My name is Zixuan Zeng, a CS student from Zhejiang University. This summer, I was happy to join the Hyperledger Internship Program and had a very fulfilling experience. I was fortunate to work with my mentor Adam Burdett from the Sovrin Foundation on a project focused on building a Raspberry Pi Indy agent on Raspberry Pi.This project’s goals was to develop a Hyperledger Indy agent running on Raspberry pi, producing a customized Raspbian image that provides easy access to GPIO pins, enabling it to interact with external sensors, LED matrix, etc. With the new Hyperledger Aries project, our implementation was an Aries-cloud-agent (previously indy-catalyst) that can interact with Indy pool and create more interesting applications. This project also includes an Aries RFC defining the message format for interactions with Sense-Hat extension board as well as its messaging module implementation.
What I learned:
Open source community work style: Through this summer’s internship, I experienced the working style of open-source development from the Hyperledger community. For example, I opened a GitHub issue and got it resolved.
Blockchain knowledge: In this internship, I got to know more about not only the basic blockchain concept but its exciting applications in the future. I learned distributed ledger, zero-knowledge proof and decentralized identifiers during this summer. Additionally, I had the opportunity to set up and test blockchains myself.
Programming experience on IoT devices: I also gained hands-on programming experience on Raspberry Pi. Since it has ARM architecture, even compiling the SDK was a tough task for me at first. After many tries and looking up the documents, I finally made it on Raspberry Pi. Using Python to control an external GPIO port was also a fun and new experience to me.
Implementation of a working Hyperledger Indy agent: Working with Aries Cloud Agent, I developed messaging protocols and successfully implemented a working agent. Walking through the architecture of the agent project was really a learning experience for me. I felt very accomplished when I understood the structure of the whole project and developed sub-module based on that.
What comes next:
The next step for this project could be:
Extend to other IoT devices
Add support for more add-on boards
Add support for more messaging types
After this fulfilling experience, I determined that my plan is to become a software engineer, especially in blockchain area. I am happy to join the Hyperledger family and hope I can make more contributions to this vibrant community in the future.
Below are some screenshots from my project. To read my full report, go here.
Those who study decentralized or self-sovereign identity technologies quickly run into two important mental models. The Decentralized Identity Foundation promotes the notion of hubs—services that help an identity owner manage data and interact through it. Hyperledger Indy and the Sovrin Foundation talk about agents—pieces of software that hold delegated keys, exchange digital credentials, and otherwise do an identity owner’s bidding.
Overlapping descriptions of hubs and agents have fostered a perception that they’re competing technologies. This is unfortunate, because the truth is quite different. Hubs and agents are actually synergistic, as explored below. Like a drummer and a guitarist, they contribute in vital and complementary ways to the music of identity.
But if we want cryptographic primitives to yield practical benefits, we have to package decentralized identity so it’s easy for a child or a grandparent who thinks of tech in terms of clicks on a cell phone. That’s where hubs and agents come in.
Hubs are the data managers of decentralized identity. Like DropBox or Google Drive or iCloud, they let you put data into the cloud with confidence that it will be secure, available, and shareable anytime, anywhere. Unlike those familiar services, hub interfaces are vendor- and platform-agnostic. If you migrate from Apple to Android, your data is unaffected. If you close an account with Google, your data survives, because the data is tied to you, not to an email account or a piece of hardware. If a hacker or a malicious sysadmin or the machine learning algorithm of a data miner peers into your storage, they see data encrypted by keys that only you hold.
Agents are the personal assistants of decentralized identity. Remember how Iron Man delegates work to Jarvis? Agents are connected and digitally empowered like Jarvis. They are the mechanism for sophisticated delegation that gets work done—work like giving and retracting consent, buying and selling, scheduling and reminding, auditing, monitoring, proving things with credentials, enacting and fulfilling contracts, issuing receipts, and so forth. They speak bits and bytes, keys and crypto, and protocols and transports, so their masters don’t have to. Unlike Alexa and Siri, they are trustworthy fiduciaries, because they work exclusively for their owners. They don’t stream data about their masters back to a corporate data lake to be analyzed and mined.
Rock music often begins with a percussion groove to set tempo and mood, with the guitar joining a few bars in, as storytelling begins. The opposite sequence is also used, where a guitar or voice leads out, and drums appear later to rev up the energy. Either way, the full power and synergy of a band manifests when each component is actively playing its part.
