Jul 24, 2019
| 2 min read

Podcast #67: Scale, Speed and Trust with Hedera Hashgraph - A Conversation with Dr. Leemon Baird

We spoke with Dr. Leemon Baird, Founder and Chief Scientist at Hedera Hashgraph, and Founder & CTO of Swirlds Inc. In our conversation he shared the origins of Hashgraph and the technology, the genesis of the company and how the shortcomings of existing approaches to online trust provided the foundational principles for the development of the Hashgraph protocol. He explains in detail how Hashgraph works, why it’s fast and scalable and how the design lends itself to distributed trust. In our discussion he shares a diverse range use cases for Hashgraph and outlines the unique governance approach for Hedera along with key partnerships. Lastly he shares the latest product announcement – an offering that allows for the technology to be deployed as an online service while still providing trust. 

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Good day everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Momenta Podcasts. Today our guest is Dr. Leemon Baird, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Hedera Hashgraph. This is Ed Maguire, Insights Partner with Moment Partners, and we’re going to have an opportunity to dive into the story, the company, and this is some of the most interesting technology out there. I’ve had the opportunity to follow some of the work that the team has been doing over the last couple of years, Hedera Hashgraph has been a guest on one of our prior webinars, so I can say we’ve been actively enthusiastically following the developments on the company. But anyway, first of all thank you so much for joining us.

Thank you. It’s great to be here with you, thanks.

Well, I’d love to just start out with a bit of your background, rather than read your bio I’d love to get a little bit of context, and understand a bit more of your history, and what really brought you to your current role.

Well, I’m a computer scientist, I just love playing with computers and algorithms, and that sort of thing. I was professor, I’ve been a scientist in a lot of labs, my PhD is from Carnegie Mellon in Computer Science, and I started a bunch of companies, and all of them have dealt with computer scient projects and algorithms, and interesting things like that. I love solving puzzles, and so I do that for fun, I teach people things about it, and I start companies that use the solutions to the puzzles.

Hedera has garnered quite a lot of attention, and the Hashgraph consensus algorithm of course is really I would say the central technology around Hedera, but could you talk about the background of the company, and then we’ll get into the technology a little later.

Originally it was just an interesting problem; could we have some kind of a system for allowing people to share a space on the internet, that they wouldn’t have to pay some server to be holding it, it would just be their own computers, but it would be trustworthy, and it would be superfast. It was an interesting math problem and I kept working on it, convincing myself no, it’s not actually possible, you could be secure or fast, you can’t be both. I kept putting it aside, but it kept coming back and haunting me, gnawing at me, and I just kept working on it and eventually realized, oh! If you just store a couple of hashes with each message then you can get a complete history of the messages, and then you can just know the answer without having to talk to each other about what order to put them in. You get the ABFT, the strongest security possible, and it is extremely fast, in some senses it’s about as fast as the internet would allow, and the laws of mathematics would allow. We could talk about that.

But it seemed like a really good system, it’s the highest security and it’s fair, which other systems are not, fairness of ordering. So, we started a company, Swirlds, to make this into private ledgers, so if you and some people you know want to stand up your own computers and create a private ledger, Swirlds let you create a private ledger with Hashgraph. We started with that, not with the public ledger, because there’s this chicken and egg problem, you have to show that it works well before people will trust it for a public ledger. But in 2016 we said, ‘Okay, we are releasing into the world this idea that we had this private ledger, but we need the traction. What we need to do is create a public ledger, that’s really what you want to do, and we’ve got to build trust. So, we’ve got to build a counsel of themost trusted companies in the world and make sure they are diverse, make sure they are in different continents, in different areas, different industries, and that they will even be diverse in time, put term limits on them’.

And that was the genesis of Hedera, let’s take this great technology that we’ve been using for private networks, let’s make it a public network, and let’s make this public ledger be run by people you can trust, who are diverse enough that you couldn’t bribe them all to do something bad.

That’s a unique approach in the distributed ledger space to have this counsel. Could you talk about the structure of the governing counsel for Hedera, how it’s different and how it works, and what some of the advantages of your approach are. I think you alluded to it before, but what are some of the advantages of having that model?

