Category

Blog

Introducing Hyperledger Labs!

By | Blog

Today, we’re excited to announce that the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) has voted to approve the launch of Hyperledger Labs! Hyperledger Labs aims to provide a channel suitable for innovation and testing of ideas where work can easily be started without the creation of a formal Hyperledger project. It will allow teams to experiment with new frameworks and new modules without the promise of stable code or MVP.

We believe Hyperledger Labs supports the main goal behind Hyperledger to help build communities by gathering people sharing a common interest in developing blockchain related software.

Why Hyperledger Labs?

Currently, the project lifecycle at Hyperledger requires projects to be started in Incubation and graduate to Active projects. However the only way to currently do this is to submit a project proposal and launch a formal project in Incubation. This is a relatively heavy process that requires a level of endorsement by Hyperledger that is not suitable for cases where projects are immature from a code-complete, production-quality, or community building perspective, or experimental.

Hyperledger Labs lowers the pressure on the TSC to start new projects and allow for work to be done within a legal framework that eases transition to a project in Incubation in cases where this ends up being the chosen path for the Labs.

What can be in Labs?

Examples of possible Labs include: projects too early for TSC approval as an incubator because there’s not a lot of code; demos; documentation examples; sample code from hackathons, research projects, etc.

There is no guarantee that a Lab will become an incubated or fully-fledged project at Hyperledger. If at any point a Lab wants to enter Incubation and become a formal project, a project proposal will need to be submitted for TSC consideration.

How will Labs work?

Hyperledger Labs is not directly controlled by the TSC. Labs are proposed and run by the community. They can be created by a simple request (done by submitting a Pull Request) to the Labs Stewards.

Labs Stewards act in oversight to ensure legal compliance, etc., and will produce a quarterly hyperledger-labs-wide “project” report to the TSC. To help the community understand the status of the different Labs, Stewards will also be responsible for curating the set of Labs, moving to an archives space those that become dormant or unresponsive for an extended period (6+ months), or are explicitly deemed by the committers to be deprecated/obsoleted. In case of issue with the Labs Stewards, requesters and/or committers can appeal to the TSC for arbitration.

The Labs Stewards will consist of the Hyperledger Community Architect(s), who are staff members of The Linux Foundation, and subsequently any volunteer from the community approved by the TSC. The initial list of Lab Stewards is:

  • Arnaud Le Hors
  • Vipin Bharathan
  • Bas van Oostveen
  • Tracy Kuhrt

Get involved!

We hope that Hyperledger Labs encourages more developers to get involved and experiment in the community. The following communication channels have been set up for Hyperledger Labs:

If you’d like to learn more, you can visit Hyperledger Lab’s wiki or Github organization.

As always, we encourage developers to join our efforts via github, Rocket.Chat, the wiki or the mailing lists. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

 

Developer Showcase Series: George Theofilis, Synaphea

By | Blog

We return to our Developer Showcase blog series, which serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is George Theofilis, CTO of Synaphea. Let’s see what he has to say!

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain?

Get your theoretical background fortified, and start reading, now! Knowing it works is only half the skill, if you can’t explain how and why it works. This might force you to at least dab in economics or legal studies a bit, but it sure is worth your while.

Theoretical background is of major importance and so is market knowledge in order for a development team to quickly grasp the value of the solution they build.

A relatively novice programmer wishing to build a blockchain application with Hyperledger should definitely possess an adequate basic understanding of Docker as well as some fluency in the Go programming language.

George Theofilis, CTO of Synaphea

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?

For me it started with academic curiosity during my years in the university. From there it grew into something more very quickly, supported by the hype of the bitcoin community. What my startup and I are working on right now is a wide array of tools for smart-contract management – which began as ways to make our daily lives easier – and an aggregation system for easy deployment for smart-contracts over many blockchain implementations and networks, both public and privately owned.

What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

I think blockchain technology would help us to further the digitization of the public sector. Thus making public management more transparent and efficient. One such application of blockchain would be digital IDs or an application that would issue needed credentials in an automated way.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

Every day try to learn a new thing and to push yourself to your limits, is the only way to mastering computer programming.

What technology could you not live without?

On a matter of lifestyle I think it’s the internet. It became synonymous with the western way of life. But on a more pragmatic approach it would definitely be electricity. Humanity depends much on electric current for its survival.

Data Model Considerations in Hyperledger Sawtooth

By | Blog, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Guest post: Zac Delventhal, Hyperledger Sawtooth maintainer, Bitwise IO

Hyperledger Sawtooth is an enterprise blockchain platform for building distributed ledger applications and networks. Sawtooth simplifies blockchain application development by separating the core system from the application domain. Application developers can specify the business rules appropriate for their application, using the language of their choice, without needing to know the underlying design of the core system.

In this blog post though, we wanted to get past the “Hello World” content and talk about some of that underlying design to allow advanced developers to extract more performance. (TLDR: Read this design doc). Sawtooth relies on a merkle radix data structure as the underlying data store. This differs from Hyperledger Fabric, but is common with some other blockchain implementations.

If you are just getting started with Sawtooth you really don’t need to understand any of this, but if you are interested in digging deeper or are working on an intensive blockchain application there’s some design considerations to think through on your data model.

Let’s say we have some resources we plan to store as UTF-8 encoded JSON strings. You can use any byte encoding you like, and there are better options than JSON, but this will give us something familiar and human readable as an example. Our resources are going to have a pretty simple structure, just a unique id, a description, and an array of numbers:

  {

    "id": "123",

    "description": "An example resource",

    "numbers": [4, 5, 6]

  } 

 

So now we have to decide how to store this data on the merkle radix tree. Sawtooth addresses are made up of 35-bytes, typically represented as 70 hexadecimal characters. The first six characters are the namespace for our transaction family, but the final 64 characters we can use however we like. Let’s go through three possible setups we could choose:

  1. All of our data is stored at a single address.
  2. Each resource is stored its own address.
  3. Each resource is stored over multiple addresses.

One Address For Everything

This is an absurd design only appropriate for the most rudimentary hello world examples. But why is it absurd? Exploring that should provide some useful insights. Let’s say we just take all of our data, and throw it in one JSON object indexed by the resource ids:

{

    "123": { "id": "123", "description": ... },

    "456": { "id": "456", "description": ... },

   ...

 

And we store this massive string at whatever our namespace is plus 64 zeros:

  123456 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000:

    '{"123":{"id":"123","description":...},"456":{"id":"456",...'

  }

(Note that the space after the namespace in the addresses above are just for illustration purposes. Sawtooth addresses do not have spaces.)

