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

By Blog, Weekend Update

Welcome to the Weekend Update. Our goal with this 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 Evernym

James Monaghan and Andy Tobin of Evernym will guide a discussion on “Privacy-Preserving Verifiable Credentials in the Time of COVID-19.” Identity projects need to support business objectives, be easy to adopt, and protect the rights of the identity holder. That is a tall order, but real world deployments show this to be possible through the use of distributed ledgers. This session will focus on the analysis and discussion of two use cases where legacy identity solutions were unable to meet the needs, but ledger based solutions have been successful: covid credentials for travel and employment credentials for staff movements. James and Andy will introduce the solutions and are eager for feedback. By the end of the session, we hope you will be able to distinguish use cases where digital identity makes sense, as well as understand how Hyperledger Indy and Aries can play a role.

Tune on Wednesday, February 17, at 10AM GMT. For more information and to register, go here.

Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group Guest Speaker: John Walker, COVID-19 Credentials Initiative and Linux Foundation Public Health

Join the Healthcare SIG meeting for a talk by John Walker from the COVID-19 Credentials Initiative and Linux Foundation Public Health team. He will review and demo proposed architecture for digital health pass solutions and offer his take on why this is a preferred method for identity interoperability.

For more information on the meeting, which is Wednesday, February 17, at 10:00 AM EST, go here.

Hyperledger Identity Working Group Guest Speaker: Kaliya “Identity Woman” Young

Join the Identity Working Group meeting to hear Kaliya “Identity Woman” Young present her new paper on Verified Credential (VC) Flavors. The paper was released by the COVID-19 Credentials Initiative to explain the major variants of W3C VCs to technical audiences. However, it also provides policymakers, business leaders, and many others working in the VC ecosystem or considering adopting VCs a high-level explanation of the offerings to head off interoperability headaches in the future.

For more information on the meeting, which is Wednesday, February 17, at 12:00 PM EST, go here.

Report – New Directions for Government in the Second Era of the Digital Age

The Blockchain Research Institute, Chamber of Digital Commerce and other experts released a detailed look at how the Biden-Harris administration could reimagine US technology strategy and policy—and take action to implement it. Go here to find out more.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

A New Approach to Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security in DLTs: Off-Chain Manager

By Blog, Research

Hyperledger’s annual Member Summit brought together representatives from member companies to connect with each other, address common challenges, and share lessons learned for enterprise blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to grow and thrive. Samsung SDS had a session with David Huseby and Sueyoung Chang from Hyperledger with a theme “Proven Approaches to Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security in DLTs.” Samsung SDS has summarized the implications from the sessions into a whitepaper. 

Proven Approaches to Privacy, Confidentiality, and Security in DLTs 

The whitepaper discusses several approaches to fulfill the privacy, confidentiality, and security in a distributed ledger. In the blockchain, every node in a network owns a ledger that is identical to one another, and the ledger is updated whenever a new block is generated. Since the nature of a blockchain is oriented to the openness of data, which is the opposite of privacy and confidentiality, techniques to enhance data privacy and confidentiality are demanding.

Accordingly, techniques have further been developed to guarantee robust confidentiality and privacy – that is to ensure that transactions and data are accessible to only the parties that the sender of the transaction intended. The white paper examines three approaches and techniques to enhance data privacy and transaction confidentiality on the blockchain. Each method has its distinct design purpose.

A New Approach : Off-Chain Manager 

The whitepaper additionally introduces more on the Off-Chain Manager that Samsung SDS has researched and developed. Samsung SDS adopts off-chain to provide blockchain with privacy and confidentiality tailored to an enterprise’s needs without compromising the properties introduced and benefits gained by blockchain. By using hybrid transactions that combine on-chain and off-chain transactions, Samsung SDS could ensure data privacy and confidentiality. Sophisticated access control and ensure data lifecycle management can be customized with  ownership management as well as. 

To see the complete details, download the whitepaper here.

Cover image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay.

Developer Showcase Series: Arun S M, Walmart

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 Arun S M, Senior Software Engineer at Walmart.

