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Developer Showcase Series: Saurabh Tiwari, Pegadroid

By | Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

Next up in our Developer Showcase blog series is Saurabh Tiwari, founder of Pegadroid. A quick reminder that this blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s projects. Let’s see what he has to say!

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

  1. a) It is important not to get carried away with the blockchain hype. We’ve met many people lately, who just want to get blockchain into their projects without understanding its real implications, use cases and potential. Not every business fits into the blockchain model and therefore developers must first explore and discuss with experts before jumping into implementing a solution.
  2. b) I would recommend all the developers to get onto rocket chat right from day one. It is the only place to engage with the community and get your questions answered, which makes on-boarding quite a smooth experience.

Saurabh Tiwari, Founder of Pegadroid

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?

Our product brings innovation into recruitment, by leveraging state of the art blockchain technology for onboarding organizations, partners and candidates to build an enterprise community which is trusted, secure and transparent. Our platform stores all the candidate profiles and documents as assets over blockchain, which are then verified/endorsed by the auditing partners. These assets and endorsements are shared with recruiters. The data is created by the community for the community. It helps recruiters save lot of time and money on background verification, as well as offers rewards and incentives for our auditing partners. We also provide  an enterprise collaboration platform called Slabber, which can be used to effectively communicate, share content, schedule events, process interview feedbacks, create discussion forums, sign contracts and everything else important from the recruitment point of view.

The traditional background verification model has mostly been centralized, all these years. Most of the data is replicated and stored with different auditing companies, which leads to data discrepancies and higher costs to recruiters. Blockchain enabled us to think differently, and we realized that a decentralized community can do wonders. We did enough research, talked to many industry experts and then built a prototype. The results were amazing. Later, we decided to convert it into a full fledged product.

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

  1. a) Stabilization of Hyperledger Fabric
  2. b) Extending containers with Kubernetes integration
  3. c) More documentation
  4. d) Campaigns & marketing

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

The two most important ones are –

  1. a) Refugee Identity Crisis –  We have seen few incidents recently, where instability in a country led it’s people to cross borders and take shelter in other countries. Their identity is lost. In some cases, they are not allowed to return to their home countries due to lost identities. Having a shared blockchain ledger of this data across globe can possibly help in such cases.
  2. b)  Healthcare industry – Counterfeit  drugs have been a major problem in all countries. I feel, blockchain can help control nation’s drug supply and can certainly improve the situation.

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in 5 years?

Hyperledger is a trend setter and is rapidly evolving over time. It is already adopted  by many organizations. I am sure, it will penetrate every business where security, integrity and trust are the top priorities. Blockchain can do wonders in the next five years.

What technology could you not live without?

Every technology has emerged for a purpose, which is to make our lives better. Technologies combined with people is a powerhouse, which can resolve many real word problems. It is hard to imagine life without technology.

 

 

 

 

Enterprise Blockchain Demos & Presentations at Consensus

By | Blog, Events, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Next week we will be busy at Consensus, happening in New York May 14-16. Consensus is a great event for our members to set the stage and speak to what’s happening in the Hyperledger community, as production blockchain deployments have been heavily increasing. Many members will demonstrate applications of distributed ledger technology for financial services, supply chain, identity management and various other use cases.

These demos highlight true collaboration and maturity of Hyperledger technologies across many industries. As we head farther into 2018, we’re excited to see how these frameworks continue to evolve and improve business processes across many other industries.

Hyperledger members will showcase the following demos and presentations at the Hyperledger booth (#315):

Monday, May 14

10:20am: IntellectEU – Enterprise Blockchain integration with IoT devices and back office systems by Hanna Zubko, CEO and Paulo Rodrigues, Global Business Developer Manager and CEO Portuguese Offices

This presentation will cover a real customer case leveraging Blockchain technology to offer a new insurance product: a flexible pay per mile insurance based on the real car mileage and condition, calculating the insurance premium rate and quoting the offer based on the accumulated data received from the IoT device installed in the car. This pilot project is based on Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 and IntellectEU’s Catalyst integration solution. Catalyst serves as a hub for connecting the insurance database, emulated IoT device, end user application and the ledger itself. Catalyst listens to the changes on all data sources and based on the business rules applies the corresponding logic.

12:30pm: SecureKey – Using Hyperledger Tracking to Make Frictionless Digital Identity Possible by Matt Jaksic, Business Development

SecureKey will demonstrate Verified.Me, its digital identity network launching later this year that will put consumers in control of how they validate their identities. Collaboratively created by leading organizations across many different sectors including Canada’s leading banks, Verified.Me will enable consumers to privately, securely and conveniently share information from trusted providers such as banks, telecommunications companies and governments. The platform is designed to empower the consumer by giving them the ability to explicitly choose what information to share, when to share it and with whom. Come see how Verified.Me can change the way we get things done faster and securely online, in person and on the phone!

1:00pm: Thales eSecurity – Enterprise ready high security blockchain by Jon Geater, Chief Technology Officer and John Velissarios, Managing Director at Accenture

Accenture has developed an enterprise ready blockchain solution with enhanced cryptographic security from Thales eSecurity Hardware Security Module. It provides an immutable audit trail proving hardware, software and documentation authenticity and compliance across supply chains. Using CryptoSeal and FPGA fingerprinting technology, they are able to give materials in the supply chain a unique identity to prove authenticity. This combination of technologies allows someone to securely and transparently track all kinds of transactions, between OEMs, suppliers, manufacturers and customers. This dramatically reduces time delays, added costs, and human error that affect the surety of transactions underpinning our supply chains today.

