AION: Enabling Movement across Chains
The Aion Network is supposedly looking to jump ahead of other networks like Ethereum that are planning for atomic swaps. If you’re not yet aware, atomic swaps already exist, but haven’t been implemented yet by any network.
The idea behind atomic swaps is that cryptocurrencies will be able to be exchanged by network users, across networks and therefore, across blockchains without any third-party interference. Effectively, this could mean that crypto-exchanges could become obsolete until they form a suitable response to this technology.
At this point, there’s actually no reason to take this as inevitable because as has been previously mentioned, atomic swaps aren’t really being used yet. The reason is that there’s a particularly large “if” attached to them.
According to current research, for a Crypto network to reliably use atomic swaps, it needs to begin by fully-adopting the Lightning Network. As some of you may know, the Lightning Network is still in its overall testnet phase.
Overall, a complete discussion of what the Lightning Network should do to become fully operational and fully adopted bears a completely separate piece. Suffice it to say as of now, that information in support of and in opposition to its success, is readily available on the internet. In addition, as with all Blockchain projects, the Lightning Network’s success depends on widespread adoption in the future.
On top of their reliance on the Lightning Network, atomic swaps also require specialized smart contracts to hold copies of the tokens that users want to swap, apparently even after they are swapped.
With all of this in mind, atomic swaps do not really stand out as a current competitor to what the Aion Network is trying to do. Overall, given current reports on the subject, the Aion Network aims to eliminate the need for the Lightning network as well as for any sort of specialized smart contracts.
While this may sound like it simply is an easier road towards atomic swaps, it’s a bit more involved than that. Firstly, the Aion Network appears to report that the end result of these swaps will be its own proprietary Aion token. At the same time, they’ve also stated that the point of the project is to enable atomic swaps from one token to another. This could then be said to imply that users have power over which tokens get swapped. With the existence of the Aion token, however, it’s not this simple.
As the project moves forward, it would do Aion some good to clarify what place the Aion token has in the overall process to avoid further confusion. At best, current posts on sites like Reddit appear to confirm that the token is only being used as a first use case of the token bridge since it is only operational on the Ethereum network.