Category

Hyperledger Composer

Hyperledger Bug Bounty Program Now Open

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

Dave Huseby, Hyperledger Security Maven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Developer Showcase Series: David Conroy, National Association of REALTORS

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

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

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

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

David Conroy, National Association of REALTORS


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

The Return of the Hyperledger Summer Internship Program

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

Calling all student developers: Summer 2018 is your time to get real-world experience in blockchain technologies through Hyperledger’s internship program. We’ve put together an extensive line-up of internship projects proposed and led by active blockchain developers looking to expand Hyperledger projects and the technical community by teaming with the next generation of engineers.

This is your chance for one-on-one mentorship from some of the leading technologists in the Hyperledger community, as well as to build your development portfolio of projects that will feed into the larger Hyperledger ecosystem. Did we mention that these internships include a stipend and the potential to participate in Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland, December 12-15th? And you can work from anywhere!

The application is now open and the deadline to apply is March 23. Read on for descriptions of just some of the projects planned for this summer.

“The Hyperledger Intern Program is a great opportunity for everyone: interns, mentors and the broader Hyperledger community. I had the privilege of seeing last summer’s interns do their readouts, and engage the Hyperledger community members in Lisbon, and was impressed with their work. The feedback was universally positive from all involved.” – Chris Ferris, Hyperledger TSC Chair

Algorithmic Dispute Resolution in Construction

Construction is the second largest global industrial sector. Litigation accounts for approximately 10% of the expenditure. The industry suffers from a dysfunctional relationship between the architects, project managers, consultants, developers, and clients. This is a phased project that will model the workflows of a major construction project, in partnership with a leading UK contractor/project management company. The aim is to identify all relevant material prior to the contract being signed, automating the discovery phase of litigation, machining the large data set down to a ‘hearing bundle’ and then assessing ‘needs and interests’ prior to an automated resolution process. This is the first phase of the project and will focus on identifying the workflows and relevant documents, files and other digital material and on assembling them in the blockchain where authentication can take place and a ‘hearing bundle’ prepared.

Extended Functionality/Support for EVM Smart Contracts and Tooling in Hyperledger Fabric

Hyperledger Burrow has created an EVM implementation that is being integrated into Fabric. In its initial phase, Hyperledger Fabric will support EVM bytecode smart contracts in a limited manner. Some of the features that need to be added include support for EVM smart contract events and extending support for the Ethereum API. This project will involve working with and understanding different blockchain platforms and being able to map their differing concepts.

Python Library for Hyperledger Iroha

Hyperledger Iroha is designed for simple creation and management of assets. This is a distributed ledger of transactions. Interns are expected to make a full fledged Python library for Iroha. Later, in the next stage, we want the intern to maintain the docs of Iroha. There are many missing docs on getting started and about the internal works of Iroha. We expect the student to complete the doc part along with dev work.

Hyperledger Identity WG On-boarding and Auth

The Hyperledger Identity WG intern will be mentored by members of the Identity WG / Hyperledger Indy Maintainers and accomplish two main tasks: learn and develop an iPython notebooks for onboarding new community members and a browser-based authentication app using decentralized identifiers in Hyperledger Indy. This bachelors-level internship has two core goals: experience and contribution.

    • Experience: The Identity WG Intern will create interoperable, open-source code that will educate new and existing Hyperledger community members. Creating an iPython notebook and code sample will be based on their own onboarding into Hyperledger and Indy, using what they have learned in the process and helping the community by identifying what would be more effective in a better onboarding experience. For browser-based authentication with DIDs, Interns will learn critical professional development skills, from working in GIT to understanding the structure of well-formed code, to developing their own tests and proper documentation best practices.
    • Contribution:Through developing both projects (iPython notebooks / code samples and browser-based authentication with DIDs), the Intern will be making an important contributions to future Hyperledger community members onboarding efforts, the Hyperledger Indy codebase and the entire decentralized identity ecosystem.

