Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers on Harmony.
What is Harmony?
Harmony is a fast and secure blockchain. Our mission is to scale trust for billions of people and create a radically fair economy.
We are a team of infrastructure engineers in Silicon Valley, including 4 PhD, 7 ex-Google/Amazon/Apple/Facebook, 2 Harvard MBA, and Stanford/Berkeley AI graduates.
Since 2017 many of Harmony’s founding team members would gather every week for hours in the tradition of Google TGIF to share world-changing ideas over drinks. We were all passionate about machine learning, then quickly blockchain, as they were technologies that could impact billions of people.
During these weekly gatherings, we discussed the huge potential of blockchain to create an open data economy, but that the ecosystem was held back by an inability to scale. With our depth of expertise from the big 5 tech firms, we felt compelled to build a blockchain that could support mass adoption and unlock the full promise of decentralization. That was Harmony.
We debated how to find product-market fit and build sustainable platforms on blockchain. We researched many technical approaches for scaling and security of smart contracts. We toured in Asia to understand the crypto communities and the entrepreneurial spirit.
We raised $18.3M private round, $5.5M node round (Binance Labs, HashKey Capital), and $5M public with Binance IEO Launchpad.
Why is the project called “Harmony”?
Harmony is the beautiful music when we sing in different notes but resonate. It’s analogous to our high-performance protocol of multiple shards but reaching consensus.
Listen to our theme song “Teach the World to Sing In Perfect Harmony!”
Why is the token called “ONE”?
Harmony’s vision is “For One and For All,” creating open consensus for 10 billion people.
Watch our favorite clip “Visiting the Oracle” in the film Matrix (1999).
Why is the logo designed as such?
Harmony’s community is built on “Handshake & Embrace.” All Is Fair in Love and War. (Euphues [Euphuism]: The Anatomy of Wit, 1579).
What is the real world value of Harmony?
Harmony helps businesses build marketplaces of fungible tokens (energy credits, security offerings) and non-fungible assets (game collectibles, real estate).
We’re applying zero-knowledge proofs for data sharing (ad exchanges, credit ratings) while preserving the consumer’s privacy.
Harmony’s core team
- Stephen Tse: Google engineer, startup founder (acquired by Apple), UPenn CS Phd (telegram)
- Rongjian Lan: Google Search engineer, Maryland PhD candidate
- Minh Doan: Google Voice AI engineer, Olympiad champion, UC PhD candidate
- Nick White: Zeroth AI specialist, Stanford EE BS & MSc (telegram)
- Sahil Dewan: Edtech startup founder, Draper Dragon, Harvard MBA, CS BS (telegram)
- Eugene Kim: Amazon/Blizzard/NTT network engineer, CS BS
- Leo Chen: Amazon AWS & Kindle engineer & manager of 8, CS BS & MSc
- Chao Ma: Amazon NLP & fraud engineer, Math PhD
- Li Jiang: logistics startup founder, Global Tech/Education Summit organizer, GSV Capital (telegram)
- Mary Dansker: blockchain agency founder, Draper University mentor, business innovation MSc (telegram)
- Garlam Won: ICONIZ global partnership, Deloitte consultant, featured in Forbes (telegram)
- Hakwan Lau (professor of neuroscience and machine learning at UCLA) — working with Harmony on healthcare blockchain use cases and human episodic memory. Link
- Ka-yuet Liu (professor of medical data and network analysis at UCLA) — working with Prof. Lau on data marketplace models in science. Link
- Zi Wang (9 years at Google, founder of Google X lab on retail) — partnering with Harmony on developing the early use cases and product strategy.
- Bruce Huang (8 years at Microsoft, director at Alibaba Cloud and CreditEase) — helping with China developer community engagement and tooling initiatives.
What is the long-term vision for Harmony?
Today, only hundreds of thousands of people are participating in the decentralized marketplaces. We want to help millions participate in a radically fair economy.
We believe that a scalable architecture and design of a public blockchain is crucial for mainstream adoption and high value use cases. Through a combination of research-proven innovations in transport networks, consensus protocol, and system tooling, we think Harmony’s scalable blockchain protocol can eventually support markets for billions of users.
