On Tuesday March 13th, Hedera, a new public ledger foundation working in conjunction with and led by the team behind Swirlds, announced and demoed their brand new distributed ledger platform, Hedera Hashgraph, at an evening launch event in New York City.
At the event, the Hedera team unveiled to the crowd of 1000, and the 80,000 live streamers a peak into their newest Hashgraph platform, to be unveiled as a public ledger in the coming months. Including the ability to securely support hundreds of thousands of transactions a second.
While Hashgraph itself is not new, the introduction of Hedera fosters a new channel for user and developer involvement. With their platform operating at peak levels well above the rest of the industry and their chic brand characteristic of tech futurism, Hedera is poised to stand as the trailblazer for the terra incognita of distributed ledger technology evolution.
As an official partner to Swirlds and Hedera Hashgraph, as well as a service provider of our own custom distributed ledger solutions and integrations, we at TxMQ see the value in this emerging technology and share the vision of the teams behind Hedera and Swirlds for a shared world in which interoperability and security of applications can be accessible to everyone. In providing an idea of what the initiative will entail, we’ve developed a run-down of the near 2-hour long presentation given by the Hedera team.
Introduction to Hedera Hashgraph
Tom Trowbridge | Hedera, President @ approximately 3:21 minutes into the video.
The presentation began with Hedera President, Tom Trowbridge, speaking a bit on the progress the Hashgraph team has made since Hashgraph was first released two years ago. Tom first discussed the 239 Hashgraph ambassadors from around the world, some of which were there at the event. He then moved on to talking about the growth of the Hashgraph development community, numbering 3,000 developers and more than 20,000 SDK downloads.
Leemon’s Vision, Four Challenges of Distributed Ledgers, and the Hedera Platform
Mance Harmon | Hedera, CEO @ approximately 10:10 minutes into the video.
One of the co-founders and the CEO of Hedera, Mance Harmon, came on the stage next to discuss a bit of the history behind Hashgraph and the challenges he sees that persist in distributed ledgers.
Mance began by telling the story behind Hashgraph where years ago he and (co founder and CTO) Leemon Baird would meet up at a coffee shop to discuss the idea of a shared cyberspace environment where people can have separate online profiles and conduct different activities, but have all the information connected and updated across the board when changes occur. Mance then declared that the dream that they both shared back then will be embodied in the form of Hedera, a public Hashgraph network with a world class governing council.
From there, Mance went on to talk about the four challenges that he sees distributed ledgers having, and how Hedera Hashgraph addresses these.
The four challenges are:
♦ Challenge – global activities require hundreds of thousands of transactions-per-second and require node consensus in seconds.
♦ Solution – Hedera Hashgraph is able to get up to 500,000 transactions-per-second in a single shard, and gets node consensus in seconds.
♦ Challenge – having a consensus algorithm secure enough to support transfers of trillions of dollars of value.
♦ Solution – Hedera Hashgraph uses the best security algorithm (which is proven to be asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance) which is resilient to DDOS attacks and security threats other platforms don’t necessarily consider.
♦ Challenge – open source combined with cryptocurrency has created both innovation and chaos through market volatility, hacks, and forks.
♦ Solution – Hedera Hashgraph brings a set of legal and technical controls that bring stability to the platform, such as with the Hashgraph patent and the newly-released state-proofs.
♦ Challenge – developing the correct form of governance model for a public distributed ledger platform.
♦ Solution – Hedera Hashgraph purports the ‘open consensus, permissioned governance’ model, utilizing millions of nodes to establish consensus whilst having administration handled by a governance council of 39 industry leaders able to provide expertise from their unique sector.
Mance closed off his talk with a discussion of the components of the Hedera Hashgraph public ledger. In his visual representation, Mance showed the Hashgraph consensus sitting atop the Internet protocol, but atop the Hashgraph consensus were three separate elements.
The first element was the introduction of a new cryptocurrency token which will serve to support native micropayments. This token will serve as a medium of exchange for both peer-to-peer transactions and for the payment of transaction fees.
The second element was a file storage upon the Hashgraph to be used for any documents, photos, or videos being stored or transferred upon Hashgraph.
The last element Mance discussed were Solidity smart contracts that will be supported upon Hedera Hashgraph.
The Distributed Ledger Technology Foundation and the Interoperability of Software and Legal Code
Don Thibeau | OpenID Foundation, Executive Director @ approximately 29:59 minutes into the video.
Next up to talk was Executive Director of OpenID Foundation, Don Thibeau, who spoke on the necessity of prioritizing both legal and software code in the ecosystem.
In his speech, he stressed the need for software code generation, as in performance testing and the behavior of nodes, as well as in legal code generation, such as compliance testing and the behavior of institutions, in order to foster a community-wide healthy discussion about distributed ledgers.
