Category

Hyperledger Fabric

Mindtree’s dual solutions for revolutionizing loyalty programs using Hyperledger Fabric

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

While customer loyalty programs are popular with retail, travel and other consumer brands, implementing them comes with multiple challenges. Companies that sign up to roll out a service must first navigate a complex and slow onboarding process with the financial institutions backing their program. Once signed up, they face the ongoing hurdle of keeping customers active in the program. Nearly $100 billion worth of points remain unused annually, which translates to missed opportunities to engage consumers and a balance sheet liability when compared to the cost of marketing and maintaining the program.

Global technology consulting and services company Mindree recently applied its digital expertise to introduce two solutions that, together, revolutionize loyalty programs by increasing the rate of redemption by consumers and streamlining the tedious merchant onboarding process for banks and payment service providers.

To help consumers consolidate their rewards programs and to help brands win back customers, Mindtree developed $wap, a blockchain-based loyalty exchange platform in which customers can redeem reward points across providers for goods and services. Companies that enroll in $wap enter a network where points can be shared or pooled by consumers. As a result, customers can pay for goods and services at any of $wap’s vendors with the ability to split up payments using points accumulated over multiple loyalty cards. (Translation: You no  longer have to rack up a large number of points to start benefiting from a loyalty program.) $wap can leverage geolocation search to identify nearby vendors that accept reward points and offer intelligent suggestions for which loyalty card to redeem at member brands. The platform also allows customers to manage their various accounts and transactions as well as transfer points to friends or family members—all through one interface.

Mindtree also revolutionized the financial onboarding process for financial institutions with another blockchain-powered platform that introduces a fast, seamless system for acquirer banks and payment service providers to engage with new businesses. A process that can take 20 days is cut down to hours. 

Both of these solutions are built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open source enterprise blockchain framework. For $wap, the underlying blockchain technology provides merchants with smart, contract-driven points of exchange, an easy onboarding process into the network, as well as real-time reflections of the earn and burn for loyalty points. To speed the process for the financial institutions, Mindtree is leveraging Hyperledger Fabric to bring together all the stakeholders on one platform which allows acquirer banks, verifying agencies, and prospective merchants to share documents and data in a protected, private environment.

The Hyperledger team has worked closely with Mindtree to document the details of both solutions and how they address the needs of different players in the customer loyalty process. In both cases, blockchain serves as a common platform that allows organizations to trigger transactions and verify information in whole news ways. 

Read the case study here.

Fair Fashion: Promoting visibility and accountability in Brazil’s fashion supply chain

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

The Brazilian textile industry represents 10% of the nation’s industrial GDP, and it is also the second-largest employer in the country. Despite its importance, fashion is ranked second as the industry with most cases of forced labor or conditions similar to slavery.

As an effort to fight this problem, in recent years, brands and manufacturers in the textile industry have been auditing production sites. Because of the lack of integration between the actors of this production chain, auditings is still very inefficient, as it involves high costs and offers a vast scope of error. 

There are three main problems in the current audit model.

Because workers and auditors have a strictly professional, non-anonymous, and punctual relationship, there is no way to guarantee the veracity of the worker’s account. Moreover, in most cases, only a few workers are interviewed by the auditor, which makes the picture incomplete since it does not reflect the overarching reality of the production process.

Besides the possibility of human error and fraud, the current model has low auditing frequency (once a year), depends on third party institutions, and is very expensive. This scenario translates into inefficiency and generates doubts for the stakeholders since the benefits become unclear.

The third and most critical problem with this type of auditing is the lack of interface between the market and society. Since the whole process, from production to consumption, is not available and transparent for end consumers, key actors do not have adequate information to demand better conditions for workers or to make better consumption choices.

In addition, the fashion industry involves many intermediaries: seamstresses, workshops, factories, suppliers, brands. This amount of people makes it difficult to monitor all business productivity in a clear, integrated, and efficient manner.

Addressing this situation means taking on a number of challenges: How to connect actors in the supply chain, bringing business efficiency, predictability of delivery, and inventory? How to offer visibility to the production processes, and therefore give voice to the last mile of the chain? How to empower seamstresses and improve their working conditions?

