Category

Hyperledger Composer

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: 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!

 

Developer Showcase: Vishwasrao Salunkhe, Virtusa

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 Vishwasrao Salunkhe, a lead consultant at Virtusa.

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

First start with the basic concepts of Blockchain like Cryptography, Consensus algorithm, Peer to Peer communication, distributed applications. Once you are comfortable I recommend completing the below course to get a high level overview of Blockchain:

https://developer.ibm.com/courses/all/blockchain-essentials/

After this course, you can start playing with Hyperledger Composer Playground and start with existing examples, understand how to define business network, Assets, Participants, Transactions and Events.

You should be familiar with JavaScript. You will be able to define business network in Hyperledger Composer with a JavaScript like Language. Also with help of NodeJS SDK you will be able to talk to the underlining Hyperledger Fabric network. So, only with the JavaScript Language you will be able to develop applications (frontend, backend) around Hyperledger Fabric.

Vishwasrao Salunkhe, Lead Consultant, Virtusa

What project in Hyperledger are you working on? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?

I am working on Hyperledger Fabric. I started working with Fabric 0.6. Once I got the basics of it, I started writing a smart contract in the Go Language. There were few issues I was facing like setting the Hyperledger Fabric network, writing smart contracts in Go (new language for me) and deploying the smart contracts.

Hyperledger Composer is life savior for me, it made my job so easy that I am able to define my business network, assets, transactions etc with a JavaScript like language, deploy locally and test it. Before defining my own business network, I went through all existing demo business network and tried to run them, then changed a few things like assets attributes, participant’s attributes and transactions.

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

Make developers’ lives easy. Until we have an ecosystem of tools around Hyperledger to design, develop, test, deploy blockchain applications, developers will not be able to move fast with Hyperledger

With Hyperledger Composer, it’s easy to get started, so we need more tools like Composer.

Also, we need to evangelize Hyperledger projects through online talks, webinars, workshops and conferences to spread word.

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?

Prior to the 1.0 release of Hyperledger Fabric, people had so many business cases to solve with blockchain but they were not enough tools to get beyond POCs. But with 1.0, people started going beyond POCs or MVPs. Some businesses are already started to use Hyperledger Fabric in production. This is good sign. Also, now new apps, tools frameworks are sprouting up all over.

I would like to see more tools and frameworks come up which will help to speed blockchain implementations. Also, giants like IBM, SAP, Oracle will come up with integrations of their existing applications with Hyperledger.

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

Internet made people to come close, now blockchain will make businesses to come close

As per hype made in media that blockchain will be mostly used in financial sector, I think not only in finance but fields like supply chain, Insurance, retail and most importantly government sectors will also be covered by blockchain. And Hyperledger will be leading blockchain.

Consider Shipping/Logistics scenario with IoT enabled shipping containers:

Participants: Sender, receiver, freight companies, customs, and banks, Insurance Companies

Assets: Cargo Properties, shipping documents

Business Rule: temperature in containers should always be more than 5 degree.

Sender  =====è  Transporter 1(Ship)      ======è Transporter 2 (Road)  ===è Receiver

                              Insurance Company 1             Insurance Company2   

Blockchain in Logistics/Supply Chain Example (Image Credit)

Goods moved from sender to receiver go through various transportation mode and different insurance companies are involved.

Containers are IoT enabled and data sent from them are stored into Blockchain network. Now when goods are with Transporter 1 and while transporting he does not follow business contract (E.g. Temp of containers should be below 5 degree all time), because of that some containers are not damaged/not useful, then T1 will get penalized based on smart contract and claim processing of these damaged goods will be trigger automatically for Insurance Company 1.

Also, once T1 hands over container to T2, his payment gets triggered

 

VIDEO: Hyperledger, A Greenhouse Incubator for Blockchain Projects

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

Hyperledger hosts and incubates multiple technology projects, all advancing business blockchain frameworks and modules through open source collaboration. Currently, Hyperledger hosts 6 open source frameworks and 3 open source blockchain tools.

To introduce the concept of blockchain technologies and the Hyperledger organization, we created an explainer video illustrating Hyperledger as a greenhouse incubator for these open source blockchain projects. Intended to serve as a starting point suitable for all audiences wanting to learn about Hyperledger and business blockchain technologies, we hope this 3-minute explainer video will shed light on the following:

1. A distributed ledger is a common system of record with no central authority.

A ledger contains a record of your transactions, along with other transactions in the network. Distributed ledgers are multi-party databases with no central trusted authority. Blockchains can be used to record promises, trades, transactions or simply items we never want to disappear.

