Some of you might have heard about Hedera Hashgraph that was planned for launch in September 2019. Well, here we are!
Decentralized Applications Went Live on Hedera Hashgraph as Mainnet Opened to Public on September 16, 2019.
With this open access, this new technology is offering three services.
- Smart Contract
- File Service
However, it seems that crypto-enthusiasts and Blockchain users are not too excited about this breakthrough in the distributed ledger world, as they believe Hashgraph is going to offer lack of true decentralization at the cost of security and scalability.
What’s so amazing about Blockchain?
Blockchain has become quite popular due to its ability to administer transactions in a distributed and decentralized ledger. We keep hearing about numerous profitable use cases of Blockchain across different industries and countries in the world. It seems to be providing new perspectives and solutions to real-world problems.
The very first application of Blockchain was bitcoin, which thrilled everybody by not requiring any central authority for performing transactions. Although bitcoin transactions are transparent, they take more than an hour to complete. In fact, all transactions conducted on the Blockchain platform consume a lot of your time.
The new technology, Hedera Hashgraph, is designed to overcome the problems that Blockchain users have been facing for years.
How to understand Hashgraph technology?
Hashgraph technology is also a distributed ledger, like Blockchain, but has an innovative-style distributed consensus. It is developed to run decentralized applications within a fast and secure infrastructure. The foundation of Hashgraph is backed by mathematical proofs that support its lightning-fast throughput that does not require any heavy-to-compute proof-of-work.
In simple words, Hashgraph is a patented consensus algorithm and data structure that is designed to develop fully distributed applications, to harness the functionality of the cloud without servers.
Due to its vast array of implications, including cryptocurrency and deApps, a word is spreading around saying Hashgraph is designed and destined to rule over Blockchain.
Do you think that’s true? Let’s get into some deeper analysis.
There are two techniques used in Hashgraph technology.
- Virtual voting
- Gossip protocol
Let’s gossip about virtual voting
Votes can easily be calculated if we divide them into rounds. This is exactly how virtual voting works. By conducting voting in several rounds, it makes it easier to identify which node will vote. In other words, when new information comes in, all nodes instantly know who initiated the vote. The voting algorithm uses this input to point out the transaction that has reached consensus. Hence there is no need to actually send out voting messages.
Virtual voting makes it possible to outline which transactions are valid. For a transaction to be valid, it needs to have at least two-thirds of the node within the network as witnesses. The witnesses must confirm that they are linked to these nodes.
Let’s gossip about the gossip protocol
The gossip protocol is a familiar mechanism we use in everyday life, which is successfully implemented in many business networks these days. Everyone knows how gossiping works. Jane tells Paul that she bought a purse on sale from a shop. She also tells him that they have many nice men’s wallets at the shop too. Later Paul calls Michelle to accompany him on a shopping flea. Michelle invites over Tom and Tom tells Isabelle. The next day, the shop has 4 new potential buyers.
That’s how gossiping works in Hashgraph as well. Participants talk to hashes. Hashes receive gossip in the form of snippets of information. Each node has the ability to share these signed events or transactions randomly.
One node receives a snippet and converts it into a new message to pass it on to other random nodes. Every node repeats the action, until the information is shared among all the nodes in the network. In this way, all the nodes are updated with the new piece of information.
Is Hashgraph better than Blockchain?
The gossip protocol of Hashgraph greatly reduces communication overhead. Transactions in Hashgraph are really very fast.
As stated in an article in OKEx blog, “Hedera Hashgraph’s consensus algorithm is far more efficient and lighter than blockchain.”
Peter Keay, a full-stack dApp developer, mentions that the most fascinating cases of Blockchain implications require too many (probably hundreds of thousands of) transactions per second.
This is where Hashgraph wins over Blockchain. Blockchain is facing scalability problem due to its slow speed. Until 2017, Blockchain could only process 7-8 transactions per second. Hashgraph, on the other hand, is able to manage and verify hundreds of thousands of transactions and signatures every second.
Moreover, Hashgraph operates in a private and permissioned setting, which means each node is approved by the administrator node, and every member knows the total number of nodes in the network. This makes Hashgraph a lot more secure than Blockchain, which runs in a permission-less setting.
Is Hashgraph going to kill Blockchain?
There can obviously be no definitely answer to this. It is too early to reach any kind of conclusion on this.
But Hashgraph is nonetheless targeted to make economies fairer and more efficient. The technology behind it is too intriguing and seems to be promising.
The Hedera Hashgraph Team says, “It’s been their Internet for too long. Make it yours.”