Category

Blog

Recap: Hyperledger London Meetup – Reviewing Success, Discussing the Future

By | Blog | No Comments

Guest Post: Anna Shugol, Co-organizer of Hyperledger London Meetup & Fotini Stamou, IBM

On March 2, Hyperledger’s London Meetup: “Successful pilot projects, lessons learned and what lies ahead” kicked off at the IBM Client Centre in Southbank. The aim was to bring the Blockchain community together and discuss the first successful Hyperledger projects, give technological updates and enable an open discussion, whilst commemorating one year of Hyperledger.

The event was very well attended by more than 120 people, representing FinTechs and other startups as well as client organizations, which is a great indication of the growing interest in Hyperledger by its London-based community.

In line with the excitement of Hyperledger’s first anniversary, updates of the upcoming version of Hyperledger Fabric, v1.0 were shared at the event and attendees were introduced to Fabric Composer (a new Swiss knife tool for blockchain developers). IBM Lab lead engineer, Simon Stone, ran a quick ‘Fabric Composer 101’ demo to show all the new capabilities. That was proven to be a very popular session, which raised a lot of enthusiasm and questions from the developers in the room.

Since its release a year ago, attendees had many questions about Hyperledger Fabric at the event: How well has it been adopted since then? What happened with all the innovative ideas that were supposed to disrupt the industries? How long does it take to develop an idea to a prototype? Meetup special guest speakers answered some of these questions, recapping on their projects and experience with Hyperledger Fabric so far.

FinTech company, D-Pactum, spoke about their journey creating a startup, and gave insight into how their professional backgrounds and skillsets, helped them overcome hurdles along the way. They shared their development experience with Hyperledger Fabric, highlighting the importance of software engineering, and how DLT is unforgiving.

Ron Argent, CEO Cognition Foundry, shared his very inspiring journey together with Plastic Bank: introducing blockchain as a platform for environmental sustainability, reducing plastic pollution in the oceans and at the same time helping people in disadvantaged countries around the world. The idea of exchanging plastic waste for a digital token (tokens that can be exchanged to buy goods or pay for services, e.g school fees) is ground-breaking and in combination with Blockchain aims to have a significant humanitarian impact. Ron showed the project timeframe that demonstrated how fast one can go from a single idea to a pilot project – it was quite a quick journey, even for an IT project.

The last presentation was from, Herbert Daly, Senior Lecturer Computer Science at the University of Bedfordshire, who hosted the first Hyperledger Hackathon in the UK. He reflected on that experience and gave academia’s point of view on Blockchain: what is Blockchain’s role in education? How can Blockchain be taught at the university? He also gave some useful tips on how to cater to hungry developers throughout a 48-hour Blockchain coding marathon without poisoning them.

The presentations were followed by a very vibrant networking session over food and drinks with lively and passionate conversations on Blockchain.

For those who missed it, the recording of the event can be found here and we are definitely looking forward to the next Meetup! If interested, you can join the Hyperledger London Meetup here: https://www.meetup.com/Hyperledger-London/. Finally, if you’re thinking of starting a Hyperledger meetup in your area, you should first visit the Wiki to learn about best practices to do so: https://wiki.hyperledger.org/community/meetups

Happy meeting!

 

 

Recap: Hyperledger’s First Hyderabad Meetup

By | Blog | No Comments

Guest post: Sai Tejo Kiran E, Co-organizer, Hyperledger Hyderabad Meetup Group

Hello from Hyderabad!

On a happening Saturday evening not too long ago, a group of 20 professionals huddled in a room in the heart of Hyderabad to discuss how blockchain can help resolve issues related to trust, transparency and collaboration. Blockchain is the name of the game and Hyperledger was the enabler for this game. At the first ever Hyperledger Hyderabad meetup, we had participation from people who were involved in a plethora of fields like technology, business development, marketing, product development and project management! Blockchain has managed to capture the imagination, belief and the rigor of professionals in Hyderabad and we believe this is just the beginning!