3:00pm: Omnitude – Seamless Blockchain Integration by Martyn Brougham, COO Americas, and James Worthington, Blockchain Consultant

Omnitude is a middleware plug and play blockchain built on Hyperledger Fabric, for use across the whole spectrum of enterprise and eCommerce platforms and allows eCommerce businesses to adopt blockchain quickly and efficiently, without needing to replace current systems. The presentation will show how Omnitude allows eCommerce and enterprise businesses to adopt blockchain quickly and efficiently, without needing to replace current systems.

3:50pm: DLT Labs – DLT Wallet by David Freeman, Director

DLT Labs will be showing off their DL Digital Wallet, a sophisticated peer-to-peer network powered by Hyperledger Fabric, offering security, efficiency, and convenience for an overall improved customer experience. DL Digital Wallet facilitates seamless account overview, accommodates company loyalty programs and management, and is integrated with leading e-payment service providers. The cost of each transaction is fixed irrespective of value transferred and received and is significantly less costly than other charges by any payment network today.

Tuesday, May 15

10:20am: ScanTrust – “Cambio” Your Coffee: Using Blockchain to Drive Ethically Sourced Coffee by Tobias Kars, VP of Product & Delivery and Nathan J. Anderson, CEO/Co-founder

As tech-savvy and socially conscious consumers seek more information about the sustainability of the products they consume, businesses need to adapt and find ways to track their relationships with suppliers and communicate this to their customer base. This demo highlights how ScanTrust and Cambio Coffee, a leading Asian direct trade specialty coffee company, leverage Hyperledger Sawtooth to deliver greater supply chain transparency within the coffee industry and bring to light trusted product information.

12:30pm: Soramitsu – Hyperledger Iroha by Makoto Takemiya, Co-CEO

Hyperledger Iroha 1.0 is close to being released and has many new features and architectural differences from previous versions. In particular, a new consensus algorithm, YAC, has been developed that allows for full Byzantine fault tolerance. Predefined commands to perform common tasks, such as creating and transferring assets, allow programmers to quickly build applications on top of Hyperledger Iroha. Come by to see what’s new with Hyperledger Iroha!

1:00pm: Evernym – Verifiable Credentials with Hyperledger Indy and the Sovrin DLT by Drummond Reed, Chief Trust Officer and Judd Bagley, Sr. Communications Director

Evernym will share a live demonstration of the use of Verifiable Credentials on the Sovrin DLT, powered by Hyperledger Indy. The demo will include a brief overview of key concepts, then show actual business cases for how a self-sovereign identity owner can be issued verifiable digital identity credentials into a mobile digital wallet and then present them to relying parties who can verify them by checking public keys on the Sovrin ledger. The result is much simpler, faster, more secure, and more privacy-respecting digital identity as well as powerful new types of decentralized online relationships. Evernym personnel will be in attendance for Q&A during and after the demonstration.

2:10pm: Oracle – Hyperledger Fabric in Enterprise-Grade Cloud by Deepak Goel, Sr Director, Software Development

Oracle’s blockchain cloud service, built on Hyperledger Fabric, provides a hardened enterprise-grade platform for building blockchain applications and enabling existing enterprise applications to use distributed ledgers and trusted transactions. In this demo, they will show how it enables rapid experimentation and provides a production-ready blockchain infrastructure to realize successful use cases in production environment with high availability, enterprise security, dynamic scalability, and ease of operations built into the platform. They will walk you through the tools in the operations console and demonstrate how Hyperledger Fabric configuration, operations, and monitoring has been simplified and how developers and IT operations can be more productive leveraging Oracle’s blockchain cloud service as their Hyperledger Fabric platform.

3:50pm: Greenstream Technology – Blockchain Meets Cannabis: Emerging Tech for an Emerging Industry by Manu Varghese, Chief Product Officer and Jim Anastassiou, VP Engineering

Greenstream Network is an industry-wide gateway solution that will allow Licensed Producers, Retailers, Regulators and other industry stakeholders to communicate, interoperate and transfer assets and value through the Canadian cannabis ecosystem. The emerging Cannabis ecosystem faces a plethora of challenges like Trace and Track of the goods through the supply chain, auditing and compliance issues, process integrity, slower payments and challenges with respect to identity validation. Greenstream provides three key solutions: Supply Chain Integrity, Payments and Settlements Engine and Self Sovereign Identity. The Greenstream ecosystem is based on a permissioned DLT model and uses Hyperledger frameworks such as Hyperledger Fabric, Burrow and Indy to achieve specific objectives. This talk outlines the options considered and the factors evaluated; challenges faced and the learnings learned etc.

Wednesday, May 16

12:15pm: B9lab – Someone needs to build it: closing the Hyperledger talent gap by Elias Haase, Founder

Every day, B9lab gets requests for Hyperledger Fabric developers, from concept-phase startups to major enterprises. However, as these requests grow, so does the need for thorough vetting and certification in the Hyperledger talent market. How do you know if the developers you are hiring are as good as they say they are? Come see this presentation to find out!

12:45pm: REMME – REMME WebAuth – passwordless authentication powered by blockchain by Alex Momot, CEO

REMME WebAuth is a first and one of the basic DApps in the REMME ecosystem. This demo will demonstrate how users (employees or clients) could log in into the browser service via REMME in one click. REMME is an access management solution that obsoletes passwords. For each device users generate certificates. Once it is installed on a device it enables one-click authentication on the service that has REMME integrated with. REMME WebAuth could be integrated with any service, from crypto exchange to big enterprises’ intranets or web services.

