Harmony’s Strategy and Architecture

Stephen Tse
Jan 13 · 5 min read

Harmony in 2021 will focus on adoption through developers and partners. We will continue to strengthen our network features, to lead industry in our cross-chain architecture, and to engage broad ecosystem to build with us. There will be explosive growth and new applications this year in blockchains — Harmony is ready to be leading a part of this global fintech revolution.

Harmony is a fast, cheap and secure settlement layer. Now we are bridging with Bitcoin and Ethereum to extend our use cases. Ethereum developers can easily scale their applications with Harmony to enjoy our 2-second finality and cheap fees. Our applications are fully EVM compatible and can already withdraw and deposit Ethereum assets via a bridge. Soon we will offer the same toolings and portals such as Web3.js and MetaMask. Our value proposition as a layer 1 protocol with a Ethereum bridge is making Harmony more attractive than layer 2 protocols.

Through marketing and evangelism, Harmony is ready to showcase our technical strengths as a top blockchain. We are hosting hackathons with Gitcoin and workshops at Ethereum events to attract developers. We are incubating to launch projects through grants and product development.

Harmony’s vision remains “Open Consensus for 10B People” — that is, there will be an open platform for our future generations to create in harmony. We are committed to the mission “To scale trust and to create a radically fair economy”. That means building a decentralized, scalable and secure blockchain to settle any transactions without trusted parties. Here, fairness in radical markets promises everyone opportunity for creating meaningful wealth.

Towards our mission, Harmony’s current strategy is “Cross-Chain Finance” as decentralized finance and interoperable protocols are the product-market fit in 2021. We are building trustless bridges to Bitcoin and Ethereum for broader access of users and assets with Harmony as a hub. An example of utility is a cross-chain exchange without custodial risks. Our current settlement layer and soon liquidity infrastructure will enable further financial innovations, leading to cross-exchange integrations and cross-border finance.

In Harmony’s 2021 on Cross-Chain Finance, we summarize our roadmap as “adoption, interoperability, decentralization”. The post also tracks progress of our milestones so we can build with our community. For your feedback, we expand below on our go-to-market strategies and technical architecture. You may learn about our ecosystem growth in 2020 or our vision on liquidity infrastructure.

Interoperability

  • Ethereum Bridge: trustless and efficient asset transfers among PoW-PoS chains
    We are building a bridge for applications to access assets on Ethereum while enjoying fast transactions on Harmony. Our bridge architecture is industry leading, being gas efficient and seamless between Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake chains. Inspired by Flyclient (already deployed in ZCash), our light client uses Merkle Mountain Range (MMR) and epoch syncing. Later we may employ zero-knowledge proofs such as Plonk to further compress the states of these heterogeneous chains. (more)
  • Bitcoin Bridge: contract-based wrapping and liquidity of BTC as in Interlay
    We are adapting Interlay’s BTC<>DOT bridge to support finance products on wrapped Bitcoin. Our long-term value proposition is the utility of ETH<>ONE<>BTC hub as liquidity infrastructure. Keep’s tBTC, Interlay’s PolkaBTC and Thorchain are only reaching basic production but highly valued. Our bridge can then easily generalize to many Bitcoin-based assets such as Tether’s USDT, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. Along with our Ethereum bridge, we can enable a truly decentralized exchange across chains with BTC derivatives, USDT stablecoins and ERC20 assets. (more)
  • Cross-Shard Composability: atomic swaps of assets, inter-shard contracts
    Harmony’s shards are similar to Cosmos’s zones and Polkadot’s parachains, but our shards offer simpler interface and more uniform security for developers. We are developing cross-shard transactions, comparable to Cosmos’s Inter-Blockchain Communication (IBC) and Polkadot’s Cross-Chain Message Passing (XMCP) but specialized for uniform shards. (more)
  • Cross-Chain Communications: chain relays, data availability, interoperability
    Full interoperability across heterogeneous blockchains (such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot and Cosmos) will multiply their application potentials and asset liquidity. Toward a general cross-chain framework, we are building components such as chain relays as smart contracts (to verify commitment with succinct proofs) and data availability layers (with fraud proofs and erasure codes). (more)
Harmony produces an education series on decentralized finance (with Defiant): Interoperability, Bitcoin, Ethereum.

Partners

  • Cross-Chain Uniswap: asset pools, governance tokens, project listings
    Our partners will fork Swoop (our clone of Uniswap v2 with Ethereum bridge API, both already live on mainnet) to experiment with different automated market making (AMM) and community governance. They may launch governance tokens to incentivize asset deposits for liquidity pools and to amplify project listings. Harmony will build a cross-chain infrastructure for a seamless user experience using these non-custodial exchanges. (more)
  • DeFi & NFT: stablecoins, marketplaces, structured products
    We are cultivating partners with business development and integrating open platforms without permission. Top DeFi projects many artists are always exploring new chains. Ren, 0x, Terra are proposing API for multichains that we can openly participate in. Harmony will build liquidity infrastructure for experimenting with on-chain order books, market makers, and arbitrage bots. (more)

Decentralization

  • Resharding: randomized validator assignment to prevent single-shard attacks
    We are re-assigning shard membership of validators every epoch to enhance our network security. Our innovations include using verifiable delay function (VDF) for randomized assignment, integrating staking and slashing with resharding, and forcing regular leader rotations. Harmony will be among the first blockchains to launch resharding. (more)
  • Fast Sync & Gossips: streaming state sync, information dispersal algorithm
    We are replacing gRPC in state sync with p2p streaming with a rate limiter and downloader batch. Later we will implement RapidChain’s gossiping protocol based on an information dispersal algorithm (IDA) for sending large blocks. Both approaches, along with further performance analysis and parameter tuning, will improve our network resiliency and latency. (more)

Incubation

Read Messari’s Yearly Report “Crypto Theses for 2021” for a comprehensive overview of the industry. This report also provides the contexts and the insights on many projects with product-market fits.

We are HIRING! Prefer 5-year or more experience, offer top pay and remote work. You may consider our open bounties, hackathons, or earn $5000 for successful referrals. Email us at hello@harmony.one.

  • Backend engineers (systems, network, infrastructure, compilers)
  • Research engineers (cryptography, financial, formal security)
  • Marketing lead, content manager, graphics designer
  • Developer relations, technical communication
  • Asia lead, grant manager, ecosystem growth

Harmony

To scale trust for billions of people and create a…

Harmony

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

Stephen Tse

Written by

https://harmony.one, Open Consensus for 10B. To scale trust for billions of people and create a radically fair economy. https://twitter.com/stse

Harmony

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

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