Decentr/Holochain AMA

On July 21st Rich and Nikita joined David Atkinson for a AMA in the Holochain channel and the Decentr group. Below is a summary of both.


Welcome to another Holochain AMA, this time we’re joined by Rich James CCO and Nikita Anikeev CTO of Decentr. This AMA will run for 30 minutes in @channelholo and then move across to @decentrnet

We will now pass this mic over to Rich and Nikita to intro themselves, ask David some questions and then the community can jump in before we move over to Decentr’s telegram group.


Hello to all you Holonauts and Deconauts, and thanks for joining us. Absolute pleasure to be here today.

I am Rich James, the CCO of Decentr. It has been my pleasure communicating with Holochain and David in particular over the past few months. It’s been amazing to see the synergy that has been developing as both our projects continue to develop tech and ideas that are pretty much aiming to achieve the same goal — a user-centric internet — but from slightly different perspectives. Looking forward to exploring those perspectives, and our joint goals, and answering all your great questions today.


Hello Holonauts and Deconauts, I am Nikita Anikeev CTO of Decentr. My telecommunications engineering background, combined with my Project Delivery Manager experience in the IT industry allows me to develop the kind of radical tech innovations that Decentr demands, in areas including blockchain/DLT, cryptocurrencies, AI/ML, etc. I also employ my skills in Mobile Applications, Enterprise Web development and Project management by agile methodology to make sure our development stays on schedule while maintaining the highest technical standards and development protocols. It’s a wild ride, but I’m here to make sure we change the world… one block at a time!


So David, for those coming across from the Decentr community to Holochain for the first time, could you please introduce yourself, give us some background on how you got involved with Holochain and why you feel Holochain technology is a good fit for Decentr?


Decentr aims to build an ecosystem where data has payable value based on

1. You’re the owner — On Decentr you own your personal user data. Each visit online remains part of your personal ID, which is stored securely on your DecID.

2. Your data is currency — Secure data has superior “value store” properties to money. This value can be used on Decentr as an exchangeable “currency” to offset payments at POS.

3. Your Personal Data Value — Your “Personal Data Value” (PDV) functions as your personal “exchange rate” between all money-currencies, fiat and digital.

4. Engagement = value — Your PDV fluctuates: positive engagement will see a rise in your PDV, making payments cheaper, and negative engagement will see a similar fall.

This is a perfect fit for a partnership with Holochain!

These categories fall very nicely into the holochain framework (as a reminder):

  • provides data integrity without a need for global consensus
  • has no MainNet — each dApp on Holochain is a distinct encrypted P2P network with its own DHT (ledger)
  • has no native token or built-in currency
  • is completely peer-to-peer/distributed (no miners or stakers). Each user has their own local hash chain where they record only their own actions. You are the sole cryptographic authority to sign new records to your personal chain without consensus, agreement, or validation from anyone else.
  • publishes data from personal source chains to a validating DHT which serves as the shared/global ledger space. Validation is performed by randomized peers based hash addresses.
  • ensures personal chains are tamper-proof and cannot be rolled back (double spent) via detection from the data published to the DHT
  • you only ever need to trust your own copy of the dApp. You can validate anything yourself according to the dApps (including other people’s chains, actions, or transactions), and will refuse to transact with anyone who has committed invalid (trans)actions to their chain.


Thanks for that summery and you make a lot of good points, and they certainly resonate with us. I know things have been speeding up significantly for Holochain of late, and there’s been some great tech improvements on the network.

Could you give us a brief rundown on what these improvements are and what else we can expect from Holochain in the near future?


Most of the excitement is coming with community testing of the HoloFuel App and soon the Holo Hosting App. This means the Holochain framework is stable and efficient enough to deliver on its promises. It also means the community of holoport owners are getting ready to test and run the hosting and fuel apps….

As a reminder Holo is

  • a peer hosting infrastructure which involves multiple dApps built on top of Holochain plus some semi-centralized DNS and routing infrastructure.
  • has a MainNet for its Beta hosting network (as well as Alpha TestNets)
  • has a built-in currency to enable the billions of micro-transactions needed to run the hosting network
  • HoloFuel is one of the distributed applications built on Holochain that comprises and enables the Holo hosting platform to work.

There is a lot of work behind the scenes to improve holochain further, in order to realise the vision for holo and holochain, which in part is supporting projects like DECENTR to be able to build what they need on holochain.


One thing we know a lot about (since part of our platform will be using Holochain for data storage) is HoloFuel.

For those who might not know as much as we do though, can you give us an explanation as to what Holofuel is and how it relates to Holoports?