Similarly, agents and hubs make more powerful music when they work together. Most work that agents need to do is rooted in and informed by data; an agent that has a hub to work with is likely to be far more useful to its master. And data is an asset, but cultivating it for security and usefulness can drown us in details without powerful tools, as anyone who’s cataloged years of cat videos can attest. Having an agent to enact decisions and reference the data in appropriate, automated ways in interactions is a no-brainer.
The straightforward ability to dovetail is part of what differentiates the hub+agent combination from more specialized SSI technologies like Solid, which have a more standalone vision. Solid’s features are similar to hubs. An integration path between it and the identity, credential, and protocol features of agents undoubtedly exists, but is not a design goal.
We expect that the most useful decentralized identities will use both hubs and agents.
How, exactly, are duties divided between hubs and agents?
To answer that question, it’s important to understand that both agents and hubs are intangible software constructs that interact over the network through APIs or messages–and that the DID communication mechanisms they use are common. In other words, they share large amounts of DNA. What separates a hub from an agent is which high-level protocols it is assigned. The division of work is manifest in which messages are sent to which component. This division used to be muddy, but it is now clarifying nicely and should become even crisper. We advocate dialog around remaining questions, and in the meantime, we suggest the rules of thumb that follow.
Hubs and agents focus on different things. Overlap is shrinking.
Hub protocols are data-oriented. They model operations as commits to a data object, or as reads of an object state. Several datatype interfaces can be read, written, or queried in similar ways: Profile, Permissions, Actions, Stores, Collections, and Services. Collections is the most foundational to the hub’s role as a data manager; it is where chunks of data of almost any type can be accessed, both by the data owner and (if the owner wishes) by others. Permissions control access to data. Profile describes the identity owner (think a universal, self-hosted gravatar). Services is the basis of a hub’s extensibility mechanism. Stores and Actions are for advanced use cases that we’ll gloss over in this high-level discussion.
One identity owner may use many hubs. Hubs make the physical topology transparent; to the owner, it just feels like data is always available on whatever device and whatever network is convenient. In keeping with the hub’s focus on data management, hubs are not deeply trusted or deeply informed about their owner’s behavior. They don’t take actions on the owner’s behalf, and they don’t hold keys. However, hubs can relay messages to other components, like agents, for processing. They are superb data managers.
Agents are flow-oriented. Their job is to get work done, and the unit of work management is a protocol. Agents might support protocols for issuing credentials, negotiating payment, or dozens of other personal and business processes. The messages that arrive at agents are routed to a protocol handler that looks up the persisted state of the flow and takes the next step, based on what the message says. Agents do take actions on the owner’s behalf; for example, when Alice digitally signs a lease with her mobile phone, an agent has to do the underlying crypto because Alice can’t handle modular exponentiation in her head, and she can’t speak bits and bytes over Wifi.
A component diagram that shows how hubs and agents deploy and interact in a credential-oriented interaction may help to provide a tangible example:
Hubs and agents work together to connect Alice to other parties on the digital landscape.
Agents should generally defer storage management tasks to hubs. The persisted state that an agent adds to, when taking the next step in an incomplete workflow, should be read from and written to a hub’s sophisticated storage layers–and by viewing messages as data, hubs can add reliable delivery guarantees to route or relay functions that propagate messages to all of Alice’s agents. When Alice wants to share her cat videos with Bob, she should point him to a URI backed by her hub(s). It is possible that some agents will operate without hubs (e.g., IoT devices that emit sensor data but that don’t store much); however, most sophisticated agents will have hub storage available to them.
Hubs should generally defer complex, non-data-management work to agents. When Bob wants to buy a car that Alice is selling, he engages in a buy~sell protocol that begins as Alice receives a message from him. This message arrives at the boundary of Alice’s world at an endpoint she designates. That endpoint might be hosted on a hub, where the message can be persisted and replicated—or it might flow directly to one of Alice’s agents. Either way, it is the agent’s interface that Bob interacts with and that provides interoperable workflow. It is possible that some hubs will operate without agents (e.g., doing nothing complex beyond sharing data); however, most hubs will collaborate with agents nearby.
Hubs and agents are complementary technologies. Hubs are the data relays and data managers of decentralized identity; agents are the personal assistants. Each solves complex problems for identity owners, and each gets more powerful when paired with the other. We expect flexible and powerful decentralized identities to use both.
After working on the problem of identity online for more years than we care to admit, it is heartening to see that we are not alone: The identity community we’ve longed to see is here, and it’s transforming the world. In the months since Hyperledger Indy graduated to ‘production ready’ active status, we’ve seen an outpouring of digital identity business solutions come to market.