Core technical innovations
Harmony is the highly scalable, minimal-fee and provably secure blockchain that will serves as the backbone of next-generation decentralized applications. Harmony innovates on both protocol and networking layers of blockchain by introducing:
1. Highly scalable BFT consensus using BLS multi-signature
2. Secure distributed randomness generation protocol using VDF (Verifiable Delay Function)
3. Adaptive PoS-based sharding mechanism guaranteeing the network security
4. Kademlia routing and erasure encoding for optimal network usage
Technical differentiation compared to existing projects
Harmony is a POS-based state-sharding protocol, while existing protocol projects are mostly POW-based. Harmony’s consensus is a fast BFT algorithm which uses BLS multi-sig and scales linearly with the number of nodes, while many existing projects uses the old single chain-based consensus (same as Bitcoin). Harmony’s consensus doesn’t have forks and has instant finality, while existing chains have forks and no instant finality. Harmony provides a provably secure source of randomness with the latest technology Verifiable Delay Functions (VDF), which guarantees the security of the shards and provides fair randomness to applications. However, most existing protocols sharding security is not guarded by randomness, so it’s prone to single-shard takeover attacks, and there is no fair randomness for Dapps (such as gambling games etc.). Harmony’s cross-shard communication is sublinearly efficient because we use Kademlia routing and Erasure Encoding.
What is Kademlia routing and how does Harmony apply it?
We currently use gossiping and Kademlia in a mutually complementary arrangement: Kademlia handles baseline peer discovery as well as topic mesh forming, and pub–sub gossiping for topical broadcast routing over the topical mesh discovered by Kademlia. Our cross-shard communication will also rely on Kademlia routing technology.
For cross-shard communication, we will use Kademlia routing table to minimize network cost. The tradeoffs of doing so as opposed to using gossip are:
- Gossip (pros): The message delivery is mostly guaranteed because all nodes are involved in relaying the message to the destination.
- Gossip (cons): A single message incurs network cost for every node, which can easily lead to network congestion.
- Kademlia (pros): Only a subset of the nodes on the short path to destination needs to relay the message. Overall network cost is low. Less chance of network congestion.
Product release and major updates in the next 6 months
Also see our 2019 roadmap https://harmony.one/roadmap.
- Generating block rewards to node operator wallet
- Demo apps of ERC20/ERC721
- External network API for tooling like web3.js
- Component testing
- API for network-level randomness
- Atomic cross-shard transactions
- Archival Node
- Harmony Games (external testing)
- Full explorer/wallet support
- Security Auditing
- Developer Tooling Implementation/SDK
- Adversarial attack testing/Game of Stakes
- Mainnet launch
- Support storage fee model (on top of computation gas)
- Port the most popular apps (DAI, gambling, games)
- Port prototypes of zero-knowledge proofs (zkDAI, AZTEC, Zether)
- Launch Partner pilots on Harmony network
- Support WebAssembly
- Complete libunion networking library & optimize fountain code (rateless erasure encoding)
- Support light clients with fraud proofs
Harmony’s value & business model?
Harmony derives value from the utility of its native token. Our scalable, high-throughput protocol is powered by a native token which is used for various forms of participation in the protocol (staking/securing, transaction fees, voting & governance).
Using our blockchain to dis-intermediate third-party trust and align incentives of different stakeholders, developers and businesses can build open marketplaces of fungible and non-fungible tokens and assets. In fact, by implementing Zero-knowledge proofs Harmony will be the de-facto data sharing platform that will harness the mutual distrust to share data but strong desire to acquire data.
What’s the purpose of Harmony’s native token?
The Harmony token is a protocol token that is used for a number of things on the network.
1. The token is used to stake in order to become a validator on the network to earn block rewards and transaction fees. We use Proof of Stake (POS) as our sybil resistance mechanism in the protocol.
2. The token is used to pay fees on the network, both transaction fees, gas and storage fees.
3. The token is used in voting for on-chain governance of the protocol. Without the token, the protocol could not function.
Early use cases/industries for Harmony
- Data sharing platforms — Credit scoring & lending, Ad exchanges, Data marketplaces (financial, agriculture & health)
- Open marketplaces — energy trading, security/asset trading, non-fungible collectibles in games
- Supply chain — Track & trace, tracking analytics
Harmony’s Foundational Node Operator Program
Harmony is a permissionless protocol — anyone can join, leave and contribute to the network.