From a certain perspective this may be attractive for its simplicity. You don't need to think about addressing at all! You just always read/write from the one address and pull up whatever JSON is there. There are unfortunately two big downsides to this approach:

  • First, you now need to read/write a lot of data anytime you want to make a modification. Anytime anything changes, you will be parsing a huge JSON string, updating some small part of the resulting data, then re-encoding it as JSON and writing it back to the merkle tree. With any number of resources this will quickly become a huge performance bottleneck.
  • Second, you will have hamstrung one of Sawtooth's greatest strengths: parallelism. Sawtooth validators are capable of simultaneously validating multiple transactions, but if those transactions are trying to write to the same address, they cannot be executed in parallel, and must be validated sequentially.  So with all of our data in a single address we guarantee validators will only ever work on one transaction at a time.

One Address per Resource

This approach is a little more sensible and still fairly simple. While you don't get to ignore addressing completely, all you really need to do is to find a way to turn each resource's unique identifier into 64 hex characters. A common method is to just take the first 64 characters of a hash. Here's how we would store our example resource above if we took the SHA-512 hash of the “id” field:

123456 3c9909afec25354d551dae21590bb26e38d53f2173b8d3dc3eee4c047e7ab1c1:

    '{"id":"123","description":"An example resource","numbers":[4,5,6]}'

This is likely the approach you'll see in many applications. It is easy to reason about, and as long as each resource is not too large, or updated too frequently, performance should be reasonable. But what if we do have large or frequently updated resources? Could we split this up further?

One Resource over Multiple Addresses

64 hex characters provides us with trillions and trillions of potential addresses. There is no reason not to get as fine-grained as we like with them. For example we could use the first 60 characters for a hash of the identifier, and then use the remaining 4 characters for a hash of each property name:

123456 3c9909afec25354d551dae21590bb26e38d53f2173b8d3dc3eee4c047e7a f0bc:

    '{id:"123","name":"id","value":"123"}'

  123456 3c9909afec25354d551dae21590bb26e38d53f2173b8d3dc3eee4c047e7a 384f:

    '{id:"123","name":"description","value":"An example resource"}'

  123456 3c9909afec25354d551dae21590bb26e38d53f2173b8d3dc3eee4c047e7a 542a:

    '{id:"123","name":"numbers","value":[4,5,6]}'

This is also a pretty absurd example. In order to reconstruct the resource later we have to spell out the property name and include the resource id repeatedly. Overall we are storing a lot more data, but we have minimized the amount of data we need read/write in each update. Also, while our validator can now do some fancy tricks like updating the "description" at the same time it updates the "number", that probably isn't important with our tiny little array of three numbers.

But what if we had thousands of numbers that changed frequently? We could instead use those last address characters as array indexes. Something like this:

  123456 3c9909afec25354d551dae21590bb26e38d53f2173b8d3dc3eee4c04 00000000:

    '{id:"123","description":"An example resource","nextIndex":4}'

  123456 3c9909afec25354d551dae21590bb26e38d53f2173b8d3dc3eee4c04 00000001:

    '{id:"123","number":4}'

  123456 3c9909afec25354d551dae21590bb26e38d53f2173b8d3dc3eee4c04 00000002:

    '{id:"123","number":5}'

  123456 3c9909afec25354d551dae21590bb26e38d53f2173b8d3dc3eee4c04 00000003:

    '{id:"123","number":6}'

So now we are using 56 characters for the id hash, and reserving the last eight for pieces of the resource, which gives us room for a few billion pieces. All of the basic resource info is at 00000000, while any remaining addresses each store a single number.

This is starting to get pretty complex, and reconstructing this resource later will be a pain, but adding a new numbers has become extremely simple. Imagine the array was 10,000 items long. In any of the previous designs we would have had to parse that entire gigantic string and then re-encode it, just to add one item. With this design, we just add a new entry to the next index. Also, the validator can be highly parallelized now. Adding new numbers, updating the description, and changing existing numbers can all happen at the same time.

Conclusion

There is no one correct answer or strategy when it comes to structuring your data model. You'll need to decide for yourself what is appropriate based on your developer and application needs. In Sawtooth Supply Chain, we have "Record" resources with multiple arrays of telemetry data that could be updated on a second by second basis, and might stretch to millions of entries. So Records are highly split up in a manner similar to the numbers example above. Logically we are just pushing to an array, but in practice we needed to break that into different buckets. For a full discussion of this pattern take a look at the supply chain doc on the subject.

By contrast, in Sawtooth Marketplace there wasn't as much opportunity or need to do anything so complex, and it follows uses a simple one address per resource pattern.

If you’re interested, you can learn more about Hyperledger Sawtooth and see real world examples of how the technology is being used. You can also read the documentation, join the community on RocketChat or pull the code from GitHub to kick the tires today.

Zac Delventhal is senior software engineer at Bitwise IO, and a maintainer on Hyperledger Sawtooth. When bored, he can be found giving overly long explanations about Hyperledger concepts in blog posts or on RocketChat.

Making Legal Contracts Smart

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric

Guest post: Dan Selman and Houman Shadab, Clause.io

The potential to automate a wide variety of business transactions in a way that is secure, transparent, and flexible will likely be one of the most transformational benefits of blockchain. However, software applications that use distributed ledger technology to automate business processes are often confusingly referred to as “smart contracts” despite not being tied to any legally binding obligation or, worse still, not being enforceable in court. In contrast are smart legal contracts: legally binding agreements whose underlying logic is transformed through computation to enable automation, software connectivity, and dynamic business arrangements.  

Automated transactions must be executed according to the terms of a legally binding agreement to provide companies with certainty and the ability to be compensated if something goes wrong. Smart contracts that are executed apart from a legal agreement cannot be fully integrated into an enterprise digital transformation strategy. Fundamental transformation requires consolidating systems end-to-end and involving a company’s legal agreements. And even if legally enforceable, smart contracts that operate without incorporating standards will likely be an isolated phenomenon without the full benefit of marketwide adoption. Worse still, smart contracts that are inaccessible to legal and business professionals are likely to remain more of a curiosity than transformational.

The Accord Project was established, in part, to develop a community driven protocol for smart legal contracting. It is built on the fundamental notion that contracting is, and should be, blockchain agnostic. Users are therefore able to use Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, and others as warranted. The Accord Project is an Associate Member of Hyperledger and is a consortium of attorneys, technologists, and organizations collaborating to set techno-legal standards and develop open source technology. But it’s not just talk. The Accord Project has already operationalized its vision through the open source software called “Cicero.”

Cicero enables lawyers and business professionals to turn traditional, legally binding agreements into smart legal contracts. It accomplishes this through an easy-to-use system for enabling legal contracts to be executed in response to external data and be connected to a wide variety of software systems and platforms, including blockchain.

The “virtuous triangle” of functionality implemented by Cicero templates.

The core of Cicero is a smart contract templating system made up of three components. The first is a template’s grammar, which consists of natural language contract text that identifies data-oriented variables such as price, date, etc. Second is the template’s data model that provides a framework for categorizing the variables and the components of the business context that operationalize smart contracts. Once the elements of a legal contract and the business context are categorized with a data-oriented modeling language, the contract can then be executed using the template’s operational logic — the third component of Cicero’s smart contract templating system.