Hyperledger Composer Modeling Tools

The Hyperledger Composer modelling language is used by both Hyperledger Composer and the Accord Project, Cicero as an object-oriented data description (schema) language, based on a textual domain-specific language. The intern will be tasked with improving the tooling for the the Hyperledger Composer modelling language, including the ability to generate UML style diagrams and web-forms.

Read more details on the above projects and many more here. Then check out the requirements and application steps. Remember, applications are due by March 23, 2018.  

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

Developer Showcase Series: Edmund To, Industrie&Co

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric

Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Edmund To from Industrie&Co. Let’s see what he has to say!

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

At Industrie&Co, we work with both enterprises and startups to help solve business problems using a variety of technologies, including blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. We are currently engaging with industry leaders and domain experts to help build a number of blockchain-based ventures related to insurance, digital identity, peer-to-peer energy trading and carbon credit.

I first got into blockchain because of my curiosity around cryptocurrencies, but the more I learned about it, the more I believed in the underlying technology (i.e. blockchain), which is much more promising than it simply being a ledger for financial transactions. I soon came to realise it could potentially solve many problems in other domains.

Edmund To, software engineer, Industrie&Co

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

I have always preferred a hands-on approach. The documentation of Hyperledger is excellent. I would recommend starting with the tutorials and getting some sample implementations running. That way, you will have a clearer picture of the architecture of a permissioned blockchain. Once you are comfortable with that, I would suggest you to build a blockchain-based application even as a side project. Hyperledger Composer is an excellent tool for you to build data model and business logic for your blockchain application.

After that, I would encourage you to explore and learn about other blockchain protocols such as: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Corda, Ripple, and to compare them in terms of the architecture and the problem each intends to solve. It is important to understand how consensus algorithms are being implemented, in particular, how permissioned blockchains, like Hyperledger Fabric, which uses Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance Algorithm by default, differs from public blockchain implementations such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which use Proof of Work.

I also found learning the programming language ‘Go’ to be helpful. Not only because this is a well designed language, but because the most popular implementation of Hyperledger and Ethereum are written in Go. Reading the white paper of each blockchain protocol will help you in understanding the vision behind them. If you are interested in the academic aspect of blockchain, I would highly recommend the course titled ‘Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies’ by the Princeton University, which is free and available online.

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

Since Hyperledger Fabric has matured into 1.0 in June 2017, with over one hundred proof of concept applications being built, now is certainly the time to have some of these moving towards production. Also sharing the use cases with the community too would be great as there is a community of people out there who’d love to hear about what has been built with Hyperledger.

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

I hope to see blockchain and Hyperledger being adopted outside of the finance industry. Today, we are very excited to see Hyperledger projects announced in different industries including: supply chain, healthcare, manufacturing, land registry and government. In five years time, it would be nice to see many of these projects be deployed and used by people on a daily basis.

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

Transparency.

I hope to see blockchain technology helping to increase transparency in organizations, in particular,  the non-profit space. By leveraging features such as smart contract and immutability of data, I believe this technology could transform the industry to be more transparent and efficient, and better in allocating resources to those who are in need.

Developer Showcase Series: Luc Yriarte & Zinedine Hasni, ChainOrchestra

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric

Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Luc Yriarte and Zinedine Hasni  from ChainOrchestra. Let’s see what they have to say!

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

First things first. Blockchain is the buzzword of the day, before falling for the hype I would recommend taking a step back, and pondering what you are trying to achieve. Do you have a specific problem to solve that you feel that blockchain technology would help address, or do you want to provide a service based on the blockchain ?

If it’s the former, you might want to consider what blockchain has to offer regarding your specific need versus run of the mill encryption methods or just data replication. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. Does your use-case involve several participants who don’t necessarily trust each other ?
  2. Is it something about transactions in the generalized acceptation of the term? For instance where a participant would transfer an asset to another, or provide some document, measure, or any other data that the other should read and acknowledge?
  3. Do you need to keep a record of these transactions ? Do all participants in your use-case want to know the transaction record is sound and unadulterated ?

Answering “no” to any of these questions means you are shooting yourself in the foot and should do something more straightforward. Otherwise… go for it!

