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Weekend Update: This Week’s Round-up of Remote Blockchain Learning Resources

By Blog, Weekend Update

Welcome to the Weekend Update. Our goal with this post is to share quick updates about online education, networking and collaboration opportunities and resources for the open source enterprise blockchain community. This week’s edition is a double issue, covering events over the next two weeks as many will be offline over the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S.

If you have suggestions for resources or events that we should spotlight in a future Weekend Update, let us know here using #HLWeekendUpdate. 

Five Years of Hyperledger

Over the next two weeks, there will be two panels from the series celebrating Hyperledger’s 5th anniversary:

Blockchain Expo Europe

The Blockchain Expo series returns virtually on November 25-26 to host its fourth annual Europe event. It will bring together key industries from across the globe for two days of top-level content and discussion across five co-located events covering Blockchain, IoT, Cyber Security & Cloud, AI and Big data.

On November 25 at 10:50 am CET, Hyperledger’s Marta Piekarska-Geater will moderate the live keynote panel “Moving into the next phase – Blockchain in action.” 

For more details, go here.

Calling Developers Looking to Get Involved in the Hyperledger Labs Community

We’re seeking contributors to BAF, a Hyperledger lab that serves as an automation framework for rapidly deploying production-ready DLT platforms. It leverages Kubernetes and Red Hat Ansible. 

Learn more here.

Hyperledger Jobs Board

Ready to start a new job or career in enterprise blockchain? The Hyperledger Jobs Board is a great place to start. See openings from members all around the world.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

#RadicalCollaboration | Hyperledger CA2 SIG leading a working group at Open Climate Collabathon

By Blog, Special Interest Group

When looking at climate change, it seems like there are thousands of factors that need to be considered. The truth is, there is really just one: human collaboration. No matter if looking at behavior or trying to find a solution, human collaboration makes all the difference.

The question is how can we collaborate? How do we come together to work on a shared cause? How do we scale? How do we sustain the effort? 

There are many possible answers to these questions. In this article, we will explain what true collaboration looks like for us. We share the same vision, value each other, and each of us is solely here because of an intrinsic motivation: to tackle climate change. “We” are the Hyperledger Climate and Accounting (CA2) Special Interest Group (SIG).

CA2 SIG 

The CA2 SIG fosters and engages a multi-stakeholder network to exchange ideas, needs, and resources in order to develop and consolidate open source distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions for common climate accounting mechanisms and frameworks. Our recent post Tackling Climate Change with Blockchain: An Urgent Need, Ready Opportunity and Call to Action provides more in-depth information about the CA2 SIG and our different working groups (WG).

One of the WGs to highlight in this blog post, which kicked off this summer, is the Carbon Accounting and Certification Working Group. The mission of this WG is to identify how DLTs could improve corporate or personal carbon accounting and make carbon accounting and certifications more open, transparent, and credible. By now, our first prototype is ready to calculate customers’ utility emissions according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 and store the emission records immutably to a Hyperledger Fabric blockchain.

Purpose-driven

Our vision is to build an open climate accounting system that covers all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. A system like this would make real trust and transparency possible for the first time. We are convinced that only then do we have a true shot at tackling climate change as a human society. 

In case you are still wondering why we invest our time in CA2 SIG: we take our spot in the bottom-up approach of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and prevent irreversible damage to our planet if temperatures reach a 1.5 degree warming.

To drive our vision at a larger scale, the Carbon Accounting and Certification WG is taking part in the Open Climate Collabathon from November 9th to 23rd, 2020. 

The Open Climate Collabathon is an international open source initiative to establish a global platform for climate pledges, action tracking, carbon mitigation, and finance, that reflects the current state of planet Earth (i.e., temperature increase, resilience, etc.). The project focuses on leveraging emerging digital technologies like blockchain & distributed ledgers and other innovations to create a globally shared digital hub for coordinating a timely climate change response, internationally.