To solve these problems and reverse this scenario, Blockforce – a Brazilian blockchain researcher and builder and general member of Hyperledger –  in partnership with C&A Foundation, Instituto E and COPPEAD-UFRJ, developed a blockchain-based solution called Fair Fashion. Designed using the Hyperledger Fabric framework, this solution promotes visibility and accountability in the fashion supply chain, with the goal of improving working conditions and the efficiency of processes in the production chain. 

This is done through the publication of indexes that explain correlations between demographics, working conditions, and stability in the supply chain based on traceability of order matching with a monthly census with workers at the end of the production chain.

The Fair Fashion solution works on three fronts:

Firstly, Fair Fashion offers workers an app to report their work conditions. By answering a monthly questionnaire, the respective workers involved anonymously provide an update on the working conditions behind all orders placed during the month. 

The second tool is an app for the actors on the business side to trace orders status and conditions. The orders placed by brands are captured by suppliers and then by factories, providing visibility to all production processes as well as the accurate and transparent order status for the entire chain.

Finally, a Dashboard that integrates the data obtained by the two sources of Fair Fashion’s apps provides an overview of all available data. On the Dashboard, each stakeholder – brands, suppliers, or workshops – has its customized visualization. 

Chained and dependent, the solution consists of two interfaces, the business interface and the social responsibility interface. Together they offer the cross view of data necessary to establish the interdependence between flows, and therefore accuracy in verifying the exposed indexes.

The business interface integrates the flow between brands, suppliers, and workshops. It allows the organization to monitor the order status – the number of products produced and delivered, current order status, and its immutable history. It may check, in an organized manner, all documentation of the establishment, including whether it is up to date or pending, and, finally, monitor the current situation of employees.

On the other hand, the social responsibility interface is a reflection of the survey answered by workers through the app. It provides the workshop’s evaluation according to the workers’ perspective, considering the following segments: physical space, health, safety, labor relations, and working conditions.

All information in both interfaces can be viewed on the Hyperledger Fabric-powered blockchain.

The Fair Fashion solution provides benefits for all stakeholders in the chain and, ultimately, for the sector in general since it is based on efficiency and social impact. By collecting data with higher frequency, greater accuracy, and less cost, brands have visibility throughout the chain, enabling preventive actions and helping to predict deliverability and storage. Workshops and suppliers monitor their productivity and social indicators and can improve their dialogue with brands and society. Finally, by answering an anonymous and confidential survey about working conditions, workers can report their situations, guarantee job stability, and participate in a consolidated network that gives a voice to their needs and realities, which are not always assisted.

Fair Fashion is a project sector initiative along with C&A Foundation/ Laudes Foundation, E institute and COPPEAD-UFRJ.  It is released in its first version. We’re facing the homologation phase for scale implementation. We are advancing tests on brands and actors that aim for this type of innovation in their chains. 

Let’s change the fashion industry together. Contact us to find out more details about the solution and how to be part of it here: https://blockforce.in/

Cover photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

Interoperability and Integration Developments in the Hyperledger Community

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

Interoperability and integration are top of mind issues across the blockchain space right now. From new projects to new solutions, the Hyperledger community is taking on the challenges of cross-chain and cross application communication and data flow. 

Here are some of the most recent #HyperledgerInterop developments from across the community.

New Project – Hyperledger Cactus

The newly announced Hyperledger Cactus is a blockchain integration tool designed to allow users to securely integrate different blockchains. This pluggable architecture helps enable the execution of ledger operations across multiple blockchain ledgers, including Hyperledger Besu, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, and Quorum available today, with the aim of developers continually adding support for new blockchains in the future. 

 Cactus started as a Hyperledger Labs project six months ago and has attracted significant attention and become a locus of collaboration between developers from teams at Accenture and Fujitsu, and dozens of others working on DLT platforms both inside and outside Hyperledger.

Member applications

  • Smart Block Laboratory built the Hyperledger Fabric-powered distributed register Cryptoenter, blockchain infrastructure for digital banking that unites banks into a single digital space for transmitting financial messages and brings a new level of interaction to the financial market. The platform is designed for p2p interaction between consumers of financial services, safe execution of payment transactions with cryptocurrencies, fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies, user interaction within a social network for investors / distributed crowdfunding platform.

