A hashgraph is a distributed ledger which offers the benefit of the blockchain technology without the limitation of low transaction speed. Hashgraphs are a direct competitor of both permissioned and permissionless blockchains like Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, and R3 Corda. Moreover, this distributed ledger technology is not just competing with the blockchains but also with their service providers like AWS, IBM, Oraclem and Microsoft.
Hashgraph as a technology has been developed by Leemon Baird, CTO & Co-founder Swirlds. This distributed ledger technology works on asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (aBFT) consensus algorithm which enables it to secure the platform against attacks. What adds to its advantage is the fact that the technology doesn’t need miners to validate the transactions; the transactions are time-sequenced via directed acyclic graphs rather than being bundled into blocks like blockchain.
The hashgraph algorithms is operated via two different protocols:
1) Gossip about Gossip
2) Virtual Voting
Gossip about Gossip: In this protocol, the participants don’t just gossip about the transactions- they also gossip about the gossip. This means that they just don’t share information about their own transaction but also add information about their previous transaction to the current gossip message. This way all the participants in the network are able to build a hashgraph representing the history of the transaction events.
Virtual Voting: In the case of virtual voting, the consensus is reached through the order of transactions. The Byzantine agreement method is used for the virtual voting protocol. For e.g. the events at first are divided into rounds. The developers have created a mathematical answer for the hashgraph algorithm to know that a round has been created. If there are 10 events in a round, then all the members of the network vote to determine which event would be called as ‘famous witness’. Now each members tries to link back the event of the next round with an event in the current round. If he is able to trace the next round event to a current round event, then a lineage is created and the member votes ‘yes’ for that event and if not then he votes ‘no’. The current round event with the maximum number of votes is crowned as the ‘famous witness’ and this offers the definitive sequence of the transactions.
We will explore more about Hashgraph technology in our future write-ups. Stay tuned.