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Hyperledger Global Forum

10 Practical Issues for Blockchain Implementations

By Blog, Hyperledger Global Forum

Hyperledger Global Forum is the most important annual event for enterprises that adopt consortium blockchain technologies. Hundreds of blockchain enthusiasts come together at the annual Hyperledger Forum to share their user cases and the latest progress on enterprise blockchain technologies. During the conference, I presented on the 10 critical problems and requirements to consider based on numerous enterprise blockchain implementation projects using Hyperledger Fabric-based Oracle Blockchain Platform (OBP). These projects cover the gamut of industries, including financial services, supply chain, healthcare, and government, and range from custom developments supported by the Oracle solutions team to SI-led projects and ISV solutions

These critical issues include: 

  1. Using SQL for rich queries in Smart Contracts
  2. Data Backup/Recovery
  3. Ledger checkpoint and pruning/archiving
  4. Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus
  5. Governance
  6. Performance
  7. Privacy & Confidentiality Protection
  8. Inter-network Support
  9. Pluggable Crypto Implementations
  10. Auditing Capability 

Although the original public blockchains rely on a self-sovereign management style with complete decentralization and rules governed by consensus algorithms, permissioned blockchains have a different structure. In the enterprise-permissioned blockchains used in private or consortium deployments, the participating enterprises are often concerned about maintaining their own nodes with efficiency and resiliency while, at the same time, working as part of a cross-company blockchain network. This requires a secure and flexible governance model and on-chain collaboration mechanisms to address the many operational issues at different layers of the blockchain network – from interoperable connections, to storage management, membership governance, chaincode distribution, etc. As organizations set up their blockchain networks, there are several things they need to pay particular attention to and design their networks with in mind. 

SQL and Smart Contracts

The first issue is about supporting SQL language for rich queries in smart contracts – queries of Key/Value data that apply conditions to the values. While some are neutral on this issue, my team views this as an important option for enterprise users, especially those who want to migrate their existing SQL-based business logic into blockchain smart contracts quickly. Using extensive SQL SELECT capabilities minimizes the code complexity and enables a single query to aggregate results that would otherwise involve multiple queries (necessitating multiple network hops between the chaincode container and peer container where the world state database resides). Based on the open-sourced BerkeleyDB K/V store with SQL-Lite, Oracle Blockchain Platform allows customers to enjoy the power of SQL, while also achieving more than 2000 TPS. For interoperability purposes, CouchDB Query Language is also supported in the chaincodes on top of Berkeley DB world state database.

Blockchain Data Backup & Recovery 

For production customers, questions about how to backup and recover the data for blockchain networks are very critical. Although it’s easy to create a new node in theory, it is not practical to wait hours for a new node to sync up the ledger data from existing blockchain nodes and transfer configuration metadata. And when there’s the requirement to migrate a node across datacenters, this recovery operation becomes critical. Oracle has already resolved this problem by designing specific tools for OBP customers, which avoid service disruptions when migrating or upgrading the blockchain nodes.

Ledger Pruning and Archiving

Some of our customer projects expect to handle very large transaction volumes (e.g., a maritime shipping network tracking 10s of millions of shipments/year, each recording on-chain a large number of documentation and logistics events, could exceed 3B transactions/year). Depending on the payload size and number of digital signatures (endorsers) attached to the transaction, the total storage requirements could grow to the levels that are going to be difficult to manage. There’s a strong interest by some of the leading customers in a solution that can prune the ledger, archive old content, and keep the overall storage requirements manageable. Some work is underway in Fabric (e.g., FAB-106 Jira). We believe a solution to the ledger pruning requirements is mandatory and are exploring different approaches consistent with the overall architecture of Fabric in order to be prepared when customer blockchains grow big enough to need a solution.    

Byzantine Fault Tolerant Consensus

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) is defined as the feature of a distributed network to reach consensus (agreement on the same value) even when some of the nodes in the network fail to respond or respond with incorrect information.

An important consideration to be aware of while setting up a blockchain network is the requirements of Byzantine Fault Tolerant (BFT) consensus, compared with the Crash Fault Tolerant (CFT) one. Due to the underlying complexity of BFT consensus algorithms, a best practice is for the community to leverage the latest academically-proven consensus algorithms based on rigorous and peer-reviewed demonstrations of the safety and liveness properties. Such algorithms include the Tendermint, Algorand, Mir-BFT and HotStuff. There is also some on-going work on Golang-based implementation of the BFT-SMART algorithm for Hyperledger Fabric.  These are important reference points for blockchain architects and developers interested in adopting BFT consensus in the future.  At Oracle ,we are actively exploring the available options to ensure they meet the rigorous proof requirements as well as deliver operational characteristics, including performance and resilience required in enterprise applications.

Governance

Governance is another strong requirement, particularly in consortium blockchains, and all audiences believe this is a feature they seriously need. The lack of governance creates challenges in real applications (e.g., how to agree on adding new members, creating new channels and setting their policies, deploying or upgrading smart contracts, etc.). Although users can negotiate these out-of-band using email, conference calls, etc., it is untrustworthy in theory and very inconvenient in practice, especially to achieve agreements across different organizations. And it certainly doesn’t scale for consortiums with more than a dozen members.  

We recommend several practical solutions to address the issue using on-chain mechanisms to provide an audit trail for governance-related agreements and chaincodes to automate the processes for reaching these agreements through voting and other means. This could be supported via a special governance channel for persisting transactions, votes, and policy evaluation results, similar to the system channel that is used to help govern the ordering services; the other part would be a Governance System chaincode (GSCC); and the last piece is to use External distributed governing service provided by vendors. 

The GSCC option is very promising because in the Hyperledger Fabric 2.0 release organizations can vote for chaincode lifecycle with the help of the implicit collection. Thus, it is feasible to extend the functionality to allow users to vote for other operations, such as adding new members or creating channels. It could also track proposals, manage vote tabulations, and evaluate them against policy requirements. Part of the GSCC implementation has been verified by the Fabric interop team.

Performance of a Blockchain Network

Although customers often ask for performance numbers, sometimes there is a misunderstanding of the performance metrics. For example, in blockchain, the performance metrics include throughput and latency, and results will vary under different network size and hardware configurations and the tradeoffs made between higher throughput vs. lower latency. In analyzing typical blockchain scenarios from finance to supply chain and healthcare to IoT, we can see that the performance requirement is not the same for each scenario. A suggested best practice is to optimize the performance from a systematic view. For example, the chaincode often does lots of calculation, while the ledger will require storage, and the consensus is sensitive to network latency. Hence, a reasonable performance optimization solution will be based on the thoughtful understanding of the business demands and the platform architecture. In customer benchmarks we have observed significant impact of the payload size as transactions move between clients, peers, and orderers; number of peer nodes and their CPU capacity in an instance; ordering block size (more transactions/block can significantly improve throughput but at some cost to latency); network capacity between ordering service and the peers, and other factors. Properly tracking all of these factors and optimizing for those that are most important in the context of a specific application enabled us to meet the highest levels of customer requirements, including exceeding 2000 TPS in a maritime logistics blockchain network.

