What makes Holochain unique among blockchain technologies

Holochain Ultimate Guide: Better Technology Than Blockchain?

This article provides an in-depth discussion of Holochain technology. Aside from the basic basics, you know Holochain vs Blockchain, Holochain applications and their limitations.

Learn about Holochain technology, which sells itself as "thinking" outside the blocks. The development of the blockchain continues to grow, as does other similar technologies.

Holochain is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology. It works differently than blockchain and therefore offers unique value in the current market.

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What is holochain?

Holochain can be described as an open source framework that enables a peer-to-peer network. With it you can create amazing applications based on distributed philosophy.

This may sound a lot like blockchain, but the difference is how they work internally.

The current generation of blockchain solutions is heavily dependent on energy. Take bitcoin; For example, miners need to validate the blocks. The proof-of-work consensus algorithm requires a lot of computing power to solve cryptographic puzzles. This leads to a significant demand for energy - which is not ideal for Mother Nature. The Holochain technology uses the Go programming language, while the apps can be written in Lisp or JavaScript.

It is an energy efficient ledger system geared towards agents. This means that each agent can have a copy of the secure ledger and act independently. It can also interact with other network devices and provide a fully scalable distributed ledger solution. It is administered by Ceptr.

How can you use Holochain?

Holochain can be used to develop various distributed apps. The applications can be built for a wide range of ease of use. For example, the network is used for social media apps, governance, organization, etc.

To give you a good idea of ​​the ease of use, let's go through the list of apps you can build using Holochain technology.

  • Collaborative apps
  • Platform related apps
  • Social media apps
  • Relationship management apps
  • Supply chain oriented apps
  • Resource management apps
  • Reputation systems

And much more!

The broad use case makes the Holochain technology a valid alternative to Ethereum, which is also a dApp platform. It's not the only alternative distributed ledger (DLT) technology. We also covered Hashgraph, which offers a viable alternative DLT solution over the blockchain.

Continue reading:Blockchain vs Hashgraph vs Dag vs Holochain: Types of DLTs

How is it different from blockchain? Holochain Vs. Blockchain

The key difference between the two technologies is how they are used in the real world. Both are peer-to-peer networks.

However, blockchain is ideal for systems that require global consensus. Holochain technology, on the other hand, is suitable for systems that can function without a global agreement. There are many benefits to not requiring global consensus, including better scalability, adaptability, efficiency, and extensibility.

Hash trees and hash tables are already part of computer science. These are data structures that are used effectively in various systems to ensure data integrity. They have also evolved into various forms to suit system requirements.

It completely changes how each app can have its own network.

Why is it known as Holochain?

The name Holochain came from the fact that it is made up of different technologies and makes up a "whole" experience. It offers a structurally holographic platform and also enables holistic patterns.

The three key cryptographic technologies used in Holochain include the following:

  • Hashchains
  • Cryptographic chant
  • Distributed Hash Table (DHT)


Holochain properties

We already have a blockchain that can currently provide a decentralized network. So why do we even need it? Let's go over the top reasons below.

Energy efficiency

The current blockchain platforms require quite a bit of energy to operate. This can be a big problem for planet Earth in the long run, where global warming is becoming a big problem.

A better new model

Holochain technology introduces a better model that offers improved transmission and data storage.

It can be used to enable edge devices, including smartphones, to act as part of the network. The approach gives the network the ability to scale tremendously and allows any device or peer to become part of it.

Holochain apps

Holochain apps are another big reason we need them. The open source framework approach is unique in that it seeks to bridge the gap between a public and a private network.

Holochcain applications are distributed solutions that benefit greatly from the best of both worlds. This means that every dApp you create in the chain has a customizable interoperable network.

Uniquely configurable

The Holochain approach consists in making each of your apps available to your network. This means that each network can configure itself according to the requirements.

The unique approach means that each app can have its standards, protocols and choice of consensus algorithm.

