Distributed Hash Tables Allow for Blockchains Without the Blocks
Blockchain: The Future of Connectivity
While blockchains allow for great innovation by allowing for decentralized, distributed ledgers, some problems still exist.
For one thing, the computing power needed to achieve consensus becomes massive in short order. The amount of electricity needed for the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks exceeds that of some small nation states.
The main limitations of blockchains today are speed, scale, and cost. Confirming blocks takes time, energy, and can only scale to a certain degree.
But there is another way - one that doesn’t require a consensus method at all.
HoloChain - Living, Self-Replicating Chains
Holochain is unlike any other application of blockchain technology because it’s not really a blockchain.
“Holographic storage for distributed applications” creates a new paradigm for decentralized systems as the main problem plaguing blockchain - how to establish consensus in a secure, effective, efficient manner - becomes a moot point. Holochain apps (hApps) “enable direct architectural consent and cryptographic communication that are low risk, for less cost.”
Every application on HoloChain becomes its own chain in its own environment - a hApp. An immutable hash chain stores public data as a distributed hash table (DHT) node. This enables secure and decentralized computing with minimal processing requirements.
Distributed Hashing Tables Make HoloChain a New Type of Chain
Everything in a DHT has a hash associated with it. If even a single byte of data in something has been changed, the hashes won’t match, and the network will reject it as invalid.
Using DHTs allows for everything in HoloChain to be completely peer-to-peer. Rather than searching for a piece of content and downloading it from one central server, a user in a hApp effectively asks the network, “who has the file I’m looking for?”, and then downloads that file in bits and pieces from other users nearby before stitching it all together into the full file.
Because each user becomes its own host, an inverse relationship between the number of users of an app and the app’s performance load exists. As more users come online, more storage space and hosting power becomes available. In traditional blockchain systems, the opposite is true, which is why transaction fees can be high and confirmation times can be slow during times of network congestion.
In addition, HoloChain eliminates the need for APIs by allowing anything that can be read in one context to be written into another. Interoperability, another pressing problem around blockchains, becomes yet another dinosaur-like difficulty.
Blockchain is Big, HoloChain is Bigger
Some say that HoloChain is a more efficient alternative to blockchain. Because there’s no native cryptocurrency and no need to mine it, there’s no need for consensus, and that makes computing much more efficient. Everything becomes contained within its own separate HoloChain.
The peer-to-peer system that many programmers have always wanted has arrived. At last, decentralized applications can be built to scale with no limits on their capacity.