in blockchain

Exclusive interview: Matthew Schutte of Holochain

In the first part of our interview, Matthew Schutte told us about the basic ideas of Holochain and explained the data-centric approach of the blockchain with an analogy to temperature measurement. In the second part, he explains how Holochain’s actor-centric approach works and how it can help us with social networking.

If you compare the data-centered approach of the blockchain with temperature measurement, problems become apparent in your example. To what extent is the actor-centered approach better? An actor-centered approach is different. In our example we can say that every thermometer speaks – it makes demands. The thermometer in Nairobi says that the temperature is 25 degrees.

Two things can be deduced from this:

1) What if the thermometer is incorrectly calibrated? It might say that the temperature is 25 degrees if it is actually only 22 degrees.

2) Even if it is correctly calibrated, the thermometer is at a certain location. It is not everywhere. Even if the temperature in Nairobi is 25 degrees, is this the right method to determine the global temperature? Certainly not.

Actor-centered instead of data-centered Bitcoin evolution

This is where Bitcoin evolution applications come into play. They are able to take such factors into account. The origin of the information is implemented in the applications. By understanding what the thermometers “say” and what they “claim”, you can begin to compare, contrast and average. This provides much more useful Bitcoin evolution information than simply agreeing on a certain number of degrees.

To make that clear again: I use this example only as an analogy. In the blockchain world, the information drawn from the “lottery” is not the temperature. Rather, it is the entry of the information into new blocks or into the blockchain. This lottery ultimately decides which of the thousands of elite miners is allowed to contribute new information.

In an actor-centered model, by not only paying attention to what is said, but also how it is said, this will work better. Finally, by combining different perspectives, we also improve the quality of the information. […] Instead of choosing a single perspective, many perspectives should be combined for a more comprehensive picture. […] Another big advantage over blockchains is the ability of users to track these perspectives and, if necessary, choose one.

Holochain solutions against social media giants

In the application examples you list social media, identity and money – do you think it is possible to enforce independent approaches to social media and identity? Facebook, Instagram and Co. are very powerful players.

We don’t believe that Facebook will dominate the Internet for the rest of history. We believe that new and other applications will prove useful and will shake the power positions of today’s social media giants. That doesn’t mean there will be “one” big application that will replace them. It will be death by installments.

So we are not focused on bringing down the old systems. We want to produce newer, more dynamic ones. As Buckminster Fuller said:

“You never create change by fighting against what already exists. To make a difference, you build new models that make the old superfluous.

The interview was conducted by Phillip Horch.

Balance Sheet, Future & ICO
So far the project has started quite well. At six hackathons last year, the community worked on a peer-to-peer version of Twitter, among other things. A Wikipedia alternative based on the government by the community and a crypto accounting system have also emerged. Next year, a peer-to-peer-based power grid is to follow. More is still to come.

On 9 January next year an ICO for the first application for the Holochain will start. This is to be called Holo and form a network, with which participants can make computing power available over a web page. This will then serve to help other users interact with the Holochain. Those who provide their services are paid for it.

Until now, the project has been financed with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to guarantee stable hardware for Holo. 500 Holoports were sold, which will be the basis for the launch in spring 2018. More information about the ICO can be found here and here.