    The basis of the platform is the Rubicon Blockchain, a cloud platform for the blockchain economy, built on Hyperledger Fabric. Cryptoenter has a dual security system: at the Hyperledger blockchain network level and at the Rubicon Blockchain (also based on Hyperledger Fabric) network level. The solution uses an SRP authentication system. TLS (transport layer security) protocol based on SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol is also included. This dual security system allows Cryptoenter to authenticate the person who signed the message, control message integrity, protect the message from fakes and prove the authorship of the person who signed the message.

Technical talks from Hyperledger Global Forum

Nathan George from the Sovrin Foundation offers his take on “Standards and Interoperability for Identity”

 Identity platforms have made significant advances leveraging blockchain technology and standards developed at Hyperledger. In his talk, Nathan covers the latest in trusted information flows and the standards being incubated to promote interoperability and create network effects across multiple blockchains and identity platforms.

Key topics include the advancements incubated in Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Aries, the W3C Credentials Community Group and at the Decentralized Identity Foundation for Verifiable Credentials, Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs), DID Communications, Identity Hubs, Authentication, and the data models that power them.

Panelists Rich Meszaros and Sarah Banks from Accenture, Melanie Nuce from GS1 US, David Cecchi for Cargill and Patrick Erichsen from Target discuss “Business Interoperability – The Key to Supply Chain Traceability”

Technology such as blockchain has the power to solve complex challenges and achieve improved supply chain traceability. In order to tap into this powerful technology, interoperability, enabled by robust data and transaction standards, are a must! Segments of the supply chain, such as the food industry, have made significant progress leveraging data standards to support food safety and product transparency use cases. The panelists discuss their companies’ work on improved supply chain traceability, the importance of standards and the role business interoperability plays in accelerating the success of new technologies like blockchain. 

Join the conversation about blockchain-based identity technologies and solutions with #HyperledgerInterop this month on social channels.

Cover image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Trust Your Supplier: a case study in faster, more secure vendor onboarding through blockchain

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

While supplier management has garnered particular attention in recent weeks thanks to COVID-19-related demand surges, manufacturing disruptions and quality concerns, vetting and signing news suppliers has long been a challenge. The whole process is slow, costly, and fraught with risks and errors. It creates friction and delay between buyers and sellers.

Chainyard and IBM Blockchain set out to streamline that process with Trust Your Supplier, a network built on Hyperledger Fabric, an open source enterprise blockchain platform. The solution went live in November, 2019, and is gaining steam quickly as a new model for using blockchain as a trust platform for sharing business information securely and efficiently.

Trust Your Supplier creates a unique “digital passport” for each supplier’s identity on the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain. This ID can be shared with any permissioned buyer on the network to save time validating and onboarding a new supplier. Several third-party verifiers are on the network, including Dun & Bradstreet for business data, EcoVadis for sustainability, and RapidRatings for financial risk. These third parties can provide further audit or verification services to create an even more comprehensive picture of any vendor. As a result, buyers and sellers can save time and money and keep their supply chains humming by accessing a single repository with verified accurate data.

To date, 25 major corporate members from Anheuser-Bush InBev to UPS have joined the network. Members cover many major industries including aerospace, consumer packaged goods, electronics, logistics, pharma, tech, and telecom. All told, the members’ suppliers number in the hundreds of thousands. And they’re all committed to modernizing their procurement with the new system. Initial results show:

  • Vendor onboarding cycle time cut from an average of 60 days to 3 days
  • For buyers: 50% less cost to verify and maintain a supplier’s information
  • For sellers: much faster time to first sale

The Hyperledger team has worked closely with Chainyard and IBM Blockchain on a detailed case study about developing and rolling out this network, from concept to PoC to full production deployment. The case study also offers details on the long-term goals of the network and how it could support other key business processes. 

Uniting financial market participants: Hyperledger Fabric’s role in creating blockchain infrastructure for digital banking

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

In 2020, Smart Block Laboratory, a Linux Foundation Silver Member, Hyperledger General Member and business partner of IBM, developed a payment solution based on Hyperledger Fabric that allows banks and users to conduct cross-border transfers in real time with low commissions, use cryptocurrency in settlement operations and instantly exchange Fiat for cryptocurrency. The functionality also includes a social network for investors. The solution is a blockchain infrastructure for digital banking called Cryptoenter.