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

Walmart is a pioneer in technology adoption. This case study offers a comprehensive look at Walmart’s journey in blockchain technology adoption. You might have read about multiple other pilot programs Walmart has either initiated or participated in as well. At Walmart Global Tech, we join hands in powering the next generation retail disruption. Listen to what Archana Sristy, Sr Director, Blockchain Platforms, had to say in the keynote panel at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020. 

While many say their journey into the blockchain started with either Bitcoin or Ethereum, mine started with the Hyperledger projects. I started my journey into this technology at my previous employer Intel. I remember when everybody was excited to see Hyperledger Fabric leaning towards its 0.6 version release. On the other hand, Hyperledger Sawtooth was prepping up to support EVM smart contracts. My first quest on the technology was to provide an option of byzantine fault tolerance to the Hyperledger Fabric project with the help of a trusted execution engine. I found myself digging through source code written in a language I was not familiar with back then. Project source code and logs from the test run served as documentation. It was quite a joyful experience to see a working POC completed in a short period of time.

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

The range of projects in Hyperledger’s greenhouse is sufficient to provide a starting point for any blockchain-based idea. I say that not speaking only for my employer. At Hyperledger I wear multiple hats:

First, and my favorite of all, being a developer! 

Though my journey started with the Hyperledger Fabric and I predominantly use it in my projects, I have spent a considerable amount of time on other Hyperledger technologies. I found myself enjoying the problem statements within Hyperledger Sawtooth and, eventually, became one of its maintainers. I started by fixing bugs in the sawtooth-core and working on consensus engines and then on a Hyperledger Labs project implementing a new protocol for the Proof of Elapsed Time. (Feel free to reach out in case you would like to revive it.) I took on adding missing features on the sabre engine, participating in the 2.0 release planning meetings and supporting Hyperledger Transact’s goal. 

Very recently, I started to find myself interested in the potential benefits of lab projects such as Blockchain Automation Framework. Likewise, Hyperledger Aries has never ceased to impress me. And don’t be surprised if you see me in Hyperledger Ursa meetings. 

Second hat, being a Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee member!

Walmart uses blockchain at scale like nowhere else, and yet we are pioneers in adopting new features. This gives me a great, dual point of view as I have worked extensively on the core protocol layer as well as on realizing potential use cases. On the TSC, this allows me to speak up for what an end user organization would like to prioritize when it comes to the advancement of blockchain technology.

Out in the community, I enjoy speaking at Hyperledger Global Forum and other conferences. From the time I started to help the community based in India, it has been my pleasure to meet several tech enthusiasts. It is amazing to see how people are willing to join and contribute back once they understand the technology. Oftentimes, lack of awareness is often what makes people think contributing to Hyperledger projects is out of their reach. Being a TSC representative has helped me be a bridge and bring in new perspectives. 

Third hat, leading the Hyperledger India Chapter and other speaking engagements! 

The idea of Hyperledger India Chapter was conceptualized by Amol Kulkarni in early 2018. The chapter was inaugurated in January, 2019. The chapter’s goal was to build a bridge between the global community and India. In the initial days, we spent time answering technical questions, running project specific developer forums and organizing national meetup events.

Since taking the baton from earlier chapter leads in 2020, I’ve had the pleasure of proposing and running multiple other modes of engagements. Our hackathons, a multi-week blockchain story sharing series and a technical deep-dive fest have all contributed to increased participation by the community in India. It’s been satisfying hearing the positive impact these engagements have created. It is evident in the feedback we receive from the community in India but also in the rest of the Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa, and, sometimes, the Americas regions. The latest approach has been to identify more community leaders, delegate responsibility and encourage smaller circle engagements to gradually build the community participation. Hyperledger staff members (so as not to miss out any names, let’s say everybody) have supported all the initiatives proposed by the Hyperledger India Chapter. There never was a no for anything. 

Having mentioned these, let me know if you have an idea. I am ready for the next hat 😉

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

Hyperledger is doing great with community participation and diversity. Technical diversity is what I can focus on here. These are the points I would pick up in no particular order:

  1. Encouraging projects up the protocol stack that are aimed towards easier and faster adoption to production. These could include ready-to-use tools and libraries such as deployment tools or core protocol management libraries/tools.    
  2. Prototyping possible interoperability patterns to integrate multiple blockchain protocols.
  3. Paving the way towards plug-and-play style, reusable modules development across protocols.