1:45: Altoros – Decentralization of P2P Securities Transfer Implemented on Hyperledger Fabric by Greg Skerry, Blockchain Solution Architect, Trainer

This presentation will cover details of a working blockchain project implemented for a National Settlements Depository Institution: decentralized platform for peer-to-peer securities transfer and keeping the records of securities owned by each holder. The solution developed on the Hyperledger Fabric framework keeps an immutable, auditable chain of records reflecting securities ownership transfers. This presentation will focus on the product functionality: how the platform works; how it can be adapted for transferring different types of assets or rights, incl. intangible assets.

In addition to these demos and presentations, several Hyperledger members including MedicalChain, Embleema and Change Healthcare will participate in the “State of Blockchain in Healthcare” panel at Consensus 3:10pm on May 15.

You can also join Hyperledger on the last evening of Consensus from 6-8pm at the Meetup: “The Hyperledger Greenhouse: Meet Developers Building Blockchain Frameworks” to get a chance to network and hear directly from developers of several Hyperledger frameworks! Tracy Kuhrt, Community Architect at Hyperledger, will provide an overview of the frameworks and tools that you can leverage for your enterprise blockchain solution. Then breakout sessions will give you the opportunity to have a deeper discussion to learn more about Hyperledger Fabric, Sawtooth (Seth), Indy and more. Please bring your burning questions about how to get started and participate in the Hyperledger community.

Be sure to follow Hyperledger on Twitter for the latest updates at Consensus. We look forward to an exciting week and seeing everyone there!

 

Developer Showcase Series: Hitesh Fuletra, Save-On-Foods

By | Blog, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Fabric

Next up in our Developer Showcase blog series is Hitesh Fuletra, a system analyst at Save-On-Foods – a division of the Overwaitea Food Group. A quick reminder that this blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Let’s see what Hitesh has to say!

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

Read and understand first what blockchain is, its purpose and how it works. I started learning with the help of IBM tutorials.

Hitesh Fuletra, Save-On-Foods – a division of the Overwaitea Food Group

Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?

I am working on a major IT transformation project at one of Canada’s grocery chains as an integration expert. Being in integration technology for the last 12 years, I always came across very large volumes of data/information flowing between systems and a large amount of transaction processing in microseconds. Though integration has solved many problems, it is still facing new challenges as data flowing across systems always changes its nature based on new technologies.

I started reading about blockchain in 2015 thanks to Bitcoin. I think blockchain can play an important role in minimizing the pain system integration is facing these days by providing simpler, robust and cheaper solutions for transaction processing and data distribution.

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

Encourage more real-time use of Hyperledger platform. Build more developer friendly tools and provide documentation/user guide/training for newbies.

As Hyperledger’s incubated projects start maturing and hit 1.0s and beyond, what are the most interesting technologies, apps, or use cases coming out as a result from your perspective?

For me, the most interesting projects are Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Burrow.

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

Fraud prevention, and more security to personal records/data, bulk transaction processing in less time than existing technologies. Even Wall Street has started using blockchain: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-20/blockchain-gets-a-wall-street-win-we-know-the-thing-works-now

Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in 5 years?

Blockchain is gaining more acceptance and I see Hyperledger as a powerful platform, which provides an ecosystem of tools to help engineers develop more and more solutions using blockchain. I have no doubt that in a short time, Hyperledger will become the major platform used widely for developing blockchain based solutions.

The Dutchess Project: A Tale of True Interoperability Between Multiple Blockchains

By | Blog, Events, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Sawtooth

As we gear up for Consensus 2018, and for the great Building Blocks Hackathon, we thought it would make sense to resurface a blog on The Dutchess Project from last year’s hackathon that demonstrated radical interoperability across the following technologies:

  • Public Ethereum accounts to transfer money
  • Solidity for business logic using smart contracts (the Dutch Auction, Escrow, Release of Funds)
  • Quorum (JP Morgan’s fork of Ethereum) for encrypting transaction payloads
  • Hyperledger Sawtooth simulating a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) for Chess moves validation, approvals and auditability.
  • HACERA’s Self-Sovereign Decentralized ID implementation (using DIDs) for registering identity tokens and creating a permissioned and public identity chain (for secure verifiable claims)
  • Microsoft Azure cloud deployment

Ten project teams took home awards from the Consensus 2017: Building Blocks Hackathon. Among them was Dutchess, a chess game built with four blockchain technologies by Jonathan Levi, Sergey Klimenko, Elan Perah and Michael Bogdanov from the HACERA team. This project beautifully illustrates how different blockchains can handle isolated responsibilities while still working together within a larger system.

Dutchess won two challenges in total. It won the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance challenge to “use an Enterprise Ethereum Alliance stack to create a decentralized Dutch auction network with secret bid matching” and the Microsoft challenge to “leverage Microsoft Azure as part of your blockchain project.”

The HACERA Dutchess team: Jonathan Levi, Sergey K, Michael B and Elan Perah receiving the Enterprise Ethereum Award from Jeremey Millar (Consensys) and Sandra Ro (CME Group)

We spent an hour with Jonathan to learn about the Dutchess project and what blockchain developers can learn from it. At the beginning of the hackathon, Jonathan wanted to build something useful, participate in as many of the challenges as possible, learn new technologies, and apply blockchain development expertise from his company to a project. Jonathan is the founder of the blockchain technology company HACERA, which works with several blockchain technology stacks to provide secure identity and access control management of users, devices and data on blockchains. This experience shines through in the way the Dutchess project uses multiple blockchains in an auditable and verifiable chess game with identity protection and privacy preservation.

