“With Open Access, we are excited to welcome any and all to join the hundreds of third-party developers already building distributed applications on our platform,” Mance Harmon, Co-Founder, and CEO of Hedera Hashgraph, said in the press release.
Developers will also be able to run mirror nodes, which provide a public record of all consensus decisions made on the ledger.
Whereas Bitcoin and Ethereum can only process 3-15 transactions each second—and it can take up to an hour to confirm those transactions—Hedera’s open access beta will allow for up to 10,000 transactions each second, and promises to cut down confirmation time to just a couple of seconds, too. The launch will also offer 10 smart contract and file transfers a second, and Hedera says it’ll increase speeds throughout the rest of the year.
Hedera Hashgraph, a proof-of-stake network, owes its speed to an innovative blockchain structure called a directed acyclic graph (DAG) that promises super speedy transaction speeds (a fuller explanation of how it works can be found here). It’s incredibly cheap, too, transactions cost just US$0.0001.
Big corporations like IBM, Japanese investment bank Nomura, and telecoms giant TATA Communications have all started playing around with the technology.
The announcement also marks the start of Hedera’s 15-year coin distribution plan. Hedera raised $124 million in 2018 for Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs) offerings, and coins—”Hbars”—will be now slowly distributed to investors.
Hedera says it’s distributing the coins over such a long period to make sure the network stays secure. Right now, Hedera is a public permissioned network—meaning only some people are allowed to run nodes, maintain the network and manage consensus. Hedera thinks that relinquishing control over time—making Hedera a public permissionless network—will stop neer-do-wells from immediately cornering the market and monopolizing the ownership of nodes.
“The creation of the trust layer of the internet requires a measured, long-term rollout with responsible stewards, empowered individuals, and a slow token distribution,” Leemon Baird, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist of Hedera Hashgraph, said in the press release.