The session was divided into two parts. The first part served as an introduction to blockchain and its application by Tejo who was the organizer. The goal of this session was to give an overview of the features of blockchain technology and showcase instances of how people around the world have built products with the technology to solve real life problems for customers. This was followed by a discussion around the importance of open source platforms like Hyperledger while building applications based on blockchain. There was a uniform consensus on how open source tools help in keeping the access balanced with the added advantage of interoperability.

The second part of the discussion was led by Phani who is a software developer and a strong advocator for open source technologies. He dwelled upon the technology surrounding the concept of blockchain and the features associated with blockchain, which are useful for different stakeholders. To make the understanding easier for the participants, he elaborated on the concept from the perspective of Bitcoin since it was something which everyone was aware of. After explaining the setup of Bitcoin, the discussion centered on the limitations and shortcomings of having multiple blockchains, and the hard fork in which Ethereum had to implement post hack. This was followed by the attendees sharing their ideas on how blockchain technology can help solve problems in multiple industries.

The meetup has taken off to a great start and the next session will be in the form of a workshop where we will actually set up a blockchain on Hyperledger to promote a more hands on approach to learning! The first Hyperledger Hyderabad organizers are looking for more fruitful interactions with the community in the near future!

You can join the Hyperledger Hyderabad meetup group here, if interested. Or if you’re thinking of starting a Hyperledger meetup in your area, you should first visit the Wiki to learn about best practices to do so: https://wiki.hyperledger.org/community/meetups

Blockchains for Business: Why Decentralization is Still a Factor

By | Blog | No Comments

Guest post: Travin Keith, Nxt Foundation

A lot of people know blockchain as an innovative technology introduced together with its first use case – Bitcoin, a decentralized peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. However, blockchain technology has since also been used for business and organizational purposes, either with a cryptocurrency of its own as a public blockchain, or without one as a private blockchain. While aspects of the technology are seen as something that could be useful for such purposes, there are some concerns as to why a business would want decentralization at all, leading some to, incorrectly, dismiss blockchain technology as a hyped-up trend and nothing more.

Below are a few business benefits we’re seeing attributed to decentralization with blockchain:

    • Security – Since records are distributed across multiple areas and are updated as each block is created, there is always a high level of availability for the data. So, even if a large number of nodes fail or are shut down by an attack, the data is still available for people to access. In addition, since the system is regularly updated with the latest block, accessing any of the active nodes means acquiring the latest data, even in the event of a DDoS attack – a highly-desirable trait for network security.
    • Distributed Processing – In addition to being able to access the latest block from any active node, the system can also continue to process additional data and add more blocks into the blockchain. So, not only is the data accessible, the system can continue operating as long as there are active nodes in the system. Thus, if an attacker wants to shut down the system to halt processing, they would need to shut down every node on the blockchain, making it even more restrictive to achieve.
    • Partnerships and Consortiums – While partnerships and consortiums are usually created with the best intentions and with all of the necessary legal agreements in an attempt to protect all parties involved, there still lingers the concern of trust, especially in cases when the parties involved are in competition in other areas. Because of the decentralized nature of blockchain, the issue is significantly mitigated as trust is not needed in terms of processing data as well as storing it. Verifying that one has the same information that another party has is relatively easy to do without the need for additional trust among the parties involved.

These are just a few of the benefits businesses can have when using blockchain technology due to its decentralized structure. With the increasing number of businesses looking into solutions that blockchain can provide, we’re sure to find even more benefits of decentralization in the near future. Know of other ways that decentralization with blockchain helps businesses? Tweet us @Hyperledger with #decentralized

Students! Apply for Hyperledger’s Summer Internship

By | Blog | No Comments

We’re excited to announce our inaugural summer internship program! We’ve put together 6 internship projects that span across Hyperledger’s incubated projects (Cello, Iroha, Fabric and Sawtooth Lake) proposed by active developers in Hyperledger’s technical community. These developers will also serve as the mentors for their projects and incoming interns.

