Category

Hyperledger Sawtooth

UN-pluggable Consensus With Hyperledger Sawtooth

By | Blog, Hyperledger Sawtooth

We have an exciting technical update to share! Hyperledger Sawtooth now supports un-pluggable consensus. That means you can easily change all blockchain settings by submitting a transaction to the network – including changing the consensus algorithm on the fly. This transition happens, like all state, at the block boundary.

When we designed our 0.8 architecture this year a big part of it was putting all blockchain configuration on the chain itself. That includes the selection of consensus algorithm.

The benefit is you can start a network with a small-scale or lax byzantine consensus algorithm and change as your network grows. And that change does not require you to stop all validators, flush your state, and start over with a new genesis block. There’s no outage at all involved in changing consensus. Coordination among peers to change consensus is implicit with this being a blockchain transaction.

In our 0.8 stable builds you can submit transactions to change between DevMode, PoET, and PoET-SGX. The initial development to add Raft is underway. We anticipate adding full support for Raft after we get Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.0 release completed this year.

For more information, you can review this presentation:

If you’re interested, you can learn more about Hyperledger Sawtooth and see real world examples of how the technology is being used. You can also read the documentation, join the community on RocketChat or pull the code from GitHub to kick the tires today.

 

VIDEO: Hyperledger, A Greenhouse Incubator for Blockchain Projects

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

Hyperledger hosts and incubates multiple technology projects, all advancing business blockchain frameworks and modules through open source collaboration. Currently, Hyperledger hosts 6 open source frameworks and 3 open source blockchain tools.

To introduce the concept of blockchain technologies and the Hyperledger organization, we created an explainer video illustrating Hyperledger as a greenhouse incubator for these open source blockchain projects. Intended to serve as a starting point suitable for all audiences wanting to learn about Hyperledger and business blockchain technologies, we hope this 3-minute explainer video will shed light on the following:

1. A distributed ledger is a common system of record with no central authority.

A ledger contains a record of your transactions, along with other transactions in the network. Distributed ledgers are multi-party databases with no central trusted authority. Blockchains can be used to record promises, trades, transactions or simply items we never want to disappear.

2. It’s vitally important to know that your copy of the ledger is identical to everyone else’s

All businesses participating in a commercial ecosystem need a ledger to contain a record of transactions. As a result, across the global market there are ledgers that organizations and individuals alike must trust. Mirrored exactly across all nodes in a given network, distributed ledgers allow everyone in an ecosystem to keep a copy of the common system of record, free from discrepancies. Nothing can ever be erased or edited; parties can only add to the ledger.

3. Hyperledger provides the underlying open source software, on top of which anyone can set up blockchain apps and services to meet business needs.

Hyperledger is incubating and promoting enterprise grade, open source business blockchain technologies, including distributed ledgers, smart contract engines, client libraries, graphical interfaces, utility libraries, and sample applications. Built under technical governance and open collaboration, individual developers, service and solution providers, government associations, corporate members and end users alike are all invited to participate in the development and promotion of these thriving technologies.

4. Hyperledger is a global, cross-industry, collaborative open source consortium.

With 170+ member organizations working across industries and competitive lines, and 400+ code contributors, Hyperledger is the fastest growing consortium in the history of The Linux Foundation’s collaborative projects. Just like you see in this greenhouse, with the help of The Linux Foundation and Hyperledger’s open source approach, everyone does their part to ensure the success of the whole, nurturing these blockchain ecosystems for evolution, expansion and continued growth.

The most renowned leaders in finance, healthcare and supply chain across the globe trust Hyperledger to build their business blockchain technologies. Who will you trust with your trust network?

We encourage developers to join our efforts on Hyperledger via github, Rocket.Chat, the wiki or the mailing lists. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: [email protected].

