The full article was originally published by Olaf van Wijk on Medium. Read the full article here.
In short: What is it?
IOTA and it’s unique Tangle technology allow for -theoretically- unlimited amount of transactions. This is great but with the current setup this also means a -theoretical- unlimited storage requirement as well.
This is where AION comes in, allowing for selective permanent storage of parts of the tangle and pruning the rest while keeping it mathematically intact with consensus. To get all the technical details I will point you to the presentation I did on the 5th Dutch IOTA Meetup.
What I really want to talk about here is what it means for everyone interested in developing with or on top of IOTA:
Developers can host their own data
Looks simple enough right? But right now if you are developing with IOTA and don’t want your Proof of Concept have it’s data removed all the time from an immutable ledger well… then you are stuck with hosting the entire tangle and disable snapshotting. With AION you will be able to do snapshotting and keep the data that is only relevant to your application. Important to mention is that this works in constant time. Meaning that the variations in Transactions Per Second will NOT influence your personal storage requirements.
A direct incentive to host your own IOTA node
The current incentive host your own nade is similar to when your node runs with AION. You want to keep data alive. But the difference is that over time it will become harder and harder to host all data. Giving birth to services that will give you access to your data. Essentially centralizing the storage of the Tangle. With AION you can run a relatively light node and thus take part in consensus while keeping the data relevant to your application ‘live’. Thus creating a direct incentive to run an IOTA node without the threat of creating a few large centralized storage hubs and keep IOTA Fee-free.
Data becomes transferrable
The unique way AION describes what needs to be stored also introduces a way to efficiently communicate what data you want from other nodes. Allowing you to push a certain subset of the Tangle from one node to another. Creating the ability to do data replication for important data, like Digital Identity. Or just for the sake of back-ups. This also leads to:
A financial incentive to run a node
It is important to note that this is not part of the AION project! But it will allow others to expand on this and create business models.