The æternity hardfork LIMA has introduced a range of changes, including a naming system, an improved Virtual Machine, and governance changes to challenge Ethereum and other blockchain platforms.

Do you have difficulties remembering your AE account ID? Then this will be interesting for you: Liechtenstein-based æternity announced the launch of “.chain,” the official Æternity Naming System (AENS).

AENS enables users of the æternity app (æpp) to register any blockchain entity, including account keys and wallet addresses, smart contracts, oracles, state channels, and hashes, as easily readable names. The goal is to create an efficient and secure naming system for decentralized applications.

“With æternity’s naming system, we are destroying the myth that wallet addresses and other blockchain entities can’t have readable names without being decentralized and secure,” said Yanislav Malahov, Founder of æternity Blockchain. “We have been in test mode exploring the most efficient means to register names, and we are thrilled to finally launch this system for improving the user experience.”  

AENS creates readable names while maintaining the security of the account

Wallet IDs consist of random digits and uppercase and lowercase letters. As those IDs are hard to remember, AENS simplifies them, so they appear as a readable name with a namespace and an extension, for example, “wallet.chain.”

The system functions similarly to the domain naming system for websites, with the difference that it is fully decentralized, maintaining the security of the account. Names are fully secure, as they live in a protocol-protected state and are executed via the Sophia smart contract.

To get a domain, users need to participate in a public auction to register new names. The purpose of the auction is to ensure fair distribution of names by determining their fair market price. The fees collected through the auction then get burned. The prices depend partly on the name length: the shorter the name, the more expensive the domain. The most expensive one-letter domain names start at about 570 AE.

The first auctions for names started on October 30, 2019. Newly created .chain domains will get integrated into the stealth æternity blockchain browser. Alone during the test phase, over 500,000 names were already registered, indicating the potential demand.

Hardfork Lima adds AENS, FATE and upgraded governance

The naming system is part of æternity’s LIMA hardfork on 5th of November. Besides the naming system, LIMA also adds an improved Virtual Machine, and governance changes to challenge Ethereum and other blockchain platforms.

The newly released Fast Æternity Transaction Engine (“FATE”) is a Virtual Machine optimized for æternity smart contracts. According to æternity, FATE outperforms other blockchain networks with “better efficiency and ten times less power consumption, giving developers the advantage of low fees, even when scaling quickly.”

LIMA also introduces æternity’s next level of decentralized governance, which comes in the form of an improved on-chain governance aepp. It includes a delegated voting system to allow token holders to download or host a simple, mobile-optimized blockchain application to propose votes or participate in the voting process. This should reduce the issue of weak voter participation, which is a problem for many blockchain projects.

LIMA also completes the migration from Ethereum to the æternity blockchain. Thus, the AE token – initially created as an ERC-20 token – is now fully living on the æternity Mainnet.

Malahov commented, “æternity grew from a team of core developers to an ecosystem built by its community, for its community, which makes this protocol upgrade a step forward in the project’s mission.”

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