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!