The Elastos blockchain employs a hybrid AuxPoW + DPoS consensus mechanism. The AuxPoW component was successfully completed in August 2018, when merged-mining went live in Bitmain’s mining pool. The second component of Elastos’ consensus mechanism, DPoS, serves as equally critical role in securing the Elastos blockchain. The PoW Bitcoin miners merged-mine ELA package blocks while the DPoS supernodes sign them, thereby creating finality and preventing soft forks from occurring. This hybrid consensus mechanism both leverages the enormous hashpower of the Bitcoin network and draws on DPoS to prevent forks, ultimately leading to a powerful and secure Elastos blockchain. Once DPoS goes live, it will pave the way to open merge-mining operations to mining pools and individuals beyond the scope of Bitmain, thus contributing to the growth of a robust and truly decentralized network.
Officially going live in July 2018, the DID Sidechain was the first to launch on Elastos. Being Elastos’ inaugural sidechain, it employs PoW consensus and is merged-mined with ELA so as to tap into the same security and hashpower provided to the Elastos mainchain by the Bitcoin network. The DID (Decentralized Identifier) sidechain issues completely decentralized IDs to users, apps, and devices that are not controlled by an individual or third party. and one that can be thought of as an autonomous and secure identification system. The sidechain provides independent proof of ownership of digital identity to every user of Elastos and enables every individual to generate a DID in the same costless fashion one would create a wallet on the Elastos mainchain. DIDs can be used to log into various applications and also to store personal data and digital assets. In essence, the DID Sidechain is at the heart of the operational mechanism that offers individuals the right and ability to “own their own data”.
Unlike other public blockchains such as Ethereum, which uses its mainchain to issue custom ERC20 and ERC721 tokens to DApps, Elastos isolates the token issuance process on a unique sidechain. This unique Token Sidechain can issue both fungible and non-fungible tokens to any decentralized applications built on Elastos. This token issuance process functions in parallel to the corresponding ERC20 standards for fungible tokens and ERC721 standards for non-fungible tokens. Any decentralized application running a sidechain on Elastos will be able to issue its own custom token via this Token Sidechain. As its sole functionality serves to issue tokens to projects built on top of Elastos, the Token Sidechain will aid in preventing the Elastos mainchain from becoming congested. The token sidechain also employs PoW consensus and is also merged mined with ELA, that in turn is merged mined with Bitcoin and so receives the same security and hashpower provided to the Elastos mainchain by the Bitcoin network. Note that this sidechain only aids in projects issuing their own stable and secure token on Elastos and has no smart contract capability of its own.
Elastos is able to port existing smart contract platforms to execute on Elastos. Since its inception in 2013, Ethereum has paved the way for programmable, decentralized smart contracts. As such, in order to easily port existing applications written for Ethereum, Elastos is developing a sidechain dedicated to handling the execution of smart contracts written in Solidity. In leveraging this sidechain, developers need not learn a new language; instead, if they are proficient in Solidity, they can start writing smart contracts and integrating them into DApps deployed on Elastos. Additionally, if there is an existing smart contract DApp that currently runs on Ethereum, it can be easily ported to run on Elastos as well. The Ethereum Smart Contract-Compatible Sidechain will manage the execution of smart contracts that are compatible with Ethereum and also aid in the issuance of ERC20 and ERC721-compatible tokens. Note that the Ethereum sidechain of Elastos employs DPoS consensus and accesses the same pool of DPoS Supernodes for smart contract execution as does the main chain for signing blocks.
In addition to its Ethereum Smart Contract-Compatible Sidechain, Elastos will also port other existing smart contract platforms to work in its ecosystem. The NEO Smart Contract-Compatible Sidechain allows developers to write and execute smart contracts originally written for NEO platform. Via this sidechain, existing NEO developers can easily migrate to Elastos and begin to develop NEO smart contracts in the programming languages with which they are already familiar. The NEO Smart Contract-Compatible Sidechain on Elastos will offer services that mirrors those of the public NEO blockchain. Note that initially, this sidechain also employs PoW consensus and is merged-mined with Elastos, and thus Bitcoin. However, if there is significant demand to change the consensus from PoW to DPoS for faster block generation, the changeover can be performed easily. In the case of a transition to DPoS, the NEO Smart Contract-Compatible Sidechain would employ the same consensus as Elastos’ Ethereum Sidechain.