That said, it is equally important and pragmatic to ensure that the protocol is secure from Day 1, and hence the validator pool needs to keep the protocol secure and stable. Therefore, we started the Foundational node operator program to make sure we would have an early community of external nodes/validators to help bootstrap the network.
We have kept geographic diversity as an important criterion in welcoming some of the early node/validator community. Some of the regions are Foundational node operators come from include: USA, UK, Thailand, Russia, Taiwan, Canada, Czech Republic, China, Korea.
After the security of the protocol is proven, we will voluntarily limit our role in driving and facilitating the validator community. We will develop a strong foundation for the validator community to function and support each other over the next few months through our Game of Stakes Campaign.
What percentage of your team/company tokens have you sold?
We’ve sold 22.4% of the 12.6 Billion token supply in our seed round.
- Blockchain Assets | https://www.bca.fund/
- BTC12 Capital | https://btc12.com/
- Consensus Capital | http://consensuscapital.ca/
- Continue Capital | https://continue.capital/
- Hayek Capital | http://hayek.capital
- HM Capital | https://hm.capital/
- Lemniscap | https://lemniscap.com/
- QTUM | https://qtum.org/en
- Skunk Capital | https://skunk.capital/
- UniValues Associates | https://uva.fund/
Where can I buy Harmony ONE tokens?
- Binance online exchange
- Bitmax online exchange
- TrustWallet with credit cards
- Crypto.com with credit cards
- Bitladon (EUR) online exchange
- Coinmerce (EUR) online exchange
- Coinspot (AUD) online exchange
Official Information and Communities of Harmony
Node Operator Program
- Opentoken (Non US): harmony.one/token
- CoinList (US): harmony.one/coinlist
- Details about Foundational Nodes: harmony.one/node
- Steps to run a node on Testnet: harmony.one/nodes
Reports & Updates
- Annual Letter: harmony.one/annual-letter
- Overview & Milestones: harmony.one/milestones
- Binance Report: harmony.one/binance-report
- Deck: harmony.one/deck
- Newsletter: harmony.one/news
- Translations: harmony.one/translations
- Telegram: harmony.one/telegram
- Discord: harmony.one/discord
- Twitter: harmony.one/twitter
- Medium: harmony.one/medium
- Forum: talk.harmony.one
- Instagram: harmony.one/instagram
- Facebook: harmony.one/facebook
- Youtube: harmony.one/youtube
How can I contribute to the technical development of Harmony?
We believe in open development, therefore the repositories are public and can be found at https://github.com/harmony-one/harmony.
Also, we have posted technical bounties at harmony.one/gitcoin.
What are the best channels to engage Harmony?
Our team actively seeks feedback from developers, node operators, partners and community members through off-line and online channels. Our off-line events include our weekly TGI meetup that we have been running for 2 years since we first started iterating on Harmony (even prior to funding/official launch). Online, we get technical feedback from our forum (talk.harmony.one) and discord (harmony.one/discord). We have been open sourced since January 2019 so developers can review our code to know exactly how we are building the protocol and give suggestions/feedback (harmony.one/github)
What’s the requirement for setting up a node?
Read details on the Harmony Foundational Node Program here: harmony.one/node
Read instructions on connecting a node to the testnet: harmony.one/nodes
Will there be a mobile app?
How can I join the Harmony community?
Join our main community channels:
Telegram Announcement: https://t.me/harmony_announcements
Official project channels
Key project resources
Open source (since 2019 Jan): https://github.com/harmony-one/harmony
Community Events & Updates
Harmony has emphasized on being open source, accessible to developers and partners, and building long term relationships with developers and partners both online and offline since our founding in 2018.
Harmony has been open source since January 2019 and has over 2,700 commits with over 100 stars from the community. We actively engage in technical discussions on the Harmony Discourse forum at talk.harmony.one and on Discord. Since Harmony is fully EVM compatible, our current push is to demonstrate dapps on Harmony but at a much better performance when compared to Ethereum or other existing infrastructure. In Q1 2019, we also announced a $1M USD worth of Harmony tokens technical bounty on Gitcoin to build out a full suite of developer tools with the goal of being the most accessible platform for developers to build on.