 Watch and Share the video:

Wind River Unveils SParts Project at Open Source Summit 2017

By | Blog, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Guest post: Mark Gisi, Director of Intellectual Property and Open Source at Wind River

The SParts project (https://github.com/Wind-River/sparts)  developed a Hyperledger Sawthooth based Software Parts Ledger to track the open source components from which today’s manufactured products and devices are constructed. A number of important benefits are obtained by knowing which open source components are used such as:

1) ensuring manufactures are able to identify and secure the distribution (licensing) rights for all open source components;

2) understanding the impact of open source based security vulnerabilities;

3) enable identification of cryptography technologies (e.g., FIPS 140-2 certification, export licensing);

4) enable accurate reporting on all open source parts as a requirement to obtaining functional safety certification for safety critical products (e.g., medical devices, aircraft, autonomous vehicles, elevators, …)

The Software Part ledger establishes trust between a manufacture and its suppliers by tracking suppliers, their software parts, the open source components used and their corresponding compliance artifacts (e.g., source code, legal notices, Open Source BOM, SPDX data, cryptography data). This is particular helpful for manufactures who build products by utilizing software from many different suppliers (and sub-suppliers). To achieve accountability a mechanism is need to maintain global state information about suppliers; their parts and compliance artifacts for all participate across the supply chain. To establish trust among all participants, these records need to be i) transparent, ii) immutable, while iii) removing the dependence on third party information brokers (middlemen). We obtain the required level of trust by utilizing the Hyperledger Sawtooth platform to construct a Software Parts Ledger.

A demo of the Software Parts Ledger will be given in Intel’s booth at Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit Europe on October 23rd, 24thand 25th. Come on by to see it in action!

Meet the TSC: Dan Middleton, Intel

By | Blog, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Back to our blog series that focuses on the motivations and backgrounds of the individuals that make up Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee (TSC). The TSC is a group of community-elected developers drawn from a pool of active participants and is a core element of Hyperledger’s Open Governance model. The TSC is responsible for all technical decisions – from which features to add, how to add them and when, among others.

Now let’s introduce the next Hyperledger TSC member, Dan Middleton from Intel. Let’s see what he had to say about Hyperledger, his role in the TSC and the community!

Describe your current role, background and why you wanted to be a part of the Hyperledger TSC?

My background is in distributed systems and applied cryptography with a particular interest in anonymous credentials. I’ve spent many years working across the boundary of research and commercialization. Currently I’m Head of Technology for Blockchain at Intel.

Being a part of the TSC is a great opportunity to be directly involved in this new and interesting field. I get to work alongside bright people with diverse technical views and see their approaches to the challenges we face.

Dan Middleton, Head of Technology for Intel’s Blockchain and Distributed Ledger program & maintainer of Hyperledger Sawtooth

How are you or your company currently using Hyperledger technologies or how do you plan to?

Intel is using Hyperledger Sawtooth in a number of internal and external engagements.

I’m personally quite interested in Supply Chain applications of blockchain. I’m really proud of work from other committers on this latest addition to Sawtooth’s capabilities.

It’s going to let people automatically add telemetry to records and provide provenance for anything that needs to be tracked (food, software, hardware, etc.). That aspect of traceability is one of the strengths of blockchain I’d like to see tested in the market.

It’s inspired by the case study that Intel previously contributed: https://www.hyperledger.org/projects/sawtooth/seafood-case-study

What are the benefits of Hyperledger’s open governance model?

Transparency drives a lot of really good behaviors. Decision making is all in the open and it’s clear for anyone who’s interested to see and participate in how the technology is built. (It’s also an interesting parallel with operating distributed ledgers).

What’s the most important technical milestone for Hyperledger to reach by the end of 2017?

There’s a number of important technical milestones for each project and workgroup under the Hyperledger Umbrella. I’m focused on the Sawtooth 1.0 release and definitions of critical metrics in our new Performance and Scalability workgroup.

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

Pick something that you are passionate about.  

What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish by being a part of Hyperledger’s TSC?

Maintaining the Intellectual honesty of the project. There’s a lot of uncertainty and ignorance about blockchain in the marketplace. We have an opportunity to present a responsible view of the technology so consumers and companies can make rational decisions.

What’s a missing feature or spec that you hope Hyperledger can add in the soon future?

The industry needs a way to meaningfully measure the performance of blockchains. Metrics designed for monolithic systems will not help people make good decisions about blockchain platforms where availability and integrity features are paramount. The work we are starting in the Perf. & Scalability WG should arrive at useful measures that reflect the unique aspects of blockchains.

What’s the biggest struggle or challenge you see Hyperledger having to overcome?

