Bridges in a Fractured Cryptosphere

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One of the most influential tech investors, Marc Andreesen, once opined that “software is eating the world“, but even he could not have anticipated the breakneck speed at which blockchain solutions would proliferate in 2017 to solve persistent consumer and business problems that previously seemed intractable. There are blockchain and crypto projects addressing every industry and vertical, from finance to agriculture, and the entire crypto market is now worth over $150 billion and growing,

With the explosion of coins and projects, many commentators are looking at how the ecosystem is stabilizing itself and maturing the overall industry. After all, with so many new branches of the crypto tree sprouting up overnight (each with its own protocols and design), the inevitable question arises of how these will interact.

One such example of the diversity in the industry is the nature of the underlying blockchains. Most cryptocurrencies are based around blockchain ledgers, linear records of transactions and data that form an immutable chain of information. Bitcoin and Ether are two of the more notable examples. But there are other crypto architectures based around blockless schemas, which also have their benefits. IOTA is one of these, which replaces the blockchain with a “tangle” – achieving largely the same result with different benefits.

And investors and researchers are taking notice. Many crypto projects are taking aim at making the existing landscape more mature – consider the Bitcoin fork and Lightning Networks. The inevitable question arises: how to bring maturity and cohesion to the different paradigms of block-based and block-less platforms?

A project aiming to address this issue is Hyper Cash (Hcash for short). The new cryptocurrency aims to mature the industry by offering a secure, future-proofed, and versatile solution which also integrates with all kinds of other platforms. With a market size in the hundreds of billions and increasing interest from all businesses and organizations, if they can offer a valuable solution to users then a lot of value could channel through their platform. The Hcash project is banking on the expertise of its founders, whose research into cryptography in Monash University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University gives the project a strong technical foundation.

Blocks, tangles, and bridges between them

The nature of the problem that projects such as Hcash seek to solve is pretty technical. Cryptocurrencies like Byteball and IOTA run their platforms with Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) systems, which is conceptually different to blockchain systems. While different blockchains can exchange value and data with each other and block less-based systems can also with each other, it is almost impossible to do so feasibly across blockless and block-based together.

This problem has been addressed by Hcash, and given the interest that DAG/blockless chains are receiving, this could place them as a significant intermediary in the industry. Here is what the company had to say about their solution

“Overcoming limits and improving the flow of information is an inevitable trend of the industry. Hcash is born to overcome the current limits of existing blockchains through its ability to link both block-based and blockless-based blockchain systems, enabling value and information to be communicated between different blockchains.

By bridging the limits between different blockchains, securing information through encryption, Hcash brings forth greater room for growth and opportunity.”

The Hcash project looks to have cracked the problem by leveraging their idea to design a sidechain that works for both types of ecosystem. The company say that Hcash “has a dual sidechain composed of blockchain and DAG systems, designed to implement an unrestricted flow of information and value between blockchain-based and blockless-based distributed systems.”

Research-intensive

Given the tough nature of the problem, the Hcash creators have relied on building out a strong core of researchers and developers based in three of the leading research centres in the Eastern hemisphere; Monash University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The Hcash currency has already received extensive support and adoption across educational institutes across Australia in particular. Monash University said of the project: “It is a testament to the wonderful young researchers we have in the Faculty of IT at Monash who are leading the way in disrupting almost every industrial sector through new digital technologies.”

Monash University have been at the forefront of crypto research in Australia in recent years. Hcash is a result of their investment in a joint blockchain cryptocurrency research and development lab open at Monash’s Clayton campus.

The Hcash project comes thanks to over ten years of cryptography research from Dr Joseph Liu from the Faculty of Information Technology, along with a research partnership he has had with Dr Allen Au of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Liu’s research has directly impacted cryptography and hence the major cryptocurrencies design. With a few thousand citations in the field, in particular his linkable ring signature theory has influenced the architecture found in many crypto platforms. This expertise went into the design of Hcash.

The project is also branching out to encompass the needs of entertainment fans with its ENT offering, which makes it possible for fans to interact with and buy stake in the works of their favourite artists in a blockchain-powered system. ENT is run with Hcash.

The company are one of the gold sponsors at the upcoming World Blockchain Summit in Dubai, where their CTO is delivering a talk on the future of crypto. The Blockchain Summit aims “to connect global blockchain gurus and technology players in this space including emerging startups – with regional business and IT leaders from across key industry verticals.”

The Hcash team are already on their way to full launch, having commenced sale of tokens. The full system launch will occur in early 2018, with the founders hoping to “create an all new platform that links to major blockchains, allowing value  and  information  to  circulate  between the  different  blockchains, hence redefining the value of blockchain.” It is a goal that is resonating with investors and with their strong technical competence this should bolster interest in the future of their solution,

Diversity in the architecture of cryptocurrencies is a good development for the industry, but cohesion and convenience are the hallmarks of a mature landscape. It is no surprise that forward-looking projects like Hcash are smoothing out the cracks in the ecosystem.

This post was last modified on (Eastern Time): 24/06/2019 08:40

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