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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. 

Open Source Strategy Forum 2020 (November 12-13)

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

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

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

Open Climate Collabathon Call to Action

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

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

Find out how to get involved here.

Recent Research – Smart Contract Reliability Report

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

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

DEON: A Hyperledger-based DEcentralized Off-grid Network

By Blog, Hyperledger Aries, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy

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

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

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

Approach and proposed architecture

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

Figure 1: HL Fabric-Indy/Aries integration

Project outcomes and future work

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

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

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

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

 

Cover image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Announcing Hyperledger Besu 20.10.0

By Blog, Hyperledger Besu

This release includes new versioning and mainnet-focused advancements

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

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

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

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


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

A few highlights for this release include:

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

Flexible Privacy Group Performance Tests

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

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

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

Mainnet Support Work

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

Berlin Network Upgrade

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

EIP-1559

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

What’s Next?

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

Get Involved

Download the latest version of Hyperledger Besu here.

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

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

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

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Set up or integration of identity management approach.

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

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

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

  1. Data management approach.

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

  1. Estimation of the infrastructure and maintenance costs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Blog, Weekend Update

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

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

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

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

Blockchain Expo North America

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

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

For more details about Blockchain Expo North America, go here

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

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

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

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

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

Hyperledger Study Circle

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

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

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

Hyperledger-powered supply chain solutions in action

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

As 2020 has shown, supply chains are both vital and vulnerable, underscoring the need for trust and transparency. To meet that need, blockchain is playing an increasingly prominent role in many supply chains, and Hyperledger technologies underpin most of the biggest and best known networks, including FoodTrust and TradeLens. 

But there are many other examples of Hyperledger technologies in action in the supply chain space. Read on for details about a range of #HyperledgerSupplyChain solutions that are powering supply chains and the businesses that rely on them:

Accenture’s True Supplier Marketplace

Inaccurate supplier master data and incomplete risk assessments cost businesses an average of 15 million dollars per year. What if onboarding a vendor and managing their data could be done more effectively to ensure compliance? Imagine a solution where onboarding times drop from weeks to hours, while adherence to risk assessments improves.

With this supply chain transformation in mind, Accenture used Hyperledger Fabric to develop a double-sided procurement marketplace to source, onboard and maintain supplier relationships. By giving suppliers ownership of their own data, the solution creates a shared source of truth between parties that improves risk compliance, speeds time to onboard, and removes the manual effort required to maintain siloed systems. Accenture’s True Supplier Marketplace is live and available now. 

DL Freight™

Developed by DLT Labs, DL Freight is the national standard for freight invoice management for Walmart Canada and its national network of third party transportation companies or carriers. The system tracks deliveries, verifies transactions, and automates invoices in real time across the network of up 70 different carriers in Walmart’s supply chain.

DL Freight is built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open source platform that allows Walmart to bring together the carriers within its multi-partner freight operations under one architecture to automate and implement universal workflows across the network. At the same time, through Hyperledger Fabric’s unique “channels” feature, the solution allows independent and protected relationships for each organization directly between itself and Walmart, and the information is not accessible to other members.

Within DL Freight, carriers are the peers, and the governance of the platform is controlled by the applicable contracts, as in any conventional business. The difference is that the freight, legal, and finance departments of Walmart, as well as all the carriers, have all agreed that the solution fairly and accurately represents those agreements so it processes them automatically. As a result, it has removed the guesswork and any real potential for dispute over the interpretation of agreements.

Telefónica’s e2e Supply Chains

Today’s supply chains are increasingly global and complex with hundreds of companies involved in the manufacturing and distribution of products and with logistics that expand across borders. In this context, collaboration has become key to streamline operations. To manage the complexity, Telefónica launched a project to transform the way it collaborates with third parties by blockchain-enabling its e2e Supply Chain solution to make it faster, simpler and more efficient.

Trust is at the heart of that collaboration, and, to build that trust, Telefónica selected Hyperledger Fabric as the underlying technology that serves as a secure and transparent single source of truth for all.