Now what if you want to provide a service based on the blockchain ? There again, all hype and buzzword effect put aside, you need to consider if Hyperledger is right for you. The major existing blockchain instances Bitcoin and Ethereum are not going to disappear anytime soon, and it is very easy to deploy a solution on these systems – at least for now.

  1. Does your service need to be backed by a cryptocurrency, or is it more of a burden than anything else?
  2. Do you need to control membership access to your service?
  3. Will you need fine granularity and control on the transaction volume, speed, or size of the network?

If your service can be pegged to some cryptocurrency and you don’t need control over membership or network specifics, the legacy systems will do, otherwise… time to consider building your solution on Hyperledger.

Luc Yriarte and Zinedine Hasni of ChainOrchestra

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

I’m the lead engineer for ChainOrchestra, a start-up focused on blockchain network deployment and operation.

About 18 months ago, late winter of 2016, I had an encounter with some people who wanted to build a secure network for the Internet of Things, based on a blockchain. The advantages of the blockchain in this area are many, most obviously protecting sensor measures from being tampered with, but also triggering automated procedures in a secure way, and so on. First we started reviewing Ethereum, but it didn’t seem able to cope with the potential huge volume of sensor data to manage, and the needs for quick response time. And over all, the whole proof-of-work rewarded by crypto-currency scheme seemed just overkill for what we were trying to achieve.

Then, spring of 2016, we got invited as part of the local tech ecosystem to the IBM Client Center in our hometown of Montpellier, France, for a conference on Hyperledger. A few things ensued:

  1. We decided to give Hyperledger a go for our first prototypes.
  2. We figured that since we’d be deploying and managing blockchain networks for the IoT, we might as well do the same for the other use-cases.
  3. I was hired to do networking and IoT, I ended-up being the blockchain engineer for lack of other options.

Right after that, we got Zinedine Hasni, our devops and systems engineer, on board. As of summer 2016, we started working on our first Hyperledger Fabric v0.6 network and a few use-case demos.

Zinedine: “When we started working on this, we added just PDF support from an IBM workshop. At the time Hyperledger was at version 0.5, and was powering IBM’s Open Blockchain.

While I was digging into this documentation I was surprised to see a lot virtualisation programs (docker inside vagrant)

so we had to figure out what was worth focusing on.

Also a lot of stuff was new to me (blockchain included), I only used docker once before, during my studies at the 42 Paris engineering school.

So we started by analyzing all the yaml files to understand how it works, and learned golang to write our chaincode. We had to figure out why our peers were crashing and fix them (had to update rocksdb in the docker images), which was quite painful.”

…But eventually we got things to work.

The web-based demos, revolving mainly around private data management and IoT device control, were rather well received. Now we are on the final steps of releasing a pre-production Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 network that will allow us to address the different segments we are aiming for. The features added for Fabric v1.0, especially channels and certificate authorities, bring a whole lot of flexibility to the blockchain. But also these features add a new layer of complexity, justifying the role of blockchain network operator that we are taking on in the ecosystem.

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

Hyperledger Fabric has come a long way between the last stable v0.6 and v1.0, and as I just mentioned, a lot of these features are very relevant from a blockchain network operator perspective. I already mentioned the separate channels and the certificate authority servers, but the most salient feature in my opinion, the one that enables the others, is the orderer network. By having an orderer network independent from the business networks you manage, you can truly allow different use-cases to co-exist in the same blockchain. Engaging several different user communities around a single blockchain infrastructure without having to duplicate a history of irrelevant transactions on each and every server becomes possible.

Then there are the other, user-related Hyperledger projects. Hyperledger Composer will most likely become the application framework of choice as app development for Hyperledger becomes more mainstream. On the same token, we are following with the Hyperledger Cello project with a lot of interest. Cello is aimed at blockchain network management, pretty much our core business. We are currently on an early evaluation phase, but we’d love to be able to participate at some point.

Zinedine: “Right now we are taking a bottom up approach to build our network with several organisations, channels, certificates authorities in addition to committer and endorser peers without forgetting orderers, kafka, zookeepers…(and SBFT coming soon).

