A recap of everything that has happened so far…and of what’s to come.
3 years can feel like an eternity at a time of relative normality, let alone in a year like 2020. In the blockchain industry, time travels so quickly that it can make you feel like you are travelling at lightspeed given just how much occurs in such a short amount of time. When Ontology officially launched in New York as 2017 was coming to an end, the world was witnessing global recognition of Bitcoin for the first time as the price jumped to almost $20,000, before crashing in January of 2018. At a time when the industry was plagued by scams, false pretenses and an overall lack of clarity, Ontology was able to seize the moment and establish itself as an industry leader that enterprises can rely on.
Not only has Ontology survived the bursting of the initial bubble; we have found our footing and thrived in the process. The first 3 years of Ontology have seen massive accomplishments both in terms of technical development and market adoption. Our focus has, and always will be geared towards the protection and control of individual user privacy and data rights, as stated by our Founder, Li Jun, in his earliest conception of the Ontology blockchain. In fact, Li Jun’s vision seems even more pertinent now than it was back then.
Today, concerns around user privacy continues to grow amongst all facets of society. Laws such as the GDPR, passed back in May 2018, show governments attempting to address these concerns. It seems Ontology’s vision of a total decentralized identity solution such as our ONT ID is needed more now than ever.
However, we know that growth and progress isn’t always linear, as we have seen with the highs and lows the industry has experienced over the last 3 years. What is important though, is that we continue to move forward. We have compiled a recap of the things we have done to achieve our goals over the last 3 years.
As with most long term projects, the first step is about building a solid foundation upon which the project can flourish. For Ontology, our initial phase saw the launching of our MainNet and the first version of our ONTO wallet. Our MainNet serves as a high-performance public blockchain with a distributed ledger and smart contract system that also supports public chain customization and chain network collaboration. Notably, Ontology 1.0 was the first public chain capable of executing smart contracts with identity, setting the vision for decentralized identity in motion. To allow for better user interaction, we subsequently launched the first version of ONTO in the summer of 2018, which supported individual wallets, shared wallets, and the ledger hardware wallet. On top of that, in our first year we introduced a new consensus algorithm VBFT for the Ontology framework and the Triones Consensus System, which laid the groundwork for an open governance model. With the first series of projects having launched on GitHub in March 2018, we moved further into the area of decentralized identity with the launch of ONT ID, which includes the Ontology distributed identification protocol and verifiable claim protocol. To close off our system construction in year one, Ontology joined an array of internationally recognized blockchain based groups including the Decentralized Identity Foundation.
Ontology’s second year revolved around developing our singular vision and ensuring our technical prowess within the broader ecosystem. Our goal was realized when Ontology was chosen to be part of the Microsoft Accelerator in December, 2018, as well as being officially listed as a Google Cloud Partner with three of our projects having been accepted in their partner program shortly after in February of 2019. In June of 2019, Ontology celebrated its one year anniversary of our MainNet launch. Once we achieved a certain level of public trust in the technical expertise behind Ontology, launching our MainNet allowed us to build upon it for further Enterprise projects who were focusing on decentralized identity and data privacy. In addition, we launched the Wasm TestNet in May, as well as the first ever cross-chain TestNet in the same month. The IEEE also passed both of our proposed blockchain standards in June.
We wrapped up our second year with our Multi-VM launch in October, followed by the launch of our Sharding Design. Our Sharding Design was specifically designed to provide effective linear stability and support for atomic cross-shard transaction processing.
During our second year, we also released the second version of our Whitepaper in July. The whitepaper reiterated Li Jun’s original vision for decentralized identity and data privacy and highlighted our technical infrastructure and framework which put us ahead of the pack.
In Ontology’s third year, our focus was to identify key ways in which we could become a cross-chain powerhouse in the blockchain industry, while also utilizing our ONT ID and data protection features in partnership with other leading companies. From a technical standpoint, we kicked off our third year with the launch of ONT FS, as well as our Blockchain SaaS Framework. Moving into 2020, our technical progress was demonstrated by the launch of Ontology Layer 2.0 — which included the launch of a brand new Wasm-JIT, which provides high speed performance at low storage costs. Its launch was paired with the ONT ID 2.0 upgrade, which combines users’ decentralized identity with their ONTO wallet with one single login, while providing a framework that helps users control their identity and data. This further strengthened our position as a market leader in ensuring user privacy and data protection; a position reflected by the vast amount of external partnerships and media mentions we have achieved in our third year from leading outlets such as CoinDesk and Cointelegraph — the latter of which we are officially listed in as an Enterprise Solution Provider under their new consulting arm. We introduced a new governance and staking model in July, affecting both ONT and ONG, equipped with a node and yield calculator allowing users to easily estimate how much they can potentially earn from staking through ONTO. The launch of the Poly Network in partnership with Neo and Switcheo enabled the support of cross-chain assets on Ontology. This allowed us to focus even more on providing decentralized identity solutions across different chains. It also enabled us to list ONT and ONG on Uniswap towards the end of the summer. With the turn of the leaves into Fall, we deployed our cross-chain DeID solution on Ethereum, Near, Neo, TRON, Klaytn, Binance Smart Chain and Polkadot. We partnered with Patract Labs late in November to accelerate smart contract ecosystem development on the back of our technical prowess.
As our third year draws to a close, we have been focused heavily on decentralized finance, otherwise known as DeFi. In September of 2020, the Ontology core team launched Wing.Finance, a credit-based, cross-chain DeFi lending platform. Not only has Wing seen significant growth and engagement in its decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) with over ten governance votes passed already, but it is also primed to be the first ever DeFi platform to incorporate credit-based lending through Ontology’s unique OScore credit scoring solution. The Wing Inclusive Pool will allow users to under-collateralize assets and lower their interest rates. The Inclusive Pool is the first lending pool of its kind in the DeFi space, as well as the broader blockchain space as a whole. Not only is this incredibly exciting for Wing, but it will serve as an incredible opportunity for the demand of OScore as well.
We have accomplished a lot in our first three years. We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in one day, but underestimate what we can accomplish in a year. So with that in mind, we want to ensure our community that we are adamantly and tirelessly working towards making the next three years even more successful than the last three years. Specifically, we continue to develop our core features such as ONT ID and OScore, we will seek more partnerships and collaborations with both public-chains and offline enterprises in an attempt to integrate Ontology’s technology and our underlying belief system. We will use Wing as a foundation to demonstrate how credit-based lending can catapult DeFi into the next era; an era of credit backed by OScore.
Still, throughout it all, we will focus first and foremost on the original vision laid out by our Founder, Li Jun — a vision of complete identity decentralization designed to protect users’ data and grant them the access, control, and autonomy that we believe every user deserves.