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Hyperledger

Developer Showcase Series: Thomas Brooke, Brooke and Brooke Attorneys

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric

Next up in our Developer Showcase blog series is Thomas Brooke from Brooke and Brooke Attorneys. This blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s projects. Let’s see what Thomas has to say!

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

There is so much information out there and it is changing so rapidly that I would recommend keeping an open mind. It is impossible to tell what the blockchain ecosystem will look like even a year from now not to mention five years from now. With that being said I think I would pick a platform and build a project with blockchain technology or just play with it to get a feel of actually working with it. There is so much hype and conflicting opinions now and I think the best way to get a clear picture of the technology is to use it some way and see what it can do as opposed to what it might do.

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 am a practicing lawyer and a part time developer. I am very involved in the legal hacker movement and, no we do not hack into bank accounts or email accounts. We are an International group of lawyers interested in change, technology and ways to improve law. We want to “hack” law to make it better. This naturally lead me to look at “smart Contracts”, blockchain and Hyperledger. 

Thomas Brooke, Brooke and Brooke Attorneys

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

I am actually working on two projects. The first is the Cicero Project where I am volunteering in the technology workgroup. Cicero is a smart contract platform that allows legally enforceable contract language to be bound to executable business logic.

Cicero uses Hyperledger Composer and currently works with Hyperledger Fabric, both of which are currently in the Hyperledger project. To create a smart contract with Cicero you create a model of the relevant concepts, assets, and participants in the contract using Composer’s model language. The clause or contract is the text of the legal contract that works with the model and the business logic is currently encoded in javascript. As Cicero matures the team will develop a domain specific language for describing legal contracts.

A complete contract or Clause as it is known in Cicero can then be used as a template to create an instance of the contract that can be executed in conjunction with a blockchain such as Hyperledger Fabric or in conjunction with an API call to another resource. Cicero clauses can interact with the internet of things, web services or blockchains to create dynamic contracts that can automatically respond to changing conditions.

The second project I am working is a smaller scale project where we are making a a token based barter system for Main Street Mission a Food Pantry located in China Grove, North Carolina, my hometown. We are developing it using Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Composer. China Grove was a town that was hit hard when the local cotton mills closed and even though that was several years ago it still has not recovered. Main Street Mission has been in existence for about 10 years and it currently gives out food several days a week to about 350 households per month.

At Main Street Mission we are changing our method of operation and we are creating a more empowering system that uses tokens to create a shopping experience for our neighbors. We are using design thinking to actively involve our community in developing our new system. In our plan, people can earn tokens by participating in one of our classes or by helping at the mission. They will be able to spend their tokens on food from the pantry and participants will be able to exchange tokens with one another for food and services. We hope to create a small barter economy based on our tokens or Barts as we call them. We do not need the multiple peers or a sophisticated consensus system but the tools provided by Hyperledger Fabric and Composer are well designed and approachable, even for a small project like ours.

While blockchain has obvious advantages in large exchanges and supply chains I believe that the real test for a new technology is how well it can scale downward to help everybody. I recently gave a talk about blockchain and at the end someone asked; “This all sounds great but how is this going to help the small guy, the person with a mom and pop store.” One of our goals at Main Street Mission is to find out.

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

Simplifying blockchain to make it usable across a wide spectrum of use cases.

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

My developer hero is Rich Hickey, the developer of Clojure. One of his more famous quotes is:

”Simplicity is hard work. But, there’s a huge payoff. The person who has a genuinely simpler system – a system made out of genuinely simple parts, is going to be able to affect the greatest change with the least work. He’s going to kick your ass. He’s gonna spend more time simplifying things up front and in the long haul he’s gonna wipe the plate with you because he’ll have that ability to change things when you’re struggling to push elephants around.”

https://hvops.com/articles/simplicity-is-key/

What technology could you not live without?

My MacBook

Hyperledger Grows by 16 New Members

By | Announcements

Fast growing, diverse membership base continues to fuel innovation and adoption for enterprise blockchain

SAN FRANCISCO – (May 30, 2018) Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, announced today 16 organizations joined the project, bringing the total number of new members in 2018 to 67. A global collaboration hosted by The Linux Foundation, Hyperledger now includes more than 235 organizations.

Hyperledger has gained significant traction as a multi-project, multi-stakeholder effort and includes 10 business blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. The fast growing membership base is helping fuel innovation and increasingly widespread adoption of enterprise blockchain.

“As we just demonstrated at Consensus, the Hyperledger community is on the front lines of putting blockchain into production across numerous industries,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. “From healthcare to banking to digital identity management, our members are developing both the use cases and the code for distributed ledgers that scale, connect and interoperate. The accelerating growth we are seeing shows the widening footprint of enterprise blockchain and increasing recognition of a community-based approach to advancing the technology and business models.”