Dutchess uses four blockchain technologies: Ethereum, Quorum, Hyperledger Indy, and Hyperledger Sawtooth

There are six steps to each Dutchess game, which use a total of four different blockchain technologies to implement. The project uses Ethereum for payments, Quorum for smart contracts, Hyperledger Indy for identity management, and Hyperledger Sawtooth for auditable computing. In addition, the project uses three instances of Microsoft Azure. Here’s how the project leverages these technologies across the six steps.

Step 1: Bidding in a dutch auction and sending funds into escrow

Two users, each of whom has some funds in Ethereum, can choose to play a chess game that’s preceded by a dutch auction. During the auction, whichever player agrees to pay the auction fee wins an advantage on the game board — the winner plays with all their pieces while their opponent plays without a queen.

This auction uses one instance from Microsoft Azure that runs Quorum, which is a permissioned version of Ethereum. Quorum’s smart contract contains the logic of the auction and the ability to place blocks periodically. Since a dutch auction is a reverse auction, the smart contract starts with a high offer and reduces the offer with each block placed. The offer starts with 100 Ether. At the next block, it’s 90 Ether. At the next block, it’s 80 Ether, and so on until a player places a bid to accept the offer. By accepting the offer, this player wins the auction, gets the advantage, and sends the value of the bid into escrow via Quorum.

Step 2: Registering IDs for Dutchess accounts

With the bidding done, each player moves on to register an ID for his or her Dutchess account. The IDs allow players to play without exposing their actual identity. To the user, it just looks like they are choosing a username, but behind the scenes the game is registering a Sovrin identity using Hyperledger Indy. This registration process outputs a signed token and a waive token. The waive token is the one that you see in the game interface.

Step 3: Play chess with the ID token

Now, players start playing chess with their tokens. Each game has a white player, a black player, a transaction processor, and an auditor. Each time a move is made by a player, the move is sent to the transaction processor, which checks to ensure that the move is valid. If the move is valid, the transaction processor then posts the state of the board to an instance of Hyperledger Sawtooth in the form of a string. This string documents every position of every piece on the board at the end of each turn. Since a new string is committed to Hyperledger Sawtooth at the end of every move, all Dutchess games can be replayed and analyzed one move at a time by reading the string data back from the blockchain.

Step 4: Update ranking

When players complete a game, the auditor sends a ranking agent information about who won, who lost, or if the game was a stalemate. The ranking agent keeps every outcome of every Dutchess games in the Hyperledger Sawtooth blockchain, where it can be queried. The ranking agent also keeps a tally of player rank among all registered Dutchess player IDs.

Step 5: Payment resolution with claims, proof of winning, and proof of ranking

To collect payment after winning a Dutchess game, the winning player must make a claim that he or she won the game. If the claim is true, the ranking agent will issue a signed proof of the win, which the player can take to Quorum for payment resolution.

Players can also use the ranking agent to output a proof of rank instead of a proof of win. For example, the top ranked player could make a claim that they are #1. The ranking agent would issue a signed proof, that yes, they are #1. This proof could be used to prove a player’s rank to some other system, such as a betting system based on player rank.

Step 6: Release funds

As long as the proof from the ranking agent says the player did indeed win the game, Quorum pays Ether out to the winner from the escrow account setup in step 1.

The architecture of Dutchess achieves isolation of responsibility

Here is a diagram of the architecture of Dutchess, as presented at the Consensus 2017: Building Blocks Hackathon:

The beautiful thing about this architecture is how the game completely isolates multiple types of responsibilities. You can play chess in an anonymous way because the chess game doesn’t know your Ethereum account. You can know who won a game without having to know how the game was won because Hyperledger Sawtooth has the play-by-play while the ranking agent only knows wins, losses, stalemates, and a calculated player rank. This allows players to generate a proof of win or proof of rank from the ranking agent without it having to know anything about the amount of Ether being awarded. Finally, Quorum is able to distribute funds without needing to know anything about how wins and rankings are established. Quorum only needs to know that a player won, or that a player ranks at a certain position. Thus, each responsibility within the game is completely isolated.

Implications for business applications built on blockchain technologies

The Dutchess project shows how blockchain developers need not worry about consolidating all functionality of their business applications to one blockchain. Instead, different organizations with different responsibilities can work with the best blockchain for their specific type of responsibility. Sometimes that will be a permissionless blockchain like Ethereum or Bitcoin. Other times that will be a permissioned blockchain like Hyperledger Sawtooth or Quorum. Points of interoperability can be established between one isolated responsibility and another.

The key takeaway here is that any time a business application requires something as a condition of something else, one blockchain can handle the something, and hand a proof of it off to another blockchain that can handle the something else. This architecture of isolated responsibilities can be applied to any kind of real-world application in areas such as auctions, trading, futures, betting, stock trading, equity, asset management, and more.

Next steps for facilitating interoperability between multiple blockchains

In less than two days, the Dutchess team achieved a lot. They made it clear that the problem of working with more than one technology stack is not a technical one. Blockchain developers can start thinking out of the box, connecting blockchains, and doing it securely. A huge amount of value can be created just by facilitating interoperability.Before you start your next blockchain application, be sure to check out the Dutchess game at https://hacera.com/demos.

We can’t wait to see what folks build this year with Hyperledger technologies at the Building Blocks Hackathon prior to Consensus on May 12-13. You can see all the ways Hyperledger will be involved at Consensus here – hope to see you there!

[VIDEO] Hyperledger Interviews Anton Govor, Managing Director of Strategy, Moscow Exchange

By | Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

We had the chance to connect with Anton Govor, Managing Director of Strategy at Moscow Exchange Group, to learn more about his vision for blockchain technologies and why they joined Hyperledger as a general member.