2. It’s vitally important to know that your copy of the ledger is identical to everyone else’s

All businesses participating in a commercial ecosystem need a ledger to contain a record of transactions. As a result, across the global market there are ledgers that organizations and individuals alike must trust. Mirrored exactly across all nodes in a given network, distributed ledgers allow everyone in an ecosystem to keep a copy of the common system of record, free from discrepancies. Nothing can ever be erased or edited; parties can only add to the ledger.

3. Hyperledger provides the underlying open source software, on top of which anyone can set up blockchain apps and services to meet business needs.

Hyperledger is incubating and promoting enterprise grade, open source business blockchain technologies, including distributed ledgers, smart contract engines, client libraries, graphical interfaces, utility libraries, and sample applications. Built under technical governance and open collaboration, individual developers, service and solution providers, government associations, corporate members and end users alike are all invited to participate in the development and promotion of these thriving technologies.

4. Hyperledger is a global, cross-industry, collaborative open source consortium.

With 170+ member organizations working across industries and competitive lines, and 400+ code contributors, Hyperledger is the fastest growing consortium in the history of The Linux Foundation’s collaborative projects. Just like you see in this greenhouse, with the help of The Linux Foundation and Hyperledger’s open source approach, everyone does their part to ensure the success of the whole, nurturing these blockchain ecosystems for evolution, expansion and continued growth.

The most renowned leaders in finance, healthcare and supply chain across the globe trust Hyperledger to build their business blockchain technologies. Who will you trust with your trust network?

We encourage developers to join our efforts on Hyperledger via github, Rocket.Chat, the wiki or the mailing lists. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: [email protected].

 Watch and Share the video:

Developer Showcase: Chuck Buhecker, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Explorer, Hyperledger Fabric

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

My advice is two-fold.

First, start now. There’s so much to learn. Begin by exploring and understanding the theory behind DLTs; then get your hands dirty with as many examples as you can find. There is a lot of learning involved with the technologies incorporated within Fabric. After working primarily with Java and a few other languages sprinkled in for 18 years, I found YAML files, Golang, and Docker all to be eye-openers.

Second, be patient. Be prepared to do a lot of reading, coding, and experimenting. Even if you have been told by an “expert” in the field that what you are trying to accomplish won’t work, still give it a shot. What you learn along the way is invaluable.

This technology is continuously evolving, and what works in one version may not work in the next. I’ve mostly seen positive outcomes from experimentation. Don’t be tempted to throw your hands up in disgust. Okay, maybe once or twice… but persistence is a virtue!

Chuck Buhecker, Senior application developer, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

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 was a latecomer to blockchain and DLT. About a year ago, I started working on a simple AngularJS UI by interacting with Spring REST, and in turn calling Ethereum APIs for a proof of concept (POC) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Upon completion of our initial POC, we began looking at Hyperledger Fabric v0.6. That’s when I knew there was no turning back. I very much liked working with v0.6 and the documentation served as a solid foundation for me to enhance my understanding of the underlying technologies. Now, with v1.0, I am continuing to expand my skillset.

At the Boston Fed, we’re getting our hands dirty experimenting with DLT to determine applicability, potential benefits, and risks. What better way to learn about the technology than exploring it first hand?  

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

The Hyperledger umbrella has so many great sub-projects – I just wish there were more hours in the day to explore them all, reminiscent of the Jakarta Apache days. I have predominantly been working with Fabric sub-umbrella Fabric Core, the Fabric Java SDK, and the Fabric Node SDK, as well as briefly looking into Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Blockchain Explorer, and Hyperledger Fabric-SDK-Go.

I am grateful that the documentation has been well maintained. Hyperledger’s YouTube channel has also been incredibly helpful, especially in regards to the v1.0 chaincode deployment strategy.

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 see a lot of good implementations that don’t necessarily have a great use case, but from my perspective that is fine. Low-risk, low-use projects using DLT can help develop skills. Then, when there is a need for a mission-critical application, the learning curve isn’t so steep.

I’ve also seen many great third-party applications used in their infancy for Blockchain monitoring, streamlined Blockchain genesis, and Fabric APIs that are less cumbersome and easier to understand than some under the Hyperledger umbrella.

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

Don’t over-engineer to solve a problem. With the wonderful world of dynamic class loading, abstraction, aspecting, and more, it’s easy to develop an overwrought, complex solution for a simple problem.

What technology could you not live without?

If I had to limit it to one technology, I’d say software in general. I don’t know what I’d do with my life if I didn’t write software. Actually, I might be a photographer, but I probably wouldn’t get paid very well because I’m no Ansel Adams!