We chose the Hyperledger Composer modeling language because it is a great fit for smart legal contracts and is able to be put to use immediately. Composer is general enough to model any type of contract and make them executable in a variety of environments — a core requirement the Accord Project’s protocol agnosticism.

Hyperledger Composer’s primary elements correspond to the basics of smart legal contracting. Composer’s participant element corresponds to the contracting parties and its asset element corresponds to the goods, services, and other subject matter of a contract. Composer’s transactions element causes assets to be exchanged and, importantly for smart legal contracts, are the means by which external data about assets trigger business logic. Examples of transactions include sending payment when data indicates assets have been delivered, or sending notice of breach when data indicates a temperature condition is violated. Other elements of Composer map well to contracting, including those that capture types of assets (e.g., red, medium), the state of contract (e.g., past due, in-process), and basic terms such as party addresses.

The Accord Project has created an open source repository for Cicero templates and is inviting all those interested in creating a smart legal contract ecosystem to contribute. The full documentation is located here. For more information about joining the Accord Project and the discussion on slack, please visit our website: www.accordproject.org.

Perishable Goods Example

To make things concrete, let’s take a look at an example Hyperledger Composer business network (executing on Hyperledger Fabric v1) which invokes Cicero running on an out-process standalone web server. Hyperledger Fabric stores the state of assets on the blockchain, while Cicero executes contract logic off-chain.

Installation instructions for the demo are here: https://github.com/accordproject/cicero-perishable-network

Hyperledger Composer is used to store the state of shipments, importers, growers, shippers on the blockchain, while the contract logic is invoked out-of-process using the Cicero Server.

High-level architecture for the cicero-perishable-network demo.

Note: it is also possible to embed Cicero execution inside Hyperledger Fabric v1.1-preview, thanks to the support for executing Node.js chaincode.

The Hyperledger Composer Playground can be used to visualize and interact with the data stored on the blockchain.

Shipments being tracked on the blockchain.

The identities of the participants in the permissioned blockchain are managed by Hyperledger Fabric, and their metadata is managed by Hyperledger Composer and is visible in the Hyperledger Composer Playground.

Permissioned access enforced by Hyperledger Fabric, and business network Participant state stored on the blockchain.

Hyperledger Composer playground can be used to interactively test the logic for the business network, submitting transactions that update the state of assets stored on the blockchain, based on the results of executing a Cicero contract.

Simulating submitting IoT transactions using Hyperledger Composer

Behind the Scenes

Both Hyperledger Composer and Cicero are fundamentally strongly-typed and model driven, so we start by defining the data model, and because both Hyperledger Composer and Cicero use the same modelling language, there is no need for complex model mapping when calling from one to the other.

The Composer data model, showing the Shipment asset that is being stored on the blockchain, as well as some of the transactions that update the state of the shipment.

The Hyperledger Composer business network includes a transaction processor function (chaincode) that invokes the Cicero server.

A Composer transaction processor function for the ShipmentReceived transaction. On Line 32 you can see the call to the Cicero server, passing in data from the incoming transaction. After calling Cicero the function can update the state of assets on the blockchain.

You can then create a new (or use an existing) Cicero template. Here we are using the perishable-goods template from the Cicero Template Library at https://github.com/accordproject/cicero-template-library.

The grammar for a Cicero template. The grammar is the natural language text for the clause with embedded variables.

A Cicero template is strongly-typed and the type-information is captured in the template’s Template Model.

The Template Model for the perishable-goods Cicero template. The Template Model captures the names and types for variables referenced in the template grammar. Note that it can reference or include complex types, such as Shipment or Duration.

Cicero combines the Template Grammar and Template Model and uses them to generate a parser for the template. The parser takes input source text and converts it to an instance of the Template Model.

Finally Cicero templates include the executable business logic which implements a function that receives an incoming transaction and the clause data, and returns a response transaction.

Some of the business logic for the perishable-goods template, written in JavaScript. Note that the Accord Project is working on a Domain Specific Language for capturing contract logic.

For more information, and the full source code, please refer to:

 

Developer Showcase Series: Piers Casimir-Mrowczynski, BWPS

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer

Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Piers Casimir-Mrowczynski, head of computer science at BWPS. Let’s see what he has to say!

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain?

The way forward is a combination of the academic and the practical. Buy one of the well regarded Blockchain/Bitcoin books. Dive in and it will reward you with a real sense of blockchain warmth and wellbeing coupled with a solid architectural background. Follow it with a highly accessible and well formed blockchain solution builder such as Hyperledger Composer. You’ll then move from the theory to the practice. It’s a brilliant way to begin your blockchain journey!

Piers Casimir-Mrowczynski, head of computer science at BWPS

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?

Aside from a continued assimilation and accumulation of knowledge, I’ve been prototyping a document management and ownership recording system aimed at the Compliance function you would find in a Hedge Fund. Such immutable applications are the bread and butter of what blockchain can achieve and support. Hyperledger Composer, running on a Linux platform, and its associated elements, is ideally suited to such a blockchain application, where ease of development and confidence in the underlining architecture are imperative.

For me, Blockchain is an incredibly exciting new technology. There’s a certain irony though, that when I was 17, back in the late 70’s, studying at college, many blockchain related technologies already existed. I was learning about stacks, arrays, basic cryptography and hash totals. It feels a little like coming back home and taking these old technologies forward in a new and much more sophisticated way. Blockchain is a truly exciting phenomenon just waiting to mature.

What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?

For me it’s education, education and education. There needs to be a focus on Hyperledger specific education for its many business application solution builders. Technical infrastructure, business network solution planning as well as supporting the development, testing and implementation project lifecycle are all important.

With sound and accessible education in place, anything is possible. It starts with management understanding and then builds from there. Hyperledger is the future of mainstream blockchain applications and with the plethora of educational tools and resources, both old school as well as new technology based, there are simply now no excuses for not building world class educational resources.

What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

It’s a non-technical one; that management gain the understanding and confidence needed to champion the development of blockchain applications that provide real world solutions for real world benefit. Once those foundations are in place, great solutions will follow. In addition, the open source mentality will go a long way in supporting eco-friendly, sustainable and ethical resolutions to real first and third world problems.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in 5 years?

I see greater acceptance, better understanding and the realisation that blockchain is much more than a Bitcoin facilitation platform. Hyperledger feels like the solid, proven technology that will satisfy both the technical and non-technical innovators and implementers. This business as usual approach will disrupt the traditional applications and their associated corporate users and I hope this will support the very real creation of innovative and positive organic business solutions.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

Plan first, build and test, test and test again. And actually talk to your users about what they want – before development begins. Keep it simple.

What technology could you not live without?

Easy. My Apple Mac. ( And a flushing toilet ).

Developer Showcase Series: Cody Burns, Accenture

By | Blog, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Cody Burns, a blockchain architect at Accenture. Let’s see what he has to say!