Data Privacy and Business Confidentiality

Data privacy, which is becoming an important bottleneck in blockchain, has been discussed for quite a while. Enterprise blockchains that plan to share confidential business data are particularly concerned about confidentiality between certain participants and shielding this data from access by other participants. There are a number of approaches, but no perfect solution. Even with the private data collections (PDCs) in Fabric, there’s complexity of configuring PDCs when transactions span different members and when new members join the network. Implicit PDCs in Fabric 2.0 help to some extent. But even with PDCs,  the hashed results are still recorded in the ledger, enabling those with access to detect the relationships and frequency of transactions, if not their content. 

When blockchain nodes run as a managed cloud service with users only able to access them through the APIs and event subscriptions (and not by accessing the underlying files systems where the ledgers are stored), data privacy can be managed easier.  The channel access policies can be set to prevent unauthorized members from seeing detailed block content through event subscriptions and to enable only authorized members to deploy or upgrade chaincode. When coupled with a unique feature of Oracle Blockchain Platform that enables the use of on-chain fine-grained Access Control Lists (ACLs) in smart contracts, the chaincode can control the access based on the user’s identity. And we suggest customers encrypt important data before putting them on the private database (shared by PDC members.) Ultimately, if you care about data privacy, a good rule to follow is to encrypt all your data before putting it on the blockchain.

Inter-Network Operations

This topic spurs a number of active conversations, but the answers aren’t clear today. Let’s break this down into a few more specific questions about what Inter-network operations mean. First, is it about multiple nodes and networks built on the same technology stack (e.g., Hyperledger Fabric)? The Hyperledger Interop Working Group kicked off at the past Hyperledger forum in Basel has been working on testing and documenting how multiple members’ implementations can interoperate. The testing done as part of this working group by Oracle, SAP, and IBM has shown that their nodes can join each other’s network and interop with a common ordering service and channels. The next question is about interop between separate Fabric networks with their own ordering services and channels. This is possible within Fabric architecture, whereby a peer node can be configured to connect with multiple ordering services and see channels supported by each of them. When coupled with inter-chaincode query capability, this enables a chaincode on one network to query a chaincode from another network for data from its ledger.

Moving to heterogeneous technology stacks, what about interop between Fabric and other blockchain technologies, such as Ethereum, Corda, Quorum, etc.? Again, we need to break this down to more specific questions. For example, do we want to:

  • Read/query data from multiple ledgers?
  • Write data to multiple ledgers with consistent results (i.e., both are committed or none)?
  • Involve nodes and members from multiple networks in consensus mechanisms?

The answers vary. Querying the data is possible using “oracles,” gateways that can retrieve data from one trusted source and make it available to another network, while mediating trust relationships (e.g., using Chainlink). Writing data consistently is possible using centralized intermediary gateways, which is not wholly satisfying, but even then the diverse models of finality across these stacks make this challenging as deterministic finality in Fabric is not always possible in other networks. Cross-network consensus remains at the level of academic research and will not be achieved in the near term.

Pluggable Crypto Implementations

The regulatory compliance requirements in some regions (e.g., Asia, Russia and, potentially, the EU) require that blockchains align with regional crypto standards. Today this is handled by scanning Fabric implementation for all uses of specific crypto libraries and the painstaking effort to replace these with regional/country crypto standards. Making the crypto service pluggable will save a huge programming effort, and it can promote the open source technologies into a broader market. Fabric Jira FAB-5496 has been created to track this.

Auditing Capability

Finally, the issues of supporting auditing must be considered. Compared with logging, metrics and tracing, auditing is specific for business and legal regulation and compliance (used by auditors and accountants). In some projects involving Intercompany accounting and billing reconciliation, the information on the ledger related to how invoices are settled and paid feeds into financial systems that are subject to SOX-404 compliance requirements. This means that internal or external audit teams need to be able to verify the source data and the integrity of the systems that maintain it. While we provide tamper-evident block chaining capability in Fabric, we do not currently provide tools to allow a user to re-verify on-demand the cryptographic hashes linking the blocks or the validity of the digital signatures (and the current status of the certificates) attached to past transactions. In discussions with the SIs that are implementing blockchain projects for some of our customers and are also involved in audits, it became clear that having such APIs for auditing purposes would be very useful and could promote the use of blockchain in the financial departments of many enterprises. 

Summary

Enterprise blockchain is rapidly gaining adoption in many industries and for many use cases. In our experience, practical applications of blockchain in production deployments by early adopters raise a number of key considerations and challenges that have to be addressed for greater acceptance of enterprise blockchain in the mainstream. Our blockchain team and partner ecosystem is exploring a number of these topics with customers. As an active Hyperledger member, Oracle is providing recommendations and suggesting approaches to these “bleeding-edge” issues through the various working groups and the TSC. Jointly with the rest of the Hyperledger community, we continue to evolve Fabric and other Hyperledger projects to meet these requirements for the broader set of companies and other organizations who will be adopting these technologies in the coming years.

In case you missed my session at the Hyperledger Forum, or were unable to attend, you can watch the session replay of “Practical Issues in Blockchain Implementation.” 

Developers can learn more helpful tips by downloading the complimentary Oracle Blockchain Developer eBook.

About the Author

Baohua Yang, Oracle, Principal Architect, Oracle Blockchain Platform

Baohua has served the Hyperledger community as a member of the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and co-chair of the Technical Working Group in China (TWGC) from 2017-2019. As an open-source developer, he contributes  to numbers of projects (e.g., Hyperledger, OpenStack and OpenDaylight), and is leading several (e.g., Hyperledger Cello, fabric-sdk-py). More about him can be found at yeasy.github.com.

“The future is not predicted; it’s achieved” – Hyperledger Global Forum 2020

By Blog, Hyperledger Global Forum

“I was paranoid that I backed the wrong horse and I was relieved to see […] real applications going into the world.” Michael Del Castillo’s quote from his keynote panel on Blockchain in Action sums up what has gone through my head now and then during the last years.

Public presence of blockchain declined rapidly after the crypto hype. Innovations and redesigning businesses and processes just doesn’t generate as many clicks. By now, like Don Tapscott says in his speech: “Hardy anyone is talking about it [blockchain], but most people are actually doing something about it.” 

And all the participants at Hyperledger Global Forum could experience the merit of this sentence during the four days at the event. There were presentations after presentations of use cases featuring blockchain in production. Apart from the already famous TradeLens and FoodTrust, I was lucky to learn about many more cases: simplifying trading of used airplane parts (Honeywell), loyalty program (American Express), simplifying exchange of crucial information (Credit Union), reducing corruption in public procurement in Latin America or ensuring fair labor conditions in procurement of raw materials (Volvo Cars) as well as many more projects.

Exchanging experience, know-how and ideas with open-minded experts is, next to co-creating value, one of my favorite activities, and the best place for me is the Hyperledger Global Forum. And this year’s edition, once again, lived up to expectations. (Editor’s note: See Markus’ takeaways from Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel here.)

While I mostly followed the business tracks, there was also a great announcement: The Hyperledger Fabric Developer Certification! My teammates and I are looking forward to having our know-how formally confirmed.

One of the crucial and present topics was identity and while, personally, I’ve already been convinced, it was great to see that many organizations tackle this issue using the tools and frameworks from the Hyperledger family. In the workshop by Nathan George and Ken Ebert (both from Sovrin), I learned how much progress has been achieved in terms of ease of use in self-soverin identity and verifiable credentials, and so I hope to see widespread adoption soon. Being Swiss, distributed and self-sovereignty are deeply rooted in my values, so this is the technical implementation of some of my core values.

