Aleo: Presenting the Privacy-Centric Future of Blockchain

Chorus One
Chorus One
March 14, 2024
5 min read
March 14, 2024
5 min read

Imagine a world where online interactions don't come at the cost of your privacy. Where you can participate, transact, and share data on your own terms, shrouded in a cloak of cryptography. This is the future envisioned by Aleo, a revolutionary blockchain project that throws open the doors to a privacy-centric internet. Let's delve into Aleo, exploring its technology, participants, and the diverse ecosystem it cultivates.

Decoding what Aleo actually is?

At its core, Aleo is a layer-1 blockchain that leverages zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to unlock unprecedented possibilities for private applications. ZKPs allow users to prove the legitimacy of information without revealing the underlying data itself. This translates to applications where users can participate, interact, and share data confidently, with their privacy remaining more sacred.

Key Terminologies

Credit: A credit is the native asset of the network. It is used to pay for deployment and execution fees of zero-knowledge programs. Credits can also be staked on the network as a form of governance to protect the integrity and security of the protocol.

Microcredit: A microcredit is a subdivision of the native asset (credit). One credit can be further divided into smaller units, and a microcredit is one millionth of a credit.

Prover: A prover is a node on the network that computes zero-knowledge proofs. These proofs, which can be of two types (solutions and transactions), are crucial for validating and securing transactions and activities on the network.

Solutions: In the context of zero-knowledge proofs, a solution attests to the execution of a randomly-sampled Aleo program. When a prover successfully proves the execution, a reward is distributed to both the prover and the stakers on the network.

Transactions: Transactions attest to the execution of user-deployed Aleo programs. When a prover provides a valid transaction proof, a transaction fee is rewarded and distributed to the network.

Stakers: These individuals contribute to the network's security by locking up their Aleo credits (ALEO), earning rewards in return.

Validators: Similar to traditional blockchains, validators verify transactions and secure the network, ensuring its integrity and preventing fraud.

The Technology Behind:

The robust architecture of Aleo rests on three key pillars:

  • Leo (Programming Language): A user-friendly Rust-based DSL designed to simplify ZKP development, removing the barrier for programmers less familiar with complex cryptography.
  • snarkOS (Network Layer): A permissionless and scalable network specifically built for ZK-powered smart contracts, enabling secure and private on-chain execution.
  • snarkVM (Virtual Machine): A powerful virtual machine optimized for ZKPs, delivering efficient proof generation and unlimited runtime, catering to even the most intricate applications.

Dive deep into Aleo’s consensus mechanism - AleoBFT

AleoBFT is a DAG-based BFT protocol inspired by Narwhal and Bullshark. Validators propose batches of transmissions, await 2ƒ + 1 signatures, certify the batch, and advance rounds synchronously for an honest majority. In odd rounds, validators elect a leader for the previous even round, ensuring availability thresholds are met. This process ensures all validators advance together, assuming honesty.

Here’s how the Quorum for Block Production in Even Rounds is achieved:

  1. Leader Election with ƒ + 1 Proposals from Next (Odd) Round:
  • Leader has a batch certificate in the even round with at least 2ƒ + 1 batch certificates from the prior (odd) round.
  • Leader has a batch certificate for the even round included by at least ƒ + 1 batch certificates for the next (odd) round.
  1. Quorum 2ƒ + 1 Achieved without Leader in Even Round:
  • If waiting for the leader times out, and the even round has more than 2ƒ + 1 batch certificates without the leader, validators can proceed without the leader.

The Fueling Force - Aleo Credits (ALEO):

The native token of the Aleo ecosystem, Aleo credits (ALEO), serve multiple purposes:

  • Staking: As mentioned earlier, users can stake Aleo credits to contribute to network security and earn rewards.
  • Fees: Certain network operations incur fees paid in Aleo credits, incentivizing proper resource utilization and network sustainability.
  • Governance: In the future, Aleo credits are envisioned to play a crucial role in community governance, allowing holders to participate in shaping the network's evolution.