It also means any app can change network performance, including scalability, latency, or throughput.

Other important aspects that can be configured are resilience, governance and data protection. Because of this, Holochain technology is a great decentralized app solution and not a network similar to Ethereum, NEO, or any other.

Uniquely connectable

How does Holochain technology work when the apps have their own distributed ledger? To stay connected, the different apps can build a bridge between them using the native API (Application Programming Interface). The API is able to provide a secure and deeply integrated ecosystem.

This unique connectivity also means that the apps can work offline or partitioned. In short, it makes them a clear winner when it comes to real world applications. Every app can't stay online every time it needs to run. The most important industrial sectors such as energy, supply chain or the Internet of Things are also upgraded in advertising.

So where does it take us?

It leads us to microservice. Holochain relies heavily on microservices. This means that an app is a collection of stand-alone microservices. It also improves the overall ecosystem as microservices can be deployed in other applications or ecosystems.

Microservices are the future, and that's why microservices are being adopted more than ever.

No need to learn other blockchain!

In an enterprise setup, it is difficult to use or stick to any particular solution. Most companies use a mix of solutions for their various departments.

Holochain technology can completely eliminate the need to learn or use other blockchains. Because Holochain is an open source framework that provides DLT solutions, it can be used for different use cases within the same organization.

You can configure your app according to the requirements. This means that you are free to choose the type of blockchain solution you want.

However, this does not mean that you cannot use it in an already established distribution network. To get started, you need to learn Holochain and use it to extend certain aspects of a working system. This way you can configure your network with Holochain and benefit from your custom decentralized solution.

You can also use the technique to completely replace your current systems with Holochain technology.

In short, Holochain technology is an excellent choice for service providers who want as much customizability as possible. This can help them provide a better solution to their customers with different requirements and needs.

New to the blockchain idea? Then check out the Free Blockchain Training Course: Everything You Need to Know.


At its core, it comes down to microservices. It makes the platform agile and quick to develop. This also means that the microservices can be bridged with one another.

The microservice approach is more future-proof and will help to further develop the platform in the future. According to David Atkinson, smart contracts are not required, and that is a good thing.

Smart contracts can be restrictive in several ways. The biggest limitation is the need for 100% accuracy. It doesn't require Holochain apps to be that accurate to begin with. Developers who want to publish their apps as soon as possible are unnecessarily burdened.

The evolvability of the technology makes it an ideal solution for the current market where agile development is the norm. It also suits the more demanding industries including energy, food or supply chain. In short, if an app is developed with Holochain, it can evolve over time and as requirements.

To back up

Thanks to the Holochain architecture, apps can be more reliable compared to dApps. Each app is limited to its ecosystem or network, which makes the security part easier to use. Developers can set the restrictions.

It also means that data can be shared with other apps or networks using a more flexible security process. Developers can create these specific rules and take advantage of the application development kit they provide.

It also has the means to meet the necessary security requirements. As a developer, you have access to a number of features. With the help of cryptography, important functions such as tamper-proof, reliability and data verification are provided for the authorship.

The security aspect also includes GDPR, which makes it ideal for global apps. Companies can benefit immensely from this. This solves the problem of the blockchain GDPR paradox.


Holochain also offers a highly scalable solution. Since new apps can join the network, this can help increase the computing power of the network itself. It benefits from the unique architecture that it uses. Each node can contribute to the computing power.

To make the apps scalable, Rust, a programming language for WebAssembly compilation, is used. The scalability also depends on the local number of peers. Since the local number of peers is inevitably small, it means that with reduced network latency and sensitivity, it is more stable than ever.

What is holochain application? Holochain Applications Vs. dApps

With a full understanding of the Holochain functions, it is time to distinguish between Holochain and dApps.

dApps are the current trend in the market. Popular blockchains offer the ability to create dApps using their blockchain solution. But what makes it different from the Holochain apps? Let's dive deep.