Moscow Exchange operates trading markets in equities, bonds, derivatives, the foreign exchange market, money markets and precious metals. It also operates Russia’s Central Securities Depository (National Settlement Depository) and the clearing service provider (National Clearing Centre).

Moscow Exchange realized that blockchain enabled technologies will be one of the largest opportunities and threats for the financial services industry. Their key motivation to joining Hyperledger stemmed from their understanding that blockchain is a global business, and to successfully build up these technologies, they need to be closely connected to an international community. In determining Hyperledger versus the other alternatives, they ultimately chose Hyperledger because Moscow Exchange Group believes open source platforms will win in the end over closed proprietary software.

Building on Hyperledger Fabric, Moscow Exchange has developed pilots for e-voting and commercial papers, as well as a confidentiality add-on for the financial services industry. Check out Moscow Exchange in the Hyperledger Vendor Directory.

Please enjoy and share Anton’s full interview below!

Hyperledger Announces Governing Board Voting Results

By | Blog

We’re thrilled to announce that the voting for new representatives for the Hyperledger Governing Board wrapped up last Friday and resulted in the return of Carlos Kuchkovsky, Chief Technology Officer of New Digital Business at BBVA, and the addition of Jon Geater, CTO of Thales eSecurity. It was a close race with a ton of great candidates! 

For some background, Jon has led a career dedicated to high-tech and cryptographic security. He held senior global roles in leading companies such as nCipher, ARM and Trustonic. Through these roles, he has designed, built and managed leading edge solutions for a wide variety of industries such as mobile, IoT, payments and smart cities and at every level of the technology stack from the fabric of the smallest microchips to the largest cloud systems.

“I am very glad to be able to serve on the Governing Board of Hyperledger representing the interests of the General Membership. I hope to bring my many years of experience on the boards and committees of other industry bodies to the table and help to build on the considerable success the community has already achieved. At Thales eSecurity, we provide transaction security to 19 of the world’s top 20 banks, we underpin the data security of some of the world’s largest and most sensitive enterprises. As part of the larger Thales, we help to protect real-world critical infrastructure from smart power grids to railway systems to air traffic management. Blockchain is a very significant technology in the area of open transparent trust that we believe will accelerate the move to safer connected living, and Hyperledger is leading the way in bringing this technology to Enterprises. I look forward to bringing this viewpoint of real world security and safety engineering to Hyperledger in order to help us get to large scale industrialization faster.” – Jon Geater                

Carlos has vast experience leading global teams, using the latest technologies to create new ventures, products, solutions, and systems. Prior to New Digital Business, he worked on BBVA’s Open Platform, Banks as a Service, Financial Digital Platforms, and Added Valued Mobile Services initiatives. Prior to BBVA, he worked as a consultant in mobile technologies for financial institutions and retail and developed multiplayer mobile games. He is also the co-author of the book “Blockchain: The Internet Industrial Revolution,” Board member of Alastria.io, MBA Mentor at the Industrial management school, and has lectured at the International Desing Scholl, IE Business school, ICAI and at International University La Rioja for Artificial intelligence, API economy, crowdfunding, Cryptoeconomy, and blockchain.

“For BBVA it is a privilege being re-elected by the General Members of Hyperledger as a representative to the Governing Board. It has been amazing to participate and see the exponential growth that Hyperledger has had, in number of members, number of projects, and community participants in the last year. And as it has gone from Beta versions and proofs of concept to production and to scale. BBVA is using Hyperledger technology in several projects and PoCs. And this year we want to increase our contribution to the community by working together with other members and contributing to open source projects.” – Carlos Kuchkovsky

General members are entitled to annually elect one representative to the Hyperledger Governing Board. The Governing Board is responsible for approving a budget directing the use of funds raised by Hyperledger from all sources of revenue, overseeing all project business and marketing matters, as well as working with the Technical Steering Committee on defining and administering any programs for certification, among many other matters.

We look forward to the year ahead with both Jon and Carlos! As always, you can keep up with what’s new with Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

 

Lessons Learned from Hyperledger Fabric PoC Projects

By | Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

Guest post: Hanna Zubko, CEO IntellectEU Inc and Thomas Bohner, Product Manager IntellectEU NV

Recently, Hyperledger provided members the opportunity to speak with global analyst firm Gartner about experiences with Proofs of Concept (PoCs) and pilots using technologies from the greenhouse of Hyperledger projects. Given IntellectEU’s announcement today about the release of Catalyst, the first platform to integrate traditional infrastructures with multiple blockchain networks including networks built with Hyperledger Fabric, we decided to share the recent PoC using Hyperledger Fabric and Catalyst we discussed with Gartner.

Implementation of Blockchain technology allows not only to reduce costs and facilitate efficiencies within enterprise ecosystems but also create entirely new revenue streams. The PoC was for a car insurance company. The objective was to use Hyperledger Fabric and Catalyst to create a flexible pay per mile insurance product based on the actual car mileage and condition of the vehicle. Catalyst served as the hub for connecting the insurance database, the car dongle (IoT device), end-user mobile application and Hyperledger Fabric itself. Catalyst listened to the changes on all the data sources and based on the business rules, applied the corresponding logic. IntellectEU deployed two smart contracts on Hyperledger Fabric; one to calculate the premium based on the actual car mileage and a second to confirm the payment. Catalyst has an architecture that is open, modern, and flexible and will be able to add multiple new players to the ecosystem in the future.

