Larissa Bitterli
Aug 5 · 9 min read

Originally published on Binance in May 2019.

Harmony: A high-throughput, low-latency and low-fee consensus platform

PROJECT OVERVIEW

  • Harmony is a fast and secure blockchain with key innovations in state sharding and peer-to-peer networking. Its sharding uses secure proof-of-stake and decentralized randomness, and its networking achieves optimal cross-shard routing and fast block propagation.
  • Built by a 12-person team featuring 7 engineers from Google, Apple, & Amazon and 2 PhDs
  • Harmony helps businesses build marketplaces of fungible tokens for industry use cases such as energy credits and non-fungible assets (game collectibles, real estate). Harmony applies zero-knowledge proofs for data sharing (ad exchanges, credit ratings) while preserving the consumer’s privacy.

KEY FEATURES & HIGHLIGHTS

Harmony implements deep sharding with innovations on both protocol and networking layers of blockchain by introducing:

  • Highly scalable FBFT (Fast Byzantine Fault Tolerant) consensus using BLS (Boneh-Lynn-Shacham) multi-signatures.
  • Secure distributed randomness generation protocol using VDF (Verifiable Delay Function).
  • Sharding with adaptive Proof-of-Stake for strong network security.
  • Kademlia routing and erasure encoding for optimal network performance.

WHAT IS HARMONY?

Harmony is a fast and secure blockchain with key innovations in state sharding and peer-to-peer networking. Its sharding uses secure proof-of-stake, decentralized randomness, and its networking achieves optimal cross-shard routing and fast block propagation.

VALUE PROPOSITION

  • Harmony helps businesses build marketplaces of fungible tokens (such as energy credits and loyalty points) and non-fungible assets (such as game collectibles and real estate).
  • Harmony is applying zero-knowledge proofs for data sharing while preserving the consumer’s privacy. Common industry use cases include ad exchanges, credit ratings and many other data consortia that would otherwise take many years to form among competing companies.

TOKEN SALE & ECONOMICS

Token Supply Distribution:

  • Seed sale tokens comprise 22.4% of total supply.
  • Launchpad sale tokens comprise 12.5% of total supply.
  • Team tokens comprise 16.9% of total supply.
  • Protocol development tokens comprise 26.4% of total supply.
  • Ecosystem development tokens comprise 21.8% of total supply.

Seed Sale Overview

  • Completed in May 2018 and raised a total of ~$18.3MM at ~$0.0065 per token, selling 22.4% of total token supply.

Binance Launchpad Sale Overview

  • Sale will be conducted on May 2019 for a total raise of ~$5MM USD worth of BNB at ~$0.003175 per token for 12.5% of total token supply. ONE/BNB exchange rate will be determined prior to day of sale.

Harmony Token Ecosystem

Harmony’s open, decentralized network is enabled through the use of the native protocol token — Harmony ONE. The token incentivizes and rewards a variety of participants including developers, validators/stakers, investors, and community members who develop, secure and govern the network. In order to use the network, users pay a small transaction fee denominated in the native Harmony token.

Token Governance & Use of Funds

As of May 2019, Harmony has used approximately 37% of TGE funds according to the allocations below:

  • 65% Core Team & Protocol Development
  • 15% Marketing & Community
  • 15% Professional Services
  • 5% Administrative & Office

ONE Token Release Schedule

The following chart represents the number and breakdown of all ONE tokens that are intended to be released into circulation on a monthly basis.
Team tokens are locked until 2020 with 4 years vesting.

Token Overview & Use Cases

Harmony’s scalable, high-throughput protocol is powered by a native token which is used for various forms of payment and participation in the protocol (staking, transaction fees, voting & governance).

Harmony uses blockchain to align incentives of different stakeholders, developers and businesses while allowing them to build open marketplaces of fungible and non-fungible tokens and assets. Furthermore, the upcoming application of zero-knowledge proofs will allow Harmony to become a data sharing platform that can overcome the conflicting problem plaguing many information and data markets: that individual market participants’ have mutual distrust to share data but strong desire to acquire data themselves.

The Harmony token will function in the following aspects of the protocol:

  1. The token is used for staking, which is necessary to participate in the POS consensus & earn block rewards and transaction fees.
  2. The token is used to pay for transaction fees, gas and storage fees.
  3. The token is used in voting for on-chain governance of the protocol.

ROADMAP & UPDATES

Features of each Harmony Testnet versions are listed below:

2019/02 Harmony Testnet 1.0:

  • Faster consensus using BLS multi-signatures & gossiping broadcast
  • Node staking on beacon chain using smart contracts
  • Secure resharding with Cuckoo Rule
  • Robust peer discovery via libp2p bootnodes & Kademlia routing

2019/03 Harmony Testnet 2.0:

  • Instructions for nodes on home networks with NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP), Port Control Protocol (PCP), and Internet Gateway Device (IGD) Control Protocol
  • Deployment of Solidity smart contracts, demo apps such as lottery
  • Full persistence with archival node, on-chain transaction storage
  • Beacon-shard syncing, proof-of-concept for Verifiable Delay Function (VDF)
  • Hybrid ECDSA (cold keys for staking) and BLS (hot keys for block validation)

2019/04 Harmony Testnet 3.0:

  • A network with peer-to-peer (p2p) using 1 beacon shard + 3 consensus shards
  • Cuckoo-rule resharding at 10% reshuffle rate and auto-restarting nodes
  • Genesis shard state, new nodes for staking, state sync for beacon chain
  • Researching into porting zkproof prototypes such as zkDAI and zkERC20 to Harmony

Updated Roadmap

Commercial Partnership and Business Development Progress

Harmony has a robust ecosystem building strategy focused on creating partnerships that drive adoption of the protocol across a variety of core use cases and verticals including gaming, data sharing, open marketplaces, provenance and supply chain tracking. At scale, Harmony helps businesses tokenize their assets and incentivize user engagement.

