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Translating Hyperledger Fabric Documentation into Multiple Languages

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric, Working Group

Since Hyperledger Fabric was first introduced in 2017, it has been embraced by the open source community, including both Fabric developers and Fabric contributors, from around the world. Today, Fabric networks are currently running in numerous countries. But 80% of the world’s population are non-English speakers. English-only Fabric documentation represents a barrier to adoption by the broader global community. What if the Fabric documentation was available in native languages to these non-English speakers? Blockchain networks could be deployed and shared more easily as the pool of Fabric users broadens to non-English speaking developers around the world.

Therefore, to spearhead further project adoption in the global community, Anthony O’Dowd launched an initiative in 2019 to begin translating the Fabric documentation into other languages to empower non-English speakers to use Fabric. It started with a small group of Chinese translators and spread to an academic institution in India where the Malayalam translation followed.

Anthony created a repeatable process to translate the documentation that allows translators from other languages to quickly on-board and get started. The process was published in the Fabric documentation Contributing Guide and includes resources and examples for how to start a new translation in GitHub as well as  instructions for which topics to translate first and how to collaborate with other translators.

Today, Fabric is being translated today into six languages (Chinese, Japanese, Malayalam, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish), and we are excited to see what other languages people are interested in contributing to. See the existing translated content on the documentation home page, by clicking on the Introduction. Switch between languages by clicking on the version in the table of contents to view the other languages that are available and their translated content.

Translation of the Fabric documentation has benefited the broader community in many ways. Translators have acknowledged that the translation effort itself has been a great way to learn Fabric and,as they become familiar with the contributing process overall, provides the experience to not only contribute translations but also code or bug fixes. Translations now not only allowFabric developers to take advantage of the technology but also enable the general public to learn about the benefits of blockchain technology in their native language. When  content is available in your native language, it encourages engagement, enables a stronger connection to the technology, and opens the door for even more companies to adopt Fabric technologies.

Get Involved with a New or Existing Translation Effort

But translation requires collaboration, so the Linux Foundation is launching the Fabric Documentation Translation Campaign to recruit and encourage new translators to join an existing effort or start a new language translation. To get involved with a translation, check out the available working groups or start your own. And you’re welcome to translate any of the material in the Hyperledger community that you would find useful to have in your own language.

Everyone has limited time, and the volume of content available for translation is large. However,  the more people who step in to help just proof-read or contribute a small amount of translation, the greater the benefit for the entire community. Appreciation goes out to the following translators for their help in getting this community driven translation effort started: Satomi Tsujita, Yang Cheng, Junjie Zhou, Aneena Alexander, Renato Teixeira, Claudio Paz, and Oumar Fall. And we’d like to acknowledge other open source projects with active translation efforts such as Mozilla, Kubernetes, and Apache for a model of how to provide documentation in multiple languages. To get started visit www.hyperledger.org/translate or join a workgroup that has already started translations in your language. See International groups on the Wiki for a list of available groups or start your own.

New Hyperledger Media & Entertainment SIG Launches with Welcome to All Comers

By Blog, Special Interest Group

We would like to extend a very warm welcome to anybody and everybody interested in permissioned blockchains for both media (writ large) and entertainment. The launch of the Hyperledger Media & Entertainment Special Interest Group (ME-SIG) is designed to be maximally inclusive: we would like to the see the widest possible range of engineers, developers, in fact all manner of professionals, together with artists, academics, students, experts, and—of course—amateurs.

Here’s how to navigate our initial resources: following a recent, virtual meet-up in Los Angeles, the Media and Entertainment SIG has started to build a landing page on the HL Wiki where you’ll find links to our:

  • Mailing list sign-up
  • Rocket Chat channel (while we ponder the pros and cons of Slack)
  • Proposed debut project
  • And other initiatives or aggregated info that will naturally grow over time.

In simple terms, the ME-SIG will be using decentralized, permissioned HL blockchains to discuss and build user-friendly apps that respond to the relative disorder of permissonless environments, where artists’ interests are significantly harder to safeguard.

