In the ever-evolving realm of blockchain technology, a few projects stand out for their vision, innovation, and ability to challenge the status quo. Among these trailblazers is aelf, a unique and scalable operating system tailored for blockchain applications. Much like the metaphorical iceberg, there’s a vast depth beneath its surface. In this guide, we’ll delve deep into aelf, exploring its conception, design, and the aspirations that drive it.


Launched in 2017 by the visionary Ma Haobo, aelf quickly marked its territory in the blockchain universe. Haobo’s foray into the digital realm wasn’t a sudden plunge. With an impressive pedigree as an early blockchain enthusiast and digital asset adopter, he held pivotal roles prior to aelf. He helmed Hoopox as its CEO and served as the Chief Technology Officer at Gempay and Allcoin.

The year 2017 wasn’t just about the inception; it was also when the aelf project secured initial funding. Fueled by this financial backing, the team kickstarted the development phase of the aelf blockchain in 2018. A testament to their progress, the public testnet saw the light of day in June of the same year. However, the journey from testnet to mainnet wasn’t an overnight affair. After numerous tweaks and refinements, the mainnet was eventually unveiled in December 2020.

Even after the mainnet’s launch, the team’s relentless quest for perfection didn’t wane. Throughout 2021, the aelf mainnet was meticulously vetted, undergoing a gamut of functionality assessments and stringent security evaluations. A significant milestone was reached in September 2021, when the token swap feature was rolled out. Given that the original ELF token was dispensed as an ERC-20 token on Ethereum‘s platform, compatibility issues arose with the aelf network. This token swap bridged that gap, enabling investors to exchange their ERC-20 ELF tokens for mainnet ones at an equal rate, paving the way for seamless integration into the aelf ecosystem.

What is Aelf?

Aelf emerges as a tailor-made operating system (OS) designed exclusively for the blockchain realm. Envisioned to be the blockchain community’s counterpart to the iconic “Linux system,” aelf pioneers as a thoroughly decentralized primary layer network. By harnessing the prowess of cloud computing, it promises scalable blockchain solutions optimized for enterprise needs.

Distinguishing itself in the blockchain space, aelf introduces a potent blend of side chains, parallel processing, and inter-chain interactions to deliver a robust and adaptable blockchain ecosystem tailored for commercial integration.

At its core, the aelf OS acts as a decentralized Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) protocol. This empowers businesses to inaugurate their distinctive blockchain ecosystems via aelf’s sidechains. A striking feature of aelf lies in its adaptability; each sidechain can be fine-tuned with its chosen consensus mechanism, granting businesses unmatched flexibility as they chart their blockchain journey.

Aelf and Linux Similarities

The realm of blockchain technology has often made an implicit assumption: any computational device, be it servers or regular computers, can function as nodes. However, ASIC mining rigs stand out as the only devices specifically crafted for blockchain’s intricate workings. Aelf’s vision is to revolutionize this paradigm. By introducing an OS rooted in blockchain, it aims to metamorphose our devices from the ground up, facilitating a seamless interaction with decentralized applications (dApps).

The digital landscape is unmistakably drifting towards a decentralized, cloud-centric computing model. Giants like Microsoft and Adobe pioneered the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, paving the way for an ecosystem where devices are interchangeably used in sync with cloud services. Statistics have projected that, by 2020, an overwhelming majority of applications would operate based on SaaS.

Parallelly, the essence of ‘ownership’ is evolving. The rise of sharing economies and the transition to cloud models have allowed developers to retain their proprietary code on secured servers, combating unauthorized access and piracy. The lengthy verification codes that users

How Does Aelf Work?

Aelf pioneers an innovative approach to the blockchain arena by spotlighting two transformative innovations: the strategic deployment of side chains and a distinct governance mechanism. By partitioning resources and smart contracts via side chains, aelf promises unparalleled scalability. It couples this with a flexible Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus for nimble governance. Here’s a deeper look into these aspects:

Side Chains Framework

Central to aelf’s structure is a primary chain, augmented by a plethora of side chains designed to execute smart contracts. The main chain, which acts as the system’s backbone, can also facilitate interactions with external chains. Each side chain is allocated for a specific contract type, ensuring compartmentalization. While these side chains operate in isolation, they relay information through the main chain.

The side chains anchor themselves to the main chain via an indexing system. This system bifurcates chains into:

  1. Prominent external chains like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  2. Internal side chains within the aelf realm.

Envision a structure where the main chain branches to Bitcoin, a side chain devoted to asset exchanges, and another focusing on diverse asset classes. Delving further, these side chains can further subdivide into more specialized chains, creating a hierarchical web of interconnected chains.

Akin to Ethereum’s sharding method, aelf’s side chain strategy promises efficient scalability, ensuring that congestion in one segment doesn’t impede the entire network’s functioning.

Token Dynamics

For their activities, side chains are obligated to remit transaction fees to the main chain, the magnitude of which is inversely proportional to their ecosystem contribution. For instance, Bitcoin, given its widespread acceptance, enjoys fee exemption. Side chains also hold the prerogative to levy fees on their sub-chains.

Consensus Mechanism

Considering aelf’s intricacy, with nodes juggling information from myriad side chains to the main chain, conventional consensus algorithms like Proof-of-Work (PoW) or Proof-of-Stake (PoS) don’t fit the bill. Aelf employs the Delegated Proof-of-Stake (DPoS) system, reminiscent of platforms like Ark.

Holding the aelf token (ELF) lets users participate in a democratic process to select nodes that will mine. These chosen nodes, in turn, allocate mining rewards across nodes and stakeholders.

ELF Token

At the heart of the aelf network lies its intrinsic utility token: ELF. Serving a multi-faceted role within the ecosystem, ELF tokens are essential for executing onchain operations and covering associated gas fees. Beyond mere transactional functionalities, participants within the network also utilize ELF for procuring various goods, services, and remitting side chain index charges.

Intriguingly, the aelf core chain leans on a Delegated Proof-of-Stake consensus approach, offering ELF tokens an additional dimension of utility. Possessors of ELF tokens can step into the shoes of a validator node, a pivotal entity tasked with bolstering network security and facilitating the genesis of new blockchain blocks within aelf. As a nod to their crucial role, node operators are duly compensated with ELF tokens, reflecting the value of their contributions to the network’s stability and growth.


Aelf is not just another name in the extensive list of blockchain projects; it’s a testament to what’s possible when innovation meets vision. With its unique approach to scalability, adaptability, and user-friendly features, aelf is sculpting a new paradigm in the blockchain universe. 

As the digital landscape continues to change, projects like aelf, grounded in solid foundations and forward-thinking principles, will undoubtedly lead the charge, heralding a new era for blockchain technology and its vast potential applications. Whether you’re a seasoned blockchain enthusiast or a newcomer, keeping an eye on aelf’s journey is bound to be both enlightening and rewarding.