Hashgraph and Blockchain: Which is better than the other?
Blockchain

Blockchain vs Hashgraph: A thorough analysis

Blockchains have championed the crypto market for long. With the powerful Hashgraph now open for public, will the tables turn?

Blockchain vs Hashgraph: A thorough analysis

Blockchains impact is mighteous and is impacting business, finance, education, governance, healthcare even in sports, music and beyond as the authors Don and Alex Tapscott predict in their bestseller Blockchain Revolution. Enter Hashgraph in 2016 and change the game completely. Both Blockchains and Hashgraphs are types of Distributed Ledger Technology where the latter is believed to challenge the global dominance of Blockchains. In fact, Hashgraph is touted to be the biggest thing since the internet and the most revolutionizing decentralized technology. But that’s all in due time. To understand which emerges as the victor in Hashgraph vs Blockchain, let us have a debriefing for both and then the comparison.

But Wait-

What is Distributed Ledger Technology?

Ever since Blockchains gained popularity one question has rattled people a lot- What’s the difference between Blockchain and distributed ledger technology? Now Hashgraphs too. 

A distributed ledger is a decentralized ledger for transactions that are distributed among a plethora of nodes and devices. If there is any data change occurring, the ledger is updated instantly. A major advantage of distributed ledger is that since it’s decentralized, it is less likely to be prone to cyber-attacks as all the copies are scattered, and for a cyber invasion to be successful, all of them need to be infiltrated one after the other like an ambush. Moreover, they are impervious to such attacks carried by a single entity/individual. 

blockchain technology

A Blockchain or Hashgraph is a type of distributed ledger, although the reverse isn’t true. There are, however, noticeable differences among the methodologies which they follow. There are structural differences among them. For eg- in Blockchain, the blocks of data are always presented in a sequential format or Hashgraph follows the Gossip and Virtual voting methods. This is not the case with DLT. The latter doesn’t specifically conform to any pattern in particular. 

Thus, it’s easier to say that Hashgraph or Blockchain vs distributed ledger is not a vehement comparison since the first two were born out of DLT.

Blockchain technology

Blockchain changed the concept of using the internet as a means of finance completely. It sure seems intricate initially but gets interesting once you start learning about it

Blockchains consists of blocks of data. It’s a public ledger of information where each time a new transaction is added, the copies of the ledger are simultaneously updated. It’s a decentralized system with no authoritative body that governs it. The Blockchain is a total democratized system with no transaction cost (except infrastructure cost). It’s managed by peer-to-peer networks. Bitcoin, one of the most noted cryptocurrencies in the whole world, plunged the Blockchain technology into mind-boggling heights.

The humongous technology is used to create a variety of apps which include social media, e-wallets, educational, gaming, e-commerce, etc. One such popular app is the Luno app which is used to trade in Bitcoins and Ethereums. 

The Blockchain can even stockpile legal documents like degrees and certificates of education, marriages, birth, etc. Many like to call it the ‘World Wide Ledger’.

The accessibility of Blockchains depends on its type. You mostly get to hear about public Blockchains like Bitcoins, Ethereums, and Litecoins because they trend the most. Anyone around the globe can participate and engage in such networks. But what about Private Blockchains? Since they are publically accessible, they are also called ‘permissioned Blockchains’ as one needs permission from the respective authorities to read, write, transact and audit on the Blockchain. A few examples- Multichain, Corda, and Hyperledger projects (which include Fabric and Sawtooth).

But enough of Blockchains for now, let’s move on to Hashgraphs and find out how much do they stand out?

Hashgraph technology

You probably remember Dr. Malcolm’s scathing response through his monologue ‘Life Finds a Way’ in Jurassic Park to Ingen’s chief Dr. Hammond. Well, there is always one-upmanship in the world of technology, and the Hashgraph is a spitting example of the same. It’s also a DLT created by Leemon Baird which works differently from its elder brother Blockchain and with a stupendously high transaction speed. 

It has a powerfully upped consensus algorithm called the ‘gossip protocol’. It’s impeccably fast, processing over 250,000 transactions (approx.) per second with Bank Grade security as it’s consensus algorithm is asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (aBFT). It functions on mainly two protocols.

Gossip about Gossip Protocols

With the Gossip protocol, nodes can exchange data with other nodes to create a Hashgraph. The approach is arbitrary rather than pre-defined. When a neighboring node interacts with another node, it passes its own along with the retrieved information to another node (Chinese Whisper without a sequence), and the process continues till every node is conscious of each other’s data. 

blockchain vs hashgraph

Virtual Voting

Another technique is the virtual voting. Under this, events are split up into rounds. Every member (node) votes to decide an event that will go on to become a ‘famous witness’. A member with an event in the succeeding round has to look rearwards onto every event in the present round to evaluate its probability to trace the lineage with the ongoing round’s event. It votes in the affirmative if the lineage is traceable otherwise, the vote is a ‘No’. The happening round event with the maximum votes is recognized as the round’s ‘famous witness’ and finally sets the decisive chronology of transactions. 

