HederaThe Hedera Consensus Service (HCS) is open to developers on the Hedera mainnet. HCS has been in development at Hedera since mid-2019. it seeks to answer the question: ‘How do we incorporate decentralized trust into new our existing applications?’

Leemon Baird, Co-founder and Chief Scientist of Hedera Hashgraph, said: “Logging transactions in the exact order they occur is crucial to use cases across nearly every industry. HCS combines hashgraph’s fast, fair, and secure consensus algorithm with the trust and governance of Hedera’s public network. It allows groups working together to then apply this trust and governance to their applications that need both trust and privacy.

Leemon Baird
Leemon Baird

Stock exchanges, marketplaces, enterprise databases, and others all rely on having a trusted timestamp for each transaction. If the decentralized world intends to disrupt these spaces, it needs to be able to provide fair consensus timestamps, which show the time when the entire network received the transaction. The HCS’ order of transactions is recorded in seconds, with finality and fairness, and high throughput. This sets Hedera apart from other blockchains and layer 2 applications whose verification times or throughput are too slow to offer such a service. The public availability of HCS is a big milestone, giving developers the ability to build on fast, trusted ordering and timestamps.

The significance of HCS

HCS affords developers an opportunity to create verifiable timestamps and ordering of events for any application. Hedera believes it is the first public distributed ledger which enables developers to build their own application networks which:

  • enable privacy
  • utilize the trust of Hedera’s public ledger as their consensus engine.

The new service takes full advantage of Hashgraph’s:

  • high-throughput, for speed
  • asynchronous Byzantine fault tolerance, for security.

Hedera Consensus Service is useable:

  • either standalone
  • or as a decentralized ordering service with other ledgers (for example, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda or Ethereum).

Examples of how companies might utilise HCS include:

  • asset tracking across a supply chain
  • music stream counts to determine remittance for digital rights management
  • an auditable log of asset transfers
  • payable events across an advertising platform.

I am delighted to see HCS becoming reality and see it as another differentiator for Hedera in supporting our mission to build usable, real-time and blockchain-enabled healthcare applications. With HCS you get many of the benefits—in particular the perceived privacy—of a private Distributed Ledger Technology implementation, but also can use the Hedera public network to get transaction finality on the chain, which I see as key for demonstrating computational trust in our software through transparent, publicly interrogatable data provenance and real-time reporting.” — Jim Nasr, CEO, Acoer, a developer of blockchain and distributed ledger-enabled applications.

Jim Nasr
Jim Nasr

HCS availability

The availability of HCS follows the open access of Hedera Hashgraph’s mainnet announced in September 2019. This was the point when platform became publicly accessible. Since then, over 40 million transactions have processed on the Hedera network.

HCS is the fourth service available to enterprises and developers leveraging the Hedera public network. It comes after the network’s initial three services of:

  • cryptocurrency
  • smart contracts
  • file services.

The HCS whitepaper, released in June 2019, had IBM as a co-author. IBM is, a member of the Hedera Governing Council.

The Hedera Consensus Service greatly simplifies our architecture and dramatically reduces costs and our time to market with new products.  We’re now able to develop guaranteed secure exchanges of classified, encrypted information among organizations between remote, secured local networks across public networks.” — Jiro Olcott, Founder & CEO of Power Transition, a blockchain-powered software architecture for intelligent energy systems.

Jiro Olcott
Jiro Olcott

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

Hedera is a decentralised public network. It claims its capabilities enable anyone to carve out a piece of cyberspace to transact, play and socialize in a secure, trusted environment. Developers build secure, fair, fast decentralised applications using the Hedera platform.

HCS makes it possible to add decentralised trust to application. Opening up the ability to work with other platforms – like Hyperledger Fabric, Corda or Ethereum – is becoming, or has become an enterprise imperative. Enterprise Times will watch how Hedera Hashgraph with HCS competes with the not dissimilar Kadena permissioned/permissionles offering.


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