Holo: Take Back the Internet – Shared P2P Hosting

Holo is helping to grow a more human Internet — where you control your personal data and choose how your applications work. With Holo, you share your computer’s spare capacity to help others connect to peer-to-peer apps. When people use the apps you host, you can get rewarded in cryptocurrency by the app’s creators. Connect your HoloPort to the network. Choose what apps you want to host. Help take back the Internet.

Holochain’s crowdfund campaign is being very successful, but there’s still time to chip in.


Holo is a community committed to growing a truly peer-to-peer Internet. Holo helps accomplish this by allowing anyone to access distributed applications simply by typing a URL into a web browser. We believe that when everyone can explore the distributed Internet, the Internet will shift, and change the world in powerful ways by empowering individuals, fostering trust, and helping build thriving communities.

However, Holo isn’t just good for the world. It’s good for you too. Holo incentivizes you to share your computer’s spare capacity by rewarding you with our secure cryptocurrency — Holo fuel. When people use your hosting capacity the companies providing the app you host can reward you in cryptocurrency.

By pooling together our computing resources we make possible an entire network of distributed apps that are free from centralized, corporate control. By putting that scale of control back into the hands of users, we enable humanity to access entirely new possibilities for how we do economics, governance, medicine, and community.

Holo is human-centered. It leverages solid cryptography and combines proven platforms for managing shared data integrity to bring people together in more powerful and effective ways. Bitcoin and most other cryptocurrencies run on an architecture called blockchain. Blockchain has inspired many to imagine new decentralized ways to organize ourselves and our data. However, these approaches have limited performance and burn massive amounts of computing and electricity. Holo runs on Holochain — a next-generation platform that is more scalable, exponentially faster, far more energy efficient, and 10,000x cheaper than blockchain.

By backing this project now, you not only help us launch the Holo network in Spring 2018, but also lay a foundational piece of Holo’s network infrastructure by purchasing one of our HoloPorts, a preconfigured hosting node.





The HoloPort is an easy and direct way to support the distributed Internet. Holo will use HoloPorts to provide a stable foundation for both distributed applications and personal data in the network to be hosted by the community, rather than by a corporation.

DISCLAIMER: You do not receive any cryptocurrency rewards for purchasing a HoloPort. In the future, you must provide hosting services for P2P web apps, and only then will you receive payment from the application providers for services you’ve performed.



We believe a distributed Internet must be funded by a wide spectrum of backers for it to best serve the diverse needs of our world. That is why we’ve chosen to not accept venture capital.

Our dedicated team has been working more than a decade (primarily as volunteers) to create a more resilient Internet that will work better for all of its citizens.

But we need your help to take it to the world! Your backing now enables the launch of a broad, secure, and user-ready network beginning in spring of 2018.

Buying a HoloPort will help create the stable, secure hosting foundation necessary for a distributed Internet in this new world.

Stand up, and support the Internet we all need!




“We are so used to these systems being manipulated that people just think that’s how the Internet works. We need to think about what it should be like.”

—Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, 2017


The Internet was envisioned as an open platform to allow anyone to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographical boundaries. But over the past twenty years, the web has concentrated power in the hands of a few giants.

Google now controls 88% of search advertising online. Nearly 80% of mobile operating systems installed are Android. More than half of all online purchases happen on Amazon. Facebook controls 77% of mobile social media.

Because of that increasing centralization, the Internet is failing us in many ways.

Today our online movements are tracked, logged, analyzed, and sold. We’re manipulated by platforms seeking to addict and distract us; they want us to spend more time on their sites and buy more products from their advertisers. This is not an Internet that serves us, it’s an Internet that serves the interests of others.

A centralized Internet makes us more vulnerable to hacking, censorship, tracking, and numerous other abuses. And because we have little say in how these systems we rely upon operate, we aren’t able to improve how they work for us. The centralized nature of today’s Internet makes us less able to adapt to change, and less capable of confronting the complex challenges that we face.




Today, most web traffic passes through corporate web servers, putting them in the middle of our interactions. But by replacing the function of corporate servers with our own computers we cut out the middlemen and take back control. Our voices can be heard again.

User-run apps are more agile and responsive than their centralized counterparts since users can set the rules and change them as desired. Plus, when we are in control of our own data, we can use it in new ways.

  • Imagine a rideshare app run by the riders and drivers without a monopoly in the middle dictating terms. Holo hosts would get paid for helping host a website where anyone can book a ride.
  • Imagine apps that help emergency responders coordinate with one another in the aftermath of a fire or hurricane, without needing to have a connection all the way back to some Silicon Valley data center. Unlike today’s centralized applications, apps on Holo run just fine on a local network.
  • Imagine a community of rural homeowners who generate, store, and share electricity using solar panels, windmills, small water turbines, and backup batteries. Holo fuel is custom-designed to handle exactly these sorts of micro-transactions.

Holo includes a secure micropayment cryptocurrency engine which web app creators can use to pay you when you host their apps. With Holo you’ll be able to share the capacity of your computer just like you might rent out a spare room on Airbnb. Holo makes this world available to anyone with a computer and Internet connection, not just an elite class of miners and developers.




