101 Blockchains
101 Blockchains

Hashgraph Vs Blockchain: A Detailed Comparision

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In this article, we will go through a detailed comparison of Hashgraph vs Blockchain? We will cover important aspects such as speed, security, approach, and much more!

If you belong to the blockchain sector, you would know that it is continually evolving at a rapid pace. On the sidelines, there are also other similar distributed ledger technologies(DLT) to replace Blockchain by providing a better solution. One such DLT is Hashgraph. It solves the distributed ledger differently and claims to be more secure, fast, and fair. That’s why we will be comparing these two technologies, Hashgraph, and Blockchain — and see where they stand in the current market. Let’s get started.

Hashgraph vs Blockchain

Hashgraph vs blockchain

Before we start and explore, we should understand the true meaning of distributed ledger technology(DLT).

Distributed ledger technology is a network of peers that communicate with each other to reach consensus. In a DLT, every node has a copy of the ledger and are immutable in nature.

There are many DLTs out there, including the two that we are going to discuss today, i.e., Blockchain and Hashgraph. The key features of distributed ledger technology are decentralization, security, transparency, integrity, and speed. However, not all DLT’s offer all the features. In fact, DLT can also be effective in a centralized system where a system can benefit from integrity, transparency, and speed of execution. At the core, distributed ledger technology(DLT) empowers blockchain, and blockchain empowers bitcoin.

Let’s now, try to understand blockchain and Hashgraph.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is one of the most popular forms of distributed ledger technology. It is the underlying technology that is used by the first every cryptocurrency out there, i.e., bitcoin. In a blockchain, peers communicate between themselves to form a peer-to-peer network. Bitcoin utilizes the most basic form of blockchain technology. Mathematically sound, but practically not so efficient. That’s why we have seen a rise in the different type of blockchain technology rise up lately. Ethereum is the most successful with a huge community backing it up. Ethereum is the 2nd generation blockchain, which means it also supports dApps and smart contracts.

Technically, a blockchain is a series of blocks or records. It supports the append-only structure. However, the database is immutable, which means that the data, once written, cannot be deleted or edited by anyone. The data stored in the previous blocks cannot be changed by any means. This makes blockchain an ideal solution for current generation problems where data immutability is essential. It can be used for voting, supply chain management, and finance industry.

What is Hashgraph?

Hashgraph, on the other hand, is a consensus method that offers a different approach to distributed ledger technology. According to the white paper, it defines itself as a data structure or a consensus algorithm — and not a complete system, and specifically a distributed ledger technology. It is patented by Swirlds, and no one other than a license can use it. However, we also have Hedera Hashgraph is a public Hashgraph network. It has all the features of Hashgraph consensus algorithm with slight changes in how it utilizes the leader format. It uses gossip about gossip and Virtual Voting as the two techniques to maintain connectivity and consensus.

The Hashgraph is designed to offer a secure, fair, and fast network. It is implemented using Java and Lisp programming language. This also means that it also supports Solidity. One of the most significant advantages of Hashgraph network is its speed. We will cover all the significant aspect of the comparison below. Let’s get started.

Hashgraph vs Blockchain Table

CategoryHashgraphBlockchain
Programming languageJava and LispDifferent languages
AccessibilityPrivate, public if Hedera HashgraphDepends, can be public, private or hybrid
ConsensusVirtual VotingProof of Stake, Proof of Work, Proof of Elapsed Time and more!
Security MechanismAsynchronous Byzantine Fault ToleranceCryptographic Hashing
SpeedVery fast up to 500,000 transactions per secondSlow to medium speed, from 100 to 10,000 transactions per second
FairMore fairerLess fair
Efficiency100%<100%
ABFT100% compliantNot completely compliant

Approach

The most significant difference between Hashgraph and blockchain is their approach. Blockchain stores data in blocks — in a linear way. The append approach works great but is not always the way for blockchain solutions out there. Hashgraph, on the other hand, utilizes the directed acyclic graph for storing and accessing information. In both the DLTs, each node has a copy of the ledger, making it truly decentralized.

Security

When it comes to security, both blockchain and Hashgraph stands strong. Blockchain has a different approach where they utilize cryptographic methods to ensure security for the data stored and transmitted on the network. The digital blocks are tamper-proof and malicious actors in no way can change the integrity of the data. For example, if someone tampers with the data, the signature becomes invalid, which alarms the nodes on a possible breach or malicious activity.

