AMA Highlights — Hedera Hashgraph

By Raymond Reijnders, Analyst.
February 15, 2021–5 min read.

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On Friday 12 February, we welcomed Mance Harmon into the Hillrise Capital Telegram Chat for an AMA. Mance is the CEO and a Cofounder of Hedera Hashgraph.

The Hedera proof-of-stake public network is powered by Hashgraph consensus, achieving security via asynchronous BFT, and fast transaction speeds coupled with low bandwidth consumption.

Base-level architecture has been a hot topic with NEAR Protocol and Polkadot gaining momentum, but Hashgraph is also in this conversation.

Hashgraph is owned and governed by one of the most impressive consortiums in the industry.

In this post, we have compiled key questions and answers from the event.

Daniel Dal Bello
Mance, welcome and thank you for joining us today. We have been looking forward to this AMA as we’re very curious to get to know more about both you and Hedera Hashgraph!

We have been very impressed by the projects currently being built on Hedera Hashgraph, you could say that you’re well on your way towards institutional adoption.

Could you please start with some background on yourself and how you came to be here leading Hedera Hashgraph?

Mance Harmon
Sure. Thanks for having me, and I’m happy to dive into the details. First, my co-founder (Dr. Leemon Baird) and I have been working together for almost 27 years. We started off as young officers in the U.S. Air Force working for the AF Senior Scientist for Machine Intelligence.

We then both taught Computer Science at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and I subsequently managed a large program for the Missile Defense Agency.
We decided to become entrepreneurs, and have previously created/sold two startups in the Identity and Access Management industry.

Leemon decided that he wanted to solve a hard math problem in 2013, which led to the creation of the Hashgraph algorithm in 2015, and we decided ultimately to create a public based on the tech, which is, of course, Hedera Hashgraph.

How will Hedera ensure that dApps and institutional use-cases always have access to HBAR? i.e. how will you avoid a potential HBAR shortage for mission-critical applications?

Mance Harmon
We price the API calls in dollars, not HBAR. Once an hour the number of HBAR needed for an API call gets adjusted based on the current average market price.

Because HBAR are infinitely divisible, and we have some levers in setting a price, we have the flexibility to ensure users can have what is needed to use the service.

Raymond Reijnders
You’ve recently introduced the Hedera Token Service (HTS). Can you give us a quick run-down on that and what it means for the ecosystem?

Mance Harmon
The Hedera Token Service is a great compliment to the Hedera Consensus Service (HCS). HCS is commonly used for data integrity use cases (cases where the developer wants to be able to prove that a data item hasn’t been modified, and also ensure that all ecosystem participants are seeing the same information).

The Hedera Token Service compliments those use cases by making it possible to tokenize the same information. The advantage is that tokens are designed for economic activity. In other words, they are designed to be traded with other parties. Think of this as a new type of database where the records that represent value can now be traded.

The token service makes it possible for developers to create arbitrary tokens without the use of smart contracts. This means that the service has much better performance, security, and lower cost. The token service can handle thousands of transactions per second at a cost of $0.001 per transaction.

With the launch of the Hedera Token Service this week, alongside 60 ecosystem partners including dApps, wallets, exchanges, custody providers, etc. we believe we’ve really created a platform and onramp for the world to be tokenized. In 2017, tokens were used almost exclusively as a way to raise capital for startups.

The value proposition of tokenization was only beginning to be understood, with very little appreciation for the full range of use cases and types of tokens that could be created. Fast forward to 2020, and groups like the Interwork Alliance have created frameworks for understanding the definition and scope of the token concept, including use cases, taxonomy and terminology.

Early use cases of DLT focused on its ability to synchronize a ledger across multiple parties, ensuring that all parties get the same information at the same time, and that each network participant has confidence all parties receive exactly the same information.

Hello Mance! I’d like to know, when will Hedera be able to switch to permissionless consensus? At what HBAR price would this be feasible?

Mance Harmon
Hi Christopher. There are two different levers that are used to protect the security of the network. One of those is to ensure that not more than 1/3 of the total supply is in circulating supply (which is what is needed to prevent a bad actor from preventing the network from coming to consensus). The second lever it to only allow permissioned nodes.

I expect that we will allow non-council members to run nodes, but they will be permissioned. I believe this could happen in the shorter term. To start, it won’t be a large number but would be a meaningful number in terms of decentralization. My guess is that we will cross the 1/3 threshold of total supply being released into the market before we allow anonymous nodes.

The token price by itself isn’t what really matters. Rather, it’s the market cap that matters. It needs to be difficult (impossible) for a bad actor to buy 1/3 of the total supply market cap. It’s difficult to estimate when that will happen or exactly what the market cap would need to be. It also depends in part on how widely distributed the token is.

Daniel Dal Bello
The Hedera21 hackathon is underway/finishing up from Jan 19 to Feb 12. We’re very curious about its traction given the successful projects that come out of ETHOnline.

Could you tell us more about this event? e.g background, number/type of participants.

Can you elaborate on any projects that have been of interest personally?

Mance Harmon
We have over 600 participants in the hackathon, and so far about 30 projects have been completed. And we have a great set of judges, including representation from LG, PayPal, Google, and others.

I haven’t followed up yet with the judges, but I’m looking forward to seeing all of the projects. The competition closes today.

J-86 S
Hi Mance, what is your personal goal? What you can achieve with Hedera Hashgraph?

Not asking financial, but emotional, what is your oil to keep creating?

Mance Harmon
I am worried about the growing concentration of control in the hands of a few on the internet. From the beginning, it’s been our vision to enable people to create a slice of cyberspace that enables them to work together, to play together, to exchange goods and services with one another, without fear of being de-platformed. The problem is growing, and we need to address it. Society needs a solution, and we want to help provide it.

Hillrise Capital is an independent research, and advisory firm exclusively focused on blockchain startups and crypto-assets.

Hedera Hashgraph is the trust layer of the internet. A decentralized public network for you to make your digital world exactly as it should be — yours.

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We’re an independent research and advisory firm focused on blockchain startups and crypto-assets.

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