The main goal for us is to get to the bare bones of all those components and build incrementally from there.”

We are also digging into the other Hyperledger implemenations besides Fabric, i.e. Sawtooth, Iroha and Indy. We consider the ability to have several implementations at hand, with different consensus mechanisms, very important. That’s a bit of a longer term perspective, but the flexibility that those implementation bring will be needed to address a wide range of areas, from the IoT to traditional businesses.

What technology could you not live without?

Running water. Like most people on this earth. And also electricity… and the internet. I’m old enough to have developed software when the internet didn’t exist, and I really wouldn’t want to go back. And when you look at it this way, Hyperledger being more of a protocol than an implementation of a blockchain, is the next layer of the internet, right after IP and the World Wide Web.

Developer Showcase Series: Rohit Aneja, Bristlecone Labs

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric

We’re back to our Developer Showcase blog series, which serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Rohit Aneja from Bristlecone Labs. Let’s see what he has to say!

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

One needs to be open minded – It is very new technology and many are interested in it due to its popularity. Many don’t know what it does. Also, there are many platforms claiming to be blockchain frameworks, but real frameworks that offer end to end blockchain needs ranging from membership service to smart contracts are rare, so developer needs to be well versed with knowledge and open minded for selecting a technology and implementing it.

Platform – Permissionless or permissioned – It is very important to identify which type of network is suitable for your needs. Like enterprise level networks where each member has some role and is known can leverage a permissioned network, also known as a private network.

Identify use case and problem solution – Identifying use case and finding a value prop for each participant on network is significant before making a solution. It may work for one party, but since the network needs participation from all members who are required on network, it is important to have use case which serve purpose to everyone.

Give back – contribute to open source – This is very important for every developer, consuming open source platforms or making solutions around it. Open source platforms rely on contributions and an active community. Answering questions, being active on forums is a must if you really want to explore, learn and master a framework.

Rohit Aneja, blockchain engineer, Bristlecone Labs

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

At my organisation, Bristlecone Labs, I work as a blockchain engineer and prosper innovative solutions to serve supply chain specific use-cases. We have developed IOE + Blockchain solution based on Hyperledger Fabric 0.6 while 1.0 was still in its alpha phase. The solution is aimed at logging real time sensors data in its immutable ledgers and executing smart contracts on sensor data.

One of the use cases being smart contracts which execute on every sensor reading and checks if sensor crossed specific threshold, which may mean perishables are exposed to unsuitable conditions and have spoiled due to this. The system can help not only record such breach of contracts in immutable ledgers but can also identify responsible shipper and take corrective actions in real time. There is avoidance of any conflict with system in place and real time sensory data, optimisation and efficiency can be achieved by identifying rough routes and avoiding them, by having shock detecting sensors on shipping trucks transporting delicate or fragile shipments.

As blockchain is key to achieving the above scenarios where distributed participants can agree upon consensus, and benefit on big picture out of this system.

As there is a high interest from various big players as well as small players, plus the nature of blockchain platforms (being distributed, open source) also makes it available to everyone, by everyone, there is no “single owner” of these platforms and this technology but all of us working on blockchain are. This is one important fact which motivated me to jump into blockchain engineering and learn, contribute and innovate passionately for the better of the world.

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

Currently, I am developing a business network on Hyperledger Composer, although it’s in early stage of its development, it will be mostly a network of networks that will have suppliers identify an optimised supply path as well as have competitive advantage for being on a network than suppliers playing alone.

Hyperledger has been constantly evolving and has a very active community. Availability of production ready system that has high security and scalability in such early stages of blockchain technology is a bliss for developers. Availability of high quality documents and tutorials makes it easy for developers to jump into complex world of blockchain. As I started my Blockchain journey with Hyperlegder, after making some solutions, I have never felt short changed of features and possibilities that the framework offers. Having an active community with regular meetups and weekly updates keeps us flowing with recent changes and recommended coding guidelines.