Hyperledger is NOT a single ledger and is not a single project but this is immediately confusing to everyone on their first encounter with the name. As an umbrella, Hyperledger encompasses a wide range of projects each with a unique contribution to the field. Advertising the full breadth of work here is a constant challenge.

Hyperledger Launches First Free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on edX.org

By | Announcements, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Pre-registration now open for Blockchain for Business: An Introduction to Hyperledger free online course

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (October 10, 2017) Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, announced today the availability of its first free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) — Blockchain for Business: An Introduction to Hyperledger. The free, self-paced online course is offered through edX.org, the nonprofit online learning platform founded in 2012 by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The course provides an introduction to Hyperledger and its key business blockchain frameworks. Pre-registration is now open with the course becoming fully available on October 25 with the option to add a verified certificate of completion for $99. Verified Certificates are a valuable addition to academic or professional portfolios and can be added to resumes/CVs and LinkedIn profiles.

“Interest in blockchain technology is exploding; Software developers, product teams, and business managers are all desperately eager to figure out how this technology can solve real-world problems,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger.  “This first introductory-level course is carefully designed for both nontechnical and technical audiences, to bring everyone further up the learning curve and get started with it on their own business needs.”

The MOOC is delivered in partnership with edX and the Linux Foundation, responsible for training and certifying more developers on open source software than any organization in the world. It covers key features of blockchain technologies and the differentiators between various types of Hyperledger projects.

The course will provide an understanding of:

  • Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies
  • Current Hyperledger projects and common use cases
  • How to do clean installations of Hyperledger Fabric, and Hyperledger Sawtooth frameworks
  • How to build simple applications on top of Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Sawtooth frameworks
  • How to become involved in and contribute to Hyperledger

“Hyperledger and blockchain are two key skillsets that are increasingly in demand in today’s digital world,” said edX CEO and MIT Professor, Anant Agarwal. “Our global community of learners have told us that they are seeking courses to help them gain the career-relevant skills they need for the modern workplace. We are thrilled to once again partner with the Linux Foundation to offer a course on this popular, in-demand subject that will provide the building blocks needed for success within the exciting and rapidly expanding field of blockchain technologies.”

To find out more, or to pre-register now, go to: https://www.edx.org/course/blockchain-business-introduction-linuxfoundationx-lfs171x

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at www.linuxfoundation.org.

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, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing and Technology. The Linux Foundation hosts Hyperledger under the foundation. To learn more, visit: https://www.hyperledger.org/.

Hyperledger Gains 10 New Members

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

Growth in open blockchain consortium doubles over past year with more than 160 members

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – (September 26, 2017) Hyperledger, an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, announced today that 10 new organizations have joined the project. As a multi-project, multi-stakeholder effort, Hyperledger incubates eight business blockchain and distributed ledger technologies including Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Sawtooth, among others.

“The immense growth we’ve seen this year signifies an acceptance and understanding of Hyperledger blockchain solutions for business,” said Brian Behlendorf, Executive Director, Hyperledger. “These new diverse members have agreed to contribute their leadership and energy to the Hyperledger community. We thank them for their support and validation as we drive towards more PoCs, pilots and production uses cases of Hyperledger technologies in the enterprise.”

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 General members include: AMIHAN, ChongQin Xichain Technologies, DLT Labs, GameCredits, Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX), Medicalchain and ScanTrust.

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. Several Associate members joined this month including Mercy Corps, Taiwan Fintech Association and Zhejiang University.

New member quotes:

AMIHAN

“Amihan is proud to be the first Filipino company to join Hyperledger,” said Winston Damarillo, Chairman of Amihan Global Strategies. “We believe that blockchain and smart contracts are the key to preparing Southeast Asia for the digital age, and we are committed to working with the Hyperledger community to push the limits of blockchain technology. We look forward to working with our clients – some of the largest enterprises in ASEAN – to transform finance, healthcare, retail, and customer loyalty in one of the fastest-growing regions of the world.”

DLT Labs

“At DLT Labs, our corporate purpose is to create, integrate, and support dynamic distributed ledger solutions that equip our clients with the tools to capitalize on unrealized potential within their businesses,” said Loudon Owen, Chairman and CEO of DLT Labs. “With over 30 dedicated in-house Blockchain developers and over 20 proprietary enterprise products, DLT Labs has formed globe-spanning partnerships with leading edge consultancies, manufacturers, financial institution and innovative service providers. Our global presence spans the United States, the United Kingdom, China, India, Canada and Singapore. DLT is excited at the opportunity to join Hyperledger’s nexus of leaders, creators, and dreamers, and looks forward to forming long-lasting relationships with the forefront of blockchain innovators.”