Hashgraph utilizes Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance(aBFT) when it comes to securing the network from bad actors. Each of the events is recorded correctly, and the approach makes sure that no data can tamper even when the network has some malicious actors. Just like blockchain, a transaction once completed, cannot be changed or edited in any possible way. This also means that it is secure from a 51% attack. The Hedera Hashgraph, on the other hand, has made a slight change in how they use aBFT. The consensus algorithm doesn’t use leader format to ensure that DDoS attacks don’t hamper the network. In our Hashgraph vs Blockchain, we think that both of them offers

Consensus Algorithm

Blockchain doesn’t have a single approach to consensus. It depends on the cryptocurrency or platform. There are many popular consensus algorithms used in blockchain. Few of them include Proof-of-Work, Proof-of-Stake, Proof-of-Elapsed Time, and so on. NEO, yet another popular blockchain solution utilizes delegated Byzantine Fault Tolerance. It is an improved consensus algorithm that learns from PoF and PoS.

Hashgraph or Hedera Hashgraph, on the other hand, uses virtual voting as the form of gaining network consensus. Hashgraph, itself, is a consensus algorithm, but it does have a lot to offer if we see finer details.

Speed

Blockchain’s speed varies depending on the solution(cryptocurrency, platform, etc.). However, it is comparatively slower to Hashgraph. Theoretically, Hashgraph can reach a speed of 5,00,000 transactions per second. Practically that may change depending on other factors. Blockchain solutions such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. are considerably slow and can offer a speed of only 100 to 10,000 transactions per second.

Hashgraph Gossip method is the reason behind its speed. With it, less information needs to be propagated across the network as more event takes place.

Fairness

Blockchain is less fair when it comes to miners or users. The miner has more power when it comes to selecting orders he wants to process, their order and even stop transactions. This is not fair to anyone who is directly or indirectly connected to the network.

Hashgraph handles fairness differently, where it allocates nodes randomly. It also utilizes consensus time stamping, which means that no individual is affected due to the order of the transactions. However, the concept of fairness is still vague and is not adequately explained in the Hashgraph whitepaper. It is one of the important aspects of Hashgraph vs Blockchain comparison.

Efficiency

Hashgraph is 100% efficient due to its approach. Blockchain’s block approach makes it hard for miners to work on a block. There are instances when two blocks are mined at the same time. This means that the miner’s community now needs to decide on one block, which means that the other block is discarded. In the end, the effort of the miners is wasted, resulting in a less efficient network. As Hashgraph doesn’t have to rely on block creation, but only events, it doesn’t suffer from the problem.

Adoption and Development Stage

When it comes to adoption and development stage, blockchain beats Hashgraph easily. Blockchain is almost a decade old, and it reaps the benefits from first to market. From there, it has seen many attempts at perfection — such as the release of Ethereum that supports dApps and smart contracts. Specific blockchain solutions such as NEO, VeChain, etc. also started to surface.

Hashgraph, on the other hand, is not near to the adoption rate of blockchain. Firstly, it is a patented technology. The public variant, Hedera Hashgraph, is still in active development. At the time of writing, it is used by 300+ companies which may seem a lot, but less compared to companies that are using blockchain technologies.

Hashgraph vs. Blockchain – Summary

Programming language: Hashgraph core language is Lisp and Java.

Blockchain’s programming language dependent on the cryptocurrency, product, or service.

Accessibility

Hashgraph is privately held. Its public implementation is Hedera Hashgraph.

Blockchain’s accessibility depends on the platform. It can be private, public, or hybrid.

Consensus

Hashgraph uses Virtual Voting consensus method.

Blockchain uses a wide range of consensus method, including Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, and others.

Security Mechanism

Hashgraph uses Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance(aBFT) for security purposes.

Blockchain uses Cryptographic hashing for security purposes.

Speed

Hashgraph is fast compared and can reach up to 500,000 transactions per second.

Blockchain is comparatively slow. Reaches 100 to 10,000 transactions per second.

Fair

Hashgraph offers a better algorithm for fairness.

Blockchain is not fair and can result in loss of work done by miners or participants.

Efficiency

Hashgraph is 100% efficient means that no work is lost.

Blockchain is not 100% efficient.

 

aBFT complaint

Hashgraph is 100% aBFT complaint.

Blockchain is not entirely compliant for aBFT

Best use cases for Hashgraph

  • Cryptocurrency
  • Privately held solutions
  • Time-sensitive solutions
  • dApps
  • Smart contracts

Best use cases for Blockchain

  • Transfer value
  • Storage value
  • Monetary transactions
  • Trusted data verification
  • Voting systems
  • Decentralized apps(dApps)

Conclusion

Hashgraph is undoubtedly a more advanced technology when compared to blockchain. But that doesn’t mean it will replace blockchain. There are still projects that can utilize blockchain better than Hashgraph. Considering Hashgraph is privately held, the adoption is slowed down. We do have Hedera Hashgraph, a public Hashgraph network that can help accelerate its growth.

So, what do you think about Hashgraph vs blockchain? Comment below and let us know.


About Author

Nitish holds a BSc in computer engineering. He is a blockchain enthusiast and in spare time likes to read about the moon. His articles have published on Dzone, InfoWorld, and Hongkiat.

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