Sure, the purpose of HoloFuel in the Holo hosting platform is to enable the micro payments of a distributed hosting marketplace. Like any cloud network, the Holo Hosting network requires a medium of exchange for transactions between hosts and consumers of the hosting capacity and because of the micro transactional nature of the distributed marketplace, traditional national fiat currencies cannot meet the technical challenges. HoloFuel therefore runs as a distributed, hosted Holochain application, is optimised for high speed and high throughput transactions while maintaining low compute costs. Further, the architecture of the Holo hosting platform as it related to HoloFuel, is such that it allows payments of transaction fees apart from the synchronously signed peer transactions between hosts and content publishers (recipients and payers of HoloFuel).

HoloPorts: The Holo Port is a plug and play device built for hosting Holochain apps to service mainstream web users through the Holo hosting network. HoloPort can run 24/7 using very little electricity (15W-45W), and the owners of HoloPorts can charge fees for their hosting service and earn HoloFuel.


The electricity conservation is a very important point of synergy as well, I must say. Great stuff!

Since launching, we’ve been getting a lot of questions over at @decentrnet regarding our collaboration with Holochain. One user even said —

“Holo is our home and Decentr is our child”. Amazing!

From your perspective, as one of the “home owners”, so to speak, tell us, how did this child come to be living in your home? (If there was any way to stretch that metaphor further, I don’t know what that would be! Haha.)


Great question — Rich has been playing around with these ideas for a while, and as they were coming to life began looking at technology that could help make Decentr possible, there he came across Holochain. He and I started talking and getting clearer about the possibilities, both the proposition of Decentr and how Holochain could help.

He began this telegram channel and used his powerful, egngaging and persuasive voice to begin telling the story of Decentr. Raised some initial funding and things have grown from there. Our relationship & friendship was born in those really early days and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.


As we’ve spoken about above, from our end, there was an obvious attraction to both Holochain’s ethos and technology due to a lot of synergy we saw at both a technical, conceptual and ideological level.

So I am going to throw this question out there: From your and Holochain’s end though, what is and was the attraction to Decentr?

I’ll warn you though, I have a fair bit to say on this, but I’ll let you go first! Haha.


Really simple, both projects are conceptually aligned, and I love the way Rich worked tirelessly to make things work. Responsible, open, willing to try things and to evolve as things grow.


I can certainly tell you from a conceptual perspective — and this is where I was excited by the Holochain/Decentr connection from Day 1 — that it is Holochain’s “post-blockchain” ethos and tech that appealed to us. To break that down, Holochain does not require that the network maintains a “single truth”, so to speak, as blockchain requires, at any given moment on the network, to be viable but can simultaneously accommodate multiple “truths”, as it were: this was 100% in sync with Decentr’s tech and aims.

To elaborate on that a bit, Decentr was, around 12 months ago, already developing a piece of decentralised tech that was designed to decentralise dataflow — and not only data storage (which is all most blockchains can really do). We saw our tech (a browser + platform) as the answer to developing a kind of “Windows for Web 3.0”, whereby our tech would act as a “user layer” for blockchain so that hApps and dApps could “talk to each other” and thus usher in blockchain as a true foundational Web 3.0 solution with Decentr giving secure access to all the features of this Web 3.0.

Anyway, to continue that story, we reached a certain point with our R&D and realised, once our “user layer” tech was viable, that many existing blockchain solutions were not compatible with our aims and tech, due to this “single” truth paradigm, and started digging deeper into a viable solution that was minus that restriction, and… connected with Holochain. The rest as they say, is history…

Oh and for anyone who hasn’t caught it, I wrote an article over at my personal Medium deep-diving this “user layer” concept in the context of Holochain a little further.


Rich makes a few very good points. Without getting overly technical, I’d like to expand on that a little: the way that hApps are decentralised and Holochain’s solution is decentralised — it goes without saying, as Rich mentioned — is great for Decentr development, and is why many aspects of Holochain’s tech is useful for our MVP. For example, Holo hosting is one cool solution for our distributed application due to its flexibility; moreover, we are exploring utilising some of Holochain’s spare storage and processing power to jumpstart our own blockchain solution, which in turn benefits Holochain as we provide an enhanced tamper-proof data protocol for hApps and dApps, and hence this level of data integrity contributes to our joint overall aims of security and user autonomy. Even better, Holochain already has the inherent potential to help Decentr speed up transactions because of how their P2P network works — again, benefitting hApps; speeding up secure transactions also being an area where we and Holochain are in sync.

This speed of transactions combined with Decentr’s security and immutability and ability to decentralise dataflow leads to a whole host of potential vertical business revenues with my favourite being the potential to radically enhance supply chain logistics, in conjunction with various hApp solutions.

