We aren’t really sure what Aeon means about it being a “Lifestyle.” A Reddit query on r/aeon shows years of questioning this odd tagline. From what we can tell, Aeon started because it wanted to be a project that helped the privacy revolution:
Launched at about the same time as Monero in 2014, the coin never really took off in popularity. The idea behind the coin was to have a project that was focused on “quality and reliability.” This never really seemed to happen as the coin fell into disarray when it was abandoned by its original developer. Luckily, however, the coin was adopted by the current maintainer u/smooth_xmr.
Smooth was one of the original core members of Monero. Although a core member of Monero, his contributions were less notable than most of the other core members. This poor work ethic also showed in Aeon’s development as the coin remained in limbo from lack of wallet coding maintenance for about a year. Interestingly, during the Great Crypto Bubble of 2017, fixing the Aeon wallets caused the coin to gain a tremendous amount of Satoshi value in a short amount of time as the exchanges were finally able to unfreeze funds. Reaching a height of about 10 USD, the coin seemed as though it would get the attention and time it deserved from the code maintainers. At this time, it seemed as though the goals seemed to shift from a traditional private currency to a lightweight version design for phones. Smooth’s posts seemed to have a tinge of hope for a better tomorrow and aeon seemingly had a positive direction into the future.
Again, sadly this was not the case. Conversely, Aeon seemed to fall into even more obscurity as other privacy coins came into being that offered more development and activity. What’s more is that the community leader and early Monero adopter, u/Americanpegasus, vanished for longer and longer periods of time. We find it odd for u/Americanpegasus to have vanished as the stated number of coins owned totalled somewhere around 400,000. To her defense, however, u/Americanpegasus renamed herself to u/Katiecharm and did allocate more time to the project as the price increased. We think the 400,000 coins should have been motivation enough to start more work but it seems as though Pegasus/KatieCharm sold all her coins to some “wall street type guys.” We are skeptical of this statement but considering Katie’s lack of drive to help with the coin, we can say it is probably true that she burned through all of her coins already.
Unfortunately, Aeon continued to be plagued with poor leadership and the train wreck just became worse as time went on. As the coin matured and became more active, more community members began to complain about the Aeon Lifestyle consisting of waiting on empty promises. Fueled by anger from the empty promises and lack of work by both smooth and Pegasus, the community began to fund its own projects including content and code. Users like u/ThriftyMinnow and u/DrParadoxically began to make things like marketing campaigns and updated repositories.
Somehow, the Aeon Lifestyle just became worse as more things were produced. Ultimately, the Aeon coin leaders were the last say in anything new and fresh that was allowed into the coin ultimately dooming it to become as stale as the catchphrase “It’s a lifestyle!” Things became even worse when Dr. Paradoxically staged what can only be described as a soft coup against smooth by forming a team of community members, the avengers, to actively resuscitate the coin. Dr. Paradoxically’s drive seemed admirable but ultimately his end result was negligible as instead of producing anything of value, the coder produced frequent long rants and ramblings on Reddit and other social media. This only caused a further rift in the community with some supporting the new leadership and some supporting the old. In the end, the status quo won over and things continued in the same old way as they had from the start.
Adding to the problems, Aeon’s community was divided along the issue of whether or not the coin should support ASIC hardware. [In short, ASIC hardware is mining hardware that allows for the user to mine the coin at a higher hashrate/less energy consumption than a regular miner. This typically favors businesses (namely Chinese mining companies) that focus hash rate into one factory causing loss of profit for regular miners, centralization, and double spend threats.] From what we can tell, the coin’s leaders chose an ASIC friendly design over decentralization.
Considering the ASIC friendly move, it is hard to say that Aeon still fights for its cypherpunk goals of being a reliable, decentralized, form of private currency. Instead, it seems to be an old and forgotten relic of an increasingly forgotten era of early privacy coins. Today, Aeon is still rocking the clothes from decades past. Perhaps it could do us all a favor and go into the good night but given its history of mind numbingly moving along and giving the bare minimum, we can’t say it will anytime soon.
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