Telefónica started using the blockchain-based supply chain solution to support one of its core products – CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) – the routers, decos, and other devices that provide connectivity and services at home to their customers. The company manufactures over 15 million serialized devices a year that are then distributed and installed by a field force of over 30,000 technicians.

Telefónica put this blockchain platform for operations into production in 2019 in Brazil, where the program delivered ROI in under six months.Telefónica is planning to extend the use of its blockchain-enabled e2e solution to the rest of its Fixed Operations and other products in the coming months.

Trust Your Supplier

Just named as the 2020 Winner of Blockchain Revolution’s Innovative Entrepreneurship in Blockchain Award in the Supply Chain Applications category, Trust Your Supplier is an innovative solution developed in a partnership between IBM and Chainyard to address the inefficiencies and risks associated with supplier information management. 

During this time of a global pandemic, many buyers are procuring goods and services in the context of a supply constrained situation. This has resulted in substantial challenges in vetting and onboarding new suppliers.

Built on Hyperledger Fabric, Trust Your Supplier provides both a cross-industry network and a blockchain secured platform to speed onboarding and minimize risk. 

Blockchain provides cryptographic security that allows suppliers to control access to their single digital identity. Buyers are able to view profiles of their connected suppliers, as well as a timeline of all the various activities that have taken place with this supplier. Writing this information onto the blockchain allows for an immutable record of all the events that have taken place with this supplier and are fantastic for supporting auditing capabilities.

Trust Your Supplier is bringing speed, accuracy and most importantly trust, to supplier information management and the supply chain needs of today’s world.

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Join the conversation about solutions and applications in the supply chain market with #HyperledgerSupplyChain this month on social channels. Or get involved with the Supply Chain  Special Interest Group.

Cover image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.

Introducing the expanded 2020-2021 Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee

By Blog

This month, the Hyperledger technical community voted in the annual election for new Technical Steering Committee (TSC) members. Since the inception of Hyperledger, the number of projects, labs, members, and working groups within Hyperledger increased. The 2018-2019 TSC started the discussion of increasing the size of the TSC in order to bring representation for the full breadth of the community to the TSC. 

As a result, the 2020-2021 TSC expanded from 11 to 15 members. With this increase, seven new voices* were added to the TSC. The TSC is led by a chair and, new as of this year, a vice chair. These leaders, elected by the newly installed TSC, are Arnaud Le Hors, Senior Technical Staff Member, Blockchain & Web Open Technologies, IBM (chair), and Tracy Kuhrt, Senior Technology Architect, Accenture’s Blockchain and Multiparty Systems Group (vice chair).

As the new TSC year kicks off, we asked Arnaud and Tracy to weigh in on what’s to come as well as their views on the expanded committee and what drove them to take on their leader roles. Here’s what we learned:

Q) What are some of the challenges the TSC faces in the next year? Opportunities?

Arnaud: Over the first five years of Hyperledger we’ve made good progress in getting our house in order with well defined processes, consolidated governance documents, and a systematic way of managing issues and recording decisions. Yet, people, especially those new to Hyperledger, consistently report challenges in understanding what’s going on, what the different projects are about, how they relate to one another and where they are going. I think our biggest challenge remains finding a way to develop a better understanding of what’s going on by fostering greater exchange of pertinent information across projects so that opportunities for collaboration aren’t missed. As projects mature and development becomes less frantic, I think there is an opportunity for this to happen, which is key to building one global community.

Tracy: Arnaud discussed the challenges that we have related to understanding the different projects within the Hyperledger community. I see similar challenges with complementary projects that exist within the Linux Foundation (e.g., Open Governance Network Model, ToIP, Confidential Compute Consortium, AccordHQ). The same opportunity exists for us to exchange information and collaborate with these other communities so that we can ensure what we are building is useful in the greater ecosystem.

Q) Are there emerging technologies or challenges you see as opportunities for new projects?

Tracy: As a Lab Steward, I am among the first to see some of the interesting things that the community is thinking about and developing. We have seen a couple of our top-level projects (Ursa and Cactus) that came out of Hyperledger Labs, and I expect that we will see more in the future.

