Holochain: Wins, Missteps, and Next Steps !


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22 Dezember 2017
Holochain: Wins, Missteps, and Next Steps

…[M]uch of the world still thinks Holochain‚Äôs application model is unproven when, in fact, we‚Äôve had functional apps for almost two years with speed and scale that outperform every other crypto platform I‚Äôve seen.
Upgrading the Power of Holochain
We were excited about the ease of developing apps on Holochain, but we also knew there were many features to add related to permissions, security, sharding of the DHT, etc.
We worked over the next six months to improve networking, enhance testing, benchmark performance, and learn the design patterns of building agent-centric dApps on an eventually-consistent, sharded, validating DHT.
And after some official Alpha releases, we held lots more hackathons:
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Vaduz, Liechtenstein
  • Riga, Latvia
  • Bristol, UK
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Sebastopol, California
  • London, UK
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Austin, Texas
  • New York City (twice)
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Sao Paolo, Brazil
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Carnegie Mellon University)
Viable Holochain Apps
Out of those events came about 60 pretty cool Holochain apps at various stages of completion. They ranged from proof-of-concepts of back-end features to pretty polished experiences with full UIs. Some noteworthy ones that come to mind:
Whew! I’m sure there’s a bunch more I’m not remembering at the moment.
REA Accounting on Holochain revolutionizes supply chain accounting and enables the possibility of any unit of account to function as a cryptocurrency.
Notice how similar these dApps are to the kinds of things we do on the web every day? Holochain app development is not limited to token speculation and slow crypto-gambling as its main use cases. Storing data is cheap. Processing is efficient. Scaling is natural.
I often hear people talk about how the usefulness of dApps is as-yet undemonstrated. But if they were looking at the kinds of dApps that run on Holochain rather than blockchain, they wouldn’t be saying that, because these are the kinds of data driven web apps everyone uses on the web all day.
What’s more, scalability is not an issue for any of these apps, because unlike blockchain, Holochain becomes more efficient as the number of users increases, because a fairly fixed amount of work gets divided across more computers.

Holochain’s dApp Architecture Is Proven
Some people still talk about Holochain as if it doesn‚Äôt exist yet. This is in part because of confusion about expecting a „MainNet“ release or token. But Holochain doesn‚Äôt have a built-in token to subsidize inefficiency, and each Holochain app generates its own P2P network, so there‚Äôs no MainNet.
Many people clearly don’t realize a lot of things have been built on Holochain and they’ve worked just fine. This is in part a result of our failure to adequately promote Holochain and the apps built on it.
And more importantly, because Holochain manages data integrity without requiring global consensus, it makes many solutions easy that are difficult or impossible to do on other decentralized platforms. For example:
  • After 10 years of blockchain, why is there no reasonable decentralized public key infrastructure?
  • Find another decentralized platform that can do real-time-ish games like MinerSweeper or Pong!
  • Just try storing video on blockchain, much less live-streaming it!
  • REA Accounting on Holochain revolutionizes supply chain accounting and enables the possibility of any unit of account to function as a cryptocurrency.
Preparing to Take Holochain Mainstream

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