As part of the interview, Gartner asked about our preferred methodology for architecting blockchain PoC projects. We broke it down to the following steps:

  1. Begin with a 2-day design thinking session, shaping and grooming the use case, and evaluating if blockchain technology brings significant added value to the use case.
  2. From those discussions, split up the business requirements into multiple use cases.
  3. Shape up the use cases to fit in the “fail fast” methodology.
  4. Create a solution roadmap.
  5. At this stage, select the initial use case to use as a base for the PoC.
  6. Create the Overall Design Document and the Functional Requirements Specification in cooperation with a customer.
  7. Develop the PoC using Agile approach. For more information, visit http://agilemanifesto.org.
  8. Deliver the solution to the customer
  9. Roll out the solution to multiple additional ecosystem participants

From this car insurance related PoC, there were two primary lessons learned that are worth sharing.

First, it is important to determine at the outset whether using distributed ledger technology would give any boost to the use case. We have found that walking customers through the following “Blockchain Decision Path” is very helpful.

Second, it was very important to have a specialist who understood General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements to ensure compliance. In brief, GDPR is a regulation that requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states. It provides for a harmonization of the data protection regulations throughout the EU, thereby making it easier for non-European companies to comply with these regulations; however, this comes at the cost of a strict data protection compliance regime with severe penalties of up to 4% of worldwide turnover or €20 million, whichever is higher. GDPR will become enforceable from May 25th 2018. According to an Ovum report, two-thirds of businesses expect to have to change in their global business strategies to accommodate new data privacy regulations and more than half of businesses think they will be fined due to GDPR in Europe.

A valuable benefit of being a part of the Hyperledger community is the opportunity to hear from members about their experiences “in the field” using Hyperledger technologies for PoCs, pilots and production deployments. We believe sharing best practices with the community helps the collective efforts to increase widespread adoption of Hyperledger distributed ledger frameworks.

Hyperledger Bug Bounty Program Now Open

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Dave Huseby, Hyperledger Security Maven

When I started as the Hyperledger Security Maven just over a year ago, I set out to make sure that Hyperledger’s community of contributors were doing everything possible to make good on the promise of better software and better security from the open source process. As of right now, we have in place a public bug tracker, continuous integration builds, core infrastructure initiative compliance, and a full responsible disclosure security bug policy and process. Today, I am happy to announce the next piece of our security process: the Hyperledger Bug Bounty.  

For the last six months we have been running a private bug bounty with HackerOne. Today we are opening up the Hyperledger Bug Bounty for public participation. Currently only Hyperledger Fabric is in the scope of the bounty program but we hope to add Hyperledger Sawtooth and other Hyperledger projects soon. HackerOne will continue to administer the bug bounty for us with close cooperation between their team and our community. We chose HackerOne because we think it is the best use of our resources and they share a similar commit to open source software as Hyperledger and The Linux Foundation.

At Hyperledger we have a broad base of committed developers and it is their professionalism that makes our security process solid and straightforward. When I first started, we already had in place our public bug tracking system and most teams had set up continuous integration build systems for monitoring build health. In the last year we formalized the process by which projects can move from development status to their first 1.0 release, including a number of security requirements.

The first security requirement is to meet the requirements of the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII). The Core Infrastructure Initiative is a set of best practices for open source software security. Earning the CII badge requires open source projects to set up services and processes and key positions that all serve the goal of producing more secure and trustworthy software. At the time of this writing, Hyperledger Fabric, Sawtooth, Iroha, and Composer have all earned their CII badge.

The second security requirement is to nominate one to three members of a project’s community to participate on the Hyperledger security team. The Hyperledger security team manages and executes our policy of responsible disclosure of security bugs. Security bugs are confidentially reported to Hyperledger through security@hyperledger.org or by filing a security bug in our JIRA. It is the job of the volunteer security team to triage, respond to, fix, and disclose the security bugs that are reported. As of right now, the security team consists of 16 members from five of our project communities.

The third security requirement is for a project to undergo a security audit from an outside auditor to establish a baseline for the codebase. We hired the auditing firm Nettitude to do security audits of Hyperledger Fabric, Sawtooth, Iroha and Composer.  So far Hyperledger Fabric, Sawtooth and Iroha have been completed and are in various stages of resolution and publication. Currently only the Hyperledger Fabric security audit report has been fully resolved and published. The rest will be published soon.

Looking ahead into the future, I plan on getting more involved with the Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) to see if we can use Hyperledger blockchain platforms to better track the provenance of open source software, including our own. I hope to one day use verifiable claims to automatically check for vulnerabilities in dependencies from our continuous integration build system. If open source software packages were to issue a verifiable claim stating that a specific version of their software has no known security vulnerabilities, then when one is reported, the claim can be revoked. The revocation of the claim could then function as an automatic signal to all users of that software that they need to update. Continuous integration systems could check the claims of all dependencies and stop the build if one or more are found to have vulnerabilities.  This represents the next generation of reproducible builds and would leverage blockchains for provenance tracking of software from construction all the way through deprecation.

Security is always an ongoing process of improvement. Thanks to the commitment and professionalism and general good cheer of the Hyperledger community, we have made great strides in the last year. Now with our public bug bounty, we hope to further make good on the open source promise and to deserve the trust our users have in us.

We encourage developers to join our efforts on the bug bounty program and also start contributing to Hyperledger projects. You can plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

Developer Showcase Series: David Conroy, National Association of REALTORS

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy

We’re back to our Developer Showcase blog series, which serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is David Conroy, an R&D Lab Engineer at the Center for REALTOR Technology, as part of the National Association of REALTORS. Let’s see what he has to say!

