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Theme fund: NGI Assure
Start: 2021-10
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Hyper Hyper Space

Cryptographically secure append-only distributed data layer

The Hyper Hyper Space project aims to make distributed applications easy to build and usable by anyone. It introduces “spaces”, shared information objects that are stored locally (on personal computers or phones) and can be easily replicated over the network to any number of participants and kept synchronized. Spaces have formats (just like files): blogs, discussion forums, e-commerce stores, etc. can be represented as space-types. Instead of filenames or URLs, spaces can be universally looked up by entering a 3-word code into the application. This code is used to find devices hosting the space, and then to fetch and validate it. To make developing dapps simpler, all spaces use the same basic information representation (an append-only Merkle-DAG, a construction used successfully in cryptocurrencies).

Application designers can build upon a library of building blocks supplied by Hyper Hyper Space (e.g. cryptographic identities, CRDT-inspired datatypes, etc.) that work over append-only DAGs. Once a space is defined this way, its synchronization can be handled by Hyper Hyper Space transparently, simplifying application development. Finally, to make spaces universally available, the Hyper Hyper Space runtime works inside an unmodified web browser (as a JavaScript library: IndexedDB is used for in-browser storage, WebRTC as transport - no extensions are needed). Thus a distributed application can be deployed as a static website that fetches its contents from a browser-to-browser mesh.

On top of Hyper Hyper Space, the project will create a public state transition logbook as an HHS mutable object - a generalized version of a cryptocurrency’s ledger: instead of storing financial transactions, the logbook keeps a Merkle-tree of state transitions over time for a set of HHS objects. By providing the actual HHS operations that hash to the state transition starting and ending state, and a Merkle-proof of this state stransition having been accepted into the logbook, it is possible for an HHS object to prove that it has executed those operations to an untrusted third party (as long as the logbook can be trusted).

Ultimately, the Hyper Hyper Space project’s goal is to encourage open information formats and software interoperability, helping make open source, non-for profit and public interest application development sustainable.

Logo NLnet: abstract logo of four people seen from above Logo NGI Assure: letterlogo shaped like a tag

This project was funded through the NGI Assure Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 957073.