Hey – You got your Ethereum in my Hyperledger!

Last Thursday marks another important milestone in the Hyperledger books: the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee (TSC) approved a proposal submitted by engineers at Monax and Intel, to incubate the community’s first Ethereum derived project – Burrow, a permissionable smart contract machine.

The Burrow project originated with Monax as eris-db, and has been open source since December 2014. The project has been relicensed to Apache Software License 2.0, in accordance with the Hyperledger governance requirements.

Burrow, becoming a project under Hyperledger, is important for a variety of reasons:

First, and foremost, having an Ethereum derived project under the Hyperledger umbrella should send a strong message that any positioning of the Hyperledger and Ethereum communities as competitive is incorrect.

The blockchain technology community still has many technical challenges to solve, and many different possible approaches to solving them. “Permissioned” and “unpermissioned” represent two ends of a range of options for configuring a distributed ledger, not a binary choice. Choices we can make at the smart contract layer are even more complex. Being able to collaborate on various approaches to these problems is fundamentally important to getting really innovative ideas into production-quality code as quickly as possible.

Secondly, with an Apache licensed Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), other distributed ledger projects in Hyperledger (e.g. Fabric, Sawtooth Lake and Iroha), can now experiment with integrating the EVM into their respective platforms. There is still much work to do to make this happen, of course, but the prospect of this is now much more tangible. This also marks the start of a productive relationship with the broader Ethereum community, including the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance as we monitor the specifications developed there for their application towards Burrow.

“We’re extremely excited that Burrow has been accepted into Hyperledger. This is a huge step in creating a forum in which the larger enterprise community can contribute towards building production-grade applications with the EVM smart contact interpreter. Inclusion of the code base in Hyperledger will ensure the longevity of the open source project under the mature devops and governance of The Linux Foundation and will be a primary driver toward the realization of enterprise grade ecosystem applications.” – Casey Kuhlman, Monax

I know that many in the community have been looking forward to (and working towards!) this day. I think it will mark an important point in Hyperledger’s (and blockchain) history. Stay tuned, as we’ll be moving the Burrow project to Hyperledger infrastructure over the next few weeks.