Hyperledger aims to enable organizations to build robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by creating enterprise-grade, open source distributed ledger frameworks and code bases. The latest general members to join the community are: BlackRidge Technology, Blockdaemon, Chengdu Chiwu Software Technologies, China Systems Holdings Limited, Evernym, Experian, iownit capital and markets, Inc., Kakaopay, Lucidity, Pokitdok and Thinktecture AG. They join Deutsche Bank, which signed on earlier this month as a Premier member.

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. Associate members joining this month include Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative (MOBI), MIT Connection Science and National Institute of Telecommunications (Ministry of Digital Affairs Poland).

New member quotes:

BlackRidge Technology

“BlackRidge is excited to join Hyperledger to collaborate and contribute in the area of securing enterprise blockchain services from advanced insider and cyber threats,” said Mike Miracle, SVP Marketing and Strategy, BlackRidge Technology. “We have been working with Hyperledger member IBM and Marist College to research and test additional network security and cyber-attack protection for hybrid and cloud-based blockchain services based on Hyperledger Fabric. Joining Hyperledger provides us with access to additional technical and marketing resources to help accelerate our mission of extending an identity-based trust model to the underlying network and server infrastructure that implements blockchain services.”

Blockdaemon

“Blockdaemon is handling the practical implications of deploying and managing any major blockchain networks on its ground-breaking decentralized infrastructure,” said Konstantin Richter, CEO, Blockdaemon. “Simple 3-click deployments and developer tools make it the Heroku for blockchain. The goals of Hyperledger align very well with our vision, and we are excited to be working closely with this community to simplify the process of deploying nodes and creating scalable enterprise blockchain solutions.”

Chengdu Chiwu Software

“We are very pleased to join the Hyperledger community,” said Mr. Shang Yi, President,THI WU. “Blockchain is rising rapidly and changing the world. We are also rapidly absorbing, learning and growing. We are looking forward to collaborating with other members in this diverse community and contributing to Hyperledger.”

China Systems Holdings Limited

“As a recognized leader in providing Trade Finance, Supply Chain Finance and Payments solutions for the financial industry, China Systems is delighted to join the growing Hyperledger community,” said Chris Tseng, Chairman, China Systems. “This move complements and future-proofs our channel and messaging capabilities with financial networks, such as SWIFT, where Hyperledger has also been selected. Leveraging advanced technology such as DLT to drive business improvements is in China Systems’ DNA. China Systems has been actively using Hyperledger in a number of business scenarios, and we find the technology fascinating and innovative in the same breath.”

Deutsche Bank

“As a Premier member, we’re hoping our expertise and global network will help advance open source distributed ledger technologies and allow us to better serve the complex needs of our clients, who look to us to improve their and their trade partners’ financial endeavors,” said Jon Pearson, Head of Deutsche Bank Labs United Kingdom and Ireland.

Evernym

“Since deciding to contribute the code that has come to be known as project Indy, we’ve held Hyperledger in very high regard,” said Timothy Ruff, CEO, Evernym. “Its vital role in moving distributed ledger technology and its tremendous efficiencies and benefits into the enterprise cannot be overstated. This is our goal as well. As such, it’s only natural for Evernym to officially join Hyperledger.”

Experian

“We are thrilled to continue our ongoing support of Hyperledger’s collaborative effort to create and advance cross-industry blockchain technologies,” said Vijay Mehta, senior vice president, advanced technology group, Experian Consumer Information Services. “As part of our culture of innovation, we are constantly exploring new ideas to use the power of data to help people and businesses make better decisions.”

iownit capital and markets, Inc.

“We are excited to join Hyperledger and become part of a growing community advancing the distributed ledger technology standards,” said Rashad Kurbanov, CEO of iownit capital and markets, Inc. “iownit is building a next generation financial markets platform that leverages blockchain technology to radically simplify and streamline capital formation process. While still young, blockchain is a transformative technology that will reshape financial services industry, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this effort. We look forward to working with the Hyperledger community and making it stronger.”

Kakaopay

Kakaopay provides the most innovative online identification service in Korea by leveraging blockchain technology,” said Hoya Na, Chief Technology Officer of Kakaopay. “We are excited to join Hyperledger and The Linux Foundation. This cutting-edge technology will empower us to introduce a new way to collaborate with customers and partners in payment services and financial businesses.”

Lucidity

“The power of blockchain is the power to create trust and transparency in industries that desperately need both,” said Sam Kim, Lucidity CEO. “It’s a challenge that must be taken on collectively, as there are still technologies to build and standards to refine. That’s why we’re excited to be joining Hyperledger, a collaborative effort to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. Together with Hyperledger, we look forward to advancing the real-world applicability of blockchain technology.”