You could just say, well, we’ll just let whatever programmers are most into this, or, let some of the miners that are into this vote, and let them run it. But then of course they get into disagreements, and what do they do whenever they disagree? Well, they split, they have forks, and when your state is splitting that can be a really bad thing. It’s not bad in the early days, but what we realize is, is that as this industry matures, if you’re going to store information like who owns what real estate, you want to do this so the title searches are really fast, then you can’t afford to have it be splitting just because the developer’s got mad, or some of the miners got mad, and half of them want to start a new ledger with the same state; because then who own your house will be stored in two different ledgers. And if you sold your house you might only have to take one and not the other, and then people have to wonder who owns the house for real, which one is the real ledger?

If you want to digitize the Mona Lisa, you can’t have two different sets of shares in it, you have to know which one is the real one. So, it’s important to actually have a governance system, not just whatever people come out of the woodwork that want to work on it, and want to help govern it, because that’s just going to lead to splitting, you need a real governance system, But you need to have a system where it will be very hard to bribe some of them to do something wrong. So, what we did is, we said we’re going to have 39 of the biggest companies in the world, Fortune 100 equivalents around the world, and we will have them be the governors, we’ll have term limits – so a three year term, you can only do two terms in a row, so after six-years you have to leave, and the rest get to vote on who will replace you.

We have to have them in different industries, we have 18 different market sectors, and we are saying we’re going to split it evenly across those, so you can only have a few in each one, about three in each market sector, and then no more. So, we can’t be all banks, or all technology companies, or all telecoms, or all stores.  We want them to have diversity, and be on different continents, under different governments, so that no one government could control the whole system. Everything we’re doing is about trust, to make sure it is widespread decentralized, in that sense. So, really we have the most decentralized governance that can actually govern.

So, we’ll have 39, we’ve announced the first five, we have some more that have signed up that we haven’t announced. We’ve been very diverse already, even with the first five, so we have the largest bank in Japan, Nomura, we have the largest telecoms in Europe, Deutsche Telekom, we have Swisscom Blockchain for technology, and then we have one of the largest online and brick & mortar retailers in Latin America, Magalu – Magazine Louiza, and we have DLA Piper, one of the world’s largest law firms. So, we are spread on different continents, in different industries, but they are very big trusted names in every case, companies that have been around for a long time. The whole goal from the beginning has been to build a ledger that is going to last for 100 years; 100 years from now this should be continuing, and so trying to build the trust from the very beginning with this council.

Could you explain the role of the governing council compared to a traditional opensource project? And I think there’s an important distinction here, because what Hedera is doing is advancing a new approach to building… in the past if you had a proprietary software technology, the source code’s all closed, and the decisions tend to be made fairly top-down. Certainly, with opensource projects that have associated themselves with the foundation for instance, you do have somewhat of a centralized structure that will determine what codes get built in, or what features get built into the projects. I’d love to understand a bit of your thinking in terms of the role that the governance council will take, and how that ultimately is going to function in terms of advancing the technology, the features, and the capabilities of the product.

The main thing that governance is all about, is governing the codebase, how will it change over time, what features will be added, and in what order? And governing the pricing and the economic structure of it, so what will the prices be to do transactions on the network? Those sorts of things. These are the things that they will be taking care of. So, for example, they’ve committed themselves to having a fixed coin supply, you’re not going to have coin inflation over time. There are 50 billion h-bars, there will never be another h-bar, and so they keep track and make sure that is the case, they make sure the code stays that.

They have the ability to govern, the code willevolve the way that they want, and we’re doing everything we can, we even have technological ways of doing it, with state proofs that have the ledger ID that makes it hard to split the state, and to fool people into thinking you have the real one. If ever there’s a disagreement and half the miners go one way, and half go the other way, how do you know which one is the real one? Well, there’s actually a cryptographic way here of determining that. So, we are doing everything we can to make it so that it can’t split, that it will be run by one group, and then making that group trustworthy.