Hyperledger Gains 10 New Members

By | Announcements, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Explorer, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Growth in open blockchain consortium doubles over past year with more than 160 members

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (September 26, 2017) Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, announced today that 10 new organizations have joined the project. As a multi-project, multi-stakeholder effort, Hyperledger incubates eight business blockchain and distributed ledger technologies including Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Sawtooth, among others.

“The immense growth we’ve seen this year signifies an acceptance and understanding of Hyperledger blockchain solutions for business,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. “These new diverse members have agreed to contribute their leadership and energy to the Hyperledger community. We thank them for their support and validation as we drive towards more PoCs, pilots and production uses cases of Hyperledger technologies in the enterprise.”

Hyperledger aims to enable organizations to build robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by creating an enterprise grade, open source distributed ledger framework and code base. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing and technology. The latest General members include: AMIHAN, ChongQin Xichain Technologies, DLT Labs, GameCredits, Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX), Medicalchain and ScanTrust.

Hyperledger supports an open community that values contributions and participation from various entities. As such, pre-approved non-profits, open source projects and government entities can join Hyperledger at no cost as Associate members. Several Associate members joined this month including Mercy Corps, Taiwan Fintech Association and Zhejiang University.

New member quotes:

AMIHAN

“Amihan is proud to be the first Filipino company to join Hyperledger,” said Winston Damarillo, Chairman of Amihan Global Strategies. “We believe that blockchain and smart contracts are the key to preparing Southeast Asia for the digital age, and we are committed to working with the Hyperledger community to push the limits of blockchain technology. We look forward to working with our clients – some of the largest enterprises in ASEAN – to transform finance, healthcare, retail, and customer loyalty in one of the fastest-growing regions of the world.”

DLT Labs

“At DLT Labs, our corporate purpose is to create, integrate, and support dynamic distributed ledger solutions that equip our clients with the tools to capitalize on unrealized potential within their businesses,” said Loudon Owen, Chairman and CEO of DLT Labs. “With over 30 dedicated in-house Blockchain developers and over 20 proprietary enterprise products, DLT Labs has formed globe-spanning partnerships with leading edge consultancies, manufacturers, financial institution and innovative service providers. Our global presence spans the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Canada and Singapore. DLT is excited at the opportunity to join Hyperledger’s nexus of leaders, creators, and dreamers, and looks forward to forming long-lasting relationships with the forefront of blockchain innovators.”

GameCredits

“We are excited to join the company of industry leaders in Hyperledger,” said Alex Migitko, COO, GameCredits. “GameCredits is focused on a unique blockchain use case, catering to the $100 billion gaming industry and its massive audience of almost every third person on earth, governed by complex relations between various stakeholders. Our solutions will be of immense interest to adjacent industries and we believe we will be able to make a unique contribution to the alliance.”

Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX)

“We are today at the beginning of the blockchain revolution, witnessing in real time an explosion of ideas, experiments and projects that aim to completely redesign global capital markets for the new era,” said Nick Cowan, CEO, Gibraltar Stock Exchange. “The Gibraltar Stock Exchange’s membership in Hyperledger provides us with an exciting opportunity to connect, share ideas and collaborate with like minded innovators and industry leaders, without boundaries, with the aim of building consensus for the new global framework.”

Medicalchain

“Medicalchain puts health records back into the hands of patients, and that’s not possible without the secure storage and transfer of data. Using Hyperledger, Medicalchain will allow patients to control permissions to their health records – who gets access to them, what information they get access to and for how long,” said Dr. Albeyatti, co-founder of Medicalchain. “We are thrilled to join the Hyperledger community and will continue working to bring blockchain technology to the healthcare industry.”

ScanTrust

“Today’s connected consumers are demanding more transparency and with global supply chains becoming more complex, achieving this a challenging task,” said Nathan Anderson, CEO and Co-Founder, ScanTrust. “ScanTrust secure identifiers connect physical goods to the internet for enhanced supply chain security; by adding open blockchain technology to this foundation, brands will be able to protect and track their products using mobile phone authentication. We look forward to collaborating with the Hyperledger community to develop a scalable, enterprise-grade blockchain framework.”

To see a full list of member companies, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/about/members. If you’re interested in joining Hyperledger as a member company, please visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/about/join

About Hyperledger

Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing and Technology. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger under the foundation. To learn more, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/.

 

 

ABCs of Open Governance

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

Today, most people understand the concept of Open Source – certainly we expect most readers of this blog understand it. View the code, use the code, copy the code, change the code, and, depending on the license, contribute back changes or not.

What many people don’t get, and something we here at Hyperledger and The Linux Foundation pride ourselves on doing well, is Open Governance.