Following comparative analyses of the technical challenges (and hypothetical solutions) facing filmmakers, musicians, novelists, poets, photojournalists, etc., these DLT apps/dapps will be created for content-creators and their publishers, irrespective of location or socioeconomic status. This implies a focus upon UX/UI concerns over command-line tools, all in the name of access and inclusivity.

The ME-SIG will focus on the application of Hyperledger DLTs to media-specific and entertainment use cases. Such activity will automatically foreground topics such as decentralized metadata, digital distribution, copyright protection, royalty payments, value chains, NFTs (non-fungible tokens), tokenized content, counterfeit reduction, and registered digital ownership. By logical extension, these same themes will lead to real-world scenarios or solutions for cinematic, literary, audiovisual, and photographic publishers, to name but four.

Following the established activities of the Social Impact and Trade Finance SIGs, the TME group can then hope to:

  • Collaborate with other core Hyperledger working groups and project in the areas of architecture

           —performance and scalability identity
           —smart contracts
           —and integration

  • Build user-friendly DLT ME applications on Hyperledger, focusing on UX-UI goals over command-line tools alone, thus simplifying the workflow of Hyperledger Fabric—for easier adoption by both artists and arts-related communities
  • Research different protocols—to build standardization across different parties and projects
  • Identify related reference architectures (business/integration or technical/infrastructure)
  • Work with businesses and non-profit or NGO communities alike
  • Share stories of civic success, failure, opportunity, and challenge
  • Encourage the equal involvement of both early adopters and student newcomers, looking to examine careers beyond the (barely existent!) academic job market.

So what of an initial project? Here’s where we are keenest to involve colleagues and collaborators from outside the worlds of media and/or entertainment. Our initial proposal notes can be found here. It is increasingly revisited and reworked by members of the SIG. We’ve called it a “Distributed Media Curation Platform (DCP) on Hyperledger Fabric.” Please add to those notes with help, criticism, or constructive abuse! Community input is—and will remain—vital. The more we know about your desires and needs, the more a finished product will be useful for you.

The DCP will curate, document, and fairly manage media assets—eg., music, ebooks, photojournalism, gaming figures, digitized artworks, etc. on the blockchain. It will accurately establish the provenance of an asset (its past) and assure that the asset’s creators or rights holders are properly acknowledged and remunerated in the future. For this reason, the DCP is suitable for museums, galleries, labels, and publishers on one hand, while proving equally helpful to artists or content creators on the other. In both environments, the watchword will remain fairness. The following paragraphs outline a plan to build the DCP in a modular fashion, together with definitions of the relevant and manageable technologies.

  • Hyperledger Fabric 2.X
  • Fabtoken
  • NFT
  • ISCC
  • OCCP
  • vLEI
  • DAO/DAC
  • Custom UI and Player (PHP/JS, HTML/CSS).

Early curatorial enterprise on the blockchain was celebrated in 2017 by Consensys’ own Engineer of Societies, Simon de la Rouviere. In his overview of P2P distributed curation markets (DCMs), de la Rouviere quoted Umberto Eco’s equation of curation or list-making with culture itself.

The list is the origin of culture. It’s part of the history of art and literature. What does culture want? To make infinity comprehensible. It also wants to create order — not always, but often. And how, as a human being, does one face infinity? How does one attempt to grasp the incomprehensible? Through lists, through catalogs, through collections in museums and through encyclopedias and dictionaries.

The benefits offered by a blockchain DCP, de la Rouviere claimed, are not only decentralization and related systems of accountability. They also include the “the [cultural] wisdom of a crowd sharing at scale “ and micro-transactions or tokenized payments. Both will be addressed by the ME-SIG..

There are certainly lots of existing content aggregation tools, operating with human or artificial intelligence. Given, however, that DCPs rely on both the filtering of information and an attribution of value to those selected assets, AI is (thus far) less likely to to attribute lasting or accurate cultural worth to any resulting list than a known, human entity within a relatively small and permissioned environment. Culture is a profoundly human and abstract activity, revolving around what many blockchain/DCP scholars like to term a “Schelling (i.e., focal) point” of consideration. Some DCPs that have arisen around such foci are

In all cases, a relatively small and specialized community creates worth in a permissioned or walled environment, within which individuals determine a value-system. We will move along the same lines, so please help to guide our passage—and inform us of your needs in the process. Then we can be sure of building something you will want and use! 