You have no idea about dApps? Be sure to read these instructions for dApp.

Scalability and stability

The scalability of dApps depends on the network functions, which can be limiting in many situations. In general, Ethereum is a powerful solution, but not the fastest. There is also no suitable way to bypass the scalability of the network. This is especially true for public DLTs. For private networks, new peers can be added to improve the scalability of the network.

Holochain, on the other hand, has a clear advantage in this case. First, the scalability can be easily achieved as different dApps can communicate via the API, which improves the computing power. The stability will certainly be better when it comes to Holochain applications whose local network is equipped with its predefined network requirements.

Adaptive and developable

Holochain apps are more adaptable than dApps. The Holochain apps architecture was developed to give developers authority in building their local apps network. This means that they can set various network functions including scalability, throughput, etc.

In short, it is very adaptable to the requirement. In addition, Holochain apps can evolve over time. When it comes to dApps, most of the logic needs to be decided in advance. Once written, smart contracts are difficult to change. This makes life for developers difficult - which isn't ideal considering the current developer community prefers agile development.

Online / offline functionality

Holochain applications work in both online and offline environments. In contrast, the private and public dApps cannot function without a connection to the main network. The inability to work offline is undesirable because many real-world operations, including the supply chain, need to work in no-internet situations.

Data protection and access control

Holochain apps offer better privacy compared to public dApps. Compared to private dApps, it offers similar data protection options. In addition, access control appears to be the same in both private dApps and Holochain. The difference is that access control can be seen when comparing public dApps and Holochain apps.

Mesh Network Friendly

Holochain networks are network friendly. This means that it is compatible with any form of radio signal. In return, the apps can connect to a network signal or disconnect from others.

The ability to do this in and of itself gives the network real adaptability. This is not possible in dApps as they are limited to their networks.

Modular composability

Due to the modular structure, Holochain apps are more useful than dApps. Thanks to modularity and microservices, the different parts of the app can be used in other solutions, which means that it can be put together in a modular manner.

This does not apply to dApps with intelligent contracts.

Cooperation and openness

Since it is an open source platform, there is a clear advantage when it comes to private dApps and Holochain applications.

Holochain use cases

Holochain is a versatile framework. This also means that it can be used for a wide variety of real-world use cases.

  • Social networks: Social network is the best use case of Holochain. It is useful when you consider that a social network can function without a connection and the user can keep a copy of it locally.
  • Supply chains: Supply chains can also benefit immensely from Holochain. It can provide a unique way to manage the supply chain regardless of organization, company, or geographic location.
  • P2P platforms: P2P platforms can properly use Holochain. Small communities can set it up according to their needs. The P2P platform can also communicate with other networks and properly use the Holochain functions.
  • Collaborative Applications: Holochain is a great choice for building collaborative apps like chats, scheduling, discussion, or even wikis.
  • Review platforms: Rating platforms can be created, managed and set up with Holochain.

This brings us to the end of the Holochain use cases.

When should Holochain NOT be used?

So we've discussed the Holochain use cases, but are there any instances where this isn't beneficial? Yes there is. Let's go over them below.

  • Private or secret data: If you are thinking of protecting your secure or private information, then holochain should be avoided. It takes a lot of effort, private or secure or even anonymous. If you know what you are doing you can go ahead and use it. Otherwise, we recommend not using it.
  • Self-exploration: If you are thinking of making a holochain application just for yourself, this is not a good idea. It is not ideal for one person use. However, if you want to use it to sync data across multiple devices, it can be used.
  • Huge files: The final use case when you shouldn't use it is when storing large files. This is because each peer can have a copy of the ledger. If it is significant, then it defeats the purpose of the holochain and makes the whole process painfully slow.

Holochain GitHub

Holochain is an open source framework that anyone can use to contribute.

If you're interested, check out their GitHub repository.

It has 103 repositories, of which Holochain-Rust, Holochain-Basic-Chat, Docs-Pages, lib3h and Cryptographic-Autonomy-License are pinned due to their importance.