Collabathon = radical collaboration + hackathon

Our process

The Carbon Accounting and Certification WG does not just stand for a purpose-driven team but also a multicultural community of experts, students, developers, and climate activists. Together we worked toward the idea of multi-channel data architecture and created the Open Business Application Framework over an iterative process during the past year. The Open Business Application Framework is a generic model with a layered architecture that can be applied to many scenarios in climate space. Especially to projects that need a distributed ledger as a common data layer and want to benefit from the Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) (Hyperledger Indy) as well as the Verifiable Credentials (Hyperledger Aries) standards defined by the W3C.

What we do

With this idea, we joined the Open Climate Collabathon to lead a working group with two different tracks – technical and non-technical – during the two weeks sprint to get more people involved.

From the technical side, we concentrate our resources on the Common ID & Agents as well as the Common Data Layer and the interoperability between them. The first stream implements the Hyperledger Lab TrustID to the existing Hyperledger Fabric deployment. The TrustID project develops a chaincode and an SDK that, together, enable identity management in Hyperledger Fabric as a decentralized alternative to CAs by using the DID standard specified by the W3C. In a second stream, we move our local Hyperledger Fabric deployment to a distributed, multi-cloud Hyperledger Fabric network consisting of three independent organizations. The private permissioned ledger would just be one part of the Common Data Layer. In the future, we strive for interoperability between additional ledgers like Hyperledger Besu or Ethereum Mainnet

Last but not least – maybe even most importantly – what we do is not only technical but covers the business issues of using DLT for climate action. During a breakout session at the collabathon focused on the business issues, we came up with follow-up tasks such as:

  • Explore how a Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO) or digital currency could be used to motivate climate action.
  • Find reliable emissions factors for energy in other countries beyond the USA.
  • Develop a business plan for a virtual renewable energy network. This would allow members who can not get solar panels directly, because they rent, move frequently, or have houses that are not structurally eligible to get the benefits of renewable energy and offset their emissions as well.  
  • Develop a business plan for energy efficiency with blockchain

Start collaborating

Of course, we are always looking for further collaborators. If you feel addressed by one of the tasks, are an expert in one of the areas or you just want to experience radical collaboration to make a difference, join us at:

We are looking forward to welcoming you.

Perun, a blockchain-agnostic state channels framework, moves to Hyperledger Labs

By Blog, Hyperledger Labs

We are excited to announce that Perun, a joint DLT Layer 2 scaling project between the Robert Bosch GmbH’s “Economy of Things” project and the Perun team of Technical University of Darmstadt (TUDa), joins Hyperledger as a Labs project. The project’s goal is to make blockchains ready for mass adoption and alleviate current technical challenges such as high fees, latency and low transaction throughput. 

The Perun Hyperledger Labs project implements cryptographic protocols invented and formally analyzed by cryptography researchers at TUDa and the University of Warsaw. Designed as a scaling solution, the Perun protocol can be used on top of any blockchain system to accelerate decentralized applications and lower transaction fees. The payment and state-channel technology of Perun protocol is especially useful for high-frequency and small transactions. By providing a cheap, fast, and secure transaction system, the Perun protocol is a major step forward in the mass adoption of blockchain applications. 

Overview over the Perun Protocol

The Perun protocol allows users to shift transaction and smart contract execution away from the blockchain into so-called payment and state-channels. These channels are created by locking coins on the blockchain and can be updated directly between the users and without any on-chain interaction. This makes state-channel-based transactions much faster and cheaper than on-chain transactions. The underlying blockchain guarantees that all off-chain transactions will be enforced on-chain eventually. In comparison to other channel technologies like the Lightning Network, the Perun construction offers the following unique features:

Perun’s state-channel virtualization: To connect users that do not have a joint open state-channel, existing state-channels can be composed to form so-called virtual channels. These virtual channels are created and closed off-chain over the state-channel network intermediaries. Once opened, the virtual channel is updated directly off-chain between the two connected end users.

