The blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem is crowded with projects attempting to be better than and compete with Ethereum’s decentralized application (dapp) ecosystem. This is to be expected as Ethereum as it stands today does not scale, only supporting up to 20 transactions per second at best.
Therefore, while Ethereum is thus far the leading smart contract and dapp development blockchain-based platform, it still is entirely possible that it fails to scale and another project takes its place.
One such project that’s attempting to do just that is Aurora (AOA) – a blockchain-based smart contract platform that aims to be better than Ethereum.
“Aurora is a decentralized application platform based on third-generation blockchain technology dedicated to providing mature blockchain technology solutions for the entire industry.” – Aurora Website
Aurora aims to offer a blockchain-based solution of their own that relieves the key pain points currently plaguing Ethereum – blockchain congestion, scalability, and upgradability.
The project’s mainnet has already launched and transaction speeds are said to reach 2000 transactions per second (TPS) with average gas fees around 0.0001 AOA. These stats are on par with the EOS blockchain and already outdo Ethereum.
In the following article, I provide a comprehensive and subjective look at Aurora (AOA) so that you can fundamentally understand what Aurora is and see the value proposition of AOA. I delve into its unique characteristics, its history, purpose, partnerships, as well as its issues and controversies surrounding it.
By the time you’re done reading, you’ll fundamentally understand Aurora and what sets it apart from other cryptocurrency projects. So buckle up and enjoy this comprehensive guide to understanding this Ethereum competitor – Aurora (AOA).
History of Aurora (AOA)
Aurora is a blockchain-based smart contract platform founded by its CEO Aqua Zhao and Global Market Executive Bo Zhang in late 2017. The project was first announced to the world in May 2018 at the “Beyond the Blocks” event in Seoul, South Korea.
The Aurora (AOA) project and cryptocurrency was originally developed as ABitchain (ABTC) but were automatically changed to AOA following the integration in May 2018. Also, during this time and throughout 2018, the initial supply of AOA and ABTC was airdropped to people for performing a variety of tasks such as joining the Aurora Telegram group, the mailing list, twitter account, and so on.
As for the AOA token distribution, the total supply of Aurora is 10,000,000,000 AOA (10 billion AOA), out of which 40 percent was retained by the Aurora Foundation, 34 percent went to early investors, and the remaining 26 percent was airdropped to the community.
Moreover, the Aurora Foundation further distributes AOA tokens to anyone who helps improve the system. Anyone can ear AOA by doing numerous activities such as finding bugs, promoting the project, and improving the codebase.
The circulating supply of Aurora is now 6,542,330,148 AOA and the project had its peak price of $0.060106 per AOA on July 18, 2018.
Purpose of Aurora (AOA)
Aurora aims to build an all-encompassing blockchain-based smart contract platform that will allow for the development of sophisticated decentralized applications (dapps). Its purpose is to resolve the key issues plaguing smart contract blockchains today and provide a platform that provides solutions for a wide array of industries.
Industries Aurora Hopes to Address
Video Gaming Industry
Aurora hopes to tokenize the gaming industry in which in-game items can be tokenized and made tradeable in an open economy powered by the Aurora blockchain. The project hopes to integrate in-game currencies, game data and game rules with its blockchain.
Aurora aims to decentralize the development of artificial intelligence by enabling streamlined communication between nodes.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Aurora wants its blockchain to become the foundation of a decentralized IoT system in which Aurora can profit from transactions and communications between smart devices.
Big Data & Supply Chain
Aurora sees itself as being a bridge between improved security and data management to make supply chains more secure and efficient.
Blockchain Issues Aurora Hopes to Solve
Introducing Blockchain to other Industries
Aurora wants to go beyond digital asset issuance and management. The team wants to incorporate its blockchain into industries other than crypto companies. Aurora is striving to allow enterprise businesses to embed applications and rules into the Blockchain for their operations.
Perfecting Smart Contracts
Aurora aims to develop the best smart contracts with robust underlying support, flexible tools, and transparent coding to make them accessible for a wide array of industries. They also hope to make their smart contracts more efficient with faster execution.
Higher Transaction Throughput
Aurora aims to boost the speed of transaction processing and is reported to already handle up to 2000 transactions per second.