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

I think, tools that make achieving end to end solutions faster and easier will definitely attract lots of audience and developers around the globe. Blockchain can be a complex topic for people from different backgrounds and giving tools for rapid development like Hyperledger Composer is a great value prop for people to adopt a simple and fast solution.

Keeping focus in improving such tools will really drive a large base towards Hyperledger framework. It is incredible what Hyperledger is doing and especially keeping it open source and public driven complements technology like blockchain, which at a core is – “there is no central authority.” Offering a framework which is contributed by the developer community around the globe, there is no way it can go wrong with great mediators and helpful, passionate organisers.

Blockchain is really going to have a big impact on how things function as of now (hence disruptive), and when business realizes true potentials of it, that’s when early adopters are going to really benefit.

 

Making Legal Contracts Smart

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric

Guest post: Dan Selman and Houman Shadab, Clause.io

The potential to automate a wide variety of business transactions in a way that is secure, transparent, and flexible will likely be one of the most transformational benefits of blockchain. However, software applications that use distributed ledger technology to automate business processes are often confusingly referred to as “smart contracts” despite not being tied to any legally binding obligation or, worse still, not being enforceable in court. In contrast are smart legal contracts: legally binding agreements whose underlying logic is transformed through computation to enable automation, software connectivity, and dynamic business arrangements.  

Automated transactions must be executed according to the terms of a legally binding agreement to provide companies with certainty and the ability to be compensated if something goes wrong. Smart contracts that are executed apart from a legal agreement cannot be fully integrated into an enterprise digital transformation strategy. Fundamental transformation requires consolidating systems end-to-end and involving a company’s legal agreements. And even if legally enforceable, smart contracts that operate without incorporating standards will likely be an isolated phenomenon without the full benefit of marketwide adoption. Worse still, smart contracts that are inaccessible to legal and business professionals are likely to remain more of a curiosity than transformational.

The Accord Project was established, in part, to develop a community driven protocol for smart legal contracting. It is built on the fundamental notion that contracting is, and should be, blockchain agnostic. Users are therefore able to use Hyperledger Fabric, Ethereum, and others as warranted. The Accord Project is an Associate Member of Hyperledger and is a consortium of attorneys, technologists, and organizations collaborating to set techno-legal standards and develop open source technology. But it’s not just talk. The Accord Project has already operationalized its vision through the open source software called “Cicero.”

Cicero enables lawyers and business professionals to turn traditional, legally binding agreements into smart legal contracts. It accomplishes this through an easy-to-use system for enabling legal contracts to be executed in response to external data and be connected to a wide variety of software systems and platforms, including blockchain.

The “virtuous triangle” of functionality implemented by Cicero templates.

The core of Cicero is a smart contract templating system made up of three components. The first is a template’s grammar, which consists of natural language contract text that identifies data-oriented variables such as price, date, etc. Second is the template’s data model that provides a framework for categorizing the variables and the components of the business context that operationalize smart contracts. Once the elements of a legal contract and the business context are categorized with a data-oriented modeling language, the contract can then be executed using the template’s operational logic — the third component of Cicero’s smart contract templating system.

We chose the Hyperledger Composer modeling language because it is a great fit for smart legal contracts and is able to be put to use immediately. Composer is general enough to model any type of contract and make them executable in a variety of environments — a core requirement the Accord Project’s protocol agnosticism.

Hyperledger Composer’s primary elements correspond to the basics of smart legal contracting. Composer’s participant element corresponds to the contracting parties and its asset element corresponds to the goods, services, and other subject matter of a contract. Composer’s transactions element causes assets to be exchanged and, importantly for smart legal contracts, are the means by which external data about assets trigger business logic. Examples of transactions include sending payment when data indicates assets have been delivered, or sending notice of breach when data indicates a temperature condition is violated. Other elements of Composer map well to contracting, including those that capture types of assets (e.g., red, medium), the state of contract (e.g., past due, in-process), and basic terms such as party addresses.

The Accord Project has created an open source repository for Cicero templates and is inviting all those interested in creating a smart legal contract ecosystem to contribute. The full documentation is located here. For more information about joining the Accord Project and the discussion on slack, please visit our website: www.accordproject.org.