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain? 

The best time to get into blockchain was likely 9 years ago, the next best time is today. The world of distributed computing and specifically blockchain is rapidly growing up. This is a great time to take the leap into the technology that the next 20 years of the internet will be built upon. Awesome tools and new languages are being developed and rolled out every day. I really see these as what will be the formative years of the next generation of technology and it is being built by the best and the brightest from around the globe today.

The only thing holding you back from getting in on the ground floor is yourself. The open source projects and communities are always looking for help, there are hundreds of hours of video online, and many free and paid courses are available to you right now. Enterprise companies are really leaning forward in the space, Accenture has dedicated an entire floor of their innovation center in Ireland, known as the Dock, specifically to blockchain tech and regularly hosts hack-a-thons and meetups.

Finally, I would strongly recommend everyone avoid the temptation of becoming a “trader” or becoming overly fixated on the money side of the tech. The public blockchain space has become lousy with developers who, through no fault of their own, became rich quickly through purely the adoption of blockchain technology. The fact that the tech you are working on becomes valuable doesn’t mean you are suddenly Gorden Gekko. It means you were lucky. Technology is about exploration and learning, not lambos and getting rich quick.

Cody Burns, blockchain Architect at Accenture

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?

I’ve been involved with applied cryptography since around the year 2000 and have always loved the concept of encrypted communication systems and peer to peer networks. I joined the Marines out of high school and was assigned as a 2841, Ground electronic repairman, so anything electronic in the military you could talk to or through I ended up working on, learning about, and teaching others. After I left the military I went to college, and along the way found bitcoin and fell in love. I continued learning about it and expanded to other projects like ethereum and ethereum classic and, after getting my MBA, I decided it was time to move into enterprise level systems and began looking for leaders in the technology field with exposure to fortune 500 companies. I found what I was looking for when I joined Accenture.

Here at Accenture, we have been working with enterprise clients on projects solving problems that have been pain points for decades; logistics, health & safety, and risk management. Companies are learning that some areas they traditionally viewed as impossible to collaborate on are now within their reach since we can cryptographically verify with a single source of truth. We are exploring proof of concepts with a wide variety of industry players, from food safety and provenance with Campbells soup, global identity solutions with the World Economic Forum, and helping streamline freight bill audit and pay in the oil field services arena. I am currently working on a project that will be presented at theWorld Economic Forum as part of a global traveler identification system. Very cool stuff.

What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?

This is a very exciting time for Hyperledger. Over the next 12 months, I think the ecosystem will see many of the PoCs it partners have been working on move into larger scale roll outs. From conversations and summits I’ve been involved with, I can say many enterprise companies are very interested in the technology and are looking for the right opportunities and partners to move forward.

I do think the two largest barriers that will bring the largest adoption improvements are oracle & api integration and improving the overall user experience. As companies begin to interact more and more with blockchains they will be looking for the best pathway to onboard their legacy data into the new systems. Making this seamless should be everyone’s priority number one. Another shortcoming in the blockchain space in general is the poor design of UI/UX. I’m very comfortable using the cli for nearly everything I do on my system. But that experience doesn’t translate well to mass adoption.

As Hyperledger’s incubated projects start maturing and hit 1.0s and beyond, what are the most interesting technologies, apps, or use cases coming out as a result from your perspective?

Intel’s Proof of Elapsed time consensus algorithm being integrated with Seth on the Hyperledger Sawtooth project is exciting. It has the potential of making both public and enterprise chains much more energy efficient without relying on overly convoluted game theory systems to solve leader election.  

What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

I hope that we can continue to improve on the inefficiencies that have been left over from the pre-internet era In the enterprise environment; wasteful data storage practices, mis-aligned industry standards on the same project, and lost revenue due to time-to-process to name a few. Having an immutable ledger tying together industry players is something that has never been capable before at the scale blockchain allows for.   

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in 5 years?

Silently and securely grinding away in the background of many enterprise networks. The industry is in its wild teenage years and needs to embrace the fact that its ok to be boring. Reliable systems are awesome. Focus on formal verification of code, mitigation of risk through bug, and scaling. For me the true measure of success will be when blockchains are as exciting as databases are today. They will become trust machine in the background obediently connecting the worlds logistics, finance, and commerce systems together.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

Find something you are passionate about and never give it up. I love open source communities and specifically the blockchain communities, I have been fortunate enough to be able to work on public and enterprise systems and love every minute of it. Do not get too focused on the 1% of disagreement that you have in the communities. Everyone is there because they are as passionate about the tech as you are.

What technology could you not live without?

I use my Trezor for everything. U2f and key management. It is the must have device for blockchain architects and crypto enthusiasts everywhere.

 

Developer Showcase Series: Deverick Crippen, GrandView Technology

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric

Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Deverick Crippen from GrandView Technology. Let’s see what he has to say!

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain?

My advice to technologists or developers interested in getting started with blockchain, would be to first invest time in studying what it is and how it will impact the world. YouTube offers some great speeches and training on blockchain technology and Hyperledger.

Deverick Crippen, GrandView Technology

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?

The project I’m currently working on is using blockchain, in conjunction with IoT, to create a supply chain solution for specific industries that my team has knowledge and years of experience in. Blockchain offers the security, traceability and transparency that the world needs in these areas for quality, as well as, efficient production and transport of goods.

What project in Hyperledger are you working on? Any new developments to share? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?

We are currently using Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Composer for our solution. The solution isn’t developed yet, but I must say that IBM and Hyperledger offer great development tools, tutorials, videos, and other resources, that have made us go far in our development.

What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?

I think developer education and promotion should be the focus of Hyperledger next year. I’d love to see more developer conferences and meetups. We live in a connected and mobile world, so great minds are in every corner of the earth.

As Hyperledger’s incubated projects start maturing and hit 1.0s and beyond, what are the most interesting technologies, apps, or use cases coming out as a result from your perspective?

I’m excited about the financial applications. This is our country’s most profitable industry and leads the rest in adoption of new technologies for business.

What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

Voting.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in 5 years?

In the next 5 years, I hope to see blockchain used globally and as common a term as the internet. I’m hoping Hyperledger becomes/maintains the #1 Influencer.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

Learn Javascript!

What technology could you not live without?

I cannot live without my iPhone.

Onward and Upward for Hyperledger in 2018

By | Blog, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Chaintool, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Explorer, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Quilt, Hyperledger Sawtooth

As 2017 comes to a close, it’s beneficial to look back and reflect on the progress we have made, and where we will see evolution and growth in the new year. This year, the world has acknowledged distributed ledgers and smart contracts as transformative technologies with tremendous potential to impact how business is conducted in many industries. Within  Hyperledger, the technology foundations have now been set. In the coming year, that will turn into more production software releases, real world implementations, and the first real business returns on our collective intellectual and financial investment.  

Below are a few observations from the year, milestones and thoughts on what will come in 2018.

