Our Contrarian Approach - Validated
Jun 22, 2019
by Mance Harmon
CEO and Co-founder

The hardest part of starting a company is selling your vision to the world.

Hedera was built on the belief that we could achieve both the network effects enabled by a fully decentralized public network and the stability brought about by enterprise governance. We put this idea into practice by combining the technical innovation of hashgraph’s fast, fair, and secure consensus algorithm with the Hedera Hashgraph Governing Council to form the Hedera public network.

When we announced the launch of Hedera in March 2018, many in the space viewed our plans for a council as very ambitious. We talked to some of the largest companies and investors in the world about this model. Some said we were crazy. Some said it would be too hard. The bravest have joined us in our journey. Including some of the best companies in the world.

And some clearly listened and learned from it. I sat down with David Marcus of Facebook in February 2018, and shared our vision for Hedera, including the technology roadmap, the importance of a governing council, and more. Much of what we shared was echoed in Facebook’s Libra announcement this week, and that is a good thing for the market.

Facebook has set some high table stakes, and we believe we have the right approach and the necessary technology to surpass those.

Governance

It is no longer enough to simply have a consensus platform and a community. Having a meaningful governing council is now a requirement.

Outside of Hedera - and now possibly Facebook Libra, although much remains unknown - we are not aware of any other distributed ledger platform that has any kind of distributed governance model specifically designed not to condense down to a small group of people who govern. In addition, the Hedera Governing Council doesn’t require organizations to put up millions of dollars up front, it doesn't let them receive dividends or profits, and membership is term limited, to incentivize members to make decisions that are in the best long-term interests of the ledger. It is open and accessible while ensuring that no single organization or industry will dominate decision making. Today, we are publishing our full governing council LLC document, so you can read for yourselves the details of what these companies are signing on for, and how they will make decisions to ensure ongoing decentralization.

Security

Facebook Libra introduced many people, for the first time, to the concept of Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT), the ability of a network to reach consensus even when some of the network nodes are malicious. But there is a big difference between being just BFT, and being Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (ABFT). The latter is the gold standard for security in decentralized computing, and gives the highest level of protection from DDoS, network manipulation, and other attacks. Hashgraph is the only major ledger mathematically proven to be ABFT.

Performance

We believe in solving the performance and scaling challenges natively at the network layer, rather than trying to address them by bolting on layer 2 solutions. Hedera was built from the ground up to support a high throughput of transactions across a decentralized network. We are already seeing performance exceeding ten thousand payment transactions per second on our testnets. While we will throttle this at initial launch, developers can build on Hedera with the confidence that the network can handle whatever they throw at it.

In addition, our Hedera Consensus Service allows anyone to build, leveraging the speed and privacy of a private ledger, combined with the trust of a public ledger. This can only be done if you can process many thousands of transactions per second, and we believe this is a game changer. Many consider this privacy aspect to be crucial.

Conclusion

Disruption comes in waves. The last wave connected people to one another through their use of a common service. The next wave will disrupt these services by enabling that same type of social interaction to be built on decentralized platforms.

We believe in a world where people will carve out their piece of cyber space, not by giving up their data to gain free access to a social network service that exploits it, but by building and using the applications that deliver value to them, with privacy and security.

Hedera is not going to change the world. But you — the developers building on us, the customers we serve, and those we enable to deliver services — certainly will.

This summer, the Hedera Mainnet will be openly accessible to anyone that wants to use it. It will be governed by a growing council of world-renowned organizations, and deliver an unmatched combination of performance and security.

We will follow a clearly defined path from permissioned to fully permissionless, with a plan to have hundreds of thousands of globally distributed nodes at scale.

We will support the next generation of consumer and enterprise applications.

We will enable new kinds of applications combining the privacy of a private ledger with the full trust of a public ledger.

We hope you’ll join us in building the internet everyone deserves.

Join Us

Council: you don’t need to spend millions, join the council today
Community testing: test what you want, build what you want