Hyperledger Global Forum: Takeaways from a local blockchain professional

I’m very curious and I love to meet people from all over the world. I’m fascinated by new technologies, learning what can be done, seeing what has been done and realizing the potential.

Meeting like-minded, open people is the favorite way my team at 4eyes and I satisfy our curiosity. Learning from each other, sharing experiences and discussing problems and questions is the best way to achieve this.

Tangible results are sometimes difficult to see in software frameworks, and perhaps more so within the DLT/Blockchain space. However, they are very important to understanding the technology and its potential. So looking at projects in various stages from prototype to production is immensely helpful for us and, eventually, for our customers and partners.

With that in mind, we were excited to hear that the global Hyperledger community was getting together in Basel, about 15 minutes from our offices! While I already got an in-person impression of the Hyperledger Community at the Hackfest in Amsterdam and in my activities within the Special Interest Groups for the public sector, it was wonderful to have the whole Hyperledger Community as a guest in my hometown.

I’ve been to dozens of blockchain-related events this year with the Hyperledger Global Forum serving as the grand finale. In my opinion, it was by far the best experience as Hyperledger is the most inclusive, down-to-earth and also self-critical blockchain community. I remember Brian Behlendorf reminding people in a working group call of the importance of honest and transparent communication about Hyperledger as it’s crucial for the credibility and future development of Hyperledger. This spirit permeated the whole conference. While we know that Hyperledger has great frameworks and tools for a broad variety of real-life applications, as open-minded professionals we all realize that there is no one-size-fits-all holy grail kind of solution. This mindset leads to very constructive discussions about the different ways of solving a task.

To satisfy my curiosity, I attended a variety of workshops, especially for those Hyperledger frameworks that were still new to me. So, for example, I experienced Indy hands on in John Jordan’s workshop and learned to bring natural language legal contracts into the blockchain using Accord from Dan Selman. As sharing is a essential part of the learning experience, Waleed El Sayed and I talked about our experience developing blockchain-based projects using Fabric and Composer, which led to very interesting discussions with the audience and also during the rest of the conference. Apart from the inspiring keynotes ranging from consensus and application of blockchain in various industries to philosophy of trust, Global Forum was an opportunity to talk to the broad variety of companies showcasing their products and services.

In terms of my developer skills, the time I spent talking to Caroline Church, IBM’s Lead for Blockchain Tooling, was probably the most impactful. At Accenture’s Hack-For-Good hackathon towards the end of the Forum, Caroline showed us the new way of coding chaincode in Fabric 1.4 and, even more important, the Visual Code extension she created that allows for easy testing and debugging of chaincode. This is a huge step forward in terms of developing chaincode in Fabric. Caroline’s tools will immediately help my team and me and will increase 4eyes’ efficiency dramatically.

From my point of view as a consultant, I learned a lot from the presented use cases, such as the very interesting talk from Marco Alarcon and Andrés Falcone about the Short Sales Lending solution they’ve created at the Santiago Stock Exchange. I was also very impressed by David Berger’s very pragmatic solution to facilitating proof of existence for the legal industry.

As I love to spend time with people all over the world, I skipped one or the other presentation in favor for a in-depth conversations ranging from technical to conceptual during the forum and fun to philosophy during the delegates party at the fantastic Pantheon. This way I met amazing people from all over the world: Japan, France, USA, South Korea, Chile, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Switzerland, Russia, China and many more.

My experiences at the Hyperledger Global Forum helped me to assess the possibilities and the maturity of the framework and tools and inspired many new ideas, which in turn will help my team and me to provide better guidance and consultancy for clients and partners.

We are looking forward to the next opportunities to learn and share at upcoming Hyperledger events such as the Hackfest.

The whole 4eyes team and I would love to welcome the Hyperledger family back in Basel in 2019!