“All are welcome here.” In my opinion, the Hyperledger community remains the most open, down-to-earth and inclusive community I know. While this can be felt by anyone attending Hyperledger events or joining any of the working groups, the inclusivity was on display to all the attendees. The focus was consistent through the event, starting with the insightful diversity happy hour on the first day up to the workshop by Accenture’s Alissa Worley and Tracy Kuhrt, where I learned about my unconscious biases and how to deal with them.

The Hyperledger Forum was once again the best blockchain conference I’ve attended, and I look very much forward to the next conference.

I’ll close with the words that inspired me most during the four days of the Forum: Brian Behlendorf quoting Tim O’Reilly: ”Create More Value Than You Capture”

Hyperledger Ecosystem Growth Strong as Members Make Headlines & Discuss Production Deployments at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020

By Announcements, Hyperledger Global Forum

Highlights from the biggest annual gathering of global Hyperledger community 

SAN FRANCISCO and PHOENIX (March 4, 2020) Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, today announced highlights from Hyperledger Global Forum 2020. The event, which is the biggest annual gathering of the global business and technical community driving Hyperledger development and deployment, put members front and center with an opening key panel on Blockchain in Action featuring the latest on production deployments from American Express, Honeywell and newly announced member Walmart. Additional keynotes slated for today by Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology, World Economic Forum, and (via video) Don Tapscott, co-author, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World, and co-founder, Blockchain Research Institute, further underscore the growing global impact of enterprise blockchain technologies. (See a live stream of today’s keynotes here.)

Since the Hyperledger community gathered for the last Hyperledger Global Forum in December of 2018, the multi-venture, multi-stakeholder effort hosted at the Linux Foundation has almost doubled its numbers of projects to a total of 15. Many projects also hit key development milestones, including the release of Hyperledger Fabric 2.0, Hyperledger Iroha 1.0 and, just last week, Hyperledger Besu 1.4. Hyperledger Indy also graduated to active status. Fifty five organizations, including Cargill, ConsenSys, Microsoft, Salesforce and Tech Mahindra, joined Hyperledger over the last year.

Additionally, over half of the companies named in the most recent Forbes Blockchain 50 are using Hyperledger technologies. Three of them, Honeywell, IBM and Microsoft, joined Forbes’ Michael Del Castillo on stage to discuss the business processes and technology infrastructures they’ve rolled out leveraging Hyperledger platforms. 

“In just over four years, the community and ecosystem that have grown around Hyperledger and driven enterprise blockchain technology has been remarkable,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. “The rapid pace of innovation and adoption in the last 12 months laid the groundwork for the many successes we are celebrating and next steps we are discussing here at Hyperledger Global Forum. By bringing the technical, academic and government leaders of this market together here in Phoenix, we are fueling the next wave of DLT-powered technical and business advancements.”

Member News

As part of this global gathering of the Hyperledger and blockchain community, a host of members are announcing or showcasing new products, service offerings and milestones. Below is a recap of Hyperledger members’ news:

Blockchain Technology Partners (BTP) & Digital Asset – recently announced commercial support for executing DAML smart contracts on Hyperledger Besu through BTP’s Sextant for DAML product. DAML, the open source smart contract language created by Digital Asset, now enables application portability across three major Hyperledger frameworks: Besu, Fabric and Sawtooth. Sextant for DAML now supports both Hyperledger Besu and Sawtooth, as well as Amazon QLDB and Aurora cloud databases, allowing the same distributed application to be easily deployed across all four platforms. Learn more: https://blockchaintp.com/sextant/daml/

Chainstack – has become the first-ever managed blockchain service provider to launch support for the newly released Hyperledger Fabric 2.0. Deploy multiple high-performing cloud-based Fabric 2.0 networks in under five clicks across a variety of deployment configurations, complete with channels, multiple organizations, peers, ordering service and more. Chainstack’s new managed Fabric service is the simplest way for developers and enterprises to start building solutions on top of the latest version of Fabric 2.0. Find out more: https://chainstack.com

Chainyard – has added Saudi Aramco as a Founding Buyer to the Chainyard Trust Your Supplier ecosystem, a Hyperledger Fabric network for Supplier Information Management, to represent the oil and gas Industry. This brings the consortium to more than 20 major enterprises. Most of these organizations are in pilot stage with two organizations in production and actively onboarding suppliers to the network. Learn more here: https://www.trustyoursupplier.com/#

Circulor – worked with fellow Hyperledger member Daimler to successfully pilot a new approach to CO2 tracking in Daimler’s electric vehicle battery supply chain. Under the umbrella of Daimler’s “Ambition 2039” to become carbon neutral along its entire supply chain, the pilot represents the first time the dynamic measurement of carbon-use has been attributed to the actual flow of materials through the complex web of participants along the electric vehicle battery supply chain. The insights will help Daimler engage with its supply chain to improve sustainability measures. The Circulor traceability platform, built on Hyperledger Fabric and hosted on Oracle, was used as the foundation, with new capabilities built to enable the carbon tracking. Having successfully concluded the pilot, both Daimler and Circulor are now working together on a plan to efficiently scale this to their entire battery supply chain. Learn more: https://www.daimler.com/sustainability/resources/blockchain-pilot-project-supply-chain.html 

Government of Bermuda – announced the second Bermuda Tech Week will take place October 12-16, 2020. Based on the success of the inaugural event in 2019, the Government of Bermuda aims to make Tech Week an annual event on the country’s calendar. Bermuda Tech Week is a gathering for local and international thought leaders to discuss emerging trends and technologies such as blockchain, digital assets, insurtech and artificial intelligence, among others, in a country with a welcoming, stable and well-regulated environment. Click here to view highlights from last year’s event and for more information, please contact bermudatechweek@bda.bm.

LimeChain – is partnering with ReMeLife to create the first blockchain-based healthcare Membership Community helping to provide care support, personal data management, rewards for caring, self-care management, and community engagement. Network participants will be incentivized to perform beneficial actions for healthcare patients. ReMeLife addresses maintaining care in the community, loneliness, community engagement, data ownership and portability, GDPR compliance and CQC reporting, consumer engagement and self-care management, whilst achieving cost savings and efficiencies for consumers and care businesses. Utilizing an Ethereum-based network, like Hyperledger Besu, allows LimeChain to seamlessly create the smart contracts for the tokens out-of-the-box, future proof the network for future scaling while helping participants avoid user inconveniences like transaction fees and gas. Learn more about LimeChain here: https://limechain.tech/

LedgerDomain – will soon release a groundbreaking study as part of the FDA’s DSCSA Pilot Project Program with UCLA Health. The study, currently in peer review, reveals how blockchain would save the US pharmaceutical industry over $180 million each year, along with reducing counterfeits and hidden costs worth billions of dollars. The study features a blockchain-based mobile app, BRUINchain, which was used by real caregivers delivering critical life-saving medications at one of the busiest hospitals in the United States. Learn more: bruinchain.com

Loyyal – announced it has signed a three-year commercial production vendor agreement with The Emirates Group. Loyyal’s blockchain-enabled loyalty and rewards platform, now in production at Emirates Skywards, brings new transparency, efficiency and cost savings to the award-winning loyalty program of Emirates and flydubai with more than 25 million members. Since moving into production, Loyyal’s Hyperledger Fabric-based platform has yielded several positive results including improved transparency between Emirates Skywards and its partners; enhanced security; reduced instances of fraud; improved traceability and reporting capabilities; and the elimination of redundant reconciliation processes. Learn more: https://loyyal.com/