Thanks for your attention!

David MacFadyen
Professor, Comparative Literature / Musicology / Digital Humanities, UCLA
https://www.davidmacfadyen.com

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. 

Hyperledger In-Depth: An hour with Digital Asset

Anthony Lusardi of Digital Asset will take you on a journey to learn about “UTXO and Account models: The good, the bad, and the costly.” The discussion will cover UTXO and Account models, what they are, how they work, and how Digital Asset is leveraging UTXOs with the smart contract language Daml to provide reliable, resilient, and cost-effective distributed applications. The first half of the talk will be a high level walkthrough of the UTXO and account-based models where anyone with an interest in blockchain-based applications can follow along. After that, Anthony will dive into some more of the technical considerations and how crucial of a design choice these two options are. You’ll walk away with a deeper understanding of design considerations, why you might want to use UTXOs, and how to choose between the two.

Tune on Wednesday, March 3, at 2PM EST. For more information and to register, go here.

Solution Brief: Decentralized ID and Access Management (DIAM) for IoT Networks

Hyperledger’s Telecom Special Interest Group in collaboration with the Linux Foundation’s LF Edge initiative has published a solution brief addressing the issues concerning the centralized ID and Access Management (IAM) in IoT Networks and introducing a distributed alternative using Hyperledger Fabric. 

Read the brief here.

Review of Five Popular Hyperledger DLTs- Fabric, Besu, Sawtooth, Iroha and Indy

Linux Foundation Training recently published an overview of Hyperledger’s distributed ledger platforms with details on key features, added resources and more. See the post here.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

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

By Blog, Hyperledger Aries

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.

Solution Brief: Decentralized ID and Access Management (DIAM) for IoT Networks

By Blog, Special Interest Group, Telecom

The Telecom Special Interest group in collaboration with the Linux Foundation’s LF Edge initiative has published a solution brief addressing the issues concerning the centralized ID and Access Management (IAM) in IoT Networks and introducing a distributed alternative using Hyperledger Fabric.

The ever-growing number of IoT devices means data vulnerability is an ongoing risk. Existing centralized IoT ecosystems have led to concerns about security, privacy, and data use. This solution brief shows that a decentralized ID and access management (DIAM) system for IoT devices provides the best solution for those concerns, and that Hyperledger offers the best technology for such a system.

The IoT is growing quickly. IDC predicts that by 2025 there will be 55.7 billion connected devices in the world. Scaling and securing a network of billions of IoT devices starts with a robust device. Data security also requires a strong access management framework that can integrate and interoperate with existing legacy systems. Each IoT device should carry a unique global identifier and have a profile that governs access to the device.

In this solution brief, we propose a decentralized approach to validate and verify the identity of IoT devices, data, and applications. In particular, we propose using two frameworks from the Linux Foundation: Hyperledger Fabric for the distributed ledger (DLT) and Hyperledger Indy for the decentralized device IDs. These two blockchain frameworks provide the core components to address end-to-end IoT device ID and access management (IAM).

The Problem: IoT Data Security 

The ambitious IoT use cases including smart transport infer a massive volume of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-road communications that must be safeguarded to prevent malicious activity and malfunctions due to single points of failure.

The Solution: Decentralized Identity

IoT devices collect, handle, and act on data as proxies for a wide range of users, such as a human, a government agency, or a multinational enterprise. With tens of billions of IoT devices to be connected over the next few years, numerous IoT devices may represent a single person or institution in multiple roles. And IoT devices may play roles that no one has yet envisioned.

A decentralized ID management system removes the need for any central governing authority and makes way for new models of trust among organizations. All this provides more transparency, improves communications, and saves costs.

The solution is to use Hyperledger technology to create a trusted platform for a telecom ecosystem that can support IoT devices throughout their entire lifecycle and guarantee a flawless customer experience. The solution brief includes Reference Architecture and a high-level architecture view of the proof of concept (PoC) that IBM is working on with some enterprise clients. This PoC uses Hyperledger Fabric as described above.