The Linux Foundation, and all of our 60+ open source projects, are not-for-profits building the greatest shared R&D investment in history. Open Governance is central to this promise.

Open Governance means that technical decisions -– which features to add, how to add them and when, among others – for a given Open Source project or projects are made by a group of community-elected developers drawn from a pool of active participants. It is as close to the ideal of pure technical meritocracy as one can get and we strive continuously to reach that ideal.

Hyperledger recently concluded the 2017-2018 Technical Steering Committee (TSC) election, and so we thought it an opportune time to explain the ABCs of Open Governance. Please note that this is one Open Governance implementation and clearly not the only way to do it, but rather one proven and effective way.

What does the Hyperledger TSC do?

The TSC charter spells out the group’s responsibilities.

The TL;DR is that the TSC is the ultimate authority on technical decisions. This includes which new projects are admitted to Hyperledger , which current projects graduate from Incubation to Active , and the rules by which each Hyperledger project will operate.

Participation in Hyperledger through becoming a Contributor and/or Maintainer is open to anyone.
Hyperledger Charter Section 4C

As a developer or maintainer, this translates into one thing: trust. You know how decisions will be made and the process by which people will be selected to make these decisions. Hyperledger is vendor-neutral and technical contributions are based on meritocracy. We will always remain immune to the commercial interests of any single company.

The TSC election process consists of three simple steps:

  1. Identification of eligible participants
  2. Nominations
  3. Voting

Who is really eligible to be on the TSC?

The charter spells out that the TSC voting members shall consist of eleven (11) elected Contributors or Maintainers chosen by the Active Contributors.

So, how do you determine an active contributor, you may ask? As part of the current election, every project maintainer and Working Group leader was asked to provide a list of all the people that have contributed to their work in the past year. In addition, a review of all code and other contributions was conducted.

This year, 424 active contributors were identified as eligible to participate in the TSC election process.

Bring It (your nomination that is)

The Linux Foundation maintains an expert staff with decades of combined experience managing the operations of large scale, Openly Governed Open Source projects.

For Hyperledger, the Sr. Program Manager Todd Benzies ensures the trains run on time.

Below is Todd’s email calling for TSC nominations:

This nominating process produced 32 candidates for the 11 TSC spots. These 32 come from 20 different organizations, across a spectrum of industries, from technology vendors to foundations to end users from a variety of industries. They include people who work at Hyperledger members and non-members and some are standing as individuals.

A policy whose importance is hard to overstate is that anyone elected to a seat on the TSC is elected as a person unbound to the company for which they presently work. Should any TSC member during their tenure leave an employer for another, this would have zero impact on their standing as member of the Hyperledger TSC.

Cast your vote

Here is Todd’s email sent to the same list announcing the nominees and opening voting.

The arrow highlights one of the things that we’ve learned along the way as a trick to the trade of running open governance well. The voting system has to be unquestionably secure and fair (something by now truly everyone can relate to…).

We use the Condorcet Internet Voting System to safeguard the privacy of this election and voting process. CIVS can only be accessed by authorized voters, who receive a unique URL tied to their email address. Voters rank a set of possible choices and individual voter rankings are combined into an anonymous overall ranking of the choices. One vote is allowed per IP address.

Results

This process yields a fairly and openly-elected technical decision making body pulled from the community that cares about Hyperledger. We know they care not because they said so, not because the company they work for has joined Hyperledger, but because they invested their time to make contributions to Hyperledger code bases. Or, as Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf says, “it’s a do -ocracy.”

Meet the New Hyperledger TSC (listed in alphabetical order)

Arnaud Le Hors
Baohua Yang
Binh Nguyen
Christopher Ferris
Dan Middleton
Greg Haskins
Hart Montgomery
Jonathan Levi (new)
Kelly Olson (new)
Mic Bowman
Nathan George (new)

If you’re interested in learning more about the Hyperledger TSC and its elected members, we’ll be kicking off a “Meet the TSC” blog series in the coming weeks. Be sure to look out for it!

You can plug into the community at github , Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list .

Developer Showcase Series: Aram Barnett, Vergo

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 Aram Barnett, Blockchain Engineer and Managing Partner at Vergo.

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

First, identify why you need blockchain. With all the hype surrounding the technology, it’s easy to think you can capitalize on the hype by sprinkling some blockchain into your app. Without a well-defined plan on how and why you are going to apply it, you are simply wasting your time and money.