The challenges to a common digital banking infrastructure

Rapid digitalization of the banking sector and distributed ledger technologies have put forward new requirements for banking services. However, there is still no single digital space between individual banking solutions. There are a number of hurdles:

  • Most of the current back office systems are not able to provide complete data describing the client’s activities between digital interactions.
  • Most often, banks use digital solutions of third parties, thereby risking losing control over their customers’ data.
  • IT infrastructure costs are high.
  • Implementing new banking tools and training employees is expensive and difficult for companies.
  • There is competition, often encouraged by regulators, between banks and Fintech  companies operating in areas such as private equity management and lending.
  • Territorial expansion and attracting new users are both complex and costly.
  • Likewise, opening and operating branches is expensive, and those in remote and sparsely populated areas don’t deliver much in the way of profits. 

 Turning to blockchain

We believe that anyone anywhere in the world should have access to quality banking services. Transfers between banks/users should be instant, and the world needs a single payment solution for cryptocurrency and Fiat. To deliver on those ideas, many banks have already started integrating the blockchain and accepting cryptocurrency.

We decided to use Hyperledger Fabric to build a common infrastructure solution. We opted for Fabric for its performance, scalability and trust. The main feature of Hyperledger Fabric is its focus on corporate applications. The platform has been designed to ensure high transaction speed and low cost.

In Cryptoenter, Hyperledger Fabric is used as a distributed database.It processes information quickly regardless of network load. It allows each user to make instant payments for goods and services using cryptocurrency.

Second, Hyperledger Fabric provides a high degree of privacy: due to competition and laws protecting and regulating personal data privacy, organizations dictate the confidentiality of certain data elements, which can be achieved by dividing data into a blockchain. The channels supported in Hyperledger Fabric allow users to transmit data only to the parties that need to use it. In Cryptoenter, Hyperledger Fabric allows users interact with each other both within one bank and within several banks

By using Hyperledger Fabric as the basis of the infrastructure for digital banking, Cryptoenter allows all users of banking services to remain customers of banks, while their data is protected by banking security systems, which increases the level of confidence customers have in our payment service. Therefore banks are validators in the network, acting as guarantors of transactions.

And the use of Hyperledger Fabric made it possible to create a P2P lending mechanism, which allows users to issue loans to each other at favorable interest rates with or without collateral.

Conclusion

Hyperledger Fabric allowed the Smart Block Laboratory team to create a unique infrastructure solution that is relevant for all financial market participants, which will not only bring the level of interaction between participants to a new level, but also create new economic ties.

How digital identity empowers consumers and producers in a circular supply chain

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

Most of us can relate to wanting to know where our food comes from – if it is safe to eat, ethically sourced, and whether that commodity harms the environment or is produced in a sustainable way. The topics of food safety, recall, waste management and ethical sourcing are justifiably getting a lot of attention. Consumers are demanding a greater level of transparency and assurance.

What if we could empower consumers with more trusted information at their fingertips so they can directly reward and incentivize small scale suppliers around the world that are committed to following sustainable practices? Imagine a future where more people could fully participate in the growing value of the green economy. With a powerful combination of blockchain, digital identity, payments and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities, we at Accenture believe this is possible and imperative.  

Leveraging these capabilities, we collaboratively developed a solution built on Hyperledger Fabric that generates a new kind of value for producers. We call this capability circular supply chain. 

Here’s how it works: Let’s imagine a coffee farmer, for example. Using an app on their phone, the producer creates a profile, entering basic details like their name, date of birth, and the name of their coffee farm. At their cooperative, their identity is validated, using multiple security protocols.

The farmer’s identifier is then recorded on the blockchain, which acts as an index with links to all applicable data—including things like their payment details so they can receive tips or add attestation that prove their farm’s inspection history and certification status (organic, etc.). This makes it easy to locate, access and share information without the farmer’s personal data being stored on the blockchain.  

The app on the farmer’s phone is multi-factored and authentication-secured; it allows the farmer to generate their own set of public and private keys seamlessly which the farmer can then use to sign data they send to others. 

The farmer is always in control of their data, determining which information is part of their public profile or what details will be linked to a particular product as it moves through the supply chain. They can also use the app as a management tool to keep track of product registrations, check their tip balance, renew certifications and prepare a harvest for shipment.  

When a shipment is ready and registered, a unique identifier is automatically generated, embedding information about the coffee, the farmer and their farm (like its organic certification), and then scanned, captured, and verified at the point of origin.

