What is Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR)?

What is Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR)?

What is Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR)?
In this article:

    What is Hedera Hashgraph?

    Hedera is a public distributed ledger and governing body built from the ground-up to support new and existing applications. Developers use Hedera Hashgraph to build computational trust directly into their applications using its network services.

    Hedera is unique in that it achieves the same result as the most ubiquitous public blockchains (such as Bitcoin or Ethereum), but in a way that is faster and more energy-efficient — these advantages are attributed to the underlying hashgraph consensus algorithm and the global enterprise governing body, which owns and operates Hedera today.

    Hedera is the only public ledger that utilizes hashgraph consensus, a faster, secure alternative to proof-of-work consensus mechanisms. It works efficiently to verify transactions on the Hedera network while ensuring the highest security standard to prevent malicious attacks.

    The public ledger is stored on mainnet nodes, initially run by the Hedera Governing Council — the governing council today includes companies such as Google, IBM, Boeing, Deutsche Telekom, LG, and more. In the future, mainnet nodes will be permissionless and run by anyone without informing Hedera.

    Hedera network services are a set of APIs that allow developers to build decentralized applications. Each API call has an associated transaction fee based on the processing and storage required. As of 2020, there are over 40 applications deployed on the mainnet, performing over 1.4 million transactions per day (October 2020).

    Hedera also offers integrations for blockchain frameworks, such as Hyperledger Fabric and R3 Corda, which combine a private network’s privacy with a public network’s trust. By connecting permissioned blockchain frameworks to Hedera Hashgraph, private applications can offer public verifiability and decentralized ordering of transactions.

    Hashgraph vs Blockchain

    Hashgraph is the underlying consensus mechanism powering the Hedera public network – it’s what differentiates Hedera from any other public distributed ledger.

    Hashgraph consensus is a DAG (direct acyclic graph) created in 2015 by Dr. Leemon Baird. A few months later, Dr. Baird and his longtime friend and business partner, Mance Harmon, form Swirlds, Inc. (a portmanteau of “shared worlds”) to develop proofs of concept and to commercialize hashgraph for private implementations. Their more extensive and longer-term vision is to use hashgraph to enable a truly decentralized, fast, fair, and secure public distributed ledger that could achieve mainstream adoption and serve as the “trust layer of the Internet” — later known as Hedera Hashgraph.

    Hedera offers better performance than so-called 1st and 2nd generation blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to their website, a cryptocurrency transaction or Hedera Consensus Service message takes between 3 - 5 seconds to settle with finality, costs USD 0.0001 (paid in HBAR cryptocurrency), and can reach 10,000 of these transactions per second.

    For reference, Visa processes about 1,700 transactions per second on average, although the network can handle more traffic during peak demand. Hedera more than meets even the highest demands for transaction throughput.

    Hedera transaction times and fees 

    Merchants can accept zero-confirmation transactions on the Bitcoin network. And while these transactions take just a few seconds to propagate through the network, they’re not finalized until thirty to sixty minutes later. By having sub-5-second finality, Hedera is exponentially faster than both Bitcoin and Ethereum.

    Hedera Coin: HBAR

    HBAR is the native cryptocurrency of the Hedera network and has a fixed supply of 50 billion hbars. It’s used as network fuel to pay for transaction fees and for in-app payment and micropayments. It’s also used for network protection, as Hedera is a proof-of-stake network.

    HBAR is used for the following:

    • To pay for network service fees
    • To make payments and micropayments
    • To reward nodes for securing the network

    For a detailed explanation of Hedera’s coin economics, upcoming distributions, coin allocations, review the latest version of the HBAR Economics Whitepaper.

    Hedera Staking

    Hedera doesn’t have a traditional staking consensus mechanism, like Cardano or Tezos, where the network directly rewards stakers with newly minted coins. Instead, validating nodes collect a percentage of all of the transaction fees for a given period.

    More information about staking on Hedera is available here.

    How to Buy Hedera Hashgraph HBAR

    Hedera Hashgraph’s native HBAR cryptocurrency is available for the Exodus wallet on both desktop and mobile (iOS / Android) devices. HBAR on Hedera is unique in that it offers fast and inexpensive (USD 0.0001) cryptocurrency transactions, with finality in seconds.

    Exodus has integrated with the Hedera network, offering the ability to create a brand new Hedera account in seconds, directly from within the Exodus Hedera Hashgraph wallet, without a KYC waiting period. It also enables owners of existing Hedera accounts to migrate over to Exodus via a private key or mnemonic passphrase.

    Instantly buy Hedera Hashgraph HBAR tokens in Exodus on desktop and mobile with other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

    Hedera Hashgraph’s Future Growth

    Hedera is an exciting public network that promises to solve the limitations of existing public blockchains and distributed ledgers. There are already several dozen companies and protocols that are using Hedera, which generate over 1.4 million transactions per day on the mainnet — surpassing the Ethereum blockchain. These applications span across various industry sectors, including supply chain management, healthcare, payments, and more.  There are a lot of exciting projects built, and new partnerships are always announced.

    Hedera is permissioned today, with mainnet nodes run by Hedera Governing Council members. As Hedera blazes its path towards full decentralization of its network, the mainnet will become permissionless, and anyone will eventually run nodes.

    This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.

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