The Journey of Elastos- Celebrating its 6th Anniversary- Part 1

“If bitcoin solved the double-spend problem for digital currency, then

Elastos is solving the double-spend problem for all data on the internet.”

                                                                                          –Rong Chen

Envision an internet where individuals truly own their data. A realm in which digital identities are controlled by people rather than corporations. Platforms where creators thrive, holding genuine ownership and monetization of their content and fostering communities. Moreover, envision ecosystems in which an Access Economy is open, transparent, and accessible to all. This is the ambitious aspiration that Elastos is diligently working towards, and now it commemorates its 6th anniversary of advancing this multidimensional endeavor.

As Elastos celebrates its 6th anniversary, we take a moment to reflect on its remarkable journey towards revolutionizing the internet as we know it. Elastos, founded in 2017 by Rong Chen, embarked on a mission to create an internet where individuals truly own their data, digital identities are controlled by people rather than corporations, and creators thrive with genuine ownership and monetization of their content. In this first part of the “Journey of Elastos” series, we delve into the groundbreaking technologies that have paved the way for people to achieve their digital destinies.

Elastos Tech Stack

At the core of Elastos’ innovation lie its distinctive technological pillars: Decentralized Identifier (DID), Hive, Carrier, and Runtime. These components form the bedrock of Elastos’ ecosystem, providing unparalleled privacy, security, and seamless connectivity.

Decentralized Identity (DID) empowers users with control over their digital identities, fostering privacy and seamless authentication across platforms. Hive pioneers decentralized storage, ensuring tamper-proof data distribution. Integrated with Elastos Runtime, Hive fosters a dynamic ecosystem for content creators and consumers to interact organically. Carrier revolutionizes communication through encrypted, direct channels, safeguarding conversations from intermediaries. Lastly, Runtime establishes secure execution environments, enabling developers to create resilient decentralized applications, free from conventional vulnerabilities.

Elastos DID – The Foundation for Self-Sovereign Identity

Elastos DID furnishes the identity layer that enables user sovereignty. DIDs allow individuals to truly own and control their digital identities and associated data. Built on the Elastos Identity Chain, DIDs are globally unique identifiers cryptographically linked to users’ public-private key pairs. This gives users sovereign control over identity verification and data sharing without relying on centralized authorities. DIDs are the crucial building block for user-controlled reputation, credentials, digital rights, and onboarding.

In 2020, the Trinity Tech and Gelaxy teams achieved significant milestones by releasing the Elastos DID 1.0 SDK and W3C-compliant DID Sidechain. They completed the Elastos DID method 1.0 specification, developed the DID Sidechain infrastructure, and launched it with comprehensive support. The creation of multi-language DID Software Development Kits (SDKs) facilitated integration. 

Elastos’ DID solution found application in Elastos Essentials, CR, and Feeds. The teams introduced a unified DID authentication model, transitioning Elastos Essentials to a user-centric paradigm. The successful DID 1.0 release led to valuable feedback and the subsequent formulation of the 2021 DID Development Overview, outlining plans for Elastos DID 2.0 integration and expansion into new applications. Overall, their efforts marked a transformative year for decentralized identity.

In 2021, DID 2.0 enhanced the developer and user experience while enabling more intricate business models. Key modifications included support for user-friendly Customized DID Identifiers, Multi-Party DIDs for complex ownership scenarios, DID transfers for value storage, and independent release of verifiable credentials for privacy. Search and analytics functions for public credentials, consensus adjustments for improved performance, accelerated DID transactions, and dynamic transaction fee rules were also integrated. The development plan aligns with Cyber Republic’s governance model, including Proposals for reserved DID identifiers, claiming them, and modifying transaction fee calculations, ensuring a strong governance foundation for the evolving DID Sidechain ecosystem.

Hive – Decentralized Storage for Digital Sovereignty 

Elastos Hive is a decentralized file storage and distribution system designed to give users control over their data. Hive shards and encrypts files then distributes them across decentralized nodes. User permissions managed through blockchain IDs control file access.

Hive enables secure storage outside the purview of centralized servers. Users retain ownership over sensitive data like medical records, corporate IP, or personal files. Retrieval is reliable due to abundant file redundancy across nodes. For the first time, Hive enables reliable decentralized storage where users remain in control.