So, what does the group do? They vote on the big decisions of the way forward, with the features, how it will run and the things it will do. It will grow overtime to make lots of nodes, but they want to make sure it happens in a way that is secure, they will be monitoring what happens with the coins supplied, they will be setting the prices, and that’s the purpose of the council. We’ve already had a couple of meetings, a couple of in-person meetings where the whole council got together, and now we’re starting to have committee meetings, committees within the council.

Well, I think it’s really critical to be able to have this level of engagement from established companies, for essentially a new generation of technologies or category of technologies, to see real acceptance. It really struck me that this was highly innovative, and of course there are going to be purists on one side or the other that will prefer one approach or another, but I appreciate the explanation, and I think it really is quite visionary.

I would love to talk next about how the technology works, how the Hashgraph protocol works, or the consensus algorithm, and just understand a little bit of what makes it unique, and how it differs from some of the other better-known consensus algorithms.

It is fundamentally different from the other algorithms that you’re familiar with, it’s not proof of work, it’s proof of stake, which means we don’t have to buy super computers, and waste lots of electricity to do it. The way that it works is, you spread messages with gossip, which is the simplest possible way, you just call people at random and tell them everything you know, that they don’t know. And they tell you everything that they know, that you don’t know, and just do that randomly with people over and over again, so messages spread out extremely fast. This is basically the fastest most resilient way we know to have messages spread out, and if you want to any kind of a ledger where everybody learns all the transactions, you’re going to have to do that, so everybody doesn’t gossip.

What we do is, every time you send someone a message you just tag on two little hashes, which are just compressed versions of fingerprints of the last message you created, and the last message you received. When you send me a message you will tag onto the bottom the hash of the last message you created, and the last message you received from someone else. The thing that we are gossiping is this big pile of messages, but the messages because of those hashes are themselves telling us how we talk to each other. In fact, if I look at this big pile of messages, and look at how the hashes connect them, they form a graph which shows me a history of how we all talk to each other.

But if I had that, then I know what you know, and I know when you learned it, and who you learned it from, and where they learned it, and when they learned it, and who they learned it from. I can see just in what I’m holding in my pile of messages, I can see how information has flowed through the whole network, and I can actually use that to do very strong asynchronous byzantine fault tolerant consensus algorithms, to put them all in order in a way that’s guaranteed to be the same way that everyone else put them in order, and we don’t have to talk to each other at all about that. So, you just gossip about the transactions, the bare minimum; any algorithm would have to do that, you add a tinybit of information with these two hashes in each message, and then with zeromore communication you come to a consensus, and you know what the answer is.

When you receive a message, after you receive a few more, you will suddenly know what order that first message was in the consensus order. And its asynchronous byzantine fault tolerant, which means that even if almost a third of the computers are malicious, we’re still fine, we will still make progress, we will come to a conclusion in a few seconds with true finality. We have complete finality and know for sure within a few seconds, and nobody can stop us if there’s just less than a third of computers being malicious. Even if there are firewalls between us that slow down our messages by arbitrary amounts, we still will keep making progress as long as we can talk at all, no matter how much our messages are slowed down, and we will all come to the same conclusion, guaranteed. And that’s asynchronous, and that means it’s really hard to shut down the network.

It’s really unique when you describe how lean the concept is, and ultimately how it can scale. Could you share a bit of insight on how this system can translate as you had mentioned earlier, into a massively scalable, but also an extremely fast system.

So, it spreads to the speed of the gossip, and the gossip is the fastest way that we know to spread things across the internet. So, it then experiments on computers around the world in different continents, and we find that just to gossip the message is out, you can do hundreds of thousands of seconds, it’s very-very fast. If you’re processing these transactions you can be very fast, especially if you use a GPU to do the signature verifications, do all the hashes and things. So, even when we have our open access this summer, where we open up to the whole world to use it, we’re going to have crypto currency transactions that are 10,000 per second, and we’re running at twice that speed in our labs right now. We expect that when we get the GPU integrated that we’ll be running much faster, so it will be extremely fast.

