The Hedera Hashgraph Council today announced plans for a new, next-generation distributed public ledger, the Hedera hashgraph platform, to enable anyone to easily develop lightning fast, secure, fair, globally distributed applications. Over the last 20 years, as the internet has evolved, trust has been eroded and control centralized in the hands of a few. Identity theft, cybercrime, spam, hacking, election manipulations, and digital spying have become the costs of living our lives online. Today, Hedera aims to change that with the release of a simple, powerful platform with robust API support to make it easy for developers to build global, distributed applications.
“We need a more trusted, secure and equitable online world,” said Dr. Leemon Baird, inventor of the hashgraph algorithm. “You should be able to carve out a piece of cyberspace to create a shared world, be confident when interacting with others, feel safe online, control how you collaborate, and share only the information you want. Today we lay out the roadmap for how Hedera will make that happen.”
Lightning Fast Results
With the unveiling of the Hedera hashgraph platform, the Council today also released speed test results, conducted on multiple Amazon Web Services (AWS) instances. The tests focused on achieving consensus on transaction order and timestamps for instances distributed across five continents. The Hedera network was able to handle hundreds of thousands of transactions per second, with time to finality within a few seconds. Hedera uses verification software that runs on the computer’s graphics card GPU to verify one million signatures per second.
Such speed is crucial to enable use cases such as distributed gaming, stock and other markets, and micropayments.
Gabe Leydon, CEO of MZ (formerly Machine Zone), a multi-billion dollar application and game developer, today also announced that it will build distributed applications on top of hashgraph, he said:
“Our mission is to enable the next generation of many-to-many applications. 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.”
Stability and Decentralization Ensured Through the HHC
Public distributed ledgers aim to provide decentralized systems, which anyone can participate in. But a recent peer-reviewed study, entitled “Decentralization in Bitcoin and Ethereum,” studying some of the largest networks between 2015- 2017, found the opposite has become true. The top four Bitcoin mining operations and top three Ethereum ones control more than 50% of the world’s hash rate, and the entire blockchain of both systems “is determined by fewer than 20 mining entities,” due to both the Proof-of-Work requirements, but also to the lack of a governance model that ensures continued decentralization over time.
Hedera aims to address both of these concerns by separating governance from consensus. The Consensus Model ensures that the Hedera network will expand to many millions of nodes voting on the order of transactions in a highly distributed network. The crypto economics of the platform helps to ensure the continued decentralization of consensus voting. Hedera expects to enable anyone to run a node without having to pay for a mining rig or large amounts of electricity. Hedera will be governed by a council of leading corporations and organizations across multiple industries, bringing needed experience in process and business expertise.
Membership criteria are designed to reflect a range of industries and geographies with respected, trusted brands and market positions. The proposed governance model will ensure that no single entity has complete control and that no group of members has undue influence over the body as a whole. Hedera will use a combination of technical and legal controls to give the governing council mechanisms to promote stability and ensure the network will never fork.
The Hedera technical framework includes an Opt-In Escrow Identity mechanism that gives users a means to bind verified identities to otherwise anonymous cryptocurrency wallets, with the aim of providing governments the necessary oversight to ensure regulatory compliance. This is completely optional, and each user can decide what kinds of credentials, if any, to reveal. Hedera intends to work with governments to bring the same level of security to public ledgers as is currently present in the financial system.
Distributed Ledger Foundation
In conjunction with the announcement, today the Distributed Ledger Foundation was also launched. The Distributed Ledger Foundation will sponsor projects on behalf of its members, with an initial project focused on a free and fair voting initiative.
Live Stream of Tonight’s Event
More details on Hedera will be unveiled at a sold-out event tonight in New York City. The event can be live streamed starting at 6pm ET.
The Hedera Hashgraph Council will provide governance for an open, fast and fair decentralized public ledger built on the hashgraph consensus algorithm. Governance will be maintained by a council of up to 39 known and reputable global organizations, committed to the support and evolution of a stable, predictable public ledger infrastructure