Holo is a new type of peer-to-peer distributed platform for hosting decentralised applications (DApps) built using Holochain.
Holochain is a framework that allows for the development of decentralised apps without the need for blockchain technology.
The driving force of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is decentralisation.
Our current systems are in almost all cases centralised, our financial institutions, services we use, governments and so forth are all for the most part centralised.
Businesses have historically used central servers to hold company data, a central source that is under the absolute control of the business.
Cloud computing has shifted this in recent years and now more businesses use cloud computing.
Instead of data being on a single server and therefore creating a single point of failure the data is spread across multiple servers thus reducing the risk of data loss and even an increase in performance.
This works fine for centralised organisations in terms of data storage and the offering of their online services to consumers.
The birth of crypto and the march towards decentralisation
When Bitcoin and blockchain technology arrived on the scene back in 2009, the overriding goal was to create decentralised entities, so instead of a government-issued currency, there was a decentralised currency that was not actually owned or controlled by any single entity.
This idea or vision presented some major challenges, especially when it came to applications such as currencies, where security and integrity are paramount.
Blockchain technology answered these two key issues, security and integrity by way of a single ledger (the blockchain) and a secure and robust consensus system, Proof of Work (PoW).
In very simple terms, the Proof of Work consensus method requires a decentralised peer-to-peer network in which highly complex computational puzzles (hashes) need to be solved before a miner wins the right to mine the next block in the blockchain.
Once the block is written and verified across the network with a unique transaction ID TXID it is as good as set in concrete.
The blockchain provides a solid means by which to record events or transactions but without the need for a central entity like a bank, corporation or government to back it up.
This technology also has downsides, the big one being the speed at which transactions can be added to the blockchain. Every single transaction has to go through a computationally intense process described above in order to be added to the ledger.
This causes a slowdown in the network and an increase in transaction fees due to the massive demand and limited capacity.
This is where Holo comes in
Holo has created an alternative model, not centralised but also not using a blockchain and therefore without the need for the consensus model.
Holochain is still peer-to-peer and is decentralised but instead uses a novel method of using agents across the network.
The data is still encrypted from point to point and there is no central point of failure, but each operator is working as an agent and gets paid in HOT, the token for HOLO for hosting decentralised apps on their system.
We won’t go into how it all works here but needless to say, Holochain has created a form of hybrid model that is not centralised servers, not cloud computing and not blockchain-based.
Their approach can in theory allow for high transaction speeds, high performance and a high level of data security and integrity.
For decentralised apps that require a high level of security and integrity built-in, high transaction speeds and relatively low costs Holo could certainly provide a very viable solution.