In some fundamental sense it should be as fast as the internet allows, it’s just the laws of mathematics don’t let you be any faster in some sense, because every transaction you have to receive it once, and send it once on average with this algorithm. Well, if everyone’s going to get the message then everyone has to receive it, there’s no way to be faster than that. So, it is extremely scalable and fast in that sense. We can also do shorting if you want to do that, if you want to be really fast, you want to go millions, or billions, or trillions a second, you’ve got a shortcut so we can do that. But shortcuts aren’t a cure-all, they don’t solve everything, so it really is helpful to be fast in your central ledger as well. You can always do layer 2 stuff where you push things out to the peripheries, but there’s limits to that, it really does help to have extreme speed in the center.

But it isn’t just speed, fairness is something no-one talks about, we actually put them into a fair order where no one person ever gets to undo the influence the order of the transactions. I’m not aware of any systems out there, any ledgers in widespread use that have fairness like this, there is no miner who gets to decide what order two transactions go in, there is no single proposer, no single coordinator, no single leader who gets to decide that, it’s the whole group as a whole who says when they receive your message, and they all say what time they received your message, and whichever time is in the middle of that list, that’s the time you get as an official timestamp, and it’s sorted by that timestamp. Totally fair.

Yes, it’s really ingenious. I would love to understand some particularly used cases where you find that the technology is well-suited for. Particularly as we think of Internet of Things, distributed systems where you have physical systems that are trying to communicate with each other, or exchange value. What are some of the used cases that you are particularly excited about?

We’ve had a lot of interesting things like asset tokenization, where you take stock or you take real estate or whatever, you tokenize it. We’ve had a lot of interest in people looking at track and trace, provenance, so if you’re buying diamonds, are they blood diamonds, did they come from conflict or are they legitimate? Can you buy them in good conscience? Or, if you’re buying food or pharmaceuticals, where was it before it came to your table? Is it really something you really want to eat, or is its background shaky? Or, was it produced by slave labor or oppressed people? You want to know its history, and so you can do the provenance on that.

We’ve had people very interested in credential management, we have revocation service woven through all of our services which allows you to store credentials, and revoke them when you want, and whoever issues you the credential can revoke it, so your driver’s license, or a diploma, or certificate that says you are a doctor or whatever. We have people using this for healthcare systems, trying to get the ability for any doctor to be able to write prescriptions to any pharmacist, and you can match them up, and have them match up with the patients, so the patients know the credentials of the doctor. If the credentials are revoked, everybody finds out about it. So, these are all interesting things.

Micro-payments are really big because we’re so fast. We have a chrome extension that plugs into your chrome browser, and now your chrome browser when you’re browsing the internet can be paying for websites, or music, or videos, or whatever as you’re going, a tiny fraction of a cent for each one. Because we’re so fast we can be very cheap, and that means that micro-payments make sense. I wouldn’t pay 1/100thof a penny for a website if I was going to pay 50 cents as my fee, but if I’m paying a tiny-tiny fraction of a cent as my fee, I can do it, so, we enable that kind of thing. But these are just applications that people were talking about before last week. What happened last week is going to make these much more powerful, and you mentioned IoT, and there’s a lot of things you can do with IoT with services discovery, and databases of what the status is of IoT devices, and also what services are offering at what price, all sorts of things like that, matching can happen between them. But what happened last week really changes things. We announced our consensus service, and we can talk a lot more about that if you’d like?

Oh, I would love to hear it, absolutely yeah. Please share the details of the service, and what can it do.

This Hashgraph algorithm is kind of cool. As I’ve said, it’s faster, its more secure, it’s ABFT, nobody else is ABFT, it has this fairness property, nobody else has that. And so, what do we do with it? Well, first we built private ledgers, then we built this public ledger and we did the normal things on the public ledger. We have three services, we have crypto currency, and we have files, and we have smart contracts; so, you can run smart contracts on it, you can store files and delete them, and read them. And you can have a cryptocurrency, the h-Bar. Standard things that you would do on a ledger, but they worked really well because they were on this really powerful ABFT consensus engine.