Blockchain maturation and more production implementations

  • Companies large and small, IT vendors and end-user organizations, consortiums and NGOs, everyone took notice of Hyperledger in 2017 and made moves to get involved. This was evident in the ever increasing Hyperledger membership, which nearly doubled in size. We sold out of our Premier memberships at 21 total, adding eight new companies just this year including SAP, American Express, Daimler, Change Healthcare, NEC, Cisco, Tradeshift and Baidu. Hyperledger now has support from 197 organizations, and remains the fastest growing open source project ever hosted by The Linux Foundation. This has given Hyperledger a very solid footing financially, enabling us to double the resources we can apply towards building and supporting the community in 2018.
  • We have grown our Associate Member ranks to include organizations as diverse as Mercy Corps, the National Association of Realtors, the Illinois Blockchain Initiative, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.  These relationships are key to extending Hyperledger’s reach into different sectors and environments.
  • Attesting to our focus on developing code suitable for enterprise use, this year saw the launch of the first production ready Hyperledger blockchain framework, Hyperledger Fabric 1.0. This was a true community effort pulling together contributions from more than 100 different developers and 30 different companies. As one result, we have 45 members listed in our Vendor Directory, providing products and services based on Hyperledger technology.
  • We have seen substantial uptick in POCs, pilots and production implementations of Hyperledger technologies, many of which are being tracked at the PoC Tracker on the Hyperledger website. Just a few examples of projects building in Hyperledger code include:
    • The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Project Ubin, implementing an RTGS system;
    • the soon-to-be-production diamond supply chain tracking system implemented by Everledger, SAP and IBM;
    • and the Plastic Bank, a plastics recycling initiative.

In 2018, we will see:

  • more 1.0 milestones made next year by various Hyperledger projects;
  • more production deployments: for example, Change Healthcare, has announced an early 2018 go-live for their claims processing blockchain built on Hyperledger Fabric;
  • a growing Hyperledger staff and presence at events, creating more content, supporting a growing set of projects and working groups;
  • and more membership growth. We are reaching out to a broader set of industries than ever, and are deepening our relationships with our existing members.  

The fast expanding developer and end-user community will continue to grow

  • Demand for developers, and developer interest in Hyperledger, has exploded. We are now seeing sold-out Hyperledger meetups in dozens of cities, strong attendance at our semi-monthly HackFests held around the world, thousands of participants on our email and chat networks, non-stop requests for speakers at conferences, and of course more and more code flowing into our repositories.
  • We launched the first Hyperledger online training course this year: Blockchain for Business – An Introduction to Hyperledger Technologies. Currently, there are  44,966 total enrollments, and 1,074 learners have completed the course with a passing grade. We have an average of 2,500 new enrollments per week. The course is second only in growth to the original intro to Linux operating system course launched by The Linux Foundation. We have now launched a Training and Education Working Group to involve core maintainers and other volunteers in the development of additional courseware.
  • 150 people participated in the Hyperledger Member Summit in November in Singapore, representing 83 different member companies.  

In 2018, we will see:

  • the development of additional training courses and certification options;
  • more frequent and larger face to face developer gatherings;
  • and more developer activity across additional Hyperledger projects.

Integration, standards and interoperability will take center focus

In 2018, we will see:

  • The industry get a lot more serious about interoperability above the layer of the DLT, and looking for simple and open cross-blockchain approaches, leading them to Hyperledger Quilt and the rest of our community;
  • and our projects explore integration and interoperability with each other even further, allowing a greater number of options to be available to developers.

We’re proud of the work our vibrant and diverse community has accomplished this year. We have made great strides and could not be more thankful to everyone who has played a part in this success. It goes without saying the stakes can be even higher in open source, it’s a balance of creating a welcoming, collaborative environment and at the same time making sure everyone gets a say and all voices are heard. We strongly believe the open governance model that Hyperledger naturally inherited from The Linux Foundation has been a crucial part of the continued success of the project.

Finally, you can stay up to date with all Hyperledger news here or follow us on Twitter. We hold regular hackfests for Hyperledger, so be sure to check out the events page and join us for the next one. You can also plug into the Hyperledger Community at github, Rocket.Chat, the wiki or our mailing list.

Here’s to a successful 2018!

 

Distributed Ledgers in 2018? The Hyperledger Community Weighs In!

By | Blog

Soon it will be 2018 and while we’ve seen significant progress with blockchain and distributed ledger technology, we’re looking forward to what’s to come. And so is the Hyperledger community. In fact, we asked a few of our members to predict what will happen in 2018 – from surprises, to how the market will evolve, to industry adoption, to what they hope doesn’t happen.

Read below to see what they had to say!

What’s going to surprise us with distributed ledgers and smart contracts in 2018?

“The biggest surprise will be that smart contracts will have its own identity away from the blockchain. The very idea that contracts will be executed automatically when certain conditions are met will lead to payments being made or delivery dispatched or anything that a business can define within the framework of a typical contract. Blockchains are what drive the consensus nature of smart contracts. Once the initial conditions are satisfied, then the contract is executed. We would see successful pilot projects where smart contract systems are used to monitor complex insurance policies that require transatlantic cooperations. We should expect to see more such systems that will extend beyond insurance institutions in other sectors such as asset management for physical goods and ownership of physical assets.” – Sankalp Ghatpande, Security Researcher, University of Luxembourg

“Combined with AI, Big data and Cloud technology, distributed ledgers and smart contracts will be used by a new kind of Robot which can enter our home in near future. The Robot can interact with the smart home equipment and learn from other Robot by blockchain data sharing.” Chen Honggang, Product Director, Peersafe

“During the last years, we have seen the three key emerging technology areas, distributed ledger technology, artificial intelligence and the internet of things that have grown significantly in relevance. In 2018, we will see a tipping point in their convergence with the three technologies working together in a seamless ecosystem.” – Oliver Bern, CMO, TradeIX

“I think the biggest thing we’ll see in the distributed ledger and smart contract space is how readily both are adopted by the consumer. The two concepts can seem a bit esoteric, especially when there haven’t been a tremendous number of use cases developed for people outside tech-related industries. There are many exciting projects in the works wherein consumers will actually be able to utilize the full potential of these technologies. The ecosystem will leverage consumer’s digital assets and allow them to privately assert their digital identities when, how and with whom they choose. I think 2018 will be the year where the capabilities of made possible by distributed ledgers and smart contracts will move from the realm of possibility into the realm of customer expectation. Moreover, and often facilitated by organizations like The Linux Foundation, I think the inter-industry collaboration borne out of a desire to maximize these technologies will be a surprising – and very welcomed – part of the coming year. Standards are an effort that raises all boats.”Andre Boysen, CIO, SecureKey Technologies

“We’re going to be surprised when we realize the full extent of pilots run by established banks, financial institutions, large enterprises, governments, and academia. While much of the attention for distributed ledgers will be consumed by how it can be used to store value and for payments, alongside will be an environment of pilots that will give rise to an blockchain application ecosystem that will encompass other use cases such as smart contracts, blockchain registry, and digitalization of identity and assets.” Gert Sylvest, Co-founder, SVP of Global Network Strategy, Tradeshift

“The biggest surprise will be the new business models that leverage the unique capabilities of blockchain, rather than blockchain replacing existing technology. Additionally, many of these new business models will benefit tremendously from raising capital through token sales, which will accelerate application development and production-ready blockchains. The effect of token sales on blockchain application development – be it with enterprises or startups – is going to be dramatic.” Aaron Symanski, CTO, Change Healthcare

How will the distributed ledgers and smart contracts ecosystem and market evolve in 2018?

