Harmony in 2026: Scaling Web3 via ZKP & DAO
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Harmony in 2026: Scaling Web3 via ZKP & DAO

Below is Harmonyโ€™s vision for Web3. We started the project 4 years ago with a mission of scaling trust and creating a radically fair economy. Looking forward to the next 4 years, Harmony is scaling Web3 infrastructure of DeFi and NFT. Our strategy is bringing the best results of Zero-Knowledge Proofs to production and decentralizing governance through thousands of DAOs.

Web3 Infrastructure

We are a Day ONE startup. Blockchains are becoming the foundation of the global economy, yet their adoption is at only 1%. That means that pioneers and developers are shaping the future with 10X impact. Harmony is a community-driven project, a network with billion dollars of assets, and a team wearing crazy ambitions on their sleeves.

As Messari and Vitalik both emphasize, Web3 is growing in all areas but particularly NFT infrastructure, DAO tooling, and inter-protocol bridges.

Harmony in 2026 will serve as a unifying Web3 platform. We see Metaverse as the market-product fit of marrying culture and technology for billions of users. We take fluid employment and token-aligned incentives in autonomous organizations as the basic of the creator economy. We know trustless and secure bridges to all chains as the core of open platforms.

ZK Cryptography

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Zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) and other cryptography primitives are fundamental innovations for years to come. Harmony has created zkDAO and zkU courses, bringing not only the best research to production but also the brightest minds into the field.

We are focusing on products with 100X benefits, magical uses, or universal constructs. Harmony has identified the following 6 products as the most ready in coming years; they already have usable prototypes on mainnet.

The first is compressing computations and states to succinct representations โ€“ namely, low-fee zkEVM rollups, trustless Flyclient bridges, and stateless Non-Interactive-PoPoW clients.

The second is protecting privacy across multiple chains and Web2-to-Web3 actions. For example, cross-chain coin mixers like Tornado โ€“ which is a top use case with 35K users and $6M revenue; Ethereum Foundation's Semaphore Project now enables anonymous authentication and voting.

Lastly, fairness is now guaranteed on blockchain. Verifiable Delay Functions (VDF) will be a key primitive for randomness in games and lotteries; anti-collusion for quadratic funding will be critical for anonymous and open grants.

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zkDAO โ€“ย Succinct, Private, Fair

10,000 DAOs

Just a few months ago in Lisbon, we announced our $300M ecosystem fund for 100 DAOs. Today 25 DAOs are already funded with Gnosis Safe multi-signatures and Snapshot votings.

Harmony has committed millions of funds to these initiatives. More importantly, we have pushed their formations, governance, and milestones in the public โ€“ all as open development across chains. By 2026 all of our treasury, development and coordination will be diversified into thousands of DAOs โ€“ across and joint with multiple chains.

Currently, our Research DAO already has multiple top professors as governors and giving travel grants to students; our Wallet DAO spawned three mobile clients and pushed through many security audits.

Our bottom-up approach is the "Basic Income" DAO, paying creatives and builders at $75 per hour โ€“ globally for at-will contributions. Our top-down approach is the "Organic Liquidity" DAO, market-making across tens of exchanges by thousands of strategy bots โ€“ with aligned and public incentives.

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100 DAOs & Cross-Chain Web3

Tractions

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  • $1.02B locked assets and 317K monthly users on DeFi Kingdom (RPG game for yield farming)
  • Curve, Sushi Swap, *Aave 3.0, ChainLink, Aragon, *BlackPool NFT on Mainnet
  • $414M assets on ETH bridge; 5 more bridges (BTC, LUNA, ATOM, Webb, CELER) on mainnet
  • $455M assets on Multi (AnySwap), $94.1M Sushi, $54.3M Tranquil (DAI), $45.8M Viper Swap
  • 25 DAOs and 75 governors formed including $2M Liquidity, $2M Africa, $1M for Research, $500K Spork Denver, $250K H.E.R., $250K Meta Gamma Delta
  • 250 grants of $40.2M approved including Webb privacy mixers, Mai Finance, Timeless Wallet, VoldemArt / NFTrade marketplace, CryptID / 5x5 gaming play-to-earn
  • 25.3K on-chain delegators, 36.0% or $1.48B staked, 162 validator pools
  • 1.41B total value locked, 137K active wallets, 656K total wallets, 120 active apps
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Horizon: A Gas-Efficient Trustless Bridge for Cross-Chain Transactions