Now, we’re offering a fourth service which exposes the underlying engine. It allows developers to use this new consensus service to basically use our consensus engine, and to use the trust they have in our governing council and our nodes to amplify the trust of some other network that they built. So, this is different from a typical layer, two-things it is different from, a side ledger or side chain, and it is different from sharding, it’s even different from our mirror net, it’s different from all these things. Here’s what happens, you and other people set up your own set of computers, maybe you’re setting up your own stock market, or your own auctioning thing, just for your own personal use. Or maybe you’re setting up something like an auction site for the whole world to use, so it could be public or it could be private, either way.

You have a bunch of computers, maybe you’re playing a game and you have a bunch of computers that are involved in this network playing the game together. The processing is happening on this network, so it doesn’t have to slow down the main network, and the storage of the information is in this local network, for the long-term, so you don’t have to use up lots of hard drive space on expensive main net nodes. But the transactions you’re doing, you send them as messages to Hedera, Hedera puts them in order, puts timestamps on them and sends them back to you along with cryptographic proofs that it’s telling the truth, you can prove to other people that this is the true order. At that point your local network is extremely fast, the throughput of course is going to be enormous because it’s flowing through Hedera, it’s going to be very cheap because Hedera can handle so many per second, and Hedera’s not having to do any of the processing, Hedera’s not having to do the storage.

You have the guarantee that they’re in a fair order that’s useful for something like sales, or auction sites, or stock market, or a market for parts in a supply chain management system. You want fairness, it ensures fairness, and even if the computers in your application network aren’t trusted, if even one of them is trusted then you can trust the whole results, because you have these proofs coming from Hedera. So, really you’re inheriting the trust of Hedera, if you trust that Hedera has more than 2/3rds of its nodes being honest, then in your application network you only need to trust one node as being honest, and if you’re one of the nodes you trust yourself and you’re done. You have 100 percent trust. If there’s ever a dispute you can just go to the court and say, ‘Look, here’s the list of the messages, here’s what we calculated from them, and here’s the proof from Hedera that this really is truly the right ordering for these vestures, and you can prove it to a court, you can prove it to an auditor.

You have taken a really open approach to enabling people to write smart contracts on your platform. What have you done to enable people to build applications and employ smart contracts on the platform?

We have solidity, you can take a smart contract that you wrote for Ethereum and just move it over to us unchanged, and it will run perfectly well. So, every smart contract that’s been written for solidity just runs right on top of us, all those from Ethereum run directly on top of us, you can do that from day one, it’s easy and it’s what you’re used to. We have chain-link providing services for oracles, so you can even use oracles on it, even though we don’t have blocks we’ve implemented a command that says, ‘Tell me the timestamp on this block’, and that allows you to do things like atomic swaps with other ledgers. So, all the things that you would want you can do, and all the code you’ve already written you can use, if you have developers who are familiar with the language they can get right to work, and you don’t have to stand up any nodes, you just run it on top of us.

Or, you can do this thing with the consensus service and actually make it run at the speed of a native service on your own app net, which is faster, maybe cheaper, and maybe cleaner, and you can write in any language you want, not just solidity. The downside of course is that you have to manage this other network, your application network gets to find computers forwarding, hook them together and manage how they’re connecting and everything. That’s where the partnership with IBM comes in.

So, using Hyperledger fabric you can easily manage your app net, you can stand up your app net and manage it, so that it becomes easier, and that may actually get people to switch from smart contracts to just building app nets in many cases, because you get increased speed, and privacy, you can have complete privacy there; in a smart contract you don’t have privacy. But, if you want to do a smart contract, we support it, but if you want to do this thing on the app net using our consensus service, you could use Hyperledger fabric.

We jointly authored a paper with Brian Gross at IBM to do that. We had a webinar last week and I talked for the webinar, and also Brian talked on the webinar, so it was us and IBM together doing the webinar.

Fantastic, could you talk a bit about some of the important partnerships, and some of the key players in your eco-system?

