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What is Hashgraph Consensus? Overview & Implementation

Last updated 02/23/2024 by

Alessandra Nicole

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Hashgraph consensus is a revolutionary approach to transaction validation, offering a faster and more efficient alternative to blockchain technology. Unlike blockchain, which relies on computational power for verification, hashgraph uses a unique protocol based on node communication. This article explores the key concepts of hashgraph consensus, its advantages over blockchain, and its potential impact on the finance industry.

What is hashgraph consensus?

Hashgraph consensus represents a significant evolution in distributed ledger technology, offering a novel approach to achieving consensus among network participants. Unlike traditional blockchain networks, which rely on complex computational algorithms like proof of work (PoW) or proof of stake (PoS), hashgraph consensus leverages a protocol based on node communication.

Key concepts of hashgraph consensus

At the core of hashgraph consensus are three fundamental concepts: gossip, gossip about gossip, and virtual voting.
  • Gossip: In hashgraph, nodes communicate with each other by gossiping about transactions they have received. This ensures that every node in the network is aware of all transactions.
  • Gossip about gossip: This concept involves nodes sharing information about the information they have received through gossip. It creates a collaborative history of transaction events, ensuring the integrity and consistency of the ledger.
  • Virtual voting: Nodes in the hashgraph network engage in virtual voting to reach consensus on the order of transactions. Each transaction is assigned a timestamp based on a median of all timestamps received by nodes, ensuring a fair and transparent validation process.

How hashgraph consensus works

Hashgraph consensus operates by continuously updating a decentralized ledger with transaction information propagated through the network via gossip. As transactions are communicated between nodes, virtual voting algorithms ensure agreement on the chronological order of transactions, maintaining the integrity and security of the ledger.

Understanding hashgraph vs. blockchain

While both hashgraph and blockchain are decentralized ledgers used for recording and verifying transactions, they differ significantly in their underlying mechanisms.


  • Utilizes gossip protocol for transaction propagation and consensus.
  • Transactions are recorded in a distributed ledger without the need for mining or validation by specific nodes.
  • Offers high throughput and low latency, enabling fast transaction confirmation times.


  • Relies on consensus mechanisms like PoW or PoS for transaction validation.
  • Transactions are grouped into blocks and added to a linear chain, requiring computational effort for block creation and validation.
  • May suffer from scalability issues and slower transaction processing times compared to hashgraph.

Here is a list of the benefits and drawbacks to consider.
  • High throughput and low latency.
  • Efficient consensus mechanism without the need for mining.
  • Enhanced scalability and faster transaction processing.
  • Currently lacks widespread adoption compared to blockchain.
  • Requires trust in network participants to maintain integrity.

Frequently asked questions

Is hashgraph consensus secure?

Yes, hashgraph consensus is designed to be highly secure, with built-in mechanisms to detect and mitigate malicious behavior among network participants.

How does hashgraph achieve consensus?

Hashgraph achieves consensus through a combination of gossip protocol, gossip about gossip, and virtual voting. These mechanisms ensure agreement on transaction order and integrity across the network.

Can hashgraph replace blockchain?

While hashgraph offers several advantages over blockchain, including higher throughput and faster transaction processing, it has not yet achieved the same level of adoption as blockchain. Whether it will replace blockchain remains to be seen.

Key takeaways

  • Hashgraph consensus offers a novel approach to achieving consensus in distributed ledger networks.
  • It relies on concepts like gossip, gossip about gossip, and virtual voting to validate transactions efficiently.
  • Compared to blockchain, hashgraph offers higher throughput, lower latency, and enhanced scalability.
  • While promising, hashgraph has yet to achieve widespread adoption and faces challenges in competing with established blockchain networks.

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