Second, I want anyone interested in the technology to commit to learning about the details surrounding the progress blockchain has made rather than just the media hype that surrounds it. According to Gartner Hype Cycle, blockchain is at the peak of the technology hype cycle, and soon blockchain will be transitioning into the “trough of disillusion” where people outside of the development community will think that all of the promises of blockchain are not possible. However, unlike many new technologies on the hype cycle, blockchain will quickly escape the trough of disillusionment and grow exponentially when businesses realize the value of private ledgers. It’s is not easy but with enough dedication and a thorough understanding of the fundamentals, a developer can contribute to the blockchain community and create world changing applications. Third, get familiar Go and Javascript.

Hyperledger Composer, the tool that we use to rapidly build and test business networks, uses Javascript to enable the creation of business actions. Once you dive in the technology, be mindful of the difference between permissioned versus non-permissioned ledgers (a.k.a. public versus private blockchains, respectively) and what they offer. We will soon be releasing our own teaching resources for developers get up to speed on Hyperledger and the best practices on developing blockchain based business networks.

Aram Barnett, Blockchain Engineer and Managing Partner, Vergo

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 first heard about blockchain when I purchased my first bitcoin in 2011. I was so infatuated with bitcoin I dedicated 3 years of my life to running an alternative asset management fund that exclusively traded cryptocurrencies, learning everything I could about bitcoin and blockchain. I always knew that the real value of bitcoin came from the blockchain and in 2015 I began focusing all of my efforts on developing smart contracts on ethereum and coming up with business use cases.

I am currently working on Vergo, a company I co-founded to create blockchain-based business networks for open source and enterprise use.We’re working to make existing corporations more efficient by cutting excess expense associated with business transactions. To further support this community, we are open-sourcing some of our business logic to help other developers learn about this unique technology. We believe that this technology will allow developers to create turnkey businesses in which open-source business logic is easily deployable. This will increase access to entrepreneurship around the globe and empower people to start their own businesses.

More importantly, we believe we have the ethical responsibility to help transition the world to this new era in a responsible manner in which participants understand the consequences of enhanced business network efficiency and automation. We strive to ride the new wave of technological innovation by giving equal attention to corporate efficiency and social well-being.

If you look at  the Gartner Hype Cycle, mentioned earlier, blockchain is at the peak of public hype about its potential. This new wave of technology is scary to some and at peak hype it can seem like anything is possible. I made the choice to ride the blockchain wave. Since I first got involved with bitcoin and subsequently blockchain in 2011, I knew that it would be a promising technology that needs to be developed and implemented globally. We are currently at peak hype, so public interest will decline in the next few years. However, the underlying technology will still be revolutionary and over time the corporate sector will realize how truly valuable it is to their networks.

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?

The most interesting project to come out of is Hyperledger Fabric. We are excited about the progress of Fabric 1.0 and what it has to offer to large and medium enterprises. I met with the lead developers at the Hyperledger hackfest in Washington DC to learn more about Fabric and help contribute to the project. Vergo is very interested in this because we see the long-term impact that Fabric will have on how companies deploy blockchain solutions. We are very excited to be building applications and business logic on top of the Fabric ledger that these talented developers have built. We are currently discussing the possibility of cooperation between Vergo and some IBMers to display our business applications running on the IBM z mainframe. Another exciting application called Hyperledger Composer, the application we use to model, build, and test our business networks very quickly using their  business development language. After speaking with  Simon Stone, one of the maintainers of Hyperledger Composer, we are very excited for the future of Composer as a development tool and the services they plan to integrate into it.

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

Blockchain has the ability to solve a lot of problems. The ability to capture the nature of “businesses” and their “workers” and digitizing those relationships could lead to efficiency increases across almost every industry.

I think what I am most interested in, in regards to public-facing blockchain solutions, is the possibility of interoperability between chains and the assignment of an identity to every person. For instance, imagine from the very day you are born you were assigned a bank account, a verified identity and trackable health records all stored on a government ledger. From here, your financials, health records, and identity would be immutable and secure and would follow you over the course of your life. The interoperability between your identity and your financial records, for example, would verify you exist while not disclosing your personal data every time you make a transaction. By solving the problem of identity, many other possible solutions arise.

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

Let me answer your question with another question: Where do I not see it?

Blockchain-based business networks are inevitable. I think there will be varied solutions for individual businesses and sectors that provide accessible solutions to problems associated with the analysis of big data and efficiency of transactions. Blockchain will be easier to collect and analyze data, which will enhance our understanding of business practices and markets.

Additionally, I hope that turnkey businesses will emerge across the world using open source logic developed out of the Hyperledger framework. The ability to replicate businesses with extreme ease will increase access to opportunities for economically disadvantaged peoples. I hope that the pool of open source logic is such that it allows anyone with enough emotional intelligence and work-ethic to provide a valuable product to a customer even without understanding underlying business logic.