Harmony has organically developed partnerships to use its fungible tokens (energy credits, security offerings) and non-fungible assets (game collectibles, real estate). Currently, the partnership development efforts have been through our own TGI network (1,500 founders and collaborators in Silicon Valley) and through conferences and events. Many of our partners have been long term friends and collaborators and we have strong working relationship with them. Harmony is currently developing partners with use cases in asset tokenization, stablecoins, energy credit trading, game collectibles, advertising exchange. Going forward, we’ll explore open market for data sharing with health data and personal data companies.
Harmony has organized and spoke at the following conferences and developer community events:
- 2018–05–10, host of TGI (Thank God Its Blockchain) Community Meetup in Sunnyvale, CA. Harmony officially launches.
- 2018–08–08, host of a special viewing of “General Magic: The Documentary” in Cupertino, CA with producer Michael Stern (link).
- 2018–10–11: panelist at Cryptoeconomics and Security Conference (CESC) by Blockchain at Berkeley, panel on “Scaling Consensus with Systems and Language Design”
- 2018–11–22, speaker on TokenGazer AMA on WeChat.
- 2018–11–23, host of Montreal meetup to discuss upcoming testnet launch (link).
- 2018–11–23, speaker at Hong Kong meetup event discussing its scalable consensus infrastructure (link).
- 2018–11–28, host of technical overview with Starfish Mission (link).
- 2018–12–10, host of happy hour for World Digital Asset Summit (link).
- 2018–12–14, guest lecturer for a video interview session with Dean Peter Zemsky of INSEAD for his Coursera class on real-world challenges faced by blockchain practitioners (link).
- 2019–01–11, recognized as a top public blockchain project for 2019 (link).
- 2019–01–14, host of Harvard Business School WestTrek to discuss business use cases in blockchain (link).
- 2019–01–16, speaker on Stanford Radio to answer questions on how blockchain will shape the world (link)
- 2019–01–27, host of “Unblock: Saigon” with Asia Blockchain Review to engage the Vietnamese community (link).
- 2019–01–30, meets with leading researchers at Stanford Blockchain Conference (sponsored by Harmony investor Lemniscap).
- 2019–02–04, organizer of Cent AMA.
- 2019–02–07, speaker for live video Cryptocopia AMA.
- 2019–02–08, speaker at GSVlabs’ Tokens and Beyond event.
- 2019–02–10, host of developers meetup with NuCypher at ETHDenver (link).
- 2019–02–18, winner “Most Innovative” Award at ETHDenver Hackathon.
- 2019–02–23, speaker at Harvard Blockchain Conference.
- 2019–02–24, host of community brunch at Harvard.
- 2019–03–01, dbcrypto AMA
- 2019–03–02, presenter at Cryptonite event.
- 2019–03–08, speaker at #Outlier accelerator in Seattle (link) — watch our video.
- 2019–03–28, guest lecturer at CMU Silicon Valley.
- 2019–04–06, speaker at IEEE Summit.
- 2019–04–10, participant at ZKProof standardization at Berkeley.
- 2019–04–13, host of “Future of Blockchain” with CoinXP and HashFuture in Beijing.
- 2019–04–15, host of “Sharding & Scaling” with ICON and Quarkchain in Seoul.
- 2019–04–18, guest on blocktimes.tw AMA.
Additionally, the Harmony team organizes our own weekly TGI-Harmony event in the Bay Area and have been growing the off-line community through this event for over 2 years. The team has a track record of building large scale products and a strong reputation in Silicon Valley and the tech industry. We have hosted over 1,500 strong founders and collaborators. These leading technologists and company builders have a strong positive relationship with the Harmony team and return to our event often on a weekly basis.