Successful Implementations of Hyperledger-based IoT Networks

IBM and its partners have successfully developed several global supply-chain ecosystems using IoT devices, IoT network services, and Hyperledger blockchain software. Two examples of these implementations are Food Trust and TradeLens.

The full paper is available to read at: https://www.hyperledger.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/HL_LFEdge_WhitePaper_021121_3.pdf

Get Involved with the Group

To learn more about the Hyperledger Telecom Special Interest Group, check out the group’s wiki and mailing list. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to post messages to the list.  And you’re welcome to join any of the group’s upcoming calls to meet group members and learn how to get involved.

Acknowledgements

The Hyperledger Telecom Special Interest Group would like to thank the following people who contributed to this solution brief: Nima Afraz, David Boswell, Bret Michael Carpenter, Vinay Chaudhary, Dharmen Dhulla, Charlene Fu, Gordon Graham, Saurabh Malviya, Lam Duc Nguyen, Ahmad Sghaier Omar, Vipin Rathi, Bilal Saleh, Amandeep Singh, and Mathews Thomas.

That’s how you hack it! HYPERHACK

By Blog, Regional Chapter

LinkedIn | Email | Subscribe | Rocket.Chat

Have you come across a blockchain hackathon that is run on blockchain? Hyperledger India Chapter organized such an event, HYPERHACK in February 2020.

“All are welcome” at Hyperledger. Hyperledger India Chapter takes the core values rooted in India and believes in “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which translates to “world is one family.” HYPERHACK 2020 was open to anybody available to present their solution in the time the jury requested. The event saw overwhelming participation from across the Asia Pacific.

The winning team’s story is an inspiration. If you have ever felt that you need to learn a lot to start working on Hyperledger Fabric or  on blockchain technology in general, read through what the winning team has to say. Kent Lau and Masato Miyai took on a challenge and, eventually, went on to win the contest.

Kent Lau & Masato Miyai, Winners, HYPERHACK 2020

Masato Miyai, Winner HYPERHACK 2020

Kent Lau, Winner HYPERHACK 2020

“In March 2019, Hyperledger ran a bootcamp in Hong Kong and that really enthused me to get more involved in learning Hyperledger Fabric. I spent the whole bootcamp trying to install Fabric because my laptop had many problems. I could not get Docker to run, fabric-samples build-your-first-network (byfn.sh) would not complete the unit tests, and I reinstalled Ubuntu 5 times overnight. These frustrating events led me to corrupt my grub file so that my laptop would not even boot. I felt doomed to blockchain purgatory. I would get stuck in Vim and not know how to get out. 

After the Hyperledger Hong Kong bootcamp and prior to HYPERHACK, I attended a few local hackathons, but I was one of those attendees who no one wanted on their team. My performance was so bad that my teammates told me never to join another hackathon again. I had no programming skills, and I decided that the quickest way to learn about Fabric was to take the Linux Foundation Training course on Hyperledger Fabric Administration (LFS272). Finally, I managed to install and run byfn. I felt confident enough to register for HYPERHACK.

The first round in HYPERHACK merely relied on a PPT, so I chose the topic of supply chain traceability. I was thrilled to be chosen for the final round, and I started adapting the labs from the Hyperledger Fabric Administration course  for the traceability requirements. What I thought would be a straightforward refactoring of byfn did not turn out to be so easy. I tried several different configurations, but I always ended up with problems running the chaincode. Time was running out, and the submission deadline was looming. 

The night before the deadline I had exhausted my ideas and patience for byfn. I clicked basic-network by mistake, and this seemed so much easier. Sure, it was not sophisticated, but the script seems comprehensible. I worked overnight to implement the track-and-trace architecture. There was a lot more that I had wanted to plugin, but I had run out of time. I submitted a simplified but fully functioning network and chaincode.