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

If you are thinking about using blockchain technology and/or if you’re new to blockchain technology and this happens to be your first read about the technology, then you’re in good hands. Do not always overfit your problem statement. It could be just digitization of data that you want to solve your problem. Use of blockchain for the sole purpose of integrity protection amongst the trusted nodes can be debated. I am happy to help you in your blockchain journey! I’ve shared some background and advice for getting started below. 

Blockchain is a technology. As you know, any technology defines a well known process of achieving an outcome for a given problem statement. Blockchain technology is aimed towards removing intermediaries (many a times unnecessary) in transactions and establishing a high level of trust on the data exchanged between the involved participants.

Blockchain technology achieves this by the use of distributed, decentralized, digital ledger technology. You all might be aware of distributed databases. Now let’s add decentralization to it. As an example, what if multiple instances of the database (having the same copy of data) are maintained by different parties. Each of those involved parties don’t trust each other generally without a trusted agent making sure everything is rightly copied. Now, what if we remove the unnecessary third party agent and let the distrusting parties trust each other using a mechanism? The digital ledger is that mechanism.

Let’s break the myths and understand commonly used terms:

  1. Blockchain (often used as the name of the technology as well): Imagine it to be a linked list that is cryptographically protected so that you cannot change the position of the list nodes or the contents stored in it. This makes it an immutable ledger of data. 
  2. Smart Contract: If you have worked on database applications, you know about CRUD operations. How would you control how CRUD operations are performed and by whom in a distributed system? This is taken care of by the smart contracts.    
  3. Consensus: Just by controlling who and how can one perform CRUD operations may not be sufficient for making sure every participant in the network has the same copy of the data. This is not a totally new concept. Consensus in simple terms is getting agreement. You can follow multiple approaches to get different participants to agree to a common data point. RAFT, PBFT, PoET, etc. are examples.

To get started on developing or supporting blockchain applications, your first step is to decide what you want to do. It is quite uncommon that you need to understand how Fabric/Sawtooth is implemented if your goal is to develop an application. Similarly, if you would like to be an expert DevOps/administrator of the network, then you would learn how to maintain the application with the available options. Hyperledger projects have abstracted low-level handling from you. There are CLI or SDK options for you to interact with the running ledger.

 The following steps should make you an expert on a given project:

  1.  Familiarize yourself with one of the protocols.    
  2.  Understand how a framework is architected and the flow of data in it.
  3. Read through the documents and note down all possible configuration options. How well your production deployment will work will come down to how well you understand available options.    
  4. Write sample code to use the provided SDKs for smart contract and client application development.

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?

Here are my top five picks, considering the needs of the hour:

  1. Tracking COVID-19 vaccinations: Creating blockchain-backed ledger verifiable credentials to provide greater confidence on the issued credential and open up international collaboration that gets things back to normal while maintaining individuals’ privacy. Similarly, enabling safer vaccine track and trace by making sure every process is followed as expected in the supply chain for effective progress. Blockchain can also play a vital role in future health emergencies in a range of ways such as increasing trust in the research data in the early stages and improving collaborating with parties in far places.
  2. Leveling the field in education: I am a strong supporter of education for all. Use of blockchain in eradicating the indifferences and providing quality education to the needy would be an excellent use case if somebody can come up with one.
  3. Federating learning: Use of blockchain in federated learning to achieve trust is something to be explored further. 
  4. Enabling the concept of global citizen: A person graduating in university from a far away place should be able to prove the knowledge and degree to get a job elsewhere. 
  5. Enabling eGovernance: Blockchain has a role to play in a range of areas, including the electoral process, security lending, property buying, government reach out programs, digital credential issuance, reducing corruption and legal processes.

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

After this set of intense answers, I will answer slightly comically (who knows it could be reality in future). I wish blockchain could become backbone technology to end the misinformation on the internet, eventually becoming the single source of truth for a peaceful humanity!

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

Blockchain technologies are evolving at supersonic speed. Even as we speak now there could be someone thinking of a new feature or capability. 

