Holo’s ERC20 token (HOT) and Mutual Credit Cryptocurrency (Holo fuel)

David Atkinson
Mar 27, 2018 · 5 min read

Written by Arthur Brock & David Atkinson and edited by Emaline Friedman.

DISCLAIMER: The following includes predictions and estimates. While these forward-looking statements represent our current judgment on what the future holds, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect our opinions only. Please note that we are not obligating ourselves to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events.

How to understand the prices of HOT and Holo fuel? What is the interplay between the two? Remember that HoloTokens (HOT) act as temporary, transferable receipts which can be redeemed for Holo fuel when Holo is launched. The supply of HOT is small and temporary, whereas the supply of Holo fuel is dynamic and designed for long-term economic viability. Please see the Currency White Paper for details about the self-adjusting currency supply.

Nevertheless, HOT and Holo fuel are both informed by 5 key pricing considerations that drive the value of Holo fuel that matter upon the ICO launch, prior to the launch of the Holo network, and after it. Please note that HOT holders are subject to pre-launch and short-term drivers, like the token market and general health of the crypto-community, before HOT is redeemable for Holo fuel.

5 Factors drive Holo fuel’s value

  1. Current market for decentralised and centralised hosting through Ethereum, Amazon Web Services, and others

2. Demand for distributed computation, personal data ownership, and hosting

3. Number of hosts, and their prices based on ability to run on cheap hardware

4. Popularity of apps and usage levels of hosting power on the Holo network

5. Relative demand from hosts for redeeming out into each reserve currency

You will notice that neither demand for nor supply of the currency was on the list of key pricing dynamics. Patterns of thinking about currency value based on token supply simply do not apply to Holo fuel — that is by design. It is optimized as a value-stable medium of exchange rather than a store of value, so that it can grow an active economy, rather than just have people parking their crypto assets .As a mutual credit currency, the net supply of the currency is always fixed at zero — positive balances offset negative balances. No currency is created from nothing. The active supply expands and contracts based on real market demand to keep value stable, while still being capped at the productive capacity of the network to provide hosting power.

The Hosting Market

The first two factors have to do with the fact that today, we pay a premium for hosting because of the complexity of scaling software and server infrastructure, and the high cost of the expertise to do so. The introduction of Holochain as a self-scaling P2P crypto architecture paired with commodity hardware for running Holo may bring hosting prices for decentralized apps from where it sits today on Ethereum at 400 million times the cost of cloud hosting, down to the price range of cloud services or even below that price.

The Holo Hosting Market

If you buy Holo fuel before Holo hosting prices drop, then as Hosts charge less fuel for hosting, you can purchase more hosting with that same fuel. As buying power of Holo fuel grows the market price for Holo fuel also grows. The value of the currency is tied to its buying power in a productive economy of hosting services. If you buy HOT before Holo fuel is available, then again as Holo hosting prices drop, then as Hosts charge less fuel for hosting, you can purchase more hosting with the same fuel that you bought (for later use) during the ICO. Because holders of HOT will be able to redeem their tokens for Holo fuel for at least six months after Holo launches, timing matters.

Initial Pricing Relative to Ethereum Performance

To predict the costliness and efficiency of the Holo network relative to the Ethereum network, we measured the computational load, price, and timing of running dApps on Ethereum, made counterpart apps on Holochain that accomplish the same things, and ran benchmarks to compare performance. Read more about this process here for details of how we established the value of a unit of Holo fuel and pricing for hosting dApps (at 1/10,000 the cost on Ethereum).

We can summarize the short-term and long-term price dynamics in terms of influences that will drive the value up and influences that could drive value down.

Short-Term Expected Influences on Holo fuel

Positive influences

  • Hosts likely to receive massive revenues at ICO or token market rates (which will yield aggressive pricing)
  • Initial rapid fall in hosting prices means a rapid rise in buying power = currency value
  • Migration of noteworthy projects from blockchain will boost Holochain’s credibility

Negative influences

  • News of high hosting revenues would attract many hosts causing a glut of hosting supply
  • Non-token Holo fuel not accepted by many exchanges
  • Bugs in early Alpha releases of Holochain
  • Attacks on security model of hosting and currency

Long-Term Expected Influences on Holo fuel

Positive influences

  • Easy use of Holo fuel from Holo dApps will expand application and reach of currency usage
  • Once supply and pricing algorithms have reached reasonable equilibrium, prices should stabilize making more users feel safe to try cryptocurrency.
  • Alliance with other emerging asset-backed currencies expand safe/stable crypto user base
  • If regulators shut down cryptocoins, Holo fuel may continue to operate because it is crypto-accounting.

Negative influences

  • Many competitors may enter the market once Holochain’s architecture has been proven
  • Attacks on value stability and pricing algorithms
  • Governments that restrict use of cryptocurrencies

Hopefully this helps explain the dynamics of Holo fuel, why it is so different from crypto-tokens — even from Holo tokens, from where they begin. We aim to be forthright about the likely drivers of price increases and decreases, so that you come away from this piece with a clearer understanding of how asset-backed mutual credit cryptocurrencies work. This is knowledge we want to spread because this design choice is more likely to lead to a healthy ecosystem, post-ICO.


Currency whitepaper

Benchmarking and pricing post

Network capacity algorithm post

Instructions for buying HOT


Post-blockchain technology, value-stable cryptocurrency…

Thanks to Will Harris-Braun

David Atkinson

Written by



Post-blockchain technology, value-stable cryptocurrency, and peer-to-peer hosting of scalable, distributed apps. Now is the time for popular access to an equitable, decentralized web! https://holo.host

David Atkinson

Written by



Post-blockchain technology, value-stable cryptocurrency, and peer-to-peer hosting of scalable, distributed apps. Now is the time for popular access to an equitable, decentralized web! https://holo.host

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