One of the most popular Hashgraphs is the Hedera Hashgraph which is a publicly distributed ledger. The Hashgraph cryptocurrency is the 3rd gen of public ledger which implies it is much more advanced and faster than its predecessors (Bitcoin and Ethereum). The following table is a basic comparison between the three.

  Bitcoin Ethereum Hedera
Transactions per second 7 15 10,000+
Avg. Fee $0.5 $0.39 $0.0001
Transaction confirmation time 10 minute 10-20 Second 3-5 seconds

*Note: Data may not be accurate

Hedera Hashgraphs has been setting earth-shattering records ever since it launched its public network on September 16th. Backed by some of the biggest corporations worldwide, The HBAR allows developers to build their own decentralized applications a.k.a dApps. According to PR Newswire UK, AdsDax, an advertising platform has executed over 10 million transactions on the Hedera Hashgraph with over 103 million ad events.

Hashgraph is being used to empower AI and is playing a key role in the Department of Defense to enhance tactical military intel. It’s also being used to slipstream pharma supply chains via ID management and cyber-secure the supply chain apps. 

Comparing the two

Hashgraph vs Blockchain- The above data reveals the prominence of Hashgraph. When we talk about power, speed and security, there is no question that the Hashgraph fares better than Blockchain in almost every aspect. Despite mobile apps being developed using Blockchain technology, Hashgraph significantly towers over its older counterpart. The following comparisons make things more transparent. 

The comparisons have been made on-

  • Language
  • Approach
  • Accessibility
  • Consensus
  • Security Mechanisms

Programming language

There are many languages used in Blockchains but the Fab Five which are primarily in use are Java, C++, Solidity, Ruby and Python. For Hashgraphs, the languages used are Java and Lisp.

Approach

As explained earlier, the approach of both the ledgers are totally different. Blockchain follows the data block protocol where information is stored in blocks of data, whereas, in the case of Hashgraphs, the method is a directed acyclic graph meaning no symmetrical approach. 

Accessibility

Blockchains are an open-source technology and the community that contributes to building Blockchains is enormous. It includes many things from cryptocurrencies to utility tokens. You’ll find a lot of apps like the Blockchain Wallet that provide e-wallets for transactions to occur. The Hashgraphs, on the other hand, is being managed by 39 organisations headed by the central firm Swirlds. As a result, newer initiatives have to depend on them. The only publicly accessible Hashgraph is Hedera for now.

Consensus

Blockchains and Hashgraphs have different consensuses. Blockchains have primarily two consensuses- Proof of Work and Proof at Stake. The PoW protocol’s main objective is to stop cyber-attacks on Blockchains. To create blocks, PoW requires mining that helps to avoid double-spending and create new currencies (digital) to reward miners. Proof of Stake is similar to PoW, but it replaces miners with validators. It transcends the whole mining process into a virtual one. It’s a lot more resource-friendlier than the former. 

Hashgraph uses the Gossip about Gossip and the Virtual Voting consensuses. The former is the one where the transfer of information is done by one node to another in an arbitrary discipline. It gets completed when all the nodes are aware of each other’s data. The next is Virtual Voting, where each member/node is acquainted with all the other member’s data, and can subsequently predict what the other members will vote thus, it ends up in electronic voting. 

Security Mechanism    

Hashgraph uses asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance which makes it 100 percent efficient. No work is lost under Hashgraphs. 

Although businesses are using the technology, blockchain is not as efficient as the former. It follows Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance, where the nodes are arranged in a particular order. This can prevent the Byzantine problem but can also duplicate the system.

Fast facts

  • The Hashgraph is much faster with its gossip and virtual voting algorithms which paves routes for faster transactions and lesser communication. 
  • The asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance gives it the best security and better quarantine against cyber-attacks than Blockchains.
  • A Blockchain miner can choose and delay the order of transactions by placing them in future blocks and prohibiting their entry in the system. Hashgraphs, on the other hand, use time stamping which restricts an end-user to tamper the flow of transactions as he/she is not authorized for manipulation.

Hedera Hashgraph is the only Hashgraph that’s publically accessible, and in the 1 month of its release, it did prove itself to be an unstoppable beast. The ongoing buzz about Blockchains has been around for quite a while now and hashgraphs are almost totting with the same momentum. If Blockchain is the T-800 from the Terminator series then Hashgraph is undoubtedly the T-X. 

But will it wipe out the trends of Blockchain completely out from the picture or will there be something more powerful than the Hashgraph? Only time will tell.

General FAQ

  • Is Hashgraph better than Blockchain?
  • What is Hashtag cryptocurrency?
  • Is Blockchain decentralised or distributed?
Vikram <span>Content Manager</span>
Written By
Vikram Content Manager

Vikram is an experienced wunderkind, who embraced technology at a very early age, and today he is at the helm of it. Mobile apps are something that excites him the most, and now he is up to give this vertical the best shot. He routinely catches up with the new apps and comes up with the top apps that can excite you to the core.

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