Holochain: The New Blockchain? A Look Beyond the Hype


Introduced in the whitepaper of Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008, Bitcoin has been truly revolutionary and has achieved great success and popularity in the last ten years.

The consent or the reaching of an agreement on the state of the transactions is established in a decentralized way with several parts through a method called proof of work.

Many miners process series of transactions called blocks and the miner who finds the right nonce (random number string) needed to add a new block to that before being rewarded with some Bitcoins. The blocks form a chain of blocks known as blockchain, which is a series of blocks (which are transaction sets) that collectively represent all Bitcoin transactions from the initial Bitcoin block, known as the genesis block.

All nodes (computers, servers, etc. that may or may not participate in mining) host copies of the same blockchain, which ensures that the integrity of the blockchain is maintained and that there is no single point of failure when it comes to potentially losing the Bitcoin transaction record. Changing the blockchain is impossible without gaining control over much of the hashing or computing power of the network, an enterprise deemed implausible due to exorbitant computing costs.

The Bitcoin approach allowed the creation of the first digital currency that exceeded the double problem expense (sending one transaction and then another after it to deny the former), since nobody can send such false transactions without all the other nodes knowing why they all have the same copy of the blockchain.

However, in recent years, proof the working method has proven unable to process large amounts of transactions efficiently, which is worrying if Bitcoin ever gets a more widespread adoption.

Several approaches to this problem have been proposed.

Projects like Ethereum and EOS have proposed their respective solutions to solve the problem of "scalability" (improving blockchain protocols so that they can handle a large sactions without issue), but no project has actually been demonstrated on a commercial scale .

Holochain: solving problems Blockchain without blockchain

Holochain is still another contender in the fray. While it aims to provide a solution to the question of scalability, it requires a fairly different approach because technically it does not even use a blockchain.

As stated on page 1 of the Holochain white paper, Bitcoin's approach to the problem is a given-center that focuses on creating a single shared data reality (in this case the Bitcoin blockchain) that it is hosted by all the participants.

While this approach has proved to be excellent over the last decade or so of the existence of Bitcoin, it has reached the cost of scalability as mentioned, since the consensus of the method of proof of intensive work from a computational point of view is complex ( takes time) and is currently not suitable for large amounts of transactions.

Holochain's approach is centered on the agent, allowing for the sharing of evolving data realities between participants as long as certain basic rules are established and respected by participating agents or users. Git is the best known project with this approach, creating forks when there are differences in some degrees in the code, allowing two projects to exist on the same fundamental level. Just as different species come from the same origin, different applications can emerge from the same layer.

However, this may suggest how it is possible to have a consensus between non-identical realities. Since Holochain has no one, been shared global, there is neither consensus nor a single ledger. This is an extremely important point that can easily be escaped : Holochain is not your daily blockchain or even a blockchain.

Holochain & # 39; s and Distributed Hash Tables (DHT)

What makes the Holochain different from the traditional blockchain is distributed hash tables (DHT), a decentralized storage system best known for its use in torrents. In a DHT, when downloading a file, for example, you do not download data from a single source. Instead, you download different parts of that file from different hosts.

Likewise, Holochain nodes do not have to share a single global state, (for example a ledger of all transactions from the beginning to the end as seen in "traditional" blockchain systems "as long as some nodes can" recompose " "parts of an integer (DHT).

More flexibility (and responsibility) for developers

Bitcoin has no room for the different validation rules, out of the box, so it does not offer network participants any flexibility (a unless soft forks, or software changes, or fixed forks are implemented, which can also create a different Bitcoin, such as Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold and so on.

On the other hand, thanks to its functionality called DNA, which are the default "baseline rules" set by the participants in a decentralized application system (Dapp & # 39; s), Holochain allows Dapp developers to have more flexibility in their choice and 9; implementation of their own rules as long as they do not contradict DNA. It is important to note that DNA is inherent in every Dapp. In other words, each Dapp has its own DNA or rules for "consent".

Something to note, though, is that DNA attributes more responsibility to developers, who have to set up quality DNA before building a Dapp ecosystem to ensure that the Dapp runs smoothly. Giving greater flexibility to developers (which also means greater responsibility) could prove to be dangerous, as in the case of Ethereum.

