Project Rundown Interview with Hive.io
Hey guys! Happy to connect today and learn more about Hive! Can you tell us more about the founding of the project and which problems you were addressing?
Hive is a decentralized information-sharing network with an accompanying blockchain-based financial ledger built on the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) protocol. More simply put: Hive is a social network full of apps and services where you can gather, share, and explore… Powered by blockchain.
Today we’re celebrating our one year anniversary! We were founded a year ago to date, on March 20th, 2020, by a large community of decentralization enthusiasts that saw public blockchains fall into corporate hands and decided to take a stand. We saw hostile takeovers and unprecedented collusion among large players in the cryptosphere aimed at anything that challenged the concept of centralization and we as a community said “we will not be bought and sold”.
Could you please give us a rundown of the most important things about Hive?
Hive is developed to store vast amounts of information and to make it available for time-based monetization. Examples of use include social media with monetized rewards for content producers, interactive games, identity management, polling systems, and micro-loans. A Hive wallet address unlocks an entire ecosystem of possibilities with a vibrant social community, a growing built-in potential client base, and extensive features for new servicesg building on the blockchain.
The performance of Hive is designed to scale with widespread adoption of the currency and platforms in mind. By combining lightning fast processing times and fee-less transactions, Hive is positioned to become one of the leading blockchain technologies used by people around the world.
Thank you. You help clients with enterprise-level blockchain solutions. Could you give us a few examples of enterprise-level blockchain solutions?
We aim to be the blockchain protocol that anyone can build on. Let’s take the calls for immutable social media as an example.
Centralized social media platforms show a wide range of flaws negatively affecting users. These include the fact that creators don’t own or control their content and they are always exposed to the risk of being de-platformed, demonetized, or a change in discovery algorithms negatively affecting their reach and earnings. Likewise, consumers face a UI, notification system, and content recommendation system not designed to work in their best interest. Examples may include users giving away time and personal data without getting anything in return, ending up in algorithm driven echo chambers, or apps aiming to maximize their own profits by increasing time-on-site instead of ensuring time can be well spent. Additionally, third-party app developers must pay to access user data which stifles competition and innovation, and can also be abused.
Hive offers a solution by providing an open and secure public database for digital content that is not owned by any single entity. Users have personal ownership and control over their own accounts with customizable, human readable names rather than long illegible strings of letters and numbers. This allows creators to have a clear proof of ownership over their content, the ability to build an identity or brand, avoid any threats of censorship, and to benefit directly from the value they help create online.
Each username is tied to an advanced wallet with unique security features. This allows for the integrated use of a fast, feeless, and programmable currency (HIVE) for any product, app, or service built utilizing the blockchain. Hive enables people to do business directly via a peer-to-peer network without any intermediaries, where sponsors and advertisers can have a more direct relationship with the creators and communities they support, or the fanbases they engage. This is just one battle-tested use case for Hive, among many others.
How do your libraries work, and what is the benefit for developers in terms of joining your decentralized network of developers?
Libraries come with thorough documentation and are intuitive for new developers as well as seasoned teams. All libraries are OS contributed and maintained by community members, which means they are kept up to date upon protocol changes. In general, our libraries make it easier to interact with the blockchain, including some useful functions with a main use of signing and broadcasting transactions. This can be done on the user’s system with keys used locally: when it comes to blockchain and crypto currency, having standard, easy options for practicing key safety is incredibly important.
Hive is an entry to the crypto space for developers and users and makes it easier to use and develop decentralized apps. Since Hive transactions are free and fast, applications can be made without paying huge fees in crypto or dealing with gas calculations, the biggest barriers to businesses entering the blockchain space. You can make many daily transactions with your app and pay zero in fees for it.
In the words of a long-time Hive contributor: “Being a developer here is amazing because of the experience and skills, but especially the approachability of everyone. It’s easy to get started and learn, and you never have the feeling of being ‘lost’ no matter how complicated the issue”.
Tell us about your decentralized team. Who’re the people behind the screens?
They come from every part of the world, every walk of life, and are united by a shared common vision of decentralization. They bring together countless years of experience, divergent opinions and approaches, vast domains of knowledge and endless dedication. There is no one identifiable group that can be named and no corporate entity.
Hive relies on decentralized governance, both for software development and for decisions about protocol upgrades, employing the DPoS consensus protocol. Stake-weighted voting is used to elect block producers known as witnesses that must agree to enable changes to the 1st layer protocol shared by all applications, providing a stable base layer, while leaving second layer applications free to innovate rapidly. All protocol changes are proposed, developed, prepared for and implemented through a transparent and collaborative team-working environment. They are entirely open source from initiation to their final release.
Which collaborative partnerships have you engaged so far, and which ones are the most impactful?
