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About Hedera (HBAR)
Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR) is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) backed by a complex consensus-reaching protocol called the hashgraph. The network aims to create a sustainable alternative to blockchain-based technology that is both fast and secure, ending the so-called blockchain “trilemma” (speed, security, decentralization).
HBAR has long been lauded as a “green” coin as the network utilizes significantly less energy per transaction than both Bitcoin and Ethereum. For context, BTC gobbles up around 885 KW hours/transaction as opposed to Hedera’s 0.00017. HBAR is also fast processing upwards of 10,000 transactions per second with finality achieved almost instantly.
While decentralized in terms of its consensus-reaching protocol, the network is owned by 21 (soon to be 39) of the world’s biggest corporations, including Google, Boeing, IBM, and Nomura. These titans control governance, voting on software changes, and assets allocation. In addition to governance, these companies maintain a series of nodes used to process transactions on the network.
HBAR incurs a dual role as the network’s native token serving as both network fuel and a means for securing the network. Efforts are currently underway to proxy-staking services to HBAR holders, thereby allowing them to partake in the validation process and earn an annual yield.
Building trust amongst node operators lies at the center of Hedera’s mission. It’s not a traditional blockchain in the same vein as, say, the Bitcoin network; rather, it is a distributed ledger that reaches consensus through a complex protocol known as the hashgraph, viewed as able to provide the security of a proof-of-work (PoW) system without sacrificing on transaction speed.
Current blockchain technologies operate sort of like a vigilant landscaper constantly trimming branches of blocks so the network appears as one continuous chain. In more technical terms, if two blocks of transactions are created at the same time, legacy blockchain networks, such as Bitcoin, must pick one and run with it, while “chopping off” the branch containing the discarded block. Hence, there is the appearance of a lone, continuous chain of blocks.
Hedera, by contrast, leans into consensus-reaching chaos, representing not a manicured hedgerow but more of an unruly jungle albeit one that is underpinned by a complex ecosystem. Hedera doesn’t aim to curate a single chain of blocks. In fact, it discards the notion of “blocks” entirely. Rather each new transaction(s) is incorporated into a web-like series of “events” intertwining to form the network’s distributed ledger. This enables Hedera to operate at near-perfect efficiency, helping to cut down on transaction costs in the process.
In terms of utility, Hedera Hashgraph isn’t all that different from legacy chains like Ethereum. The network allows developers to run powerful decentralized applications with use cases ranging from open APIs for healthcare data to music streaming, and file storage/sharing. Hedera’s architecture also allows for the creation of developer-backed tokens and NFTs through the protocol’s token minting service, HTS.
What’s the price of HBAR?
As of late August 2021, HBAR was trading at $0.25, up nearly 600% year to date.
There are currently upwards of 9.5 billion HBAR in circulation, giving the coin a market capitalization of about $2.1 billion, making it the 59th-largest digital asset as ranked by CoinGecko.
Per the HBAR Economics Whitepaper, HBAR has a maximum supply of 50 billion coins which will be distributed via a slow and measured release schedule set by the network's governing board. Roughly 18% of all HBAR will be in circulation by the end of 2021.
Back in April, network co-founder Dr. Leemon Baird announced that the Hedera Hashgraph mainnet had processed over one billion transactions within its first 19 months of operation.
With its role in facilitating long-term crypto adoption amongst a number of the world’s leading corporations, HBAR could be poised to gain momentum in the medium term.
What the bulls are saying about Hedera (HBAR)
- Killer instinct: The bulls have given HBAR a name: the blockchain killer. The network’s proprietary hashgraph consensus framework represents the “3rd generation” of DLT innovation. It’s a clear upgrade on many existing blockchain networks buoyed by slow throughput speeds.
- Wicked fast: Hashgraph consensus is capable of processing over 10,000 TPS with finality achieved in a matter of seconds.
- Web 3.0 allure: Hedera is an enterprise-focused blockchain. The network could serve as a key piece in the push to a “Web 3.0,” facilitating crypto adoption amongst the world’s leading firms.
- Payments play: Bulls have lauded Hedera’s partnership with Standard Bank Group aimed at facilitating efficient, low-cost payments throughout Africa.
- Earth-friendly: HBAR has long been praised for the network's focus on sustainability. The network uses a fraction of the energy needed to verify transactions on many existing blockchain networks, notably BTC.
What the bears are saying about Hedera (HBAR)
- Not decentralized enough: According to the network’s official website, HBAR is currently secured by a set of permissions nodes run by members of the protocol’s governance council. This has drawn the ire of many decentralization fanatics who believe open, permissionless protocols are the future of the crypto space.
- Limitations loom: Hedera’s proprietary Hashgraph consensus protocol is currently patented. Some believe this could limit HBAR integration within Web 3.0.
- Smart contract slowness: While the network processes peer-to-peer transactions at an ultra-fast rate (10,000 TPS), this is not the case for transactions requiring smart contract execution. As of March 2021, the network was capped at 10 smart contract-involved transactions per second. This is no better than Ethereum’s current throughput speeds, considered lacking.
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