Notable key partners include Animoca (parent company of game assets like Garfield), Contentos (a content platform with 60M monthly users), and Timeless (a calendar-based service marketplace).

TRADING DATA

Liquidity

ONE token is not actively traded as of publish date of this report — the token will be available through the Binance Launchpad portal.

TECHNICAL OVERVIEW

Harmony has in total 18 public repos; The main repo is the core protocol repo. The project in total has 2980 commits, 120 stars, 17 contributors, and 24 forks.

PRODUCT & METRICS

Testnet Overview

In Q3 2018, the Harmony team deployed a network of 40,000 AWS/GCP/Azure instances (nodes) in 100 separate shards (400 nodes each). The peak performance of the overall network was recorded at a rate of 118,000 TPS. The test block size was roughly 2 megabytes, and the average test transaction size was around 250 bytes.

In December 2018, the Harmony team achieved a block sync time of 1.36 seconds by implementing an adaptive IDA protocol.

The team then subsequently released several Testnet versions with the latest Testnet 3.0 in April 2019. The testnet 3.0 has been running reliably for over one month since launch, generating 220k+ blocks

The Harmony wallet, explorer and testnet documentation here.

A block explorer of Harmony’s multi-sharded network is also available here.

Demo App / Product Launch

The team recently launched the Harmony Lottery (to demonstrate its decentralized randomness) with hundreds of users on the first day. Harmony will also be launching Harmony Puzzle on Contentos platform to engage 50k+ users.

Each level of Harmony Puzzle is recorded on the Harmony testnet explorer and can be viewed during or after the game play.

The player should first play the game until the end (either ending at “Game Over” or winning all of the levels) and then click on the Harmony logo to be directed to the explorer for that specific game.

A player’s move is shown in the “Sequence” line below. In this example, the player’s moves were “UURDDLU” or “up-up-right-down-down-left-up”.

COMMUNITY DATA

Since early 2017, the Harmony founding team has been hosting a weekly 4-hour gathering of entrepreneurs in the Bay Area to organically grow their team and community of partners.

The Harmony team has focused on a hybrid online/offline strategy to engage its community. The offline and online presences are split between three key strategies: content, channel, & ecosystem.

Channel Strategy

  • Growing global community — Harmony currently has 10 country-specific communities around the world. Local ambassadors manage community channels, offline presence, and media outlets (local platforms focused on videos and articles). The team aims to grow the size of existing community channels (Telegram, Discord, Twitter, etc) and grow to 20 country-specific communities.
  • Content & events — develop content around main Harmony initiatives and events:
  1. Q2 — Harmony Game of Stakes and Mainnet Launch preparation
  2. Q2 — Crypto Mondays San Francisco (1,000 members) — inviting thought leaders
  3. Q2 — BUIDL Seoul and Cosmos hackATOM
  4. Q2 — Blockchain Beach Los Angeles and Disruption Disciples, a PWC-sponsored global events series
  • Engage key opinion leaders — work with KOLs on AMAs and online educational sessions to engage their communities and followers about Harmony
  • Email Engagement — Convert more users to join Harmony mailing list (7,000 current subscribers)

Ecosystem Strategy

  • Ecosystem Building — build out tooling and help on-board dApps to Harmony:
  1. Q2 — Hackathons — engage dApp developers to build on Harmony through Hackathons, Competition, and Rewards
  2. Q2 — Technical Bounties — working with developers to start migrating applications using Harmony tools and SDKs.
  • Staking Education and GoS Participation for community:
  1. Q2 — Game of Stakes — opening a program to allow validators to earn rewards by stress testing the Harmony network. Validators and community members can learn about Harmony’s technology and staking in a Fantasy sports type format.

Bounty program

Harmony has been open source since January 2019 and has over 2,700 commits with over 100 stars from the community. Its team actively engages in technical discussions online on the Harmony Discourse forum at talk.harmony.one and on Discord. In Q1 2019, Harmony 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.

APPENDIX

Harmony Official Information

Node Operator Program

Reports & Updates

Advisors

  • Hakwan Lau | Professor of neuroscience and machine learning at UCLA
  • Ka-yuet Liu | Professor of medical data and network analysis at UCLA
  • Zi Wang | 9 years at Google, founder of Google X lab on retail
  • Bruce Huang | 8 years at Microsoft, director at Alibaba Cloud and CreditEase.

Harmony Videos

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

Harmony

To scale trust for billions of people and create a radically fair economy

Larissa Bitterli

Written by

Marketing and Business Development Intern at Harmony

Harmony

Harmony

To scale trust for billions of people and create a radically fair economy

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