These accomplishments are due, in part, to the growth and maturity of the Hyperledger Indy code; but, equally, they wouldn’t have happened without a collaborative community of dedicated contributors passionate about changing the way identity works online. And their outstanding work is not going unnoticed by the wider technology community: self-sovereign identity (SSI) has gone from “interesting idea” to “this looks promising” to “we need to implement this now.”
The Time for SSI Has Come
Forrester’s recent “Top Recommendations for Your Security Program, 2019,” testifies to this, describing SSI as a “win” for customers and businesses, and urged chief information security officers (CISO) to “Empower your customers to control their own identities via self-sovereign identity.”
They can do this because exchanging verifiable digital credentials is at the heart of SSI. This ends the need for massive data silos, honeypots, and unsecured data repositories housed at countless corporations and organizations. Instead, anyone can hold secure and verifiable information about themselves, and through Zero-Knowledge Proofs (ZKP), minimize the information they decide to share with others. (ZKPs are an important type of advanced privacy-preserving cryptography now available in the open source community within the recently announced Hyperledger Aries project).
This doesn’t just benefit consumers in terms of information sharing, businesses also get to avoid GDPR and regulatory compliance issues and benefit from much better security. Moreover, we’re finally starting to see the big tech companies come to the realization that the status quo isn’t working when it comes to data collection, and sooner or later, it will affect their bottom line. SSI is the disruptive technology that the industry has been waiting for.
The Indy and Aries communities are driving this disruption in privacy and personal data by designing and building the protocols, technologies, and code that makes SSI possible. But moving beyond the code and building real solutions will require new companies. Like the Web 20 years ago, most of these will be startups who have a vision for this new way of interacting online.
Designed to help organizations and companies learn how to use code from Hyperledger Indy to create verifiable credential exchange products and SSI solutions, this intensive 12-week program based in San Francisco will be a bootcamp for identity entrepreneurs and start-ups. It also gives participating companies $180,000 in investment and the comprehensive hands-on technical support and mentoring they need to realize their business ideas and bring their products to market.
At a point where SSI is reaching critical mass, we want to see the identity community grow bigger and stronger and build the products that take SSI to the masses. As Sovrin Foundation Executive Director and CEO Heather Dahl recently noted at the New Context Conference in Tokyo, an event founded in 2005 by Digital Garage co-founder and Director of MIT Media Lab, Joi Ito, “Self-sovereign identity is the next disruptive innovation; it changes the very nature of how people connect with the companies and services that they rely upon online.”
It’s great to see the SSI Incubator already receiving its first batch of applications, with many from the same Hyperledger community Sovrin first worked with to donate the source code to Hyperledger Indy. These are the same members who we see contributing and maintaining the code repositories for Hyperledger Indy and Aries today,
These products are poised to transform the fundamental way the Internet runs and the way we will use it to the benefit of everyone. With our years of experience and depth of knowledge about digital identity, supporting this community and these projects is not just something interesting for us to do in our spare time. It is our job as leaders in technology and identity to support, educate, and most importantly, fund the projects, that will change the future of identity forever.
About the authors
Greg Kidd is the Founding Partner of Hard Yaka, a fund investing in portable identity, payments and marketplaces necessary for digital transformation. He has invested in more than 100 startups, including Twitter, Square and Ripple.
Dr. Phil Windley is chair of the Sovrin Foundation and the co-founder and organizer of the Internet Identity Workshop. He is a passionate technology educator and is the author of the books The Live Web and Digital Identity.
Adds 10 More Members, Powers Half of the Blockchain 50, Hits Production Milestones for Hyperledger Indy and Hyperledger Iroha
SAN FRANCISCO (May 9, 2019) –Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, today announced 10 more organizations have joined its growing global community. These new members join just as the Hyperledger portfolio of production-ready projects doubles and Forbes documents the scope of Hyperledger deployments in leading global businesses.
Hyperledger is a multi-venture,
multi-stakeholder effort hosted at the Linux Foundation that includes various enterprise blockchain and distributed
ledger technologies. According to the recent Forbes Blockchain 50 list,
over half of the biggest companies deploying blockchain are doing so on a
Hyperledger platform. And now two more projects, Hyperledger Indy and Hyperleger Iroha, have hit development
milestones that make them production ready.
the Forbes 50 shows, blockchain technologies and, specifically Hyperledger
projects, are now having real-world impact,”
said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. “With four
production-ready frameworks and 270 members working to develop and deploy
Hyperledger technologies around the world, the rate of adoption and the rise of
production systems will only accelerate. Our newest members will further fuel
this growing community, deployment and development momentum.”
