Hashgraph’s new Hedera network doesn’t change anything with respect to Ethereum

Posted this in the daily, but thought it would be helpful to have as its own thread.

There's often discussion about the claims from new and unreleased networks (e.g. EOS, ADA, ZIL, etc). The latest today was a big announcement by Hashgraph (link). I took a quick look, here's what I found so far:

PROS

  • Hashgraph's Hedera network will be a very fast and provably fair DAG network that uses proof of stake.

  • it will use a patented algorithm that makes it different (better?) than other DAG networks like Byteball and NANO. From an investor's perspective, this is attractive since it limits natural competition.

CONS

  • Token will be distributed in a pre-sale

  • There will be 39 organizations/companies that decide on protocol changes

  • it uses a patented algorithm that makes it impossible for part of the community to fork away if they disagree with the ruling majority of the 39 organizations that govern the network. From a user or developer's perspective, this is a CON since it means that there's legal barriers to forking the network. In Ethereum (and then in Bitcoin), we already saw that when a minority of users disagreed with the direction that the network was going in, they had the ability to safely fork away. ETC and BCH are the result. We assume that won't be possible with Hashgraph, since their lawyers could go after anyone maintaining the code of the forked network (or so I presume). So from a user/developer perspective, if you buy into this network, you're stuck with whatever the ruling majority of the 39 governors decide to do with the network. Hopefully you agree with their decisions.

  • According to an old post by /u/nickjohnson: "The main issue I see is that the number of full nodes that can participate is limited: adding a new full node requires every full node to do more work, so it doesn't scale to large numbers of nodes. How much that matters depends on whether you could build a light-client type system around it."

A more detailed write-up made by a dev from Zilliqa (ZIL) is available here: https://hackernoon.com/demystifying-hashgraph-benefits-and-challenges-d605e5c0cee5

Whether or not the pros outweigh the cons, keep in mind that:

  • Hashgraph claims they will solve scaling with their mainnet release by May '18
  • Zilliqa claims they will solve scaling with their mainnet release by June '18
  • EOS claims they will solve scaling with their mainnet release in June '18
  • AION claims they will solve scaling with their mainnet release by Sept '18
  • NEO already claims they solved scaling and everyone laughs
  • Cardano claims that they'll solve scaling eventually

Meanwhile, Ethereum is on track with several scaling solutions in the form of:

  • Multiple independent implementations of Plasma 'child' chains (e.g. OmiseGO will be one)

  • Sharding (essentially what Zilliqa is promising)

  • Raiden (payment channels similar to Bitcoin's Lightning network)

  • Loom Network (application specific side-chains backed by Ethereum)

  • At least two different implementations of state channels (by the devs over at FUN and Spankchain)

  • Casper (proof of stake transition for Ethereum, which will play out in two phases)

  • And most recently, Plasma Cash (a lighter version of Plasma that scales better for users).

Timelines vary, but everything seems planned for release in late 2018 or early 2019.

Interestingly, Loom Network will be announcing more details on their scaling solution tomorrow, see: https://www.reddit.com/r/ethtrader/comments/845ht4/first_dappchain_live_on_loom_network_scaling/

So does Hashgraph change anything? Not really, since they're just the latest contender to make big claims about scalability before launching anything. Their unique offering seems to be provable fairness, but it's not clear yet how important this will be to most dapps. I guess it's possible Hashgraph carves out a niche in the ecosystem of networks (connected by AION and COSMOS).

tldr: Hashgraph (along with all the others) will have their shot to pump their tokens this spring/summer, but unless they want to do more than pump, they'll have a very short window to get developers and businesses to switch networks.

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