Hyperledger Aries Graduates To Active Status; Joins Indy As “Production Ready” Hyperledger Projects for Decentralized Identity

The Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee (TSC) has approved Hyperledger Aries as the latest of Hyperledger’s projects to graduate from incubation to active status.

Hyperledger Aries provides reusable, interoperable tool kits designed for initiatives and solutions focused on creating, transmitting and storing verifiable digital credentials. The Aries project grew out of the need for protocols, open source tools and interoperability test suites that leverage networks enabling verifiable credentials, such as those supported by Hyperledger Indy.

This major milestone shows that Hyperledger’s technical leadership recognizes the maturity of the Aries community and project. The TSC applies rigorous standards to active projects including code quality, security best practices, open source governance, and a diverse pool of contributors. Becoming an active Hyperledger project is a sign that Aries has grown in both community and code and is a big step forward for the decentralized digital identity community.

“This approval is further evidence that Hyperledger Aries is a breakout success for the Hyperledger community,” said Brian Behlendorf, General Manager for Blockchain, Healthcare and Identity at the Linux Foundation. “Convergence on common libraries for the exchange of credentials will help speed the development of urgently-needed solutions and systems, ranging from education to finance to the fight against the pandemic. Aries is key to that convergence.” 

The TSC’s endorsement of Hyperledger Aries as out of incubation and into active project status is particularly important as the world grapples with finding trusted ways for people to prove their COVID-19 vaccination or test results. Aries’ maturity and protocol-driven approach to issuing verifiable credentials and presenting verified proofs has meant that Aries is a part of every technical discussion in that domain, and a core component of many of the technical stacks being deployed.

Key components of an Aries solution are:

  • Agent Frameworks: In the digital world, humans, organizations and things need a way to store, manage and exchange verifiable data, including the crypto that decentralized identity demands. Agents do this work in a decentralized environment, and Aries Frameworks make it easy for anyone to build agents tied to specific business needs.
  • DID communications (DIDComm): Agent-like things have to interact with one another to get work done. How they talk in general is DIDComm. DIDComm was born in the Aries project, and work on the next version continues within a working group at the Decentralized Identity Foundation.
  • Protocols: The Aries protocols run on top of DIDComm and enable peer-to-peer application-level interactions among agents, and shows how they should be designed and documented. The Aries community has developed an approach called Aries Interop Profiles (AIP) that formalizes specific sets of protocols that any agent-maker must use to be interoperable across the community, and a test harness that verifies interoperability across disparate implementations using the protocols that make up an AIP.

A Wallet is a common term for a mobile agent used by a person. Wallets are the important link that enables people to manage their connections, credentials, and other aspects of involvement in the decentralized identity ecosystem. This important area of work has just recently received another boost with the community organization of work around creating an open source mobile agent using the Aries Framework Javascript and React Native.

Aries also has close community ties with the Trust Over IP (ToIP) project, which is also housed at the Linux Foundation. Both projects are working on the issuing, holding, and presenting of cryptographically-verifiable digital credentials without the necessity of intermediaries. While Aries is focused on the tools required for verifiable credential exchange, the Trust over IP Foundation is a project working to define a complete architecture, or stack, that combines both cryptographic trust and human trust relating to decentralized identity.

The TSC commended the Aries project during the meeting for the project’s highly diverse contributors. Achieving a high number of organizations contributing to a project at Hyperledger is often a challenge. Congratulations are due to those participating in and supporting the Aries Project.

What to learn more about Identity and Hyperledger Aries?

Hyperledger offers free introductory training courses in partnership with The Linux Foundation and edX.org including:

Introduction to Hyperledger Sovereign Identity Blockchain Solutions: Indy, Aries & Ursa

Becoming a Hyperledger Aries Developer

Do you want to get involved in Hyperledger Aries?If you’d like to support Aries, join our community and contribute! Your contributions will help to fix digital identity for everyone. You can participate in the discussions or help write the code powering Aries. Together, we will build a better platform for digital identity.

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