Holochain started the year with the release of Holochain Beta 0.1.0 and it’s been an avalanche of development and achievements since then. We can’t talk about everything here, but want to share some highlights with you. As we bundle up for winter in the northern hemisphere (and rejoice at summer in the southern hemisphere), let’s walk through the year together to remember where we have been. 

Spring: Holochain Beta

The Holochain beta release continued through the spring with dev tooling, updates to the 0.1.x series, and even an early release of 0.2.x. Paul d’Aoust started work on our dev documentation and refreshed Dev Portal, and the team could feel the excitement as we continued to improve on a stable codebase. 

Taking Holochain back out on the road, we attended EthDenver, hosting a series of satellite events where we gave blockchain devs a hands-on opportunity to feel what Holochain can do, and collectively we imagined the future of the web.

In March, we had our first of two online Dev Trainings. The course was taught by Marcus Phillips, co-founder of the immersive software engineering school Hack Reactor, and community developer Guillem Cordoba (check out his work at Dark Soil). The cohort of eighteen students learned how to work with Holochain’s backend code, preparing them to build custom distributed applications.

This spring we felt Holochain really become viable.

Summer: DWeb Camp

Summer took us to DWeb Camp. For those that don’t know it, DWeb Camp is a sort of Mecca for the distributed web community. Getting to think, work, talk, and present alongside and with all of the other projects building the next web (from Filecoin and OpenAI to Secure Scuttlebutt and Spritely) was truly an honor. But we might have learned the most from the DWeb fellows who brought their openness, honesty, situated need, and greatly innovative ideas to the gathering. 

As a co-sponsor of the event, Holochain showed up in force, with dozens of team and  community members attending. In addition to presentations, workshops, and panels, we developed a custom app for the event. We decided to create an app for scheduling and managing emergent sessions across the event. But this app had to work in the woods, and on people’s phones. In the end, we stumbled and learned. 

The need for mobile on Holochain has pushed us to develop a deep relationship with smartphone manufacturer Volla as a first test case for a mobile native Holochain. In May, community devs Hedayat Abedijoo and Nick Stebbings showcased a small Holochain application at the Volla community event. Since then we have been in a collaborative process of application design and testing to get Holochain apps running on their privacy-first OS.

Fall: Connecting to Web3

Fall took the team from conference, to podcast, to conference, including a number of appearances as speakers and moderators. Check out a few of the opportunities we had to talk to the world about Holochain throughout the year.

This fall also saw Holochain used in Web3 and blockchain contexts in new ways. Nor, is a Web3 gaming platform using Holo and Holochain for a variety of systems, such as identity and login. Nor is creating new models of skill based gaming and reward in Web3.

Similarly Fractal Tribute, developed by Josh Hardy of the Rain Protocol, in partnership with our Executive Director Mary Camacho showed that it was possible to secure NFT assets on a Holochain app. The app is a live play, distributed art game, inspired by r/place, where players collaboratively make art which they can mint into NFTs. We showcased this game at events from Zebu Live in London, to DevConnect in Istanbul, and we even hosted our own event spinning off from NFT SF when the conference was sadly put on hold. Fractal Tribute acts as a proof of concept for new ways to augment NFTs using Holochain.

In October we also held our second online Dev Training. Check out these clips from the demos:

Winter: Holo Feature Complete

The end of this year brings the next big leap for Holochain as we step into 2024. The Holo network is built on the Holochain framework to provide distributed hosting to hApps. With the release of the Holo Network-RC and the upcoming Holo Launch, we have a real case study showing a performant Holochain used for a commercial application. This will spur development of Holochain apps, and we expect an increase in both apps hosted on the Holo network and operating directly in peer networks as a result. Read Holo’s Lead/Org announcement to learn more.

As we enter into 2024, we are excited for what is to come: New and developing collaborations like those with Nor and Volla; the growth of ecosystem projects like Neighbourhoods’ pilot program with the Green Climate Fund in Sri Lanka; and continued application development as Holochain apps become more accessible through Holo’s hosting network. This is just the beginning. Welcome to a New Year.

Looking to Catch Up?

We’ve been catching up on reading over the holidays and wanted to recommend a few articles from this last year.

From Holochain:

From Fellow Travelers: