2012-2016: Invention of hashgraph
2012 – 2014
Dr. Leemon Baird begins to work on solving how to achieve distributed consensus at scale.
2015 – 2016
Dr. Baird develops the breakthrough innovation now called hashgraph, and knew it had the potential to be revolutionary. A few months later, Dr. Baird and his longtime friend and business partner, Mance Harmon, form Swirlds, Inc. (a portmanteau of “shared worlds”) to develop proofs of concept, commercialize hashgraph for private implementations, and battle-test it in permissioned environments. Their larger and longer-term vision is to use hashgraph to enable a truly decentralized, fast, fair, and secure public distributed ledger that could achieve mainstream adoption and serve as the “trust layer of the internet.”Their focus is on proving the benefit and value of the hashgraph data structure and consensus algorithm for enterprise use. The Hashgraph whitepaper is published on May 31, 2016, and hashgraph is selected over more established solutions for use in private network pilots. The time comes to turn focus on creating a public distributed ledger powered by hashgraph.
2017-2018: Formation of Hedera
Q1 – Q2 2017
Swirlds raises its seed investment round. Funds from that financing are used to bootstrap the formation of Hedera. Dr. Baird and Mance spent time developing the main governance philosophy, conceptualizing the structure and role of the council and its governing members; determining the licensing terms for use of hashgraph for a public implementation; developing the strategy to prevent forking; and teaching people about how hashgraph differs from – and offers key advantages over – blockchain.
Q3 – Q4 2017
Dr. Baird and Mance begin to grow the project. Over the summer, they meet Andrew Masanto, Founding CMO, who helps bootstrap the company by providing key early contributions and introducing Dr. Baird and Mance to a number of Hedera’s initial team members. Founding Team is brought onboard, including executives Jordan Fried (former SVP, Business Development) who joins in August 2017 to lead Hedera’s global business development and Council recruitment and Natalie Grunfeld Furman (General Counsel), who joins in September 2017 to develop Hedera’s legal and regulatory strategy. Initial business strategy meeting with potential advisors and investors held is in NYC.Hashgraph Consortium, LLC is created as a Delaware limited liability company. Hashgraph technology is displayed publicly to the world for the first time at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, CA. First Letters of Intent are signed by potential Council members.
First formal meeting of the executive team and advisors is held. Hiring continues. “Hedera” is selected as the brand and company name, and the HBAR logo is designed. Additional Letters of Intent are signed by potential Council members.Hedera launch event is held on March 13, 2018 in NYC, drawing 1,000 people live and more than 100,000 livestream viewers. The event unveils Dr. Baird and Mance's vision for a public network – a network to be built on the patented hashgraph algorithm, governed by a Council of up to 39 global enterprises, and guaranteed not to fork – to the general public for the first time. HederaHashgraph.com goes live and the Hedera whitepaper is published.
Hedera continues to educate the market and developers about hashgraph technology. Additional Letters of Intent are signed. Company name is formally changed to Hedera Hashgraph, LLC. Multi-member LLC Agreement, the document governing the Hedera Council, is drafted. Work continues to prepare for launch of Hedera mainnet and minting of hbars.
Hedera mainnet goes live on August 24, 2018. 50 billion hbars are minted. The first meeting of potential Council members is convened to review the Hedera LLC Agreement and details of Council membership.
Hedera18, Hedera’s first developer conference and global hackathon, occurs at eight locations around the world. Hedera launches mainnet early access and the phase one community testing programs, giving developers and users the ability to test the network for the first time. COQ Proof conducted by Carnegie Mellon confirms hashgraph algorithm is Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (to date, the only algorithm in the public market to achieve this gold standard of security).
2019: Open Access of Mainnet
The first Hedera Governing Council members (Deutsche Telekom, DLA Piper, Magazine Luiza, Nomura Holdings, Inc., and Swisscom Blockchain) are announced, and the first Governing Council meeting happens in Seoul, Korea, alongside the first Hedera Annual Assembly, hosted in Seoul.
Additional Governing Council members sign the LLC Agreement and the second Governing Council meeting happens in New York City. Phase two of the Community Testing Program begins, opening up the Hedera network to further testing for interested developers and users.
Boeing, FIS (Worldpay), IBM, and Tata Communications are announced as Hedera Governing Council members. Hedera's Mirror Node software enters alpha on August 29, 2019. Mirror nodes provide a way to store and cost-effectively query historical data from the public ledger, while minimizing the use of Hedera network resources.The Hedera mainnet (beta) is made openly accessible on September 16, 2019. Anyone can build and deploy their applications on the Hedera mainnet and create accounts for themselves and/or end users of their applications.
