Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo Back Ethereum-Compatible Smart Contracting Language
AxLang is the world’s first Ethereum-compatible smart contracting language to enable formal verification. The new programming language is designed for the world’s largest financial institutions and is part of the Axoni blockchain infrastructure, a permissioned ledger targeted for $11 trillion of credit derivatives and foreign exchange connectivity.
New York-based fintech firm Axoni, founded in 2013, just raised $32 million in a Series B financing round led by Goldman Sachs and Nyca Partners with participation from J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Citi, Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue Management, Digital Currency Group, F-Prime Capital, Franklin Templeton Investments, NEX Group and Y Combinator.
Blockchain, the underlying technology of Bitcoin, is being supported and explored by major institutions that are building permissioned networks as core, next-generation infrastructure for new protocols.
A blockchain network allows the use of distributed applications through smart contracts that encode data, calculations and events, guaranteeing that transactional parties across the network stay synchronized on the state of an asset or the status of a contract.
The key goal of AxLang is to make smart contracts error-free so that formal verification is functional and reliable. Ethereum has already had critical drawbacks that the AxLang team attributes in part to the programming language Solidity.
“Over the past two years, more than $500mm has been stolen or lost due to faulty smart contracts on the public Ethereum network, and recent research has found 34,200 contracts with similar existing vulnerabilities. This is due, at least in part, to limitations in Solidity, the dominant language used to write Ethereum smart contracts.”
Instead of Solidity, the AxLang team is using Scala (Scalable Language), which is already widely used by the financial services industry.
“AxLang is designed to support both public Ethereum as well as private Ethereum projects, and because of its basis in Scala, can be used to develop more specialized DSLs on top of it. This means developers can quickly adopt the language while also being able to leverage much of the existing tooling.”
In addition to efforts by Vitalik Buterin and the Ethereum team to scale the network, third-party developers are also figuring out ways to make the network more solid, reliable and scalable for the next generation of financial applications.
With backing by large investment and retail banks, Axoni defines how the financial sector continues to support and grow the Ethereum network, and how legacy and new technologies are building hybrid infrastructure.
The head of market structure and electronic trading services at Wells Fargo Securities says, “The adoption of distributed ledger protocols in capital markets resembles the early days of adopting TCP/IP for distributed enterprise applications.”
In addition to AxLang, Axoni is developing its base layer distributed ledger infrastructure technology AxCore to integrate legal records, lifecycle events and cash flow calculations for the multi-trillioin derivatives market. The company’s enterprise solutions address the need for high throughput, privacy, scalability and auditability for complex capital markets.