Blockchain-agnostic: Its modular design enables the flexible integration of Perun’s state-channel technology into any Blockchain or traditional ledger system. 

Interoperability: The blockchain agonistic design and state-channel virtualization enable transaction and smart contract execution even across different blockchains (cross-chain functionality).

High security: The Perun protocol specifications have been mathematically proven using the latest methods of security research (see perun publications).

The Perun protocol can be used for a wide range of applications in different areas such as finance/FinTech, mobility, energy, e-commerce, telecommunication and any other use case where direct microtransactions are needed.

The Hyperledger Labs Project

As a first step, we are developing a secure and efficient standalone payment application within the Perun Hyperledger Labs project. The labs project currently consists of the following main parts that together form the Perun Framework:

  1. perun-eth-contracts: Provides the Ethereum smart contracts required for implementing the Perun protocol.
  2. go-perun: An SDK that implements core components of the Perun protocol (state-channel proposal protocol, the state machine that supports persistence and a watcher) and an Ethereum blockchain connector. It is designed to be blockchain agnostic and we plan to add support for other blockchain backends.
  3. perun-node: A multiuser node that uses the go-perun SDK to run the Perun protocol and provides an interface for users to manage their keys/identities; off-chain networking; open, transact and settle state-channels.

The Perun framework is built with flexibility in mind and can be integrated into many different environments since most components, like networking, logging or data persistence, are interchangeable and use state of the art software architecture practices that ensure flexibility and crypto agility.

Since joining Hyperledger Labs, we’ve been very active developing the software and we have released the first couple of versions. At the current stage the following functionality is given: 

  • Two party direct payment channels on ethereum
  • Fully generalized state channel functionality
  • Command line interface

Features on the roadmap — also depending on community response:

  • Virtual channels 
  • SSI integration with Hyperledger Aries
  • Additional blockchain backends
  • Cross-chain channels

We are thrilled to be part of the Hyperledger community and are looking forward to your feedback and contributions. We are hoping to jointly build exciting projects on top of Perun to unleash its true potential and build towards a decentralized future. Check out the Perun Lab repositories to see the code and start contributing. Feel free to contact us through the Hyperledger channel #perun if you have any questions.

Weekend Update: This Week’s Round-up of Remote Blockchain Learning Resources

By Blog, Weekend Update

Welcome to the Weekend Update. Our goal with this weekly post is to share quick updates about online education, networking and collaboration opportunities and resources for the open source enterprise blockchain community. 

If you have suggestions for resources or events that we should spotlight in a future Weekend Update, let us know here using #HLWeekendUpdate. 

Five Years of Hyperledger

Hyperledger first launched in December 2015 with founding members IBM, J.P. Morgan, Accenture and DTCC, among several others. Fast forward to today and, 16 projects later, Hyperledger is one of the fastest growing projects at the Linux Foundation.

We have a special lineup of activities, events, and news to help us recognize five years of Hyperledger that kicks off on November 16 and will last through mid December. Five weeks, five discussions, gathering the brightest in our community to address and debate some of the biggest opportunities, challenges, and issues facing enterprise blockchain. 

See all the details here

Webinar: Securing your open source blockchain project with IBM Blockchain Platform

IBM’s Lukas Staniszewski will present an overview of the latest trends in the market, an update on the growth and impact of industry leading blockchain solutions and observations about emerging use cases and new network topologies. He’ll share lessons learned from working with hundreds of clients and outline the key challenges in operating networks/solutions at scale. During his talk, he will provide an overview of the: development and network management tooling, resiliency and security solutions, and how you can distribute and decentralize your network.

Tune on Wednesday, November 18, at 10:00 am EDT. For more information and to register, go here.

