Swirlds, building the trust layer for the internet, recently emerged from stealth and launched its hashgraph distributed consensus platform, free for public download and use by developers.
The Swirlds hashgraph goes beyond Blockchain, providing new capabilities not previously possible with existing Blockchain technology. The hashgraph enforces fairness, which is needed for matching buyers and sellers in auctions and stock markets. It provides low latency, low cost, high throughput and high security, without requiring proof-of-work. Users quickly receive absolute proof of the consensus results of their actions. Developers can build smart contracts using the full power of Java, and go beyond contracts to build entire shared worlds. White paper on the Swirlds hashgraph consensus algorithm can be found here.
“Current stock markets are fair in matching buyers and sellers, but they require trust in a single company. Systems like Bitcoin have distributed trust, but do not ensure fair ordering of events. Swirlds provides the first distributed consensus platform that can be both fair and distributed, with high performance at scale,” said Dr. Leemon Baird, founder and CEO of Swirlds,.
“Developers can create the next generation of ledgers, markets, identity applications, games, cryptocurrencies, and social collaboration applications on the Swirlds platform. They can go beyond simply recording events, to creating shared worlds where community rules are enforced and smart contracts are executed, not limited to interpreted scripting languages, but with the full speed of Java. By providing this trust layer, Swirlds allows fairness and consensus to inherently co-exist, while ensuring that transactions in these applications happen efficiently and reliably.”
The Power of Blockchain… and its Limitations
Distributed consensus networks, like Blockchain, have gained recognition for their potential to solve the challenges with creating trust within peer-to-peer networks. The Bitcoin system – a payments system built on Blockchain technology – originally emerged to facilitate these transactions with this new form of distributed trust.
“The OpenID Foundation supports Ping Identity and Swirlds’ plan to submit its DSM system for standardization, and make its DSM software publicly available for review as an early reference implementation”
“Swirlds represents a huge technological breakthrough that can change the way distributed consensus communities function across a myriad industries and use cases,” said Patrick Harding, CTO, Ping Identity. “The new identity standard we’re developing solves the major challenges that identity professionals face in conducting and verifying session logout.”
Blockchain’s distributed consensus algorithm can generate distributed trust, but it has a number of limitations. If the members of the Blockchain community are untrusted, then a proof-of-work mechanism is often required to ensure the community comes to a consensus. This is inefficient, introducing high lag time and wasted resources. Further, Blockchain doesn’t provide trusted timestamps or proof of receipt.
“The real impact of Blockchain was always going to be its inspiration. Blockchain ‘squared the circle’ in digital currency and that was amazing. But the first generation algorithm is not efficient or practical for other applications,” said Steve Wilson, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research. “What the community needs is real research and development that will begin to solve these challenges — not solutions that arbitrarily jam the Blockchain algorithm into every pet problem. This collaboration of Swirlds and Ping Identity is fresh, focused R&D and a very significant advancement for moving Identity forward.”
Next Generation Distributed Consensus Technology Enables Global Sign-Off
Swirlds hashgraph is a next-generation distributed consensus platform that has huge advantages over existing systems, like Blockchain, central servers or leader-based systems. This is because it uniquely provides three important properties: fairness, distributed trust and resilience to Denial of Service attacks, without the need for inefficient proof of work. Potential applications for the Swirlds hashgraph expand far beyond the financial industry — from cloud applications, to supply chain logistics, social collaboration and multiplayer gaming.
When applied to identity management, the Ping DSM system built on the Swirlds hashgraph platform reduces risk by giving IT organizations the ability to globally sign off users, for example in instances of employee terminations and lost or stolen devices. This unprecedented standard enables global session logout for all active Single Sign-On and Application Sessions across web and mobile apps, independent of the identity protocol being used. It also generates a cryptographic timestamp and proof of receipt, providing the certainty that session commands have been received.
“Swirlds is excited and grateful to have a visionary partner in Ping Identity,” said Baird. “The DSM system they are building on top of the Swirlds hashgraph distributed consensus platform will allow their customers to achieve unprecedented control within their identity systems. We look forward to working with Ping and their customers to help them adopt a fundamentally new standard for identity.”
Supporting Technical Papers
- Overview of Swirlds Hashgraph: www.swirlds.com/Overview-of-Swirlds-Hashgraph.pdf
- Swirlds and Sybil Attacks: www.swirlds.com/Swirlds-and-Sybil-Attacks.pdf
- Hashgraph Consensus: Fair, Fast, Byzantine Fault Tolerance: www.swirlds.com/Hashgraph-Consensus.pdf
- Dictatorship, Democracy, and Blockchain: www.swirlds.com/Dictatorship-Democracy-and-Blockchain.pdf