Oracle – now offers customers a variety of options to deploy blockchain networks. Oracle Blockchain Platform Enterprise Edition, based on Hyperledger Fabric, enables flexibility and additional data privacy options by providing an option to deploy blockchain nodes on premises in customer’s data centers or on 3rd party clouds, while still connecting to Oracle Blockchain Platform nodes provided as a managed PaaS offering in Oracle Cloud. Blockchain networks need to be flexible enough to cater to organizational policies and global regulations. Where the nodes are deployed can be subject to legal regulations, such as data residency or data sovereignty. Learn more: https://blogs.oracle.com/blockchain/multi-cloud-and-hybrid-blockchain-networks-with-oracle-blockchain-platform-enterprise-edition

Samsung SDS – announced enhanced features for Nexledger Universal, the blockchain platform list in the Forbes Blockchain 50. Nexledger Universal powered by Hyperledger Fabric can speed up transaction throughput by up to 15 times through “Accelerator.” It also offers “Interoperability” support for public and enterprise blockchain technologies. Moreover, it provides secured data lifecycle management especially for private data and large files by blockchain. Discover more on https://samsungsds.com/

Smart Block Laboratory – announced the release of the CRYPTOENTER©, a blockchain infrastructure for digital banking. The project organizes a single digital space for transmitting financial messages, and it finally removes the existing differences between fiat money and cryptocurrency. The technological basis of the project is a cloud platform for the blockchain economy “Rubicon Blockchain.” It was developed by the Smart Block Laboratory based on Hyperledger Fabric technology hosted by the Linux Foundation. CRYPTOENTER© combines the functionality of interbank payment systems, acquiring services, electronic payment systems and phone payment solutions. The ecosystem of the project allows participants to develop economic ties between countries, making instant cross-border payments and exchange transactions with a low commission, implement p2p lending and other opportunities of the digital economy. CRYPTOENTER© is located in the IBM solutions catalog here.

Sovrin Foundation – announced a new strategic membership initiative aimed at growing the vital and diverse community supporting the Sovrin Network, a decentralized global public network enabling self-sovereign identity on the internet. As a successful implementation of Hyperledger Indy, the Sovrin Network is now built, functional and in use, enabling verifiable credential exchange for many products and services worldwide. To date, the Foundation has laid the essential groundwork required for a successful, trustworthy global Network for identity. This includes: (1) designing and implementing proper, open governance, (2) building an active open source developer and web standards communities, (3) supporting effective network operations, and (4) building and establishing the Sovrin brand and reputation. Currently, over 400 members help support these activities. This Sovrin Membership is not only helping facilitate the growth of Hyperledger Aries, a project focused on interoperability among identity networks and solutions, but also responsible for the latest community-driven reports on data protection regulation, guardianship in blockchain, and the use of distributed ledger technology in the humanitarian sector. The newly announced Sovrin Membership Campaign will further support the growing global use of the Sovrin Network and adoption of self-sovereign identity. Learn more: https://sovrin.org/join-sovrin/

Xooa – recently announced several milestones including: (1) developing a Know Your Customer (KYC) smart contract implemented on Hyperledger Fabric that vastly simplifies the implementation of blockchain-based sanctions compliance, on-boarding, and due diligence processes, then leveraging this prebuilt smart contract to win a KYC enterprise blockchain project; (2) partnering and natively integrating with four major blockchain-as-a-service cloud providers; and (3) becoming a Hyperledger-Certified Service Provider. Learn more: xooa.com

New Hyperledger Training and Certification Offerings

In addition, Hyperledger and the Linux Foundation Training announced the launch of two key technical talent development offerings. First, enrollment is now open for the new Certified Hyperledger Fabric Developer (CHFD) exam. This two hour, live system (no multiple choice) exam is the latest in a series of training content and certification exams aimed at onboarding the next generation of technical talent for professional blockchain technologies. Anyone who registers for the CHFD exam before March 11 will receive a 50% discount off of the $300 full price.

Secondly enrollment is also now open for a new professional certificate program – Developing Blockchain-Based Identity Applications. This program, offered through the edX training platform, is geared towards developers interested in building and deploying applications using the new “self-sovereign” paradigm for digital identity. It explores the possibilities for issuing and managing secure digital identities and credentials offered by Hyperledger Indy, Aries, and Ursa, for building applications on a solid digital foundation of trust. 

About Hyperledger

Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing and technology. Hyperledger hosts many enterprise blockchain technology projects including distributed ledger frameworks, smart contract engines, client libraries, graphical interfaces, utility libraries and sample applications. All Hyperledger code is built publicly and available under the Apache license. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger under the foundation. To learn more, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/.

About Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 (March 3-6, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona, #HyperledgerForum)

Hyperledger Global Forum is a unique opportunity for users and contributors of Hyperledger projects from across the globe to meet, align, plan and hack together in-person. Open to members and non-members alike, attendees have the chance to talk directly with Hyperledger project maintainers and the Technical Steering Committee, collaborate with other organizations on ideas that will directly impact the future of Hyperledger, and promote their work among the enterprise blockchain community.

Hyperledger Announces Eight New Members, including Clear, Conduent and Walmart, at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020

By Announcements, Hyperledger Global Forum

Welcomes six new Hyperledger Certified Service Providers

SAN FRANCISCO and PHOENIX (March 3, 2020) Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies today announced the addition of eight new members, including Clear, Conduent and Walmart, on the first day of Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 (#HyperledgerForum). 

In addition, Hyperledger, a multi-venture, multi-stakeholder effort hosted at the Linux Foundation, welcomed six new Hyperledger Certified Service Providers. Beijing Proinsight Technology, Kompitech, LimeChain, Mindtree, Xoaa and Zhigui are the latest organizations to complete the criteria for the recently launched program. Members are pre-qualified, vetted service providers who have deep experience helping enterprises successfully adopt Hyperledger enterprise blockchain technologies.

“Adding this great mix of new members and HCSPs is a great opening act for Hyperledger Global Forum,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. “Hyperledger is powered by its diverse, global community, and this event is all about bringing Hyperledger users, developers, service providers and enthusiasts together to reflect on what we’ve accomplished so far and, more importantly, where we can go next. The packed show agenda proves just how much we all have to share and the impact this highly engaged and active Hyperledger community is having on the growth of enterprise blockchain.”

Hyperledger allows organizations to create solid, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by offering enterprise-grade, open source distributed ledger frameworks, libraries and tools. General members joining the community are Aiou Technology, Clear, Conduent, Joisto Group, Tangem, Tokenation and Walmart.

Hyperledger supports an open community that values the contributions and participation from various entities. As such, pre-approved non-profits, open source projects and government entities can join Hyperledger at no cost as associate members. Associate members joining this month include Directorate of Information Technology (DIT) of Maharashtra.

