Powered by Gemini

Your trusted source for all things crypto.

Powered by Gemini

Aleph.im (ALEPH): Cross-Chain Web3 Cloud Computing

Aleph.im offers decentralized cloud storage and computing services for boosting interoperability, efficiency, and scalability across the web3 ecosystem.

By Cryptopedia Staff

Updated March 10, 20234 min read

Gemini-Category Defi 2


Aleph.im is a decentralized cloud computing platform designed to provide on-demand serverless computation as well as database and storage infrastructure for decentralized application (dApp) and protocol development. With its increased scalability, privacy preservation, and robust security systems, the Aleph crypto platform is built to mitigate some of the inefficiencies that centralized cloud computing platforms can suffer from. Aleph makes use of an adaptable Layer-2 scaling solution that employs sharding and cross-chain compatible systems via a channel-focused environment and permissionless virtual machine technology.

Aleph.im: Decentralized Cloud Computing Redefined

While Aleph.im is not classified as a blockchain network, the platform leverages blockchain-related technologies to create efficiencies in web3 cloud computing, decentralized databases, and storage networks. Aleph’s primary objective is to offer scalable, interoperable cross-chain computing in a decentralized manner. Intended as a web3 update to serverless computation services like Amazon Lambda, the Aleph.im crypto platform offers blockchain-agnostic file storage, data, and computation across multiple chains. Aleph leads with a focus on privacy preservation and data availability for decentralized application (dApp) and protocol development.

Presently, many dApps and protocols are unreliable, slow, and mostly or entirely reliant on one blockchain system, which can be limiting and inefficient computationally. Aleph is one of many recent solutions that connects the dots of web3 infrastructure, leading to more powerful dApps with seamless user experiences. Where early dApps were beholden to the data, computation, and storage limits of the chain to which they were native, Aleph allows dApps and protocols to move beyond the centralized portions of their technology stack by accessing features such as decentralized cloud computing. That’s because Aleph leverages an open-source, permissionless system that makes use of both on-chain and off-chain computing environments.

Aleph.im Use Cases

The Aleph crypto platform is tailored for numerous use cases. These include providing the necessary infrastructure to create decentralized documentation systems, Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and non-fungible token (NFT) metadata frameworks, decentralized identity (DID) solutions, decentralized exchange (DEX) order book systems, cloud storage systemization, as well as dApps that interact with users and developers in real-time. Aleph.io is also designed to create various products and services for decentralized finance (DeFi), including cross-chain composability, interchain liquidity, and structures for onboarding users from other chains. Censorship-resistant NFT economies and dApps designed for the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain social media, and web hosting are also uses that Aleph continues to focus on.

The Aleph.im Software Stack

The Aleph.im crypto platform is made up of several distinct layers that work together to create a single balanced system. Beginning with the topmost layer, these are in order, the:

Application layer: The application layer is the top layer that runs various types of dApps and protocols that run on Aleph.

SDK layer: The SDK (software development kit) layer is used to link the on- and off-chain network layers to the application layer, thus enabling the creation of dApps on Aleph. This process is generally realized via JavaScript and Python development iterations.

Offchain P2P network layer: The off-chain peer-to-peer (P2P) network layer is a custom network powered by Aleph.im Core Channel Nodes. This layer is responsible for laying the groundwork for the platform’s underlying database, file storage, and network validation, control, and management processes. The system is also highly scalable and makes use of privacy-preserving encryption technology and InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) compatibility in one easy-to-use system. The off-chain P2P network layer is fully integrated with the on-chain network layer and allows for user-enabled staking.

On-chain network layer: The on-chain network layer facilitates interoperable cross-chain connectivity for data storage, metadata-enabled messaging (via hashes, digital signatures, and time-based mechanisms) for decrypting data used by Aleph nodes or IPFS. The framework also employs batched transactions to limit transaction fees, digital signatures to verify chain addresses, and delegated transactions to ensure more transparent network management. On this layer, on-chain transactions are always free for users, as long as the storage is incentivized by dApp developers or other users.

Two of the most important components that make up the Aleph on-chain network layer are its Resource Nodes and Core Channel Nodes. Core Channel Nodes enable data channels which can overlap with one another and enable separate subnetworks (shards). Sharding subnetworks allows various projects building on the platform to create their own dedicated cloud clusters to increase system speed significantly. Resource Nodes (via microVMs) allow the network to make better use of various platform resources when combined with Core Channel Nodes.

The on-chain network layer works with its off-chain counterpart to facilitate interoperability between external blockchains so developers can build and use dApps from different chains like Solana, Avalanche, Ethereum, Polygon, Cosmos, BNB Smart Chain, Polkadot, and others. This allows projects building on these platforms to integrate with Aleph’s decentralized database and file storage solutions. Tapping into Aleph’s web3 data interstice thus serves to untether dApps, platforms, and technologies from native chain inefficiencies.

Data Indexing on the Aleph Crypto Platform

Aleph makes use of a virtual machine smart contract implementation system that fulfills various uses, but particularly data indexing (organizing) for other Layer-1 blockchains to maintain chain-specific data integrity. This system is designed to mitigate decentralized computing conundrums facing many Layer-1 networks: poor access to blockchain data, reduced network performance from too many data requests, insufficient or non-existent indexing services, as well as the risk of a single point of failure. Aleph’s indexing framework has been initially geared toward optimizing the Solana ecosystem, and helps separate indexing services for Solana projects Raydium and Serum, along with other SPL tokenized assets.

ALEPH Token Explained

Aleph leverages its ALEPH governance and utility token to fulfill various functions within the Aleph.im crypto ecosystem. These include payment for storage and computing on the network, along with network synchronization fees for developers and users of the network. Currently, the ALEPH token is hosted on the Ethereum, BNB Smart Chain, NEO, and Nuls blockchains. However, the token is expected to transition to functioning entirely on the Aleph network in the future.

Cryptopedia does not guarantee the reliability of the Site content and shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. The opinions and views expressed in any Cryptopedia article are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions of Gemini or its management. The information provided on the Site is for informational purposes only, and it does not constitute an endorsement of any of the products and services discussed or investment, financial, or trading advice. A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making financial decisions. Please visit our Cryptopedia Site Policy to learn more.

Is this article helpful?



Topics in article
Up Next