Holo’s Holochain based systems maintain Consistency, giving partial Availability in the face of a
Partition. The HoloFuel cryptocurrency used by Holo for hosting payments, etc., is an example of
what is possible, beyond the restrictions of global consensus systems.
You can transact a deal with any other party that you can communicate with (of course, you can’t
deal with other agents you can’t communicate with, which sort of makes sense).
Furthermore, the deal is validated by as many nodes are available within your partition. Of
course, don’t do a billion-dollar deal if you’re in a mobster’s network and can only see a few
of his nodes. But, even if you do – as soon as you rejoin the larger network, any attempt at
fraud will be immediately discovered. Unlike statistical consensus, which agrees with a
majority (the 51% attack) – it only takes a single non-fraudulent node to detect and report
fraud, and then any and all other nodes can confirm it, and black-list the complicit parties.
Worst case – if you decide to accept the high-risk transaction – you’ll have to Decline the
(unfortunately fake) funds you were paid, to restore your account to non-fraudulent status. But,
for most typically use cases, the cost of building the fantastically complex and elaborate
“charade” required to perpetrate a single fraudulent transaction won’t be worth it. Especially
since the ill-gotten funds will immediately become worthless – nobody will deal with the
account – as soon as the fraud is detected by a single other node!
In Holofuel, it is trivial to avoid even the possibility of this happening; simply include one
other trustworthy Holofuel Agent in the transaction, whom you know is outside the hostile
network you are within; your partner's Holofuel account, for example. These can be zero-value
participants, who only need to sign the transaction, but don't contribute or receive any part of
the ledger balance transfer.
These risks and mitigations are somewhat analogous to cash:
- Don’t take suitcases of “totally legit!” USD$100 bills from a North Korean stranger in
exchange for your yacht.
- Don’t trust a certified cheque from “Bubba’s Bank and Trust and Taco Shack”, or from the
“Royale Bank of Scottland” branch in the City of Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico.
That’s more like money!