We strongly encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to apply. The application is now open and the deadline to apply is March 24. You can learn more about each project below:

Project 1: Deploy Fabric on Kubernetes Using Cello

Cello is a Hyperledger project used to deploy blockchain services, which can be used to easily create, manage and stop a blockchain system. Currently it supports platforms such as baremetal and Docker Swarm. Kubernetes is widely accepted by lots of cloud providers. The idea of the intern project is to add Kubernetes support for Cello. This internship will focus on enhancing Cello by creating a user interface, which would allow system administrators to edit their desired topology and resources of a blockchain system, generating a Kubernetes config file and calling Kubernetes APIs to deploy such a system.

Project 2: Contract-based Business Process Execution / Hyperledger as a Business Process Execution Engine

Many systems rely on process-based execution logic (banks, insurance companies, etc.). Also there are a growing number of applications where data originated from sensors and other physical data sources are transformed and processed in a workflow-like manner. BPMN is a standard for describing business processes, also extended by other standards (e.g. DMNN) to describe decision logic behind individual process steps. The aim of the internship is to create a mapping from business process execution semantics (formalized from BPMN model fragments) to smart contracts of Hyperledger. This way, Hyperledger will serve as a process execution engine.

Project 3: Anonymous Transactions in Iroha

For many use cases involving distributed ledgers, the ability to hide the sender and recipient of digital assets, while still being able to verify that the assets exist and are not being double spent, is required. This internship will focus on making this a reality in Hyperledger Iroha.

For this project, the person will create a prototype scheme involving secure multiparty computation or dining cryptographer (DC) networks and study its effects.

Project 4: Preserving Privacy with Sawtooth Lake

Privacy is a very active area of research in distributed ledgers. Privacy can be considered from a number of aspects including commonly: transaction logic, assets, and transactor (user) participation.

Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake is a distributed ledger designed to apply across the deployment spectrum from publicly available networks to closed consortium networks. This project will explore privacy techniques applicable across that spectrum with a preference for the most difficult deployments where information is generally visible across the network.

The intern will work with Sawtooth Lake developers, including senior developers and researchers from Intel Corporation, to prototype new or refine existing privacy mechanisms. Mechanisms may include cryptographic techniques such as zero knowledge proofs and trusted execution such as SGX.

Project 5: Design and Implement Blockchain Clustering Platform for Hyperledger

Cello, a Hyperledger project, can manage thousands of blockchains and provide them to developers. It’s designed and implemented in Python. Currently we are designing and implementing new features (e.g., better scheduling performance, better UI) to support Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake and Hyperledger Iroha better. Anyone who’s interested in Blockchain techniques, clustering, cloud computing, UI design, or Python coding, should apply to work on this project.

Project 6: Publish, Document, and Maintain a Distribution Agnostic Build Script

Hyperledger’s existing development operates solely in Docker containers and Vagarant virtual machines with little documentation and no distribution portability.

Red Hat has been working on a background task, in contact with and with the approval of current Hyperledger build system maintainers to design a well documented distribution agnostic build system for Hyperledger, capable of producing working development containers and virtual machines for arbitrary distributions and architectures.

We are looking for someone who can join us and undertake the task of finishing this system and getting it upstream in the Hyperledger project.

If you’re interested in any of the above projects, please apply through the Linux Foundation job portal by March 24. Find out how to submit a strong application by reading the recommended application steps. Help us change the world with blockchain!

If you have any questions, please contact internship@hyperledger.org. Finally, you can plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list.

 

[VIDEO] Hyperledger Interviews Dan Middleton

By | Blog | No Comments

We recently sat down with Dan Middleton, Head of Technology for Intel’s Blockchain and Distributed Ledger program, as well as maintainer of the Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake project. Dan is also part of Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and Governing Board.

In the interview, Dan explains that Intel is a strong believer in the advancement of open source software, which is a big reason why they got involved with Hyperledger and The Linux Foundation. He goes on to say Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake is a full featured blockchain with novel consensus and transaction layers. At the consensus layer it utilizes Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET), which helps express a range of policies between public and private for a ledger deployment. Hyperledger Sawtooth Lake also has transaction families which helps create a safe smart contract.