GameCredits

“We are excited to join the company of industry leaders in Hyperledger,” said Alex Migitko, COO, GameCredits. “GameCredits is focused on a unique blockchain use case, catering to the $100 billion gaming industry and its massive audience of almost every third person on earth, governed by complex relations between various stakeholders. Our solutions will be of immense interest to adjacent industries and we believe we will be able to make a unique contribution to the alliance.”

Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX)

“We are today at the beginning of the blockchain revolution, witnessing in real time an explosion of ideas, experiments and projects that aim to completely redesign global capital markets for the new era,” said Nick Cowan, CEO, Gibraltar Stock Exchange. “The Gibraltar Stock Exchange’s membership in Hyperledger provides us with an exciting opportunity to connect, share ideas and collaborate with like minded innovators and industry leaders, without boundaries, with the aim of building consensus for the new global framework.”

Medicalchain

“Medicalchain puts health records back into the hands of patients, and that’s not possible without the secure storage and transfer of data. Using Hyperledger, Medicalchain will allow patients to control permissions to their health records – who gets access to them, what information they get access to and for how long,” said Dr. Albeyatti, co-founder of Medicalchain. “We are thrilled to join the Hyperledger community and will continue working to bring blockchain technology to the healthcare industry.”

ScanTrust

“Today’s connected consumers are demanding more transparency and with global supply chains becoming more complex, achieving this a challenging task,” said Nathan Anderson, CEO and Co-Founder, ScanTrust. “ScanTrust secure identifiers connect physical goods to the internet for enhanced supply chain security; by adding open blockchain technology to this foundation, brands will be able to protect and track their products using mobile phone authentication. We look forward to collaborating with the Hyperledger community to develop a scalable, enterprise-grade blockchain framework.”

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 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/.

 

 

Meet the TSC: Kelly Olson, Intel

By | Blog, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Back to our blog series that focuses on the motivations and backgrounds of the individuals that make up Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee (TSC). As a reminder, the TSC is a group of community-elected developers drawn from a pool of active participants and is a core element of Hyperledger’s Open Governance model. The TSC is responsible for all technical decisions – from which features to add, how to add them and when, among others.

Now let’s introduce our next Hyperledger TSC member, Kelly Olson from Intel. Let’s see what he had to say about Hyperledger, his role in the TSC and the community!

Describe your current role, background and why you wanted to be a part of the Hyperledger TSC?

My current role is as Director of Distributed Ledger Technology at Intel. Hyperledger is the leading organization in the open source development of blockchains for enterprise. I’m looking forward to advancing this cause and encouraging collaboration among the many Hyperledger projects.

Kelly Olson, Director of Distributed Ledger at Intel Corporation

How are you or your company currently using Hyperledger technologies or how do you plan to?

Intel is leveraging Hyperledger Sawtooth for a number of internal and external deployments.

What are the benefits of Hyperledger’s open governance model?

For technology to be trustworthy it is important that not only the source code be open source, but also the process by which it is managed. It is important that anyone can contribute to the process so that the best ideas can be used.

What’s the most important technical milestone for Hyperledger to reach by the end of 2017?

I’d like to see more projects mature to a 1.0 release in the remaining few months of 2017.

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

The best way to understand the benefits blockchain provides, and how it can be used is to start experimenting. I’d recommend that anyone interested start with one of the getting started tutorials provided by most Hyperledger projects.

What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish by being a part of Hyperledger’s TSC?

I hope to ensure that software coming out of Hyperledger is secure and developed with best practices.

What’s a missing feature or spec that you hope Hyperledger can add in the soon future?

I think that interoperability and privacy are two elements that have yet to be solved in an adequate way for blockchain software. I’d like to see more collaboration between the projects with a goal of achieving some level of interoperability.

What’s the biggest struggle or challenge you see Hyperledger having to overcome?