“The year 2018 will be critical in determining the viability of enterprise blockchain solutions. The year will gauge the appetite of the market for different blockchain-based solutions that are currently on rise. At this time the market is hyped with different usabilities of blockchain, as such in the next year we will know about the actual impact of blockchain in enterprises.” – Sankalp Ghatpande, Security Researcher, University of Luxembourg

“We hope to see several new Hyperledger projects, providing new types of ledgers, new versions of existing ones and specially amazing tools to work with. It seems that we have enough to run few production cases collaboratively by Hyperledger members as well just to put sign “Under construction” to new projects from older ones. Also we’d like to congratulate new members-2017 and warmly welcome to our warm community next newcomers from the New year. “We will see new practices for legally binding of distributed ledgers and smart contracts as well as first impacts to industries using it.”Alex Yakovlev, Head of decentralized solutions direction, NSD

“In 2018, we will leave the overhyped period behind us, and enter in year commercializing real-world applications. It will be the year distributed technology comes into production. We will not even notice that distributed ledger is the enabling technology. It will be matured to promote itself in widely accepted, evolutionary steps compared to a disruptive manner.” – Oliver Bern, CMO, TradeIX

“Startup vendors are driving these markets today. In 2018, we expect to see increasing drivers from corporate entities, including increased investment into strategic use cases and infrastructure. Blockchain technology vendors will release enterprise development tools that will speed up development cycles, bringing more applications online and into production faster. We especially expect this in healthcare, where Change is developing blockchain network solutions to bolster this new class of applications.”   Aaron Symanski, CTO, Change Healthcare

“During 2018, we anticipate that a number of current proof of concepts will be put into production and that regulators and market participants will continue to work together to develop standards for industry-wide use. At DTCC, we are re-platforming our Trade Information Warehouse (TIW) using DLT, working in partnership with IBM, Axoni and R3 to drive further improvements in derivatives post-trade lifecycle events. We are working collaboratively to build a derivatives distributed ledger solution for post-trade processing based on existing TIW capabilities and interfaces with technology providers and market participants, and we are also designing the governance model for operating an industry DLT. The re-platformed TIW will move into user acceptance mode from the first quarter of 2018 and we expect the service to be fully live by the end of 2018.” – Rob Palatnick, Managing Director/Chief Technology Architect, DTCC

“There is a lot of work that needs to go into permissioned chains and how smart contracts can be used. Most blockchain platforms lack scalability and this year we hope there would be a lot of focus on platform scalability and reliability. Likewise, we expect to see a major influx of vendors offering frameworks to test and benchmark blockchain networks as well offering BaaS (Blockchain-as-a-Service) related to automating processes like node setup and smart contract programming. There will also be lot of focus on interoperability of blockchain platforms because ultimately, the overarching goal of DLT is to simplify data sharing and interoperable decentralization, not to build many standalone, siloed decentralized networks. Industries will also have many more discussions on how to make a truly permissioned chain and still follow basic principles of decentralization, as we believe many new consensus algorithms will be implemented keeping permissioned chains specifically in mind. By the end of 2018, we hope for less experimentation and for projects to start moving towards large scale production pilots.” – Joshua Q. Israel Satten, Blockchain Partner and Head of Global COE at Wipro

How will adoption in the enterprise look different (or evolve) by the end of 2018?

“As distributed ledger and blockchain technology attracts more use-cases and goes through more rigorous beta testing in a variety of industries, the adoption time will diminish. The ripple effect of enterprises seeing the benefits distributed ledger, smart contracts and blockchain bring to their competitors will drive a more expedient implementation of the technologies. Efficient on-boarding of service end-points is the next task.” – Andre Boysen, CIO, SecureKey Technologies

“DLT solutions will evolve to not just represent organizations / enterprises but also devices and other things via light nodes, as we also come to realize that current-state DLT alone can’t replace enterprise system. Some serious pruning of current projects will happen and a lot of current POC projects will be stopped. There is a definite need for full-fledged enterprise frameworks to evolve whereas other missing pieces of the puzzle like identity management, middleware components, and distributed databases that are not yet developed. We believe there is going to be a tremendous movement in these areas and we should work on tying these pieces together for a solution that can work in production. Enterprises will begin leveraging blockchain as external BPM’s to manage business processes with partners in and out of a given company. This will work in tandem with internal processes and integrate with existing systems. Enterprises will need to change their mindset about sharing data as there can’t be a case where you want to be transparent with data, jump onto a DLT, and NOT share your respective code and data. We will also begin to see concerted efforts to bridge implementations of Blockchain with that of other emergent tech like cloud and AI.” – Joshua Q. Israel Satten, Blockchain Partner and Head of Global COE at Wipro

“The enterprise will begin hiring Blockchain developers (or technologists, if you will), balancing the current hiring of Blockchain business development managers. Enterprise end-users will shift their focus to blockchain app development, relying on vendors for software and network infrastructure, which will be increasingly provided by enterprise IT companies, like Change.” – Aaron Symanski, CTO, Change Healthcare

What’s the thing you’re most excited about in 2018 regarding distributed ledgers and smart contracts?

“I’m most excited about a more interoperability-focused market in 2018, even if full DLT to DLT interoperability is not achieved. We’ve already seen quite a big push from experimentation to production this year and I think we’re going to see more of that in 2018. But, interoperability is really what’s going to take things to the next level and I’m looking forward to the topic being explored further.” – Travin Keith, Founder, Agavon

We believe there will be a wider appreciation for the important legal and operating requirements for smart contracts.”   Aaron Symanski, CTO, Change Healthcare

“Several initiatives have been launched in 2017 with the aim to provide an open, smart, interoperable technology infrastructure that connects the global ecosystem. 2018 will be the year, where the leading banks and their technology partners will launch multiple commercial applications of trade finance solutions leveraging blockchain technology. During next year, distributed ledger technology will develop in the banking world from promise to real-world, valuable solutions.” – Oliver Bern, CMO, TradeIX

“How fast distributed ledger and smart contracts will be accepted at law and regulations and how the prices of cryptocurrencies will develop. Also the Increase of speed of transactions and transaction volume.” – Anonymous

Where do you think (what industry) will see the largest growth/adoption?