New member quotes:

Aiou Technology

“Aiou Technology is glad to join the Hyperledger community,” said Terry Wang, CEO, Aiou Technology. “As a company focusing on blockchain technology’s research and development, we are committed to constructing a consortium BASS (Blockchain-as-a-service) platform and providing professional and targeted blockchain solutions for enterprises and governments. We have accomplished substantial social and economic benefits since the establishment of Aiou three years ago, and successfully empowered the real sector with innovative blockchain technology in multiple fields, including anti-counterfeiting traceability, supply chain finance, data assets sharing, and recording. Aiou looks forward to working together with members of Hyperledger to strengthen the community and promote the development of the blockchain industry.”

Clear

“Clear is a leading provider in the telecom community, active in several networks and working with multiple DLTs,” said Eran Haggiag, Chairman and co-founder at Clear. “We are joining Hyperledger now as we roll out applications to production and are required to fit to any DLT enterprises choose to work on.”

Conduent

“On behalf of global enterprises, we transform business processes by automating and streamlining mission-critical operations through our deep industry experience and the latest technology solutions, to drive efficiencies, reduce costs, increase compliance and enable revenue growth,” said Nikhil Nayab, Global Head, Payments Innovation and Blockchain, Conduent. “We are proud to join the Linux Foundation and the Hyperledger community to contribute our expertise to establish data standards and drive enterprise blockchain adoption.”

Joisto Group

“Hyperledger Fabric implements two important concepts for our ongoing R&D project,” said Jani Partanen, CTO of Joisto Group. “First, as a private and permission blockchain, no computationally heavy consensus algorithm, like proof of work, is required. Secondly, Hyperledger Fabric’s channel architecture complements Joisto’s multi-tenant architecture perfectly.”

Tangem

“It’s a pleasure to join the Hyperledger community,” says Tangem CEO Sergio Mello, “At Tangem, we facilitate trust with a next-gen smartcard solution, powered by a secure chip, that enables mainstream adoption of digital assets. We make it our mission to advance the real life usability of blockchain and to make the world more transparent and trusted. We look forward to working with the Hyperledger community in this evolving market.”

Tokenation

“Thanks to its strong alignment with our vision to tokenize the world one token at the time, Hyperledger Sawtooth emerged as the obvious technology choice,” said Sérgio Silva, Co-Founder & CEO/CIO of Tokenation. “This state-of-the-art, scalable permissioned DLT perfectly matches our needs for a corporate-level approach accessible to all. At Tokenation, we provide your business or idea with a value-adding ecosystem that will allow it to grow via a simplified and low-cost tokenization process.” 

Walmart

“Walmart is excited to participate in Open Source communities, coming together to create scalable and adaptable technology,” said Sanjay Radhakrishnan, Vice President, Walmart Global Tech. “We’ve seen strong results through our various deployments of blockchain, and believe staying involved in open source communities will further transform the future of our business.” 

Members big and small are collaborating across company and country lines to ensure the success of Hyperledger business blockchain technologies, building products, services and solutions on top of Hyperledger code bases that are critical to their lines of business. Learn more about becoming a member of Hyperledger. 

About Hyperledger

Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, healthcare, supply chains, manufacturing and technology. Hyperledger hosts many enterprise blockchain technology projects including distributed ledger frameworks, smart contract engines, client libraries, graphical interfaces, utility libraries and sample applications. All Hyperledger code is built publicly and available under the Apache license. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger under the foundation. To learn more, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/.

About Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 (March 3-6, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona, #HyperledgerForum)

Hyperledger Global Forum is a unique opportunity users and contributors of Hyperledger projects from across the globe to meet, align, plan and hack together in-person. Open to members and non-members alike, attendees have the chance to talk directly with Hyperledger project maintainers and the Technical Steering Committee, collaborate with other organizations on ideas that will directly impact the future of Hyperledger, and promote their work among the enterprise blockchain community.

Keynote Q+A: A conversation with Hyperledger Global Forum headliner Don Tapscott of the Blockchain Research Institute

By Blog, Hyperledger Global Forum

Oliver Johnston-Watt caught up with Don Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution author and Blockchain Research Institute co-founder, ahead of Hyperledger Global Forum, where Don will present a keynote talk. Read on to learn more about Don’s extensive history chronicling digital technology and some of the views he will bring to the stage in Phoenix:  

Oliver Johnston-Watt (OJW): Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed in advance of your keynote at the Hyperledger Global Forum. While most of us know you as the author of the Blockchain Revolution (2016), perhaps you could introduce yourself and talk a little more about the Blockchain Research Institute? 

Don Tapscott (DT): Blockchain Revolution is my sixteenth book, and the first I’ve written with my son, Alex Tapscott. All of my work, from Paradigm Shift to Wikinomics and Macrowikinomics, explores the intersection of digital technology with business and society. 

avatar for Don Tapscott
Don Tapscott, Blockchain Revolution author and Blockchain Research Institute co-founder

The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) was established in 2017, a year after Blockchain Revolution was released, to provide a research foundation for enterprise and government leaders to begin exploring blockchain. We gathered a network of the world’s leading experts in a variety of fields to help create over 300 research deliverables, focused on blockchain’s applications in over a dozen different sectors.

We’ve continued expanding our offerings, though – we have released a MOOC in partnership with INSEAD and Coursera, we have put together the world’s largest enterprise-focused blockchain conference, and we are releasing a series of four books this year, the first of which is out now!

OJW: You have been travelling around the world giving keynotes about blockchain. I personally saw you speak in January at the Geneva Blockchain Congress before you travelled to Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF). Overall, do you think the market is becoming more receptive to blockchain? 

DT: I would call it “uneven and combined development.” In some sectors blockchain/DLT adoption has been rapid, but it’s been downright glacial elsewhere. On the whole, however, the enterprise community is considerably more literate than it was when Blockchain Revolution was first published back in 2016. 

From time to time, I still hear the sentiment that blockchain development has “stalled.” That particular view is deeply misinformed – we have seen a significant growth in production blockchain solutions in the past year.  The previous Internet (of Information) was targeted at the information and media industries. The disruptions were deep and spilled into other industries like retail, but relative to the Internet of Value (blockchain) they are small. 

Why so? Because blockchain targets elements of our economy and society that are more profound than information – assets – everything from money, securities, intellectual property, the data in our identities, deeds, contracts, to cultural assets and even votes.  It challenges the way that we treat valuable information and data assets that are owned too. 

OJW: You wrote for the WEF that bad PR, regulation and technological immaturity are the main obstacles to blockchain adoption. While regulation affects enterprise adoption of blockchain less than, say, cryptocurrencies, what role do software foundations, like Hyperledger, have in solving these issues? 

DT: The Hyperledger community is a core part of the ecosystem governing this historic innovation.  The organizations tackling such stewardship operate on three levels: platforms, application ecosystems, and at the broader cross-industry, societal level. Organizations like Hyperledger govern at the platform level but have proven extremely effective in promoting interoperability too, not just within their own ecosystem of DLTs but more broadly. Meanwhile, organizations like the Chamber of Digital Commerce (CDC) or the BRI provide advocacy and guidance to enable broader institutional changes. 

All of them are crucial, as I see it, in facilitating widespread adoption.

OJW: In your 2012 TED talk, you argued that the four principles of an open world are open collaboration, transparency, sharing, and empowerment through decentralisation. These principles are closely aligned with those of the open source community. Do you think that open source will prevail in the development of lasting blockchain technologies? 

DT: I think that open source is fundamental to the long-term development of this technology. Of course, above the very basic protocols and platforms there will be no shortage of proprietary applications, and that’s to be expected. Fundamentally, though, the success of a blockchain project depends on building and engaging an ecosystem of developers, which lends itself well to open source.  