Additionally, Don spoke on how trust guides the marketplace and that the three complications to the market are that – markets correct, governments intervene, and lawyers litigate.
Finally, this lead into discussion about Hedera Hashgraph’s newly-created Distributed Ledger Foundation, an open forum for discussion about the role of governments and compliance in distributed ledger implementation.
In an effort to establish a healthy dialogue from some of the world’s brightest individuals within the distributed ledger space, Don announced that the Distributed Ledger Foundation will be hosting a workshop at Stanford School of Law & Informatics on May 9 regarding distributed ledger technology best practices, open standards, and policy guidance.
The Details and Expansion for the Distributed Ledger Foundation
Helen Disney | Unblocked, CEO @ approximately 39:05 minutes into the video.
Helen Disney followed Don to elaborate further on the Distributed Ledger Foundation’s plans for expansion.
Citing her twenty years in public policy formation and her participation in Distributed Ledger conferences, Helen lead her talk with a bit of backstory into her early interest in distributed ledgers and her advisory board member role she now holds for the Distributed Ledger Foundation.
She then moved on to reveal the three strategic goals of the Distributed Ledger Foundation:
1. International Consultation
2. Industry Collaboration
3. Public-Private Partnership
In first discussing international consultation, Helen spoke on the Foundation’s itinerary for a roadshow relating to Distributed Ledger dialogue at major industry hubs spanning throughout the year. The locations and dates discussed were Palo Alto in May, London in June, Amsterdam in September, and Singapore in November.
Moving onto industry collaboration, Helen discussed the Hedera Hashgraph’s intention to seek insight from many established foundations– including that of Sovrin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano – and to not otherwise “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to implementations and discussion within the distributed ledger space.
Finally, Helen closed with the public-private partnership that the Foundation is seeking to establish between governments and development initiatives. She showed areas of interest at this time to include opening dialogue with governmental legislators about realistic distributed ledger implementation and governance standards.
Hedera Free and Fair Voting Initiative
Tom Trowbridge | Hedera, President @ approximately 49:32 minutes into the video.
Tom came back onto the stage to talk a little bit on one of the Distributed Ledger Foundation’s first initiatives on voting.
Upon first entering, Tom spoke on Hedera’s commitment to upholding the standard for a fair voting process and announced a $500,000 grant to the Distributed Ledger Foundation toward ensuring their efforts at removing ill-informed global government intervention in elections worldwide.
Tom further went on to explain that voting processes face a number of issues on the global level – from voter apathy on one end of the spectrum to vote corruption on the other. He reasons that the rapid global adoption of smartphones and the biometric validated, blockchain-backed process will allow an opportunity for greater citizen interest and security in voting participation.
Lastly, Tom closed with the announcement of a second $500,000 grant to Hedera Hashgraph in their Free and Fair Voting Initiative.
Leemon Baird | Hedera, CTO @ approximately 50:50 minutes into the video.
The next speaker was none other than Hedera co-founder and CTO, Leemon Baird, who went into a few of the technical aspects behind Hedera Hashgraph.
Leemon first provided a bit of an overview of the way Hashgraph works. He further discussed the three differentiating features of Hedera Hashgraph consensus mechanism against other platforms: namely its security, fairness, and speed.
With regards to security, Leemon discussed the choice to use an Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus algorithm for Hedera Hashgraph, as he believes it to be the most secure of all distributed ledger consensus algorithms. This consensus algorithm, he argues, is mathematically proven to be able to ward off coordinated hacker attacks comprising up to one-third of all network nodes, providing greater promise to network security than leader-based and economy-based public platforms such as those found with the public ledger blockchain.
Additionally on the matter of security, Leemon introduced the concept of State Proofs and their implementation within Hedera Hashgraph to ensure the truthfulness of network nodes. State proofs, he explained, served as a method of node validation where every node on the network had a shared understanding of the complete network transaction history, preventing any one node from manipulating information out of self-interest. State proofs, Leemon added, also have a individual Ledger ID serving as a security feature for maintaining on the original network of nodes, should self-serving bad actors choose to fork the network into a separate network of nodes.
In discussion of Hedera Hashgraph’s transaction fairness, Leemon broke the term ‘fairness’ down into three categories: fair timestamps, fair ordering, and fair access.
Fair timestamps ensure a system for determining when a transaction has occurred and is recorded on the ledger, by taking the average time of transaction reception for everyone on the network.
Fair ordering ensures a method whereby the order of transactions is determined by timestamps.
Fair access provides that someone looking to create a transaction can fulfill the transaction by accessing an honest node and otherwise not be obstructed by a dishonest node.