Provide an Upgradeable Blockchain
Aurora’s blockchain infrastructure is fully upgradeable and features automatic upgrades of block heights and self-grouping of clusters. Aurora understands that it must be more easily upgradeable than Ethereum if it hopes to remain relevant.
Easy Implementation of Blockchain Applications
Aurora Chain enables in-depth incorporation with various types of applications to speed up the implementation of blockchain applications.
The AOA Token
Aurora’s native cryptocurrency, AOA is to be used as:
- A means of payment in the Aurora ecosystem, acting as its “fuel” and used to pay transaction fees.
- The unit used for data exchange on the platform.
- The currency awarded to those who help build and refine the Aurora blockchain system.
Aurora (AOA) Issues and Controversies
Aurora’s cryptocurrency token (AOA) has been subject to extreme volatility and outright strange price action, leading many experts to believe it is heavily involved in pump and dump schemes.
For instance, in September 2018 the price of AOA gained over 250% in just 4 days and then lost 55% of its value in a flash. While this happens often with lower volume altcoins, AOA has experienced highly irregular trading patterns time and time again.
Just look at this price action from May 24 to June 7, 2019:
During this time period, AOA experienced 14 ridiculous and unnatural price spikes. The price would spike up suddenly, only to be followed by a steep then gradual sell-off before the next unnatural price spike up.
This recurring price pattern is unnatural and has occurred throughout AOA’s trading history, leading many people to believe that AOA is nothing but a pump and dump coin.
Another controversy surrounding Aurora (AOA) is its D- rating from Weiss Crypto Ratings – a notable and trusted rating agency of stocks, mutual funds, ETF’s cryptocurrencies and more.
According to Weiss Ratings, Aurora only ranks in the top 100 out of more than 3000 cryptocurrencies due to hype and misinformation.
They also state 6 red flags of Aurora:
Consensus Algorithm: Aurora trumpets Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) plus Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) as if it’s some kind of unique combination. It isn’t.
Poor whitepaper: Aurora does not explain how it will solve issues and integrate with industries. It just describes very vaguely things people already know.
A lack of programmers and developers: There’s absolutely no information about who’s working on and developing the project.
No visible computer code: No viable proof that Aurora’s blockchain is what it claims to be.
No available adoption metrics: The project does not seem to have any adoption.
Very weak trading volume: AOA is subject to pump and dump schemes as it has low volume.
Aurora (AOA) Partnerships, Products, and Adoption
If Aurora hopes to be successful and take market share from Ethereum, it needs to see real adoption and acquire partnerships with real startups and businesses. If not, it will most likely fade away into oblivion as blockchain-based smart contract platforms are plentiful and competition is high.
According to the Aurora website, the project has 24 partners which are made up of a mix of cryptocurrency exchanges, media websites, and Chinese companies we do not know. We do know, however, that Aurora (AOA) can be traded on 8 different cryptocurrency exchanges:
All in all, Aurora does not appear to have any serious partnerships or integrations with notable startups or businesses.
As for Aurora products, the project has released some promising working products such as:
- AOA Mainnet Wallet for PC and MAC
- AOA Lite Wallet for iOS mobile devices (the wallet features a dapp store and ecosystem that connects communities, developers, and dapps).
- Aurora Block Explorer (Very well designed and easy to use)
Aurora’s blockchain-based smart contract platform has been live for over a year now and the project has yet to achieve any real adoption. Smart contract platforms offered by Ethereum, EOS, Tron, and others appear to be leading the way in terms of adoption over Aurora.
Aurora has been live for over a year now and has yet to prove itself and compete with other leading smart contract and dapp development platforms. It burst on to the crypto scene with a lot of hype, claiming it was going to solve all of the issues plaguing blockchain technologies.
However, it appears that Aurora may have been all hype, spreading misinformation about the project's capabilities, and leading investors into pump and dump schemes. While this may be the case, it must be noted that Aurora has released some viable products and may prove itself worthy yet.
Perhaps we should give it more credit since it launched in the midst of crypto winter, a time when nearly every cryptocurrency project struggled. Therefore, Aurora may show more signs of life and adoption as we head into another bull season.
What do you think about Aurora (AOA)? Is the project a lost cause or can it still solve some of blockchain's biggest issues? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.