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Hyperledger Indy

(5.3.17) CoinDesk: Hyperledger Adds ‘Indy’ and ‘Composer’ Blockchain Projects

By Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Indy, News

The Linux Foundation-backed Hyperledger blockchain project got a little bit bigger this week.

Yesterday, the group’s blog showcased Project Indy, which is focused on digital identity tools for blockchain ecosystems. Indy is being spearheaded by a group called the Sovrin Foundation, founded last year to provide solutions for decentralized identity.

More here.

Hyperledger Welcomes Project Indy

By Blog, Hyperledger Indy

Guest post: Phillip J. Windley, Ph.D., Chair, Sovrin Foundation

We’re excited to announce Indy, a new Hyperledger project for supporting independent identity on distributed ledgers. Indy provides tools, libraries, and reusable components for providing digital identities rooted on blockchains or other distributed ledgers so that they are interoperable across administrative domains, applications, and any other silo.

Why Indy?

Internet identity is broken. There are too many anti-patterns and too many privacy breaches. Too many legitimate business cases are poorly served by current solutions. Many have proposed distributed ledger technology as a solution, however building decentralized identity on top of distributed ledgers that were designed to support something else (cryptocurrency or smart contracts, for example) leads to compromises and short-cuts. Indy provides Hyperledger projects and other distributed ledger systems with a first-class decentralized identity system.

Indy’s Features

The most important feature of a decentralized identity system is trust. As I wrote in A Universal Trust Framework, Indy “provides accessible provenance for trust transactions. Provenance is the foundation of accountability through recourse.” Not only can Indy support user-controlled exchange of verifiable claims about an identifier, it also has a rock-solid revocation model for cases where those claims are no longer true. Verifiable claims are a key component of Indy’s ability to serve as a universal platform for exchanging trustworthy claims about identifiers.

Another vital feature of decentralized identity—especially for a public ledger—is privacy. Privacy by Design is baked deep into Indy architecture as reflected by three fundamental features:

  • First, identifiers on Indy are pairwise unique and pseudonymous by default to prevent correlation. Indy is the first Distributed Ledger Technology  to be designed around Decentralized Identifiers (DIDs) as the primary keys on the ledger. DIDs are a new type of digital identifier that were invented to enable long-term digital identities that don’t require centralized registry services. DIDs can be verified using cryptography, enabling a digital “web of trust.” DIDs on the ledger point to DID Descriptor Objects (DDOs), signed JSON objects that can contain public keys and service endpoints for a given identifier. DIDs are a critical component of Indy’s pairwise identifier architecture.
  • Second, personal data is never written to the ledger. Rather all private data is exchanged over peer-to-peer encrypted connections between off-ledger agents. The ledger is only used for anchoring rather than publishing encrypted data.
  • Third, Indy has built-in support for zero-knowledge proofs (ZKP) to avoid unnecessary disclosure of identity attributes—privacy preserving technology that has been long pursued by IBM Research (Idemix) and Microsoft (UProve), but which a public ledger for decentralized identity now makes possible at scale.

Indy is all about giving identity owners independent control of their personal data and relationships. Indy is built so that the owner of the identity is structurally part of transactions made about that identity. Pairwise identifiers not only prevent correlation, but they stop third parties from transacting without the identity owner taking part since the identity owner is the only place pairwise identifiers can be correlated.

Indy is based on open standards so that it can interoperate with other distributed ledgers. These start, of course, with public-key cryptography standards. Other important standards cover things like the format of the identifiers, what they point to, and how agents exchange verifiable claims. Indy also supports a system of attribute and claim schemas that are written to the ledger for dynamic discovery of previously unseen claim types. Relying parties can make their own entitlement decisions based on schemas with publicly known identifiers.

The result is a new way of doing systems integration on the Internet that is much less costly while also being more trustworthy. As I wrote in When People Can Share Verifiable Attributes, Everything Changes, owner-provided attributes are a powerful driver that will push decentralized identity systems well beyond the current uses of federation and social login. Organizations can reduce, or even eliminate, costly manual verification processes and API integrations, and instead trust the identity claims presented to them, precisely because these claims can be verified. People and organizations become the source of what’s true about them.

Indy Shares the Internet’s Virtues

As I wrote in An Internet for Identity, Indy shares three important virtues with the Internet: No one owns it. Everyone can use it. Anyone can improve it. Launching Indy as a Hyperledger Project is a critical component of allowing anyone to improve how Indy works.

These virtues are supported by Indy’s permissioned-validation ledger model and open-source code base. This has important consequences for scale and cost. But unlike other permissioned ledgers like R3’s Corda (http://www.r3cev.com/blog/2016/4/4/introducing-r3-corda-a-distributed-ledger-designed-for-financial-services) , CULedger (http://www.culedger.com/), or SecureKey (http://securekey.com/press-releases/ibm-securekey-technologies-deliver-blockchain-based-digital-identity-network-consumers/), Indy is designed for global public access. Even though Indy is permissioned, anyone can access Indy’s features.

Validation is performed by a set of validator nodes running a modified, redundant Byzantine fault tolerant protocol called Plenum that is part of the Indy project. Plenum allows for the group of servers run by the validators to come to collective agreement about the validity and order of events.

This diagram shows how these different dimensions of validation and access play across different distributed ledger systems.

What is the Relationship of Indy and Sovrin?

The Indy code base is being contributed to the Hyperledger Project by the Sovrin Foundation. Established in September 2016, the Sovrin Foundation is an international non-profit foundation created to govern a global public utility for decentralized identity. The trustees of the Sovrin Foundation believe the public, permissioned quadrant above is the only one that can achieve both high trust and global adoption for a decentralized identity system.