Perishable Goods Example

To make things concrete, let’s take a look at an example Hyperledger Composer business network (executing on Hyperledger Fabric v1) which invokes Cicero running on an out-process standalone web server. Hyperledger Fabric stores the state of assets on the blockchain, while Cicero executes contract logic off-chain.

Installation instructions for the demo are here: https://github.com/accordproject/cicero-perishable-network

Hyperledger Composer is used to store the state of shipments, importers, growers, shippers on the blockchain, while the contract logic is invoked out-of-process using the Cicero Server.

High-level architecture for the cicero-perishable-network demo.

Note: it is also possible to embed Cicero execution inside Hyperledger Fabric v1.1-preview, thanks to the support for executing Node.js chaincode.

The Hyperledger Composer Playground can be used to visualize and interact with the data stored on the blockchain.

Shipments being tracked on the blockchain.

The identities of the participants in the permissioned blockchain are managed by Hyperledger Fabric, and their metadata is managed by Hyperledger Composer and is visible in the Hyperledger Composer Playground.

Permissioned access enforced by Hyperledger Fabric, and business network Participant state stored on the blockchain.

Hyperledger Composer playground can be used to interactively test the logic for the business network, submitting transactions that update the state of assets stored on the blockchain, based on the results of executing a Cicero contract.

Simulating submitting IoT transactions using Hyperledger Composer

Behind the Scenes

Both Hyperledger Composer and Cicero are fundamentally strongly-typed and model driven, so we start by defining the data model, and because both Hyperledger Composer and Cicero use the same modelling language, there is no need for complex model mapping when calling from one to the other.

The Composer data model, showing the Shipment asset that is being stored on the blockchain, as well as some of the transactions that update the state of the shipment.

The Hyperledger Composer business network includes a transaction processor function (chaincode) that invokes the Cicero server.

A Composer transaction processor function for the ShipmentReceived transaction. On Line 32 you can see the call to the Cicero server, passing in data from the incoming transaction. After calling Cicero the function can update the state of assets on the blockchain.

You can then create a new (or use an existing) Cicero template. Here we are using the perishable-goods template from the Cicero Template Library at https://github.com/accordproject/cicero-template-library.

The grammar for a Cicero template. The grammar is the natural language text for the clause with embedded variables.

A Cicero template is strongly-typed and the type-information is captured in the template’s Template Model.

The Template Model for the perishable-goods Cicero template. The Template Model captures the names and types for variables referenced in the template grammar. Note that it can reference or include complex types, such as Shipment or Duration.

Cicero combines the Template Grammar and Template Model and uses them to generate a parser for the template. The parser takes input source text and converts it to an instance of the Template Model.

Finally Cicero templates include the executable business logic which implements a function that receives an incoming transaction and the clause data, and returns a response transaction.

Some of the business logic for the perishable-goods template, written in JavaScript. Note that the Accord Project is working on a Domain Specific Language for capturing contract logic.

For more information, and the full source code, please refer to:

 

Developer Showcase Series: Piers Casimir-Mrowczynski, BWPS

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer

Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Piers Casimir-Mrowczynski, head of computer science at BWPS. Let’s see what he has to say!

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

The way forward is a combination of the academic and the practical. Buy one of the well regarded Blockchain/Bitcoin books. Dive in and it will reward you with a real sense of blockchain warmth and wellbeing coupled with a solid architectural background. Follow it with a highly accessible and well formed blockchain solution builder such as Hyperledger Composer. You’ll then move from the theory to the practice. It’s a brilliant way to begin your blockchain journey!

Piers Casimir-Mrowczynski, head of computer science at BWPS

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

Aside from a continued assimilation and accumulation of knowledge, I’ve been prototyping a document management and ownership recording system aimed at the Compliance function you would find in a Hedge Fund. Such immutable applications are the bread and butter of what blockchain can achieve and support. Hyperledger Composer, running on a Linux platform, and its associated elements, is ideally suited to such a blockchain application, where ease of development and confidence in the underlining architecture are imperative.

