Expanding Developer Options — A Stable Distributed Platform
Apr 09, 2018
by Mance Harmon
CEO and Co-Founder of Hedera Hashgraph

Since announcing our plan to launch Hedera Hashgraph a little under a month ago, we’ve seen tremendous interest from the developer community. We have received questions about our patents, why they are in place, and how they are beneficial to developers and users. This post aims to address those questions for the developer and user communities.

First, the code will be available for open review, starting with Version 1.0. Nothing hidden.

Second, we promise never to fork. Having seen the evolution of distributed ledger technology (DLT), it is clear there are numerous options already out there for developers who want to build on platforms that can frequently fork. Our goal is to provide developers another option, never before available to them — the ability to develop on a stable DLT platform, without having to worry that it might fork. The patents will be used to prevent forking where possible, to give users stability. Technical mechanisms will also be used to prevent forking where possible. And Hedera itself promises never to choose to fork. This stability increases the range of options available to developers and users.

We recognize that not all developers will want to build on this, but we believe firmly in the value of stability for those who choose to spend significant time and effort to develop applications. Hedera provides that option.

Third, there is no license fee associated with building on Hedera. You can build open source applications, closed source applications, or use any licensing model you choose. You don’t have to contact Hedera for a license, and we won’t know what you’re building, unless you choose to tell us.

Fourth, Hedera’s code base will be governed not by a single entity, but by a council of 39 different corporations. These corporations will be diverse, both in their sectors and geographically, and will be term-limited. This is designed specifically to ensure continued distributed governance, rather than leaving it up to a single person, a single company, or a single foundation.

We believe there are fundamental developer concerns to address before distributed ledgers can be widely accepted and adopted. One of those concerns is the chaos and uncertainty caused by forking. Our goal is to provide a platform that provides industry-leading governance, and both technical and legal controls to ensure the stability of the platform, while concurrently providing full transparency. This is the option we aim to bring to the broader developer market.