Harmony is a blockchain platform designed to facilitate the creation and use of decentralized applications (DApps). The network aims to innovate the way decentralized applications work by focusing on random state sharding, which allows creating blocks in seconds.
According to the project’s website, Harmony is expected to introduce cross-shard contracts and a cross-chain infrastructure by the end of 2021.
Who Are the Founders of Harmony?
Stephen Tse is the founder and CEO of Harmony. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in cryptographic protocols and type theory.
While finishing his degree, Dr. Tse became a research intern at Microsoft. In 2006 he started working as a senior engineer at Google, spending four years in the company. In 2011 he founded Spotsetter, a successful search engine which Apple later acquired. In 2014, Dr. Tse became the principal engineer for Apple.
He founded Harmony in 2017. The Harmony founding team comprises twelve people, with seven of them being former employees at Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon.
What Makes Harmony Unique?
Focusing on processing speed and validation, the Harmony mainnet aims to revolutionize block creation. By introducing the sharding process, the company reduced node validation times significantly.
To ensure the protection of nodes and secure the validation process, Harmony introduced the Verifiable Random Function (VRF) for unbiased and unpredictable shard membership. This means that nodes and validators are assigned and re-assigned in a randomized manner.
The project’s Harmony Grants program is an initiative that aims to support innovation and attract developers to the Harmony mainnet.
How Many Harmony (ONE) Coins Are There in Circulation?
Harmony (ONE) has a maximum supply of 12,600,000,000 tokens. As of February 2021, the circulating supply on the market is about 9,486,327,268 ONE.
Out of the total supply of ONE tokens, 22.4% were dedicated to the initial seed sale. Another 12.5% were set aside for an additional Launchpad sale. The Harmony founding team and developers received 16.9% of the total supply. About 26.4% of ONE tokens were dedicated to protocol development, while another 21.8% were directed towards ecosystem development.
How Is the Harmony Network Secured?
Harmony introduces a new version of the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus. Called effective proof-of-stake (EPoS), this method allows simultaneous staking from hundreds of validators. This consensus method was developed in accordance with the sharding concept utilized in the Harmony network.
Unlike proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanisms, EPoS is designed for faster processing times and improved scalability. While PoW requires a lot of electrical and computing power, staking consensus methods rely on an abundance of value holders, who become validators.
Harmony is also looking to boost staking incentives to attract more node operators. The Harmony Open Staking initiative encourages interaction with the network and incentivizes stakeholders with the highest amount of ONE tokens.
Where Can You Buy Harmony (ONE)?
Harmony (ONE) tokens can be purchased on most big exchanges, such as:
- Huobi Global
Read more about buying crypto.
Harmony’s Horizon Bridge Hack
Like most cross-chain bridges, Harmony’s Horizon bridge allows crypto holders to move assets between Harmony’s network and the Ethereum network, Binance Chain and Bitcoin. In June 2022, the bridge was exploited for approximately $100 million in altcoins (which the attacker swapped for Ethereum) after two of its five validator nodes were compromised.
Although the Harmony team offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the return of the stolen funds, security experts discovered that the attacker(s) had begun moving the loot through the now-defunct Ethereum mixing service, Tornado Cash. There were also reports that the hack was linked to Lazarus Group, a notorious North Korea-affiliated cybercriminal organization.
Interestingly, it appears all hope has not been lost. In January 2023, Binance and Huobi crypto exchanges teamed up to recover some of the stolen funds.
On January 16, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) said in a tweet: “We detected Harmony One hacker fund movement. They previously tried to launder through Binance, and we froze his accounts. This time he used Huobi. We assisted Huobi’s team in freezing his accounts. Together, 124 BTC have been recovered. CeFi helping to keep DeFi SAFU.”