OJW: Some may remember that, in the early days of the personal computer market, there were many competing offerings. Of course, very few market players survived in the long run – basically Apple and the IBM PC. Do you see a similar situation occurring with blockchain? With many different open source protocols available, will ultimately only a few survive?

DT: The specific offering changes the amount of diversity a market might accommodate, of course. If we’re talking about personal computing, it makes a big difference whether we’re discussing hardware, operating systems, or applications, for example. There’s no question we’ll see greater consolidation of blockchain platforms, but we’ll also see improved platform interoperability. Hyperledger Besu is a good example of the latter.

OJW: Whatever the outcome of the “ledger wars,” would you agree that it makes sense for enterprises to focus on smart contracts? Solidity has been around for a while, but there are now emerging open source smart contract languages such as Accord and DAML (from Digital Asset). Do you think smart contracts will follow a similar evolution to previous business model processing languages, that resulted in BPML (Business Process Modelling Language)?

DT: The areas of innovation that enterprises will, of course, change by industry, but on the whole I do think smart contracts probably have the most immediate impact on the largest number of businesses. This is especially true if your business is approaching blockchain solely as a means of reducing the manual processes involved in conducting business logic, but I think there are more fundamental transformations to work on as well. 

OJW: What role do you think organisations like the BRI and the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) should play in developing the standards required to accelerate blockchain adoption?

DT: The BRI exists to fill the knowledge gap in blockchain and help large enterprise leaders navigate this coming revolution. I have limited knowledge about the GBBC’s work, but I know they play an important role as industry advocates and they do helpful educational work such as the platform they offered this year at Davos. Both organizations, alongside the CDC, are focused on the highest level of stewardship that I mentioned previously – broad, institutional changes to facilitate further adoption. 

The BRI has been supporting various organizations’ efforts to build standards, specifically at the platform level. My most recent research, in fact, specifically explores the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance’s Token Taxonomy Framework – which is part of a truly breakthrough initiative. 

OJW: How can we work to develop standards particularly in the regulated financial services sector? An interesting example is the partnership between Digital Asset and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) to develop a Common Domain Model (CDM)?

DT: The goal should be not just to develop those standards, but to develop the tools necessary to help innovators and companies abide by those standards. Digital Asset’s CDM reference code library is a good example of that. We should also work to provide greater certainty that solutions or products being developed indeed abide by those common standards – certification systems built into testnets, for example. 

If we don’t focus on accessibility, clarity, and certainty, then it will be far more difficult for smaller companies and innovators to abide by those standards.

OJW: Finally, we keep hearing that this is the year that blockchain becomes mainstream, how close or, for that matter, how far are we from achieving this and what could derail this ambition?

DT: There will never be a distinct moment when we realize we’ve “arrived,” and there are already many applications that have reached a level of production that could be considered “mainstream.” In general, though, it will take time to embed this technology into every facet of business and daily life because it challenges very fundamental aspects of how firms and broader industries operate.

Blockchain often forces us to reimagine the role of some very powerful and deeply integrated institutions, which are – by design – not easy to change. It will take time to get there, but compared to where we were even a few years ago, the pace of change is astounding. It’s clear now that to sit this out is to resign yourself to obscurity, and smart enterprises working hard to bring about change. 

Don Tapscott’s keynote, “The Blockchain Revolution – State of the Union,” will be on March 4, 2020, at Hyperledger Global Forum. To register, go here.

Don Tapscott is a world leading authority on the impact of technology on business and society. He authored 16 books, the most recent being the best-selling Blockchain Revolution which he co-authored with his son, Alex Tapscott, who he also co-founded the Blockchain Research Institute with in 2017. Don received an Order of Canada for his leadership in the field of business and innovation, he is a current Adjunct Professor at INSEAD and former Chancellor of Trent University, Ontario. 

Oliver Johnston-Watt is Marketing Director of Blockchain Technology Partners (BTP), a leading enterprise blockchain company.  BTP brings the benefits of smart contracts and blockchain to business by providing Sextant – a management platform that radically simplifies the deployment and ongoing management of distributed applications. Oliver is based in London and is a graduate of the University of Oxford.

Looking ahead to Hyperledger Global Forum

By Blog, Hyperledger Global Forum

The upcoming Hyperledger Global Forum, March 2-6, in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, provides us with an opportunity to come together face-to-face and learn what is happening in the Hyperledger community. 

With the chance to collaborate in person, we can align on how we think about fundamental questions, such as:

  • How do we meet the growing need for interoperability?
  • What can we do to achieve an inclusive community?
  • How can we build the blockchain ecosystem?

While at Hyperledger Global Forum, here are some sessions that will help us answer the questions above.

The growing need for interoperability

Before joining Accenture this time last year, I spent two years with the Linux Foundation as a community architect for Hyperledger. With 15 different projects in the greenhouse, maintainers share a baseline understanding of each other’s work, but community collaboration tends to stay within project silos.

The thing is, multiparty systems like blockchains are a team effort. They rely on an ecosystem of people working together. To reach the technology’s full potential, we need interoperability between every person, every platform, and every project.

As a result, the dialogue in the community is shifting from “Which chain will rule them all?” to “How do I get my chain to work with yours?” The answer hinges on ecosystem collaboration. 

On Wednesday, Accenture’s Giuseppe Giordano and Peter Somogyvari’s session, “Connecting Ecosystems: Blockchain Interoperability,” will give an update on our development work and unique approach to interoperability for permissioned blockchain networks with Blockchain Integration Framework, recently open sourced to Hyperledger Labs.

Inclusive collaboration by design

If you ever attended a Hyperledger event or meeting, you have likely heard the phrase “All Are Welcome Here.” Ensuring we fulfill this commitment is table stakes, for our global community, for our code, and for the future adoption of these cutting-edge technologies. There are a number of sessions related to this important topic that will benefit each of us.

To kick off the event on Monday evening, March 2 at 6pm, Accenture is sponsoring a diversity happy hour. We will be thinking through actions we can all take to make our community more diverse and inclusive in 2020.

On Thursday, Hyperledger Marketing Committee co-chair and Accenture’s Alissa Worley and I will host a workshop on unconscious bias. With the help of VR, this immersive experience will help participants understand what unconscious bias is and how to mitigate it.

I am honored to serve alongside IBM’s Swetha Repakula as the first women on the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee. Swetha and I will lead a session on Wednesday about how we create an inclusive Hyperledger community. We will share a number of tips about making people feel welcome and being open to contributions. These ideas apply beyond Hyperledger tools to any open source project. 

Building the ecosystem

Building the ecosystem starts before the technology choices are made. We need to make sure that we define the right governance models with our clients, our partners, and our regulators. There are a number of talks that will shed some light on how to lay a successful foundation, ranging from making the case for blockchain initiatives to governing DLT networks

If you are like me, you may have got into the blockchain space because of the technology’s potential for positive impact. I will be curious to hear Sheila Warren’s keynote to learn how WEF is using blockchain to change the world. 

Looking ahead

At Accenture, we see blockchain technology flourishing in three main areas: financial services, supply chain and identity.

From hosting the Hyperledger Maintainers’ Summit, contributing code, and supporting Hyperledger Global Forum as a diamond sponsor, it is great to see Accenture further our commitment to the blockchain open source ecosystem. 