Hyperledger Telecom Special Interest Group Guest Speaker: Nima Afraz, CONNECT Center, Trinity College Dublin

Dial into the Telecom SIG meeting to learn more about Decentralized 5G Marketplaces based on Hyperledger Fabric. The fifth generation of cellular networks or 5G promises revolutionary improvements compared to the previous generation that reaches beyond merely multiplying the bandwidth and reducing latency. 5G is expected to enable a wide range of new internet-based services such as vehicular communications and Smart City infrastructure that, in addition to connectivity, require on-demand fine-grained infrastructure and resource access to operate. This talk will cover how Hyperledger Fabric could facilitate the implementation of a distributed marketplace for 5G network infrastructure sharing that does not rely on a central source of trust.

For more information on the meeting, which is Thursday, November 19, 2020, at 9AM PST, go here.

Recent Research – Deep Dive into Blockchain Accountability

For an academic analysis of Hyperledger Fabric’s accountability, read the paper Accountability in a Permissioned Blockchain: Formal Analysis of Hyperledger Fabric published by researchers from the Institute of Information Security at University of Stuttgart in Germany.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

Five Years of Hyperledger

By Blog

Time flies when you are writing code. And building community. And making new markets. #5yearsofHyperledger

The Linux Foundation announced the Hyperledger project on Dec 17, 2015, which means that Hyperledger is on the brink of turning five. This milestone seems a fitting time to take stock of what we’ve done, the impact we’ve had and where we want to go from here. So we’ve asked a number of our community members to join us for a series of webinars covering the past, present and future of Hyperledger and enterprise blockchain.

We invite you to be part of this five-week-long event that will open on November 16 with a Fireside Chat between Forbes associate editor Michael del Castillo and Brian Behlendorf and end with a 5th Anniversary Networking Celebration session on December 17. 

In between those sessions, we will hold a series of five webinars covering a range of topics and featuring speakers from across the community and around the world. Here’s the full line-up of sessions:

To find out more about these panels, speakers, and other ways that Hyperleger is marking this anniversary, please visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/5-years-2.

Weekend Update: This Week’s Round-up of Remote Blockchain Learning Resources

By Blog, Weekend Update

Welcome to the Weekend Update. Our goal with this weekly post is to share quick updates about online education, networking and collaboration opportunities and resources for the open source enterprise blockchain community. 

If you have suggestions for resources or events that we should spotlight in a future Weekend Update, let us know here using #HLWeekendUpdate. 

Open Source Strategy Forum 2020 (November 12-13)

Open Source Strategy Forum (OSSF) is the only conference dedicated to driving collaboration and innovation in financial services through open source software and standards. It brings together experts across financial services, technology, and open source to engage the community in stimulating and thought-provoking conversations about how to best (and safely) leverage open source software to solve industry challenges. This year’s virtual event will take place November 12-13. 

On Thursday, November 12 at 11:55 am EST, Hyperledger’s Karen Ottoni will take the OSSF stage with Makoto Takemiya of Soramitsu to discuss “Open source blockchain’s emerging role as the platform for digital currencies.”

Find out how to register for Open Source Strategy Forum 2020 here.

Open Climate Collabathon Call to Action

The Open Climate Collabathon is an open event mobilizing a global network of universities, civic tech groups, startups and youth to crowd-develop an integrated climate accounting platform, designed to help the world track and achieve the goals of the Paris climate agreement by leveraging state-of-the-art digital technologies. 

Traditionally, the most important Collabathan event of the year happens in November when the UNFCCC hosts the Conference of the Parties (COP). Since COP26 was postponed, the Open Climate Collobathan is organizing a global sprint running virtually from November 9-23. The sprint is as part of a “movement of movements” to ensure 2020 maintains an active climate policy and action agenda. It will be a bottom-up event to engage thousands of participants to collaborate on key prompts via open dialogs and hacking sessions.

Find out how to get involved here.