There are a number of labs specifically looking at different ways of adding privacy and confidentiality across the different blockchain platforms and at different layers in the stack. The amount of interest in this space is an indicator that we may see a project being brought forward on how enterprises can share data while maintaining privacy and confidentiality.

Q) Why did you want to take on a leadership role with the TSC?

Tracy: Prior to joining Accenture, I spent not quite two years as a Hyperledger Community Architect evangelizing the organization and all of its projects at both meetups and conferences around the world, supporting the community, and improving the collaboration tools. This experience allowed me to build relationships with many in the community and gain a deep understanding of the challenges that the technical community faces on a daily basis. When I joined Accenture, I wanted to continue to be involved with the Hyperledger community. I have been able to do that through my role as a Lab Steward, a member of the Hyperledger Speakers Bureau, a co-chair for the 2020 Hyperledger Global Forum program committee, and a member of the TSC.  As a member and vice chair of the TSC, I bring diversity and additional perspectives to the conversations, which in turn will make the community stronger.

Q) Why was it important to expand to TSC this year?

Arnaud: The number of Hyperledger projects has grown a lot since we started five years ago. Increasing the number of seats on the TSC gave us a chance to get a broader representation of the many different groups we now have. Looking at the seven new members that were elected to the TSC it is clear to me that we have indeed achieved that goal. The improved gender diversity with a greater number of female members we gained only makes that better.

Here is the full list of TSC members:

*New to the TSC for 2020-2021.

Find out more about their background here

The TSC meets weekly and the calls are open to all. See the schedule, agenda and more here.

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

By Blog, Weekend Update

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

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

Open Source Summit Europe

The opening day of Open Source Summit Europe (October 26-29) features two sessions focused on blockchain and Hyperledger technologies in action: 

More details about Open Source Summit Europe (#ossummit) are here.

Blockchain Revolution Global

Blockchain Revolution Global (#BRG2020) aims to bring together leading thinkers, builders, and pioneers to accelerate the blockchain revolution. During the week-long event (October 26-30), Hyperledger executives will help shape the discussion on two panels:

  • On Thursday, October 29, at 10:10 a.m. EDT, Daniela Barbosa will speak in a session on Consortia & Industry Working Groups.
  • On Friday, October 30, at 9:30 am EDT, Brian Behlendorf will be part of the “Luminaries” panel. 

For more details about Blockchain Revolution Global, go here.

Webinar: What is Trust Your Supplier?

Tune in on Thursday, October 29, at 10:00 AM EDT to learn more about how Trust Your Supplier solves supplier information management challenges in onboarding and lifecycle management. #HyperledgerSuppyChain

Register here.

CoinDesk Webinar – Governance, standards and interoperability: Getting past the roadblocks to peer-to-peer financial transactions – now available on demand

If you missed this webinar with experts on three different Hyperledger DLT platforms talking about roadblocks to peer-to-peer financial transactions and comparing notes about current and future token-based solutions from around the world (there were some technical difficulties), you can watch it on demand here.

Virtual Meetups

See the full Virtual Meetup schedule here

Lessons learned from COVID: The role blockchain can play when supply chain disruptions hit

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

On April 27, 2020, IBM and Chainyard launched Rapid Supplier Connect (RSC), a blockchain-based network designed to help government agencies, hospitals and healthcare buyers to identify PPE suppliers in the United States. The participants included non-traditional suppliers who had pivoted to address the shortage of equipment, devices and PPE supplies needed for COVID-19 relief efforts with a greater efficiency.

The blockchain network, which was launched, free of fees, to help frontline healthcare organizations confidently identify and procure PPE, had unprecedented adoption. More than 500 buyers and suppliers joined in no time to quickly find each other, accelerated verification and onboarding processes, and gained near real-time insights into inventories of life-saving equipment.