I think we are in the very early stages of blockchain deployment. Today blockchains have limitations around privacy and scalability that need to be addressed before widespread adoption.

What use cases are you most excited about with Hyperledger and/or blockchain?

Blockchains provide a few unique capabilities not provided by traditional distributed databases. These include the ability for multiple organizations to securely share a common record in a more ‘democratic manner’ and they also provide strong guarantees around immutability. The best use cases I’ve seen leverage one, or both, of these properties.

 

Mentorship at Hyperledger: Four Interns Share Their Appreciation for Great Mentors

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

If you read about the projects that Hyperledger’s summer interns have just completed, you’ll quickly see that these are serious internships that come with the prize of greater knowledge, skills, and connections with the technical community. One of the most important of these connections is the connection to a great mentor.

As part of our efforts to foster the development of blockchain talent globally, we pair each of our interns up with an expert to mentor and guide them. Here are all the ways that the mentors involved with Hyperledger’s 2017 summer internship program made a difference, in the words of our interns.

    • “My mentor, Baohua Yang from IBM, helped me in the project to understand and contribute.” — Indirajith Vijai Ananth
    • “My mentor, Jiang Feihu from Huawei Technologies, is one of the most supportive mentors I’ve come across to work with. Right from my selection for the internship, he started mentoring me and strategizing everything, although it was still a month difference from the official beginning of the internship. He’s a good mentor who helped me at every single difficulty that struck my way.” — Nikhil Chawla
    • My mentor was Makoto Takemiya from Soramitsu, and his mentorship helped me understand how Hyperledger Iroha and similar projects worked. We had meetings every week where progress on projects would be presented and where I would ask questions regarding details on Hyperledger Iroha and what the best way of achieving certain tasks would be. Makoto is a very skilled developer and he guided my research and development process to make sure everything was on track.” — Ezequiel Gomez
    • My mentor was László Gönczy from the Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BME), and Quanopt Ltd. His profound knowledge in business process modeling was a continuous source of guidance and support for my work. Firstly, he helped me to select of the BPMN elements to be implemented in the experimental prototype. The BPMN has an extremely large variety of notions in its metamodel (the standard being hundreds of pages long), but the important elements commonly used in the industry form only a smaller subset. Secondly, he helped to refine my approach by providing common, yet complex use cases/sample models. The expert guidance of my mentor played a significant part in successfully completing the project. Our work enjoyed a huge benefit of the professional advices of Imre Kocsis (BME).” — Attila Klenik

Thank you to all of Hyperledger’s mentors for fostering new blockchain talent and ensuring a successful 2017 summer internship program!

Meet the TSC: Arnaud Le Hors, IBM

By | Blog, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth

As promised, we’re kicking off a new blog series that focuses on the motivations and backgrounds of the individuals that make up Hyperledger’s Technical Steering Committee (TSC).

The TSC is a group of community-elected developers drawn from a pool of active participants and is a core element of Hyperledger’s Open Governance model. The model has worked for The Linux Foundation for 15+ years and therefore has been purposefully passed down to each open source project to offer an even playing field for all those involved – coming as close as possible to pure technical meritocracy as one can get. The TSC is responsible for all technical decisions – from which features to add, how to add them and when, among others.

With that background, let’s introduce Hyperledger TSC member, Arnaud Le Hors from IBM. Let’s see what he had to say about Hyperledger, his role in the TSC and the community!

Describe your current role, background and why you wanted to be a part of the Hyperledger TSC?

I’m Senior Technical Staff Member of Web & Blockchain Open Technologies at IBM. I’ve been working on open technologies for over 25 years, focusing on standards and open source development, both as a staff member of the X Consortium and W3C, and as a representative for IBM. I was editor of several key web specifications including HTML and DOM and was a pioneer of open source with the release of libXpm in 1990. I participated in several prominent open source projects including the X Window System and Xerces, the Apache XML parser. I currently am the main representative for IBM at W3C, an elected member of the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee, and a contributor to Hyperledger Fabric.

My main goal is for Hyperledger to not merely be successful technically but be successful as a true Open Source project with an active, vibrant, and diverse community. There are too many projects out there that claim to be open source but fail to have an open governance. In my role on the TSC I will continue to strive to make this community truly open.