I had no aspirations for my submission since it was the bare bones of what I had envisaged in my PPT. I gave my teammate the usual platitudes of ‘we did our best’ and ‘it was a good learning experience.’ I did not attend the results announcement because I did not expect to win anything. I was surprised when my teammate messaged me that we had won. I did not believe him because I had never won any competition before. I called him and he assured me that we had indeed won. I still did not believe him until I received a congratulatory message from the HYPERHACK organisers.

Winning HYPERHACK has given me a lot more confidence and motivation to get better at Hyperledger Fabric and even branch out into Hyperledger Sawtooth. Exploring how to use my HYPERHACK prize of Microsoft Azure credits was a steep learning curve, but it has been pivotal for me in figuring out how to stand up a multi-node network of Fabric or Sawtooth with Kubernetes. I have received a lot of new clients and been approached by a number of recruiters due to the high profile of HYPERHACK. I wanted to give back to the Hyperledger community by helping “newbies” learn how to install and run the Fabric tutorials. I now contribute to the Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group and Hyperledger Meetups and update Sawtooth documentation. I am currently focusing on getting certified in Fabric, Sawtooth and Kubernetes. Of course, I will be back for HYPERHACK 2021!” – Kent Lau

Hyperledger India Chapter would like to thank all our sponsors, participants, jury members, and volunteers. Find out all the information from 2020’s edition here in the Wiki.

Hyperledger India Chapter plans to hold  the second edition of the hackathon “HYPERHACK 2021” in March. Saintgits College of Engineering and Hyperledger Social Impact Special Interest Group have joined together in co-organizing the hackathon this year. Find out all the information here in the Wiki.

Looking forward to seeing all of you participate in the hackathon!

If you have any questions about the event, feel free to post to the Hyperledger India Chapter’s mailing list where community members involved with this event will be happy to help: https://lists.hyperledger.org/g/community-india-chapter/

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. 

Hyperledger Global Forum 2021: June 8-10

Hyperledger Global Forum, the premier virtual enterprise blockchain event of 2021, is set for June 8-10. Registration is now open. The event is open to users and contributors of Hyperledger projects from around the globe looking to connect, network and collaborate. Hyperledger Global Forum will provide an opportunity to learn and understand various aspects of the ecosystem, including technical roadmaps, milestones and the latest uses and applications across industries and markets for Hyperledger projects and other related technologies.

The Call for Papers is now open as well.

Hyperledger Telecom Special Interest Group Guest Speaker: Ali Dorri, Queensland University of Technology

Join the Telecom SIG meeting for a talk by Ali Dorri from Queensland University of Technology on Blockchain adaptation in the Internet of Things (IoT). In this session, we first discuss the fundamental challenges involved in adopting blockchain in an IoT ecosystem including scalability, privacy, efficiency and delay, followed by a discussion on the potential solutions.

For more information on the meeting, which is Thursday, February 25, at 10:00 AM EST, go here.

Privacy-Preserving Verifiable Credentials in the Time of COVID-19

In case you missed the Hyperledger In-depth session with Evernym on “Privacy-Preserving Verifiable Credentials in the Time of COVID-19,” the recording is available here.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

Developer Showcase Series: Si Chen, Open Source Strategies, Inc.

By Blog, Developer Showcase

Back to our Developer Showcase Series to learn what developers in the real world are doing with Hyperledger technologies. Next up is Si Chen, president of Open Source Strategies, Inc.

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on and how you got into blockchain

We’re building an “operating system” that links together data, transactions, and user engagement and can be used for climate action at any scale, from supra-national cap and trade programs to community-scale energy or nature-based projects. 

I got into blockchain because I saw that while there was a lot of new innovation for tackling climate change, it was difficult to get our existing centralized institutions to adopt them. Blockchain lets us build collaboration even when there are no central authorities available.

What Hyperledger frameworks or tools are you using in your projects? Any new developments to share? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?

We’ve worked with Fabric and Besu and are looking at Cactus and a Hyperledger Labs project called TrustID.

Overall the experience with Hyperledger has been great! It’s a large community that has helped us learn a lot about this emerging field, and there’s a lot of developer support available.

What do you think is most important for Hyperledger to focus on in the next year?

