approach of a single-chain network alongside the robust security offered by the Bitcoin core stack.
Per Alephium Founder and core developer Cheng Wang, “After over three years of development under the radar, we are proud to announce the launch of the Alephium Mainnet. It’s made to support powerful, scalable, yet user-friendly decentralized applications and protocols. We welcome the community of developers and miners to join us in improving the ecosystem one project at a time.”
Vying For dApp Market Share
Responding to the critiques of Bitcoin’s tremendous waste and Ethereum’s high gas fees, Alephium has introduced its consensus algorithm titled Proof-of-Less-Work (PoLW). A take on the original proof-of-work algorithm used by both Bitcoin and Ethereum, this novel approach determines the difficulty of work dynamically through an intelligent combination of tokenomics and physical work. Together, they reduce the energy consumption and footprint of traditional PoW chains.
With the reduced operational costs and enhanced throughput available from native, layer-1 scalability alongside a powerful, highly-secured EVM, Alephium provides an efficient alternative for dApps and smart contracts, especially open DeFi protocols.
In an appeal to developers, Wang concludes, “Alephium offers a whole new programming paradigm for decentralized applications, ideally suited for performance-oriented and secure DeFi. Leveraging Alephium’s custom virtual machine, dApps can now benefit from the security offered by the stateful UTXO model without sacrificing the power and expressiveness of smart contracts”.