- Harmony YouTube Channel
- Review Project Harmony (Vietnamese), 2019–04
- Lottery Dapp on Harmony, 2019–04
- Harmony Cryptocopia AMA, 2019–02
- Harmony Whiteboard Series, 2019–02
- Harmony Technical Whitepaper Presentation, 2019–02
- Harmony BUIDLWeek Colorado Talk, 2019–02
- GSVlabs Tokens and Beyond, 2019–02
- Harmony Open Source Launch, 2019–02
- World Digital Asset Summit, Improving Scalability and Performance in Blockchain, 2018–12
- Harmony BlockchainBrad Exclusive, 2018–12
- San Francisco Blockchain Week, Scaling Consensus with Systems and Language Design, 2018–12 (published 2018–12)
- San Francisco Blockchain Week, Sharding for Blockchain Scalability, 2018–10
- Back to the Crypto Future, Scaling the Blockchain, 2018–10
Yahoo Finance (UK)
Mike Spencer (Medium)
Yahoo Finance (US)
2019–03–29 Crypto Briefing: Harmony Open Consensus Blockchain Code Review
2019–02–06 Svet Sedov
2019–1–11 Melanie Mohr https://medium.com/futuresin/blockchains-top-trends-of-2019-6c2a69b8c715
2018–12–13 BlockLeaders https://blockleaders.io/2018/12/13/stephen-tse-designing-the-harmony-of-blockchain/
2018–11–01 Hackernoon https://hackernoon.com/founder-interviews-stephen-tse-of-harmony-one-6bdf016d1e40
2018–09–04: Arrington XRP Capital http://arringtonxrpcapital.com/2018/09/04/silicon-valleys-harmony-ready-to-debut/
2018–08–12 Michael Spencer
2019–4–30 TokenInsight 对话首席 — — 底层公链展望之Harmony篇
2019–4–30 蓝狐笔记 https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/8ZirWWAlim23pG_6J760NA
2019–4–29 火星： 火星一线 | 大讨论：PoS类项目采用Staking取代PoW算力的方式，未来会成为趋势吗？
金色财经：https://www.jinse.com/blockchain/359325.html with 100K views
2019–4–26 wechat：新游戏“幸运Harmony”和社区奖励 （四月更新）
2019–4–22 Translation: Harmony:一种真正去中心化的可扩展区块链
2019–04–23 财经 谢镇滔倡导996文化 https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/1HAXcQ_mrWaVWl9GCR85WQ
2019–04–19 Blocktimes AMA (RJ)
2019–04–15 《高性能公链 Harmony 助力去中心化经济》
2019–04–15 一文读懂 Harmony 与 Zilliqa 两个分片项目的不同
2019–04–11 以太坊 2.0 落地迷雾重重，Harmony 公链或将其想法提前实现
2019–02–19 Bihu Harmony正式入驻币乎！
2018–12–05 Bitpush Stephen Tse (谢镇滔)：Harmony将突破区块链技术在速度和安全性方面的挑战: https://www.bitpush.news/?p=202505
2018–09–16 BitTiger 前Google资深工程师直播：如何实现比以太坊快1000倍的区块链？https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/wa0MPGGVMuESNLFRB1uLlg
Road shows and events
Harmony has completed roadshows and events in Silicon Valley, Seattle, Denver, Boston, New York, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Montreal
- Beijing event with CoinXP and HashFuture, host & speaker
- Seoul event with Quarkchain and ICON, host & speaker
- Boston at Harvard College China Forum
- Seattle #Outlier Accelerator, speaker
- EthDenver & BUIDLColorado, speaker & hackathon award winner
- Harvard Blockchain Summit, speaker
- Binance Fair, mentor
- Jakarta Meetup, host & speaker
- Ho Chi Minh Meetup, host & speaker
- Cent AMA (online)
- dbcrypto AMA (online)
- CryptoCopia AMA (online)
- Hong Kong Meetup, host & speaker
- San Francisco Blockchain Week, speaker
- World Digital Asset Summit, speaker
- TokenGazer AMA (online)
- Consensus Singapore
- Beijing Meetup, host & speaker
- Shanghai Meetup, host & speaker
5. Ambassadors & Advocates
Harmony Ambassadors & Managers:
- Community leads: Sonny, Shogun, Tosce, Arteezy
- Social media leads: Nikos, Leah
- Translations: Deepanshu
- City ambassadors: Gizem & Mei (Boston), Michele (London)
- Global ambassadors: Yuyi (China), Terry (Taiwan), Ludi (Indonesia), Nick (Ukraine/Russia), Navigator (Philippines), John (Korea), Lukas (Czech Republic), Priyankg3 (India), Remy & Pham (Vietnam), Sai (India), Yelllowsin (Brazil)
Global language channels
Philippines (Filipino): harmony.one/telegram-ph
Brazil (Portuguese): https://t.me/Harmony_Brazil
Harmony icon: harmony.one/logo
Harmony branding guide: harmony.one/brand
Global language content:
Harmony will reward translators in tokens and fiat.
We currently have deck, newsletters, faq, and whitepaper in the following languages:
Our global content is published here: https://medium.com/harmony-one/tagged/global
Full database of translated documents here: harmony.one/translations