For me, Blockchain is an incredibly exciting new technology. There’s a certain irony though, that when I was 17, back in the late 70’s, studying at college, many blockchain related technologies already existed. I was learning about stacks, arrays, basic cryptography and hash totals. It feels a little like coming back home and taking these old technologies forward in a new and much more sophisticated way. Blockchain is a truly exciting phenomenon just waiting to mature.

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

For me it’s education, education and education. There needs to be a focus on Hyperledger specific education for its many business application solution builders. Technical infrastructure, business network solution planning as well as supporting the development, testing and implementation project lifecycle are all important.

With sound and accessible education in place, anything is possible. It starts with management understanding and then builds from there. Hyperledger is the future of mainstream blockchain applications and with the plethora of educational tools and resources, both old school as well as new technology based, there are simply now no excuses for not building world class educational resources.

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

It’s a non-technical one; that management gain the understanding and confidence needed to champion the development of blockchain applications that provide real world solutions for real world benefit. Once those foundations are in place, great solutions will follow. In addition, the open source mentality will go a long way in supporting eco-friendly, sustainable and ethical resolutions to real first and third world problems.

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

I see greater acceptance, better understanding and the realisation that blockchain is much more than a Bitcoin facilitation platform. Hyperledger feels like the solid, proven technology that will satisfy both the technical and non-technical innovators and implementers. This business as usual approach will disrupt the traditional applications and their associated corporate users and I hope this will support the very real creation of innovative and positive organic business solutions.

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

Plan first, build and test, test and test again. And actually talk to your users about what they want – before development begins. Keep it simple.

What technology could you not live without?

Easy. My Apple Mac. ( And a flushing toilet ).

Developer Showcase Series: Deverick Crippen, GrandView Technology

By | Blog, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Fabric

Our Developer Showcase blog series serves to highlight the work and motivations of developers, users and researchers collaborating on Hyperledger’s incubated projects. Next up is Deverick Crippen from GrandView Technology. Let’s see what he has to say!

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

My advice to technologists or developers interested in getting started with blockchain, would be to first invest time in studying what it is and how it will impact the world. YouTube offers some great speeches and training on blockchain technology and Hyperledger.

Deverick Crippen, GrandView Technology

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

The project I’m currently working on is using blockchain, in conjunction with IoT, to create a supply chain solution for specific industries that my team has knowledge and years of experience in. Blockchain offers the security, traceability and transparency that the world needs in these areas for quality, as well as, efficient production and transport of goods.

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

We are currently using Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Composer for our solution. The solution isn’t developed yet, but I must say that IBM and Hyperledger offer great development tools, tutorials, videos, and other resources, that have made us go far in our development.

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

I think developer education and promotion should be the focus of Hyperledger next year. I’d love to see more developer conferences and meetups. We live in a connected and mobile world, so great minds are in every corner of the earth.

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

I’m excited about the financial applications. This is our country’s most profitable industry and leads the rest in adoption of new technologies for business.

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

Voting.

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

In the next 5 years, I hope to see blockchain used globally and as common a term as the internet. I’m hoping Hyperledger becomes/maintains the #1 Influencer.

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

Learn Javascript!

What technology could you not live without?

I cannot live without my iPhone.

Onward and Upward for Hyperledger in 2018

By | Blog, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Chaintool, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Explorer, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Quilt, Hyperledger Sawtooth

As 2017 comes to a close, it’s beneficial to look back and reflect on the progress we have made, and where we will see evolution and growth in the new year. This year, the world has acknowledged distributed ledgers and smart contracts as transformative technologies with tremendous potential to impact how business is conducted in many industries. Within  Hyperledger, the technology foundations have now been set. In the coming year, that will turn into more production software releases, real world implementations, and the first real business returns on our collective intellectual and financial investment.  

Below are a few observations from the year, milestones and thoughts on what will come in 2018.