We will now turn this over the community for a few quick fire questions before we move over to the Decentr telegram group to continue this discussion!

Thanks Rich and Nikita! How is Decentr disrupting the crypto space?


Great question. Our disruptive “secret sauce”, so to speak, is that our token is supported by data value generated by users on our platform. This means our token has far greater utility than most tokens out there, which are not really based on anything in many cases — except FOMO and a healthy dose of speculative zeal! 😃

What are some of the primary real world use cases you see for Decentr?

This is a great question as well, and I can direct you to this article on our Medium that details three real-world use cases we are targeting in three business verticals.

Can you elaborate on your ideology? That seems interesting


Overall our ideology syncs with Holochain’s in as much as we are building a 100% user-centric Web 3.0 solution whereby all of a user’s online activity, from communications to finance, is controlled at the level of the individual, for the benefit of the individual, with no third-party mediation of any kind.

Check out this cool article over at my personal Medium that goes into that point in some depth.

If you really wanted to hear my philosophical and ideological stance we’d be here all day! Haha.

We then moved over to the Decentr telegram group where David was handed the Mic.


Hey guys, we’re glad to welcome David Atkinson (@dcatki) Commercial Director of Holochain. David while we just heard your intro over at @channelholo if you could just drop it here again for those that hadn’t joined in…


I remember joining this channel on the day it was opened and watching the wave of discussion and nice to see the telegram channel going crazy!
I’m David the Commercial Director of Holochain, my role at Holochain spans partnerships, ecosytem and community.


Thanks David, I’ll now pass the mic onto you to ask us some questions about Decentr!


Thanks Rich, I’m really excited to be here with your community today, and even happier that Decentr has now launched!

All the plans we’ve made over the last year can now start happening…

I wanted to start with Nikita’s thoughts on how he believes Holochain will help deliver the vision you’ve put out there for the Decentr network?


For me, overall, it is the flexibility of Holochain that makes it uniquely adaptable to our needs — flexibility by default in dev terms equals compatibility, and Holochain takes that mantra to the next level! The combination of the data integrity Decentr wishes to achieve, combined with the speed of transactions Decentr needs to achieve, makes Holochain a great partner for us as regards a foundational tech solution — especially for our dFintech/DeFi stuff — we essentially see eye-to-eye — technically and conceptually — on these points at the outset.

Moreover, what is exciting for me is that Holochain’s DHT, or shared database, is something we can use as part of our game-theory protocols to get data validated by peers, and we can in turn store and serve this data immutably and securely for hApps and dApps. I further like the fact that Holochain’s agent-centric architecture enables dApps to function offline. Also, I love that dApps can run without currency, as this leaves us free to use our own currency as part of the overall system, again showing off the flexibility and user-centricity inherent to Holochain.


This is a great example of why we’re partnered up! We’re on a similar wavelength!

So let’s get a bit more specific on Holochain and Decentr. Part of the Decentr ecosystem is PDV, the Deconomy and Decentr’s dFintech (DeFi for you traditionalists!) solutions.

Once integrated with the Holochain network, what value do you see these features bringing to Holochain users?


This is a very good question, and in many ways gets to the heart of the synergy here: what we and Holochain have been trying to achieve separately all along now makes sense as a partnership.

I thought — as we at Decentr talk so much about our dFintech features — it would be illustrative to invoke Metacurrency principles to really clarify your question in terms of synergy.

Overall, it would be fair to characterise Holochain/Metacurrency as wishing to build a Web 3.0/4.0 solution based on principles that are as closely related to natural, real-world systems as possible. That pretty much informs every facet of what Holochain does: Art Brock, Eric Harris-Braun, Matthew Schutte et al are very eloquent and clear on this point, and we agree with this principle wholeheartedly.

What Decentr aims to do is “close the loop” between the tech Holochain has built and the “real world” systems we all want to see comprising a Web 3.0/4.0.

How are we doing this? We are delivering a “user layer” for Holochain and selected other solutions (as we are “blockchain agnostic”) that will render dataflow (not only data storage) 100% decentralised across all hApps while creating a bridging solution to the current internet.

Once this is achieved, an incredible thing happens: with literally zero intermediary or centralised influence, what is actually created is a causal Web 3.0/4.0. (You read that right: we’ve seen it in action in our algorithms: it actually works.)

I’ll repeat that again, as it is so important: causation is at the heart of our Web 3.0/4.0 solution.

What this means in practice is that with Decentr acting as an integrated user layer everything on this Web 3.0/4.0 is relative (in the Einstenian sense); all interactions, communications, economic exchanges — everything — is relative.

Therefore, in a nutshell, Decentr provides (and it is our stated mandate to provide) for the online environment the ultimate framework for all real-world natural systems — relativistic causality.

