Holochain Glossary

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When all agents involved in a transaction sign that transaction and store it as an entry in each other's source chains.

Cryptographic Proof

A mathematical proof that some data has not been tampered with (hash) or that it was created by a specific author (signature). Usually multiple cryptographic proofs are combined to create a functioning system.


Data Positivism

The idea that data represents absolute "truth" in and of itself. Holochain does not subscribe to this idea. (see Data Relativism).

Data Relativism

The idea that data only has meaning in an interpreted context. Holochain is Data Relativistic, the interpreted data is what each agent is aware of what data other agents broadcast and when. (see Data Positivism).


Systems that maintain integrity without supervision from priviledged servers or authorities.


Systems requiring all participants to share the responsibility of maintaining network integrity. (see P2P).

Distributed Hash Table (DHT)

A structure that enables data to be shared across many machines and easily retrieved by its cryptographic hash. The hash facilitates both efficient lookup and verification that the content has not been tampered. (see Cryptographic Proof)

Distributed Public Key Infrastructure (DPKI)

A decentralized system to lookup the address/user for a given public key. Supports translating low level cryptographic proofs (signatures) into trustworthy real-world identity data. (see Cryptographic Proof)


In Holochain: the instructions (app code and data schemas) that are valid for a given network/DHT. In biology: the instructions coded into the nucleus of every cell in an organism (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid).


End-to-End Encryption

A pattern of interaction in which keys are only stored at endpoints and data can’t be decrypted between.

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