Six weeks from ideation to market

During mid-March 2020, when the pandemic hit the United States with unanticipated impact and scale, hospitals found themselves struggling to procure quality and essential PPE equipment needed in the frontline battle. Availability was uncertain, quality was questionable, and trust in suppliers was eroding.  

IBM and Chainyard jumped in to help responders to battle the pandemic by launching RSC, leveraging Trust Your Supplier and IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite, within six weeks.

Trust Your Supplier, owned and operated by Chainyard, is a production blockchain network with trusted source of verified supplier information and digital identity that reduces risk while simplifying and accelerating supplier onboarding and supplier management. IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite provides inventory visibility and deep insights into supply chain activities. 

What are the reasons RSC had such quick adoption and successfully met its objectives? When looking back we identified the following five themes for how blockchain helped when the supply chain disruption hit:

1. Trust was paramount, and that trust will survive the pandemic

When the pandemic hit the supply chain, leading to shortages, price increases and quality distortions that cascaded from factories to ports to suppliers to consumers, the buyers needed a system that could be trusted.  Blockchain is known to create trust in the system without any one individual or company in the system ensuring the trust. The trust is achieved through trust in the ecosystem, which included trust on third party verifiers, immutable data, immutable logic and audit trail of supplier information. Trust Your Supplier, the foundation for creating the trust, and previously proven with thousands of suppliers, was the right choice to be quickly leveraged to build trust between buyers and suppliers during the pandemic.

2. Blockchain provides the skeleton for trust; however, it is the ecosystem that brings it to life.

Blockchain provides the skeleton for creating the trust. However, it comes to life and offers greater value when more trusted industry players participate and contribute as validators, verifiers and solution providers working on top of the network. Each blockchain requires the creation of new industry ecosystems in which participants must work together. RSC achieved this through multiple verification agencies helping to generate trust in the ecosystem, including:

  • Dun & Bradstreet contributed its identity resolution, firmographic data, and supplier risk and viability scores to TYS network.
  • CDAX served as a third-party paymaster, securing funds on behalf of buyers in a custody and settlement account and holding goods ordered contractually from the supplier under a consignment arrangement until the buyer verifies acceptance of the order and releases funds to the seller. 
  • Project N95 served as a clearinghouse for information on COVID-related suppliers.
  • RapidRatings provided financial health data on suppliers.
  • KYC SiteScan provided “Know Your Business” due diligence report access. 
  • Thomson Reuters provided access to its CLEAR customer due diligence tool to provide buyers with access to real-time and comprehensive data to vet suppliers and identify potential fraud risks.

3. Inventory visibility and transparency accelerates on time delivery and adaptation.

When the pandemic caused a shortage of supplies, the buyers’ biggest need from suppliers were inventory visibility and transparency into delivery timetables.  The solution was expected to provide real time visibility and transparency across the key supply chain pillars of procurement, manufacturing, transportation, and distribution. In the case of a pandemic, critical supply delivery lead time misinformation could lead to significant loss including lives.

RSC integrated IBM Sterling Supply Chain Suite to provide inventory visibility and deep insights into supply chain activities. Increased real-time visibility helped buyers to pace the PPE orders. The network also helped to identify existing supplies and excess inventory going unused, allowing hospitals to make it available to others and redirect supplies where they were needed most.

4. Simple solutions to solve pain points need to be swift to the market.

Blockchain solutions for supply chain can be very complex, supporting myriad use cases with a large consortium providing the single source of truth. One cannot build these solutions overnight when a pandemic hits. In order to be swift in the market, reuse solutions that are proven and available in the market being used by suppliers over the years.  The level of integrations can be daunting and can take years. RSC adopted agility against the features, made integrations simple and was quick to market to address the critical needs.

5. Trusted Digital Identities bridge the trust gap between reality and the digital world.

Blockchain-based digital identity played a major role in creating trust . Digital Identity is about linking real world identities and the digital world. Each physical object’s digital replica (known as a digital twin) is created in a way that prevents or reveals any human interference that alters information. For a digital business transaction on supply chain, it is substantially important to prove the authenticity of one’s own identity and to verify that of the transaction partner. RSC leveraged TYS’s Digital Identity services to issue verifiable credentials associated with a company identity, digitally signed, and thus verified by a trusted party.

