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(10.4.17) The Block: Brian Behlendorf: On Hyperledger’s quest for ‘re-decentralization’: Part 2

By | News

The explosion in interest in distributed ledger technology over the last few years has created a number of unique problems for players in the space. A technology that is focused on decentralization of the mechanisms of central control of information throws up a number of interesting governance issues. How does the community make decisions that will impact the things developers can do and the experience of end users? How should disagreements over direction and strategy be handled?

More here.

Developer Showcase Series: Vitalii Demianets, Norbloc

By | Blog

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

Isolate yourself from the hype.

Analyze why do you want to start working with blockchain. The ideal case would be that you already have a task on hands which requires decentralized communication and/or storage media without single point of trust.

As soon as you understand why _you_ need the blockchain…

…ride the hype!

Use blockchain as a door-opener to promote yourself and your project. A lot of huge companies and enthusiastic individuals are looking into the technology right now. They are happy to talk to you about blockchain even if they are not interested in your project… yet.

But in all cases if you are in a corporate environment, first make sure a blockchain implementation is the most applicable one for the problem you are trying to solve!

Vitalii Demianets, co-founder & lead developer, Norbloc

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?

Currently at Norbloc, I am the architect of the KYC solution for banks. We are building a system which allows to share personal/corporate client data and verification stamps between banks in a heavily regulated environment where data sharing between parties is subject to stringent laws and limitations.

Obviously we need a distributed permissioned database for such a solution, and we have chosen blockchain as a best implementation of such a database which also brings in a couple of additional features, like elimination of the single central point of trust and independent reliable timestamping. No other distributed database suits our needs.

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

Key management solution.

Decentralized key management is a much desired feature which a lot of projects are asking for. All current solutions require either a separate app installed on the customer’s smartphone or putting trust into some form of centralized key management solution (e.g. Amazon KMS).

Personally I believe that decentralized trustless nature of blockchain is a perfect environment for the decentralized key management. It allows for a consensus on which keys are considered valid (i.e. revocation problem) to be achieved in a natural way, as blockchain is built on consensus. There are a couple of technical obstacles still in the way of building a key management system on blockchain, but I believe they can be solved.

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

Application: Self-sovereign digital ID.

The world needs this application, so many areas of human development are stagnating form the lack of universally accepted ID which is not dependent on a stamp of approval from at times inefficient or even non-existent governmental systems.

National borders are making isolated silos preventing growth. Also, currently we have a lot of isolated IDs: personal identity, educational certificates, skill assessments, credit ratings, all regulated separately and sometimes those regulations are contradictory.

I believe it’s time to interconnect those silos and put the owner of the ID at the center of the equation, always at control of his/her data and access to it by third parties. That is exactly the direction we are working towards with our KYC platform but we could certainly use a similar effort for personal IDs as these constitute a small but integral part of KYC efforts as well.

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

  1. Just do it.
  2. Use Git.
  3. No optimization without profiling. No premature optimization.


(10.2.17) IEEE Spectrum: Blockchains: How They Work and Why They’ll Change the World

By | News

Bitcoin was hatched as an act of defiance. Unleashed in the wake of the Great Recession, the cryptocurrency was touted by its early champions as an antidote to the inequities and corruption of the traditional financial system. They cherished the belief that as this parallel currency took off, it would compete with and ultimately dismantle the institutions that had brought about the crisis. Bitcoin’s unofficial catchphrase, “In cryptography we trust,” left no doubt about who was to blame: It was the middlemen, the bankers, the “trusted” third parties who actually couldn’t be trusted. These humans simply got in the way of other humans, skimming profits and complicating transactions.

More here.

(10.2.17) CryptoCoinNews: What Is Hyperledger? Brian Behlendorf Executive Director Of The Hyperledger Project Explains

By | News

Give us a brief overview of the Hyperledger project and outline your involvement in the project

The Hyperledger project is run out of the Linux Foundation and started in December 2015. The impetus behind the project came from an interest in looking at the potential to use the blockchain model of distributed ledgers and smart contract to other domains outside of currency. The project is a global collaboration of nearly 200 members supporting and participating in the technology. This group is made up of leaders from finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing and technology.  The Hyperledger project aims to enable communities to work together on common code and it acts as an “umbrella” for software developer communities building open source blockchain and related technologies to create innovative modular open source components and platforms.