The easiest way to support the distributed network and earn Holo fuel is by purchasing a HoloPort. Since our objective is the dissemination of devices dedicated to running the network, we’re offering this personal server nearly at cost. HoloPorts are “plug and play,”meaning they come with the software already installed and are optimized to run Holo. Just plug it in, follow the instructions, and start hosting the network to earn Holo fuel.

Check out the campaign page for more.

6 Comments Holo: Take Back the Internet – Shared P2P Hosting

  1. AvatarChris

    So, pretty much what Maidsafe are doing with the safenetwork? except you ahve to actually buy a piece of hardware?

  2. AvatarGreg

    Chris, I don’t know much about Maidsafe but I do see that they employ blockchain. Holo is built on holochain, which is a blockchain alternative — exponentially faster, cheaper, more efficient and scalable (NOT blockchain). Holochain enables for large-scale, distributed applications in a way that is not currently available on other platforms. Check out the Holo green paper — https://files.holo.host/2017/11/Holo-Green-Paper_2017-11-28.pdf

    Also, this video can be confusing — you don’t actually need to purchase a HoloPort, you can download the Holo software on any device and start running it. It’s also open source. The HoloPort is about ensuring that a stable network of dedicated devices exist when the first general applications on Holochain are released next year.

  3. AvatarEmaline

    Hey Chris, I can see why you’d make that comparison. First off, though, know that you don’t have to buy a piece of hardware. You can close your eyes to the crowdfund and participate by simply downloading Holochain and installing the Holo app and participate using nothing but your own hardware.

    Though, there’s a good reason that we (full disclosure) are selling hardware. It actually highlights some other differences between Holo and Maidsafe. Where Maidsafe tethers a coin and mining to information and data stored, which requires speculation on large-scale adoption, Holo’s projections are based on estimates from the crowdsale of hosting boxes. Holo provides dedicated hardware specifically in order to be able to make these projections accurate. MaidSafe’s estimate of mining rate over time depend on totally unexplained assumptions about the speed of network adoption and the amount of data stored. On Holo there is no mining and no tokens. This is because Holo fuel is a mutual credit currency that assigns credit limits according to a host’s record of hosting services performed.

    Another thing about Maidsafe is that they give no explanation in their whitepaper about their “transaction manager”, which is the underlying fabric that makes their entire system work. Holo’s underlying architecture, Holochain, is quite transparently detailed all over the web. https://holochain.org/

    The tip that Maidsafe does give about this transaction manager? The fact that they reward what they call ‘farmers’ (hosts) in a random fashion, which to me speaks volumes about their architecture. Holochain does not need to reward randomly (a la the mining lottery on blockchain) because it can account for each micro-transaction of hosting provision through its crypto-accounting engine. Maidsafe is completely opaque about their consensus process, whereas Holo need not rely on consensus because mutual credit only requires that transactors authenticate their local transaction by auditing each other’s source chain to ensure that they have the credits they’re spending.

    SAFE also creates its own web browser and requires that adopters download it. Holo was made to allow mainstream net users to access distributed apps through already existing web browsers. The difference is an intent to popularize distributed applications versus the intent to have people create a bunch of new web pages. It’s just a different emphasis. It comes down to whether you’re more interested in encryption and anonymity in all circumstances, which SAFE optimizes, or community engines that fit membranes and identity depending on the purpose of the application. I think of it as the difference between furthering the individual-user perspective of the current net or developing a sense of applications-as-communities, more in the spirit of platform co-ops (many of which rely on user identity).

    Another difference? They take a ton of VC, and so they don’t need a crowdsale (even though, to competitively mine Safecoin, one would likely need to buy a ton of hardware from some other provider).

    Yet another? Male to female ratio of the team: Maidsafe 20:3 Holo 19:9.

  4. AvatarMatt

    disclosure: I work for Holo

    Hi Chris,
    Not quite. Maidsafe is trying to do P2P storage. Holo is doing P2P applications (think Facebook or Uber without the company in the middle). Also, you don’t have to purchase hardware. You can use your existing computer. Holo is selling HoloPorts to make it easy to host without having to install or configure anything. If you want a deeper dive, check out https://holo.host/greenpaper

    Also, we’ll be hosting a facebook live Q&A session on Thursday at noon pacific, 3 pm EST, 8pm GMT. details are at https://www.facebook.com/holohost

  5. AvatarGreg Raven

    This sounds intriguing, but my concern is that buying a Holo device won’t be the end of the process. Without knowing more about how one stores/distributes data using a Holo device, the whole thing seems somewhat of a mystery. There’s no way I’m going to write an app for this, so if I and a few friends want to buy Holo devices to make PDF, audio, and video files available without having to depend on (say) YouTube, it would be nice to know that we can actually upload and share these resources without having to become programmers.

  6. AvatarEmaline

    Greg–you’re right, it wouldn’t be the end of the process! At least…it’s our hope that hosts are at least somewhat interested in the development of the network itself (though, there’s always the option to use default settings to host random apps and earn crypto by doing so).

    Sounds like you want to do more, though. Perhaps this wasn’t clear: If you buy a hosting box you will be part of a new worldwide network of people offering hosting solutions to the programmers that WILL make the tools you speak of (for uploading and sharing files with your friends).

    Another part of the campaign is to host and support the development of tons of apps so that those with hosting boxes can lend their hosting to the software projects they care about instead of having to make apps themselves. I’d look at the links to the “green paper” in some of the comments above if you wanna learn more 🙂

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