Hyperchains

Unleashing the power of blockchain

Hyperchains combine Proof of Stake and Proof of Work to create secure, low cost, and infinitely scalable blockchain technology for everyone.

“We initially designed æternity hyperchain for BitcoinNG and quickly realized its expansive potential. Now, anyone can use hyperchain to create child-chains that alleviate pressure from the mainnet without sacrificing security. In this way, we can leverage the mainnet for PoW while also using PoS to improve privacy and scalability for the entire network."

Yanislav Malahov,
Founder of æternity

PoW VS PoS

A consensus algorithm is a mechanism that allows users or machines to communicate and coordinate in a distributed setting.

Consensus algorithms ensure that all agents in a system can agree on a single source of truth — even if some agents fail.

There are many different types of blockchain consensus algorithms. The two most widely-used consensus algorithms — Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS ) — each possess advantages and disadvantages regarding security and scalability of the network.

PoW Pros

Proof of Work creates secure blockchain networks that are highly resistant to attacks, rewarding miners with both block rewards and transaction fees. The Proof of Work model is the simplest, most widely used consensus protocol and is suitable for a wide variety of applications.

PoW Cons

Proof of work is extremely energy-intensive — PoW networks are costly, consuming increasingly vast amounts of computing power. The progressive centralization of hashing power through mining pools introduces the risk of single-party network dominance.

PoS Pros

Proof of Stake consensus models eliminate energy wastage, operating with higher efficiency. Network participants are motivated by financial stake, with transactions processed by participants with the most to lose. Fast consensus between validators allows for rapid operations at scale.

PoS Cons

Proof of Stake networks are less secure than Proof of Work networks and are potentially more susceptible to low-cost attacks. Unrestricted stake accumulation can lead to centralization.

Why Hyperchains

Hyperchains are hybrid blockchains that combine the best of both Proof of Work and Proof of Stake consensus.

Hyperchains are linked to a parent blockchain that operates via the Proof of Work protocol, providing robust security. Each Hyperchain operates on the Proof of Stake protocol, delivering speed and efficiency.

A parent PoS blockchain secures and checkpoints the child Hyperchain. The election of validators on the child Hyperchain are dependent on the parent chain. Hyperchains deliver four key advantages over single consensus protocol blockchain networks:

Infinite Scalability

The potential use cases of blockchain technology are limited by the rate at which commitments can be made to PoW networks. Hyperchains deliver infinite scalability and can be stacked endlessly, solving the scalability problem.

Low Cost Accessibility

Hyperchains are efficient, with a negligible operational cost when compared to Proof of Work networks. Use-case-specific heavy lifting is performed within PoS Hyperchains, secured by parent PoW chains.

Privacy & Security

Hyperchains leverage parent chain Proof of Work consensus and don’t need to be secured by permission-intensive practices such as merge-mining. Nobody needs to ask for permission to create highly secure, private Hyperchains governed by hybrid PoS/PoW consensus.

Power to the people

With Hyperchains, anyone can create their own secure, private blockchain — for any use case, in any application, with minimal technical expertise.

Use Cases

Hyperchains allow creators to develop bespoke use-case specific networks for specific needs or applications. The highly customizable nature of Hyperchains allows users to limit or extend the protocol according to their requirements.

Community Sharing

Hyperchains create opportunities for decentralized sharing — communities can create private or public Hyperchains to share data quickly and efficiently.

Corporate Applications

Companies and enterprise organizations use Hyperchains to instantly create and deploy internal blockchain-based applications such as governance, identity management, or document identification tools.

Private Business

Hyperchains provide private businesses with the ability to generate, distribute, and track branded blockchain-based tokens that can be used for customer loyalty, rewards, or membership programs.

Digital Assets & Economies

The high speed and scalability of Hyperchains are ideal for any virtual ecosystem — create Hyperchain tokens for use as in-game currency, or develop entire marketplaces that operate on dedicated internal Hyperchains.

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Join the conversation

Connect with the community conversation and stay updated on the future of Hyperchains at the æternity forum.