Sensors can then be added, and registered, to the product at the cooperative warehouse. These sensors can monitor temperature and humidity within the warehouse to ensure product quality. And if the conditions go out of the optimal range, an alert is generated, prompting the warehouse to take preventative actions before the product quality is compromised. 

These details, and each step the shipment takes along the journey, are scanned, added to the ledger and traceable as it moves across the supply chain—from farmers to processors to grocery store shelves and, finally, to end consumers. Now a simple scan not only tells consumers the story of their sustainably-sourced coffee and the farmers that grew it but empowers them to reward the farmer via a secure tip. 

The benefit is a circular supply chain that goes beyond where it started and creates a closer connection between consumers and small growers. Processors, distributors, wholesalers and retailers can trace product provenance, creating market differentiation for sustainability, food security and quality. The hope is that by aligning incentives through an immersive customer experience that fosters informed purchasing decisions, we can empower an inclusive economy that encourages the actions to mitigate environmental impact and benefit people. 

Accenture has created this capability, but it’s just a start. We invite organizations across industries and the globe to collaborate with us as we collectively build a more sustainable and inclusive world. 

Read our report on circular supply chain and learn how to collaborate with us. You may also be interested in joining the Hyperledger Identity WG or Supply Chain SIG to see how others in this space are approaching this digital transformation.

Cover image via Peakpx

A 21st Century Model for Collaboration

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

The first two decades of the 21st century have seen enormous challenges on scales never before encountered. Whether a global recession or global pandemic, good information management is an essential tool for decision‐making processes, strategic and operational, at every level. But dramatic changes in news media and the proliferation of misinformation, along with outdated (scientific) research frameworks, are impeding timely use of critical data assets, which are at the center of any effective systemic response. This extends to successful emergency preparedness and response and is as much a human-centric problem as a data-centric one. At heart is this question: how do we share massive quantities of data to coordinate on effective responses to global crises?

Finding good ways to use big-data efficiently for solving real world problems touches almost every industry, from finance to education, and from insurance to supply chain management. With globalized industries now much more reliant on data-driven processes, two pivotal problems have emerged: insufficient infrastructure to securely manage big-data resources, compounded by a “trust gap” in the reliability of that data. In both cases, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies offer meaningful solutions to positively transform information dependent industries, and the ways we collaborate with one another on shared goals.

The exponential growth of fake content and disinformation represents a major trust gap, and points out inherent design issues in the architecture of the Internet that need to be addressed if we wish to safeguard trust and the legitimacy of information resources. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology resolve some of these flaws, offering solutions to security vulnerabilities, privacy issues, and data authenticity. While many blockchain applications tend to center on finance, at Penta Network the focus is using distributed ledgers for data related problems in multi-stakeholder ecosystems. Our goal is to facilitate peer-to-peer and multi-peer collaboration through digital networks based on trusted data.

As a first step towards that goal, we launched a social impact initiative called Trusted Voices in 2018. The Trusted Voices project is based on Hyperledger Fabric and other blockchain technologies to provision a chain of custody for information and media assets. The purpose of the project was to demonstrate authentication of digital content at time of original publication, and subsequent tracking across digital platforms, including social media.  A robust chain of custody enables consumers to track content and trace information assets back to their authors and origins. Content traceability offers a powerful tool to combat the proliferation of inaccurate or unauthorized content, while concurrently protecting the intellectual property rights of the authors. There are broad opportunities for this technology: from flagging and removing fake news and disinformation, to collaborative networks based on shared content. Trusted Voices establishes the possibilities for both, and more. 

As an initial test of Trusted Voices, in 2018 Penta visited one of the Central American migrant caravans sheltering in Tijuana, Mexico. The pilot conducted interviews with refugees and immigration officials, and even filmed the first official interview with the Honduran Ambassador to Mexico from an English language platform. Trusted Voices successfully deployed blockchain technology to provide proof of publication for media content, and then used tracking pixel technology to follow that content across platforms. It also highlighted some key values of using Hyperledger technology, such as verifiable, timestamped event histories. With the success of this trial, Trusted Voices showed how content chain of custody will play an important role in the digital transformation of news media and journalism by enabling consumers to verify for themselves the authenticity of media content. 

