Eden Labs – Hedera Hashgraph Review

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Summary

Hedera Hashgraph utilizes a new form of distributed ledger technology, the Hashgraph. This tech enables networks of nodes to communicate with each other and reach consensus in a decentralized manner. The Hedera Hashgraph platform is fast, secure, and only requires a small amount of computation power to maintain the network. Low computation requirements allow anyone to run a node and develop apps on the platform.

Industry Need

The Hedera Hashgraph platform attempts to solve the issues plaguing the mainstream adoption of decentralized ledger technologies. While standard blockchain solutions struggle with performance, security, governance, and stability, Hadera Hashgraph addresses and improves upon all these areas.

Standard blockchain solutions currently lack scalability, stable governance, and satisfactory performance. It is well known that the current state of decentralized ledger technologies lacks the crucial aspects needed to sustain the ever-increasing scalability and finality needs facing the industry. Hashgraph presents a new method for maintaining a decentralized ledger.

Solution

A Hashgraph is fundamentally different from a blockchain. While a blockchain is a chronological and continuous chain of blocks, a Hashgraph is much like a tree with its branches woven back into its main body. The Hashgraph is a new approach that significantly differs from other interpretations of distributed consensus and looks to provide an upgrade to the current state of DLT. Essentially, Hashgraph is a data structure and consensus algorithm that is faster, fairer, and more secure than the blockchain.

Tech Analysis

Hedera Hashgraph is a semi-permissioned network that uses two special techniques to outperform standard blockchain technology. The two methods are their unique Gossip Protocol and Virtual Voting. The Hashgraph consensus does not require any votes to be sent since every member has a copy of the hashgraph. If Alice and Bob both have the same hashgraph, then they can calculate a complete ordering of the events, and they will both get the same answer. Thus, consensus is achieved, even without sending vote messages.

The downside to this process is that the network is semi-permissioned. While anyone can run a node, the system is governed by a council made up of 39 organizations. These 39 organizations have not yet been announced. Additionally, because of the asynchronous nature of the network, each consensus round must have a defined set of nodes. Essentially, each round is permissioned. This is in contrast to more decentralized networks where nodes can come and go as they please and freely participate in consensus.

Gossip Protocol

Hedera Hashgraph is asynchronous and thus, does not make assumptions about the timing of transactions. Its asynchronous structure means that events in the network are not coordinated into an ordered timeline of transactions and processes can run independently of one another. In order to ensure that all information is propagated to all nodes in the network, the Hashgraph gossip protocol is implemented. The Gossip Protocol spreads information among a network of nodes quickly and effectively. It allows a node to randomly select and transmit all known info to another node in the system. This process is repeated across the network until everyone is aware of the given information. While blockchains generally make use of gossip protocols to propagate messages throughout the network, Hadera uses a different method. Instead of ‘gossiping’ about one transaction at a time, the gossip protocol allows for “gossip about gossip.” This means that when one node passes a message, other receiving nodes in the network continue to propagate that message, ensuring that eventually, the entire network receives the message. This ensures, because of the asynchronous nature of the network, that nodes maintain a similar state. Members who have slightly different versions of new events will quickly converge to the accepted state by continuously gossiping with one another. This protocol optimizes the communication process and ensures consistency on the network.

Virtual Voting

Not only does each node of the Hadera network see the same information, but the gossiping protocol ensures that each node also knows how all other nodes came to learn about the information. This permits Virtual Voting to occur, since nodes can calculate what other nodes would have sent them if they voted, without having to actually vote. Nodes on the network know how and what other nodes know, and what they know. Virtual Voting is used to verify whether a message was valid or forged by some malicious member of the network; thus, all nodes have to vote on the matter. Since each member of the network shares their copy of the Hashgraph, and everyone knows exactly what everyone else knows, Virtual Voting can take place. This means that each node can virtually calculate how other nodes would vote and construct the consensus without ever sending or receiving a message. Virtual Voting is advantageous since it requires very little bandwidth and ensures that members always calculate their votes according to the defined rules. It also does not require a message to be sent between nodes, and thus, it is not vulnerable to a denial of service attack or overhead bottlenecks.

Verdict

The Hashgraph is fundamentally different from typical blockchain architecture. Hedera Hashgraph has implemented protocols which have enabled it to outperform traditional decentralized ledger solutions. Hadera has already demonstrated speeds of 100,000 tps. Through the use of the gossip protocol and virtual voting, Hedera Hashgraph can retain the chronological ordering of transactions while maintaining scalability and using minimal broadband capacity. However, the downside is that Hadera has a permissioned element and thus, lacks the privacy and decentralization of other platforms.