  • I hope to see interoperability becoming not just an advantage but a necessary parameter for adoption. Another analogy is that, in the near future, it would be great to have the option to switch between multiple blockchain frameworks like we switch the databases today. With standards governing how to transfer the data across blockchains and still maintain integrity.
  • I hope to see design patterns being defined for blockchain technology, eventually helping scale the network or overcome the limitations of today. 
  • I hope to see blockchain networks talking to each other, not just from the protocol perspective but at the domain level. This will open up a range of new use cases.
  • I hope to see techniques that would optimize the storage and compute requirements for running a blockchain network.

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

It’s hard to pick on one thing! The best piece of advice that I received as a freshman from my mentor Mark Chung back then is “do not give up because the code is complex; stare at the code until it breaks up and surrenders to you. Code will tell you more truths the more you stare at it.” Another recent from one of my ex-boss Ansuya Negi is “do not be upset because your project didn’t go beyond the POC. The learnings you got through the process is more important than the outcome.”

What technology could you not live without?

To be honest, I would prefer a life not surrounded by technology and would rather go out into nature’s serenity. But, to logically answer this question, I think the evolution of the computer system has accelerated and uplifted the human standard of living in many ways making it is difficult to live without a computer.

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. 

Forbes Blockchain 50

Declaring that blockchain has “gone mainstream,” Forbes just released its 2021 “Blockchain 50,” featuring companies that have at least $1 billion in revenues or are valued at $1 billion or more and “lead in employing distributed ledger technology.” And, once again, half of the companies on the list are using Hyperledger technology.

More than just a basic list of companies and technologies, the Forbes Blockchain 50 provides a snapshot of the market-changing deployments these blockchain leaders have deployed. Accompanying stories add even more analysis and context.

Hyperledger Climate Action and Accountability Special Interest Group Guest Speakers:  Truman Semans and Hewson Baltzell, OS-Climate; Michael Tiemann, Red Hat

Join the Climate Action and Accountability SIG meeting for a presentation on “OS-Climate and Sustainable Finance & Investing.” OS-Climate is a new Linux Foundation umbrella project developing data and analytics solutions for climate-aligned investing, finance, and regulation. In the SIG meeting, the OS-Climate team will discuss:

  • Overall trends in the sustainable finance space.
  • State of play on ESG/climate data and analytics for asset owners, asset managers, and banks.
  • Initial efforts of OS-Climate in prototyping its Data Commons and tools for climate aligned investing.
  • Possible areas for collaboration with Hyperledger

For more information on the meeting, which is Tuesday, February 9, 2020, at 8:00 AM PST, go here.

Continuous Delivery Foundation Plan

The CD.Foundation (Continuous Delivery Foundation) aims to improve the world’s capacity to deliver software with security and speed. Its End User Council just released a plan outlining its approach to accelerating adoption of continuous delivery practices for member companies and the industry in general. See the details here.

Call for Experts – Digital Currency Global Initiative

The Digital Currency Global Initiative is launching a “call for experts” to advance research on technical architecture, security, regulatory and policy requirements for digital currencies, such as central bank digital currency, stablecoins, e-money, and cryptocurrency. Find out more here.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

Wecan Comply: How to use the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain for real-time compliance auditing

By Blog, Finance, Hyperledger Fabric

The state of compliance today

Compliance today is hampered by a real lack of coordination between its various players. Indeed, each actor uses its own processes and tools. Some have invested in technological innovation while others continue to use more traditional methods. The situation is such that nothing has yet been really proposed to facilitate compliance exchanges between external asset managers and their custodian banks.

The administrative workload is heavy and is increasing: the list grows daily, with a new regulatory alert in financial services alone issued every seven minutes according to Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence. And it is estimated that 15 to 25% of a company’s revenue is wasted because of poor data quality and management says Experian plc. Indeed, information is, most of the time, structured internally but exchanged externally by mail, email, phone or fax in a very inefficient and unsecured way. For EAMs, onboarding at a custodian bank therefore requires several hours of work: the announcement process carried out at all the custodian banks, which can go up to more than 50 hours, is still very manual today. 

In addition, the annual review (partial or complete) of the relationship with the bank is an important process for the bank and requires administrative verification work that can take several months.  

Compliance efficiency thanks to blockchain

The administrative burden caused by the duplication of compliance processes will be considerably reduced, thanks to blockchain. It will make it possible to digitize and streamline the management of information, thus avoiding many errors. Bockchain technology will enable independent managers to implement much more reliable, smooth and secure operating procedures.