Bringing different projects together to address a few complete application-scale use cases so that we can see there is a Hyperledger solution to building full-fledged applications.

What advice would you offer other technologists or developers interested in getting started working on blockchain? 

Skip the hype. Blockchain is not just bitcoin trading. It’s a lot more mature than you realize. It’ll probably transform on your field, so get ahead of the game by really learning how it works.

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?

Ownership of Data. 

Today your financial ratings are owned by your banks, your health records are owned by your doctor, your online credibility is owned by social networks, and your climate records are owned by, well, nobody. Important data is spread out across many different “silos,” and it becomes impossible to piece them all back again.

Imagine a future where users own their data by storing them immutably on blockchains–financial, health, social, climate, etc.–and grant access to them to providers in return for services. This could solve a lot of interesting problems: Providing credit to the unbanked. Better health care and public health management. Useful collective action. A solution to climate change.

What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

Collaboration. Climate change is just one (huge) problem that results from lack of collaboration due to a lack of coordinating authorities. Blockchain is the technology for building collaboration networks and could solve a lot of big problems.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?

I’d like to see Hyperledger being a key part of the blockchain ecosystem that brings together people all over the world to collaborate together.

What is the best piece of developer advice you’ve ever received?

Make it Easy for Your Users.

What technology could you not live without?

Agriculture? Electricity? Computers? The Internet? This is a very humbling question and makes me realize how much we depend on each other.

Full decentralization of Hyperledger Fabric through embedded IoT solutions

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Labs

Almost a year ago, Telefónica brought TrustID to Hyperledger Labs as an open source project.  Telefónica initiated development of TrustID to ease the management of identities across several blockchain networks. The initial idea of TrustID was to decouple the issuance of identities from their consumption and allow users to operate in some networks with credentials issued in others. In this manner, users shouldn’t need to hold a different set of credentials for each network or decentralized application they interact with.

Furthermore, TrustID provides the opportunity to decentralize identity in Hyperledger Fabric. When you deploy a blockchain network using TrustID, identities are organization locking and, therefore, they are centralized on the Certificate Authorities (CAs) that have issued them. Inside the network, several CAs can co-exist, but easy onboarding of new organizations is an unsolved problem that makes it very hard for the network to grow organically as new partners join. Initially, TrustID, as a first approach, solves this restriction of the identity management in Hyperledger Fabric. Furthermore it brings to this technology the chance to really enable a custom decentralized identity management.

As you scale up a deployment, adding many different organizations from different origins, many without trust relationships between them, this identity issue becomes much more serious and limiting between them. However, shifting to decentralized identity management ensures that a network is not dependent on the companies that are part of the solution, making it more resilient in the face of change and growth.

A clear example where we can appreciate these characteristics is the case of the IoT world. Use cases often include companies providing monitoring services with IoT devices, operators offering the communication network, and owners of the devices looking to apply the benefits of this technology to their blockchain-based traceability projects.

The identity management in IoT is a complex scenario that involves the provisioning of certificates in the device and the need to have a public key infrastructure. This process must be accomplished in a secure way, verifying the software in the factory. Once provisioned, the device is able to use its certificate to sign communications with the aim of demonstrating its identity.

However, it’s also known that sometimes the devices are limited in performance or storage. For example, they could be designed to write once in their memory in all their useful life so, if we need to change an identity because the blockchain network has changed, the device could be useless for a blockchain use case.

On the opposite, when the devices can write in their memory many times, the process of updating the firmware or any information stored on it securely is also a hard process. So, at the end, it’s a requirement to have a flexible management of the keys stored at first instance, which, thanks to TrustID, is possible.

Recently, aitos.io and Telefónica have collaborated on a PoC to integrate IoT technology with Telefónica’s TrustOS product. The goal was to use  blockchain technology to perform interactions from the device to the ledger, provisioning the identity and the keys associated directly on the device.

aitos.io developed its blockchain application framework, named BoAT (Blockchain of AI Things), which is an IoT-device-oriented C-language client library for blockchain services, to enable IoT devices to access blockchain. In this PoC, BoAT running in a Fibocom FG150, a 5G blockchain module, helps a FG150-based IoT device access TrustOS services directly. So, as a result, it has been possible to create signed transactions on the device in order to be stored in the TrustOS platform, which is based on Hyperledger Fabric, without any intermediary.