Recent Research – Smart Contract Reliability Report

Researchers from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, in cooperation with colleagues from the University of Coimbra, were authors of the research paper Using Fault Injection to Assess Blockchain Systems in Presence of Faulty Smart Contracts that appeared in IEEE Access.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

DEON: A Hyperledger-based DEcentralized Off-grid Network

By Blog, Hyperledger Aries, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy

The DEON project focuses on the application of blockchains to secure data sharing in private networks and was initiated in 2018 in the wireless and sensor networks laboratory at the Yale Institute for Network Science. The use case of off-grid communication networks was identified with the goal of enabling their full decentralization in terms of data management and identity management. Off-grid (communication) networks are peer-to-peer networks that are autonomous, without super nodes and not dependent on the Internet’s physical infrastructure. Several recent developments like goTenna[1] and the Beartooth[2] offer standalone wireless devices that could be used to form local peer-to-peer networks. Other developments like the well-known Guifi community network[3] in Catalonia, Spain, are community-led paradigms in that space. Although these networks promote decentralization, openness, and fairness, they rely on legacy, centralized technologies for specific parts of their architecture like data and identity management. The integration of blockchains into off-grid networks appeared promising since blockchain provides attributes like transparency, privacy, distribution of governance and decentralization that are highly desirable in off-grid networks.

We chose Hyperledger Fabric as the framework to build our architecture because of its flexibility, performance and the potential we saw behind this huge community of enthusiasts and developers to further advance the technology. After we got familiar with the framework, we identified a key missing aspect: a decentralized identity management component. Unlike the rest of Fabric’s architecture, its native identity management is centralized and based on Certificate Authorities. So we came across the following questions: “which of the nodes in the network is going to host and manage the CA?”, “can we stick with the initial plan of having equal nodes?”and “how can we preserve the decentralization of off-grid networks if we rely on centralized nodes?”

Looking at the rest of the Hyperledger ecosystem, we found that Hyperledger Indy and Aries enable decentralized identity management. We could transform the centralized CAs of Fabric to a distributed CA entity, aka the Indy ledger, so that they are accessible by all nodes but not hosted by a specific one. This approach would work like a distributed oracle of trust in the network but necessitated some changes in Fabric and other extensions in the entire stack to bring DIDs into the “Fabric world.”

Approach and proposed architecture

The first Fabric extension identified as necessary for the integration was an Indy-based MSP to verify identities, signatures and transactions signed by DIDs. In addition, we had to enable the Fabric SDK (Go) to sign transactions using DIDs. For the Indy/Aries part, we leveraged the Hyperledger Aries Cloud Agent (aca-py) [4], which is deployed in each node of the network and serves as both the verifier and the issuer in the network. On one hand, it signs Fabric transactions using DIDs and issues credentials to the users of the network, and on the other it verifies proofs and transactions signed by DIDs. The DEON Core Service leverages Fabric private data collections and an interface to IPFS to expose a REST API for secure, transparent, fast and privacy-preserving data storage. An overview of the integration is shown in the figure below. The proposed architecture can be employed by off-grid networks of any kind, from IoT to communication and inter-enterprise consortia networks, for enabling self-sovereign identity and user-centric data sharing.

Figure 1: HL Fabric-Indy/Aries integration

Project outcomes and future work

The work started as a joint effort between the wireless and sensor networks lab of Professor Leandros Tassiulas at the Yale Institute for Network Science and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which put its expertise in decentralized identity to work in the development of the identity parts. Part of the work and initial benchmarks of the architecture deployed in off-grid settings are presented in the paper “A Blockchain-based Decentralized Data Sharing Infrastructure for Off-grid Networking[5].”

Currently the Yale team is working on improving the code to make it more usable by others as a standalone solution for integrating Fabric and Indy/Aries. The team is also working on feature enhancements for the DEON platform, such as supporting Fabric v2, updating DEON identity agents to the latest version of the aca-py agent, extending the DEON REST API with admin functionalities and finally looking for new applications of the platform. The code of the project can be found on GitHub https://github.com/off-grid-block.