PokitDok

“We are delighted to be a part of the Hyperledger and The Linux Foundation community,” said Ted Tanner Jr., PokitDok Co-Founder and CTO. “Hyperledger is the reference for creating enterprise-grade blockchain systems and is proof positive that the network effect will prosper in years to come, with collaboration occurring within the open source industry.”

Thinktecture AG

“We are excited to become members of Hyperledger and The Linux Foundation, to support the open source ecosystem, and to further extend our capabilities as a technology specialist for cross-platform, cloud and blockchain applications,” said Ingo Rammer, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Thinktecture. “We provide tools and services to make permissioned blockchain networks easier to deploy, manage, and monitor. Given that Hyperledger Fabric is one of the most advanced open-source platforms for enterprise-grade blockchain networks, we have chosen it as one of the core supported technologies and look forward to working more closely with the Hyperledger projects to accelerate the adoption of distributed ledger technologies in different industries.”

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/.

[VIDEO] Hyperledger Interviews William Zuo, CEO and Founder of Shanghai Gingkoo Financial Technology Co.

By | Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

This month, we’re putting the community spotlight on Shanghai Gingkoo Financial Technology Co. We had the opportunity to sit down with CEO and Founder William Zuo during the 2017 Hyperledger Member Summit in Singapore to learn more about why they joined, and their experience migrating from using Ethereum to Hyperledger Fabric for their platform Starfish-chain.

Gingkoo is a leading fintech company and IT solution provider, working with more than 80 banks and financial institution across the globe. Gingkoo established in 2013 as the first company to enter the blockchain technology ecosystem in China. To further explore how to serve banks in with Distributed Ledger Technology in China, Gingkoo joined Hyperledger as a general member in November 2016.

Prior to collaborating with Hyperledger, Gingkoo developed their Starfish blockchain platform using Ethereum. Shortly after joining, they understood the benefits of using Hyperledger Fabric, and they migrated the Starfish platform over to Fabric. According to William, although it’s still early days for blockchain transformation in B2B business models, Hyperledger Fabric has enabled regulator users of the Starfish platform to have greater visibility into their data sets, which maintain security through encryption.

William praises Hyperledger Fabric for creating a “democracy” of sorts, in which everybody in the chain shares and maintains the database together. Hear more about William’s experience collaborating with Hyperledger Fabric and migrating to it from Ethereum in the full interview video below.

One Year Later: Interoperability & Standardization Shine at Consensus

By | Blog, Events, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Quilt, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Interoperability and standardization took center stage (literally) last week in New York at Consensus, when organizations like FedEx explained that both Ethereum and Hyperledger technology power their logistics solution and that it was a goal of theirs to be agnostic when choosing ledger technologies. Then there was the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, which announced their 1.0 specification that many blockchain developer communities, including Hyperledger Sawtooth, plan to be compatible with in the near future.

It seems as though our hard work at Hyperledger has been paying off and Executive Director, Brian Behlendorf believes we’re now seeing evolution beyond the basic technology questions to more involved discussions about scale, interoperability and governance. In fact, he met with Steven Norton of The Wall Street Journal during Consensus to discuss just that. Brian told Steven:

“Now that we have running systems and there is real value on these different networks, figuring out how to wire them together is a greater priority now than it was a few years ago. But even outside the blockchain space, interoperability is always a process, never a destination. People are starting to finally ask how do we get out of a simplistic mode of saying everyone should all be on the same public ledger, and instead get to a more sophisticated set of questions, like what does interoperability actually mean. It might mean wiring these things together with common software underneath. It might also mean common software on top.”

The Hyperledger booth at Consensus 2018

The discussions around interoperability were a significant contrast to what we saw one year ago at Consensus, when many were just trying to wrap their minds around the technology capabilities and experimentation was in full swing. The idea of different blockchains interacting with one another still seemed like several years away. At that time, we only saw a glimpse of potential possibilities for interoperability when the HACERA team created a fun chess game called Dutchess at the Building Blocks Hackathon that used a combination of technologies like Ethereum, Solidity, Quorum, and Hyperledger Sawtooth.

Jonathan Levi from HACERA explaining different technologies powering Dutchess

At Hyperledger, we envision a world of many chains, some public like the crypto-currencies and some permissioned like you will see in healthcare settings. That’s why we focus on developing the common frameworks for building all kinds of chains. Our diverse developer communities remain diligent in helping the industry advance interoperability above the layer of the DLT, and are on constant look out for simple and open cross-blockchain approaches. An early example of this was the integration between the Hyperledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Burrow projects last year. As a result of that integration, simple EVM smart contracts can be deployed to Hyperledger Sawtooth using the “Seth” (Sawtooth Ethereum) Transaction Family.

