Author: Wang Yanhua
Transactions take place way too slowly on blockchain networks such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. Hence, more centralised versions have emerged, such as EOS, Tron, and HPB.
EOS is highly centralised with 21 nodes, while Tron has 27. On the other hand, HPB is expected to have 150. (A node is elected by token holders to validate transactions, create blocks in the network and compete for its rewards.)
CMO of HPB Emma Zhu believes what sets HPB apart is its combination of hardware and software architecture. She told Block Asia, “HPB is a public chain that’s built with a hardware chip. We are the first one to come up with the idea of the integration of hardware and software. This results in higher transactions per second (TPS), with lower electricity consumption. We aim to launch our mainnet in August and it took us a year and a half to make it happen.”
As HPB opens its node applications, Block Asia caught up with Zhu at the 2018 Asia Digital Asset & Blockchain Congress in Tokyo to find out more.
What sets HPB apart?
There are many public chains trying to solve the scalability issue. But we are the first one to suggest a combined software and hardware architecture, and the only one to achieve it as far as I know.
EOS recently launched a mainnet, and their TPS is less than 1000. We launched a testnet in March and it reached 10,000 TPS and 30,000 signature verifications per second. That makes it one of the fastest in this industry.
How does one become a node?
We launched our hardware on July 1st, it’s called the BOE hardware. At the same time we opened our node applications.
If you want to become a node, you have to obtain the BOE hardware and submit a node application. We will be giving out the first batch of BOE hardware to the community for free.
You need the hardware in order to become a node. Will that affect how decentralised it is?
The first batch of hardware will have 245 units, and among them 150 will be HPB nodes, which is already way more than EOS. We will keep upgrading the hardware units, so we will have more nodes in the future.
Besides, if we can make the speed much faster, we can quickly enable dapps to actually land on our public chain.
How will the nodes be selected?
The nodes will be selected with a combination of voting and invitation. Voting will be how 70% of nodes are selected, and invitation will be 24%. We will send out invitations to universities, blockchain labs, developer communities, and non-governmental organisations, in this way giving back to society.
The remaining 6% will be for the HPB foundation.
How do you ensure that the nodes do not abuse their power?
Firstly, all node holders will go through a know-your-customer process. Secondly, the remaining 30% of nodes, which are selected by invitation or belong to the HPB foundation, are less likely to conduct malicious activities.
The node cycle is every three months, so they can be voted out.
How does HPB plan to achieve mass adoption?
We are bringing more dapps onto HPB, so we can reach more people.
We are partnering with UnionPay Smart, a daughter company of UnionPay which focuses on big data. UnionPay is the largest offline payment company in China.
The product is expected to be launched in Q3 this year, and this is one of the dapps we have in the big data field. It’s going to be for data authentication and authorisation.
We are also currently exploring gaming and social media.
The nitty gritty
As possessing a dedicated hardware is a prerequisite for all node holders, some issues stemming from this requirement will inevitably arise. Block Asia asked Zhu about the intricacies of this system.
If they are voted out, will HPB collect the hardware back?
No, they can keep it and wait for three months to try for the election again.
What if the hardware spoils?
If the hardware spoils, you can replace it with a new one. During that period, you cannot participate as a node holder. But as soon as you get back online, you can participate again.
What is your vision for HPB in 5 years’ time?
I see the hardware units being upgraded, and I hope HPB will be the fastest public chain. Then, it will enable dapps to truly be commercialised.