Updates to the Hedera whitepaper
Aug 29, 2019
by Hedera Hashgraph Team
Hedera Hashgraph is a public distributed ledger for developing fast, fair, and secure decentralized applications.

Hedera has come a long way since its initial launch, in New York City on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. At that point in time, we had the hashgraph consensus algorithm, invented by Hedera's CTO Dr. Leemon Baird, and a dream — a whitepaper, articulating in detail, the plans we've laid out for ourselves to build the most decentralized public network at scale. One that's faster, fairer, and more secure than anything the world has seen.

Since launch, and as we’ve navigated our way in building Hedera — engaging with developers, partners, council members, and more — we’ve held onto that vision as a guiding compass, but some of the details from our initial plans have changed. With open access approaching September 16th, 2019, we think it's an opportune time to share those details.

Today, we're excited to release an updated version of the Hedera whitepaper. For those who've read the previous version and are interested in what's new, here's a brief overview:

- Initial network performance. Prior versions of the whitepaper did not provide an estimate of network performance at “Open Access,” the time when the network becomes available for anyone to freely create accounts, as such figures weren’t yet available. The whitepaper now states that the network is initially expected to be able to process approximately 10,000 cryptocurrency transactions per second. While Hedera is seeing faster speeds in testing, the throttling is designed to roll out network services in a measured, responsible way, and Hedera plans to increase speed methodically in the coming months.

- Hedera mirror nodes. The revised whitepaper provides a summary of Hedera mirror nodes, which were not discussed in the prior version.

- Hedera Consensus Service. The revised whitepaper includes information on the Hedera Consensus Service, which was announced in June.

- Roll-out of certain platform features. The revised whitepaper clarifies that certain platform features will be rolled-out in future steps and will not be initially available at Open Access. For example, the whitepaper reiterates our public commitment that the platform’s software code base will be made available for public review at Version 1.0, which is expected to occur in 2020, and that the ability for network users to “proxy-stake” their coins to nodes and the Hedera Consensus Service will also not be available at Open Access but will come in a later phase of the platform’s development. (The prior version of the whitepaper did not provide such estimated timeframes and did not reference the Hedera Consensus Service as it hadn’t been announced.)

- Regulatory compliance. The revised whitepaper broadens the paper’s focus from reactive compliance with regulatory oversight to proactive compliance with general policy goals and to highlight specific features of the platform that can help to allow developers and enterprises meet those obligations. Revisions include discussion of self-custody, data self-sovereignty, privacy management, and anti-money laundering matters. The reference to “Opt-In Escrowed Identity” was removed, as we no longer use that term, but there has been no change to the related features of the platform.

- Team bios. The revised whitepaper includes an updated list of key Hedera team members.

- Stylistic updates. We also made stylistic edits, to make the whitepaper more accessible to non-technical readers.

You can view the updated version of the Hedera whitepaper here.

Remember to join us on September 16th for our virtual event, as the Hedera network enters open access — you can register and get more details from the Hedera homepage.