Holochain Glossary

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In this context, a phenotoype is the way in which two holochains with identical code (genotype) express themselves in different ways thus making them separate and unique. What is different is the group of people and/or what they are communicating to each other. (See genotype)

Private Key

A secret key that can encrypt, decrypt or sign some data. The functionality of a private key is specific to each cryptographic system. The private key is used to perform sensitive operations. In symmetric cryptographic systems there is only one key, the private key (e.g. password for encryption/decryption). In asymmetric cryptographic systems there is a complementary public key to handle the inverse operation (e.g. sign vs. verify). (see public key).


The official record of origin of data.

Public Key

The companion key to a private key in an asymmetric cryptographic system. The functionality of a public key is specific to each cryptographic system. The public key is used to verify sensitive operations without allowing the key holder to perform sensitive operations (e.g. verifying a signature). (see private key).



DNA code written in a some programming language to be executed by nodes in the holochain network.



A definition used to define what data can be used in a context, as well as some parameters for validating that data. (is it required, in a specific range, etc.)

Semantic Tree

A native data structure of Ceptr. Trees are used to show the structure of data and each node in the tree has a semantic marker referencing its definition and methods.


Semantic Tree Regular Expressions: A universal parsing system for matching against semantic trees.


A subset of a large data set. Holochain networks have local DHT shards composed of all the entries each node is in the neighbourhood of. The size of each holochain network shard is the average data produced by each node multiplied by the network redundancy. Higher redundancy means better availability, lower latency and less risk of data loss but also increased storage and network costs. Infinite redundancy means all nodes hold all data like a full node in a blockchain system. (see neighbourhood)

Shared Store

The wholeness of holochains come from combining local signed source chains with a shared data store via DHT.

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