Everything about Hedera Hashgraph

what is hedera hashgraph
Blockchain has gained a lot of popularity for its ability to manage transactions in a decentralized and distributed ledger.

Bitcoin was the first application of blockchain that did not require any central authority to perform the transactions. Though Bitcoin operates transparently, it takes more than one hour to complete one transaction.

Therefore, the transactions made on the blockchain platform take a lot of your time. The problems that blockchain could not overcome introduced a new technology, “Hedera Hashgraph.”

Hedera Hashgraph can rule blockchain development. Read further to understand why.

What is Hedera Hashgraph?

Hedera Hashgraph is a distributed ledger technology which has a new form of distributed consensus. It provides a fast, fair and secure infrastructure to run Decentralized applications (dApps).

It has significant implications for both public and private distributed ledger technology use cases, including cryptocurrency and dApps due to its:

  •  lightning-fast throughput 
  • asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance backed by mathematical proofs 

Unlike some blockchain-based platforms, it doesn’t require compute-heavy proof-of-work.

Being faster, secure, and fairer than blockchain, Hashgraph is a data structure based on two unique techniques, i.e., Virtual Voting and Gossip about Gossip.

What are the properties of Hashgraph?

Three unique properties of Hedera Hashgraph are:

  • Fair
    It uses the uniform time-stamping technique that makes it fairer than all other algorithms.
  • Secure
    With an asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant System, neither a member can stop the community from reaching a consensus nor change after it has been reached.
  • Speed
    It can handle more than hundreds of thousands of transactions and verify over a million signatures per second.

How does Hedera Hashgraph work?

Hedera Hashgraph works on the following two protocols:

  • Gossip about Gossip
  • Virtual Voting

Gossip about Gossip

Gossip about Gossip is one of the popular concepts in networking—gossiping means to spread a piece of information to another person who is not aware of it yet.

Do you know how Gossip reaches from one person to another in real life? For instance, John speaks something to Robert and Robert then conveys the same message to Bob, and Bob says it to someone else and so on.

Gossip about Gossip also works on the same set of rules. 

  1. Every Gossip contains a bit of information attached to the hashes of the last two people to whom you talked.
  2. Therefore, every node in Hashgraph expands the signed information on new transactions and transactions received from other nodes to your randomly chosen neighbor nodes.
  3. The randomly selected adjacent nodes combine these newly created events with the piece of information received from the last nodes, and a new event is created. 
  4. The entire cycle goes on repeatedly until all the nodes in Hashgraph get the same information.

Let us understand this concept clearly with the help of an example.

Suppose there are four persons namely Patrice (P), Quain (Q), Robert (R), and Scott (S). Quain decides to gossip with Scott randomly. It means that Quain is giving Scott all those events that Scott does not know yet. Scott acknowledges and creates a new event at the peak of his previous event.

Suppose now Scott decides to gossip with Quain again.

Now, Quain has received three events out of which the first two events are of Quain and Scott while third event Scott has created the third event. By gossiping and interacting with each other, Hashgraph looks like as follows:

Virtual Voting

Virtual voting is defined as the way a node gets to know whether the transaction is valid or not. If any transaction has 2/3rd of the node as a witness in the network, then it is a valid transaction. No matter if a third node turns Byzantine, the algorithm would still perform its function because Hashgraph is based on Byzantine Fault Tolerant System. The voting takes place over plenty of rounds.

Let’s assume that the Hashgraph has total four rounds of voting. As soon as a new event is produced, you will get to know which voting round it is associated with.

Ensure to look at Robert’s column.Robert’s first events on each round are R1, R2, and R3. Robert does not have any event in 4th round recently, but he will get one when he will proceed further. The first events of Robert are also termed as witnesses.

For every witness, one needs to evaluate whether it is a famous witness or not. For instance, to check whether Q2 is a famous witness or not, the witnesses in the next rounds are P3, Q3, R3, and S3. Let’s have a look at the different parts of voting to understand how virtual voting works.

Part 1:

Each of the witnesses of the next round, i.e., third round need to vote in an election to know if Q2 is famous or not. To find out the same, determine if they are descendants of the node Q2 or not.

The diagram makes it clear that P3 can approach Q2 directly. So, P3 is a descendant of Q2. In the same way, Q3, R3, and S3 can trace their linking back to Q2. Therefore, all four witnesses have counted YES vote. Now, the counting of votes has to be done by the witnesses in the next round.

Part 2

Q4 will now have to collect votes from the different witnesses. Q4 needs to follow the condition of “strongly seeing” for collecting the votes. The “strongly seeing” condition is defined as follows:

  • More than one path should be there for going from Q4 to one of the witness nodes.
  • The path also requires passing a supermajority. A supermajority is defined as any number which is more than 2/3rd of the population. Because the population is 4 in this case, supermajority will be 3

The diagram shows it clearly that Q4 can strongly see P3 and the other nodes till S3. So, the witnesses that gave vote as “Yes” get strongly seen by Q4. Finally, Q2 is declared as a famous witness. The concept of virtual voting exactly works in a similar manner.

What is Hedera Consensus Service?

Hedera Consensus Service, available on the Hedera Mainnet, allows developers to:

  • Create verifiable time-stamps
  • Create ordered events for any application.

Hedera Consensus Service is really useful for applications that need transaction ordering without middle-men, high output with conclusiveness in ordering, auditability or testability in real-time and privacy controls which are specific to the application.

Hedera Consensus Service can have various use cases across numerous industries like supply chains, advertising etc. Hedera Consensus Service can be used by:

  • Traditional Applications
  • Blockchain frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric, R3’s Corda, etc.


To build applications that can scale to millions of users and continue to perform, Hashgraph promises to deliver all of it. Hashgraph could be the next generation of blockchain technology that can help build applications that require speed, efficiency and high security.

LeewayHertz has a team of highly experienced professionals who have an in-depth knowledge of the emerging Hedera Hashgraph technology. We help businesses by building cutting-edge and secure applications using Hashgraph.

Author’s Bio

Akash Takyar
Akash Takyar
CEO LeewayHertz
Akash Takyar is the founder and CEO at LeewayHertz. With the experience of building over 100+ platforms for startups and enterprise allows Akash to rapidly architect and design solutions that are scalable and beautiful.
Akash's ability to build enterprise-grade technology solutions has attracted over 30 Fortune 500 companies, including Siemens, 3M, P&G and Hershey’s. Akash is an early adopter of new technology, a passionate technology enthusiast, and an investor in AI and IoT startups.

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