The Wecan Comply platform makes it possible to digitize and standardise the information exchanged between financial players in order to facilitate and streamline exchanges between banks and independent asset managers in a secure manner. The objective is to enable financial players to pool their resources on non-competitive and non-differentiated subjects in order to improve auditability and, eventually, to automate it. This will not be available immediately, but the Wecan Comply platform will soon be linked to official registers. Managers will thus be able to ensure that their custodian banks have direct access to all kinds of official documents, without having to worry about collecting and processing them. By skipping these verification steps, they will be able to save time while limiting the risk of fraud. 

The Blockchain Association for Finance: a unique compliance network

Wecan Comply is an ambitious project aimed at optimizing compliance processes. It is the first blockchain infrastructure addressed to Private Banks, thus significantly opening up the prospects of use cases. Several banks and independent asset managers have already joined this unique network: Pictet Group, Lombard Odier Group, Edmond de Rothschild, REYL Group, Hyposwiss Private Bank Genève SA, Gonet, Banque Cramer, CAPITALIUM Wealth Management, PLEION Gestion de fortune, and Fransad Gestion SA. In order to carry out this project, Wecan Group has created an industry standard that meets the best regulatory requirements set by regulators. With a view to ensuring neutrality and the proper functioning of the platform, the members of the network have created an association: the Blockchain Association for Finance. 

Systematic and real-time compliance status 

The platform allows EAMs and banks users to track and receive real-time alerts for all changes to ensure the compliance of documents and information shared. It monitors, reports and analyzes events and changes while ensuring the security of the environment thanks to Hyperledger Fabric. This solution enhances the security by allowing the user to instantly know who made a specific change, when, and from which entity. Since the data stored is authenticated by multiple institutions and continually up to date, the compliance offices have a real-time reporting of the compliance status and can share it at any time to the management or the external auditors.

Custodian banks save time by accessing in one place standard and structured information coming from their EAM. And they have a real-time compliance status linked to all data. Wecan Comply solution drives efficiency and cost effectiveness, reducing the painful administrative work. Banks are processing top-notch quality of data since all information is validated by other banks of the network. All exchanges are digital, onboardings are faster and there is a real-time auditability of all modifications.

Why we choose Hyperledger Fabric 

Wecan Comply uses Hyperledger Fabric, an open source blockchain platform for enterprises hosted by the Linux Foundation. Hyperledger Fabric enables private actors to exchange information while retaining ownership of their data. Each party is clearly identified, and every transaction is authenticated, authorized, validated and tracked. 

Thanks to Hyperledger Fabric there is no central administrator: each bank and EAM controls its own information in a fully encrypted and secured network. As a solution provider, Wecan Comply does not have access to the information exchanged. It is only powering the network. Hyperledger Fabric offers a high level of security by ensuring that data access is only made after the user’s private key has been verified by the system. This eliminates the chance of unauthorized access and gives individuals greater control over their information. In addition, the platform is certified by a zero-knowledge proof technology that allows to protect the privacy of all users and to decentralize data control and sharing.

The world of compliance tomorrow

The union of financial players within a network offers good prospects for development.  In particular, data exchange among custodian banks, regulatory bodies and auditors will benefit from significant gains in efficiency.

The next step for Wecan Comply is the connection to the official registers that will create a real ecosystem around compliance and thus release all the value of the platform. Wecan Comply was initiated with and for the actors of the financial industry. Our ambition is then to apply this method to all regulated professions where there are standards in order to guarantee a monitoring and audit of compliance in real time.

Once Again, Forbes “Blockchain 50” Shows Enterprise Blockchain’s Footprint and Impact, with Hyperledger Technologies Leading The Pack

By Blog, Hyperledger Aries, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Grid, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Declaring that blockchain has “gone mainstream,” Forbes today released its 2021 “Blockchain 50,” featuring companies that have at least $1 billion in revenues or are valued at $1 billion or more and “lead in employing distributed ledger technology.” And, once again, half of the companies on the list are using Hyperledger technology. 

