Harmony FAQ

2019–05

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers on Harmony.

  1. Project
  2. Technology
  3. Business
  4. Community
  5. Ambassadors

1. Project

What is Harmony?

Harmony is a fast and secure blockchain. We are a 12-person team in Silicon Valley with 7 engineers from Google/Apple/Amazon and 2 PhDs. Our public network is operational and fully open source.

Our key innovations are in state sharding (secure staking & resharding with decentralized randomness) and in peer-to-peer networking (optimal cross-shard routing, fast block propagation).

See our Annual Letter, Overview & Milestones, Deck and Newsletter.

Why is the project called “Harmony”?

Harmony is the beautiful music when we sing in different notes but resonate. It’s analogous to our high-performance protocol of multiple shards but reaching consensus.

Listen to our theme song “Teach the World to Sing In Perfect Harmony!

Why is the token called “ONE”?

Harmony’s vision is “For One and For All,” creating open consensus for 10 billion people.

Watch our favorite clip “Visiting the Oracle” in the film Matrix (1999).

Why is the logo designed as such?

Harmony’s community is built on “Handshake & Embrace.”

Well, also, in vino veritas! Read the “Xoogler Interview” on our founding story.

What is the real world value of Harmony?

Harmony helps businesses build marketplaces of fungible tokens (energy credits, security offerings) and non-fungible assets (game collectibles, real estate). 
We’re applying zero-knowledge proofs for data sharing (ad exchanges, credit ratings) while preserving the consumer’s privacy.

Harmony’s core team

  • Stephen Tse: Google engineer, startup founder (acquired by Apple), UPenn CS Phd (telegram)
  • Nicolas Burtey: VR startup founder with $10M VC investment and 40 people, Math BS
  • Alok Kothari: Apple Siri NLP engineer, Carnegie Mellon AI MS
  • Rongjian Lan: Google Search engineer, Maryland PhD candidate
  • Minh Doan: Google Voice AI engineer, Olympiad champion, UC PhD candidate
  • Nick White: Zeroth AI specialist, Stanford EE BS & MSc (telegram)
  • Sahil Dewan: Edtech startup founder, Draper Dragon, Harvard MBA, CS BS (telegram)

  • Eugene Kim: Amazon/Blizzard/NTT network engineer, CS BS
  • Leo Chen: Amazon AWS & Kindle engineer & manager of 8, CS BS & MSc
  • Chao Ma: Amazon NLP & fraud engineer, Math PhD
  • Li Jiang: logistics startup founder, Global Tech/Education Summit organizer, GSV Capital (telegram)
  • Mary Dansker: blockchain agency founder, Draper University mentor, business innovation MSc (telegram)
  • Garlam Won: ICONIZ global partnership, Deloitte consultant, featured in Forbes (telegram)

See the full team profiles, our Ex-Googler community and founding story.

Select collaborators

  • Hakwan Lau (professor of neuroscience and machine learning at UCLA) — working with Harmony on healthcare blockchain use cases and human episodic memory. Link
  • Ka-yuet Liu (professor of medical data and network analysis at UCLA) — working with Prof. Lau on data marketplace models in science. Link
  • Zi Wang (9 years at Google, founder of Google X lab on retail) — partnering with Harmony on developing the early use cases and product strategy.
  • Bruce Huang (8 years at Microsoft, director at Alibaba Cloud and CreditEase) — helping with China developer community engagement and tooling initiatives.

What is the long-term vision for Harmony?

Today, only hundreds of thousands of people are participating in the decentralized marketplaces. We want to help millions participate in a radically fair economy.

We believe that a scalable architecture and design of a public blockchain is crucial for mainstream adoption and high value use cases. Through a combination of research-proven innovations in transport networks, consensus protocol, and system tooling, we think Harmony’s scalable blockchain protocol can eventually support markets for billions of users.