Trusted Voices has since expanded, and Penta Network is currently developing related technologies for scientific research. In part, the need comes from academic institutions having delegated citation management primarily to commercial publishers. In response, there is a growing movement for an open publishing model, which seeks to return authorship and citation responsibilities to universities and the public. Blockchain has the capacity to accomplish this, while at the same time fostering innovative models for large-scale collaboration. Without undercutting the commercial interests of publishers, tracking and verifying all inputs to research projects blockchain can safeguard researchers’ individual contributions and facilitate multi-party collaborations. In other words, this approach offers a digital blueprint for crowd-sourcing human collaboration.  

Supporting collaborative work models with blockchain technology has real impact, not just on conducting basic research, but also on the knowledge and products that flow from that research. It offers substantial improvements over current models, where some academic and medical research institutions might hoard their data and results, in order to compete for lucrative grants and patents. Distributed ledger systems can serve as trusted data alternatives to private information silos, inviting pioneering researchers and business innovators into more collaborative efforts to rapidly progress and distribute the benefits of their work. As Covid-19 has shown, microscopic pathogens move much faster than patent law and peer-reviewed research. With blockchain technology comes hope of significantly shortening the time from research to discovery, and from discovery to commercial production. 

Whether facing a global pandemic, climate change, or a worldwide economic recession, 20th century business models that encourage working in seclusion and an atmosphere of competitive winner-takes-all attitudes do not fit with the enormous 21st century challenges we face. Instead, we need to rethink, reinvigorate and re-innovate human collaboration for the new century. 

The Hyperledger ecosystem has an opportunity to play a leading role in creating 21st century models for communication and collaborative work that operate at large scale. By helping to overcome many of the obstacles limiting our ability to work together as global digital citizens, blockchain is shining light on new operating frameworks for peer-to-peer and multi-peer cooperation. Key to their success will be secure, verifiable, and shared information assets. Trust in that information has never been more important, and blockchain empowers all communities to share their trusted voices. 

Cover image taken at a migrant camp in Tijuana, Mexico, December 2018

Identity Applications in Action & Powered by Hyperledger

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Digital identity is gaining a lot of traction as a driver for blockchain adoption. There is growing recognition across many markets that reshaping how digital information is managed and verified can simultaneously increase online trust and privacy. The Hyperledger community is working hard to develop and deploy blockchain-enabled identity technologies and solutions with an eye towards decentralizing control of information and creating new models for verifying identities. 

To illustrate where this technology can take us, we are showcasing some applications where it’s already being put into action:

Known Traveller Digital Identity

Known Traveller Digital Identity, or KTDI, is a World Economic Forum initiative with Accenture that brings together a global consortium of individuals, governments, authorities and the travel industry to enhance security in world travel. The pilot leverages cryptography, blockchain technology and biometrics and aims to allow cross-border travel without presenting physical documents, accelerating the flow of passengers through airports, improving passenger experience, and enabling authorities to better focus limited resources on security improvements.

QDX™ HealthID platform 

QDX™ HealthID platform is a service from Quantum Materials Corp that leverages self-sovereign identity technology to provide end-to-end visibility to support testing and immunization for infectious diseases, including COVID-19, at scale. The platform enables multiple methods of authenticating the individuals being tested, those who are administering the test, as well as the test kits themselves, whether to detect the presence of the virus itself or associated antibodies. 

The QDX™ HealthID platform uses Hyperledger Sawtooth as the backing distributed ledger technology, which is deployed and managed using Blockchain Technology Partner’s platform Sextant for Sawtooth. The platform is also readied for integration with other distributed ledger applications via DAML, the smart contract language open sourced by Hyperledger member, Digital Asset.

MemberPass

Provided by CULedger, MemberPassTM is a digital credential held by credit union members that protects credit unions and their members from identity theft and fraud in all banking interactions, from call center authentication to lending to new account opening. MemberPass is a simple, secure replacement for user IDs and passwords, and supplants the traditional knowledge-based interrogation contact centers employ today to authenticate members calling for telephone banking services. MemberPass seamlessly authenticates both, the member and the credit union to each other, in any call-in, log-in or walk-in exchange, providing a consistent, frictionless experience across all channels. 

