On March 13, 2018, a milestone was reached with the launch of Hedera Hashgraph, the next generation of distributed ledger technology.
The underlying technology is revolutionary and promises to continue to evolve and improve. To put it simply, Hedera Hashgraph is the next generation of blockchain, but without the “block”. That solves some problems inherent to the current blockchain platform.
Hedera claims to be faster, scalable, more secure and fair, sidestepping the pitfalls, corruptibility and bottlenecks of blockchains. It is built upon a different algorithm, called a directed acyclic graph (DAG). The platform seeks to enable anyone to develop lightning-fast, secure, fair and globally distributed applications with robust application programming interface, or API, support. Even though no license is needed by users, the platform does offer an underlying structure by providing access to Hedera Hashgraph’s platform protocols.
As Hedera’s plan for corporate self-regulation and oversight takes effect, involved governments worldwide will be guided to standardization framed by Hedera Hashgraph protocols.
Mance Harmon, co-founder and CEO of Swirlds Inc., has recruited 39 companies from a wide range of industries, including big technology companies and law firms, to serve as Hedera’s global governing council. By putting everyone on the same page, Hedera is one step ahead of disparate nation-state government regulations.
The company has good reason to use its own patented technology rather than using open-source codebase in an otherwise open network. While the code will be publicly reviewable, developers will be free to build applications on top of the network. Hedera’s governing body (the Hedera Hashgraph Council) will enforce its patents to prevent copying of their codebase or the creation of competing platforms. Harmon calls it “transparency with stability.”
Hedera Hashgraph also will have one yet-to-be-named cryptocurrency, with bank-standard security, for use across the entire platform. As Harmon puts it, it will be “one platform with one currency, forever,” protected by company patents.
Speed. Security. Stability. Predictability. Fairness. Trust. All are important for this technology to succeed globally and create a level playing field. The model was structured on what Dee Hock used in 1968 to create National BankAmericard, (now known as Visa). According to Hedera’s white paper, its governing body will control the money supply and manage any changes to the codebase.
But let’s back up a few hundred years to the age-old problem confronted by Byzantine generals in the heat of battle: Who could they trust?
Today, provable and practical math solved this problem. An algorithm called Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (ABFT) proves that if no more than one-third is corrupt, the whole remains safe (uncorrupted). ABFT is the foundation of security for Hedera Hashgraph apps through building real-time consensus.
The Hashgraph protocol utilizes the ABFT principle with virtual voting, and economically arrives at consensus with lightning speed. It’s not leader-based, meaning there’s no single point of vulnerability or corruptibility. By comparison, every leader-based blockchain platform has its own dictator who may or may not be trustworthy.
You heard it through the Trends grapevine: Hedera is a genus of Old World woody vines (family Araliaceae), usually having palmate leaves. But in adult form, it also often becomes shrubby with unlobed leaves. That’s otherwise known as ivy.
The name is befitting. Ivy grows prolifically as a continuous vine. Hedera Hashgraph will grow exponentially as a collection of interconnected networks (shared worlds) – a virtual digital vine, if you will.
Hedera also will support “smart” contracts. Code could trigger action if certain requirements are met (e.g., if ZYX’s stock price drops to $400 per share, buy 1,000 shares). Hedera can facilitate micropayments in real time and supports distributed file storage. Security is of the utmost importance for digital financial transactions and other sensitive and private information, communication and data transfer.
Hedera tested speeds to obtain digital signatures, which are required to verify and validate transactions. This engaged end users’ device graphics cards. The company expected several hundred thousand actions per second, but were astounded to find that the number was 1 million signatures per second. That added to the overall speed for completing transactions.
Speaking of speed, this technology will lead the way for real-time multi-player online gaming communities. It’ll improve speeds, let more players engage, and most of all, build “fairness” into new gaming platforms. The Hedera Hashgraph Council and MZ (formerly Machine Zone) have plans for a new distributed public ledger as a unique gaming platform.
“Our mission is to enable the next generation of many-to-many applications,” says MZ CEO Gabe Leydon. “By building on top of Hedera Hashgraph, our applications will be able to be deployed in a peer-to-peer environment with complete fairness, transparency and visibility. We believe Hedera is revolutionary and will change everyone’s expectations of how fair and fast applications and gaming can be.”
TREND FORECAST: This is the beginning of the next Internet. Imagine email without spam! Imagine apps without in-your-face advertising! Imagine voting without corruption! Imagine social media, networking and professional collaboration without Facebook, Google, Twitter, ISPs or other censorship by government entities unknown!