What Is Harmony (ONE)?

The cryptocurrency world has always struggled with decentralization at the expense of transactional output and security. Yet, one project called Harmony (ONE) stands out in its technical implementation of sharding and a unique proof-of-stake consensus method which will soon prove to be milestone for the blockchain industry. Here’s what you need to know about what sets Harmony apart.

The Problem

When we think of the ideal blockchain-based network, generally three properties come to mind: it has to be secure, it has to be scalable, and it must be decentralized. However, the industry thus far has struggled with creating a network that maximizes all three of these properties—a problem which has been dubbed the ‘Blockchain Trilemma’ in the cryptocurrency world. It’s illustrated below.

If we look at our most popular blockchain networks today, they are ultimately all working towards strengthening their weakest link among these three properties. Ethereum, for example, struggles with scalability despite boasting a highly-secure and decentralized network. EOS, on the other hand, boasts high scalability and network security but at the expense of decentralization. In other words, there has yet to be a blockchain network which effectively resolves this fundamental trilemma, a truly decentralized, scalable, and secure network.

It’s All about Sharding

Luckily, there seems to be some consensus in the cryptocurrency industry on how to best tackle this issue. The solution that’s been proposed is sharding, or the breaking up of the network into shards which allow for the parallel processing of consensus. In effect, it allows for a blockchain network to not only be decentralized and secure, but also potentially infinitely scalable. Bear in mind, though, the concept of sharding has been around for some time. In fact, it has been used in centralized databases since at least the 1990s to allow for quicker processing. Applying sharding to blockchain networks, however, has proven to be incredibly complex—but one project is finally making it possible.

Harmony (ONE) is the first blockchain network to turn this once-theoretical concept into reality. Harmony is the first to successfully implement shards on a functioning proof-of-stake MainNet—the same concept which will form the architecture of Ethereum 2.0 by 2021. If successful, Harmony will end up forever transforming what’s possible with decentralization—and the entire cryptocurrency industry will inevitably feel this monumental impact.

So, let’s talk about Harmony and what fundamentally sets them apart from all the other thousands of cryptocurrencies in the market today. It comes down to two things: the technology and team’s talent.

Introducing Harmony

“The first fully-sharded proof-of-stake blockchain network.”

An ambitious team of Silicon Valley engineers based in San Francisco has come together to build the first blockchain network best designed to meet mass demand. Harmony is in a position now to be the first to successfully implement a full-sharding solution, well over a year before Ethereum 2.0 is expected to be released. The good news is, you don’t have to believe in the team’s vision—you can simply look at the results on Harmony’s actual MainNet.

Some Quick Tech Facts about Harmony

  • The fungible currency for the Harmony Network is ONE, used as both gas and a utility token on the network.
  • MainNet currently boasts 4 shards on a low-latency (8s) network which scales horizontally with the addition of new shards as demand increases.
  • Each shard is capable of 1,000 transactions-per-second.
  • 1,000 nodes are currently live and confirming blocks on the Harmony network.
  • Consensus is achieved on the network through a uniquely modified proof-of-stake model called Effective Proof-of-Stake (ePoS).
  • A fully scalable, customizable blockchain platform that will be capable of supporting dApps, smart contracts, and mass usage for billions.
  • Currently, the only ONE with a functioning mainnet to successfully implement multiple shards coordinating in a proof-of-stake consensus model.

Follow the Talent

None of this would be possible without Harmony’s San Francisco team which is stacked with talent, committed to making this vision a reality. Currently, the team boasts 7 ex-FAANG engineers (Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple) and two PhDs.

As CEO, Stephen Tse brings it all together. His time as a researcher at Microsoft Research, a senior infrastructure engineer at Google, and a principal engineer for search ranking at Apple uniquely gives Harmony that ‘Silicon Valley touch.’ In 2014, his startup Spotsetter was acquired by Apple for $10M—news which made waves in the tech world.

The talent on board the team makes Harmony one of the most research-backed blockchain platforms out today.

For detailed information on the team, check out their official page here.

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