“This integration validates that positioning and establishes a strong upstream-downstream relationship between the Sawtooth and Burrow projects. Successful open source endeavours are community driven, collaborative efforts and this linkage between the Hyperledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Burrow teams reinforces that ethos.” – Adam Ludvik, Bitwise IO & Casey Kuhlman, Monax  

Building on that development, the Hyperledger Sawtooth community released a feature called Dynamic Consensus, which goes beyond pluggable consensus to allow networks to change consensus on the fly. Hyperledger Sawtooth supports three consensus protocols right now and two more are in development. Also in development, is a change to the Sawtooth consensus API that will allow consensus providers written in a variety of languages. This follows a similar pattern to Sawtooth’s support for smart contracts in a variety of languages. This expands the breadth of possible consensus algorithm andprotocols that can be easily coupled to Sawtooth. A more recent example is the Hyperledger Fabric community, which has been working hard to create a bridge to the Ethereum community, so that developers can write EVM smart contracts on Fabric. The hope is that our community will continue to tighten integration and interoperability across Hyperledger projects and beyond, allowing a greater number of available options for developers. We hope that even more developers can start to think out of the box, connecting blockchains, and doing it securely. The problem of working with more than one technology stack is no longer a technical one.  

Community Architect, Tracy Kuhrt presenting at the Hyperledger NYC Meetup after Consensus

Hyperledger was established to bring together related, and even competing, technologies with the expectation that the common governance will lead to interoperability and gradual consolidation. Interoperability will be essential to the widespread adoption of blockchain technology because that is what will help the blockchain business ecosystem standardize and thrive. As Brian mentioned to The Wall Street Journal, standards are hard, but getting everyone to agree will end up being the bigger challenge:

“I think the tech is ready for the volume of transactions people want to throw at it and the flexibility of programming models that they want. It’s really the governance. It’s hard enough for one organization to launch any new product. Getting multiple parties to agree on anything — like a time of day for a meeting, let alone a common application — will end up being a bigger challenge. Standards are hard. These things are alive and humming like a benzene ring. They depend upon everybody running the right thing at all times. That I think operationally will be the big challenge.” – Brian Behlendorf

We look forward to the rest of 2018 and all the progress to be made with interoperability. We hope you join us in the effort by contributing to Hyperledger projects.

You can plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list. As always, you can keep up with what’s new with Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

(5.23.18) Associated Press: On the Money: Credit cards to perfect targeting programs

By | Hyperledger Fabric, News

Credit card companies are taking the next step in using their points programs to influence what millions of customers buy, going as far as influencing what color blender you might purchase.

American Express is piloting a program that will allow merchants to reward customers for purchasing specific items at their stores, starting with online merchant Boxed.

AmEx is starting small: giving bonus rewards points to Boxed customers who buy Dove soap, Planters nuts, Cheerios cereal and a handful of other items. But AmEx expects to open the program to nearly all their merchants in the coming months.

More here.

(5.23.18) Distributed: Change Healthcare and the Fight for Blockchain Solutions

By | Hyperledger Fabric, News

At the HLTH — The Future of Healthcare conference earlier this month in Las Vegas, banners for Change Healthcare, a firm on the cutting edge of the healthcare system’s use of distributed ledgers, were on prominent display throughout the event center.

Speaking at this event, Change’s president and CEO Neil de Crescenzo announced the company’s new partnership with Adobe and Microsoft, one that’s expected to usher in a new wave of digital healthcare advancement.

More here.

Hyperledger Sawtooth Security Audit

By | Blog, Hyperledger Sawtooth

David Huseby, Hyperledger Security Maven

 

As part of the software development process at Hyperledger, any project that reaches their 1.0 milestone must have a security audit conducted by an outside firm. As we did with the Hyperledger Fabric security audit, we hired the audit firm Nettitude to also audit Hyperledger Sawtooth. Today we are announcing the publication of the audit report.

The audit found a mix of issues from low priority all the way to one high priority issue.  This report further supports the rule that fresh eyes find bugs. The one high priority issue was incorrect file permissions on the file storing a private key.  It’s little mistakes like that, that are sometimes the hardest to see when you’ve been staring at the same files and code for months.

Thanks to the persistence and attention to detail of the Nettitude analysts, Hyperledger Sawtooth is that much better today.  The overall low number of issues is a testament to the dedication and skill of the Hyperledger Sawtooth community. With the publication of this audit report, we close out the 1.0 process for Hyperledger Sawtooth and hopefully make good on the promise of the open source process.