Holochain has been a project simminging in the background of the blockchain space for several years now. The promise has been a panaceaic solution to the performance and scalability issues facing decentralised hosting platforms. It’s an oft heard claim, but, as founder Arthur Brock expounds in this interview, by giving up our insistence on global consensus in favor of discoverable and verifiable local state, a world of options is opened to us.
This kind of discussion follows from the Secure Scuttlebutt and Urbit episodes. It raises, and offers answers, to questions of data vs agent based ontologies. But most interesting of all, it forces us to reconsider why we wanted to use a blockchain in the first place.
Arthur Brock from Denver Colorado
Interested in alternative currencies in 2001
Self organising companies are just a form of currency hacking
Discovered what a huge leverage point for change currency is
Change the business incentives and all business will reshape towards those incentives
The Future of Money, Bernard Leotard
2003 alternative currency became main gig
Metacurrency project 2004
Met Harris Brown
Currencies as more than money - symbol systems that we use to coordinate at scale
Out of metacurrency project came Ceptr 2006
Interact/transact with anyone else without intermediary
Required a reinvention of most of the communications stack. Modeling on nature - biomimicry
Prototyped for rewrite of computation, communication, commerce
Took piece of Ceptr and built Holochain, completed in Go in 2017
Bitcoin neither blindsided nor felt like a culmination of work
Seemed like a ham handed design
Questionably successful
Has captured a large following
Has not achieved what Arthur Brock wants to achieve
Not to dismiss blockchain - if nothing else it has prepared public consciousness and awareness for dealing with these problems.
Blockchain has altered the discourse
Pulled discourse in a crazy direction
Recreates unhealthy patterns turbocharged
Definitely need new money but need to do it in a manor that does not amplify volatility and wealth concentration
Recreating old problems won't get us somewhere new
Core issue is validation, not consensus
Everyone must use the same validation scheme to participate in consensus [validation is more fundamental than consensus]
Push for global state is a lazy way of modeling problems
In reality there is no global state or time. Only relative state and time.
Holochain uses an Agent Centric approach rather than a Data Centric approach.
Each agent has their own chain for an application, only tracking the agents activity.
Genesis block of each chain includes a hash of the source code of the application.
United States


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