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Fours Years Since Launch: Ontology’s Journey To Web3 Infrastructure Status

In a relatively new industry like blockchain, change is a constant state. When Ontology launched at the end of 2017, Bitcoin was putting crypto on the map through continuous price surges, before crashing at the end of 2018. Since this time, in an uncharted landscape that at times seemed dominated by speculation, Ontology strove to be a lighthouse in a sea of confusion, providing clear and reliable blockchain use cases that put users’ interests first.

As the industry has progressed and the world has increasingly embraced decentralized solutions, privacy and security issues associated with Web2 and Big Tech have been exposed. Looking to facilitate a more secure and private internet in Web3, Ontology has been working hard to build out its public chain infrastructure, decentralized identity, and data solutions to support the transition to the new web.

As well as a more private and secure internet, Web3 offers the potential for fascinating use cases as the web becomes more integrated. The metaverse, an all-encompassing digital landscape populated by virtual people, places and things, will eventually see separate virtual worlds interlink and overlap the real world. To get there, we need a public chain that puts users’ security and privacy front and center, whilst also allowing for an interoperable virtual world. Over the last four years, Ontology has been working to create an infrastructure for just that and we are delighted to now be facilitating this vision of a better internet.

As we look to the future, we are excited to onboard new partnerships and make technological advancements that contribute to our vision of Web3, as well as to the growth of our global community.

Year 1: Laying The Foundations

The launch of Ontology’s MainNet 1.0 served to position us as a high-performance public blockchain. In a significant move for the wider industry, Ontology 1.0 was the first public chain capable of executing smart contracts with identity, setting the stage for our vision for decentralized identity solutions. To lay the foundations for the open governance model which has become a key aspect of Ontology, we introduced a new consensus algorithm, VBFT, for the Ontology framework and the Triones Consensus System.

Year 2: Building Out Our Infrastructure

Year 2 saw Ontology crystallize our vision and mark out our position within the broader blockchain ecosystem. Gaining traction, we were able to supplement our MainNet by building on it with further enterprise projects that were focused on decentralized identity and data privacy. Broadening the technical applications of our chain, we launched Wasm TestNet in May, as well as the first-ever cross-chain TestNet. We didn’t stop there; in fact, it was a Multi-VM launch that year, with the launch of our Sharding Design launching in October, which provided linear stability and support for cross-shard transaction processing.

Year 3: Global Expansion

Having made our mark on the industry through technical prowess, the Ontology mission for our third year was to become a cross-chain, global network that would expand our vision of decentralized identity and data through a host of fascinating partnerships.

Throughout the year, we improved our infrastructure through the roll-out of the Ontology Layer 2.0. Additionally, ONT ID was upgraded, which served to combine users’ decentralized identity with their ONTO Wallet with one single login, while providing a framework that helps users control their identity and data. This was a huge step towards interoperability and provided an interlinked suite of products to our users.

We introduced a new governance and staking model in July, affecting both our ONT and ONG tokens, complete with a node and yield calculator allowing users to easily estimate how much they could potentially earn from staking via ONTO. Excitingly, ONG also launched on Uniswap at the end of the summer, bringing Ontology’s token to a whole new user base. As the year developed, we deployed our cross-chain decentralized identity solution on Ethereum, Near, Neo, TRON, Klaytn, Binance Smart Chain, and Polkadot. We also partnered with Patract Labs in November to accelerate smart contract ecosystem development. Finally, we joined forces with Daimler Mobility AG’s Blockchain Factory to develop MoveX, a first-of-its-kind blockchain-based mobility platform for the automotive and mobility industry.

Towards the end of the year, our focus turned to the world of decentralized finance (DeFi). In September 2020, we launched Wing.Finance, a credit-based, cross-chain DeFi lending platform. Since then Wing has seen significant growth, with increased engagement in its DAO, and has also incorporated credit-based lending through Ontology’s unique OScore credit scoring solution. The Wing Inclusive Pool, a first mover in the industry, also allows users to under-collateralize assets and lower their interest rates.