Role Models

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Ethereum not only has the most aligned vision but also diverse communities.

Starkware not only has the best researchers but also the most usage of ZKP products.

Cosmos not only has the most modular architectures but also vibrant ecosystems (such as Terra and Celestia).

Competitors

Harmonyโ€™s consensus offers 2-second finality and uniform scaling via state sharding. Our staking has on-chain delegation, view change and slashing. Harmonyโ€™s bridges and wallets are trustless and secured by smart contracts. Our cross-chain architecture universally connects heterogeneous chains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cosmos and any EVM-compatible chains.

Solana has an optimized system and immerse liquidity, but expensive nodes and centralized decisions.

Luna has robust economics and an aligned community, but lacks Ethereum tooling and on-chain scaling.

Polkadot has an interchain protocol and developer grants, but limited slots and slow adoption.

Avalanche has an innovative consensus and enterprise supports, but limited peer-reviewed research.

Polygon has Ethereumโ€™s integrations and DeFi products, but lacks uniform scaling.

Near has a sharding consensus and DAO governance, but lacks cryptography research.

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Why Harmony? Technical Overview of Protocols, Validators & Bridges

Leadership & Developers

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Stephen Tse (security PhD, Google/App): vision, strategy, roadmap.

Rongjian Lan (database grad, Google): protocol, staking, cryptography.

Leo Chen (Linux kernel, Amazon): system, technical partners, NFT.

Li Jiang (education summits, GSV): operations, roadmap, DAOs.

Ganesha Upadhyaya (compiler PhD, Future Wei): bridges, SDK, research.

Peter Abilla (math, eBay/Amazon): partnership, community, DeFi.

Token Economics

Like the incentives of Curveโ€™s locked CRV and Olympusโ€™ owned OHM, we are offering 40% discount for locking over 4 years, at 30-day volume-weighted average price (VWAP). Harmony Foundation currently holds more than $500M in tokens for ecosystem growth and $300M for protocol development. As of 01/13/2022, our market cap is $4.10B (or $4.71B at fully diluted valuation). Our valuation jumped 77.5X in 2021, and 149% year-to-date in 2022.

Harmonyโ€™s investors in 2018 include Anmi Group, Blockchain Assets, BTC12 Capital, Continue Capital, Hayek Capital, HM Capital, Lemniscap, Qtum, Skunk Capital, Univalues Associate; in 2019 Binance Labs, Coin Fund, Cyphermines, Digital Asset Capital Management, FBG, SNZ, Wanxiang Hashkey.

2026 Roadmap

  • 2022Q1: Trustless Bitcoin/Ethereum bridges, Blue Metaverse, ZKProof course, Social NFT wallet, Staking contract, Cross-Chain to OpenSea
  • 2022Q2: โ€œBlue To Flyโ€ social tokens, fixed-rate products , decentralized RPC, Terra/Polygon Bridge, Staking derivatives, Cross-shard transactions
  • 2022Q3: 1-Second Finality, Fast streaming sync, Secure resharding, Decentralized ops, State pruning, Cosmos/Polkadot bridges, Metaverse festivals
  • 2022Q4: zkSync rollups, Private authentication
  • 2023: zkEVM bridges, Private swaps, 100K scholars
  • 2024: Stateless clients, Anti-collusion funding
  • 2025: All treasury on 10,000 DAOs

Social Impact & Radical Change