This post summarizes the Ontology Network technology whitepaper (as of v0.6.2, 22 Dec 2017 publication) and evaluates the project based on a number of criteria listed below. The details here do not constitute any investment recommendations and is purely for informational purposes. Subscribe below or follow me on Twitter for more of this.


Ontology is a blockchain network that focuses on trust (including identity, authentication, verification, authorization) and modularity to support multiple use cases. Both public and private blockchains can be created and used to form a "matrix" of blockchains, making Ontology ideal for industry or vertical-specific businesses. Also generalizable to connect with other blockchains, like NEO.

"Matrix" of blockchains for ultimate adaptability


CriteriaScore /10

Important Dates:

  • Early Q1 2018: ICO details released


Jun Li is the founder, and also a Co-Founder of Onchain. He lists himself as the "Chief Architect" so should be very sound technically.

Julia Yu is the Marketing Manager for both Ontology as well as Onchain. Active on Reddit and publishes Medium article updates for the community.

Generally very little information can be found about the team in the whitepaper, on website, or in communication channels.

Lesser-known team but strong Onchain brand


Onchain — Jun Li is a Co-Founder of Onchain, the private for-profit parent organization of NEO

NEO — Close relationship, will be a connected blockchain in Ontology's "matrix"; token asset model (ONT + ONT) modeled after NEO + Gas

DIF — First Chinese blockchain project in the Decentralized Identity Foundation (includes Microsft, IBM, IOTA)

"Onchain Mafia" project legitimized by inclusion in DIF


3. Chain Group Structure

  • “Matrix” of blockchains that connect with each other and serve arbitrarily large or small use cases whether by industry, function, geographical area, etc.
  • Public “service” blockchains provide core functionality such as identity

4. Distributed Trust Framework

  • ONT ID assigned to each entity in the network
  • Entities have data or metadata that can be selectively transmitted via verifiable claims that are issued and certified by other entities (eg. TheKey)

5. Distributed Ledger

  • Consensus mechanism called Ontorand Consensus Engine (OCE)
  • Uses dBFT (delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance) + VRF (verifiable random function)
  • Modularized to be “pluggable” with other consensus algorithms if needed
  • Smart contracts use NeoVM (unrelated to NEO, I think) which are Turing-complete and available in multiple languages like Go, Java, and C/C#
  • Data definition, data structure storage, and business logic stored on-chain and verified via Merkle proofs
  • HydraDAO
    • Oracle smart contracts that collect real-world data feeds to inform on-chain governance and data prediction
    • DAO prediction service rewards participants based on closeness to fact as judged by majority of approvals

6. Core Protocols

  • External trust certification from social media, etc (a la Keybase), as well as ONT entities via trust anchors
  • Data exchange between entities called Distributed Data Exchange Protocol (DDEP), mediated by smart contract “guarantors” with privacy protection

7. Ontology Application Framework

  • Plug ’n play modules for dApp developers with many supported interfaces including RESTful APIs, RPC, SDK
  • Secure data exchange using “fully homomorphic encryption” (access to data without reading the actual data)
  • Copyrights stored on-chain using “digital watermarking”

Very ambitious vision, grounded in core principles of trust, data, and adaptability. Surprising amount of implementation details that demonstrates good mix of abstract and practical


  • 1 billion ONT tokens
    • Used for voting and governance
    • Generates ONG
    • Indivisible
    • Premined
  • 1 billion ONG tokens
    • For network usage
    • Minimum 0.000000001 ONG
    • Gradually generated over 22 years

Token economics unsurprisingly modeled after NEO. No details yet on initial allocation

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NEO: AdMuBsegpcFkFZ8HyLWrJ3wSifCx3H5k8p