Hive, initiated in 2019, stands as a pivotal component within the Elastos ecosystem, designed to underpin the decentralized storage architecture. Hive offered a robust and feature-rich storage solution that surpasses traditional decentralized alternatives. Its powerful API compatibility and advanced functionalities facilitate seamless access to file data for decentralized applications (dapps). By distributing documents across a global network of storage nodes, Hive ensures heightened data availability and security. Key Value (KV) access interfaces streamline dapp data access, expediting development while preserving application data. 

In early 2021, Elastos unveiled Hive 2.0, a pivotal component of the Elastos tech stack. Hive 2.0’s architecture diverges from the Elastos blockchain, employing traditional servers called “Hive nodes” for data storage and retrieval. Users select initial Vault providers, while Hive servers function as independent services provided by third parties or end users, offering data transfer flexibility. 

Hive 2.0’s integration with Carrier optimizes decentralized communication, enhancing overall user experience and enabling reimagined application architectures. With its customizable access control, authentication through DIDs, and support for various data types, Hive 2.0 represents a significant advancement over traditional models, driving practical, real-world adoption of Elastos applications. HiveHub, developed by the Trinity Tech team, marks a significant upgrade to Elastos’ Hive technology. This all-in-one web app enables users in the Elastos ecosystem to deploy Hive nodes, establish Vaults for secure data storage, and harness decentralized data solutions. Notably, users can register Hive nodes as NFTs for public visibility, create .env configuration files for Hive node deployment, and seamlessly migrate or back up Vault data. HiveHub’s integration streamlines these functions, enhancing the user experience.

Carrier – The Decentralized Communication Backbone

Elastos Carrier is a decentralized peer-to-peer communication network that facilitates direct data transmission between devices. Built on a Distributed Hash Table (DHT) protocol, it replaces centralized intermediaries like Apple or Google servers that currently broker communications. 

Carrier establishes secure end-to-end encrypted connections between users, protecting communication from surveillance or censorship. This decentralized communication is essential for applications like decentralized social platforms, messaging, and streaming. Carrier paves the way for an open and secure internet.

Carrier 1.0 was an advanced peer-to-peer communication platform facilitated by Elastos, offering seamless connectivity and data sharing. The Carrier iOS/Android SDK versions 5.2.1 and 5.5 enabled group connectivity without centralization, file transfer with resume functionality, binary message exchange, and efficient bulk messaging. The SDK v5.5 enhances big data handling, resolves group info storage issues, and collaborates with Carrier extensions. Additionally, the Carrier WebRTC SDK introduced Audio/Video/Data communication capabilities, providing high-level APIs for effortless integration, even over the Carrier network. Notably, a permissionless DHT network serves as Carrier’s open underlying layer, bolstering basic services. 

The upgraded Carrier platform represents a transformative shift from its legacy architecture to a layered, efficient, and secure communication network. Drawing a parallel to the evolution from cramped Roman roads to modern highways, Carrier’s redesign offers enhanced security, efficiency, and permissionless networking. The platform employs Secure Kademlia for improved privacy and reliability, paving the way for a decentralized communication system. 

Debuting in 2023, the Active Proxy Service is central to Carrier’s decentralized system, allowing users to host services at home and share them globally. Leveraging Carrier Super Nodes, it ensures data ownership and control. Active Proxy distinguishes itself by letting users run websites and apps on their devices while securely sharing via Carrier’s network—a balance of convenience and control.

The service’s value shines through practical cases. In the Hive Node Service, Active Proxy connects Hive Nodes to the world, securing private data storage. In Personal Nostr Relay Services, it extends access, facilitating seamless communication. It also enhances microservices like Bitcoin Lightning Nodes, linking local tools with the broader internet, enabling efficient global management. Active Proxy, combined with domain apps like pc2.net, streamlines accessibility management for optimal performance, security, and data transmission. Ultimately, the Active Proxy Service, merging accessible hosting with decentralized control, empowers secure global sharing while maintaining data privacy.

Runtime – The Secure Execution Environment for dApps

In 2017, Elastos conceived the transformative idea of “turning data into code,” envisioning a secure, decentralized internet where URLs deliver executable code within a sandboxed runtime environment. Originally pursuing a proprietary runtime solution, Elastos shifted to WebAssembly (wasm) due to challenges with app store policies and content leakage risks. This technology allowed for secure execution by verifying binary hashes and trusted source signatures. WebAssembly’s versatility enabled code execution across devices and browsers, showcasing its sandboxed security, high performance, language support, and compatibility. This journey reflects Elastos’ dedication to realizing a secure SmartWeb ecosystem.