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 and code bases. The latest general
members to join the community are Consensus Datatrust Technology Co., Ltd., FRST Corp., Fusion Tech+, Hedera Hashgraph LLC,
INBLOCK Ltd, RealMarket and Xilinx, Inc.
Hyperledger supports an open
community that values 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 Arizona State University, Portland State University and
University College London.
“It is a great honor to join and be a
member of Hyperledger,” said Maolu Wang, Chairman, Consensus Datatrust.
“As a revolutionary new technology, blockchain has shown great potential
in the field of B terminal. We understand that the solution of digital letter
integrates blockchain and big data. We believe that blockchain technology can
be used as a link for multi-party data sharing to solve previous business
problems by technical means. As a member of Hyperledger, we will provide strong
technology promotion and product promotion support, and we look forward to
making continuous contributions to the community.”
“The open source dev ecosystem has a tradition
of testing assumptions, trying new things, and building important, evolving
codebases. FRST is excited to join the Hyperledger community, and we believe
participation will advance our work as a data-driven, blockchain-native
enterprise analytics company,” said Karl T. Muth, CEO of FRST. “We can’t
wait to share our questions and ideas with this community.”
“We are very happy to join Hyperledger and
look forward to collaborating with the community to provide innovative
solutions for our partners and customers,” said Yang Lu, CTO of Fusion
Tech+. “Fusion Tech+ is a smart technology company under Fusion Group.
Relying on the strong strategic layout of the IoT, Fusion Tech+ puts forward
the concept of Tech+ for enabling innovation and an integrated service platform
called ‘Fusionfintrade,’ which deeply integrates technology, finance and
scenarios to create a mutual enabling ecosystem. Our platform supports many
scenarios and, as we develop it, we will also be actively contributing to the
Hyperledger ecosystem and working with the other members to promote the
development of technology and industry.”
“We are excited to join the Hyperledger
community, which comprises some of the most forward-looking organizations
working on distributed ledger technology,” said Mance Harmon, CEO of Hedera
Hashgraph. “We know enterprises have been exploring DLT use cases with
Hyperledger technology. Hedera provides an enterprise-grade public
network that complements those existing and future projects.”
“It’s been a long-time
goal for us to join the Linux Foundation and Hyperledger,” said Jay Baek,
vice president at INBLOCK. “Since the introduction of Mainnet last year,
we’ve been cooperating with leading experts and allies in the blockchain
industry to develop and improve the global business value. While our focus in
on digital assets, we see that blockchain has the potential to revolutionize
all industries, and we hope to contribute to the technology’s wide, real world
“RealMarket is a
FinTech/RegTech company producing innovative alternative finance solutions
using enterprise blockchain, machine learning, and big data. Our ultimate
vision is a fully programmable economy powering groundbreaking and sustainable
development worldwide,” said Dr. Dušan Gajić, CEO of RealMarket. “Thus, it is
natural for us to join Hyperledger and the Linux Foundation, and we are both
proud and excited to do so. Hyperledger is vital to our efforts as its suite of
technologies ensures that the store of business-vital data and the rules
governing their transformation are securely distributed. It is our aim to help
develop Hyperledger further as we build an innovative platform combining equity
crowdfunding, a private equity secondary market, cap table management, and
corporate governance automation. All of this is only possible because
Hyperledger Fabric is at the core of our system.”
Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing and Technology. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger under the foundation. To learn more, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/.
In the real world, most identity interactions are self-sovereign. We collect and hold various credentials that we keep in our possession and present at our discretion to prove things about ourselves. These could be collections of cards, certificates, or paperwork that prove various things about someone or something. Some credentials are obvious, like birth certificates, licenses to drive, employee ID cards, passports, university diplomas…the list goes on. We hold and present these to any anyone we want, without the permission of the organization who issued them. These credentials are kept and controlled by the holder, and only taken from her wallets and revealed with her expressed consent.
This is not what happens on the internet. Like the famous cartoon says – “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” illustrating the very real issue with the lack of an easy, secure, standardized system for a person to collect, hold, and ultimately present trustworthy, verifiable credentials online.
Unfortunately, online identity is very clearly broken. This is due to the fact that the internet was created without any way to identify the people who used it. Initially, it was a fairly small network of machines. Internet protocols are designed to identify machines and services, not people. People used the Internet through some institution (usually their company or university) and were part of that institution’s administrative identity system. This can still be seen in the format of email addresses that identify both recipient and sender as someone@someplace.
