Hyperledger, a Linux Foundation project, is an open source community to help advance technology and thought leadership. It is deemed an “umbrella” for developer communities building open-source blockchain and related
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Hyperledger was announced and formally named in December 2015 by 17 companies in a collaborative eﬀort created to advance blockchain technology for cross-industry use in business.
Now with over 130 members across the world, it is the fastest growing project in Linux Foundation history.
Hyperledger is curated by the Linux Foundation, which provides tools, training, and events to scale any open source project. IBM initially contributed what was then called Open Blockchain and is now called Fabric, and arguably that is the biggest/highest profile project. Intel has contributed “Sawtooth Lake,” which is its blockchain technology that introduces Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET) consensus.
Other noteworthy projects include “Iroha” (a C++ blockchain platform) and “Cello” (rapid blockchain deployment to cloud platforms). The idea is that Hyperledger rather than being a single platform (a la Ethereum) will be more akin to the Apache Project, with multiple projects under one umbrella that will be open source, freely available, and ideally have some measure of interoperability.
The vision of Hyperledger is to provide robust and efficient standards for blockchain ledger technology to facilitate mainstream commercial adoption. Future applications will involve a world with many interconnected distributed databases and blockchains, each of which will be specialized to suit the purpose of its users and will have the potential to communicate with other ledgers, as necessary.
Another goal for Hyperledger is to provide a modular blockchain technology that contains a rich, easy-to-use application programming interface (API) and numerous core modules that enable easy development and interoperability. The API must be ﬂexible enough to allow blockchains built outside core Hyperledger to easily interact with their components and blockchains.
HYPERLEDGER AND HYPERLEDGER FABRIC: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
Hyperledger is a Linux Foundation open-source, collaborative eﬀort to create blockchain technology suitable for the enterprise. Hyperledger Fabric is a blockchain framework implementation and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation with a modular architecture and pluggable, interchangeable services using container technology.
• Support a wide variety of industry use cases with diﬀerent requirements
• Comply with statutes and regulations that exist today
• Support verified identities and private and confidential transactions
• Support permission shared ledgers
• Support performance, scaling, auditability, identity, security, and privacy
• Reduce costly computations involved in the proof of work
Further, Hyperledger believes that identity and patterns of behavior of any party on a network must be difficult for unauthorized parties to ascertain by inspecting the ledger. Blockchain users must be able to make certain business logic and parameters of a transaction confidential, rendering them inaccessible to anyone other than the stakeholders.
Hyperledger Fabric provides a framework for developing blockchain solutions with a modular architecture, pluggable implementations, and container technology. While leveraging open-source best practices, Hyperledger Fabric enables confidentiality, scalability, and security in business environments.
Unlike other blockchain implementations like Bitcoin or Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric fulfills all four key elements of a blockchain for business:
» Permission network: Collectively defined membership and access rights within your business network
» Confidential transactions: Gives businesses the ﬂexibility and security to make transactions visible to select parties with the correct encryption keys
» Doesn’t rely on cryptocurrencies: Doesn’t require mining and expensive computations to assure transactions
» Programmable: Leverages the embedded logic in smart contracts to automate business processes across your network IBM is a founding member of Hyperledger and has donated 44k lines of blockchain code under what was originally Hyperledger Fabric. In addition to donating code, IBM
» Supports a broad, cross-industry, an open-source approach to advance the potential for blockchain and make it mainstream
» Believes Hyperledger will free developers across all industries to focus on building robust applications and platforms to support many diﬀerent types of business transactions over the Internet
For blockchain to fulfill its true potential, an open-standards approach is critical so blockchain can be widely adopted, allowing innovation to ﬂourish.
Tune in to the Hyperledger Rocket Chat Channel at https://chat.hyperledger.org to join the growing community of 5,000+ developers already building with Hyperledger technologies.
IBM is unlocking the potential of blockchain by making it more accessible and more open. As one of the world’s leading research organizations, IBM’s goal is to explore new ways to advance the science of blockchain by helping remove some of the complexity, making it more accessible and open.
Implementing blockchain solutions on IBM Cloud is the quickest way to get started. IBM has a number of cloud-based solutions to enable you to easily develop applications while testing the security, availability, and performance of a permission blockchain network.
IBM blockchain networks are built to benefit from decentralized control, but some cloud environments are open to vulnerabilities.
Working with teams of security experts, cryptographers, hardware experts, and researchers, IBM has created essential cloud services for tamper-resistant, trusted blockchain networks.
With the blockchain service on Bluemix, you can create and deploy a blockchain network based on Hyperledger Fabric. IBM Blockchain on Bluemix oﬀers a high-security plan that provides an isolated environment for business networks. The plan extends the starter features within an isolated environment that runs in a secure infrastructure.
This plan oﬀers high levels of security that close any backdoors to unauthorized access and tampering. Key features of the plan include:
» The blockchain operating environment protects host administrators and provides proof to ensure the blockchain executes in an agreed-upon manner.
» High evaluation assurance level enables protection across environments where blockchain peers run in isolation from other peers and parties. This prevents leaks into another party’s environment.
» Crypto-optimization supports an environment that moves hashing and the creation of digital signatures to optimized accelerators that don’t drain CPU performance.
» FIPS 140-2 (the highest Federal Information Processing Standard) supports the use of blockchain in regulated industries such as government, financial services, and healthcare.)
For more about IBM Blockchain on Bluemix options, visit www.ibm.com/blockchain/offerings.html.
Alternatively, you can pull Hyperledger Fabric images directly from Docker Hub to create and manage your own local blockchain network. Set up and run a blockchain network with IBM-certified Docker Compose script and images.
For more detailed instructions on how to get started, visit here.
After you’ve deployed a network, you’re ready to build your first chain code! To earn your chain code badge, take this course
If you’ve been reading through to this point, you may be getting excited to build on the blockchain, so now you may need some help getting other members of your organization on board. This section should help.
IBM is developing a number of blockchain solutions for clients in varied industries. IBM Bluemix Garage for Blockchain is a collaborative workshop in which you can explore blockchain use cases relevant to your business and determine your best first pilot of the technology.
The engagement model of IBM Bluemix Garage for Blockchain consists of the following three stages:
» Conversation and demonstration: A 90-minute interactive session between the IBM Bluemix Garage for Blockchain team member and the client. This session is conducted preferably face to face, but web conference, video conference, or telephone call can also work.
IBM explains its blockchain point of view in business terms avoiding technical jargon; discusses what blockchain can do for business; and presents a brief, live, interactive demonstration of a use case.
» Technology hands-on: This one day, highly interactive face-to-face workshop dives deeper into blockchain technology. Through a combination of presentations and guided, hands-on lab exercises, IBM takes you as deep as you want to delve into blockchain technology.
» First project: The first project starts with a two-day IBM Design Thinking workshop where you, together with IBM, explore the use case from an end-user viewpoint. IBM then plans an iterative agile development of a deliverable, finite-scale solution to the business challenge (use case), which is then realized through a number of short, agile development sprints.
These sprints are normally conducted by a small, joint (IBM Bluemix Garage for Blockchain + Customer) team to combine our expertise on blockchain and agile with the customer’s knowledge of the use case and business scenario.
As businesses start to work through blockchain strategy, planning, and implementation, IBM Global Business Services (GBS) also provides teams of trained consultants around the globe to answer your questions and begin mapping out first projects.