Blockchain maturation and more production implementations

  • Companies large and small, IT vendors and end-user organizations, consortiums and NGOs, everyone took notice of Hyperledger in 2017 and made moves to get involved. This was evident in the ever increasing Hyperledger membership, which nearly doubled in size. We sold out of our Premier memberships at 21 total, adding eight new companies just this year including SAP, American Express, Daimler, Change Healthcare, NEC, Cisco, Tradeshift and Baidu. Hyperledger now has support from 197 organizations, and remains the fastest growing open source project ever hosted by The Linux Foundation. This has given Hyperledger a very solid footing financially, enabling us to double the resources we can apply towards building and supporting the community in 2018.
  • We have grown our Associate Member ranks to include organizations as diverse as Mercy Corps, the National Association of Realtors, the Illinois Blockchain Initiative, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.  These relationships are key to extending Hyperledger’s reach into different sectors and environments.
  • Attesting to our focus on developing code suitable for enterprise use, this year saw the launch of the first production ready Hyperledger blockchain framework, Hyperledger Fabric 1.0. This was a true community effort pulling together contributions from more than 100 different developers and 30 different companies. As one result, we have 45 members listed in our Vendor Directory, providing products and services based on Hyperledger technology.
  • We have seen substantial uptick in POCs, pilots and production implementations of Hyperledger technologies, many of which are being tracked at the PoC Tracker on the Hyperledger website. Just a few examples of projects building in Hyperledger code include:
    • The Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Project Ubin, implementing an RTGS system;
    • the soon-to-be-production diamond supply chain tracking system implemented by Everledger, SAP and IBM;
    • and the Plastic Bank, a plastics recycling initiative.

In 2018, we will see:

  • more 1.0 milestones made next year by various Hyperledger projects;
  • more production deployments: for example, Change Healthcare, has announced an early 2018 go-live for their claims processing blockchain built on Hyperledger Fabric;
  • a growing Hyperledger staff and presence at events, creating more content, supporting a growing set of projects and working groups;
  • and more membership growth. We are reaching out to a broader set of industries than ever, and are deepening our relationships with our existing members.  

The fast expanding developer and end-user community will continue to grow

  • Demand for developers, and developer interest in Hyperledger, has exploded. We are now seeing sold-out Hyperledger meetups in dozens of cities, strong attendance at our semi-monthly HackFests held around the world, thousands of participants on our email and chat networks, non-stop requests for speakers at conferences, and of course more and more code flowing into our repositories.
  • We launched the first Hyperledger online training course this year: Blockchain for Business – An Introduction to Hyperledger Technologies. Currently, there are  44,966 total enrollments, and 1,074 learners have completed the course with a passing grade. We have an average of 2,500 new enrollments per week. The course is second only in growth to the original intro to Linux operating system course launched by The Linux Foundation. We have now launched a Training and Education Working Group to involve core maintainers and other volunteers in the development of additional courseware.
  • 150 people participated in the Hyperledger Member Summit in November in Singapore, representing 83 different member companies.  

In 2018, we will see:

  • the development of additional training courses and certification options;
  • more frequent and larger face to face developer gatherings;
  • and more developer activity across additional Hyperledger projects.

Integration, standards and interoperability will take center focus

In 2018, we will see:

  • The industry get a lot more serious about interoperability above the layer of the DLT, and looking for simple and open cross-blockchain approaches, leading them to Hyperledger Quilt and the rest of our community;
  • and our projects explore integration and interoperability with each other even further, allowing a greater number of options to be available to developers.

We’re proud of the work our vibrant and diverse community has accomplished this year. We have made great strides and could not be more thankful to everyone who has played a part in this success. It goes without saying the stakes can be even higher in open source, it’s a balance of creating a welcoming, collaborative environment and at the same time making sure everyone gets a say and all voices are heard. We strongly believe the open governance model that Hyperledger naturally inherited from The Linux Foundation has been a crucial part of the continued success of the project.

Finally, you can stay up to date with all Hyperledger news here or follow us on Twitter. We hold regular hackfests for Hyperledger, so be sure to check out the events page and join us for the next one. You can also plug into the Hyperledger Community at github, Rocket.Chat, the wiki or our mailing list.

Here’s to a successful 2018!