As the internet grew to include people who weren’t formally associated with an institution, every website and service created its own administrative identity domain. The result is the fractured profusion of identifiers, policies, and user experiences that constitute digital identity in 2019. Where early internet users had a handful of credentials and logged in occasionally, modern internet users typically have dozens, even hundreds, of usernames and passwords. Security has made these harder to use by encouraging or even forcing users to use more cryptic passwords and not share them between sites. And now multi-factor authentication adds to the cognitive burden. And then there’s the inconvenience of supplying the same information to application after application, all the while suffering the dangers that they might lose it or expose it to hackers.
One attempt to solve this problem is single-source or ‘federated logins.’ Social login systems from Google, Facebook, and others expedite logging into various websites, but these systems are limited in the kinds of attributes they use and the trustworthiness of those attributes. As a result, they aren’t as widely used as one might hope. Many companies don’t or can’t use social login and so the system of fractured administrative identity systems remains.
Traditional, identity systems have a single identity provider (IdP) administering an identity system for their own purposes. The rights of the so-called “identity subject” are subordinate to those of the identity provider. These systems are siloed, meaning the attributes you’ve shared with one organization are difficult to use with another. Each company asks for the same information, like your name, credit card, address, and so on. Users are required to provide that information to use the service – whether they like it or not. This single entity determines what information will be collected, decides who can participate, and how their data is stored – and that data is only as secure as the company or organization that keeps it.
Consequently, until now, the internet has lacked a universally available digital identity system that lets individuals collect and hold trustworthy verifiable credentials and present them to whoever they want, whenever they want – without the reliance on a third-party managing access.
What is SSI
Self-sovereign identity (SSI) gives individuals or organizations agency to control their identity information. SSI acknowledges that identity is about much more than logging in. Identity can be expanded to other uses by using verifiable attestations, called credentials, to prove things about yourself. SSI uses verifiable, trustworthy credentials. Identity owners autonomously use those credentials wherever they want. Privacy is a critical feature of SSI because, without privacy, there is no control. In SSI, the identity owner must be in control of who sees what. This represents a monumental shift in how identity functions on the internet.
Credential issuers, holders, and verifiers are peers on an SSI network. Any person or organization can play any or all of the roles, creating a decentralized system for the exchange of trustworthy, digital credentials.
Credential issuers determine what credentials to issue, what the credential means, and how they’ll validate the information they put in the credential.
Credential holders determine what credentials they need and which they’ll employ in workflows to prove things about themselves.
Credential verifiers determine what credentials to accept, and which issuers to trust.
In SSI, players independently determine the role they’ll play, who they trust, and what they will believe. While credentials can be revoked individually, the identity owner still controls her own identity wallet and all the other credentials she has collected. The result is an internet identity system that is more flexible, more secure, more private, less burdensome, and less costly.
About the author: Dr. Windley, an expert in decentralized digital identity and IoT and event-driven systems, is Chair of the Board of Trustees, Sovrin Foundation. The Sovrin Foundation open sourced the codebase used to create the Sovrin Network and contributed the initial code for Hyperledger Indy to Hyperledger, a project dedicated to blockchain hosted by the Linux Foundation.
A new document explains how blockchain transactions can be verified without having to reveal the details. Some of the model’s implementations include Idemix and Hyperledger Indy.
Transparency is considered by many to be one of blockchain’s most important traits. However, there are businesses, such as those in finance, which deal with sensitive information. In these situations, transparency takes a step behind privacy. For organizations operating with confidential information, implementing blockchain transactions with zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) is a solution to consider.
Altoros, a General Member of Hyperledger and an expert in blockchain development and training, has released a research paper exploring how to ensure privacy while still providing transparency on a blockchain.
Who can benefit from ZKP?
In a nutshell, ZKP is a method in cryptography where a prover can convince a verifier that it knows a secret value, without actually disclosing any information apart from the fact that it knows the secret value. While this requires some input from the verifier (e.g., challenging a response), there is also a form of this model called noninteractive ZKP, which does not require such an interaction between the two parties.
Avoiding linkability between certificates using ZKP protocols such as Idemix (Image credit)
Applications that benefit from ZKP are those that require a measure of data privacy. Some of these example applications include:
Authentication systems. The development of ZKP was inspired by authentication systems, where one party needed to prove its identity to a second party through some secret information, but without revealing the secret altogether.
Anonymous systems. ZKP can enable blockchain transactions to be validated without the need to reveal the identity of the users making a transaction.