[1] goTenna off-grid device: https://gotenna.com/
[2] Beartooth off-grid device: https://beartooth.com/
[3] Guifi.net: https://guifi.net/
[4] aca-py agent: https://github.com/hyperledger/aries-cloudagent-python/
[5] “A Blockchain-based Decentralized Data Sharing Infrastructure for Off-grid Networking”: https://arxiv.org/abs/2006.07521v2

About the author
Harris Niavis is a Research Engineer at Yale University. His research interests lie in enterprise blockchain networks, decentralized identity management, mesh networks and IoT.

 

Cover image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Announcing Hyperledger Besu 20.10.0

By Blog, Hyperledger Besu

This release includes new versioning and mainnet-focused advancements

The Hyperledger Besu team is excited to announce today’s Hyperledger Besu 20.10.0 release. 

You might have noticed that the versioning for this quarterly release is a little different than prior Hyperledger Besu releases. The Hyperledger Besu community recently decided to switch its versioning to calendar versioning, known as CalVer. Instead of the historic semantic versioning used by Besu and other Hyperledger projects, the Besu team decided to use CalVer moving forward. In all future releases, you will notice the project versions will start with the year and month (YY.M) of the last major release candidate, followed by a patch number for incremental releases, which results in a YY.M.patch, or 20.10.0 for this release. The Besu team believes this will better track the project’s changes and it follows many other successful open source projects that use Calver, including Splunk and Ubuntu.

Check out the old vs. new versioning in the table below.

ProjectReleaseOld Release VersioningNew Calver Release Versioning
Hyperledger Besu Hyperledger Besu Q4 Release Candidate 11.6.0-RC120.10.0-RC1
Hyperledger Besu Hyperledger Besu Q4 Release Candidate 21.6.0-RC220.10.0-RC2
Hyperledger Besu Hyperledger Besu Q4 2020 Quarterly Release1.6.020.10.0
Hyperledger Besu Hyperledger Besu subsequent bi-weekly release 1.6.120.10.1


Now to share what is included in the latest release. The Besu community is excited about the continued advancements of the Hyperledger Besu project featured in this release. 

A few highlights for this release include:

  • Flexible Privacy Group Performance tests
  • Mainnet Support Work, including preparing for the Berlin Network Upgrade and EIP-1559 support

Flexible Privacy Group Performance Tests

The ‘add and remove members for privacy groups’ feature was released earlier this year as an early access feature. With privacy groups in Hyperledger Besu, you can add and remove members from a privacy group, creating an improved user experience for private transactions. Privacy groups are built using a private transaction manager, called Orion, to help send private transactions in a permissioned network.

In the 20.10.0 version, privacy groups have been further improved to ensure robust performance. The team performed various tests to ensure the flexible privacy group feature is not a performance bottleneck. 

Flexible privacy groups are now supported when using multi-tenancy. In addition, the team created more library examples and documentation of use cases. 

Mainnet Support Work

Since Hyperledger Besu runs on the public Ethereum mainnet, the Besu community also sought to improve its public chain settings. As a reminder, Hyperledger Besu is the only Hyperledger project that runs on a public chain and in permissioned network settings. This optionality makes it unique and a popular project for trying out both public chain or permissioned network options for a use case.

Berlin Network Upgrade

In this release, the community prioritized work ensuring Hyperledger Besu is ready for the next Ethereum hard fork, Berlin, scheduled to happen in the next few months. You can learn more about Ethereum’s hard forks here. For the Berlin hard fork, the Besu and Ethereum communities are broadly focused on implementing EIPs, or Ethereum Improvement Proposals, that will help with the UX of the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract, add new functionality to the EVM and change gas costs to reflect their execution time more accurately. 

EIP-1559

In addition to its work on the Berlin network upgrade, the Besu team has also been leading efforts to implement EIP-1559. EIP-1559 is a highly anticipated upgrade to Ethereum’s transaction fee market. This EIP’s goal is to make the Ethereum fee market more efficient. You can read more about the current status of EIP-1559 here in a post written by Tim Beiko, one of our Besu team members.