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

Before getting started working in blockchain, I strongly recommend taking the time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the many different types of blockchain technologies available today. A great way to accomplish this is to take a look at all of the fantastic open source tools out there that already exist for blockchain development. Understanding the basics prior to beginning the development process can be critical to the success of your future applications. My two favorite development tools currently are Hyperledger Composer (https://github.com/hyperledger/composer), and the Truffle Framework (http://truffleframework.com/). If you are looking for online resources for blockchain education, The Linux Foundation has released a self-paced primer on distributed ledgers that is incredibly thorough and also free of charge.

David Conroy, National Association of REALTORS


Give a bit of background on what you’re working on, and let us know what was it that made you want to get into blockchain?

I work for CRT Labs, a research group operated by the National Association of REALTORS®. Our lab focuses on emerging technologies that could potentially affect real estate. Personally, I have been interested in blockchain since I began learning and writing about Bitcoin in 2013. Since then as the technology has matured, it became increasingly apparent that my personal interests were quickly aligning with my professional ones. This is due to the massive implications that blockchain poses for the real estate industry.  In addition to payment and escrow, blockchains could potentially provide the mechanisms for establishing identity, enforcing of contracts, and improving the overall quality of property records.

What project in Hyperledger are you working on? Any new developments to share? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?

At NAR, we are building a Hyperledger Fabric based system that will allow us to more effectively understand how our association interacts with its 1.3 million members. This project will allow us to tie together all of the various educational courses taken, committees served on, and events attended by our members despite the fact that this activity is occurring at over 1,400 local associations nationwide. Our legacy systems lack the functionality to provide a complete, accurate, and verifiable report that shows the complete picture of a members activity within our association. Now with the assistance of blockchain that granularity of reporting is something we are able to provide. This data can then be used to better provide services, aid in leadership development, and allow for increased recognition of our highly involved members. We took advantage of the Hyperledger Composer tool to define our business network and get our initial proof of concepts running quickly.

In addition to the work I’ve done at NAR, I have also entered into multiple blockchain-related programming competitions in my spare time to keep current on latest development trends. Most recently, I was a part of a team that took first place in IBM’s Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Global Hackathon. Alongside the cash prize, the top finish came with a opportunity to present at IBM’s Think 2018 Conference. The submission was a Hyperledger-based, IBM Watson-powered parking reservation marketplace called The Spot Exchange.

In addition to the for-profit business models, I’ve also looked at Blockchain for social good. For the past few months, I have been working on a project that uses blockchain and artificial intelligence for social good. Specifically – providing identity, education, and family reunification services for Refugee Resettlement. For more information please visit ProjectSafeHarbor.com.

Locally, I serve as co-chair of the two Chicago-based blockchain meetups, Hyperledger Chicago & Chicago Blockchain in Real Estate.

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

One area where I believe blockchains have an enormous potential is improving the state of our current systems for establishing our digital identities. Consumers today are unrealistically expected to securely manage login information across hundreds of different websites. Unfortunately, this burden leads to poor password hygiene from many users, while slowly turning popular websites into an ever-growing target for hackers looking for large amounts of personal information. Two projects that I am following very closely that look to solve some of these issues in a decentralized and self-sovereign manner are Hyperledger Indy, and the Ethereum project uPort.

 

 

 

Developer Showcase Series: Arka Roychowdhury, Infosys

By | Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Arka Roychowdhury, a Principal Consultant focusing on Blockchain at InfoSys. Let’s see what he has to say!

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

People often ask me, “Arka, I know that you have been working on Blockchain for some time now, can you advise me on how to get started with it [Blockchain]”? Typically, I have less than one minute to answer, because that’s the amount of time they have before the elevator door opens and they have to get down.

The most important thing to get started is to get started; start with the internet; there is no dearth of rich content that can get you started in no time. Google Blockchain, and also visit MooCs such as Edx and Coursera.

But since I am writing a blog, let me be more detailed: The MooC from the Linux foundation on Blockchain for Business is a good one to start with; the Hyperledger website also has links to detailed contents (github pages, videos) on Hyperledger frameworks and tools, that can help you get started quickly.

I must mention that there are several independent youtube videos and github pages that do a superb job at explaining micro topics. However let me warn you that there are also articles and contents which talk about Blockchain and cryptocurrencies at a very high level- throwing words such as consensus, trust and immutability casually, and describe the technology very vaguely (if not incorrectly); you can spend a lot of time skimming those contents and still not be able to appreciate the technology or understand the real benefits.

You don’t need to be a developer to appreciate Blockchain, but there are nitty-gritties that you should understand thoroughly if you honestly want to get started with Blockchain. There are books in the market that you can easily find from Amazon. I recommend that you read the sample chapters and the reviews before making your purchase decision.

If you are a developer, or have a technical inclination, it helps, but again I find no reason, why anyone with any background can’t get started on Blockchain and find a niche area to contribute. You can be from a non-computer background such as Finance, Economics, Supply chain, and still be able to contribute significantly [if not more at times].

Be open to learn and explore, don’t limit yourself to just one framework or one tool. Concepts of Blockchain remain similar whether you are using Hyperledger frameworks, Ethereum, Corda or something else. Concepts that you learn in one project can often be applied to another. There are very good learning material (tutorials) and/or whitepapers in the official websites of Ethereum, Corda, R3 Corda and Cardano (third generation Blockchain) etc. Do visit them, even if you are solely working on Hyperledger; sometimes, subtle technical differences will clear your fundamental concepts better. There are no structured ways of exploring; you don’t need to have a definite goal to start with, it will come to you sooner than you think.

The important thing is to realize whether you really want to get started.

Arka Roychowdhury, Principal Consultant focusing on Blockchain at Infosys

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

A Blockchain enthusiast, may often overlook any drawback of Blockchain, and fail to acknowledge the challenges of putting together a production ready Enterprise Blockchain solution.

