Back to our Developer Showcase Series to learn what developers in the real world are doing with Hyperledger technologies. Next up is Kamlesh Nagware, CTO Blockchain at Snapper Future Tech.
Give a bit of background on what you’re working on and how you got into blockchain
I am currently working as the CTO Blockchain at Snapper Future Tech (SFT). SFT is a global blockchain development company offering blockchain solutions development and training services and creating versatile tracing and authentication products and platforms powered by blockchain. We create various products to empower enterprises, academia and government to achieve efficiency never experienced before. An innovative technology product company, SFT is connecting global ecosystems through its suite of Trust as a Service (TAAS) products and platforms powered by blockchain.
My blockchain journey started when I was part of IBM India and, at the same time, the Hyperledger project was started by Linux Foundation. I can say proudly that I was one of the mentors in the IBM accelerator program for blockchain start-ups and mentored 10+ start-ups during early enterprise adoption. I started with Hyperledger Fabric 0.6 and have been consistently part of the Fabric community from 0.6 to 1.0 active status to first LTS release 1.4.x and now another LTS 2.2.x.
I have been closely associated with Hyperledger from its founding days. It’s been a very good experience to co-lead the Hyperledger India chapter and build the Hyperledger community in India.
What Hyperledger frameworks or tools are you using in your projects? Any new developments to share? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?
I have been part of the Hyperledger Fabric journey from 0.6 to 1.0 active status to first LTS release 1.4.x and now another LTS 2.2.x. It is always interesting to be part of the early journey of any open source project. Other than Hyperledger Fabric, I’ve used Hyperledger tools like Explorer for blockchain dashboard and Calliper for benchmarking Fabric networks.
Hyperledger has umbrella projects, great suits of projects, tools to solve different kinds of business problems. Hyperledger Indy and Aries are for solving identity management problems. In Hyperledger, other than Fabric, the most used and talked about projects are Indy and Aries. The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated interest in the identity and credential solution using Indy and Aries. Immunity passports is an example of such use cases.
What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?
I think there should be more focus on cross-Hyperledger project collaboration for interoperability between different Hyperledger projects. Hyperledger Aries is a very good project for building credential solutions, but it only supports the Indy blockchain protocol. It will be fantastic to see Aries supporting other Hyperledger projects like Fabric.
What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain?
Blockchain has become key technology for digital transformation strategies, but it’s not necessary to apply blockchain in every business case. Don’t try to use blockchain where it’s not required. Always follow a decision matrix for selecting use cases and the blockchain protocol that is best suited for any particular use case.
For reference, please check out this decision tree by the World Economic Forum. The decision tree is composed of a number of questions that assist in defining whether a blockchain is the correct approach for a particular business or not.
If you want to start learning blockchain, this is the right time. As a developer, start with any one blockchain protocol first and build an application. Start with the Getting Started Guide (like this one for Hyperledger Fabric), understand the protocol’s components, get a clear understanding of its smart contract, consensus mechanism, SDK/API for smart contract and client application development. You can also start with any sandbox environment like minifabric or IBM Blockchain code extension, which makes blockchain application development easy.
There are huge opportunities for open source contributions. Master one protocol and start contributing to its open source community.
As Hyperledger’s projects continue to mature, what do you see as the most interesting technologies, apps, or use cases coming out as a result?
In the coming years, the most interesting use cases would be in sustainable supply chain, e-governance, healthcare, digital identity, CBDC (Central bank digital currency), waste management and renewable energy.
These are five use cases where I see more adoption and blockchain implementation in coming years:
- Sustainable supply chain
- E-Governance – citizen services, transparent government
- Digital Identity – self-sovereign identity & verifiable credentials
- Agriculture – traceability throughout the agri value chain
- Renewable energy – carbon emission tracking, energy trading
What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?
With “blockchain,” the first thing that comes to mind is trust and transparency, so blockchain can solve any kind of problems where those are needed. One specific problem that I hope blockchain could solve is in bringing trust and transparency to the agri product chain in India so that farmers get fair pricing for their yields/crops.
Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?
Blockchain technology is evolving so I hope to see many blockchain protocols and different consensus mechanisms.
1. I believe that everyone wants to see interoperability in blockchains. By interoperability, I don’t just mean blockchains talking to each other at the protocol layer but at the smart contract level. Interoperability of governance frameworks is also very important for mass adoption.
2. I hope to see performance and transaction throughput improvements so that blockchains will be able to process transactions like card processing or UPI companies are able to do.
3. I hope to see well-defined and adopted blockchain global standards.
4. And I hope to see trusted computing meet blockchain. This could happen with Hyperledger Avalon off-chain trust protocol adoption and integration with other Hyperledger DLTs.
What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?
One of the best pieces of advice I received from Sameer Pise, Program Manager at Mphasis, is that “It is just code and written by human beings only so, if he/she can write it, then obviously you can fix it. So don’t give up until you’ve fixed it.” Another valuable piece of advice I heard from Naresh Jain, COO/Co-founder of Snapper Future Tech, is that technically everything is possible. Don’t say “NO” without trying it.
What technology could you not live without?
Agriculture? Electricity? Computer? Internet? All are connected, and we can’t live without each of them.