Dan concludes by saying that in addition to the efficiencies promised by blockchain technology, Intel is most excited about the new business models that can arise out of being able to share state among different entities.

Watch the full video below!

 

Developer Showcase Series: Denis Polish, Senior Integration Engineer, IntellectEU

By | Blog | No Comments

Next up in our Developer Showcase Series is Denis Polish, a Senior Integration Engineer at IntellectEU. This blog series highlights the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Let’s see what Denis has to say!

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

Start from real use cases, see how the problems can be solved using this technology.  Then go through the documentation to understand key concepts and basic terminology. As soon as you get familiar with it, pick up a framework, I would say the Hyperledeger Fabric is a pretty good one to start with. Configure and run your own private network. Check the provided samples, by the time you get there you will know everything you need to develop your own solution.

Denis Polish, Senior Integration Engineer, IntellectEU

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

I would say that it’s security and data encryption. Encryption is a complex question but it’s very important for our customers and any financial institution, and I think it should be in place before they can use the solution in production.

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?

I’m very excited about the upcoming release of Hyperledger Fabric 1.0. I didn’t have a chance to test the private channels but it’s something I’m going do in the nearest feature.

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

Before you start writing the code to resolve the problem, ask yourself if your solution will bring any value to the business, and if answer is “No” think how what you can go about that.

 

Recap: Hyperledger Intros Blockchain at HIMSS

By | Blog, Healthcare | No Comments

The Hyperledger team recently attended HIMSS in Orlando, Florida. More than 40,000+ people joined us in learning more about the role of technology and IT in healthcare. Hyperledger was there to lend a vendor-neutral, “open source software-first” voice to the rapidly-advancing discussion in healthcare about how to leverage blockchain technologies. Really this meant we were there to listen, facilitate introductions, educate when we had a specific point of view and, ultimately, advance the readiness of healthcare professionals and organizations to get started with blockchain.

HIMSS kicked off with a keynote speech by IBM’s CEO, Ginni Rometty. Ginni shared her belief that to be successful in this new era of computing, companies will need to have clear strategies on AI, cloud and big data. She led on to say that within all of that, transparency, accountability and trust will become even more important, if not demanded. Ginny then spoke to blockchain, its affect on the industry and mentioned Hyperledger as a consortium leading the governance and community development around blockchain technologies for business.

Hyperledger set up shop in the Innovation Zone at the enormous Orange County Convention Center. Those who visited us at our kiosk wanted to know what blockchain was, Hyperledger’s role in the market, how blockchain could be applied to healthcare and what some of the opportunities or challenges might be.  

Across the way from us in the Innovation Zone were our friends at Hashed Health, a member company focused on accelerating blockchain and distributed ledger technologies in healthcare. They brought along a demo of a provider directory that they built using Hyperledger Fabric, one of the three blockchain frameworks in incubation at Hyperledger, and when attendees wanted a solid example of how blockchain worked, we sent them their way. A few other members companies that attended included Accenture, Gem, and IBM.

A major focal point for Hyperledger at HIMSS was IEEE’s sold out Rock Stars of Blockchain event. Morning sessions grounded the 200+ attendees with the basics of blockchain tech and it’s applicability to healthcare. Speakers hit themes like interoperability, breaking down silos, increasing patient control while streamlining expensive and time consuming processes, providing holistic, longitudinal views to health.

After a great introduction from Conduent’s Tamara StClaire on the basics of blockchain and its promise in healthcare, Abbie Barbir from Aetna gave an excellent talk about the use cases for blockchain in healthcare. Mr Barbir shared this conceptualization of a blockchain-based ID vetting system.

Next, Dr. Jon White and Steve Posnack from ONC shared the work their team has been doing to support and stimulate the adoption of EHR and lately on exploring the uses of blockchain in healthcare. They of course referenced last year’s Blockchain Challenge on ONC Lab. And one really can’t talk about the ONC challenge without discussing the winning MedRec paper.

