Hyperledger India Chapter in 2020

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Blockchain technology adoption and the startup ecosystem around it within the Indian subcontinent reached new heights in the year 2020. The Government of India announced a blockchain center of excellence where the technology is being evaluated for adoption across multitude of areas. The Hyperledger regional chapter was inaugurated in early 2019 to bolster blockchain technology in India and rapidly spread its wings in 2020.

Below are a few of the chapter’s accomplishments in the year 2020:

  • HyperHack 2020: The first ever blockchain-run, blockchain-based hackathon to attract teams from across the Asia Pacific region. Prizes worth $10,000 USD were distributed through sponsors.
  • Blockchain Stories 2020: A platform for sharing stories and learning from each other. The event, which drew speakers from over 25 organizations across the Asia Pacific, was spread across five  weeks and had over 1,000 participants.
  • Women in Blockchain: A panel discussion organized in association with the Saintgits College of Engineering with distinguished speakers from the India diaspora. The event also featured renowned names in blockchain technology.
  • Blockchain Hype to Reality: An event aimed at answering the startup ecosystem that echoed the mantra of Vocal for Local. It attracted a crowd of over 1,500 from across the Asia Pacific region.
  • Blockchain Techfest 2020: An opportunity for technology enthusiasts to meet, greet and learn from the maintainers of different Hyperledger projects. The event, held in three sessions across three weeks, covered nine Hyperledger projects..

The year also saw improvement in the way community meetings are run. The chapter adopted a more structured format for running meetings and making decisions as well as an option to hear from everybody in the community, which led to increased participation. LinkedIn engagement also increased with more than 2,300 enthusiasts showing interest in the chapter’s activities in the last year. The chapter has also produced over 25 videos on the Hyperledger YouTube channel.

Members of the India community also have taken on an increasing number of leadership roles with Hypereldger at the global level. We have chapter members actively involved in the Hyperledger technical steering committee, as maintainers and contributors across all the projects within the Hyperledger greenhouse and as noticeable contributors in special interest groups and working group activities.

The community activities have accelerated in the region. One example of the quick pace of activity: The idea of student outreach led to an immediate invite from the IEEE Computer Society Kerala Chapter. While we are still defining quarterly goals for the year 2021, here is the gist of what to expect in the coming year:

  1. Additional student outreach and the possibility of a Hyperledger India Chapter – Student Wing.
  2. Industry outreach aimed at bridging the booming startup ecosystem with the industry experts.
  3. Aligning the blockchain activities with the broader effort to make India an innovation hub.
  4. A second edition of HyperHack, a hackathon with problem statements that are more relevant to the region. Plans include special consideration for student submissions to encourage the participation. There will also be a lineup of learning activities priori.
  5. A 2021 edition of our most popular event, Blockchain Stories, with the aim of increased participation and a new wave of success stories to be shared.

Here is the statement of gratitude from the co-leads of the Hyperledger India Chapter. Arun S M is a senior software engineer at Walmart and also a technical steering committee member at Hyperledger. Kamesh Nagware is a VP Blockchain Technology at Snapper Future Tech as well as an active contributor to the Climate Action & Accounting and Trade Finance SIGs at Hyperledger.

“It is amazing to see how a vibrant and diverse set of people come together for a cause, in this case blockchain technology and Hyperledger. India is a diverse country, and its strength lies in its diversity. We at the Hyperledger India Chapter brought together the finest like-minded people from across the country under one roof.

From running the community meetings once a week as a forum for answering technical questions to having  the weekly trackable activities, it was a long journey. The community stood by us through this transformational path. We did multiple experiments with our activities through the year. At the end, we are happy for what has come out of it.

When it was the time to organize events, we were quick to identify that going virtual is inevitable. Also, the geographical location advantage India provides has made it easy for us to connect with the audiences across Asia Pacific, Middle East Asia and Europe. The continued engagement of volunteers and the  interest shown by the blockchain enthusiasts has propelled us to do even more. This feeling of ours echoed through the feedback, emails, YouTube viewership and the number of times these events were spoken about across the globe.

Hyperledger India Chapter carried the strong bond it built across Asia Pacific region, and it shows up in the continued engagement we have with the enthusiasts outside Indian territory.

On Dec 17th, 2020, Hyperledger marked five  years since its inception. On Dec 18th, Hyperledger hosted an open networking event for the Asia Pacific region as part of its 5th anniversary celebration. The event attracted an overwhelming crowd from across India.

We couldn’t be more proud of what the Hyperledger India Chapter accomplished in the year 2020. It is all possible because of the ever increasing enthusiasm we see in the community. All roads now lead to 2021. We are excited to have more community engagement in the coming year!

 We look forward to having more technical contributions from the region in 2021 and  call on all of you residing in Indian subcontinent to join our weekly calls. Let us build a better future holding hands together.

All of this would not be possible without the help of staff at the Hyperledger. Everybody at Hyperledger has stood by us. Dorothy Cheng and David Boswell specifically have eased most of our jobs.”

“Since the launch of the Hyperledger India Chapter in early 2019, it has been a pleasure for me to work with this inspiring group of volunteers, dedicated to supporting Hyperledger technologies, open source collaboration, sharing information and assisting the India blockchain community. 2020 has been a challenging year. It has been heartening to see the innovative ways the India Chapter has found to share information and support the blockchain community – in India, across Asia Pacific and globally.

In 2020 the India Chapter created and ran engaging events online – from it’s HyperHack hackathon, to the informative Blockchain Stories series, to it’s Women in Blockchain event and much more. It set up exciting programmes in areas such as student outreach and tirelessly worked to meet, communicate with and support the community.

The India Chapter was the first of its kind in the Hyperledger community, and it has inspired the creation of Chapters around the world.

The India Chapter has grown immensely and accelerated its development in 2020. I am excited to see how they build on their successes as we move into 2021 and face the challenges and opportunities ahead. I know they will bring energy, commitment and inspiration to all that they do.

There are so many in the Hyperledger India Chapter who deserve recognition and thanks from the Hyperledger community. I would particularly like to thank Arun S M and Kamlesh Nagware for their great leadership in 2020.

I look forward to working with the Hyperledger India Chapter in 2021.”

From all of us at the Hyperledger India Chapter, we wish you all a very Happy New Year!

In this series of blog posts, you will hear from many of our active volunteers on what the year 2020 and the Hyperledger India Chapter brought to them.

Cover image by motionstock from Pixabay.