Additional aspects of blockchain that also contributed to supply chain resiliency during the pandemic include data privacy, confidentiality of shared data, innovative business models that glue together stakeholders in the ecosystem, and third-party solution integrations that work on top of these ecosystems. With many blockchain supply chain solutions on the rise, and interoperability actively being addressed, our society will have quicker resilience when we encounter the next pandemic.


For more on this topic, tune into a discussion on “Leveraging blockchain to drive supply chain resilience and accountability in the face of climate change and other disruptions” at Open Source Summit Europe at 13:00 GMT, Monday, October 26. The panel will include Chainyard’s Gigo Joseph along with Douglas Johnson-Poensgen of Circulor and Marta Geater-Piekarska of Hyperledger.

More details are here.

Join the conversation about solutions and applications in the supply chain market with #HyperledgerSupplyChain this month on social channels.

Cover image by MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann, CC-BY-2.0

DLT Labs Turns to Hyperledger Fabric to Resolve Freight Transportation Invoice and Payment Challenges for Walmart Canada

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

As part of its commitment to provide the lowest everyday prices for its consumers, Walmart Canada has a sharp focus on supply chain logistics. One vital piece: the freight transportation that ensures Walmart is sufficiently stocked to service more than 1.2 million customers across 400 stores every day. 

Walmart partners with third party transportation companies, referred to as carriers, that work around the clock, and through all seasons, to deliver goods. These carriers are a vital link in Walmart’s supply chain. However, there is a high level of complexity to managing the information flow and invoice payments with the carriers, which is a big deal as shipping is a capital-intensive business with a high degree of cost volatility (fuel prices, delays, unexpected events). 

It is not uncommon to have invoice disputes in the range of 70% or more for every load a carrier delivers (one invoice per load). Despite various service providers trying to solve this puzzle using the full spectrum of existing technologies, disputes continue to plague the industry with high administrative costs and lengthy payment delays, and invoice reconciliation often simply means one side or the other capitulated.

For Walmart, the complexity is multiplied by working with up to 70 different carriers in its supply chain, each of which has its own respective process for calculating shipping costs based on individual contracts that outline varying rates for fuel, line haul and other charges.

Walmart Canada enlisted the help of DLT Labs™, a global leader in the development and deployment of an innovative enterprise-level platform using distributed ledger technology, to develop a solution that would solve the perennial dispute problem once and for all.

In early 2019, DLT Labs rolled out the world’s largest full production blockchain solution for any industrial application: DL Freight™. Remarkably, because the platform is fully configurable, DL Freight was configured for the demanding needs of Walmart in just 60 days. The new system tracks deliveries, verifies transactions, and automates invoices in real time. Reconciliation between Walmart and its fleet of carriers is no longer even necessary because they are all working off the same information and calculations by way of smart contracts.

DL Freight is built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open source platform that allows Walmart to bring together all the carriers within its multi-partner freight operations under one architecture to automate and implement universal workflows across the network. At the same time, through Hyperledger Fabric’s unique “channels” feature, the solution allows independent and protected relationships for each organization directly between itself and Walmart, and the information is not accessible to other members.

Within DL Freight, carriers are the peers, and the governance of the platform is controlled by the applicable contracts, as in any conventional business. The difference is that the freight, legal, and finance departments of Walmart, as well as all the carriers, have all agreed that the solution fairly and accurately represents those agreements so it processes them automatically. As a result, it has removed the guesswork and any real potential for dispute over the interpretation of agreements. 

Hyperledger teamed up with DLT Labs and Walmart Canada on a case study about the creation and adoption of DL Freight, the national standard for freight invoice management for Walmart Canada and its national network of carriers. It delves into key design decisions and outcomes as well as security safeguards and the roadmap for DL Freight as an industry platform.

Read the full case study here.

Join the conversation about solutions and applications in the supply chain market with #HyperledgerSupplyChain this month on social channels.