I am looking forward to seeing you in March, as we learn from one another and grow the Hyperledger community. Lastly, while you are in Phoenix, you cannot miss having a bite and a beverage at Four Peaks Brewery, taking a hike at Camelback Mountain, or visiting the Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market.

  • Discover and bookmark all of Accenture’s sessions at Hyperledger Global Forum by searching “Accenture,” in the program agenda.
  • Visit us in the Accenture booth in the Technology Showcase. 
  • Learn more about Accenture’s work at Accenture.com/blockchain

Looking back on 2019: Identity, blockchain and Verified.Me

By Blog, Hyperledger Global Forum

It feels like it wasn’t that long ago that we all imagined 2020 would be one of those years far in the future when everyone would have a sort of robotic personal assistant, microchip implants or flying cars. Well, the first electric “flying” vehicle is scheduled to be tested next year by ride-sharing giant Uber, and AI personal assistants and microchip implants are a reality.  

What I imagined the future would look like revolved around technology serving humanity and helping solve societal problems. We’ve seen examples of technology, like blockchain, being used to enable digital commerce while also fighting corruption, deterring fraud and, mostly importantly to me, solving problems with today’s identity landscape. 

Identity-related digital fraud is one of the direst challenges with today’s digital economy. Whether it’s trouble with credit card fraud, data breaches of varying sizes, the advent and rise of SIM swapping fraud or identity theft, bad actors are becoming increasingly sophisticated at stealing our data through innumerable channels. Just last year, over five billion records were exposed through at least 6,515 publicly reported data breaches. In Canada, CPA Canada’s 2019 Annual Fraud Study(1) found that 70 per cent of Canadians are more concerned about fraud today than they were five years ago, 86 per cent are familiar with identity theft and credit card fraud and almost 80 per cent have experienced email and telemarketing fraud. 

Think this doesn’t have an impact on your personal life? Take a quick visit to Troy Hunt’s haveibeenpwned.com to see where your email address has been publicly leaked in reported breaches, the vast majority of which occured in the latter half of this decade. 

These concerning stats serve to both scare and encourage us to continue to develop solutions that protect people’s data. From conversations around FaceApp’s face-aging filter opening the door to hackers to stories about how people still write their passwords on a piece of paper, it’s clear there’s still lots to be done to mitigate risk. We believe that taking care of personal data should be a combined effort between users and technology providers – and we look forward to doing our part at SecureKey. 

My vision for 2020 is seeing blockchain reach its full potential in helping participants in the world’s digital economy arm themselves against bad actors. My vision is to solve the problems of today’s identity landscape and help consumers – and their data – move forward into the next decade with greater privacy, security and consent-driven tools at their fingertips. 

My personal goal is to move beyond society’s justified milieu of fear and frustration toward online services, instead making online service delivery trustworthy and cost effective. I want to grow online transactions for business while also making it simpler, more convenient and respectful of privacy for all of us who want to do more online.

In the last year, there were a number of important milestones, amazing advancements and new use cases of blockchain technology:

2019’s milestones in blockchain (2)

January

  • Blockchain-based Bitcoin turned 10 years old
  • Coinstar machines begin selling cryptocurrency at grocery stores across the US

February

  • Ethereum’s Constantinople hard fork is released, part two of Metropolis
  • Parliament of Canada Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics holds hearings on what can be done to better protect Canadians online with emerging technologies like AI and blockchain

April 

  • Bitcoin surpasses 400 million total transactions

May:

  • SecureKey and Canada’s major financial institutions launched blockchain-based network Verified.Me in Canada

June 

  • Daily Ethereum transactions surpass one million

June

  • Facebook announces Libra

July 

  • United States Senate holds hearings titled “Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain”

August 

  • Ethereum developer dominance reaches 4x that of any other blockchain

September 

  • Santander bank settles both sides of a $20 million bond on Ethereum

October

  • Block.One fined $24 million by the SEC for its unregulated $4 billion EOS ICO
  • Over 80 million distinct Ethereum addresses created

November 

  • Over 3000 Dapps created. Of them, 2700 are built on Ethereum
  • Amount of Ether locked in Decentralized Finance apps reaches all time high of 2.7 million ETH

Register for Hyperledger 2020 to absorb everything you can about blockchain, how it’s being used and how it will impact our day to day lives. Join our CTO, Dmitry Barinov, during his speaking sessions as he explores building a new standard for trust using Hyperledger.

Looking for tickets? Readers can take advantage of a special promotional offer and receive 20% off your general ticket. Visit Hyperledger Global Forum’s website https://events19.linuxfoundation.org/events/hyperledger-global-forum-2020/register/ and entire the code HGF20SEC

We look forward to seeing you there – and seeing what the future of digital identity, blockchain and tech holds for all of us.

(1) CPA Canada 2019 Annual Fraud Study: https://www.cpacanada.ca/en/the-cpa-profession/about-cpa-canada/media-centre/2019/february/canadians-express-strong-concerns-about-fraud-cpa-canada-survey

(2) Taken from Consensys’ “The Decade in Blockchain – 2010 to 2020 in Review”

Cover image: Image by Schwoaze from Pixabay

Looking ahead to Hyperledger Global Forum 2020: A preview of key topics and themes

By Blog, Hyperledger Global Forum

It’s 2020 and blockchain is well and truly in production. If you have any doubt, take a look at the schedule for the Hyperledger Global Forum 2020.

Whether you are a seasoned developer, business executive or relatively new to the world of enterprise blockchain, you will be well catered for in Phoenix, Arizona, from March 3-6. The conference features an exceptional range of keynotes, case studies and workshops. 

Here are a few key themes that the Hyperledger Global Forum schedule reveals about the state of blockchain in this new and exciting decade…

Self-sovereign identity (SSI) is here to stay

Self-sovereign identity technology removes the tireless friction of maintaining multiple digital identities and empowers users to control the data they share across platforms. Hyperledger Indy, Aries and Ursa provide enterprises with the tools and libraries required to create meaningful business and humanitarian solutions using this powerful technology. 

At the Hyperledger Global Forum you will learn how SSI is 

  1. Reducing the cost of KYC compliance across a consortium of banks across South Africa.
  2. Enabling the Province of British Columbia, Canada, to ascertain the provenance of Greenhouse Gas emitting energy resources in their efforts to modernise their energy grid and support their decarbonisation efforts.
  3. Enabling non-profit Kiva and the Central Bank of Cambodia to issue digital identifications to unbanked populations, creating better opportunities for credit for traditionally underserved communities as well as helping developing economies grow and better align with the larger global economy.

Innovators are realising the value of blockchain in supply chain 

Blockchain or distributed ledger technology is arguably best described as a database architecture that enables trust between multiple parties. Verifying provenance within a supply chain is therefore one of blockchain’s most natural applications.

A wide range of Hyperledger technologies – notably Hyperledger Sawtooth – is being implemented to harden global supply chains and develop new relationships between customers, suppliers and vendors.