“I think the IoT industry will see the largest growth.”Chen Honggang, Product Director, Peersafe

“It will be technical growth of distributed ledgers at first. We’ll learn how to work with huge amounts of data, how to scale our proof-of-concepts and pilots to production environments and calculate first achieved benefits of distributed ledgers and smart contracts.”  – Alex Yakovlev, Head of decentralized solutions direction, NSD

“Digital identity. I think 2018 will be the year when consumers truly understand the concept of a holistic digital identity, wherein they use a number of secured online services (facilitated via blockchain and smart contracts) to build healthy and streamlined online identities versus picking one or two services because they lack trust in online security. This will be the year when digital identity really begins to be understood as an essential part of one’s digital life. Similarly, enterprise will come to understand the value of having secure digital customer identities, both to streamline processes and protect themselves from malicious attacks that are so prevalent today. Digital identity will make it possible to get higher business confidence with less data, thereby providing a better customer experience and a lower breach risk. I believe digital identity will see the largest growth/adoption both by intrigue and necessity.”  – Andre Boysen, CIO, SecureKey Technologies

“We see large growth potential across industries where there P2P models can specifically be employed whereas we see large adoption potential in the government sector. P2P models are a natural fit for the type of decentralized marketplaces a distributed ledger can support. We have already supported the enablement of commercial use cases across payments, electric car charging, and energy redistribution. Energy in particular, whether related B2B, B2C, or C2C models presents a plethora of business optimization use cases with electricity, carbon credits, and solar being several initial focus areas. In respect to the public sector, from the standpoints of infrastructure adoption, seeking digital ID solutions and solving Central Banking solutions blockchain presents exciting potential to some longstanding federal issues.” – Hitarshi Mennketu Buch, Senior Blockchain Architect at Wipro

What’s one thing you’re hoping does not happen in 2018 with respect to blockchain?

“I’m hoping that we do not see too many projects that use blockchain but really shouldn’t. Though it’s tempting to use blockchain to gain attention and funding, it’s not always the best solution, or the best solution to use alone. In the long-run, this will be damaging for the branding of the technology, as those businesses will be left with a bad taste in their mouth after they find out that they should’ve been using something else all this time.”  – Travin Keith, Founder, Agavon

“Blockchain in its current state has the potential to be revolutionary. With the hype surrounding this, there is a high risk that a large number of blockchain initiatives that are currently being developed will fail. The failure will not be due the technology but rather due to other factors such as a lack of clear adoption strategies for such technologies, lack of legislative protections, issues with implementation that would be exploited which in turn leads to the loss of confidence from all stakeholders on the technology. We hope that majority of the projects will understand the risk and avoid this by having a good strategy in place.” – Sankalp Ghatpande, Security Researcher, University of Luxembourg

“The exciting and truly promising aspect of distributed ledger technologies is that they are developed in collaborative environments. Similarly, I hope the technology does not become siloed as more companies implement new versions of the technology. Siloed data is one of the chief things distributed ledger and blockchain technology is solving, so moving backward to a closed-door approach will not be productive. A separate worry is poorly conceived new services tarnish the technology by failing to deliver on service integrity, or increasing breach risk, or worst of all creating new privacy risks.” – Andre Boysen, CIO, SecureKey Technologies

“We have learned many lessons over the last couple of years in identifying how blockchain and DLT could be applied to post-trade processes. While the technology is now being put to use in a number of proof-of-concept initiatives across the industry, we are not there yet. In order to re-imagine and modernize current processes, we must continue to collaborate and first understand where market practices will benefit from blockchain technologies and where the business case does not stand up. Second, we must work together to identify and implement best practices to prevent technology silos and asset processing fragmentation from being created, which could lead to the same reconciliation and interoperability issues we face today. In addition, regulated and trusted central authorities must work together to introduce the standards, governance and technology to support DLT implementations. By working together – regulators, market participants and technology providers alike – we can help ensure that new initiatives support the core principles of mitigating risk, enhancing efficiencies and reducing costs.” – Rob Palatnick, Managing Director/Chief Technology Architect, DTCC

“I hope we don’t see see a regulatory clampdown that is not balanced by regulatory exploration and curiosity. The potential socio-economic upsides are too great for that. I also hope that there are no more DAO-like security breaches. While the experimental nature of the DAO environment makes it a bit of a special case, they are not completely infallible.”  Gert Sylvest, Co-founder, SVP of Global Network Strategy, Tradeshift

What is the importance of interoperability amongst various distributed ledgers?

“Interoperability is greatly important, as it allows each company, no matter what type of DLT they use, to work with each other without having to change what’s already implemented. As implementing blockchain into existing systems isn’t the easiest, especially in this early stage, it’s not ideal for a company to change the blockchain they are using with every new business partnership being formed. This will likely come in stages though, with off-chain linking done in the early stages and then full DLT-to-DLT in the later stages.” – Travin Keith, Founder, Agavon

“The sheer scale of assets stored (as opposed to 21 million bitcoins), will lead to the appreciation of “chains of chains” and other interoperability approaches as important. Equally appreciated (and important) will be the migration of applications and assets from one chain to the next as various protocols inevitably fail, or better ones emerge. This is already relevant to migrating sandboxed applications to production chains.” – Aaron Symanski, CTO, Change Healthcare

“The importance cannot be overstated. There will be a growing number of DLTs spanning private and public DLT use cases, and a growing number of viable DLTs. If there is no ability to transact and understand the smart contracts defining the semantics of transactions between these, a lot of use cases will never be realized.”  Gert Sylvest, Co-founder, SVP of Global Network Strategy, Tradeshift

“Interoperability patterns are needed to integrate blockchain platforms with legacy systems, and with each other so it carries enormous importance for Blockchain’s long term success and relevance. Interoperability is a driving factor that has pushed Blockchain’s trending as a functional business solution while becoming an increasing technical issue as more DLT providers have entered the market and more companies choose to create their own unique proprietary Blockchains. In respect to the latter, organizations do not want to invest in multiple DLT platforms but may have to interact with many; in such a scenario seamless integration and protocol interplay will be required for widespread blockchain adoption and success for a given industry. Without interoperability, blockchain will never truly ‘breakthrough’ in the same way as the internet has.” – Deepak Gera, DLT Developer at Wipro

By this time next year, which industry will have the largest (scale-wise) production system built with Hyperledger software?

“I think the financial industry will have the largest deployment of Hyperledger software. Such as Bill blockchain, Letter of Credit blockchain, Settlement blockchain etc.” – Chen Honggang, Product Director, Peersafe

“Healthcare. Change Healthcare will be tracking more than 30 million objects per day and billions per year. That is why working with Hyperledger is so crucial: Hyperledger is the only blockchain community marketing to healthcare, and they have a 14-month lead on any other protocol development group. Add to that Change Healthcare’s contribution, and Hyperledger may well become the primary infrastructure provider for healthcare + blockchain.” Aaron Symanski, CTO, Change Healthcare

Which collaboration between Hyperledger projects, or an outside group/project and a Hyperledger project, will we see that is most surprising?