How Aleo Credits are distributed:

Design of AleoBFT

AleoBFT operates over a simple set of data structures - a committee, batch proposal, and block. Let’s understand these one-by-one:


  • Committee Formation and Membership: Validators, staking a minimum of 1,000,000 credits, govern a round collectively, deciding the BFT protocol until the next committee. It encompasses the starting round, total stake, and committee members with their stake and openness to delegators.
  • Bonding and Unbonding: Validators and delegators can bond and unbond each round, enabling new members to join or existing ones to leave. New validators require 1,000,000 credits, and existing validators must maintain this amount.
  • Leader Election: A cryptographic hash function selects the leader for each even round, considering the round number, number of validators, and their stake.

Batch Proposal: In each round, every committee member suggests a batch to certify, using batch proposals to communicate and maintain agreement on the DAG's status. Each batch proposal contains a Batch ID, Batch Header and a Batch Certificate.

Block: A block is created when the commit rule is activated in AleoBFT. It includes a block header, a sequence of batch certificates, ratifications, solutions, transactions, and a list of aborted transmission IDs.

Aleo’s Flourishing Ecosystem:

The true mark of a successful blockchain lies in its ability to foster a vibrant community and diverse applications. Aleo boasts a rapidly growing ecosystem with projects already exploring its potential across various domains:

  • Decentralized Finance (DeFi): Several DeFi projects are building privacy-preserving lending, borrowing, and trading protocols on Aleo.
  • Data Sharing and Management: Platforms are emerging to enable secure and controlled data sharing between individuals and organizations.
  • Supply Chain Management: Aleo's technology holds promise for tracking goods and materials through complex supply chains while safeguarding sensitive information.
  • Healthcare and Personal Data: Projects are exploring the use of Aleo for storing and managing highly sensitive medical and personal data securely.

Talking about recent updates - Aleo is now considered as one of the top 5 fastest-growing ecosystems for overall developers. Also, Aleo has completed the security audits of snarkOS & snarkVM, which was performed by Trail of Bits.

Aleo worked hard to make the technical details of the project easier to understand. They've simplified and explained the main basics in a straightforward way. For example:

Aleo’s Future:
  • Sustainability: Aleo is committed to eco-friendliness, utilizing a unique consensus mechanism called Proof-of-Stake with zkSNARKs (PoS zk) that consumes significantly less energy than traditional proof-of-work blockchains.
  • Strong Partnerships: The project boasts collaborations with industry leaders like Chainlink and Parity Technologies, indicating its potential for future growth and adoption.
  • Development Roadmap: While still under development, with its mainnet launch anticipated in the near future, the development roadmap showcases continuous improvements and exciting features on the horizon.

As a validator and staking infrastructure provider, Chorus One is deeply impressed by Aleo's groundbreaking approach to privacy in the blockchain space. The potential to unlock entirely new use cases and empower individuals with greater control over their data resonates deeply with our mission to build a more inclusive and accessible crypto ecosystem.

We're particularly excited about the unique technology stack, including snarkOS and snarkVM, which pave the way for scalable and efficient privacy-preserving applications. We believe Aleo has the potential to significantly impact various industries, from DeFi and healthcare to supply chain management, and Chorus One is proud to be a part of this journey. We are looking forward to actively contributing to the network's security and growth through staking infrastructure and look forward to witnessing Aleo's continued development and the exciting applications it enables.







About Chorus One

Chorus One is one of the biggest institutional staking providers globally operating infrastructure for 50+ Proof-of-Stake networks, including Ethereum, Cosmos, Solana, Avalanche, and Near, amongst others. Since 2018, we have been at the forefront of the PoS industry and now offer easy enterprise-grade staking solutions, industry-leading research, and also invest in some of the most cutting-edge protocols through Chorus Ventures.

 Join our mailing list to receive our latest updates, research reports, and industry news.
Thanks for subscribing. Watch out for us in your inbox.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.