This review will be off the chain...quite literally.
Today’s review is: Holochain.
Let’s dig in…
Holochain (ticker: HOT)
Wtf is this shit?
As most of us know by now, the main issue with scaling a blockchain is due to the fact that each node must independently verify the network as a whole, maintaining a global consensus. This is a significant limiting factor when it comes to scaling...it’s not practical for each node to independently verify and agree on the entire ledger at all times. Thinking about this critically, as more transactions are confirmed, the more restricted the network becomes resulting in high fees and long transaction times.
Holochain wants a scalable, reliable method for users to deploy dApps (social media apps, banking apps, etc).
Holochain proposes a new solution, with a new architecture/perspective on the blockchain. They often mention that they are shifting perspective from data-centric blockchain system to agent-centric. In layman’s terms, it is similar to side-chain or parent/child chain architecture.
With Holochain, each agent (i.e. dApp owners) runs their own independent blockchain. This means that each agent is NOT keeping an updated, public ledger of all transactions at all times.
Okay..so...how how does the main chain work?
Holochain takes advantage of distributed hash tables (DHT) which is a way of storing data using cryptographic keys, while the location of the information is spread in a bunch of different locations and can be referenced.
This means data is stored on the public chain with a DHT updated by the agent….and Holochain does not maintain consensus of the entire network. They refer to their blockchains more literally as ‘hash chains’ for this reason….think of Holochain as a massive DHT. In blockchains, nodes or sidechains can push transactions to the mainchain, while in Holochain the more literal way of saying this would be to ‘add entries to the hash chain….the DHT.’
Holochain confirms consensus to an extent by what they call “DNA” or basically, a series of validation rules. All nodes must follow these validation rules. Instead of confirming individual transactions, Holochain confirms that the method of validation is honest and by the books.
If the Holochain sees that a node sharing information to the DHT is complying with all validation rules, then it is assumed to be honest. If on the other hand, a bad agent tries to validate an invalid transaction/action, then the only way to do so would be to use slightly different validation rules...essentially forking their own chain because they are changing the validation rules...much like changing a consensus algo or other variables with any other fork. The other agents will then actually ‘gossip’ (terminology they use) and say there is a bad actor.
Each DHT entry holds the cryptographic signature of the agent, so this is how they know what to gossip about and who to gossip about. Broadly speaking, they call this method building more of an ‘immunesystem’...protecting against bad guys :D
NOW...let’s say an agent launched their own blockchain which is a social media platform...like Facebook. What if the node goes offline? No fear! The data is not lost...some agents can communicate with other agents to transfer data. Additionally entries (data) on the hash tables are spread out, so there is no need for 100% uptime for each blockchain. Data is still shared.
Holochain is a bit technical, even their whitepaper is filled with high level jargon. Hope this painted a visual in your head :D Another dApp and data iteration on the ‘blockchain’ as we know it.
Who tf is behind this shit?
Arthur Brook is one of the co-founders and lead architect. He completed his bachelors in AI in 1989 and has served as a founder/CTO/CEO of companies since the mid 90’s. The dude has been around the block. You can see more of the team on their team page, with about 13 dedicated members.
All in all, mid-tier shitcoin. Cool idea, but cool ideas don’t always sell! Let’s see if they can keep generating a name for themselves.
Hope you learned some shit.
- Mike and Aaron