Harmony is a blockchain platform designed to create decentralized applications using highly scalable and interoperable services. It was founded in 2017 by Stephen Tse and developed with a group of people, some of whom are former employees of Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.
Harmony's mainnet features a blockchain architecture called sharding that divides the network nodes but also the blockchain states into distinctive and independent shards. The goal for a sharded network is to be able to process transactions with quick finality by reducing computing and storage redundancies in determining consensus. Harmony’s sharding approach depends on a secure randomness source so the validators can be assigned to shards in a truly random manner for unbiased and unpredictable membership.
The platform adopts a highly efficient and speedy consensus algorithm called Fast Byzantine Fault Tolerance (FBFT). The FBFT significantly reduces the communication costs using BLS (Boneh-Lynn-Shacham) multi-signatures and ensures that the assignment of validators on the network is determined by the number of tokens in possession.
Harmony is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain that is energy-efficient and low-cost for node runners. The process of selecting validators is called Effective Proof-of-Stake (EPoS) which is a PoS mechanism focusing on preventing stake centralization. The EPoS allows simultaneous staking from hundreds of validators and randomly distributes the stakes among all shards so no shard is less secure than others.
ONE is the native token that supports the monetary flow of the entire Harmony economic system. It is used for payments on the network and also as a reward for staking processes.
Transactions in Harmony blockchain are sent to and processed by a specific shard instead of all aiming to enable process transactions in parallel thus improving the overall transaction processing capacity of the blockchain. The network supports 4 shards of 1000 nodes, producing blocks in 2 seconds with finality.
Distributed Randomness Generation (DRG)
Harmony designed a distributed randomness generation (DRG) protocol based on the VRF (Verifiable Random Function) and VDF (Verifiable Delay Function). These functions ensure the protection of nodes and secure the validation process. The VRF ensures that network validators are randomly assigned and shuffled among shards while the VDF is used to delay the revelation of the final randomness in order to be secure against the last-revealer-attack.
Fast Byzantine Fault Tolerance (FBFT)
The FBFT allows at least 250 validators to reach consensus within 2 seconds.
Effective Proof-of-Stake (EPoS)
Effective Proof-of-Stake is an efficient staking mechanism that avoids stake centralization while still supporting stake compounding and delegation. Validators with a large amount of staked tokens are obligated to run more nodes to support the network while validators with less stake run fewer nodes. In EPoS, the validators will be rewarded in proportion to their effective stake.
Harmony is a permissionless and decentralized network that is governed by the community. Any protocol-level decisions or improvements will go through the open governance process to finalize.
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