The Sovrin Foundation developed the Sovrin Trust Framework to govern how trusted institutions, called stewards, will operate validator nodes of the Sovrin Network. All stewards will run an instance of Project Indy. However the Sovrin Network is only one network designed to run Indy; any number of other networks may be created to run their own instances.

How Will Hyperledger Enhance Indy?

The Indy code base, originally developed by Evernym, was donated to the Sovrin Foundation to establish a strong open source foundation for the Sovrin Network. The Sovrin Foundation has been building a global community of developers who are passionate about Independent Identity and the economic and social benefits it brings to both individuals and enterprises.

Now the contribution of Indy to Hyperledger takes the next step in that process, opening up Project Indy to the entire Hyperledger family of developers. Our hope is to attract even more developers who want to unleash the transformative power of digital identity that is truly decentralized, self-sovereign, and independent of any silo. We would also like to explore direct synergies with the identity management goals and requirements of the other Hyperledger projects.

Learn More about Indy

To learn more or contribute to the Indy project:

And for those who want to learn more about the Sovrin Foundation:

For those interested in additional information about Indy or any of the other technical projects under Hyperledger, please reach out to: info@hyperledger.org. You can also plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list.

 

Hyperledger Adds Seven New Members

By Announcements, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Chaintool, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Explorer, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Sawtooth

The Linux Foundation’s open blockchain initiative grows to 135 members

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (April 26, 2017) Hyperledger, a collaborative cross-industry effort created to advance blockchain technology, announced today that seven new members have joined the project to help create an open standard for distributed ledgers for a new generation of transactional applications.

“This is a very exciting time with world class global organizations joining Hyperledger nearly every week,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. “The blockchain technology community still has many challenges to solve, and many different possible approaches to solving them. Hyperledger’s open collaboration is key to fostering this growing community and is fundamentally important to getting innovative ideas into production-quality code this year.”

Hyperledger aims to enable organizations to build robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support their individual business transactions by creating an enterprise grade, open source distributed ledger framework and code base. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, IoT, supply chain, manufacturing and technology. The latest members include: CollectorIQ Inc., Korea Exchange, Shanghai Onechain Information Technology, Shenzhen Forms Syntron Information, The State of Illinois, The Netherlands Organization for applied scientific research (TNO) and 1worldblockchain.

New member quotes:

CollectorIQ Inc.

“CollectorIQ’s data and analytics platform aims to unlock liquidity in the $6 trillion global fine art and collectibles market,” said Christopher E. Vroom, CFA / CEO / CIQ of CollectorIQ Inc. “We’ve assembled the world’s largest public and private market dataset, which is the first step towards greater transparency and, ultimately, higher transaction velocity. The distributed ledger promises to increase trust and veracity of and in asset authenticity which we view as a fundamental requirement for broad-based participation. Over the next ten years, we expect blockchain strategies to drive an incremental $200 billion in sales activity in this vertical. We’re thrilled to be a part of Hyperledger and hope that we can meaningfully contribute to open-source innovation within this growing network of like-minded entrepreneurs.”

Korea Exchange

“Joining Hyperledger will open the gateway to the blockchain technology for the Korean capital market,” said Hong Hee Shin, CIO of the Korea Exchange. “As it has strived to transform the traditional financial industry into innovative business, the Korea Exchange will keep driving the Korean capital market to adopt and develop distributed ledger technology that will benefit all market participants and investors. The collaboration with Hyperledger and member firms will accelerate its effort to reach the goal.”

Shanghai Onechain Information Technology

“Onechain technology, a financial technology company in China, is excited to have joined Hyperledger as an open source initiative that promotes blockchain digital technology and transaction verification,” Mr. George Zhou, the general manager of Onechain technology. “Members can cooperate with each other to build an open platform and meet the needs of different industries from multiple use cases and streamline business processes. The success of joining, not only marks that Onechain technology has gained further acceptance in the field of blockchain, but also provides a good opportunity for us to cooperate with other members. And our goal is to become the blockchain integrated application solutions expert in the future.”

Shenzhen Forms Syntron Information

“Since its inception in 2003, Forms Syntron has been focusing on providing comprehensive IT services for the banking industry,” said Frank Chow, chairman of Forms Syntron. “We believe blockchain will take an important position in the banking industry. Being a member of Hyperledger will facilitate our blockchain technology, accelerate our development of fintech applications, and also promote the implementation of innovative blockchain applications for the banking industry.”

1worldblockchain

“The recent partnership between 1worldblockchain.com and the Hyperledger global community is a big step toward ensuring workable Blockchain standards, whilst staying true to the theme of DLT open source,” said Edward Ng, CEO of 1worldblockchain.com (1WB). “Our goal is to provide a robust Blockchain platform and business solutions development to facilitate an even better operational environment for the Fintech industry.  The Fintech operating environment needs industry standardized stability in order for it to move forward at an optimal and sustainable pace, as it replaces the outmoded, slow and inconvenient traditional X-border wire transfers systems. We at 1worldblockchain are looking forward to supporting the goodwill and contributing to the success of Hyperledger as part of The Linux Foundation.”

To see a full list of member companies, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/about/members. If you’re interested in joining Hyperledger as a member company, please visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/about/join

About Hyperledger

Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance blockchain technology by addressing important features for a cross-industry open standard for distributed ledgers. It is a global collaboration including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing and Technology. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger as a Collaborative Project under the foundation. To learn more, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/.