Hedera Hashgraph goes live with 500+ companies using it
Hashgraph is picking up an array of business users despite, or more likely because of, its trust model.
Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR) launched today. The decentralised network system, known for its emphasis on sheer speed, will initially be throttled to 10,000 transactions per second while it finds its feet.
According to its website, there are 500+ companies currently "decentralising the future on Hedera". It's a mixed bag of users, with many startups and some established names.
For example, the blockchain-powered AdsDax advertising platform says it already handles hundreds of millions of ad requests per month, and that it's already being used by some of the world's largest advertising firms. It's been operating on Hashgraph for several months, but made an open move to the new platform with its formal launch.
"AdsDax is leveraging Hedera Hashgraph to build a platform that will track and verify advertising events and engagement, while providing security, resilience, scalability, and transparency, without the need for middlemen," said AdsDax CEO and founder Ian Mullins. "Hashgraph has proven it has the scale, speed and reliability to handle all of the live advert tracking data and programmatic event data that we have been handling in recent campaigns."
Others are even more prominent in their fields.
Certara, for example, announced last year that its regtech brand, Synchrogenix, would be building on Hashgraph. About 90% of all FDA-approved drugs in the last three years made it to market with the assistance of Certara products or services.
But the biggest names in Hashgraph probably come from its governing council, whose members now include IBM, Boeing, Deutsche Telekom, Tata and others of similar ilk.
So, what's the catch?
Opinion: Different networks for different folks
Some of the most common critiques of Hashgraph are that its governance is not truly decentralised, that it will initially not be as perfectly trustless as people are hoping, that its governing council of businesses is a disaster waiting to happen and that its claimed 10,000 TPS may be dependent on compromising trustlessness.
In the broadest strokes, all of these issues come down to questions of decentralisation and on whether Hashgraph is adequately decentralised, whether it can be trusted and whether its council can be trusted.
For this reason, the level of enterprise interest Hashgraph is apparently seeing is quite interesting and quite telling in that it highlights the compromises that are acceptable for different organisations and different applications.
A cypherpunk probably wouldn't be comfortable trusting a bunch of private companies to maintain the network they want to use and would rather place their faith with miners or token holders. Conversely, a large business probably doesn't see any reason to entrust any operations to "people who buy tokens in China" when they could get a contract with a professional service provider instead.
Decentralisation is a complicated and multi-faceted principle, spanning variables like hashrate distribution, how consensus is formed, governance models, physical jurisdiction and many more. Hashgraph is deliberately balancing these factors in its own way because not all applications require that 100% pure medical grade trustlessness, and there's still a rich field of use cases in partial decentralisation.
To date, there's no blockchain that offers complete trustlessness. Instead, there's just an array of different flavours of trust to choose from at a trust buffet composed of all the different distributed ledgers available. Bitcoin users have to trust the miners not to fork unduly, and Ethereum users have to trust the core developers to navigate a tricky series of upcoming changes.
Meanwhile, Hashgraph users have to trust the clearly defined council and network rules. Judging from the business interest in Hashgraph, it's not too much to ask.
Disclosure: The author holds BNB and BTC at the time of writing.