Ethereum uses a fairly open programming language called Solidity. While developers have more free domain in the design of their Dapp and smart contracts based on Ethereum, this has led to numerous problems, such as DAO hacking, Parity wallet hackers and other misadventures, as developers they were able to properly develop their solutions. [19659009] DNA and the immune system as Holochain Security

DNA also acts as a security measure. For example, imagine a Holochain Dapp called "Ourbnb" (decentralized version of Airbnb's Holochain) with DNA that claimed that a Ourbnb host could not rent a two-part apartment at the same time. If users try to start a transaction that goes against this DNA and rent an apartment to more than one part, the transaction would be automatically rejected by the other nodes of the Ourbnb network.

Another security feature that Holochain has is the immune system. The nodes look at their DHT and the various Dapps and their respective DNA they have. When some actors are determined to break the rules of DNA, the nodes communicate information with each other and the bad actors are excluded from the Holochain network.

Token Economics

Holochain has a token called Holo Token (HOT), which is rewarded at the nodes for the execution of the Holochain software and the hosting of Dapps.

Therefore, while "traditional" software providers, such as Airbnb, are responsible not only for the creation of applications but also for hosting and security, on Holochain, Dapp developers build Dapps while the nodes host them. and support security by applying DNA rules and using the immune system to control bad actors.

75% of HOT tokens were distributed via the HCO Token ICO and 25% is held by the team and the organization.

Token Sales Metrics

The ICO of Holochain raised 30,202 ETH. The soft cap was set at 1 million euros, but the team successfully raised over 20 million euros. The price per token was around € 0.0001.

According to the Allocation of ICO Funding by the Amount Raised table on the ICO page of Holo Token, 15% of the funds raised were allocated to the development of Holo, 10% to the development of Holochain, 40% to reserves currency, 10% to infrastructure, 10% to operations, 5% to developer support, host and app providers, 5% to marketing and communication and 5% to events and programs.


Chief Architect Arthur Brock: Brock was CTO at the Targeted Currencies Network and is the founder of the Metacurrency Project. As both works were focused on creating alternative digital currencies, Brock worked on digital currencies since 2001, or even before Bitcoin was conceived.


Below is a breakdown of the risks and potential growth of Holochain.


  • Since Holochain is very different from traditional blockchains, it is difficult to speculate about its future and its adoption, which is a crucial step for long-term success. (-2)

Growth potential

  • A unique approach to the consensus problem that could solve the current limits of the blockchain. (+1)
  • This is not a "whitepaper project": developers can start building on Holochain. (+2)
  • ICO has been smooth and structured to prevent centralization in terms of token distribution among ICO contributors. (+1)
  • In addition to the above, there are no crazy private deals or presales (big bonuses, no lockups / vestments for big bonuses, etc.), which prevents the cancellation of tokens by large investors and in early stage. (+1)
  • The project led Arthur Brock to work on alternative digital currencies and peer-to-peer technology since 2001. (+1)
  • Low limit of $ 20 million ICO (up to writing, $ 175 million market capitalization) compared to other projects, such as EOS and Dfinity, which have raised billions of dollars. A lower market capitalization could leave more room for appreciation of the HOT price. (+1)
  • The marketing for the project seems to have taken an organic approach, with the community as the greatest evangelists of Holochain, as evidenced by the support and the activity of social media (comments, likes, etc. .) On platforms such as Reddit and Twitter. (+1)
  • Support from Mozilla CFO and Netflix Co-founder Jim Cook. (+1)


Holochain is a platform based on a fairly different arrangement mechanism compared to traditional blockchains. Because of its data-centric nature, Bitcoin encounters many problems such as inefficient extraction. While Bitcoin forces a shared reality (the Bitcoin blockchain) on the entire network, Holochain allows people to have free will and their own reality as long as some basic rules are accepted by the participants. While it is too early to say whether Holochain can achieve its goals, the new project approach, working product, fair ICO structure, team background in digital currencies and peer-to-peer technology, lower market capitalization than other large projects and community support on social platforms and heavyweights in the technology industry such as Jim Cook could prove beneficial in terms of the project's investment potential. Holochain receives a 7/10 .

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