IBM is a key player here that we just talked about with Hyperledger fabric. We also have over 500 DAPS that have already said they’re going to be running on top of us, and have been talking with us, and a bunch of them are planning to launch on day one of our OA. We’re going to get them put on the network before OA so that they can turn on right at the moment of OA, Open Access when we open up to the world. In addition, there are people who have stood up things, we didn’t do it, they just did it, like Helix, the Helix Incubator is really interesting, the Helix Accelerator. So, what they do is, they find people who have cool ideas that they want to build on top of Hashgraph or on top of Hedera, and they fund them, they give them a stipend, they bring them to their accelerator offices for 10 weeks, they teach them how you do a startup and how you develop stuff, let them work for 10 weeks and build their applications, and then at the end they all present what they have created, and the best ones get further funding to develop a company.

They only do it for companies building on top of Hedera, and they’ve already had their first 10-week program happen, and the first batch of companies went through, it’s very cool. So, Helix is doing this accelerator, that wasn’t even us, it was just someone else wanted to do it. I said chain-link is doing the Oracle stuff, which is an important part of the ecosystem, of course anybody that has any tools that work with solidity already work with us, so our ecosystem is large in that case. We have an STK that we wrote in Java, but outside people have written STKs in a bunch of other languages; we have a community that is developing this Open Source software, and our whole stack aside from the ledger is Open Source, so STKs are Open Source, and our wallet on IOS and android is Open Source, and we have people that are contributing to that. We have plugin to the chrome browser that I told you about, that’s Open Source, and we have people then who can get involved in that at Hashgraph.org, that’s where some of that stuff is living.

So, that’s just the ecosystem building around us, and that doesn’t even mention the really big companies that are interested in using this for enterprise applications, including our own council members like DLA Pipers, one of the world’s largest legal firms, they are really interested in asset tokenization, and they plan to be doing that on Hedera, and very interesting things have come out of that.

That sounds really exciting. I just want to ask if there are any misperceptions about Hedera that you encounter out in the market, as you’re evangelizing and building the community?

I don’t think its misperceptions; I think it’s just lack of knowledge. People maybe aren’t aware there were ABFT, or they know it but what does it matter? Well, what it matters is, can people shut down the network easily? If you can shut down the network, that’s a bad thing. If you’re just playing games maybe it doesn’t matter if the network goes down for a few hours. But if this is supposed to be a real-world important thing, major companies building on top of it, you can’t afford for that to happen, so ABFT is important.

Well, what about fairness of ordering? If you just are playing games, actually with games you care about fairness of ordering, if all you’re doing is very slow things, maybe you don’t care much about the ordering. But if you wanted to do a stock market or an auction, or you wanted to do a game, then the ordering matters a lot, and the fairness of ordering matters a lot, and we’re the only ones that are doing it. We order based on the median on when everyone in the network receives it, everyone is active, and with ABFT on deciding who was active. So, people don’t know about these things, and then of course the really big news is the consensus service, and that was released last week, we’ve just told people about that, we’ve already integrated it with Hyperledger fabric. This is an enormous game changer, and I think it’s just going to take time for people to wrap their minds around what it means to have such a service.

Now, there was another big announcement last week, the announcement of Libra by Facebook, and your team has posted an interested observation on your blog. I’d love to get your thoughts on the implications of Libra and your view on the broader state of the… we’ll call it the crypto market.

Ah, that was fun! It was fun, we said, ‘Well, thank you Facebook, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. And basically, you pointed out, people may not at first glance say, ‘Wow, having a governing council is a bad idea, this is a horrible thing because I don’t want to trust anyone’. But what people are slowly starting to realize is, well you have to trust someone, even if it’s a bunch of waring developers that are running your ledger, you have to trust them to do the right thing, and to not split it again. So, people are starting to realize, yeah you really do need a council, and Facebook was just validating that model by setting up a council of their own, they’re very much doing what we did. I think the whole market is starting to realize this, they’re just part of the validation of us, that we really are doing things the right way, and this is what people need to do.