Learn how…

  1. Unilever is leveraging Hyperledger Sawtooth to trace the provenance of pork meat so that millions of customers can scan their food packaging using a mobile app to learn the end-to-end provenance of their meat from farm to vendor.
  2. Quantum Materials Corp uses Hyperledger Sawtooth and DAML smart contracts  to bring their nanoscale quantum dot technology to market to ensure absolute product identification within critical and high value supply chains.
  3. Volvo is tracking the provenance of cobalt to develop a more environmentally responsible and efficient supply chain for the manufacturing of their EV batteries

Blockchain interoperability, both public and private, is evolving…

Open source technology is essential to ease systems integration and drive digital transformation. The interoperability of blockchain technologies is an important challenge that needs to be solved to unlock its full potential. 

Hyperledger technologies are principally permissioned, or private, blockchain technologies. The permissioned space has often been characterised as distinct from, and even adversarial to, public blockchain networks, such as Ethereum. 

A much anticipated panel discussion featuring representatives of ConsenSys, Microsoft and IBM will discuss how both Hyperledger and Ethereum can collaborate to achieve their common goal – the global adoption of blockchain.

Summary

This is just a sample of the sessions on offer at Hyperledger Global Forum 2020. In addition to compelling keynotes, there will be more than 50 sessions covering business and technical topics as well as case studies and demos during the first two days of the event. These are followed by two days of workshops where you can deep dive on topics of specific interest, for example, Accenture and the World Economic Forum are jointly leading a half day session aimed at business leaders to help them understand how to properly evaluate blockchain use cases for their organizations.

For more information or to register, visit the Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 website.

The Value of Attending Hyperledger Global Forum 2020

By Blog, Hyperledger Global Forum

We are a community working together to build tech that will ultimately impact industries all around the world. Of course, we all have our own individual motivations, many of them commercial and many of them underpinned by specific technologies incubated by Hyperledger. Fundamentally, however, we are all sold on the value of blockchain technologies. 

At the Hyperledger Global Forum in 2018 in Basel, Switzerland, the community was still responding to the conflation between blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. In July, the Member Summit in Tokyo showed that the market has come a long way. As Gartner describes it, the hype has dwindled and we are now in the ‘trough of disillusionment’ – terms that may sound discouraging but actually signify the period when meaningful technological adoption begins. 

Across Hyperledger, blockchain projects are increasingly moving into production and generating genuine business value, from the recent announcement of Salesforce’s low code blockchain platform to Walmart’s leveraging of blockchain to build a food traceability system. 

At this stage, it is an excellent time to engage with the community and showcase the progress we are making. While many of you are seasoned road warriors with your feet barely on the ground before being whisked off to the next conference, I want to explain the value of attending the Hyperledger Global Forum in Arizona 2020.

1) The conference really embodies the spirit of open source. Hyperledger Global Forum genuinely encourages open discussion and conference attendees, whether members or not, have the opportunity to talk with the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee. It is an opportunity to ask questions and meet the engineers you may collaborate with daily, whether you work for a corporate giant or a start up.

2) You always come away with a new perspective and a new market to explore. With over one thousand attendees from all over the world, Hyperledger Global Forum really is that – global. We came back from Basel with new leads from markets as far flung as Russia, Singapore and Israel – connections that, as a start up, have shaped our direction

3) Hyperledger Global Forum generates real outcomes. Conferences are not an insignificant investment, particularly for a start up. However, the relevance of the tracks and the relationships we developed meant attendance was absolutely worthwhile. Whether this be a collaborative effort with other contributors to solve a common problem within a project or an introduction to a company whose problem we are trying to solve, Hyperledger Global Forum always generates actions.

Many in the community are equally as enthused about Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 and the value this extended, global conversation about all things Hyperledger:  

“The Hyperledger Global Forum is a great event for professionals working in the business of blockchain to participate in. I was proud to represent SecureKey at the event last year and to stand alongside some of the most notable technology professionals. We look forward to our continued work with Hyperledger and highly recommend like-minded organizations take part in this excellent event.”  Dmitry Barinov, CTO – SecureKey Technologies

“The Hyperledger Global Forum attracted leaders from around the globe last year and allowed us to have a number of face-to-face meetings with clients, colleagues and, for me, as the co-founder of the Social Impact Special Interest Group, an in-person meeting with group members from Mexico to Timor-Leste. The global make-up of the conference is just one more reason why Accenture will be the diamond sponsor again this year.” Alissa Worley, Global Marketing Director – Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies at Accenture

“The conference really embodies the spirit of open source. Hyperledger Global Forum genuinely encourages open discussion and conference attendees, whether members or not, have the opportunity to talk with the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee. It is an opportunity to ask questions and meet the engineers you may collaborate with daily, whether you work for a corporate giant or a start up.” Dan O’Prey, CMO – Digital Asset

Hyperledger Global Forum 2020: The Content Line-Up

By Blog, Hyperledger Global Forum

Winter is coming, but we can’t feel the chill. Hyperledger Global Forum 2020 is keeping us busy and excited. Arizona’s calling, as is Camelback Mountain for those of us who hike. But enough about location, let’s talk about the content!

In a recent post, we shared the process of selecting the talks. Now it is time to tell you about the content. To keep it simple, we didn’t create multiple tracks. The job was to select 21 technical talks, 21 business talks, 18 product demos, and 8 workshops. Only 23% acceptance rate! That is harsh. On the other hand, we were very excited to  see proposals from more than 40 different companies as well as a good representation of universities, governments and non-profit organizations. 

The Program Committee, led by Tracy Kuhrt from Accenture and Hart Montgomery from Fujitsu, did the hard work and made the hard calls. They spent considerable time discussing the submissions and choosing the talks that were not only ranked highest but also came from new or under-represented voices in our community. The discussions were quite intense: many people were passionate about a different area.

Most of our Program Committee members are experienced reviewers for other industry and academic conferences. To make sure that we were all on the same page, guidelines on general CFP scoring guidelines and best practices were published as part of the CFP progress and the program committee developed the criteria we talked about in the previous post.

To make our program clear and easy to follow we created five tracks: Keynotes, Technical, Business, Demos and Workshops. We wanted to balance it out so that attendees wouldn’t have to choose between talks on going at the same time. 

Of course, no agenda is finalized without keynotes and so we are really excited to share with you the confirmed ones. We will hear from Sheila Warren, head of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger at World Economic Forum; “Blockchain Revolution” co-author Don Tapscot and our Governing Board chair, Robert Palatnick. 

In addition to these keynotes, we have a great line-up of talks. In the technical track, Alfonso De la Rocha Gómez-Arevalillo from Telefonica will talk about “Going into Production! Performance Best Practices in Hyperledger Fabric,” Swetha Repakula from IBM and Tracy Kuhrt from Accenture will tell us about building diverse ecosystems in their presentation “All Are Welcome Here: Creating an Inclusive Hyperledger Community” and Nathan George, representing Sovrin Foundation, will present on “Standards and Interoperability for Identity.”

In the business track, there will be quite a few case studies including ones by Julie Esser from CULedger and Ron Amstutz from Desert Financial Credit Union, Alan Krassowski from Kiva and John Jordan representing Government of British Columbia. We wanted to talk about collaboration, so you will find many talks on Hyperledger Besu and connections with the Ethereum community, including a panel “Competition, Collaboration, and Connection: How Hyperledger & Ethereum Communities Thrive.”

Did we succeed? Probably not – we can always do better! That’s why we are sharing the agenda with you so early. If you think we missed something or feel like it is not balanced enough, drop us a line at hgf@hyperledger.org. See you in Arizona!