Lastly, Leemon detailed Hedera’s transaction speeds through performance tests on a testnet spanning the length of 8 global regions. At the height of the performance test, Leemon shared that the nodes were capable of processing up to 1,000,000 transactions-per-second in a region of shards (groups of nodes), or up to 500,000 transactions-per-second in multiple regions of shards.
It should be noted that at this point in time, no other distributed ledger decentralized platform has been able to meet this volume of transactions-per-second.
The Private Sector Implementations of Hashgraph and the Four Generations of Distributed Ledgers
Jordan Fried | Hedera, Director of Business Development @ approximately 1:24:23 minutes into the video.
The next on deck after Leemon was Hedera’s Director of Business Development, Jordan Fried, who spoke on how Hashgraph is currently being utilized in the business landscape and how the launch of Hedera hashgraph is just one of the leading indicators that we’ve entered the fourth generation of distributed ledger technology. The companies and groups employing Hashgraph in their applications include Xtremepush, VMS solutions, CULedger, and Artbit.
The first company Jordan mentioned, Xtremepush, is seeking to solve the adtech industry’s issue of click provenance by leveraging Hedera Hashgraph and its immutable ledger to identify and prevent click fraud.
Jordan went onto discuss the industry of companies with mission-critical systems, such as power plants and stock exchanges, and played with the idea of them looking into implementing distributed ledger technology. He went on to discuss how VMS Solutions, an enterprise IT software company, is now allowing its customers to utilize spare VMS clusters as nodes in the Hedera Hashgraph network.
Moving onward to the finance industry, Jordan discussed how CULedger, a consortium of credit unions developing distributed ledger technology, are allowing their customers to build arbitrary distributed ledger applications on Hedera Hashgraph.
Next up, Jordan discussed Hedera Hashgraph’s involvement in the healthcare space with startup, Intiva, being the first healthcare company to develop an immutable credential management platform, and a customer of TxMQ.
To close up, Jordan discussed the company Artbit, which combines Hedera Hashgraph and augmented reality to help artists get compensated directly for their masterpieces whilst maintaining their intellectual property rights.
Decentralized AI Mesh and Its Application in Smart Cities
Gabe Leydon | Machine Zone, CEO @ approximately 1:35:40 minutes into the video.
As the last of the talks, CEO of Machine Zone, Gabe Leydon, came on stage to discuss a little bit about Machine Zone’s latest interest in decentralized AI mesh and how it relates to Hedera Hashgraph.
His presentation began by noting the recent success of Machine Zone, and about his new startup, Satori, which is looking to leverage the decentralized AI mesh.
He went on to mention the throughput capabilities that Satori can offer- 500 million events per second and 500,000 consensus transactions-per-second using Hashgraph. Additionally, Gabe informed the audience that Satori can maintain open connections with millions of devices at once and handle different file formats.
He then demonstrated a Twitter bot made by Satori which tracks every single tweet produced on Twitter, as well as supports a language classifier and trending topic data map.
Following this, Gabe demoed an AI bot which detects and displays the metadata of everything its sensors pick up- from people walking down the street to bottles of water and everything in between.
This all tied up nicely into into a discussion about smart cities of the future. Whereas, Gabe mentioned, smart cities in their current form rely on a number of different apps to do different things (eg video camera feed, weather sensors etc), with Satori the entire ecosystem can be consolidated into one app. He then demoed this ability by showing the audience a visual of all cabs, buses, and stop-light cameras on one geomap for a particular city.
Gabe then went on to discuss a decentralized trusted ride-share app that Satori made using Hashgraph. This app provided a way for giving credential IDs to riders and drivers as well as facilitating safe rideshare payments whilst Satori managed bookings and routing.
The New Frontier for Hashgraph
The near 2-hour long Hedera Hashgraph launch event provided some key insight into the new directions that the team behind Swirlds and their patented Hashgraph are taking with regards to a public platform.
For the viewership familiar with the private ledger Hashgraph under Swirlds, this event serves as the “breaking of ground” into the public domain, ultimately moving one step closer to the vision for a shared cyberspace environment consisting of seamless Hashgraph platform integration with recreational and professional applications.
As for the viewership new to Hashgraph but familiar with the distributed ledger space, this event serves as a potential for promise, as the claims made by the Hedera team– if implementation is proven successful on a global scale in the coming years– will dwarf current distributed ledger options on the market both in costs for getting the platform up and running (integration and maintenance) as well as for making sure the platform keeps running and returns on investment (speed and security).
With their innovative platform having seen successful implementations on the private ledger under Swirlds and with their new public platform under Hedera serving as fierce competition to industry incumbents in cryptocurrency, it will be exciting to see the new developments the Hedera team have in store for us in the coming months.
Stay tuned to the TxMQ Disruptive technology blog over the coming months by subscribing, as we’ll be providing coverage of new developments on Hedera Hashgraph and other Distributed Ledger Technologies.