Every dapp that builds on, connects to and integrates with Hive can be seen as a partnership.
We are precently enjoying a collaborative relationship with MarketSquare which is building a Hive Hub to highlight Hive-based dapps. Their team has been amazing in respect to connecting with our dapps and innovators and spotlighting them! In terms of development, we have collaborated with GetBlock who have launched their own Hive RPC node for their clients to facilitate building on Hive.
Aside from external collaborative relationships, we view all dapps built ontop of the Hive blockchain as partnerships. Let’s take the Speak (3Speak) Network which allows for video content publication. The Speak Network is a decentralised Web 3.0 protocol that will reward value creators and infrastructure providers appropriately and autonomously by distributing reward tokens in such a way that every user, creator and platform, will be able to earn rewards on a level playing field. It aims to offer decentralised back up storage, Token Creation, NFT creation, immutable communities and direct digital ownership of the creator’s account and digital assets where the creator is not censored by centralised gate keepers.
Another excellent example is Leo Finance, a fast growing community hub with a connected suite of blockchain tools encompassing a curated content forum, decentralized token exchange, DeFi solutions and a robust roadmap for future expansion.
You also help your clients with layered solutions. Could you explain the difference between the first layer (Blockchain-level) and the second layer (Application-level)?
The first layer refers to the core blockchain protocol. This protocol describes the rules that everyone on the blockchain has to abide by, so changes to these rules (sometimes referred to as a hardfork) are relatively rare. Hardfork changes must first be agreed on by the majority of Hive stakeholders before they can be implemented. Due to the coordination effort with block validators (e.g. block producers, trading exchanges, etc) needed for a successful hardfork, hardforks are normally kept to a minimum.
A second layer service is a service or application that can insert data into the Hive blockchain, but doesn’t need that data to be specially processed by Hive’s block validators. This means that second layer applications can implement new functionality freely without requiring the block validators to update their servers first, and yet the apps can still get all the benefits of operating on a blockchain (data immutability, a consensus ordering for all blockchain operations, cryptographic validation of account activity such as funds transfers).
This is similar to the benefits offered by a smart contract-based blockchain, but because smart contracts on Hive don’t run on the first layer, Hive can’t be attacked via the same type of cpu denial-of-service attacks that have sometimes paralyzed traditional smart contract blockchains.
The main purpose and aim of expanding the second layer on Hive is modularity, scalability and the general improvement in chain dynamics. Hive utilizes this layered approach without detrimentally affecting chain security and integrity of information. At the same time, what it does is keep the first layer manageable in size, which increases its utility and keeps it versatile and node operation accessible for all.
Can you give us an example of Hive’s layered solutions?
The initial second layer service built on top of Hive was Hivemind. Hivemind enabled new features to be added to Hive’s social media apps, such as community-based posting of articles, without requiring a hardfork. Today, over half a dozen different social media apps use Hivemind servers to process the blockchain data into useful forms (e.g. an article and the associated comments about the article).
In addition, several other smart contract platforms are actively being developed on top of Hive. This is one example of how innovative second layer-based development can be: multiple smart contract platforms with different underlying virtual machines can co-exist on a single blockchain. NFTs and smart contracts, digital collectibles, immutable data tied to tokens or communities- some of the most exciting possibilities for businesses- are perfectly supported by the technology of Hive.
Now, could you tell us about your accomplishments so far, and in the history of Hive, please tell us what you are most proud of.
As we mentioned earlier, our one year anniversary is today on March 20th. It’s hard to believe that it’s been one year since we launched Hive!
Over this past year the Hive underlying protocol has been optimized and the second layer Hivemind database augmented. This drastically reduced the size of witness and RPC nodes and cleared the way for unhindered scaling. We’ve successfully completed our first major Hardfork in October of last year. Myriad dapps and services have been added to our ecosystem over the course of the year. Looking back, we’re all humbled and incredibly proud of our mutual achievements and what the power of a decentralized community can accomplish. Marketplaces, opportunities, and meaningful relationships form where people gather… and Hive is a network built by passionate people who know the value that creates.
If people would like to follow you on your social media pages, visit your website or read your important documents like your white paper, what are the links they need to visit? Please list them below.
Our integrated community frontends include Hive Blog, 3Speak, Peakd and Ecency. Notable browser extensions include Hive Keychain and HiveTips. Art NFTs can be purchased from NFT Showroom. These are just a few of the things being built on Hive’s foundation: for a comprehensive list of Hive dapps and services visit Hive Projects.
You can follow Hive on Twitter at @hiveblocks.
Thank you so much for your time! Do you have anything to add before we finish?
Hive has had a great year full of learning, development, growth and innovation. Looking forward to the many years of Hive to come!
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