Year 4: Web3 and Interoperability

This year, Ontology has honed our existing products to match our wider vision of Web3 and position ourselves as the public chain capable of moving towards a better, decentralized, interoperable internet that places user privacy and data security at the heart of its priorities.

To facilitate this vision, our technical team began developing the Ontology Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) at the start of 2021. Now on TestNet, our EVM will help us establish seamless interoperability between Ontology and the Ethereum platform, offering an inclusive experience to developers and users. This development will also help to cement Ontology’s position as a cross-chain interoperable blockchain, adding to its existing virtual machines; NeoVM, Native (Ontology) VM, and WasmVM.

Reflecting a major endorsement for decentralized identity, ONT ID surpassed 1.5 million users in September. Companies across the globe have also embraced the application this year, most notably through a social good partnership announced in March with global freelancing marketplace leader, MicroWorkers, where it is being used to assist workers to receive rewards and gain greater access to capital. To facilitate its ever-expanding user base, ONT ID underwent an upgrade that will improve user experience, while also making it easier for developers to build sophisticated applications and real-world use cases through ONT ID. The Ontology products now integrated with ONT ID include:

  • ONT Login, a new feature that makes trustless universal authentication for websites and applications possible, allowing users to log into multiple platforms without having to remember passwords.
  • ONT TAG, Ontology’s new decentralized solution for online identity verification, which helps applications access users’ verifiable credentials, such as KYC verification, whilst also allowing users to protect their privacy by authorizing information independently.
  • OScore, a DeFi credit score, used to measure creditworthiness, which is calculated using different types of on-chain transaction data.

Other partnerships have also contributed to Ontology’s arsenal. Most recently, we partnered with bloXmove, a business-to-business mobility blockchain platform designed to simplify travel across multiple forms of transportation, to bring decentralized identity to urban transport apps. In May, we partnered with ROCKI, a next-generation music streaming service and NFT platform. ROCKI will use Ontology’s decentralized identity solutions to prevent bad actors from impersonating artists and peddling inauthentic NFTs. In June, we also announced a partnership with ZAICO, a real-time cloud storage inventory management application based in Japan. We also partnered with AP.LLC, a private Japanese IT consultancy firm and hired a new Japanese advisor, Matsuyama Kitao Takayuki.

Ontology’s growth in the Japanese market has accelerated following a string of announcements, including the news that ONT would be listed on the Japanese registered crypto exchange, Decurret. This marked the first listing of ONT in Japan, a huge milestone for Ontology and our growing Japanese community. The ONT/JPY trading pair went live in July, with over 40,000 ONT trading volume taking place. In August, ONT was listed on Huobi Japan, another FSA-licensed Japanese exchange.

In January, we were delighted to announce the launch of a web-based ONTO wallet to bring additional accessibility to millions of users through their web browser. Incredibly, this was the first-ever web wallet to support cross-chain assets and dApps while also addressing the growing demand for decentralized identity and data amongst users. We also launched ONTO Anydrop, a decentralized airdrop distribution tool, that allows assets to be sent to up to 100 addresses in one transaction in a fast and secure manner across multiple mainstream blockchains. These significant achievements have led to a massive increase in users and community members of ONTO Wallet. The ONTO Wallet Twitter channel now has over 100K followers.

Wing, Ontology’s DeFi lending platform, also turned one this year. Over the past year, Wing has lived up to its title of a cross-chain platform through launching on Ethereum, OKExChain and most recently, Binance Smart Chain. It also launched a new DeFi product, “Any Pool,” which allows for the contractualization and lending of any asset.

Looking Ahead

As we have seen, the last four years have been full of incredible achievements. Undoubtedly, our community is the support system that drives this success at Ontology. As we step forward into the next era of our future, we are proud to be a well-established blockchain that has stood the test of time. Moving into Web3, we believe we are the chain that can facilitate the needs of the new web. Not only do we expect our protocols and products to continue to facilitate this shift, but we also look forward to welcoming more people to the decentralized identity and data revolution.