Decentralized ledger technologies (DLTs), such as blockchains, face several challenges, for example:
- the blockchain trilemma,
- the oracle problem,
- privacy issues,
- ledger storage space,
- cross chain compatibility,
- ... and the sheer complexity of the user experience!
In contrast with the increasing growth of on-chain applications (particularly in DeFi), the off-chain design space has seen a lack of innovation. A lot of the technology is centralized, lacks fault tolerance, the code is often opaque and offers little composability.
Currently, a standardised approach for off-chain application development is missing in the blockchain space. This is where the Open AEA and the Open Autonomy frameworks come in, as open-source frameworks for developers to implement off-chain services which are secured on-chain and can interact with smart contracts.
Agent services go beyond simple, purely reactive applications (like smart contracts) and can show complex, proactive behaviours that contain off-chain logic without giving up on decentralization. Examples include, but are not limited to, triggering specific actions on external events, or executing machine learning models.