Also, I think this Facebook announcement is probably good for the whole market, in fact even before that I think you could say we’re coming out of crypto winter, you could look at the price of bitcoin and say we’re coming out of crypto winter, you could look at the announcement from Facebook and say, ‘We’re coming out of crypto winter’. We are into the next phase of the history of ledgers, distributed ledger technology, DLTs, cryptocurrencies, all of that. Of course, that’s just setting the stage for the bigger things coming, tokenization of assets, and actually storing the information in ledgers; people have been talking about it for years, but no-one’s ever done it. I think we’re getting to the point where people are going to start using distributed ledger technology for all those things that we’ve been talking about for years.

This is a really interesting place in history, and I think this market is exploding and it’s just going to get hotter over time. This really has the potential to change the world.

It’s pretty remarkable. So, what’s in store for Hedera over the next 12 to 18 months, are there any key landmarks, or achievements that you guys are hoping to post over the next…?

Oh yeah. We’re in our second test programme right now, we’re ramping up to 100,000 people. If you go to Hedera.com you can sign up and become one of our testers, Hedera.com/portal and we’re you can earn h-bars by testing our network. Then if you’re a developer you can run on our test nets as well and earn coins for doing that; but normal people will just be on the main net and earn coins for using our main net. We’re ramping up to 100,000 people hitting accounts to be testing it, that’s what we’re doing right now, and in the summer the test program will end and we will have OA. Open Access is when the whole world will be able to use Hedera, anybody can create accounts, anybody can do anything they want on it, and that will be this summer. So, we’re looking forward to that.

Going forward we will be also announcing more council members, we announced the first five, we have some more that we’re about to announce, and this summer we’ll do that probably before OA, and then we have others coming in the pipeline very rapidly. What we’ve noticed is the more traction we get, the easier it is to find people that want to be council members, and we have a very high bar. We’re only letting the very top people in each industry join us, and we’re ensuring diversity. Over the next year and a half, we will continue to add features, we will continue to move down the path towards things like having more and more nodes, and then eventually sharding, when you have enough nodes you can trust you go to sharding. We have this path to go into be purely permission-less, where anonymous people can run nodes, and anybody can run a node. We have a webinar that explains the whole path to that.

We have the release schedule for our tokens. I told you that we are never allowing inflation, and we have set out a 15-year release schedule for the tokens, they will be released to the market along this trajectory, it’s a nice flat trajectory, just a constant rate of release for 15 years. We will be encouraging companies to be building on us, and building an ecosystem, doing training, building tools, organizing the community. We have meetups all around the world, lots of cities have meetups where people get together and talk about it, so we’ll be encouraging them to do even more, and to be building on top of us. We have Discord Channel for lots of developers, and Telegram Channel and all sorts of things, they will continue to talk about it.

So, I think we are right now at a very exciting time; we’re about to have OA, we’re on a trajectory to be doing a lot of really interesting things, and I just can’t wait to see all the things that people will build on us, beyond the 500 companies that already talk to us, developers have already talked to us.

Well fantastic, I think you alluded to a lot of the resources, but just a final question, where can people go to learn more about the project and get involved?

Yeah, go to Hedera.com and you can find out about all of these things, Hedera.com/portal is how you can get into our portal where you can get a profile, and then you can get a free account and earn h-bars. There’s also Hashgraph.org which is the community site, it has some repose where we have the Open Source stuff the community is developing. A lot of the Open Source stuff that we have, some of its available on Hedera.com, but a lot of our Open Source stuff that we develop we also put into Hashgraph.org, so that other people can play with it, can add to it, change it, and fork it, and do whatever they want with it.

Those are the main places, Hedera has a YouTube channel, and if you go there you can see a million videos. Of all of them, the one I would recommend the most is this most recent webinar on the consensus service, because it’s a new kind of thing, and the implications are really interesting, and it’s worth thinking about.

That’s fantastic, really appreciate the insights and the enormous amount of information, thank you. This has been a conversation with Dr. Leemon Baird, the co-founder and Chief Scientist of Hedera.

Once again this has been Ed Maguire, the insights partner at Momenta Partners with another episode of our podcast. Thank you once again for joining us.

Thank you, it’s been great talking with you.

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