HoloPort Nano Update
Options for Nano Backers
We’ve made the difficult decision to offer all Nano backers either a full refund or the possibility to upgrade to a HoloPort or HoloPort+. This decision comes in the aftermath of a global shortage of the component we need to manufacture the Nano. After exploring various scenarios, we’ve come to the conclusion that it is simply not workable in the short term, nor to the benefit of our backers to continue waiting. Further, to put our attention on an alternate option for the Nano at this time would pull our focus from delivering the Holo hosting network along with our key applications.
Over the past week, we were able to secure components for another limited batch of HoloPorts and HoloPorts+, which means that Nano backers who choose to upgrade now will have the chance to join Alpha testing later this year. The HoloPort and HoloPort+ are proven units on the Holo network and they keep our testing and support focused on delivery of Beta mainet. Also, we can provide an estimated timeframe of delivery for these ports.
What are my options if I purchased a Nano?
Since the earliest days of the Indiegogo campaign, it has been our policy to give refunds upon request for any order not yet shipped, inclusive of shipping fees. That is still the case and we want to start by offering you a choice.
We will send emails to all Nano backers, which will allow you to tell us if you’d like to upgrade to a HoloPort or HoloPort+, or receive a refund. For those who wish to upgrade, we’ll begin sending invitations to upgrade along with Nano-credit details, ensuring that those who supported us in the Indiegogo Campaign get the earliest option to upgrade. For those who prefer to receive a refund, we’ll begin processing those requests within a week.
So, if you’re a Nano backer: Check your email and let us know which option you prefer. If you didn’t receive an email, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be sure to get you a link so we know your preference.
The Backstory & Details
Over the last months and years there has been a lot of hard work put into the Holo hosting infrastructure, and the HoloPort operating system (HPOS), and if you have been watching closely, it shows. HoloPorts are reliably upgrading and performing for the majority of our early testers, our new HoloPort Alpha Program will bring many new people into the testing process, and we’re expanding the Hosted Elemental Chat testing to over 100 HoloPorts and more than 250 people in the coming weeks.
Throughout the design process for our infrastructure, we’ve simultaneously worked to ensure that it supports the lean hardware of the Nanos. This has been challenging but rewarding, as we were the first people in the world to get the Nano’s motherboard working with the Linux kernel we used to build HPOS (the HoloPorts Operating System). This progress will prove useful down the road with regards to future Nano projects.
While we had our heads down hard at work during the pandemic, however, there were many changes in the electronics hardware industry that included extreme shortages, price shifts, and major delays. This has meant larger players in the market are stockpiling chips to ensure their ongoing supply chains, and chip suppliers are giving preference to those customers. The specific processor that the Nano was designed around has been unavailable to our motherboard manufacturer since before our initial tests late last year, and we’ve now been told it is unlikely it would be supplied until the very end of this year. So despite being ready to manufacture the Nano since Q4 2020, we would have been unable to deliver until 2022 at the earliest.
When considering the changing landscape around Nano manufacturing, as well as changes to the hardware and compatibility with the HoloPort operating system, it became clear that pushing to ship Nanos that late could negatively impact the Holo project timeline as it would inevitably slow down the release of the Holo infrastructure and require additional testing of HoloFuel, the Host Console, and the Publisher Portal. We further believe that better lightweight options will be designed for the network as the supply chains ease up and more chips and processors become available again in the future.
While there are some similar dynamics at play for the HoloPort and HoloPort+, we were able to coordinate with our manufacturing partners to secure the components required for additional limited supply of HoloPorts that could be delivered this calendar year.
Why this was a Difficult Decision
1) We don’t hold the commitments we’ve made to our community lightly.
The majority of our Nano backers joined us during the Indiegogo campaign. You have been incredibly supportive and patient for years. By demonstrating your support, you have helped show the world that there is deep interest in creating a more distributed world and accessible internet infrastructure.
Later, others of you purchased Nanos on our online store. Many have followed the project first, through periods of design and testing as well as crypto market swings and then, throughout a global pandemic. The continued acceleration of interest in this work demonstrates a demand for cooperative and collaborative technologies that function peer-to-peer. Your continued support has kept us motivated and strong in our resolve as we began delivering apps and infrastructure to bring this vision to fruition.
Our intention has always been to deliver the Nanos to you. And we think that pivoting at this juncture will mean greater success for the project on the whole.
2) Demonstrating Holochain working on lightweight devices will show the possibility of P2P apps connected to the physical world.
Nano’s remain an important strategy for Holo. They demonstrate the capacity of micro devices working in the Holochain P2P ecosystem, which we believe is central to its disruptive potential. A great example of that is RedGrid’s plans for Holochain in their clean energy grids. Lightweight devices lay the foundations of Holochain as a major player in the Internet of Things (IoT) space with massive opportunities for partnerships with governments, universities, and the private sector.
In fact, that is why we wanted to make Nanos available — to spread the seeds of small computers using Holochain around the world. So while we are adjusting course for this moment, know that the lightweight, micro device as a strategy is not gone, but simply moved to a later milestone on the Holo journey.
To sum it up
A sincere thank you. Specifically to all of our Nano backers. We know it hasn’t been an easy wait for many of you and that this news might be, well, a bit of a bummer. But we hope you take comfort in knowing that your support has made a true difference in demonstrating a long-term demand for people to host P2P applications on the web.
Also, join us at tomorrow’s AMA (15 July 2021) as we talk about what is next for Holo infrastructure testing and Holochain P2P apps. Submit your questions ahead of time.