Confidential systems. Similar to anonymous systems, ZKP can instead be used to validate blockchain transactions without revealing pertinent information, such as financial details.
ZKP implementations: Idemix and Hyperledger
In Hyperledger Fabric, privacy-preserving authentication and transfer or certified attributes can be done using Identity Mixer (Idemix), a ZKP-based cryptographic protocol. Its implementation consists of the three components:
A core Idemix cryptopackage (in Golang), which implements basic cryptographic algorithms (key generation, signing, verification, and zero-knowledge proofs)
MSP implementation for signing and verifying transactions using the Identity Mixer cryptopackage
A CA service for issuing ECert credentials using the Identity Mixer cryptopackage
The Idemix architecture within Hyperledger Fabric
This combination provides:
anonymity (sending transactions without having to reveal your identity)
unlinkability (sending multiple transactions without revealing that all the transactions come from the same source)
Based on Idemix, the Hyperledger Indy project was built for managing decentralized, independent digital identity. It utilizes the so-called Indy-anoncreds to cryptographically secure credentials. Just a couple of days ago, it was announced that The Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee (TSC) had approved Indy to graduate from incubation to the active status.
For more details on ZKP, the zkSNARK protocol, and noninteractive ZKP implementations (such as Idemix and Indy), check out the full research paper.
By Steven Gubler, Hyperledger Indy contributor and Sovrin infrastructure and pipeline engineer
The Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee (TSC) just approved Indy to be the third of Hyperledger’s twelve projects to graduate from incubation to active status.
This is a major milestone as it shows that Hyperledger’s technical leadership recognizes the maturity of the Indy project. The TSC applies rigorous standards to active projects including code quality, security best practices, open source governance, and a diverse pool of contributors. Becoming an active Hyperledger project is a sign that Indy is ready for prime time and is a big step forward for the project and the digital identity community.
Hyperledger Indy is a distributed ledger purpose-built for decentralized identity. This ledger leverages blockchain technology to enable privacy-preserving digital identity. It provides a decentralized platform for issuing, storing, and verifying credentials that are transferable, private, and secure.
Hyperledger Indy grew out of the need for an identity solution that could face the issues that plague our digital lives like identity theft, lack of privacy, and the centralization of user data. Pioneers in self-sovereign identity realized we could fix many of these issues by creating verifiable credentials that are anchored to a blockchain with strong cryptography and privacy preserving protocols. To this end, the private company Evernym and the non profit Sovrin Foundation teamed up with Hyperledger to contribute the source code that became Hyperledger Indy. The project has advanced significantly due to the efforts of these two organizations and many teams and individuals from around the world.
A diverse ecosystem of people and organizations are already building real-world solutions using Indy. The Sovrin Foundation has organized the largest production network powered by Indy. The Province of British Columbia was the first to deploy a production use case to the Sovrin Network with its pioneering work on Verifiable Organizations Network, a promising platform for managing trust at an institutional level. Evernym, IBM, and others are bringing to market robust commercial solutions for managing credentials. Many other institutions, researchers, and enthusiasts are also actively engaged in improving the protocols, building tools, contributing applications, and bringing solutions to production.
The team behind the project is excited about current efforts that will lead to increased scalability, better performance, easier development tools, and greater security. User agents for managing Indy credentials are under active development, making it easy to adopt Indy as an identity solution for diverse use cases.
If you’d like to support Indy, join our community and contribute! Your contributions will help to fix digital identity for everyone. You can participate in the discussions or help write the code powering Indy. Together, we will build a better platform for digital identity.A
Advances Collaboration with Growing Portfolio of Working Groups and Cross-Industry Special Interest Groups
SAN FRANCISCO (March 27, 2019) – Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, today announced that nineorganizations have joined the community. The new members, which includes the first general members from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, further strengthen the global support for the leading enterprise blockchain project.
“Our growing line-up of members and cross-community and cross-industry groups all point to the value of collaborative development, particularly for enterprise blockchain technologies,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. “As our Walmart and British Columbia case studies demonstrate, blockchain creates common ground for a network of stakeholders, adding value for everyone in the process. We view our community-based, open source approach in the same light, encouraging cross-industry collaboration at every turn. We welcome our newest members and look forward to their contributions to the community’s efforts.”
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 and code bases. The latest general members to join the community are Altavoz, Flowchain, Limar Global, PeerNova, Inc., Quant Network, ReGov Technologies Sdn. Bhd, Securitize and Silicon Valley Bank.
