Chris Feola| July 12, 2021


Ye Olde CIO Explains It All

This Week: Holochains-what are they , and are they another dang thing CIOs should worry about?

So…Is Holochain some sort of variation on Blockchain?

Well, they’re related. Both are distributed ledger technologies. But blockchain was designed as a permanent record of cryptocurrency transactions, and generally uses that same crypto for encryption and identification. Holochain is an open-source framework that developers can use to develop peer-to-peer applications. So they are both distributed-ledger technologies the way guppies and tiger sharks are both fish.

So what does it do?

Developers can be build enterprise and public applications with shared data and managed users that run without servers or any centralized systems.

So how does it work?

Holochain runs on the devices of all the users utilizing the application. Each of these then talks to all the others peer-to-peer. In fact this mesh network operates more like an operating system in that it manages users and their data, allowing them to store and retrieve data without having to talk to the hardware. 

Umm…What’s the point?

The point is that the computing paradigm has reversed. Big fast servers used to be necessary to run applications for all the struggling client devices. Now run-of-the-mill smartphones come with 8 core processors, 6 or more gigabytes of RAM, and hundreds of gigs of storage. That would have been a pretty good server not all that long ago.

So how is Holochain doing?

It’s not conquering the world. Reddit’s development threads feature questions such as Has Holochain stalled? And currently the only development language supported is Rust, which limits development.

Questions? Comments?

Christopher J Feola is a SIM DFW Fellow. He welcomes comments and questions at Chris (at) Feolayden.com 

The Fellows Blog is posted every Monday except holidays by the SIM DFW Chapter Fellows.