More here.

Meet the TSC: Chris Ferris, IBM

By | Blog

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

I’m IBM’s CTO for Open Technology and as such, responsible for all of IBM’s strategic open source initiatives. Blockchain technology is one of the most important new technology directions for IBM and given our long standing preference for open technology under open governance, I worked closely with the Linux Foundation to help make Hyperledger a reality. I’ve served on the TSC since its inception and had the honor of being elected to serve as its chair twice by the organization’s technical community. As to why I want to serve on the TSC, basically to help the community deliver a consistent experience as possible amongst the various projects and to help the various project communities find opportunity to collaborate with each other.

Chris Ferris, CTO for Open Technology at IBM

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

IBM has offerings and solutions based on Hyperledger Fabric and Composer – two of the Hyperledger projects that IBM incubated.

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

IBM believes strongly that open source should be developed, where possible, under open governance. We’ve worked closely with the Linux Foundation and other open source foundations to help move key projects in this direction. The benefits of open governance are myriad, but important characteristics are

– eliminates single vendor/individual control over a project’s evolution,
– greater potential for diversity of community and ecosystem growth
– greater potential for sustained success
– collectively, diverse communities under open governance tend to innovate at a greater pace than single vendor/individual projects

What’s the most important technical milestone for Hyperledger to reach by the end of 2017?

I’d like to see us make greater strides towards integration and interoperability between projects.

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

Get involved in one of the Hyperledger hosted projects 😉 In all seriousness, the best way to get involved in any open source initiative is to start at the edges and work your way in. Start by fixing bugs and helping to improve documentation as these are often the underserved aspects of any project and help in burning down any technical debt is always welcome. As you become more comfortable, start thinking about taking on more work, such as working on a new feature with others in the community, etc.

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

The continued success of Hyperledger and its hosted projects.

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

I think we need to devote more to thinking about how the various projects might one day interoperate and/or compose with one another. I also think that this needs to be more than merely an academic exercise. It needs to be based in real, working code with the implementation support of multiple of the various projects.

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

Generally, the community’s greatest challenge is working across project boundaries. It is tough when the development community around a given project serves as the foundation for vendor offerings as there are always demands on people’s time and resource expenditures. Making time for such interactions is critically important and often yields the best results – but this can be a tough sell.

[VIDEO] Hyperledger Interviews Justin Newton, Netki

By | Blog

Justin Newton is the CEO and co-founder of Netki. Netki produces standards for the blockchain ecosystem and Justin believes it’s important that the standards they deliver to other blockchains can be used universally across all of them. Being part of Hyperledger helps create that continuity across the different blockchains that they work on.

Advancements in blockchain technology will dramatically change the way most businesses operate in the future. Much like how the internet started out doing things we already did like long distance communication but in a lower cost way, blockchain’s first and main focus has been on increasing efficiency and lowering costs like in payments or sharing information

The bigger promise of blockchain for Justin is that it is an open network for use and innovation around financial services, value transfer, and data ownership, which will lead to dramatic and sweeping changes across all industries as the technologies mature and they become more scalable.

Netki decided to get involved with Hyperledger because it brought together two important areas for development of blockchain: one is the focus on open source and open standards, and two is it provides a strong and predictable governance model around that open source project. Hyperledger gives a stable and predictable path for the development of the technology and a governance process that allows enterprises to feel comfortable with the go forward path. Netki can work with other technologists to help create best of breed standards for blockchain.

(9.28.17) Cointelegraph: Hyperledger Blockchain ‘Shadows’ Canadian Bank’s International Payments

By | News

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is using Blockchain-based Hyperledger for its US – Canada interbank settlements.

In exclusive comments to Reuters Thursday, Executive Vice President for Innovation and Technology Martin Wildberger said the technology had been “shadowing” the bank’s legacy transaction monitoring ledger for “several weeks.”

More here.