Hyperledger supports an open community that values 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 Auburn University RFID Lab.
“When Altavoz began accepting Bitcoin in 2013, we came to understand the importance of blockchain through the forest of cryptocurrencies,” said Altavoz CEO Nelson Jacobsen. “This led to work with the entertainment trade group, MusicBiz.org, on crypto and blockchain educational issues for artists, labels and music distribution companies. Joining the Linux Foundation and Hyperledger is the right next step for the growth of blockchain in the entertainment industry, and we look forward to being a part of Hyperledger’s efforts to create an open standard for distributed ledger technology.”
“Flowchain is excited to be a Hyperledger member,” said Jollen Chen, founder & CEO, Flowchain. “As a distributed ledger for peer-to-peer IoT networks and real-time data transactions, Flowchain’s design and architecture achieve advanced performance in both time and messages size compared to traditional distributed ledger technologies. By joining Hyperledger, Flowchain is ready to move to the next level and build up more application scenarios for IoT and AI industries. We are also looking forward to collaborating with more open-source based teams to evolve blockchain solutions.”
“We are pleased to join Hyperledger and to be the first Saudi company to join this global member community,” said Abdulellah M. Alnahdi, co-founder/director of Limar Global Technology. “Our team has been inspired by the Vision of 2030 for digital transformation of our country. Limar Global Tech aims to be a leader in the technological developments of Saudi Arabia and we realize that Hyperledger is the perfect community for our government and private sector to leverage for this digital transformation. We strive to bring forth the best for our people and working with the Hyperledger community will allow us to accelerate the use of DLT in our country. Whether its eHealth, Supply Chain management, or government services, we strive to adopt use cases that will ultimately make people’s lives easier. Our mission is to simplify life with advanced technologies and to help create a digital state that serves the greater good in our country. We look forward to collaborating with the Hyperledger community members and contributing to the greater cause of trusted networks.”
We are excited to join the Hyperledger community,” said Gangesh Ganesan, PeerNova President & CEO. “Our Cuneiform® Platform is built on principles of interoperability across existing financial and market infrastructures. Joining the Hyperledger community allows us to continue developing a solution that works seamlessly with internal, external, and all emerging DLT networks to achieve end-to-end visibility in real-time while ensuring privacy and confidentiality.”
“We are honored to join Hyperledger and the Linux Foundation to contribute to open source software and provide domain expertise,” said Gilbert Verdian, CEO and founder, Quant Network. “We see the immense value of collaborating to bring mass adoption for blockchain technology and contributing with our Overledger operating system, which helps unlock the potential of blockchain technology by addressing interoperability between blockchains as well as existing networks. Our work is driven by the belief that collaboration makes the blockchain ecosystem stronger, which is why the majority of our code is open source. We believe it’s crucial to support the development of DLT solutions and Hyperledger projects for enterprises and developers. We are excited to join this community to both contribute and help customers and users around the world benefit from this transformational technology.”
“We are excited to be the first general member of Hyperledger in Malaysia,” said Datuk Paul Khoo, Founder and CEO of ReGov Technologies Sdn Bhd. “The goal is to infuse and grow the capabilities of Hyperledger within the Malaysian public and private sector to build trust and accountability while streamlining processes to reduce cost. Leveraging the ecosystem of Hyperledger, ReGov will drive change using this next-generation technology to improve transparency and governance within all organisational spheres in Malaysia.”
“At Securitize, we believe all financial products will eventually adopt blockchain,” said Carlos Domingo, CEO & co-founder, Securitize. “As a leading technology platform for financial products, we see our membership in Hyperledger as a logical, evolutionary step in order to properly provide services to financial institutions on both permission-based and private blockchains.”
“We could not be more excited to join the Linux Foundation and Hyperledger and do our part to advance the Open Source community,” said Dave Kochbeck, Chief Scientist, Silicon Valley Bank. “As the leading financial services institution for the innovation economy, it is critically important that we go beyond the transaction to engage deeply in the technical communities that will help shape the future of financial services and how we work with and support our clients.”
Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing and Technology. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger under the foundation. To learn more, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/.
In Canada, starting a new business can be like navigating a maze with three levels: local, provincial, and federal. A helpful checklist on starting a business in Canada offers 60+ links to explore. All this red tape frustrates entrepreneurs and governments alike.
To lighten that burden, teams from the governments of British Columbia (BC), Ontario and Canada have started an ambitious project to fight red tape using decentralized identities and trusted credentials. They are jointly building the Verifiable Organizations Network (VON), to provide an open source software stack that helps business people establish trusted and enduring digital identities and speed up applying for permits and licenses from government agencies.