Twenty five companies on the list name at least one Hyperledger technology as part of their solution platform. Hyperledger Fabric, specifically, is cited as a platform by 24 of the companies, topping the list as the most widely used technology. Hyperledger Aries, Indy, Grid and Sawtooth are all also deployed by companies on this list. 

The annual list, now in its third year, reflects the growing global impact of blockchain technology with 25 members from the U.S., 13 from Europe and a record 12 from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. All in all, there were 21 companies that were new to the list, and 15 of them, including ones from Australia (BHP), India (Tech Mahindra) and Africa (Sappi), use Hyperledger-based platforms. 

Of the 12 companies that have made the list every year, six (Ant Group, Cargill, DTCC, IBM, ING and Walmart) use Hyperledger technologies.

More than just a basic list of companies and technologies, the Forbes Blockchain 50 provides a snapshot of the market-changing deployments these blockchain leaders have deployed. Accompanying stories add even more analysis and context. 

This annual look at the market is a good reflection point for the traction our technologies have in the current market but also a guidepost to what needs to come next. The increasing global adoption of blockchain – public, private, hybrid – and coming shifts in currency adoption and payments as well as uptake in markets as diverse as mining, telecom, pharma and shipping all point to the growing reach of distributed ledger technology. And, in the face of such challenges as the pandemic, climate change and income equality, it is important to put the focus on what we can accomplish building on blockchain as a cornerstone. 

Developer Showcase Series: Peter Somogyvari, Accenture

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 Peter Somogyvari, Software Product Architect Manager, Accenture.

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

As one of the maintainers of Hyperledger Cactus, I mostly work on making blockchain interoperability a reality to ensure that the current momentum behind DLTs can translate into wider adoption. I’ve always been a jack of all trades with responsibilities ranging from configuring and running data center hardware to tweaking cascading style sheets on end-user interfaces. This personal trait is what has always led me to try out new things, including blockchain.

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

Hyperledger Besu and Hyperledger Fabric: Part of my duties while working on Cactus is to design and build ledger connectors for them and figure out a way to make it easy for our prospective contributors to get going while developing against these ledgers, through Cactus.

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

Blockchain interoperability, integration. Being a maintainer of Cactus, perhaps my answer is slightly biased. 😉

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

1) Don’t roll your own cryptographic algorithms. Stick with the peer-reviewed, battle-tested ones. Unless of course you are a scientist whose job is to invent the new algorithms. 🙂 

2) Always remember that a ledger is just another data store with a few additional bells and whistles (more being added every day).

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?

CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency) is definitely number one. If widely and successfully adopted by a majority of the countries on Earth, some of the macroeconomic books will have to be rewritten as a consequence. It’s uncharted territory, and I’m excited to be involved!

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

High transaction costs. We have a long way to go, but I’m hopeful, especially because it would likely also enable the currently unbanked to have an alternative to keeping cash under the mattress or, in other words, be *included*.

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

I hope to see some large-scale production deployments where governments as well as traditional financial institutions are involved and not just for finances but also self sovereign identity, real estate and trade in general.

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

If you can’t phrase your question in two short sentences or less, you don’t really understand/know what you are trying to achieve and need to take a step back, research/study until you do. Once you are able to phrase your question in the way outlined above, then is the right time to engage your more experienced peers. Most of the time you’ll just know the answer by the time you can phrase your question adequately, which is very fulfilling (for some).

What technology could you not live without?

Password managers, the Linux kernel and the Internet.

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 in-depth: An hour with IntellectEU

Yana Koldra and Robert van Donge of IntellectEU will guide a discussion on “Deployment and Management of Hyperledger Fabric Networks – Is it possible to make it client-friendly?” IntellectEU has delivered over 30 blockchain projects for clients across the world. During this journey, while focusing on the benefits that blockchain technology delivers, such as immutability, transparency, decentralization, and efficiency, they also experienced the key challenges of deploying and running enterprise-grade solutions. Keeping these challenges in mind, IntellectEU developed the Catalyst Blockchain Platform, a platform-as-a-service solution that is built to simplify the deployment, management and maintenance of enterprise-grade blockchain networks. During this webinar, IntellectEU will show how they developed their solution as well as hear from you, the attendees, about your own experiences in order to brainstorm ways in which the ecosystem as a whole can further tackle the challenges associated with blockchain networks.