Arnaud Le Hors, Senior Technical Staff Member of Web & Blockchain Open Technologies at IBM

How are you or your company currently using Hyperledger technologies or how do you plan to?

IBM Blockchain offering is based on Hyperledger Fabric. After a period of development of proof of concepts we’ve now entered a phase in which we see more and more projects going into production. Some of these like Everledger and Maersk have been highly publicized already with the tracking of diamonds and shipping containers respectively. What I find interesting is that these projects show how broadly applicable blockchain technology really is. This goes way beyond cryptocurrencies.

What are the benefits of Hyperledger’s open governance model?

The power of Open Source is to make it possible for people with different backgrounds and skills to come together and work collaboratively to everybody’s benefit. Everyone gets more out of the project than they individually contribute. This model however only reaches its full potential with an open governance where all contributors are treated equally and have a say in the direction of the project. Without open governance, developers are merely treated as cheap resources willing to give their time and IP without any say as to where the project goes. Sadly, many projects typically led by big corporations do function like that. As I said earlier, it is my goal for Hyperledger to be truly open and part of my role at IBM has been to help our development team to switch from a closed development environment to open source. This doesn’t just happen. One needs to understand what it takes and apply themselves to it.

What’s the most important technical milestone for Hyperledger to reach by the end of 2017?

We’ve already seen the release of Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 earlier this year, Hyperledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Iroha are working towards their own 1.0 release. I think it would be a great achievement to see those three projects, which were the first to start within Hyperledger, reach that major milestone by the end of the year.

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

Blockchain is a new technology. In many respects everybody’s still learning so it is a great time to get started. As more and more companies launch projects leveraging blockchain they will be seeking developers with the needed skills. Those who already worked on developing these skills will become valuable resources. Because all of the Hyperledger technologies are open source there is no cost to getting started. It is merely a matter of being willing to invest your time. Practically speaking, I would advise people to start by familiarizing themselves with the different projects to get some general understanding of the characteristics of the different frameworks. They all include documentation and tutorials that are can be used to get started.

What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish by being a part of Hyperledger’s TSC?

As mentioned before, if there is one thing I hope to accomplish it is to continue driving the project towards being truly open, with not only code in open source but also with an open governance. For example, last year, I took a leading role in the development of the Incubation exit criteria. These are criteria the TSC uses to gauge whether a project is ready to move out of Incubation into Active status. The fact that the criteria we defined are focusing on the maturity of the project – how the project is run, how diverse the community is, etc – rather than the maturity of the software that is developed is a reflection of that goal.

What’s a missing feature or spec that you hope Hyperledger can add in the soon future?

As we see more and more projects reach their 1.0 release, I hope we get more cross pollination happening between projects. For instance, an effort was recently put into integrating Borrow – a permissioned Ethereum virtual machine – with Sawtooth. I hope we get to see more of that kind of efforts happening moving forward.

What’s the biggest struggle or challenge you see Hyperledger having to overcome?

As understanding of the different major components of a blockchain framework improves, with help from the Architecture Working Group, it would be great to be able to identify pieces that can be externalized and shared by the different frameworks rather than have every project host its own. This is however not an easy task and with each project focusing on advancing its own framework it is difficult to get resources allocated to this kind of cross project effort. Once all the projects become more mature it should be easier to find resources for this but it will be harder to make significant changes to frameworks that have already been deployed in production.

What use cases are you most excited about with Hyperledger and/or blockchain?

Voting. Blockchain provides a distributed, secure, and audit-able record that fits perfectly the need of voting processes. What is more important than protecting our democracies?

Interning with Hyperledger: 4 Interns Share Their Experiences and Advice

By | Blog, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Just recently, four talented individuals finished summer internships with Hyperledger. We’re proud to congratulate them on a job well done!

Here, they share details about their projects and advice for students considering an internship in open source software.

About the Projects

Nikhil Chawla from India, mentored by Jiang Feihu from Huawei Technologies, worked on deploying Hyperledger Fabric on Kubernetes using Hyperledger Cello. Nikhil’s approach was twofold. First, it involved manually running Hyperledger Fabric on Kubernetes. Second, it involved automating the deployment using Hyperledger Cello. Nikhil says, “There were a long trail of issues I got to address via this internship. But identifying the levels was a good idea and subdividing the tasks helped me a lot. Moreover, the community channels like Slack and Rocket.Chat were a huge help. I used a variety of measures that can be adapted to reach each sub-task and eventually, solving them optimally.”