The first project to emerge is OrgBook BC, an online directory that makes finding authentic and authoritative data about companies faster and easier. Launched in January of 2019, it is designed to reduce the time to do due diligence on a new supplier or client from hours down to a few seconds.
Of course the path to this launch included a number of key development challenges, strategic technology choices and partnership across governments and the larger Hyperledger community. For more on all of these steps, check out this detailed case study.
Now that OrgBook BC is live, the VON goals are expanding the applications, growing the footprint and encouraging more jurisdictions to use the software stack until the network effect takes hold. To get the larger developer and business community engaged, the team is hosting BootCampBC as part of #BCTechSummit. The Honourable Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services and MLA for Surrey-Panorama, will be opening the event, underscoring the government’s commitment to driving the growth and adoption of VON.
A Minneapolis coffee shop that has fueled or at least caffeinated a lot of Hyperledger commits.
One of the first things people learn when coming to Hyperledger is that Hyperledger isn’t, like it’s name may imply, a ledger. It is a collection of blockchain technology projects. When we started out it was clear almost immediately that a single project could not satisfy the broad range of uses nor explore enough creative and useful approaches to fit those needs. Having a portfolio of projects, though, enables us to have the variety of ideas and contributors to become a strong open source community. Back in January of 2016 Sawtooth and Fabric were both on the horizon followed shortly by Iroha, but we wouldn’t have predicted that we would have Hyperledger Burrow and Hyperledger Indy – two projects that bear no resemblance to each other. Burrow is a permissioned Ethereum-based platform and Indy is a distributed identity ledger. Burrow is written in Go, and Indy was created in Python and is porting to Rust.
Both of these platforms are interesting in their own rights, but Hyperledger is even more interesting for the combination of these projects with the others. Both Sawtooth and Fabric have already integrated with Burrow’s EVM. Now Hyperledger has a set of offerings that can simultaneously satisfy diverse requirements for smart contract language, permissioning, and consensus. Likewise Sawtooth and Indy have been working together at our last several hackfests. The results of that may unlock new use cases and deployment architectures for distributed identity. So it’s not that our multiplicity of projects has given us strength through numbers, but rather strength through diversity.
The hackfests that we mentioned are one of the rare times that we get together face to face. Most of our collaboration is over mail list, chat, and pull-requests. When we do get together though it’s always in a new city with new faces. One of our most recent projects was hatched inside one of those buses. It wasn’t the most ergonomic meeting I’ve ever had but there was room for everyone on that bus.
Hyperledger Hackfest in Chicago
Our hackfest in Chicago was in a lot more conventional surroundings (still a very cool shared creative space .. lots of lab equipment and benches out of view on the other side of the wall to the right). Looking back at this photo is fun for me. I can see a lot of separate conversations happening at each table… people sharing different ideas, helping ramp new contributors, working on advancing new concepts with existing contributors. I can see a lot of similarity but also a little variety. It’s a busy room but there’s still open chairs and room for more variety.
Our next hackfest won’t be until March 2019 (Hyperledger is hosting Hyperledger Global Forum in December in Basel though). The March hackfest will be somewhere in Asia – location to be settled soon. The dates and locations of the other 2019 hackfests aren’t set yet. I don’t know where they will be specifically, but I do know that there will be a seat available and you will be welcome there.
These face to face meetings really are more the exception than the rule at Hyperledger. There are now more than 780 contributors spread all across the globe. 165 of those were just in the last few months. That means that every day we have a new person contributing to Hyperledger. Most of our engagement is through the development process. People contribute bug fixes, write new documentation, develop new features, file bugs, etc. If you’ve never contributed open source code before getting started might be intimidating. We don’t want it to be, though. There are a number of resources to help you get started. You can watch this quick video from Community Architect, Tracy Kuhrt. There’s documentation for each project, mail lists, a chat server, working groups, and some of the projects even host weekly phone calls to help new developers get engaged. Everyone in Hyperledger abides by a Code of Conduct so you can feel comfortable knowing that when you join any of those forums you will be treated respectfully. Anyone who wants to get involved can regardless of “physical appearance, race, ethnic origin, genetic differences, national or social origin, name, religion, gender, sexual orientation, family or health situation, pregnancy, disability, age, education, wealth, domicile, political view, morals, employment, or union activity.” We know that to get the best ideas, best code, best user experience we need your involvement. Please come join our community.