Consequently, Decentr in conjunction with Holochain ensures the online universe obeys the same rules and laws as the actual universe. No distinctions, no incompatibility of any kind between users’ online and offline activity. 100% user-centric, 100% intuitive. How cool is that?


To extend that line of thought, are there any features on Decentr that will be specific to Holochain?


Absolutely. I think I touched on this earlier, but the Holochain DHT database is an attractive feature for us as it will make Decentr faster, more secure and efficient, as opposed to a regular database, and pass on these properties to dApps and hApps built with us as an integral component.

So as Holochain agents share their public keys, source chain headers, and public entries with their peers in a DHT, this distributed database provides redundancy and availability for data and gives the network the power to detect corruption: this availability of data and corruption detection will not only be of use to Decentr’s decosystem but in turn be radically enhanced by our 100% decentralised user layer to the benefit of hApps and dApps and their users — a sort of perfect technical/conceptual symbiosis between systems. So whilst I guess this is not an obvious user-facing feature per se it is a protocol-level feature that hApp devs will uniquely benefit from.


What aspects of each project and ecosystems do you see as being most complementary to each other?


I suppose I have sort of part-answered this in the various questions above, so perhaps this is a chance to TL-DR what I see as the key complementary area that drew us to Holochain in the first place: Holochain is creating a decentralised solution that does not require that the network holds a “central” truth at any given moment (unlike most blockchains) while we are simultaneously developing a decentralised user layer that decentralises dataflow; 100% decentralised dataflow literally being predicated on the requirement that many multiple “truths” need to be supported simultaneously in order that communications are secure, safe, immutable and accessible to all. This decentralised “user layer” would by default prove unworkable if based on foundational technology that did require this “central” truth be maintained network wide. This means that the Decentr/Holochain synergy creates greater fluidity of dataflow while ensuring it is secure and immutable for every user.


I might finish with a more general one, before handing over to the community to ask some questions.

Rich and Nikita, one of the things that bonds both us and Holochain and Decentr together, is our shared ethos of what a decentralised (d)economy and Internet looks like.

While we’re both respectively in the process of delivering on those visions, tell me, in a perfect world, where you could shape it as you wish, with no constraints, how would you see an ideal Deconomy/Decentralised Internet working in harmony with each other and how do you see that making the world a better place?


Love that question, and let me answer: the Deconomy is based on how economic value flows in a 100% decentralised environment; within a 100% decentralised environment all values — including economic values — are relative. This means the true worth of individuals, goods and services etc are measured by participation and activity as expressed in data, and not merely the blunt tools of “money” and market economics. Therefore, this valuation through data gives data superior “valuation” and “value store” properties to money, meaning data in the Deconomy functions as a superior means of economic exchange, as expressed in a user’s Personal Data Value (PDV).

So, bottom line, as PDV is essentially a fluctuating personalised “exchange” rate unique to every user, then in the Deconomy every user is in charge of their own economic activities and future at a 100% user-centric level, buying, borrowing and loaning at an exchange rate dictated by their PDV, at the level of every user to the benefit of individual users.

Once we have an alt economy that is 100% user-centric, and majority affordability kicks in due to PDV, supply and demand is massively stimulated, the prediction — and our dream — is that we as human beings can start to move away from the pursuit of “money” as our primary goal and move towards the fulfilment of individual potential-as-expressed-in-data as the primary human goal.

Decentr and Holochain can achieve this as a conflation of ideals, technologies and communities.


We will now turn this over the community for a few quick fire questions!


This sounds amazing. My question is — how easy do you think it will be to convince people that their data has serious value, when they’ve been so used to giving it away for free?


Well, as our system captures data value for user’s automatically, the proof in the pudding, so to speak will be when users come to pay online or use our other dFinetch features and start to find life becoming more affordable. So, in this regard, no convincing required!


A lot to take in, thank you for the insight! One question, while we’re in the transition stage to the Deconomy, it’s helpful for me at least to put things in context to understand what the dollar value of one person’s data is worth, as that will be a big part of the discussion for investors


The value of data is never fixed and is dependent on many factors that are captured by our cooperative game-theory protocols. This “fixed value” idea is a notion common to mainstream economics but is not present in Deconomics, whereby all values — including economic — are “relative”, and hence unique to each user.


Rich, can you please talk about upcoming developments, partnerships and news ofcourse?

We have a lot to share in the coming days, weeks and months so stay tuned! Oh, and I know a lot of you have been asking us about exchange listings, so on that note, stay tuned for an exciting Thursday!

That concluded the AMA with Holochain. Stay tuned for many more AMAs and a lot more news in the future!

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