Sovrin Network

Operated by independent Stewards, the Sovrin Network uses the power of a distributed ledger to give every person, organization, and thing the ability to own and control their own permanent digital identity. With recent advancements in digital identity standards, Sovrin provides a secure and private network for identity holders to collect, manage and share their own verifiable digital credentials.

The Sovrin Network is governed by The Sovrin Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to administer the Governance Framework for this open source decentralized global public network enabling self-sovereign identity on the internet. 

Trust Your Supplier

Trust Your Supplier is a production Hyperledger Fabric blockchain network, running on the IBM Blockchain Platform, that provides suppliers with a trusted digital passport to streamline on-boarding with their customers.

The Trust Your Supplier network is a cross-industry source of supplier information and identity helping to simplify and accelerate the on-boarding and lifecycle management process. TYS was built to be a cross-industry blockchain network to facilitate procurement functions within an organization. The network’s first use case is focused on supplier onboarding and validation.

VerifiedMe

Verified.Me is a service offered by SecureKey Technologies Inc., in conjunction with a consortium of seven of Canada’s major financial institutions – BMO, CIBC, Desjardins, National Bank of Canada, RBC, Scotiabank and TD. Verified.Me is a privacy-respecting digital identity and attribute sharing network. The service simplifies identity verification processes by allowing individuals (subjects) to share identity and attribute information from trusted sources (including financial institutions, mobile operators, credit bureau, and government) with the services that they wish to access.

The network is based on permissioned distributed ledgers operated by the consortium. It is built using the IBM Blockchain Platform which is based on Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Fabric  and is aligning with W3C decentralized identity standards, to enable interoperability with other networks. SecureKey’s Triple Blind® approach means that no network participant alone, including SecureKey, can have a complete view of the user journey – the subject can’t be tracked.

The service is free for consumers to use, either using their web browser, or by downloading the mobile app through the App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android).

Join the conversation about blockchain-based identity technologies and solutions with #HyperledgerIdentity this month on social channels. Also, Hyperledger has an Identity Working Group that is open to all. Learn how to get involved via this video.

Coverage image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Minifabric: A Hyperledger Fabric Quick Start Tool (with Video Guides)

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric, Video

Hyperledger Fabric is the clear leader in permission based blockchain frameworks. It has become the de facto standard for enterprise blockchain platforms. Its performance and data privacy capabilities are second to none in the very crowded blockchain fields. However, its powerful capabilities come with some challenges in its deployments, implementations and understanding, especially for those who are used to other blockchain systems such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

It does not have to be that way. With the right tooling, one can easily deploy Fabric networks, learn how Fabric works, understand the life cycles of Fabric artifacts and become an expert as a Fabric network administrator or chaincode developer. With these goals in mind, I created a tool named Minifabric that allows you to easily setup a Fabric network, expand your network, install and upgrade your own chaincode, invoke transactions, inspect your ledger, and change configurations of your channel. By going through these tasks using Minifabric, you can gain valuable skills and a complete understanding of Hyperledger Fabric.

Minifabric comes as a 10-line bash script (for Linux and OS X) or 30-line batch script (for Windows) and is available on github.com under Apache 2 license. You can get started with Minifabric to start your Hyperledger Fabric journey by simply following this README. To further aid the people using Minifabric, I’ve also made a series of videos to demonstrate how you can accomplish various tasks.

  1. Quick Start

Introduction to Minifabric, how to stand up Fabric network and clean up

  1. Channels

How to create channels, join peers to channels, inspect and change channel configuration

  1. Chaincode

How to work with Chaincode including install, approve, commit, upgrade, invoke and query

  1. Policy and Organizations

How to inspect and change endorsement policies, how to bring in new organizations and how to work with private data collections

  1. Artifacts and VSCode Fabric Extension

How to use VSCode Fabric extension to work with a production like Fabric network. Minifabric creates many files that help Fabric SDK users easily connect to a Fabric network. 

  1. Inside Minifabric

How Minifabric executes various commands and how Minifabric is able to always keep up with the latest Fabric. Discusses how Minifabric was designed and implemented, its commands and parameters.

TrustID: A New Approach to Fabric User Identity Management

By Blog, Hyperledger Fabric

Undoubtedly, Hyperledger Fabric offers a core substrate of decentralization and trust to corporations. It opens the door to the development of new use cases and business models based on the benefits of DLT technologies. Fabric supports digital assets, distributed logic through chaincodes, privacy using channels and other schemes such as private data collections, and the use of custom consensus through endorsement policies. Sadly, Fabric “as-is” lacks a key component for a successful decentralized ecosystem, a decentralized identity.