Roadmap

Phase II

  • Announce the first group of governing members
    • Several companies across different sectors and geographies
  • Governing Council legal agreements
    • Work with prospective governing members’ legal teams to have LLC agreement signed
  • Governing Council nodes
    • First nodes in public clouds, transitioning to member hardware and data centers after best practice development
  • API’s and Education
    • Developers receive Hedera APIs for 3 services
    • On-boarding education via Hedera developer portal
  • Token disbursement to the developer community
    • Dapp developers will earn tokens through a faucet program to test the network
    • All developers go through KYC/AML process
  • Token distribution to broader community
  • Open-Source wallet software
  • Hedera18
    • Inaugural developer conference and decentralized hackathon
  • Announce ecosystem fund
  • Hedera Network
    • Many developers can build and run their app on the Hedera network

Phase III

  • Account creation
    • Any user with an account can create new accounts for themselves or others
  • Hedera Network
    • All developers can build and run their dapp on Hedera and any user can use them
  • Hedera Tokens released
    • SAFT holders receive their initial distribution of tokens and tokens can be bought, sold, and used by developers and users for API calls
  • Open-Review source code
    • Hedera will open-review its source code, providing trust and transparency while preventing forking

Verdict

The Hedera Hashgraph roadmap is simple; there are no dates provided at all but only phases of operation. With Phase I complete, we are currently in Phase II. From the provided information for the roadmap, we can see that the Hashgraph is still under construction. There are still some critical developments needed before Hashgraph can be considered complete; this will take some time. 

 Token Economics

Token Acronym: N/A

Circulating Supply: TBD

Total Supply: 50 Billion Hedera Tokens

Marketcap: TBD

Distribution: N/A

Intrinsic Value of the token:

The Hedera Hashgraph network will have a native cryptocurrency, which is a utility token that grants token holders access to distributed applications on the platform. The token may also be “staked” and used to run a node, thereby providing network security to the public ledger.

Token holders will pay transaction fees to access distributed applications on the Hedera Hashgraph platform. These transaction fees are paid to Hedera and to the network nodes that contribute to the consensus process.

Verdict

Hedera Hashgraph is missing some vital information regarding the token economics of the network. Currently, no information has been provided about the token. The token will have an intrinsic value as a utility token in the system; however, in order to have a more precise picture, more information is needed.

Team & Leadership

  • Leemon Baird – Co-Founder, CTO, Chief Scientist
    • Baird is the inventor of the Hashgraph and is the Co-founder and CTO of Swirlds Inc.
    • Over 20 years of technology and startup experience
    • Professor of Computer Science at the Air Force Academy and as a senior scientist in several labs.
    • He has been the co-founder of several startups
    • D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University
    • Has multiple patents and publications in peer-reviewed journals and has participated in conferences for computer security, machine learning, and mathematics.
  • Mance Harmon – Co-Founder & CEO
    • Harmon is an experienced technology executive and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of strategic leadership experience in multinational corporations, government agencies, and high-tech startups
    • Co-founder and CEO of Swirlds Inc.
    • Prior experience includes serving as the Head of Architecture and Labs at Ping Identity, Founder / CEO of two tech startups, the senior executive for product security at a $1.7B revenue organization, Program Manager for a very-large-scale software program for the Missile Defense Agency, the Course Director for Cybersecurity at US Air Force Academy, and research scientist in Machine Learning at Wright Laboratory.
    • S. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts, and a B.S. in Computer Science from Mississippi State University.
  • Tom Trowbridge – President
    • Tom started and ran the New York office for UK-based Odey Asset Management. Before Odey
    • Tom held various positions at Lombard Odier, Atticus Capital and Goldman Sachs.
  • Patrick Harding – Senior Vice-President, Products
    • Patrick has more than 25 years of distributed computing, cyber-security, and digital identity experience, and is the Senior Vice-President of Products at Hedera Hashgraph.
    • CTO for Ping Identity (acquired by Vista Equity)
    • At different points in time, he led the CTO Office, Product Management, PingLabs, Standards, M&A, and Security.
    • He was a Vice-President and Security Architect at Fidelity Investments
    • He was a Senior Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he built their Internet Security Practice in Australia.
    • BSc in Computer Science from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.
  • Jordan Fried – VP of Business Development
    • Fried is a blockchain evangelist and self-professed crypto capitalist.
    • Previously Jordan was the CoFounder and CEO of Buffered VPN
    • Jordan is an investor in companies such as Hive.org and Buffer App.
    • He’s been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc.com, Wired.com, Time Magazine, and Success.com.
  • Natalie Furman – General Counsel
    • Was previously a senior associate at Paul Hastings LLP
    • Started her career in Silicon Valley, providing strategic advice to high tech startups.
    • Was Director of Strategy and Business Development at an online group communication startup acquired by Yahoo! Inc., and Director of Business Development for a technology startup developing a global collaborative supply chain platform.
    • A. in Anthropology with honors from Stanford University; obtained her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.
  • Edgar Seah – Head of Asia Pacific Region
    • Edgar is an angel investor in early-stage tech companies
    • Formerly Head of Trading & Syndication and Co-Head of Asset-Backed Originations at Bank of America Merrill Lynch for Asia
    • Edgar earned his Bachelor’s degree (Phi Beta Kappa) at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Ken Anderson – Chief Developer Advocate
    • A serial entrepreneur, with 20 years of experience in system design and software architecture.
    • He has built a team of award-winning engineers and consulted as interim-CTO for various companies during periods of restructuring.
    • Was the lead contributor to the TM Forum’s REST API design guidelines, now used throughout the multi-trillion global telecom industry.
    • BBA in Management Information Systems from California State University, and was an Intelligence Sergeant in the United States Army.