Hedera Boost, a program to help build startups on Hedera, is launched on December 19, 2019.Hedera continues to support integrations with third-party software that support the use of the mainnet and hbar including wallet software, exchange services, custody services, and more.
2020: Launch of Hedera Consensus Service
Google and Wipro are announced as Hedera Governing Council members.Hedera Consensus Service (HCS) is launched on the mainnet on February 13, 2020. HCS affords developers a unique opportunity to create verifiable timestamps and ordering of events for any application.Hedera.com goes live.
Avery Dennison, University College London (UCL), LG Electronics, and Zain Group are announced as Hedera Governing Council members.Hedera20, Hedera's first virtual hackathon, occurs, showcasing the development of high-throughput, low-cost apps.Hedera surpasses Ethereum in the daily number of transactions processed.
Hedera's Mirror Node software enters beta on July 7, 2020. Mirror nodes provide a way to store and cost-effectively query historical data from the public ledger, while minimizing the use of Hedera network resources.Hedera previewnet goes live on July 23, 2020. The previewnet provides early access to Hedera codebase features and functionality, prior to their release on the Hedera testnet and mainnet.All of the Hedera network services, including HCS, enter open source under Apache 2.0 license on August 6, 2020.Hedera's State Proof software enters alpha on September 17, 2020. Hedera's State Proofs enable users to obtain a cryptographic proof that a particular transaction took place on Hedera, and what the results of executing it were.
Dentons is announced as a Hedera Governing Council member.The code for the hashgraph platform enters open review on October 9, 2020. The platform code includes the gossip and consensus protocol code, and the various libraries that are used by the services code.Hedera Token Service (HTS) is launched on the previewnet on October 22, 2020. HTS offers the ability to issue and configure tokens on Hedera, taking full advantage of Hedera's native performance, security, stability, and governance.HTS is launched on the testnet and the Tokenization on Hedera whitepaper is published on December 7, 2020.
2021: Launch of Hedera Token Service
eftpos, Standard Bank Group, and Électricité de France (EDF) are announced as Hedera Governing Council members.Hedera21 occurs, which is a hackathon dedicated to tokenization applications that take full advantage of the HTS.HTS is launched on the mainnet on February 9, 2021 with over 60 initial ecosystem partners. HTS enables the configuration, management, and transfer of native fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the public Hedera network.
Shinhan Bank and Chainlink Labs are announced as Hedera Governing Council members.Hedera reaches one billion (1,000,000,000) mainnet transactions in just one year, six months, and 28 days.The Hedera Public Mirror Node, a publicly accessible, free-to-use, mainnet Mirror Node operated by the Hedera team, becomes available on June 25, 2021. Mirror nodes provide a way to store and cost-effectively query historical data from the public ledger, while minimizing the use of Hedera network resources.
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) are announced as Hedera Governing Council members.Hedera adopts environmental sustainability as a core value and officially commits to a carbon-negative network.The Hedera Governing Council allocates 10.7 billion hbars ($5,000,000,000) to the newly established independent HBAR Foundation. The HBAR Foundation will provide grants to developers, startups, and other organizations to accelerate the development and adoption of the Hedera network for a wide variety of applications.A charity NFT auction is conducted on September 21, 2021 on the Hedera network to demonstrate how projects can build high-performance, secure, and sustainable applications with the HTS.
DBS Bank and ServiceNow are announced as Hedera Governing Council members.
2022: Upgrade of Hedera Smart Contract Service
The Hedera Governing Council votes to purchase and open source the intellectual property rights to the hashgraph consensus algorithm, further accelerating its development and expanding the number of contributors.Hedera Smart Contract Service (HSCS) 2.0 is launched on the testnet on January 2, 2022. HSCS is open-source, EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine)-compatible, integrated with Solidity, and carbon-negative, while natively supporting Hedera tokens and NFTs with the HTS.HSCS is launched on the mainnet on February 2, 2022.Ubisoft is announced as a Hedera Governing Council member.
The Hedera Governing Council further decentralizes the Hedera network with the transition of the Development and Management teams, including Dr. Leemon Baird and Mance Harmon, from Hedera Hashgraph to Swirlds Labs. Swirlds Labs' mission is to accelerate building the future on Hedera.Hedera22, a 6-week hackathon competition dedicated to decentralized applications that take full advantage of the upgraded HSCS, occurs across 95 countries.
The hashgraph platform, including the hashgraph consensus algorithm, enters open source under Apache 2.0 license on August 5, 2022, making the entire Hedera network, including the services code and developer tools, open source.Native staking is introduced on Hedera, enabling the ecosystem to develop tooling and stakers to earn rewards.abrdn is announced as a Hedera Governing Council member.
Dell Technologies and COFRA Holding are announced as Hedera Governing Council members.