Fabric uses X.509 certificates to authenticate every entity and member in the network. This is really convenient for corporate environments, as organizations can use their existing CA infrastructure to issue new certificates for users, peers and applications. Thus, as long as a certificate is issued by a trusted CA in the network (i.e.,  the CA from a valid MSP organization in the system) its holder will have permission to interact with the network.

This identity management scheme seems to work for a great gamut of use cases, but the problem arises the moment user continuity between different organizations is required. If user A holds a valid certificate issued by Org1, he is able to interact with the network through peers of Org1, or at least by entities that know how to validate its “chain of trust.” However, if user A wants to interact with the network through a Fabric app from Org2, peers of Org2 won’t be able to identify if A is a valid user in the network.

This is especially a problem when, instead of deploying a user-specific network where organizations and their relationships are well defined (where users belong to a single organization and only interact through this organization’s infrastructure), we launch a general-purpose network with users seamlessly interacting with any of the deployed applications over the network. This is the reason why we embarked in the development of TrustID, an attempt to decentralize Fabric’s identity.

In Telefónica we have been building TrustOS, an abstraction layer for blockchain platforms that enable companies and developers with a way of implementing their decentralized use cases without having to worry about the low-level complexity of DLT networks.  One of the core engines of TrustOS is a general-purpose Hyperledger Fabric network. The first releases of TrustOS leveraged Fabric’s default identity management, so new users were authenticated through Telefonica-issued certificates. Initially, this made sense, as we were the only organization in the network deploying applications. Unfortunately, when we started on boarding new organizations and applications to the system, our users started suffering the aforementioned itinerancy issues. Any users who wanted to interact with more than one organization had to hold a valid certificate signed by every organization in the network through whose infrastructure he wanted to interact. In short, the management of user identities was a complete nightmare in terms of operation and UX. 

We then decided to design TrustID as a standalone identity module for TrustOS. We followed a decentralized identity approach for its design, where users (and services) are identified through a DID. 

These DIDs follow the W3C standard, and they serve as a unique ID to identify users. DIDs aggregate all the pieces of public information required to authenticate a user (i.e., their public key or X.509 certificate).

In order to uniquely identify chaincodes and services deployed in TrustOS, we decided to also give them DIDs so that they could be seamlessly discovered and accessed even if they “live” in independent channels not shared by all the organizations of the network. 

All the authentication and management of identities in the system is performed on-chain through an “Identity Chaincode.” This chaincode has the following parts:

  • Chaincode proxy: This receives and routes every TrustID authenticated transaction. It’s responsible for authenticating users, interacting with the ID registries, and routing user calls to external chaincodes. It also implements the desired access policies by the different organizations.
  • User Registry: This  stores every user DID. It implements basic setter and getter operations and enforces the desired access rights per organization.
  • Service Registry: This pays the registry role for services.
  • External service chaincodes: This ensures service chaincodes with whom users want to interact can be deployed in any channel. Once requests are successfully authenticated, the proxy chaincode is responsible for forwarding transactions to them. 

Thus, if user A wants to start interacting with the network, he requests the generation of a new DID. The related keys to this DID could be an existing X.509 issued by a valid organization, or even an Ethereum-related public key (internally we used all the JWS, JWE, JWK, secp256k1, etc. RFCs to make our Fabric infrastructure compatible with identities of any nature for the sake of interoperability). This DID generation request has to be validated by a valid organization of the network. Once verified, every transaction signed by user A and directed through the Proxy CC is authenticated successfully and delegated to the corresponding chaincode.

We developed TrustID to ease the management of identities for the case of TrustOS. Users shouldn’t need to hold a different set of credentials for each network or decentralized application they interact with. The same credentials used to access your owned Bitcoins and manage your tokens in Ethereum should let you update the state of a Fabric asset or launch a secondary market in TrustOS. This is the rationale behind TrustID. Moreover, pushing Hyperledger Fabric’s user identity management on-chain has opened the door to exciting consequences such as service interoperability between networks, or the use of Fabric as a universal authentication system, but more about this in future publications.