2018 is almost over and all we’ve done is, gush over the revolutionary blockchain tech and all the numerous start-ups it has inspired. However, we might have focused a tad bit too much on blockchain tech and not given enough credit to other rivaling technologies. And while Bitcoin and Ethereum do without a doubt deserve all the praise, they are still not at the pinnacle of their potential.
Considering they offer slow processing speed and a high transaction fees, which stands in the way of them being considered as a viable option for handling day-to-day transactions. Don’t believe us? Get this; it can take 10 minutes for a Bitcoin transaction to settle. Although with time, like all things, this too will definitely improve with new technologies. Think of it as the early days of the Internet, when dial-up access was slow but with newer technologies, it is as easy as clicking a button.
But, here we have a platform that is beating Bitcoin and Ethereum to the era faster transaction and lower transaction fees. Hedera Hashgraph is not your average blockchain-powered platform; in fact, it isn’t a blockchain-powered at all. While the software around Bitcoin is structured as a chain of transactions, Hedera hashgraph is more a graph of transactions that can process in parallel, as opposed to linearly. Which implies that it has the potential to natively support micro transactions and micro payments.
The Hedera Hashgraph Platform is a three-tiered structure consisting of the following.
The Internet Layer
This is bottom layer of the structure, which consists of computers on the Internet communicating by TCP/IP connections with TLS encryption.
The Hashgraph Consensus Layer
This is the middle layer and includes the nodes throughout the network that are participating in the gossip protocol and the hashgraph consensus algorithm. All nodes in the network maintain an identical consensus state.
The Service Layer
This layer makes for the top layer and it comprises of three sub groups.
- File storage
- Smart Contracts
Key Features of the Hedera Hashgraph
Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance
One of the core features of the Hedera Hashgraph platform is the asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance, which is a form of Byzantine Fault Tolerance. And while that sounds a lot like gibberish, what it is, is funnily rather simple in concept. Basically, in a distributed system, the Byzantine Fault Tolerance denotes the system’s retaining ability of the honest consensus in the network in spite of the hurdles that come with the failure of malicious nodes and even the propagation of false messages.
The Gossip Protocol
That’s a rather interesting choice of words as far as naming protocols go. But it is, nonetheless it is crucial for the network, and it is very aptly named because it is in fact responsible to spread the information rapidly through the entire network of nodes. So every node involved is aware of the same information. Exactly how the gossip protocol work with humans, if you ask me.
Even though the Hedera Hashgraph platform is different from the blockchain-based platforms, the element of smart contracts is still present. The decentralized apps (dApps) on top of the platform can utilize smart contracts with greater speed and efficiency than ever before. Hedera is also compatible with Solidity, Which allows for the smart contracts to be written on top of the platform, thus facilitating the development of scalable dapps.
Hedera File Storage
Hedera file storage serves as a transparent and reliable for storing decentralized files, or pointers to files, on the platform. Files that are added to the network are replicated across every node, which in turn offers “trusted validation, provable revocation management, and 100% availability.”
The cryptocurrency of the platform is HBAR and it ups the speed and efficiency factors of the cryptocurrencies. By trading the famous and expensive Proof-of-Work consensus method for virtual-voting. That offers a high throughput and lower fees all the while making micropayments practical and keeping the network secure.
On an interesting note, Hashgraph does not send any voting messages across the network at all, despite being a virtual-voting system. The platforms consensus mechanism religiously follows the basic ssumption of the Byzantine Fault Tolerance, where by no more than ⅓ of the nodes in the network are malicious at any given instance of attack.
The Hedera Team
You can read the whitepaper here.