Hedera Hashgraph Blockchain to Launch, Release Coins Starting Sept. 16

Hedera Hashgraph, a blockchain-like public network for enterprises, is adding a U.S. financial giant to its governing council.

Hedera announced Thursday that FIS Global will become the ninth addition to its 39-member council. Hedera also announced that it intends to launch its mainnet in beta on Sept. 16.

The company claims its distributed ledger technology can facilitate micropayments and distributed file storage; support smart contracts; and will allow private networks to plug into the public one to take advantage of its transaction ordering mechanism. At launch, Hedera claims it can support up to 10,000 transactions per second and file services at 10 transactions per second.

FIS joins council members from multiple industries and four continents, including Japan-based Nomura Holdings, India’s Tata Communications and American tech giant IBM. It is the first U.S.-based financial services provider to join the group.

FIS declined to comment.

“We wanted to make sure that those initial members were diverse enough,” Leemon Baird, co-founder, chief scientist and inventor of the hashgraph consensus algorithm, told CoinDesk. “They’re on different continents, under different governments and in different industries.”

Greater reach

While the addition of FIS will further decentralize Hedera’s governance, the network is still looking to diversify its governing council both by geography and by industry.

“We started with what we think are the low-hanging fruit, but there’s a large swath of the market we have not begun to touch,” said Mance Harmon, CEO of Hedera. “For instance, we don’t have anyone in the energy sector or the automobile industry.”

When the mainnet is launched, the distribution of Hedera’s HBAR tokens will begin and continue over the course of 15 years. So far, the company has raised $124 million after three rounds of funding through simple agreements for future tokens (SAFTs). The first distribution of HBAR tokens will be to the approximately 1,000 participants in the SAFT rounds.

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Hedera is releasing HBAR in tranches over time to avoid anyone cornering the HBAR market, which would allow them to monopolize the nodes as well.

Before the mainnet launch, Hedera will announce a 10th governing member, and 13 nodes will run the open system with three of the 10 governing members running two nodes. (Hedera says that 13 nodes are more secure than 10 nodes. In the future all members will run one node.)

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