Hashgard project was officially launched in March 2018, but its genesis can be traced back to exploration and research by its main team members on blockchain technology in 2013. This took forms including technical research on blockchain network architecture and open source code, development and verification of smart contracts based on Ethereum, early conception and incubation of blockchain projects, and establishment and management of token funds.
Through long-term research, the Hashgard team eventually discovered that existing public blockchains could not satisfy application cases in the financial industry. The reasons included the following:
- The performance of most public blockchains is far from meeting the concurrency requirements of the financial system. For example, Bitcoin can only process seven transactions per second, and Ethereum can only do a few dozen.
- The user learning curve for most public blockchains is high, and user-friendliness needs to be improved. For example, Ethereum’s smart contracts must be written in Solidity, and the smart contracts of EOS need to be written in C/C++. These languages are difficult for most users to learn and master.
- Most public blockchains lack cross-chain capability, flexible scalability, and interoperability with other public blockchain tokens, and are unable to support component-based functional modules.
- Most public blockchains are too free, and not subject to regulation. However, the financial industry itself is strongly regulated, so regulator and regulatory observer nodes will need to be considered in large-scale commercialization.
Hashgard is developed on Cosmos-SDK, an open source framework written in Golang. Tendermint is used in its network and consensus layers. It is designed to make it easy for developers to create customized and interoperable blockchain applications on Cosmos network. Cosmos SDK emphasizes both security and flexibility, making extensively use of the “Object-Capability Model” and “Principle of Least Privilege.” Cosmos SDK has two management rules, as follows.
- Object A can only send messages to object B when object A is associated with object B.
- If object A receives a message related to object C, object A becomes associated with object C.
As a result of the two rules, only through an existing association chain can one object become associated with another. In short, “only connectivity can produce connectivity.”
The Cosmos network consists of different independent and parallel blockchains, each of which runs through a classical Byzantine fault-tolerant consensus such as Tendermint. Blockchains on Cosmos are called “zones,” some of which are also called “hubs.” Different zones can communicate with each other through their shared hubs.
Cosmos Hub is the first hub in the Cosmos network, and is mainly used for cross-chain access (such as money transfers and service calls, etc.). If a blockchain is connected to the hub through the IBC Protocol, it automatically gains access to other chains also connected to the hub. All cross-zone token transfers must pass through Cosmos Hub, so the tokens can be transferred between zones safely and quickly. No direct exchange capability is required between zones; rather the total number of tokens held in each zone is tracked and recorded through Cosmos Hub to ensure that the total number of tokens held by all zones remains constant. Cosmos Hub fulfills a function akin to central bank settlement.
IRIS Hub is another hub in the Cosmos Network. IRIS has new semantics allowing cross-chain computing power calls through IBC, and also integrating the distributed file system IPFS, which is particularly important for commercial applications.
Ethermint provides the EVM module, allowing users to run smart contracts on Tendermint PBFT consensus.
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