2. Technology

Core technical innovations

Harmony is the highly scalable, minimal-fee and provably secure blockchain that will serves as the backbone of next-generation decentralized applications. Harmony innovates on both protocol and networking layers of blockchain by introducing:

1. Highly scalable BFT consensus using BLS multi-signature

2. Secure distributed randomness generation protocol using VDF (Verifiable Delay Function)

3. Adaptive PoS-based sharding mechanism guaranteeing the network security

4. Kademlia routing and erasure encoding for optimal network usage

Technical differentiation compared to existing projects

Harmony is a POS-based state-sharding protocol, while existing protocol projects are mostly POW-based. Harmony’s consensus is a fast BFT algorithm which uses BLS multi-sig and scales linearly with the number of nodes, while many existing projects uses the old single chain-based consensus (same as Bitcoin). Harmony’s consensus doesn’t have forks and has instant finality, while existing chains have forks and no instant finality. Harmony provides a provably secure source of randomness with the latest technology Verifiable Delay Functions (VDF), which guarantees the security of the shards and provides fair randomness to applications. However, most existing protocols sharding security is not guarded by randomness, so it’s prone to single-shard takeover attacks, and there is no fair randomness for Dapps (such as gambling games etc.). Harmony’s cross-shard communication is sublinearly efficient because we use Kademlia routing and Erasure Encoding.

What is Kademlia routing and how does Harmony apply it?

We currently use gossiping and Kademlia in a mutually complementary arrangement: Kademlia handles baseline peer discovery as well as topic mesh forming, and pub–sub gossiping for topical broadcast routing over the topical mesh discovered by Kademlia. Our cross-shard communication will also rely on Kademlia routing technology.

For cross-shard communication, we will use Kademlia routing table to minimize network cost. The tradeoffs of doing so as opposed to using gossip are:

  • Gossip (pros): The message delivery is mostly guaranteed because all nodes are involved in relaying the message to the destination.
  • Gossip (cons): A single message incurs network cost for every node, which can easily lead to network congestion.
  • Kademlia (pros): Only a subset of the nodes on the short path to destination needs to relay the message. Overall network cost is low. Less chance of network congestion.

Product release and major updates in the next 6 months

Also see our 2019 roadmap https://harmony.one/roadmap.

2019 April

  • Generating block rewards to node operator wallet
  • Demo apps of ERC20/ERC721
  • External network API for tooling like web3.js

2019 May

  • Component testing
  • API for network-level randomness
  • Atomic cross-shard transactions
  • Archival Node
  • Harmony Games (external testing)

2019 June

  • Full explorer/wallet support
  • Security Auditing
  • Developer Tooling Implementation/SDK
  • Adversarial attack testing/Game of Stakes
  • Mainnet launch

2019 Q3

  • Support storage fee model (on top of computation gas)
  • Port the most popular apps (DAI, gambling, games)
  • Port prototypes of zero-knowledge proofs (zkDAI, AZTEC, Zether)

2019 Q4:

  • Launch Partner pilots on Harmony network
  • Support WebAssembly
  • Complete libunion networking library & optimize fountain code (rateless erasure encoding)
  • Support light clients with fraud proofs

3. Business

Harmony’s value & business model?

Harmony derives value from the utility of its native token. Our scalable, high-throughput protocol is powered by a native token which is used for various forms of participation in the protocol (staking/securing, transaction fees, voting & governance).

Using our blockchain to dis-intermediate third-party trust and align incentives of different stakeholders, developers and businesses can build open marketplaces of fungible and non-fungible tokens and assets. In fact, by implementing Zero-knowledge proofs Harmony will be the de-facto data sharing platform that will harness the mutual distrust to share data but strong desire to acquire data.

What’s the purpose of Harmony’s native token?

The Harmony token is a protocol token that is used for a number of things on the network.

1. The token is used to stake in order to become a validator on the network to earn block rewards and transaction fees. We use Proof of Stake (POS) as our sybil resistance mechanism in the protocol.

2. The token is used to pay fees on the network, both transaction fees, gas and storage fees.

3. The token is used in voting for on-chain governance of the protocol. Without the token, the protocol could not function.

Early use cases/industries for Harmony

  • Data sharing platforms — Credit scoring & lending, Ad exchanges, Data marketplaces (financial, agriculture & health)
  • Open marketplaces — energy trading, security/asset trading, non-fungible collectibles in games
  • Supply chain — Track & trace, tracking analytics

Harmony’s Foundational Node Operator Program

Harmony is a permissionless protocol — anyone can join, leave and contribute to the network.

That said, it is equally important and pragmatic to ensure that the protocol is secure from Day 1, and hence the validator pool needs to keep the protocol secure and stable. Therefore, we started the Foundational node operator program to make sure we would have an early community of external nodes/validators to help bootstrap the network.

We have kept geographic diversity as an important criterion in welcoming some of the early node/validator community. Some of the regions are Foundational node operators come from include: USA, UK, Thailand, Russia, Taiwan, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Korea.

After the security of the protocol is proven, we will voluntarily limit our role in driving and facilitating the validator community. We will develop a strong foundation for the validator community to function and support each other over the next few months through our Game of Stakes Campaign.