I think Hyperledger should come up with tools and frameworks that the business can use to clearly understand and articulate a, the business benefits and associated costs in quantitative terms b. impact on existing processes if they decide to undertake a Blockchain project, and c. how much time and involvement is required from their side. [I call it (jokingly) a MIR framework- Money, Involvement and Risk. You may also add potential new Business Opportunities and call it a BRIM framework. ]

Hyperledger images may be used for free, but there are obviously other costs: Storage cost, application development and maintenance cost etc. Any organization deciding to invest in Blockchain would definitely want to know the cost structure in detailed granularity.

We might be tempted to say that current processes will remain un-impacted only the underlying technology will change, but you should have some credible explanation backed by some demo or a proof of concept.

A Business stakeholder once made a very curious remark after seeing my presentation, where I demonstrated how an asset can be tracked across the value chain; he said (I am paraphrasing), “Blockchain would work only when all parties, the Customs officials, the Logistic partners, ground handlers, the Internal departments, all work together. What are the chances of that happening?[rhetorically] So if we take the whole onus upon us to build the Blockchain solution, are you (Arka)suggesting that we then go door to door to asking everyone in the Business Network to use our solution? And if a Blockchain network benefits everyone, why should only we pay to build one?”

Perhaps Hyperledger should also focus on open projects, in collaboration with partners and individuals to develop implementation frameworks, methodologies and best practices that can be used by System Integrators and IT houses to implement Blockchain in a production environment.

[it is beginning to come true with Project working groups in the Hyperledger community.]

It is my personal view that, the real challenge [deterrents] to Blockchain’s wide spread enterprise adoption wouldn’t be technology, scalability, price, complexity or risk but the inability to develop a practical Business plan for a Blockchain network and to convince or incentivize stakeholders to join that network.

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

In my conversations with business folks, I tell them not to think of Blockchain as a new piece of technology, but as a new paradigm of doing business. I truly hope that Blockchain will help businesses re-think benefits from the perspective of the entire value chain in which they operate. If I may say so naively, I hope that Blockchain would enable every business [industry] to operate in Nash equilibrium, making each business and society as a whole, better off.

With trusted and transparent visibility of data, companies will be able to leverage analytics to unlock new opportunities for sensible innovations, and stimulate the global economy.

These are the early days of Blockchain, rife with experimentations and PoCs. We will start seeing truly transformative value creation in every industry as more and more participants collaborate and promote “coopetition”.

If there is one issue I could solve, it would be to facilitate global trade and commerce such that companies/countries could produce and exchange goods and services without artificial barriers and friction.

What project in Hyperledger are you working on? Any new developments to share? Can you sum up your experience with Hyperledger?

I am [was] trying to explore a Blockchain solution in sourcing and procurement domain to free up a company’s working capital and reduce its cash conversion cycle. [I must add, it was more of an experiment and evaluation- trying to understand the technology and evaluate how to tackle a business scenario with this new paradigm] With Hyperledger Fabric and a robust business process underneath, we can ensure that regulatory and contractual obligations for a trade are satisfied and delays in order fulfillment (caused by frictions/complexities/incomplete information) are reduced. I am however, not sure whether we can use Hyperledger to design a sensible system for payment and hedging risk.

Another interesting development I am [was] doing- was to communicate with Hyperledger Fabric using non-traditional applications such as a Chatbot and voice. Processes that require human intervention, such as clicking buttons, checking boxes or filling up forms, are error prone and can be easily enhanced using such cognitive services. Since I have a background in analytics, I am [was] also interested in exploring new models to answer pertinent business questions; for instance I used graph analytics (node Centrality concepts) on the historian data to strategize, which supplier to incentivize or improve relationship with, in-order to reduce potential procurement disruption. [Of course many of these endeavors are/were personal in nature- pet projects using free available resources for learning purpose only. But learning shouldn’t be taken lightly. I think most of us (industry professionals, academics and Hyperledger community itself) are still learning. These learnings will allow us to usher new generations of Blockchain technology without the technical limitations of today.]

I am sometimes often confounded by the question, “why do I need a Blockchain for this? can’t the same can be done with a more traditional design.” The question is not easy to answer and you can’t always convince prospective project sponsors by throwing words such as “decentralized” and “trusted” at every problem. You must have a proper qualification criteria for selecting a use-case.

Your Blockchain project stakeholders/sponsors will always want to know the costs and benefits in quantitative terms. You may get Hyperledger for free, but there are plethora of other associated costs. Perform your due diligence before you reach out with a project proposal. You will never have all the answers beforehand, but you should have some rough implementation plan and should be able to give a rough estimate of time, effort and money that they have to invest and indicate potential risks. [I guess it is true for any new technology; but for Blockchain the complexity is multiplied by the number stakeholders you have and their disparate incentives and inhibitions.]

It has become very clear to me, that in order to make a Hyperledger PoC to scale up to Enterprise-grade, it must integrate with the existing IT landscape. This is again, not an easy task, especially if the current landscape is already rife with incompatible IT applications; but at the same time it is doable because Hyperledger Fabric is very easy to interact with using APIs; legacy apps and UIs can easily integrate Blockchcain using these APIs, without much disruption to Business-as-usual. The new solution can work parallel to the existing business application without causing any disruption (at least that’s what I would like to believe).

The benefits of Blockchain might be very clear to you and you may not find any reason why anyone shouldn’t implement it, but you still need to convince people and validate your own belief with a good business case. You will need all the help from the project sponsors, process Owners, architects, Ddvelopers and end users; you will be amazed to find so many of them actually want you to succeed.