Advisors

  • Salca Rubin
    • Co-Founder & CBO, Indiegogo
  • John Best
    • CEO, Best Innovation Group & Co-Founder, CULedger
  • Aaron D. Moore
    • CTO, Cyber & Intelligence Mission Systems Division, Northrop Grumman
  • Dave Asprey
    • Founder & CTO, Bulletproof 360
  • Don Thibeau
    • Founder & Chairman, OIX & Acting Chair, DLF
  • David A. Cohen
    • Founder & Chairman, Dcntral.ai
  • Scott Walker
    • Managing Partner, Distributed Network Advisors

Verdict

Hedera Hashgraph’s team and advisors are experienced. The team is full of academics and business-minded individuals with serious industry accreditations. The team itself is well sized and has the right balance of technical and business minded individuals. From what can be attained on the web, the Hashgraph team has the right experience and ability to execute their vision. The advisors mentioned all have relevant experience and will be extremely helpful in the development of the project.

Partners & Investors

  • Big Consulting
    • Sales performance consultancy who work with teams to improve their sales effectiveness.
  • Open Identity Exchange
    • Technology agnostic; a non-profit trade organization of leaders from competing business sectors focused on building the volume and velocity of trusted transactions online.
  • OpenCrowd
    • A design and technology services company focused on developing the most advanced distributed ledger and machine learning applications on the market.
  • TxMQ
    • 38-year-old full-service enterprise IT solutions and staffing company.
  • Blockchange Ventures
    • An investment and research firm dedicated to blockchain technology
  • Blocktower Capital
    • A leading cryptocurrency investment firm
  • Blockwall Capital
    • Manages closed-ended investment funds providing investors with the unique opportunity to invest in the new and growing asset class of crypto assets
  • CMCC Global
    • Asia’s earliest blockchain-only focused venture capital fund
  • Danhua Capital (DHVC)
    • A VC fund that invests in early stage and growth stage technology startups
  • Digital Currency Group (DCG)
  • DNA Fund
    • Premiere crypto venture fund
  • Eterna Capital
    • Investment fund focused on blockchain technology
  • Fenbushi Digital
  • Mind Fund Group
    • Venture investment and development company based in Hong Kong
  • Multicoin Capital
    • A venture-style fund
  • Stuck Capital
    • Investment fund

Verdict

Hedera Hashgraph has managed to acquire some impressive investors as well as some solid partnerships. Some well-known funds and investment vehicles have decided to invest in Hedera Hashgraph including the Digital Currency Group and Danhua Capital. Hashgraph’s partnerships are reputable but not very well known; it will be important for them to obtain relevant partnerships in industries that can make use of Hadera. 

Marketing & Social

Verdict

Hedera Hashgraph has a sizeable social media following and is maintaining frequent activity across its social networks. All major social media platforms are being utilized and frequented by the team members. 

Red Flags

  1. No Token Economics
    1. There is no information available about the network token or its distribution model.
  2. No ICO/TGE information
    1. There is no available information about any ICO of token generation event.
  3. No dates on the roadmap
    1. This makes it difficult to accurately predict Hadera’s development and judge their ability to continue to compete with other platforms.
  4. Hadera is relatively centralized for three reasons:
    1. The HashGraph technology is patented by Swirlds
      1. This eliminates much of the ability for the community or for miners to hold decision power over the network architecture.
      2. Additionally, it is a for-profit model. dApps will have to pay fees to the parent organization
    2. The Hadera governance model is based on a council of 39 organizations. These organizations have also not yet been defined.
    3. Each consensus round must have a defined set of nodes. This essentially means that each consensus round needs to be permissioned.

Conclusion

Hedera Hashgraph is offering a unique platform through their implementation of key elements such as virtual voting and their unique gossip protocol. These novel systems enable a fast, fair, and secure network. The team behind the project is well suited and experienced for the task. The technology behind Hedera Hashgraph is potentially game-changing and has significant potential, but improved technology may not immediately guarantee adoption. As other forms of DLT continue to improve, much rests on the Hadera’s team’s ability to develop a viable product. In addition, there are centralization concerns around HashGraph. Hadera uses patented technology and will never support a free, open-source platform for dApp development. Thus, Hadera will likely only be optimal for specific use cases. Hadera sacrifices decentralization in favor of security and scalability.

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Disclaimer: This is not investment advice, merely our opinion and analysis on the project. Do your own research.

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