What percentage of your team/company tokens have you sold?

We’ve sold 22.4% of the 12.6 Billion token supply in our seed round.

Current investors

4. Community

Official Information and Communities of Harmony

Node Operator Program

Reports & Updates

Community

How can I contribute to the technical development of Harmony?

We believe in open development, therefore the repositories are public and can be found at https://github.com/harmony-one/harmony.

Also, we have posted technical bounties at harmony.one/gitcoin.

What are the best channels to engage Harmony?

Our team actively seeks feedback from developers, node operators, partners and community members through off-line and online channels. Our off-line events include our weekly TGI meetup that we have been running for 2 years since we first started iterating on Harmony (even prior to funding/official launch). Online, we get technical feedback from our forum (talk.harmony.one) and discord (harmony.one/discord). We have been open sourced since January 2019 so developers can review our code to know exactly how we are building the protocol and give suggestions/feedback (harmony.one/github)

What’s the requirement for setting up a node?

Read details on the Harmony Foundational Node Program here: harmony.one/node

Read instructions on connecting a node to the testnet: harmony.one/nodes

Will there be a mobile app?

We are launching the Harmony Lottery app on mobile soon. Please sign up here to receive updates and join our Discord to engage in conversations.

How can I join the Harmony community?

Join our main community channels:

Discord: harmony.one/discord

Telegram: harmony.one/telegram

Telegram Announcement: https://t.me/harmony_announcements

Discourse: https://talk.harmony.one/

Official project channels

Website: https://harmony.one/

Medium: https://medium.com/harmony-one

Twitter: https://twitter.com/harmonyprotocol

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/harmonyoneprotocol

WeChat: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/gP4ScTJWr5s8NhGv3iHaTQ

Key project resources

Deck: https://harmony.one/deck

Whitepaper: https://harmony.one/whitepaper

Explorer: https://explorer.harmony.one

Open source (since 2019 Jan): https://github.com/harmony-one/harmony

Community Events & Updates

Harmony has emphasized on being open source, accessible to developers and partners, and building long term relationships with developers and partners both online and offline since our founding in 2018.

For developers:

Harmony has been open source since January 2019 and has over 2,700 commits with over 100 stars from the community. We actively engage in technical discussions on the Harmony Discourse forum at talk.harmony.one and on Discord. Since Harmony is fully EVM compatible, our current push is to demonstrate dapps on Harmony but at a much better performance when compared to Ethereum or other existing infrastructure. In Q1 2019, we also announced a $1M USD worth of Harmony tokens technical bounty on Gitcoin to build out a full suite of developer tools with the goal of being the most accessible platform for developers to build on.

For business:

Harmony has organically developed partnerships to use its fungible tokens (energy credits, security offerings) and non-fungible assets (game collectibles, real estate). Currently, the partnership development efforts have been through our own TGI network (1,500 founders and collaborators in Silicon Valley) and through conferences and events. Many of our partners have been long term friends and collaborators and we have strong working relationship with them. Harmony is currently developing partners with use cases in asset tokenization, stablecoins, energy credit trading, game collectibles, advertising exchange. Going forward, we’ll explore open market for data sharing with health data and personal data companies.

Harmony has organized and spoke at the following conferences and developer community events:

2018

  • 2018–05–10, host of TGI (Thank God Its Blockchain) Community Meetup in Sunnyvale, CA. Harmony officially launches.
  • 2018–08–08, host of a special viewing of “General Magic: The Documentary” in Cupertino, CA with producer Michael Stern (link).
  • 2018–10–11: panelist at Cryptoeconomics and Security Conference (CESC) by Blockchain at Berkeley, panel on “Scaling Consensus with Systems and Language Design”
  • 2018–11–22, speaker on TokenGazer AMA on WeChat.
  • 2018–11–23, host of Montreal meetup to discuss upcoming testnet launch (link).
  • 2018–11–23, speaker at Hong Kong meetup event discussing its scalable consensus infrastructure (link).
  • 2018–11–28, host of technical overview with Starfish Mission (link).
  • 2018–12–10, host of happy hour for World Digital Asset Summit (link).
  • 2018–12–14, guest lecturer for a video interview session with Dean Peter Zemsky of INSEAD for his Coursera class on real-world challenges faced by blockchain practitioners (link).