In addition to enabling developers to execute smart contracts written for the Ethereum and NEO blockchains on its decentralized application infrastructure, Elastos also provides a Custom Sidechain Template whereby developers can create their own custom sidechains. Regarding consensus algorithms, custom sidechains can utilize Proof-of-Work (AuxPoW) by leveraging the hashpower of the Bitcoin network via Elastos’ merged-mining structure. Alternatively, they may also choose to implement a Delegated-Proof-of-Stake (DPoS), which leverages the DPoS nodes that are already active in serving the Elastos ecosystem. By way of providing access to pre-established clusters of organized nodes to secure sidechains, Elastos’ Custom Sidechain Template will reduce barriers to entry for building on its platform. Note that this template refers only to the ability to create multiple NEO Sidechains or multiple Ethereum Sidechains. For instance, a use case for the Custom Sidechain Template presents itself when a DApp running Ethereum smart contracts needs to create an additional Ethereum Sidechain for itself. For a DApp running NEO smart contracts, the Custom Sidechain Template offers the same solution. The specifics of the process of sidechain creation are yet to be defined. At this stage, the process will mirror that of drafting a proposal to Cyber Republic, as a new sidechain will need to be accepted by the council members and the community before it can be deployed on Elastos. By way of this secure, democratic process, Elastos provides a horizontal scalability solution in which it is theoretically and technically feasible to create as many Ethereum, NEO, and Token Sidechains as are needed to optimize the functionality of the entire ecosystem, thereby providing an efficient scalability solution.
The Elastos Carrier is a decentralized peer-to-peer network that takes over all the network traffic on the behalf of applications in order to secure the data and digital assets of the future. Elastos Carrier will have a new release that hones in on two main areas of focus: group messaging and file transfer. This release will bring in a number of features and additional improvements to the Elastos Carrier platform. Also, the Elastos Carrier will have support for Windows to supplement its support on Linux and Mac.
Elastos Hive is a basic service infrastructure that provides storage capabilities to DApps with decentralized characteristics. The Hive leverages standard IPFS/Cluster open source projects with some necessary refits while remaining a totally independent storage network separated from the standard IPFS network. The typical IPFS peer is a resource hungry program in that it consumes resources and slows down a mobile device when IPFS Daemon is installed. Elastos is creating a Hive project which uses IPFS Cluster as the Elastos App storage backend, and can be used in a low resource-consumption scenario. While the project stems from the IPFS Cluster, its operation will vary greatly from that of its predecessor. The Elastos Hive Cluster maintains a big IPFS pinset for sharing and can serve numerous virtual IPFS peers while only requiring that one runs a real IPFS peer. The Elastos Hive provides all the services of the open source IPFS version with the added benefit of compatibility with the rest of the services that are part of Elastos ecosystem. This service effectively offers developers an all-inclusive package when they set out to develop on top of Elastos. In essence, Elastos Hive allows developers to build their entire platforms within the Elastos ecosystem, thereby increasing productivity and adding to the appeal and breadth of the Elastos network. In conjunction with Elastos’ DID services, Elastos Hive enables applications to store users’ data in a distributed manner such that data is only accessible to its owners.
The Elastos Mobile SPV Wallet was released for Android devices in early December and allowed users an additional option for ELA storage as well as support to store DID sidechain tokens. In the future, the Mobile SPV Wallet will also provide support for voting mechanisms for DPoS supernode elections. In short, the SPV Mobile Wallet’s functionality will continue to be expanded and will be released for both Android and iOS platforms.
The Elastos Elephant Wallet was launched in December on the App store and Google Play. Support multiple digital currency and elastos eco partner currency. And support built-in DID to manage digital assets across applications. It holds the private key locally and acts as a personal digital token to manage identity and assets. Give users a better experience by interacting directly with nodes instead of SPVs.