What’s Next?

The Hyperledger Besu community remains committed to improving its project and making it fit for production blockchain use cases. Watch for new features addressing node hibernation and Bonsai Tries database improvements in our next quarterly release.

Get Involved

Download the latest version of Hyperledger Besu here.

Interested in learning more or curious on how to get started with Hyperledger Besu? Check out the Besu docs, view the tutorials, visit the wiki, or take a look at some open issues in GitHub

Stay tuned to hear more about our work in Ethereum and Hyperledger and about how Hyperledger Besu is continuing to lead the enterprise blockchain space.

The move to a production network: What you need to consider and how Hyperledger Fabric can help

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that provides a shared, immutable, and transparent history to the participants in the network of all the actions that have happened. Currently, different types of blockchain technologies exist, including private permissioned implementations that allow governance of the network participants and secure management of sensitive data. 

Blockchain has already demonstrated its potential in numerous POCs and implementations in production in Switzerland and abroad. Deployments are live in various business areas such as supply-chain management, finance (e.g., payments in crypto-currencies, tokenization), healthcare data management, ticketing services, eVoting, cars and planes configuration and maintenance, among others. Increasingly, companies are moving past the initial stage of  testing whether  blockchain is a good solution to a specific business problem (i.e., developing a POC) and are starting the work of adopting this technology in production networks. 

The move from a successful POC implementation to a production deployment brings many added challenges such as ongoing management, integration (on both the technology and business process fronts), security and budgeting. Here are some key areas where advanced consideration and preparation can smooth a production implementation:

  1. Deployment options for running and maintaining the blockchain nodes and other components of the blockchain network.

Blockchain technology is often employed to ensure transparent and secure transactions executed between parties without fully aligned interests. Instead of relying on a centralized “trusted” party, which can become a target for the internal and external cyber-attacks, parties opt to set up a distributed network. This blockchain network consists of replicated nodes that execute smart contracts – programs defined by the business logic of the application. Depending on the business requirements, a specific type of blockchain implementation (i.e., permissionless/permissioned, private/public, or hybrid) shall be chosen. This choice also impacts the network configuration and maintenance. When the nodes are located on premises, execution of smart contracts can be verified by the parties directly. However, infrastructure maintenance costs and shortage of specialists “in house” can complicate such an approach. The nodes can also be deployed in the cloud; multiple companies provide such services. Working with service providers simplifys management. However, it also requires careful selection of the provider(s) based on the sensitivity level of data that are being processed by the smart contracts, regulations, and physical location of the hosting data centers.

  1. Set up or integration of identity management approach.

For the permissioned blockchain technology implementation, identity management service plays a crucial role. Often, even as a part of distributed ledger frameworks, identity management services are implemented in a centralized manner, which poses serious security threats and can become a single point of failure. Setting up a distributed identity management service, using blockchain-based approach for identity management (such as self-sovereign identity solutions) and implementing privacy-preserving approaches (using advance cryptographic primitives such as zero-knowledge proofs) are the approaches that must be considered for the real-world implementation. 

  1. Transformation of  business processes into chaincode (smart contracts) 

Transforming paper-based contracts and business processes into computer programs can be challenging and may require compliance with domain-specific regulations (i.e., Drug Supply Chain Security Act in US, Falsified Medicines Directive of the European Union in the pharmaceutical sector). Making sure the business processes are properly transferred and are available for  verification and audits are cornerstone requirements for the successful integration of the blockchain. To understand and translate specifics of a company’s business area into smart contracts, collaboration between the company and blockchain specialists with the specific domain knowledge and legal expertise is required.

  1. Data management approach.

Replication of the code execution between multiple parties brings transparency into blockchain implementations. At the same time, more parties may access the sensitive data that is required for the execution of the smart contracts deployed on the nodes. In the course of development of the blockchain, a number of approaches for hybrid data management have been proposed. These approaches assume that only part of the data is managed within the blockchain network, and most of the data, especially of a sensitive nature, is stored and processed locally. Private data collections, hardware security modules, data encryption are examples of approaches that aim to ensure data security and user privacy.