At lunch, Hyperledger sponsored a hands-on workshop for healthcare professionals charged with spearheading their organization’s lab, PoC and pilot use of blockchain technology. The lunch and learn used the recent Hyperledger Healthcare working group survey as the jumping off point to explore popular industry use cases.

Much more participation than presentation, the ~30 participants included physicians, vendors, payers, consultants and other HC pros. Over the 90-minutes, participants worked at their tables on MVPs for popular healthcare blockchain use cases and discussed the roadblocks that might prevent a PoC. For a full output report, and to join the discussion, check out the Hyperledger Healthcare page and join the healthcare working group email list.

After lunch, Hyperledger Executive Director, Brian Behlendorf moderated a panel with Cerner, IBM and IEEE on the impact of blockchain on connected health. Panelists shared what each are doing with blockchain technology for healthcare and general thoughts on the subject.

They then covered confidentiality and patient privacy, exploring such questions as how to deal with private data in a blockchain, how blockchain will change the patient experience, and what regulatory hurdles must be overcome.

Some panelists expressed confidence that blockchain technology has the features to transform healthcare, much like other technologies before. Like other approaches, what must not be overlooked with blockchain are all the other environmental factors in healthcare, such as regulation, business models and having a complete architectural design. Others were more bullish about the role blockchain will play to place patients in more control over their data and their healthcare experience.

After the panel, Brian and Gem CEO, Micah Winkelspecht held a fireside chat, exploring some of the key questions that had emerged throughout the day.


Dr. John Mattison from Hyperledger member, Kaiser Permanente closed the day out with a talk on Defining a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with Blockchain in Healthcare: Challenges and opportunities.

We are very excited that blockchain conversations in healthcare are picking up, we’re learning more and more about POCs and pilots and there is a lot of interest in Hyperledger. If you’re interested in how blockchain can work in healthcare, want to join the discussion further, or have specific questions about Hyperledger, we encourage you to join our Healthcare Working Group here: https://www.hyperledger.org/industries/healthcare.

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.

Our Incubator’s First Graduate: Hyperledger Fabric

By | Blog | No Comments

I’m thrilled to announce that yesterday, Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee (TSC) agreed to grant the project team’s request to advance the project’s status from Incubation to Active. As a reminder, we see Hyperledger as an “umbrella” for software developer communities building open source blockchain and related technologies. Fabric falls under that umbrella and is the first of the five Incubator projects to graduate. While Hyperledger Fabric has not yet reached its v1.0 release, the TSC members unanimously agreed that the project has satisfied all of the Incubation Exit Criteria.

The exit criteria by which projects are evaluated in order to graduate from Incubation include legal compliance, community support, test coverage and continuous integration support, documentation, architectural alignment, published releases, and infrastructure support for such things as requirements and defect tracking, code reviews, continuous integration testing and more.

One of the most important of these criteria is the community support criteria. The most successful and sustainable open source projects grow out of a diverse community of contributors, where the loss of any one individual or company can be compensated by the community as a whole. Hyperledger The TSC members agreed that Fabric had made significant progress towards that diversity goal, and given the trajectory, agreed that the criteria was satisfied.

IBM contributed the codebase that, in part, became the basis of the Hyperledger Fabric Incubator. In the year since the project entered incubation, the diversity of contributors on Fabric-related projects has grown from nearly no diversity of contributors to 45% of the contributors – representing individual contributors or developers working for one of nineteen other companies, be they exchanges, banks, large ISVs or start-ups. The project’s 10 maintainers – those individuals tasked with leading the project’s development – represent three different companies and two individual contributors. Hyperledger Fabric has also grown in terms of sub-projects contributed by other community members such as London Stock Exchange, DTCC, Fujitsu, and others. In my experience, few open source projects achieve that level of diversity in so little time.

Hyperledger Fabric has published two releases, the latest of which was their v0.6 release in the fall of 2016. The team is working on finalizing the development of the v1.0-alpha release, which they hope to publish this month.

