HOLO cryptocurrency (HOT) is hovering around 35th place on CoinMarketCap, right up there with DigiByte, Lisk, and Bitcoin Gold – a respectable place to be.
But what exactly does this project propose with its Holochain, HoloPort, and HOLO cryptocurrency, and how will it help distributed application adoption?
HOLO says the ‘internet is broken’
“The internet is broken”, HOLO declares in its presentation video.
“It’s run by centralised servers and institutions. It’s vulnerable to hacking. Users should have control of their own data,” and so on and so forth.
We may agree vigorously with this sentiment. However, if I had a HOLO cryptocurrency for every time I’ve heard this, I’d be a big bag holder indeed.
So what is HOLO doing differently to actually ‘rebuild the internet’ rather than just incentivise users to create dApps or share content in its ecosystem?
What is Holochain?
The backbone of the HOLO project is Holochain. The company claims this can outperform blockchain technology and scale without limit.
Holochain is a distributed computing network that works on a peer-to-peer basis rather than running through centralised servers.
That’s to say, the focus is not on the blockchain itself, but rather on the network. In fact, its co-founders – Eric Harris-Braun and Arthur Brock – believe that Holochain is so superior to blockchain technology that they don’t recognise it as a blockchain anymore. It is a distributed cloud owned and run by its users.
Holochain is moving blockchain to the cloud, which is a $130bn industry today.
Since there is no cap on the number of users taking part and earning HOLO cryptocurrency for providing computing power, there are also no limits on how many dApps can be hosted.
HOLO offers peer-to-peer web applications that replace the middleman by using the spare computing power from users’ own devices, thus creating a cloud run by users.
Rather than just file hosting, they say, “we’re talking about distributed crypto apps small and large all the way up to Facebook scale”.
At least, that’s the goal. HOLO needs more contributors to its network to be successful in creating a new internet.
What’s the difference between decentralised and distributed?
Holochain focuses on distributed computing rather than decentralised, but what’s the difference?
The main difference lies in how the blockchain is processed. Let’s take a decentralised network example such as Ethereum, in which every node has to process the entire chain. This is great for security, but not so good for agility, speed, or scalability.
Distribution removes the need to process the entire chain but maintains data integrity through unlimited peers without needing a consensus mechanism.
Distribution solves the scalability issue by running more like a Layer-2 concept for scaling, such as sidechain or mother/child networks like EOS – again, without the need for consensus. That means no PoW, no PoS, and in fact, no mining.
This concept should make distributed apps infinitely faster and more efficient. This is particularly appealing to apps in which every fraction of a second counts, like video games.
So what about HOLO cryptocurrency?
HOLO has come a long way since its ICO in March 2018, in which it released some 25 billion HOT as ERC-20 tokens (compatible with Ethereum). The supply was then increased to 133,214,575,156 HOT and 30,202 ETH was raised. 75% were for public sale and the remaining 25% held back for the team and future development.
HOLO cryptocurrency has a current market cap of $180,052,650 USD, or 1,250,399 ETH, and is supported by most ERC-20-compatible wallets.
Users receive HOLO cryptocurrency for their hosting services, although that’s soon changing to Holofuel. Users will need to purchase a HoloPort to participate and earn.
You don’t need to be a developer to become a host on this new internet. HoloPorts are plug and play, so you simply need to follow the instructions. When distributed apps need hosting, your HoloPort will provide them with storage and processing power, earning you Holofuel.
Instead of tracking everyone’s token transactions, these host nodes track their own transactions. This is more reflective of current transactions in today’s world where to make a small purchase, you don’t need every serial number of every bill you every used – you just need the current transaction verified.
Will HOLO help distributed application adoption?
It’s certainly possible, especially within the realms of the sharing economy, mesh networking, and areas in which cutting out the middlemen have particularly clear use cases.
HOLO also has some staunch supporters in the form of Deloitte and Mozilla, as well as a large community and a forward-thinking technology.
They have a strong development team, and the ability to remove the need for consensus might just change the way blockchain technology develops.
It certainly seems that the HOLO team’s heart is in the right place. But like all things blockchain, it will need some more time to prove itself as the blockchain of blockchains (or Holochain of blockchains).