In 2023, Elacity, a prominent project within the Elastos ecosystem, has revitalized Runtime technology to integrate it into their dApp. The Proposal received approval in April, and Elacity’s goal is to integrate Runtime into their platform by the end of this year revitalized Runtime. This move aligns with Elacity’s mission of enabling users to own and trade their data without intermediaries. 

Elastos Runtime, a purpose-built, lightweight virtual machine, serves as a secure execution environment for Elastos decentralized applications. By utilizing sandboxing, Runtime isolates processes, minimizing the risks of malware and corruption. This technology safeguards user devices and ensures reliable computation integrity, enhancing security and privacy for decentralized apps, social platforms, and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) running on Runtime.

Elastos Sidechains

Elastos employs a sidechain-based approach to enhance scalability within its blockchain ecosystem. By utilizing sidechains, Elastos effectively distributes the processing load and isolates different types of transactions and applications from its main blockchain. These sidechains operate independently and can be tailored for specific purposes, allowing for optimized performance and parallel processing of transactions. This approach ensures that the main Elastos blockchain is not overwhelmed by high demand and congestion, while still providing interoperability between the main chain and various sidechains. Ultimately, Elastos’ sidechain structure fosters a more scalable and adaptable platform, accommodating a diverse range of applications without compromising overall network efficiency.

On July 1st, 2018, Elastos achieved a major milestone by updating its main chain nodes to pave the way for the Elastos ID sidechain’s launch. This marked the introduction of sidechains within Elastos, with the ID sidechain being the first. This sidechain, designed to establish universal trust for the secure and decentralized Elastos internet, employed merged mining with the Bitcoin network for heightened security. This innovation allowed multiple sidechains using the same Proof-of-Work as Bitcoin to leverage its hashpower via the Elastos main chain, ensuring energy-efficient security for various applications. 

The ID sidechain also introduced a new utility use case for the Elastos coin (ELA), as miners securing the sidechain earned ELA-based transaction fees. This approach showcased Elastos’ commitment to sustainable economic models. The launch set the stage for further developments, including a Smart Web alpha version, enabling developers to create Elastos DApps and fulfill the project’s vision for a trustworthy and scalable internet ecosystem.

Introduced in November 2019, the Elastos Smart Contract (ESC) Chain is a versatile sidechain compatible with Solidity smart contracts. It leverages Elastos’ BPoS consensus for security, providing a high-performance platform for decentralized application (dApp) development. Users and developers can harness ESC for the same features available on Ethereum, thanks to its EVM compatibility.

The Elastos Identity (EID) Chain is a crucial part of the Elastos ecosystem, offering a decentralized solution for digital identity and assets. EID issues Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) accompanied by unique ELA addresses and public-private key pairs. EID, also EVM-compatible, enables smart contract and dApp creation, enhancing the usability of DIDs and improving the overall user experience within Elastos.

The Elastos Smart Contract (ESC) Chain successfully upgraded to the latest Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) version, London. Completed by June 2023, the upgrade involved refining the go ethereum stack, adapting to Berlin and London upgrades, and updating the ABI library. This version integrated Solidity Version 0.8.x and advanced features like zero-knowledge proofs.

The upgrade delivered heightened efficiency, improved security, and seamless compatibility with Ethereum’s ecosystem. ESC users gained access to cutting-edge smart contract technology, facilitating participation in the rapidly evolving blockchain landscape.

The Elastos Identity (EID) chain was also upgraded to the latest EVM version, ensuring uniform application deployment standards. Further updates highlighted the enhanced capabilities of both ESC and EID chains, reinforcing Elastos’ dedication to innovation.


As Elastos celebrates its 6th anniversary, it stands as a beacon of innovation in the quest for a user-centric internet ecosystem. With its foundational technologies, sidechain approach, and commitment to continuous improvement, Elastos remains dedicated to realizing a secure and decentralized internet where individuals truly own their data, digital identities, and destinies. Stay tuned for the next part of the “Journey of Elastos” series, where we’ll explore further milestones and achievements in this remarkable journey towards a brighter digital future.