[This is an extended transcript of Harmony’s talks at Ethereal Summit and at ex-Googler TGI in Q2 2021.]
Hello, everyone. My name is Stephen, the founder of Harmony. Our team has been building a scalable blockchain for three years. Today I’d like to share our vision of interoperability and our focus on adoption through on-chain wallets.
My research background is security protocols and formal verification. Our team of 20 has extensive background at Google, Apple, Amazon and Harvard as infrastructure builders. Harmony, with our mainnet launched in 2019, is now ready for scaling DeFi and NFT applications across Ethereum and other chains.
Harmony’s 2021 roadmap is “Scaling Cross-Chain Finance”. In just a few months, our ecosystem has grown more than 10x to have $540m staked with 109 validators. We support on-chain delegations and there are 11k delegators. Currently 41 applications such as marketplaces, governance, and prediction markets are deployed on our mainnet, totaling 3.05m transactions and 77.8k wallets. Among the 2 bridges and 4 decentralized exchanges, Harmony network secures $52m worth of assets across multiple chains.
One of our most engaging applications is the daVinci Gallery, an NFT marketplace. Harmony supports low-carbon footprint for #GreenNFT minting and airdrop. Launched just two months ago, the daVinci Gallery has listed 7,639 pieces and sold $269k worth of collectibles from 865 artists. Our beautiful interface also features full-service curation and auction for internationally-renowned artists. (more)
How will Harmony drive adoption for the next one million consumers? An on-chain wallet giving 20% yields. Users must stop worrying about seed phrases, device loss, email phishing, phone hijacking. We must secure everyone’s financial future against password breaches, software bugs, platform malwares and exchange hacks. It’s a path towards universal basic income for anyone with just a few thousand dollars and no technical background.
Many staking protocols offer 10% yields, lending protocols offer 10%, and liquidity pools offer 20%. Our opportunity is to offer consumers the ability to earn fixed-rate interests through structured financial products across multiple chains. Moreover, their wallet profiles can also hold digital arts with a gallery view or switch between custom domain names as their identity as a crypto wallet for assets and identity.
The key innovation is social recovery with on-chain security like Argent, Loopring and Gnosis Safe. We are bringing the best research called SmartOTP (One Time Password) with air-gapped and composable authentication into production. You only need a Google Authenticator; you trust only a set of open-source smart contracts. (more)
The future is a multi-chain world with many digital identities representing you. Instead of one chain to rule all, Harmony is building bridges — not walls — to connect all assets, users, and daily uses. The ONE wallet mentioned above will be the portal leading to any marketplace you need or any community you belong to or any profile you curate.
Instead of a birth country, you can own a domain name and NFT tokens that define a pseudonym country with decentralized governance and private transactions among citizens. Harmony Name Service (HNS) will map public keys to even an Emoji and Internet domains like Crazy.ONE. Harmony’s bridges will track token meta-attributes such as hosting URLs and image artifacts to support these cross-chain NFTs.
The potential is more than generative arts or virtual experience. Through our partner Animoca and Quidd, we are bringing branded assets such as Beast Quest and Atari to mainstream consumers. With airdrops, editorials, galleries — and soon NFT for group moments and community events — blockchain technology is finally creating value for people while being ambient in our lives. (more)
What will be our major technical milestones this year? All about cross chains. We are making our Ethereum bridge fully trustless and highly gas-efficient. Harmony will be among the first cross-chain solutions with FlyClient that connect Proof-of-Work Ethereum and Proof-of-Stake chains. Binance Smart Chain will be a natural extension as it is also Ethereum compatible and hosting many applications with high yields.
The king elephant in any room is Bitcoin. Harmony is prototyping state-of-the-art research for wrapping BTC as cross-chain collaterals. This approach is not only capital efficient but also fully trustless as on-chain and open-source contracts — a breakthrough in the industry. We have also launched a DOT-ONE bridge on testnet. Now our developers can enjoy Polkadot’s WebAssembly and para-chain tooling by extension. (more)
There’s so much to build together. Today I’d like to announce that Harmony has reserved $10m for bounties, encouraging many more developers to contribute. We have had many rounds of successful hackathons, bounties and campaigns with our partner Gitcoin, which has 161k developers worldwide and a strong culture of collaboration.
Our bounties range from $10k to $50k, covering exciting development in protocols, bridges, tools and applications. In particular, many schemes of rollups and a cross-chain api for aggregators will be critical middleware as Harmony’s innovation.
There are many open problems in blockchain such as cryptographic privacy and randomness security. Beyond cross-chain, applications for cross-border finance and fiat integrations will become multi-trillion dollar markets. We also see active development in formal verification and language-based security, which has been my research expertise. (more)
Harmony aims to be an open platform for creating digital economies. Our hundreds of validators and thousands of delegators are a vibrant community. Good governance means active vote participation in Snapshot, and it also means full fund custody with Gnosis Safe – we have ported over both tools to our network with great use.
To scale our many other initiatives, I’m also announcing today that Harmony will be creating 10 decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO) fully owned by our community. Each DAO will be funded with up to $1M, elect a set of governors, and have specific mandates. Some will focus on project incubation and launch on our platform, some on social referrals and marketing events for our products, and some on broader social impacts like wealth creation and fairness. Let’s create radical marketplaces with mechanism designs and incentives, revealing true preferences with zero-knowledge proofs, supporting auctions with multi-party computations, ... well, to always find your perfect match!
Yet, we must focus on the real-world utility and bring impacts to mainstream society. We’d like to help educate many non-blockchain folks with the best video production in the world — so that even my family and non-technical friends can enjoy them. Harmony also partners with universities and student groups all over the world to train for the future. We are actively recruiting regional advocates and technical blockchain leads.(more)
Come apply for our bounties or join our core team — we are HIRING!
Harmony’s Strategy and Architecture
Here are some more slides on our technical strengths. What’s so special about our protocol? Harmony provides horizontal scaling via uniform sharding and instant finality in 2 seconds. We solved the blockchain trilemma by bringing the best research into production. Our mainnet has been live for 18 months; our transactions cost 100x lower fees than Ethereum.
How? Our protocol features constant-sized signatures to commit blocks in a single round. Harmony is the first decentralized protocol to implement view change in production against malicious leaders. Our staking economics reduces centralization by capping block rewards while supporting on-chain delegation. (more)
With our trustless and gas-efficient bridge, Harmony is becoming a viable extension for Ethereum applications and assets. Developers simply change Chain ID and enjoy faster EVM executions identical at the bytecode level. They can use their familiar and standard Web3 tooling to easily migrate to Harmony.
What about users? They can continue to use Metamask or Ledger — but now pay minimal fees. Any Ethereum wallets or portals can work on Harmony without code changes or new installs — we are fully compatible for both transaction messages and execution environments. (more)