“I think the most surprising thing that we will see is the attempt to connect public chains outside of Hyperledger with private chains that use Hyperledger. There are significant benefits to doing so, connected with interoperability, though probably in a centralized solution instead of decentralized in 2018, such as allowing for microtransactions on the private chain while allowing for public announcements on the public chain.” Travin Keith, Founder, Agavon

“There is a funny hashtag quip on Twitter that says #ID – #IOT = #IDIOT. The Internet Of Things is pushing a powerful wave of change throughout the economy. For all the positive use-cases IoT provides, there is a latent challenge that remains unaddressed. All of these devices need to be linked to an owner, that is an identity. Absent an identity these devices can cause real harms. I sold my IoT-BMW in 2014, in 2016 I could still see where the car was – that is a very benign example. A large botnet of home IoT was put to work as a dark army in the 2016 Amazon botnet attack. IoT devices need to put into service, taken out of service, and to transition between owners. This requires collaboration between digital identity and IoT industries. Both industries are using Hyperledger – the time to collaborate is now.” Andre Boysen, CIO, SecureKey Technologies

Which industry, currently not on the blockchain bandwagon, is the most likely to discover blockchains in 2018?

“My assumption is about retail and next generation of payments/bank institutions.” Alex Yakovlev, Head of decentralized solutions direction, NSD

“The semiconductor industry is most likely to discover blockchains in 2018. And the customized new hardware will greatly improve the efficiency of blockchain.” – Chen Honggang, Product Director, Peerfsafe

“Government services. Voting on the blockchain is such a powerful tool as it allows each voter to verify that their vote was counted correctly. Though this does not solve all problems with voting, it helps solve one of the most crucial problems and gaps with elections today, both large and small.” – Travin Keith, Founder, Agavon

Do you agree with these predictions? Why or why not, let us know on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Hyperledger. Regardless, we encourage all developers to join our efforts on Hyperledger projects. You can also email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

Meet the TSC: Hart Montgomery, Fujitsu

By | Blog

Back to our blog series that focuses on the motivations and backgrounds of the individuals that make up Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee (TSC). The TSC is a group of community-elected developers drawn from a pool of active participants and is a core element of Hyperledger’s Open Governance model. The TSC is responsible for all technical decisions – from which features to add, how to add them and when, among others.

Now let’s introduce the next Hyperledger TSC member, Hart Montgomery from Fujitsu . Let’s see what he had to say about Hyperledger, his role in the TSC and the community!

Describe your current role, background and why you wanted to be a part of the Hyperledger TSC?

I’m a cryptographic researcher.  I consider myself very lucky to have a day job where my main responsibility involves coming up with new cryptographic protocols for practical applications.  A typical day for me usually involves more work with a pencil and paper (or whiteboard and marker) than coding.

There are several reasons why I wanted to participate in the TSC.  Most importantly, I wanted to help out on issues regarding security.  I want to continue to help ensure that rigorously proven/tested crypto standards and consensus protocols are used and that we as a community can have confidence in the security of Hyperledger projects.  Perhaps somewhat selfishly, I want to make it as easy as possible to do research and development in the blockchain space.  To sum it all up, I think it’s beneficial to have someone with an academic crypto background on the TSC, and that’s my role.

Hart Montgomery, Research Scientist in Cryptography, Fujitsu

How are you or your company currently using Hyperledger technologies or how do you plan to?

Fujitsu is using Hyperledger in many different aspects of its business, and will probably use it for even more applications in the future.  Hyperledger will be used in everything from our cloud unit K5 to our fintech business to our healthcare offerings.  I like to say that blockchain (or, in our case, Hyperledger) is needed when you want the functionality of a distributed database where the users don’t have a trusted central authority on which they can all rely.  For an IT company like Fujitsu, this primitive turns up in a large number of business applications, so Hyperledger is important to a large amount of business units in Fujitsu.

What are the benefits of Hyperledger’s open governance model?

I think the (upcoming) Introduction to Hyperledger paper will make this argument better than I can here.  If you’d like a sneak peek, visit the whitepaper github (https://github.com/hyperledger/hyperledgerwp).

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain?

This is a question I get asked a lot!  I think it’s extremely useful for people looking to get involved in development to have a good understanding of the foundations of the technology.  I’ve seen quite a few blockchain proposals where a lack of understanding of cryptography or consensus algorithms has led to serious problems.  To that end, I’d highly recommend things like the Stanford cryptography course (taught by the inestimable Dan Boneh, with all course materials available for free at https://crypto.stanford.edu/~dabo/courses/OnlineCrypto/).

What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish by being a part of Hyperledger’s TSC?

I have two main goals for what I’d like to accomplish on the TSC:  ensure that we maintain best security practices while using cutting-edge technology and help to bridge the gap between industry and academia in the permissioned blockchain space.  I think maintaining good security (and particularly ensuring that our distributed ledgers are algorithmically sound) speaks for itself.

I’m of the opinion that both the people and the techniques of the world of academic cryptography and security can be incredibly useful for building blockchain platforms and I would like to see more of both of them involved in Hyperledger.  On the other hand, blockchain is probably one of the few areas of computer science where practice has gotten a bit ahead of some of the academic research.  I think it’s important to accurately convey to the academic research community where we are and what we consider some of the important problems in the space to be.

What’s a missing feature or spec that you hope Hyperledger can add in the soon future?

I’d really like to see a shared crypto library that allows all of the projects to use the latest implementations of things like cutting-edge zero knowledge proof techniques and SNARKs, as well as modular calls for existing standardized crypto.  We don’t need three different people to build implementations of threshold signatures, for instance—we could save effort if we only had one library, and improve security as well.  This would hopefully make it much easier for developers of projects to interact with crypto primitives and save people working on and developing Hyperledger a lot of effort.  I’m planning on working on this in the near future.

What’s the biggest struggle or challenge you see Hyperledger having to overcome?

Charles Kettering once said, “If you want to kill any idea in the world, form a committee on it.”  While a cross-industry collaboration like Hyperledger offers a wide variety of benefits, we have to make sure that we can continue to move forward and make good progress despite the many differences of opinion held by Hyperledger members and contributors.  As more and more companies and people join Hyperledger (a very good thing!) it could become more and more difficult to move the projects forward.  For instance, Bitcoin has seen struggles due to large differences of opinion amongst key stakeholders.  While I think the current governance structure (and the people involved in it) are excellent, I view maintaining cohesion as the biggest challenge for Hyperledger in the long run.

What use cases are you most excited about with Hyperledger and/or blockchain?

As a cryptographer, I’m most excited about applications that have interesting and nontrivial confidentiality and privacy requirements, for the obvious reason that they typically involve novel uses of cryptography.  There are quite a few applications that involve heavy cryptography, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to work on them.