Footrest for the brain: Hedera Hashgraph Distributed Registry Platform


    The consensus algorithm, asynchronous error tolerance for unexplained errors, an oriented acyclic graph, a distributed registry - that combines these concepts, and how not to dislocate your brain - in an article about Hedera Hashgraph.

    Swirlds Inc. Introduces:
    Hedera Hashgraph Distributed Registry Platform.

    Lemon Baird, mathematician, creator of the Hashgraph algorithm, co-founder, technical director and chief research officer of Swirlds Inc .;
    Mans Harmon, mathematician, co-founder and CEO of Swirlds Inc .;
    Tom Trowbridge, President of Hedera Hashgraph, Hashgraph Technology Evangelist.

    Taking part in the project:
    Nomura Holding Financial Holding;
    Telecommunications company Deutsche Telekom;
    International law firm DLA Piper;
    Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza;
    Swiss corporation Swisscom AG.

    I still did not understand why all the information about Hedera Hashgraph is presented as confusing, whether it was a consequence of a conscious policy of the developers or it happened by chance. But in any case, writing a coherent text about Hedera Hashgraph was very difficult. Every time it seemed like it was, I finally understood everything, almost immediately it turned out again and again that this was a profound error. In the end, it seemed to be something meaningful, but anyway - read carefully, the danger of dislocating the brain has not gone away.

    Part 1. The task of the Byzantine generals and gossip

    This story is based on the so-called “Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BTF)” - a thought experiment designed to illustrate the problem of synchronizing the state of systems when communications are considered reliable and nodes are not. Anyone who is interested can study the issue here or here in more detail.

    The Hedera Hashgraph platform algorithms are based on a special case of Byzantine Fault Tolerance - an asynchronous task of Byzantine generals, or aBFT. In 2016, the mathematician Lemon Baird first proposed a solution for him and, do not be a fool, immediately patented it.

    The Hedera Hashgraph platform is characterized by the sharing and synchronization of digital data according to the consensus algorithm, the physical decentralization of data storage nodes and the absence of a single control center. However, the Hashgraph protocol (in this case, Hedera is an environment, Hashgraph is a protocol) does not belong to blockchains, but it is a digraph devoid of consecutive loops and consisting of parallel sequences starting in one node and reaching the end node in different ways.

    Roughly speaking, if a classic blockchain can be visually depicted as a strict sequence of links (which, in fact, is its main property), then Hashgraph visually resembles a bonsai with a huge number of branches. Since the number of simultaneous cycles is practically unlimited, Hashgraph allows you to simultaneously carry out a huge number of transactions (developers say about 250 thousand per second, which exceeds five times the capabilities of even Visa, not to mention the Bitcoin network), and there is usually no commission for a transaction .

    The next fundamental difference between Hashgraph and the classic blockchain is the gossip sub-protocol (gossip protocol). Within a distributed registry, each transaction does not mean the transfer of all data, but only information about the information (Gossip about Gossip). The node informs about the transaction to two other arbitrary nodes, each of which, in turn, broadcasts messages to the other two until the number of notified nodes is sufficient to reach consensus, and this happens when most of the nodes are informed (and it is due to this the declared number of transactions per unit of time is reached).

    Part 2. Blockchain killer or not

    Hedera Hashgraph is currently under development. In particular, they are testing their own cryptocurrency with support for micropayments, distributed network storage of files and scripts that allow you to create smart contracts based on the languages ​​of the Ethereum environment.

    Opinions about this project are rare polarization. Some sources call Hashgraph “blockchain killer” without hassle, others rightly state that there are no examples of working decentralized applications in the Hedera environment, others are embarrassed that the platform’s foundation is patented, and its development is controlled by the supervisory board, which includes representatives of a number of companies from the Fortune 500 list (although the latter, just, says that the project has non-illusory potential, and it certainly is not a scam). By the way, some time ago the project was allocated to a separate company Hedera Hashgraph, which also indicates its priority for developers.

    The developers, without much ado, first raised $ 18 million for operational needs at a private token sale and, after some time, another 100. No specifics are also reported about ICOs, and indeed, the Hedera Hashgraph roadmap is notoriously unintelligible, which does not prevent the company from conducting the most active activity aimed at popularizing this consensus algorithm, the company is actively working on the formation of various professional communities - from programmers to lawyers, representatives of the project have already conducted more Over 80 meetings with interested citizens all over the world, even reached Russia - on March 6, a meeting was held in Moscow with Hedera Hashgraph President Tom Trowbridge, who, as they say, gathered a lot of representatives of our IT and financial circles.

    Mr. Trowbridge said that in the near future at least 40 decentralized applications based on Hedera Hashgraph are expected, and in general there will be more than 100 of them, so in the foreseeable future everyone will have a chance to watch lively how this economy works.


    In general, several things can be said with certainty. Firstly, the project is non-trivial and has already caused serious interest of representatives of large corporations. Secondly, for a layman he is frankly obscure, which, apparently, explains the lack of data about him in the public domain (and, judging by the video with Mr. Lemon, and the fact that this smart uncle has never been a speaker). Thirdly, it is unlikely that he will become a “Bitcoin killer” or something equally pathetic, but his declared advantages look weighty enough to follow the project very closely.

    Moreover, there are rumors that soon the organizers are going to attract the next tranche of investments, it is quite possible that it even makes sense to take part in it.

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