  1. Estimation of the infrastructure and maintenance costs.

Once the above points are considered, and preliminary choices are made, it’s easier to estimate the effort and costs of implementing and maintaining a system. It is important to ensure integration and interoperability with other non-blockchain-based components. Detailed specifications of SLAs and timelines in the dynamic blockchain environment must not be overlooked.

Working with customers, we have found that Hyperledger Fabric, one of the most mature permissioned blockchain technology platforms implementations, is well architectured to help companies to make the leap from POC to a successful production deployment.

Hyperledger Fabric networks can be set up on the customer premises and in the cloud, including multi-vendor cloud environments. Deployment and maintenance of the robust and secure blockchain-based POCs and real-world systems can be achieved in close collaboration between the company and a vetted service provider that has deep experience helping enterprises successfully adopt Fabric.

With Hyperledger Fabric, business logic can be “translated” into the chaincode using one of the following general-purpose languages: Go, node.js, or Java. Fabric also provides a set of built-in tools for sensitive data management, such as private data collections and channels, as well as flexibility in the choice of identity management approach, such decentralized identity management and anonymous credentials. 

Being aware of the challenges, knowing how to address them, and working together with a Hyperledger Certified Service Provider, like Swisscom, are key components to the successful deployment of a blockchain-based project in production.

Weekend Update: This Week’s Round-up of Remote Blockchain Learning Resources

By Blog, Weekend Update

Welcome to the Weekend Update. Our goal with this weekly post is to share quick updates about online education, networking and collaboration opportunities and resources for the open source enterprise blockchain community. 

If you have suggestions for resources or events that we should spotlight in a future Weekend Update, let us know here using #HLWeekendUpdate. 

Call for students, professors and researchers to get involved in Hyperledger

Universities have a critical role to play in the transformation that blockchain technology is driving. Educational institutions will teach needed skills, research new uses and help shape the direction of this movement. If you are at a university and are interested in understanding Hyperledger and making an impact on the projects, this guide has the information you need to get started.

Blockchain Expo North America

Blockchain Expo North America will be virtual this year. The event will feature two days (November 4-5) of top-level content and thought leadership discussions looking at the blockchain ecosystem. Hyperledger executives will take the stage for two sessions on November 4 for the focus on blockchain for the enterprise:

  • Keynote: “Success Stories of Deploying Blockchain and Lessons Learned” by Hyperledger’s Brian Behlendorf at 10:00 a.m. MST
  • Live Keynote Panel: “The Future of Enterprise Technology – Predictions of 2021 & Beyond” moderated by Hyperledger’s Daniela Barbosa at 10:20 a.m. MST

For more details about Blockchain Expo North America, go here

Webinar: How Credit Unions are Using MemberPass to Improve the Member Experience

Data security, particularly around identity, has become a major concern for consumers everywhere due to ongoing data breaches and waves of identity. In the financial industry, digital identity protection is especially crucial. Innovative credit unions have collaborated to develop CULedger, a credit union service organization offering MemberPass, a consumer-focused global digital identity solution. CULedger’s Julie Esser will present the credit union industry’s use of MemberPass and provide an update on their deployments and use cases.

Tune on Wednesday, November 4, at 10:00 am EST. For more information and to register, go here.

Case Study: DLT Labs and Walmart Canada Transform Freight Transport Management

Learn more about how DLT Labs is using Hyperledger Fabric to resolve freight transportation invoice and payment challenges for Walmart Canada in this new case study.

Hyperledger Study Circle

Hyperledger Sweden hosts a Tech Study Circle every other Friday. The session is open to all who want to share learning experiences, clear doubts, educate each other and discuss various Hyperledger certifications.

The group meets this Friday, November 6, at 13:00 GMT/15:00 CEST. More details are here.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here