Tune on Wednesday, February 3, at 10AM GMT. For more information and to register, go here.

In case you missed the Hyperledger In-depth session with ConsenSys on “What is Ethereum for the Hyperledger Community?” the recording is available here

Tokenization Presentation

The Hyperledger Seattle meetup group recently hosted a talk on “Comprehensive Review of Assets Tokenization in the Finance Industry” that explained what asset tokenization is and how it works. The session covered concepts such as Initial Coin Offering and Security Token Offering, comparing them with IPO and venture capital funding, and the idea of tokenization applied to assets via a blockchain platform.

A recording of this talk is available here.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

Cool Careers in Open Source: Sharing our stories at Grace Hopper

By Blog, Working Group

Over the last few years, Hyperledger has sponsored the annual Anita Borg Grace Hopper Celebration (GCH) supporting our existing member companies as well as leaders and future women technologists in our global community. In 2021, as part of our Diversity, Civility and Inclusion WG objectives, we will continue to form partnerships  with women-led initiatives centered around recruitment and engagement like Anita Borg.

For those of you who have not attended, the Grace Hopper Celebration is an experience like no other. In normal years, the event centers around the grand hall, full of hundreds and hundreds of booths, wholly focused on recruiting women technologists. There is an audible buzz in the air as the thousands and thousands of young women walk the floor, dash to their next scheduled interview or head to the another thought-provoking session. For women in technology, the feeling that GHC evokes is hard to beat elsewhere.

GHC brings the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront and highlights the contributions of women to the tech world. The event results in collaborative proposals, networking, and mentoring for all attendees. And, for many of us senior executives,  walking alongside the next generation of women leaders in technology in the halls, in the lunches and events and collaboration sessions creates a renewed sense of optimism. We feel and see hope in these young, aspiring technologists.  

As was the case for most  global events in 2020,  GHC, which took place in September, was virtual this year.  Although you can never replicate an in-person event, especially one that is so focused on networking and building lifelong relationships with your fellow female technologists, the Linux Foundation workshop on “Cool Careers in Open Source” certainly had some of that feeling when the session began. It was clear from the start that something special was going to take place when over 500 attendees joined the session. And, when prompted to say hello as they came in, shared in chat their names and where they were joining from in a fast and furious stream of chats that sparked a few minutes of joy that you can see the speakers react to as the video starts. 

The goal of the session was to help attendees learn how open source software is used by major motion picture studios like Netflix and Industrial Light & Magic for visual effects and by major retailers like Walmart in industry shaping blockchain-based networks. 

So a large and eager attendee base mingled  with a very cool list of speakers that spanned across four different parts of the Linux Foundation for a lively discussion about how open source software is everywhere. As a result, chances are high that young women entering the tech workforce  will be writing, deploying, or administering open source  and that candidates with experience in open source will stand out to hiring managers. Speakers and attendees all shared background, tips and resources and responded to a lot of great questions. The video below captures the discussion of how to get involved in open source at the start of one’s career:

Representing Hyperledger  
Archana Sristy, Sr. Director- Blockchain Platforms, Walmart Global Tech and Hyperledger Governing Board Member

Representing Academy Software Foundation (ASWF)
Carol Payne, Imaging Specialist Netflix
Rachel Rose, R&D Supervisor, Industrial Light & Magic, Co-Chair ASWF Diversity & Inclusion Working Group

Representing Cloud Native Foundation (CNCF)
Priyanka Sharma, General Manager CNCF

Representing Linux Foundation Training
Mary Campbell, Sr. Manager of Corporate Training at the Linux Foundation

The message was clear: open source software has the potential to level the playing field when it comes to diversity and inclusion – communities are open to everyone, it’s a meritocracy, and there are ample opportunities to build your resume and network while working alongside developers and engineers from forward-thinking companies that are part of the Linux Foundation like Walmart, Netflix, Disney, Microsoft, AT&T, Toyota, Uber, and more. There are thousands of communities out there where you can get started, learn new skills, develop/refine those skills, and gain experience that can lead to careers in tech, retail, motion pictures, banking, automotive, and more.

