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You may have already heard about the new Holochain, known informally as Holochain “RSM”, for “refactored state model”. This article dives into what’s actually new about it from a technical and architectural standpoint.

I have organized this overview into three main sections:

  1. Ensuring rigorous correctness in Holochain’s structure and code
  2. Changes to the HDK and app-developer experience
  3. Performance and Security Enhancements

First, though, a few quick highlights of the new software:

Highlights of Holochain RSM compared to the previous version:

  • At least 10,000 times faster
  • Uses 1/10th the memory
  • Compiles twice as fast
  • Relies on a much more maintainable codebase
  • Already structurally poised to switch to full P2P networking
  • Includes an improved HDK that simplifies app development (⅓ as many lines of code…


In collaboration with Josh Zemel

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The first and second chapters in this series explored the nature of unenclosable carriers and their potential to underpin an unprecedented explosion of human creativity and social flourishing. We suggest starting with parts 1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4 if you haven’t already.

This final installment delves into the unenclosable carrier Holochain specifically, including how it fulfills on the essential properties of unenclosability and how it can be used.

We’ll also look at how you can get started building new social organisms now — and start to leverage Holochain to solve problems associated with enclosability — no matter who you are or your particular skills. …


In collaboration with Josh Zemel

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Here we continue the exploration of how unencloseable carriers could free us from critical limitations across a number of macro-systemic domains and help unleash an explosion of human creativity and social organizing. We recommend starting with Part 1: Unencloseable Carriers and the Future of Communication — as well as Part 2.1 on food systems, Part 2.2 on energy systems, and Part 2.3 on financial systems— before reading Part 2.4 here.

In this article, we look at saving the planet.

The problem:

There are many problems in this territory: we are outstripping the carrying capacity of our ecosystem, causing species extinctions, and polluting the oceans and atmosphere. So let’s narrow it down for illustration and focus on the fact that the planet’s rainforests are being destroyed at a rate faster than they can renew [1] [2] [3] due to destructive policies that are out of touch with the importance of rainforests to our planet’s health, combined with the desirability of rainforest land for farming and oil exploration. …


In collaboration with Josh Zemel

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Here we continue the exploration of how unencloseable carriers could free us from critical limitations across a number of macro-systemic domains and help unleash an explosion of human creativity and social organizing. We recommend starting with Part 1: Unencloseable Carriers and the Future of Communication as well as Part 2.1 on food systems and Part 2.2 on energy systems, before reading Part 2.3 here.

In this article, we look at creating financial systems that work for everyone.

The problem:

People work far longer hours than they did in pre-industrial times yet consistently struggle to “get ahead” [1] [2] [3]. The millennial generation is the first to be worse off than their parents economically [1] [2] [3]. In the recent past it was common to comfortably raise a family and save for retirement on one decent salary, but not today. Second incomes, second jobs and side businesses are the norm these days, just to have the same quality of life that we used to [1] [2] [3]. …


in collaboration with Josh Zemel

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Here we continue the exploration of how unencloseable carriers could free us from critical limitations across a number of macro-systemic domains and help unleash an explosion of human creativity and social organizing. We recommend starting with Part 1: Unencloseable Carriers and the Future of Communication as well as Part 2.1: Restoring the Quality of Our Food, before reading Part 2.2 here.

In this article, we look at solving the energy crisis.

The problem:

Humans are using the planet’s energy stores faster than they can replenish. This appears to be a function of our reliance on cheap but finite stores of fuel to power an ever-hungrier array of industry, combined with the difficulty of bringing online alternative energy solutions in a cost-effective way. Despite massive sums spent on research and development over many years, we remain drastically ill-equipped to meet energy demands in the coming post-fossil-fuel era. …


In collaboration with Josh Zemel

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The first chapter in this three-chapter series explored unenclosability as an essential property of non-corruptible communication channels. We suggest heading there, if you haven’t already, before reading this article.

This chapter explores what becomes possible in a universe of unenclosable carriers. It’s the “why this matters” part of the series. For readability, we’re splitting this chapter into four posts — 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.4.

Over the four posts we look at four macro-systemic domains — food, energy, money, and our impact on planetary ecosystems — from the standpoint of how the dynamics of carrier enclosure currently limit humanity’s innovation, success, and sustainability. …


In collaboration with Josh Zemel

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All communication relies on one or more carriers. At the most basic level, when you’re speaking to a group of people in a room, the air is the carrier for the sound waves moving through it. You pass breath through your vocal chords and shape your mouth in funny ways, and a bunch of compression waves emerge and fill the room with information that others then decode. No one can just grab the words out of the air to stop them from reaching someone else. The carrier is unenclosable.

For the sake of contrast, let’s say your boss puts out a suggestion box, in order to give you and fellow employees the opportunity to make a difference in the workplace. Sounds nice, right? And yet, the box is enclosed; there’s no way to see how many suggestions have been made, or which ones have been discarded before even reaching the person who could implement the suggestion. The system includes a filtering mechanism that allocates some degree of control to whoever is in charge of the box. And isn’t the suggestion box system designed, in part, to enable that layer of control? If they didn’t want the ability to filter, they might have just invited suggestions openly during a meeting with everyone present. …


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In collaboration with Josh Zemel

Fast out of the Gate: From Conception to Use

On New Years Eve, the last day of 2016, Eric Harris-Braun and I started building Holochain. The basic design came from one part of Ceptr, an advanced computing and currencies platform we’d been working on for years.

Two months later, on the first week of March 2017, we had our first Hackathon in San Francisco for people to build apps on Holochain.

It was an invitation-only event for friends who understood our tools were not yet mature. …


With the release of Holo’s Closed Alpha test network, I thought this would be a good time to share about the apps available for hosting on Holo. While there’s not a huge ecosystem yet, the apps we’re releasing are kind of a big deal, both for their individual capabilities and for their usefulness as building blocks for further app development.

Let’s have a look at the apps and why they matter.

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DeepKey — Key Management

Something that continues to amaze me about the crypto space is how major hacking and thieving events are considered par for the course. How many times do we need to hear about this or that multi-signature bug, or so-and-so’s death, that resulted in millions of dollars lost? There’s been a remarkably high level of tolerance for these situations, but the way I see it, crypto cannot go mainstream with that kind of risk profile. …


Why crypto software licenses need to protect user’s control of their keys.

Other posts about this license have gone into more detail, but in this article, I boil the Cryptographic Autonomy License down to its most basic salient points to try to make it clear why we need a new kind of open source license for distributed P2P software, and how we seek to achieve protections for end users by leveraging a novel application of existing copyright law.

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Keys… keys… who’s got the keys?

TL;DR; Copyleft + Performance

Holochain’s license boils down to this: You can run Holochain as free and open source software with a couple of conditions:

  1. The source code of Holochain and any derivative works must be provided under compatible open source terms which include this condition and the following condition related to privacy of cryptographic keys. …

About

Arthur Brock

Culture hacker, software architect, & targeted currencies geek… Building bridges to the next economy & network society. http://ArtBrock.com

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