2019-Q1

  • 2019–01–11, recognized as a top public blockchain project for 2019 (link).
  • 2019–01–14, host of Harvard Business School WestTrek to discuss business use cases in blockchain (link).
  • 2019–01–16, speaker on Stanford Radio to answer questions on how blockchain will shape the world (link)
  • 2019–01–27, host of “Unblock: Saigon” with Asia Blockchain Review to engage the Vietnamese community (link).
  • 2019–01–30, meets with leading researchers at Stanford Blockchain Conference (sponsored by Harmony investor Lemniscap).
  • 2019–02–04, organizer of Cent AMA.
  • 2019–02–07, speaker for live video Cryptocopia AMA.
  • 2019–02–08, speaker at GSVlabs’ Tokens and Beyond event.
  • 2019–02–10, host of developers meetup with NuCypher at ETHDenver (link).
  • 2019–02–18, winner “Most Innovative” Award at ETHDenver Hackathon.
  • 2019–02–23, speaker at Harvard Blockchain Conference.
  • 2019–02–24, host of community brunch at Harvard.
  • 2019–03–01, dbcrypto AMA
  • 2019–03–02, presenter at Cryptonite event.
  • 2019–03–08, speaker at #Outlier accelerator in Seattle (link) — watch our video.
  • 2019–03–28, guest lecturer at CMU Silicon Valley.

2019-Q2

Additionally, the Harmony team organizes our own weekly TGI-Harmony event in the Bay Area and have been growing the off-line community through this event for over 2 years. The team has a track record of building large scale products and a strong reputation in Silicon Valley and the tech industry. We have hosted over 1,500 strong founders and collaborators. These leading technologists and company builders have a strong positive relationship with the Harmony team and return to our event often on a weekly basis.

Harmony Videos

Media Partners:

English Media:

CoinDesk

https://www.coindesk.com/apple-amazon-alums-behind-sharding-startup-raise-18-million-in-token-sale

The Block

https://www.theblockcrypto.com/tiny/blockchain-startup-harmony-raises-18-million/

Yahoo Finance (UK)

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/blockchain-startup-harmony-raises-18-170038053.html

Hackernoon

https://hackernoon.com/harmony-a-high-throughput-low-latency-public-blockchain-platform-for-decentralized-economies-676de78a5654

Steemit

https://steemit.com/harmony/@ashkharoo/harmony-introduction-one-to-rule-all-a-true-decentralized-scalable-blockchain-thoughtfully-designed

CryptoPurview

https://cryptopurview.com/in-harmony-developing-true-decentralized-scalable-blockchain/

Mike Spencer (Medium)

https://medium.com/utopiapress/harmony-blockchains-deep-sharding-might-be-the-winning-decentralized-architecture-b1de02880186

Yahoo Finance (US)

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/blockchain-startup-harmony-raises-18-170038053.html

Coinmonks

https://medium.com/coinmonks/revenge-of-the-ai-nerds-5a6bb370b059

CryptoInsider

https://cryptoinsider.com/revenge-of-the-ai-nerds-how-blockchain-will-save-our-lives-and-pay-you-for-your-data%EF%BB%BF/

2019–03–29 Crypto Briefing: Harmony Open Consensus Blockchain Code Review

https://cryptobriefing.com/harmony-open-consensus-blockchain-code-review/

2019–02–06 Svet Sedov

https://medium.com/@svjatoslavsedov/harmony-review-and-rating-ac64b0dda712?_branch_match_id=591012900304282164

2019–1–11 Melanie Mohr https://medium.com/futuresin/blockchains-top-trends-of-2019-6c2a69b8c715

2018–12–13 BlockLeaders https://blockleaders.io/2018/12/13/stephen-tse-designing-the-harmony-of-blockchain/

2018–11–19 CoinDesk

https://www.coindesk.com/7-facebook-amazon-apple-netflix-and-google-staffers-that-went-full-crypto

2018–11–01 Hackernoon https://hackernoon.com/founder-interviews-stephen-tse-of-harmony-one-6bdf016d1e40

2018–09–04: Arrington XRP Capital http://arringtonxrpcapital.com/2018/09/04/silicon-valleys-harmony-ready-to-debut/

2018–08–12 Michael Spencer

https://medium.com/futuresin/what-is-the-haromony-protocol-e8eb33c190ed

Chinese Media:

2019–5–1 金色财经Harmony专栏

2019–5–1 Harmony简介:开放、稳定的去中心化经济市场

2019–5–1 wechat:Harmony年报

2019–4–30 TokenInsight 对话首席 — — 底层公链展望之Harmony篇

2019–4–30 蓝狐笔记 https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/8ZirWWAlim23pG_6J760NA

2019–4–29 火星: 火星一线 | 大讨论:PoS类项目采用Staking取代PoW算力的方式,未来会成为趋势吗?

