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Bigger than blockchain: Jamie Duff on the new US$100m Hedera Hashgraph

A new distributed public ledger system faster and more secure than blockchain? That would be Hedera Hashgraph, an idea compelling enough to attract both Stolen Rum alumni and US$100m in future token sales.

New New, the branding/innovation advisor company founded by Stolen Spirits co-founder Jamie Duff and designer and creative director Kelvin Soh say they have been involved with the rising fintech star since its inception, their “first foray into tech”.

“We knew people in the founding team, and we were asked to create the brand and also advise on brand strategy and creative direction, which we did,” says Duff.

“We also invested in the company and Kelvin was the acting creative director at inception and launch of the brand. He came up with the ‘Hello Future’ line that he intended as a kind of battle cry to announce Hedera to the world. We also worked with Jarred Bishop at Output studio in Wellington for web development.”

“With the brand, we wanted to create a memorable and strong global brand; distinguish Hedera from other blockchain or cryptocurrency related brands out there; and create a base that enabled them to clearly articulate their values and underlying key features of their patented technology: speed, fairness and security.”

Something’s definitely working. Hedera Hashgraph recently raised US$100m through a future token sale targeted at institutional investors and is currently seeking another US$20m through a crowdsale. The company will use the funds to create a new distributed public ledger and a way for people who don’t know or trust each other to securely collaborate and transact online without the need for a trusted intermediary (hopefully).

Hedera Hashgraph CEO Mance Harmon on stage at the NYC launch event 

“It’s arguably best in class in distributed ledgers and could have world-changing applications of creating a wide trust layer for the internet,” says Duff.

Among the advantages, Hedera is faster than Blockchain (performing hundreds of thousands more transactions per second) and doesn’t require compute-heavy proof-of-work that makes scaling difficult. Rather, Hashgraph uses technology where nodes efficiently and rapidly exchange data with other nodes in the community. That data structure is cryptographically secure and contains the complete history of communication in the community.

“It’s also unique in the structure of the technology and the very high bar that the founders and team have set with taking it to market,” says Duff.

“The founders, Leemon Baird and Mance Harmon have an impressive background with 20 years of strategic leadership experience in multinational corporations, government agencies, and high-tech startups between them. Leemon has a PHD in computer science from Carnegie Mellon and was professor of computer science at the Air Force Academy. Mance is also a computer scientist and among other things was a course director for cybersecurity at US Air Force Academy.”

“In a market landscape where ICO and coin value can often overshadow any underlying technology utility, the Hashgraph team has focused on building a long-term business dedicated to playing out the technology in the right way and with integrity. That is increasingly rare.”

And it’s good to know that while the launch is impressive enough for a new global brand in NYC, all of that the branding - and website - was made entirely in New Zealand.

“We chose to get involved because we believed in the technology and the caliber and integrity of the team,” says Duff, “and in the wide-ranging and potentially world-changing nature of Hedera’s take on distributed ledger technology.”

“In some ways we saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of something that is arguably leading a paradigm shift.”

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