The device manufacturer could register every device onto the TrustID service of TrustOS and write the unique DID allocated by TrustID into the device. When the device is powered on and connected to the network for the first time, BoAT, in the device, imports the device into TrustOS by signing its DID in a JSON Web Signature (JWS) message. In this way, the device, and not the application, is the custodian of the private keys that would be used to sign transactions.

BoAT also provisions the IoT device asset, as a digital twin, on the TrustOS Track service that offers all the traceability functionalities in order to give full transparency of the physical device. Then, the device comprising the BoAT-enabled 5G blockchain module can send periodic updates on its status  (e.g., vehicle speed, heading, etc.) to TrustOS by composing additional JWS messages. All of this generates the possibility of offering, in a transparent way, the traceability of the data generated by the device.

TrustOS and BoAT interaction diagram

In deployments with integrated BoAT technology, all the data the IoT device captures could be directly sent to TrustOS with a cryptographically verifiable DID identifying their origin. That is, not only the data integrity is assured by the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain under TrustOS but also the data provenance can be identified by TrustID. Tampered-resistant IoT data with identifiable origin builds a great value for the industry.

From the point of view of TrustOS, thanks to the implementation of the machine-to-machine interaction and how TrustID manages the authentication and access to the system, it’s possible to avoid unauthorized tampering or unexpected updates. As a result, it adds extra trustworthiness-proof beyond the standard KPI.

Cover image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay.

Working Together on What “Good” Looks Like

By Blog, Healthcare, Hyperledger Aries, Hyperledger Indy

On Tuesday, the Good Health Pass Collaborative (GHPC) launched. This initiative is intended to define, in the context of test results and vaccination records for opening up borders for travel and commerce, a high bar for implementations of identity and credentialing systems to meet with regards to privacy, ethics and portability. They will also work with the implementers of such systems to converge towards common standards and governance.       

A set of Linux Foundation organizations – TrustOverIP, Hyperledger, Linux Foundation Public Health, and its Covid Credentials Initiative – have engaged as supporting organizations and were part of the announcement. We did this based on very encouraging signs during formation discussions that GHPC would not only help bring many of the organizations emerging into the self-sovereign identity space into alignment on platforms and standards we have long championed, but would also give us an external reference point for our position on the importance of privacy in the design and implementation of such systems.

Hyperledger has been home to the pioneering digital identity ledger Indy and agent toolkit Aries, which form the basis of so many production privacy-preserving digital identity systems and, now, are serving as the basis for many of these emerging health pass solutions. The TrustOverIP Foundation led the formal recognition of the need and role for governance organizations in the digital identity landscape – showing how we can get both optionality and interoperability when we weave global identity and credentialing systems together in a decentralized way. 

The Covid Credentials Initiative, starting way back in March 2020, recognized the potential for credentials of all sorts in the fight against this and future pandemics, and have pulled together an amazing community of technologists and entrepreneurs working together on this. Now, as part of Linux Foundation Public Health, we are working to bring together a set of software projects that can implement credential systems and help accelerate adoption of these globally, centered on the needs of public health authorities.

On Thursday’s GHPC webinar, Charlie Walton from Mastercard said GHPC is “in the business of describing what good looks like.” We will be working with GHPC to bring our own communities’ views of not just what good looks like, but how we’re already working together to standardize and implement this work. Furthermore we’ll see if our processes can directly support GHPC’s efforts to harmonize this domain.

We recognize there are quite a few of these initiatives now, reflecting just how broadly this issue is felt across society. We can play – we must play – a key role in channeling all this market activity and good-faith sharing of expertise into applications directly in people’s hands, so we can get back to travel and re-opening workplaces and schools in a safe and equitable way. Our key levers to move the world are open source software and open public engagement, and we will double-down on those tools to have a unique and substantive impact.

Look for more on this soon within our communities. We’re incredibly excited to be a part of this global effort.