Here are just some of the resources available to anyone interested in getting involved in open source in the Linux Foundation and Hyperledger community:

Training – Gain marketable open source skills with the Linux Foundation

Training is an on-ramp to opportunity in the software development industry, especially in open source. 93% of hiring managers are unable to find enough individuals with the open source skills they require. Take advantage by gaining in-demand skills and set yourself up for a successful long-term career. 

The Linux Foundation Training & Certification catalog has 32 free courses available across various technologies, including key introductory ones like A Beginner’s Guide to Open Source Software Development (LFD102-Free), as well as training and certifications from beginners to advance that you can purchase.

For Hyperledger, check out our free Blockchain Essentials Courses as well as our growing list of trainings and certifications. When you are ready to jump into the community, please watch our short “Getting Involved with Hyperledger” video.

Mentorship – Make personal connections that drive success

Mentorship plays an important role in advancing everyone’s career. Sharing experiences, connections and ideas flattens learning curves and, especially in open source, drives innovation and success on the individual and community level. Mentorship is a particularly powerful way to help grow and shape individual careers through personal relationships. 

To make the power of mentorship more widely accessible, the Linux Foundation has many programs that all have diversity-specific opportunities:

Below are excerpts from the online Q+A with guidance  our cool panelists offered during the panel. Listen in on the video to hear the full discussion!!

“I would say explore as much as you can, expand your network. Don’t be afraid to take classes and try things not directly in your major – you never know what you’ll enjoy. Don’t stress too much about specializing if you don’t want to.” 

“Great question! Early in my schooling and my career, being involved in open source really helped me understand what it is like working in a larger code base. I learned a lot from other developers about engineering design and became more confident about having others review my code. These are skills that are directly applicable to my day-to-day work. The networking that comes from contributing to open source also can’t be overemphasized!”

“I believe anyone can pick up the skills! The job I have now I didn’t have any training on in school. Use the skills and what you learned in CS and jump in if you’re passionate – don’t be afraid to start entry level – you learn so much that way! “

“Open source is open source! Contributions are always welcome – jump in and get involved! All projects have contribution guidelines that are there to make sure the project rules are followed. As you start to contribute more, most projects have opportunities to get involved in the leadership / core contributions of the project.”

“Open source contributions always look good on a resume, provide new skills, and help you network! However, there’s not a direct way to apply to work in open source. My job at Netflix just happens to rely heavily on open source software which means I get the opportunity to contribute as a part of my job!”

How you can help make the community more welcoming

Participation and sponsorship of events alone won’t make Hyperledger a community where everyone feels included, although it is one way we can support diversity. There are certainly other things that can be done to make Hyperledger more inclusive and diverse, and we welcome your input on what else we should be doing. Please feel free to post to the Diversity Civility and Inclusion mailing list, or join our regular DCI calls with your suggestions and ideas.

PS. Big shout out to Ramona “Spielberg,” an 11-year-old future something, with some impressive video editing skills for helping her mom (VP World Wide Alliances at the Linux Foundation) with editing the zoom recording for sharing.

Developer Showcase Series: Abdelhamid Bakhta, ConsenSys

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 Abdelhamid Bakhta, a Blockchain Protocol Engineer on the product team at ConsenSys.

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

I am working on Hyperledger Besu, mostly on mainnet features and performance optimization. I got into blockchain when I attended a conference about Ethereum and its potential use cases in 2015.

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

My experience with Hyperledger is limited to Besu. My team is using Caliper, but I have personally never used it.

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

I would say mainnet adoption. For blockchain to be the great success it deserves, we need many more users on it. And for that, we need to make the user experience as smooth as possible. Scalability is also a big issue for the moment. Hopefully Eth 2.0 will help us fix that problem.

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

I would suggest they keep in mind the usability of the tools they are building. The user experience needs to be drastically improved at every layer, from the protocol to the application. We need to work all together to lower the barriers to entry.

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

I hope it can bring transparency to the rules of the systems we are using every day. 

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

I hope to see blockchain everywhere in five years. The biggest success would be if users are using it massively on a daily basis without even realizing they are using blockchain. Like they don’t have to understand how a TLS session works between their web browser and the server. 

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

Welcome feedback. Assume people have good intentions.

What technology could you not live without?

Blockchain obviously 🙂