Eye on the Supply: Aion’s Token Distribution Analyzed
One of the amazing advantages of distributed ledger technology is that it creates an immutable, shared, public record of transactions. This record allows folks to trace their tokens all the way back to their origin — the smart contract that generated the tokens. This article intends to do just that with Aion: go back to contract creation and examine how the tokens were distributed and what has happened to them since.
The initial creation and distribution of Aion ERC20 tokens was on October 11, 2017, when 465,934,586.66 tokens were distributed to 1,477 addresses.
To raise startup funds, Aion originally planned to conduct a private pre-sale, a public pre-sale, and finally a public sale, with any remaining unsold tokens to be split 50/50 between the Aion Foundation and early purchasers through Aion’s Token Release Schedule (“TRS”) program.
After raising $23,010,994 total during the pre-sales, Aion determined that it had raised sufficient capital and cancelled the public sale. The roughly 240 million tokens that had been set aside for potential public sale would be distributed through the TRS, instead.
The TRS is actually two separate contracts: one for the Aion Foundation, the other for purchasers (regardless of whether purchased during the pre-sales or on the secondary market, i.e. EtherDelta). The unsold tokens were split evenly between the two TRS contracts. Participants had to send their Aion tokens to a contract address by early December 2017 to opt in. Their initial contribution plus a proportional share of the bonus would be distributed to participants monthly through the contracts.
The TRS distributions do not necessarily go to sale on the open market— in fact, it appears that the vast majority are being held.
All 2296 Purchaser TRS participant addresses can be reviewed, as well as the Aion Foundation TRS addresses.
When the author last checked the Purchaser TRS participant addresses on May 9, 2018, 78.83% of the total tokens distributed via the Purchaser TRS were still held in participant addresses (This was done manually with individual API calls and a spreadsheet. The author invites anyone with the technical know-how to automate the process so real-time statistics can be made available upon request).
Similarly, as of this writing on July 8, 2018, Aion Foundation still holds 43,852,847.09 (72.14%) of the tokens distributed through its TRS. Founder Matt Spoke mentioned recently that, as Aion completes its transition to a not-for-profit foundation, additional accounting and financial reporting will be made available to the public.
In spite of this, the total number of addresses holding Aion ERC20 tokens as of this writing July 8, 2018 is 20,050 — over 13x the number of Aion addresses when the tokens were minted and nearly 9x the number of TRS participant addresses.
The future distribution of tokens between the public and the Aion Foundation will not remain static as shown in the graphs, above. Aion has already announced its bounty, grant, and Aion Ventures programs, which will incentivize building and development on the Aion main net by offering tokens from the Aion Foundation’s reserves. Additionally, the current monetary policy on Aion’s proof of work network has a 1% annual inflation rate, which may change by the time Aion’s hybrid consensus protocol (delegated proof of stake plus proof of intelligence) is released in 2019.
In any event, through Aion’s token bridge, the total supply will exist between and across both the Ethereum network as Aion ERC20 tokens and as native Aion coins on Aion’s main net. Check out the Alpha version of the token bridge in action and try it for yourself.
None of the above is offered as legal or financial advice. While the author is an attorney, he is not your attorney, and you should always consult with someone one-on-one regarding the particulars of your situation before making any significant legal or financial decisions. The author holds Aion and Ether.