We all know about Blockchain and its potential to form the foundation for a new decentralized world. It can form the basis for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, Supply Chain Transparency, and Voting. Not to mention creating a decentralized Facebook, YouTube, Ebay, Uber, Craigslist, and more.
We also know about its weaknesses. Proof of Work wastes energy. Proof of Stake makes the rich richer. Both require nodes to store all transactions ever made by any user. Meaning nodes must store, process, and transfer GIGABYTES of data and be online all the time. It means nodes must have lots of processing power, big hard drives, and lots of bandwidth. It means your laptop or phone can only run a “Light Client”. Sounds like the client/server model.
The point of the Decentralized Web is to depend less upon Servers . There must be a better way to build your Facebook replacement.
Fortunately there is.
Holochain is an infinitely scalable alternative to blockchains such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Tendermint. Transactions are stored in tiny blockchains specific to an individual user account. Each node only needs to store the small amount of information relevant to its associated user accounts. This means a Decentralized App is truly decentralized and not relying on powerful servers or “Full Nodes” as they’re called. It means your five year old phone has all the processing power necessary to watch videos on your decentralized YouTube replacement, no Mining or Validators required.
The principle method Holochain uses to achieve this amazing scalability is to completely remove global consensus altogether. In place of this Holochain enables Smart Contracts to define their own rules for what constitutes a valid transaction. These rules are enforced by a randomly selected set of peers which countersign a transaction if it is valid.
Holochain could be used in place of blockchains for most common decentralized app use cases such as simple games, social media, and e-commerce. After all, global consensus isn’t required for every status update or online purchase. There is even a cryptocurrency being built on Holochain.
However in cases where global consensus is an inherent requirement, such as a DNS Replacement, Holochain is not a good tool to use.
It would be a good idea for the IPFS and Holochain communities to work together in building Web 3.0.
Holo Fuel Cryptourrency: https://holo.host/holo-fuel/
Holo Currency Paper: https://files.holo.host/2017/11/Holo-Currency-White-Paper_2017-11-28.pdf