Holochain Institute of Japan
Sun S bldg., 1-23-20, Kita-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 140-0001 Japan
The organization will spearhead the following activity in order to increase the adoption of a new information technology.
・ Awareness raising activities for Holochain as an information and communication technology tool
・ Conduct activities that will provide information necessary for Holochain technology development
・ Support activities for those who wish to start a business for related to Holochain
President: Hironori Kanno
Director: Teruyuki Kamimura
Director: Kenji Sato
Director: Kuniou Naeki
The Internet is now an inseparable tool in our lives and is an essential infrastructure for various business operations. With the shift to broadband in the early 2000s and its impetus for full-fledged adoption, this technology has been further refined for the next 20 years and achieved numerous breakthroughs especially in networking and storage technologies.
This is a technological breakthrough that cannot be compared with the previous digital communication tools. However, on the other hand, the relentless pursuit of convenience resulted in security loopholes, and the lack of awareness of danger we face made Internet a major social problem today. In recent years, cyber-attacks targeting system vulnerabilities of centralized servers, a conventional technology we use today, have often caused enormous damage to the public with massive information leakage; beginning with the leakage of personal information and now causing infringements involving information tied to national securities.
With the conventional technology, there is no denying that cyber attacks damaged first-class companies and national organizations, also making it a commonplace in the media coverage today. Astonishingly, hacker units have been formed formally as a national organization in certain countries as well. For us, it was important to realize that the advantages of modern civilization, the advent of computer and the Internet, can bring devastating consequences for society if used incorrectly.
With our understanding and use of conventional technology, it can be said that it is difficult to control this instrument effectively and harmlessly. In recent years, cybercrime and cyberattacks such as information leaks, data tampering, and website tampering have become ironically more serious in proportion to the advances we make, and their methods have also become complex ranging from DDoS attacks, SQL injection, brute force attacks, to OS command injection, and many more.
We therefore sorted out the problems of technology and infrastructure we use today. One of them was the problem of centralizing the database. Whether it has a mirror server for backups or not, we regard the method of building a database in a cloud server and accumulating information in a centralized location as a major technological problem.
Of course, there are various security measures such as setting up of firewalls, but unfortunately hackers have been able to break through them countless times. One further fact is that the information inside the server is not encrypted at rest most of the time. Another thing to note is that information isn’t distributed and stored centrally, creating a single point of failure. Many of whom forged the path before us pointed out the technological problems we face today before we even realized it. However, it is also true that there were processes that were not easy to breakthrough, such as technical barriers and the difficulty in developing infrastructures that could accommodate new patterns. Coming from this understanding, we gathered various knowledge from a technical point of view, organized conventional and advanced technologies, pursued best practices, and finally met a certain technological framework. It was the next generation technology of Blockchain called Holochain, a scalable peer-to-peer distributed application framework.
Holochain has various possible application, starting from offering solutions to the problems priorly listed here as well as other potential breakthroughs. We worked closely with the Holochain Foundation to analyze the situation we face today, developed a plan, while building connections with various domestic and international companies as well as individuals adopting Holochain framework in their respective problems.
We believe that the adoption of Holochain technology in Japan would lead to the solution of social problems created by the digitally connected world and confirmed that we could contribute to society as a result of propelling the adoption of this technology here in Japan. We established the Holochain Institute of Japan to realize a vision of safe and secure Internet space by utilizing the Holochain framework. And in order to realize the this vision, we formulated a strong sense of mission and advanced technical skills by working with a venture company consisting of engineers specialized in Holochain to launch a high-performance messaging app “KIZUNA” so that we may get closer to the shared vision we all have.
Holochain Institute of Japan
I am very pleased to hear the establishment of the Holochain Institute of Japan. I heard that the English name of it was named by people related to the Foundation, which is a wonderful thing to know. The word Institute also has the meaning of an academy in Japanese, so I can see the future of Institution being an instrument of massive adoption of Holochain herein Japan. I would also like to thank the organization for inviting me as the technical advisor. I am deeply impressed by the association’s take on the challenge to solve the social problems that have become prominent in the Internet society these days.
To briefly introduce myself, I won the Nikkei Newspaper Special Award at FIN / SUM WEEK 2017 sponsored by the Financial Services Agency by pitching a Visa issuance system utilizing Blockchain Technology with my foreign university team while studying abroad. I was able to meet the members of Holochain Foundation through my colleagues after that. I continued to have conversation community organizers of the foundation originating from several countries around the world as well as the members of the foundation. I realized that it was our mission to disseminate information about Holochain and be the catalyst of adoption here in Japan. However, being a private company presented as some limitations as well.
In October 2019, I presented the Holochain framework in front of about 200 Rust developers at Rust Tokyo and also co-authored a book titled, “Understanding Holochain” with the Foundation, which was distributed on the day of Rust Tokyo as well. I think this was essentially the first step in introducing the Holochain framework in Japan and served as an act of planting seeds early on. With the establishment of this association, I think it can be said that one flower bloomed from one of those seeds. I hope it will bear a fruit in the near future. I am still young, but I would love to cooperate with the activities of the association together with my team.
Blockchain is packed with various wonderful technologies and research is being actively conducted at major banks (e.g. Bank of Japan), but there are also multiple future bottlenecks recognized by the community. The problem of scalability will especially be a pain in the future, together with the huge power consumption of consensus mechanism (i.e. Proof-of-Work) that became prominent in authenticating the transaction of cryptocurrency.
In the Nordic countries where Blockchain mining is thriving, power consumption has reached a level that could almost overwhelm the national power supply. I think that Satoshi Nakamoto did not even predict that it would develop this rapidly. On the other hand, Holochain does not require much load because there is no native consensus mechanism needed. Therefore, the amount of power does not become huge and scalability is secured in the future as well. At the core of distributed systems that will create the next generation ecosystem, Holochain uses what is known as a distributed hash table (DHT). DHT is a shared space for distributed applications. All nodes that store signed data apply validation rules to that very data, ensuring the data integrity of every data that exist on an application. The biggest feature of Holochain is this customized DHT (commonly called rrDHT).
In addition, while Bitcoin, the first and biggest implementation of Blockchain, has one ledger to manage, Holochain has a single ledger for each user and the data in the DHT is fragmented and its shard is stored the user, so there is no need to manage a single ledger containing all transactions of the network. This makes Holochain scales as the participants of the network increases. Visa can process 250,000 transactions per second, but Holochain application is said to be able to process much more than what Visa can in the future.
Holochain is like a combination of Bittorrent, Git, and digital signatures. This technology can be applied to various fields, and one can find many features derived from Holochain in the messaging app “KIZUNA” announced by the association. “KIZUNA” is a serverless P2P chat application that is built on Holochain with a focus on security, privacy, and distributed network.
・It is impossible for third parties to intercept or for middleman to listen to your conversation
・All communications are protected with end-to-end encryption.
・Hacking / tampering is impossible because there is no centralized server that stores all the personal information of users
・Secure network that does not easily identify the source of information (IP Address)
・Allows users to converse without leaving traces (self-destructive message with timer)
・Ensure privacy by creating an independent network for each group chat
・Attached files and metadata can be encrypted as well as transmission of communications and calls
・There is no center server, and each user owns data, so backdoor construction is fundamentally impossible
CEO Tatsuya Sato
Holochain Institute of Japan Technical Advisor