This is a huge step for the Hyperledger community. The graduation of Fabric represents a milestone for the Hyperledger community as a whole, and I’m eager to see the other projects follow suit. As always, we encourage developers to join our efforts on Fabric, as well as other projects, via github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or the mailing lists. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

Hyperledger’s Monthly Technical Update

By | Blog | No Comments

As our incubated projects continue to mature, we’d like to update the community monthly on the progress we make. Below are updates on Blockchain Explorer, Cello, Fabric, Sawtooth Lake and Iroha during February.

Blockchain Explorer

We completed the architecture review with the community and incorporated the feedback into the design document. The design document was posted on the “blockchain-explorer” channel on Rocket.Chat. We plan to upload this document to the Hyperledger wiki so that it is permanently available for anyone to review. We are continuing our work to make Explorer compatible with the Fabric 1.0 project.

Sawtooth Lake

New design updates were presented at the Hyperledger hackfest on Feb 1-2 and other Hyperledger forums. Parallel execution and new language support resounded well with the community. In the next month, we will begin work on new demonstration networks exhibiting some of the use cases prototyped using Sawtooth Lake.

Fabric

Fabric continues to press forward to wrapping up feature development for the 1.0 release. The team is preparing a version 1.0 preview initially, followed by an -alpha release by the end of February.

We’ve been bolstering our test frameworks with integration testing that had been developed by IBM for its offerings. We have also been taking a close look at improving documentation to make it more user and application-developer focused.

We had some interesting discussions with the Sawtooth team on integrating PoET into Fabric at the bi-monthly hackfest, which we hope to begin pursuing in the near term and we also continued working with the Sorimitsu team in aligning APIs.

Hyperledger Fabric played a prominent role in the largest blockchain hackathon to date, held in Groningen, Netherlands, Feb 10-12. 55 teams competed in five tracks and two of the five winning teams based their solution on Hyperledger Fabric. The other winning teams used Ethereum or Factom. Roughly half of the 55 teams were also using Hyperledger Fabric. It really was an exciting event and bodes well for the upcoming hackathon in Shanghai in March.

Cello

There are lots of discussions on the Rocket.Chat channel, mostly on documentations and deployment topics. Several Jira tasks were created as the feature roadmap, including refining documentation, supporting fabric 1.0 and supporting other blockchain platforms. We implemented the new dashboard configurations and refined the front-end code. Several deployment enhancement/patch sets are in the works to make Cello more stable.

Iroha

The API has been fixed and currently we are working on porting all the protobuf code to flatbuffers. There are several bugs/memory leaks with flatbuffers still, so we have been working with their project to fix these. We have also been working on getting flatbuffers working with grpc.

We are building a database for flatbuffers, iroha-ametsuchi. Anyone interested in working on it should take a look at the repository: https://github.com/hyperledger/iroha-ametsuchi

At the Hyperledger hackfest in San Francisco, we had an interesting discussion with IBM, where we outlined some ideas for creating inter-ledger transactions between Iroha and Fabric. If anyone in the community is interested in working on this together with us, please tell us on Rocket.Chat/gitter/github issue (https://github.com/hyperledger/iroha/issues/159).

That’s it for the updates! We encourage developers to join our efforts on these projects and help us shape the future of blockchain. 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.

Happy coding!

 

[VIDEO] Hyperledger Interviews Blythe Masters

By | Blog | No Comments

We recently sat down with Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset and the chair of the Hyperledger Governing Board. Digital Asset is a Premier founding member of Hyperledger.

In the interview, Blythe speaks to Digital Assets’ involvement in the project, what Hyperledger and the larger community means to their business and how she believes blockchain will impact the financial services world by saving costs, reducing risk and enhancing capital opportunity.

Blythe believes Hyperledger provides a tremendous opportunity for both large enterprises and small startups to road test blockchain, as well as implement and collaborate on ideas.

Watch the full interview in the video below!

 

Be sure to check back for more video interviews with those in the Hyperledger community. You can also plug into the Hyperledger Community at github, Rocket.Chat, the wiki or our mailing list.