2019–4–29 Harmony 联合创始人兰荣坚:公链建设首先考虑应用需求,流畅的法币入口可降低用户进入区块链门槛

2019–04–29 Harmony区块链的分片扩展之路

金色财经:https://www.jinse.com/blockchain/359325.html with 100K views

2019–4–26 wechat:新游戏“幸运Harmony”和社区奖励 (四月更新)

2019–4–22 Translation: Harmony:一种真正去中心化的可扩展区块链

2019–04–23 财经 谢镇滔倡导996文化 https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/1HAXcQ_mrWaVWl9GCR85WQ

2019–04–19 Blocktimes AMA (RJ)

http://www.blocktimes.tw/wechat/index/news_details/id/1073.html

2019–04–17 Hyperion宣布与Harmony正式展开合作

https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/BZz5mpwyk4bS_VfSkADwHA

2019–04–17 Harmony联手Hyperion开启共识地图3.0时代

https://www.chainnews.com/articles/427846622336.htm

2019–04–15 《高性能公链 Harmony 助力去中心化经济》

2019–04–15 一文读懂 Harmony 与 Zilliqa 两个分片项目的不同

https://www.chainnews.com/articles/274028340681.htm?from=groupmessage&isappinstalled=0

2019–04–11 以太坊 2.0 落地迷雾重重,Harmony 公链或将其想法提前实现

https://www.chainnews.com/articles/535945623541.htm

2019–04–11 36Kr:公链发展下一步怎么走,「Harmony」和以太坊2.0撞思路

2019–02–19 Bihu Harmony正式入驻币乎!

https://bihu.com/article/1949063049

2018–12–05 Bitpush Stephen Tse (谢镇滔):Harmony将突破区块链技术在速度和安全性方面的挑战: https://www.bitpush.news/?p=202505

2018–09–16 BitTiger 前Google资深工程师直播:如何实现比以太坊快1000倍的区块链?https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/wa0MPGGVMuESNLFRB1uLlg

Road shows and events

Harmony has completed roadshows and events in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Denver, Boston, New York, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Montreal

Q2 2019

  • Beijing event with CoinXP and HashFuture, host & speaker
  • Seoul event with Quarkchain and ICON, host & speaker
  • Boston at Harvard College China Forum

Q1 2019

  • Seattle #Outlier Accelerator, speaker
  • EthDenver & BUIDLColorado, speaker & hackathon award winner
  • Harvard Blockchain Summit, speaker
  • Binance Fair, mentor
  • Jakarta Meetup, host & speaker
  • Ho Chi Minh Meetup, host & speaker
  • Cent AMA (online)
  • dbcrypto AMA (online)
  • CryptoCopia AMA (online)

Q4 2018

  • Hong Kong Meetup, host & speaker
  • San Francisco Blockchain Week, speaker
  • World Digital Asset Summit, speaker
  • TokenGazer AMA (online)

Q3 2018

  • Consensus Singapore
  • Beijing Meetup, host & speaker
  • Shanghai Meetup, host & speaker

5. Ambassadors & Advocates

Harmony Ambassadors & Managers:

Start as a Harmony advocate by sending our newsletter to your Twitter or Telegram & use our branding with your community.

Contact Harmony Team at hello@harmony.one to become our advocate & meet our community on Discord & Telegram.

Global language channels

Chinese: harmony.one/telegram-cn

Korean: harmony.one/telegram-kr

Indonesian: harmony.one/telegram-id

Indian: harmony.one/telegram-in

Philippines (Filipino): harmony.one/telegram-ph

Russian: harmony.one/telegram-ru

Brazil (Portuguese): https://t.me/Harmony_Brazil

Harmony branding

Harmony icon: harmony.one/logo

Harmony branding guide: harmony.one/brand

Global language content:

Harmony will reward translators in tokens and fiat.

We currently have deck, newsletters, faq, and whitepaper in the following languages:

Our global content is published here: https://medium.com/harmony-one/tagged/global

Full database of translated documents here: harmony.one/translations

English: whitepaper, deck, newsletter, faq

Chinese: whitepaper, deck, newsletter

Korean: deck, newsletter

Indonesian: deck, newsletter

Philippines (Filipino): deck, newsletter

Russian: deck, newsletter

Spanish: deck, newsletter

Turkish: deck, newsletter