The project is currently led by nine people. So when you make a change to their code, these nine people complete the change by either accepting or rejecting it.

Holochain is actively being further developed with its core repository Holochain-rust with more than 13,000 commits and 41 contributions.

The entire Holochain project is licensed under GPL-3.0.

Let's go through the core repositories for a better understanding.

  • Holochain Rost → It is the core Holochain framework that uses the Rost programming language. It also offers container API.
  • Holoscape → Holoscape is end-user delivery for Holochain leaders. It also offers administration
  • Holochain-Basic-Chat → Example Holochain-Chat-App
  • Holochain persistence → Used for storing and retrieving data locally

Human Internet - How does Holochain plan to achieve its goal?

The aim is to use his approach to create a more human Internet. According to them, the whole world is surrounded by centralization, and that is not a good thing. Our relationships are surrounded by these companies that dominate most of our moves - people's suggestions as to whom to add, for example.

The future looks bright as it is a distributed web where user anonymity is preserved. The data that is shared by peers or communities is kept safe with their logs and architecture.

If you are inspired to learn more about their vision and mission, read the Holochain whitepaper.

Holochain architecture

The Holochain architecture is interesting - it can be summarized as "Shared DHT", where DHT stands for the distributed hash table. It overcomes the blockchain bottlenecks by keeping the main features of the blockchain intact.

We can call it “no bottleneck blockchain”.

This is achieved using shared data integrity. It is a way to process data in peer-to-peer systems where data backup is much more difficult compared to centralized data.

With the shared data integrity, it offers robust data security without any restrictions such as high computing effort.

The key component here is the Distributed Hash Table (DHT), which gives the ecosystem great value. Ultimately, it provides consistency while also ensuring that the data is securely distributed over the network. In this way, each peer is responsible for his or her actions.

The architecture is also efficient as it ensures that the overhead is as realizable as possible. In fact, phones or other devices can join the network and improve computing power.

The Holochain architecture (dApp architecture) consists of three main subsystems. You are:

  • Shared Storage (DHT)
  • Application (core)
  • Source hash chain

Source: Ceptr.org

Now let's go through each and every one of them below.


The application is the core of the whole idea. It glues other aspects of the network together. An application can be accessed through a browser and the user interface depends on how the developer designed it.

In the image above, you can see that it can access and store data from the DHT. It can also use its local source hash chain. The validation rules are provided by the application itself, which ensures that no data is tampered with, changed or lost.

The applications are mainly written in Lisp and JavaScript.

Source hash chain

The source hash chain enables the application to work offline. It is a local ledger that any peer or person can own. The data stored in the local chain must be signed before it can be merged with the global shared DHT.

For example, if two parties interact with each other, both must validate them in their local source chain and then integrate them into the shared DHT.

This is a revolutionary idea considering that it doesn't take everything to reach consensus. When running a social media holochain app, there is no need to validate every single validation with the entire group of peers. The local validation is more than sufficient and can then be shared with the global DHT.

Shared storage DHT

The last component, DHT, also plays a crucial role in making holochain possible. DHT is already popular and is already used in file sharing applications like BitTorrent.

With DHT, peers can validate their own data using a cryptographic hash. In this way, each data element is obtained with a validated signature that confirms that the data has been transferred to the local chain.

Multi-party transactions are also enabled with DHT. This creates an intersection of chains which further facilitates validation of the entire set of transactions. Others can now publish your transactions, which makes them valid. The metadata is often used to improve performance,

If the hash value does not match when crossing chains, the network will invalidate the transactions.


This brings us to the end of our Holochain guide. Here we discovered Holochain, what distinguishes it from blockchain and its main features. We also took a deep dive into the Holochain architecture to understand how it works and what makes Holochain apps so great!

If you're interested in more blockchain basics, be sure to check out the free blockchain course.

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