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Ontology (ONT) describes itself as a “high-performance public multi-chain project and a distributed trust collaboration platform.” Ontology was created to help businesses adopt blockchain technology and compete with projects like Tron and VeChain Thor. Ontology offers several distributed services including data exchange, data collaboration, digital identity authentication, blockchain creation, smart contracts, security protocols, and software development kits (SDK) among others.
Ontology was created in 2017 by the Shanghai-based company called OnChain, which is led by co-founders Erik Zhang, Jun Li, and Da HongFei. Before creating Ontology, OnChain founded the NEO blockchain (formerly called Antshares) in 2014. At the time of this writing, NEO is a top 20 cryptoasset ranked by market cap.
Ontology started off as a NEP-5 token on the NEO blockchain (which is comparable to an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain) but moved to its own blockchain in June of 2018. Despite sharing the same parent company, Ontology and NEO are independent projects with different goals. That said, the two projects have collaborated on building and promoting a NEO smart contract ecosystem.
Ontology employs a dual token system that consists of the ONT staking token and the ONG utility token. ONT is used to stake and secure the blockchain while ONG is used to pay for token transactions, network storage, and the execution of smart contracts. ONT tokens release ONG tokens which means ONT token holders will periodically receive ONG tokens.
Ontology’s consensus mechanism is called VBFT, which combines three different consensus protocols: proof-of-stake (PoS), Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT), and Verifiable Random Function (VRF). Users who wish to stake ONT are required to set up a node on the Ontology platform. In return for staking their ONT tokens, stakers receive a portion of network, storage, and smart contract execution fees. ONT holders are able to vote on major upgrades and proposals for the Ontology network.
Instead of an ICO, in March 2018, Ontology gave away ONT tokens to their email newsletter subscribers and airdropped ONT tokens to NEO token holders. In the end, 20 million ONT tokens were distributed to the community.
The max supply of ONT is 1 billion. Each ONT token is indivisible and all were mined in the genesis block. The max supply of ONG is 1 billion as well and is divisible to nine decimal points.