Indirajith Vijai Ananth from Italy, mentored by Baohua Yang from IBM, worked on improving and implementing features in Hyperledger Cello. Indirajith says, “The approach can be categorised into three major steps. First, to learn basics and get acquainted to the technology and the domain. Then, to learn deeper by going through the code to understand where and what to work on. The last step was to get involved from writing code and reporting bugs. The outcome of my project was the implementation of a health check feature in Hyperledger Cello for Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 network. This involved restructuring and updating image downloading scripts for Hyperledger Fabric and the respective documentation.”

Ezequiel Gomez from Mexico, mentored by Makoto Takemiya from Soramitsu, worked on anonymous transactions in Hyperledger Iroha. Ezequiel says, “The approach was to first look at how projects that currently have the ability to issue anonymous transactions work. Given that there is a small number of projects that achieve this efficiently, we based our work on Zcash and their usage of zk-SNARKs. The next step was to fully understand the different parts in the Zcash protocol and how this could be implemented on top of the Hyperledger Iroha ledger. I became acquainted with the development community of Zcash Company which helped me understand the academic papers that motivated the project. Given that the core of the project was usage of different cryptographic protocols, most of my research was focused on things such as key establishment, digital signatures and zero knowledge proofs. Since one has to be very careful when working with cryptographic protocols, researching the specifics on each part of the protocol was necessary to avoid mistakes when implementing cryptographic primitives.”

The project depended on staying in sync with the team of developers working on Hyperledger Iroha. Ezequiel says, “The outcome of the project was a standalone service with the functionality needed to implement anonymous transactions into the Hyperledger Iroha distributed ledger. Given that v1.0 of Hyperledger Iroha is still under development, the team decided to have me work on the anonymous transaction part as a standalone service while the team implements an unspent transaction output (UTXO) transaction model into Hyperledger Iroha after v1.0 is released. Without a UTXO model anonymous transactions would not be possible, since the current account model has no way of hiding who the owner of the assets is. The standalone service is not yet finished, and some parts of this service will be developed depending on how the UTXO model gets implemented into Hyperledger Iroha but it currently has two contributors on GitHub working on finishing its components.”

Attila Klenik from Hungary, mentored by László Gönczy from Quanopt and Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE), worked on contract-based business process execution. Attila says, “The goals of the project were 1) to evaluate whether Hyperledger Fabric smart contracts (chaincodes) can fulfill the roles of a business process execution engine, and 2) to develop a methodology for the (almost) automatic migration of business process models (BPM) to the Hyperledger Fabric framework. This approach will enable the merge of existing sophisticated methods in business process modeling with the sound basis of blockchain frameworks.”

The complete coverage of Business Model Process and Notation (BPMN) is still a future work but according to Attila’s expectations, it can follow the approach and technology developed. Attila says, “The core result of the project is a conceptual proof of concept of using BPMN for designing smart contracts. This complements evolving technologies like incorporating business rule systems into blockchain applications by using the Hyperledger Fabric for communication and synchronization purposes. The feasibility of the general approach is proven by a pilot transformation of core BPMN elements to chaincode frames and an ongoing activity targets the re-use of the code developed in traditional BPMN frameworks. The subset implemented is sufficiently rich to support the most common applications.”

Advice to Students Considering an Internship in Open Source Software

As you can see from the experiences above, summer internships in open source software are serious internships that come with the prize of greater knowledge, skills, and connections to the technical community.

If you, or someone you know, is planning to pursue an internship in open source software, here’s a collection of tips they can use from Hyperledger’s 2017 summer interns: Nikhil, Indirajith, Ezequiel, and Attila.

  1. Starting work on an open source project can be a little overwhelming. It’s easy to lose yourself in the details due to a desire to know everything. This is a good thing of course, but not right at the start. To get around this, use a top-down approach when exploring such a project. Focus on the parts you need to work on (or use), and treat everything else like a black box. Once you get familiar with the top, you may take a step toward the bottom.
  2. Don’t be afraid to jump into chat rooms with the project community and ask away! Open source project communities are eager to help new developers and work very hard to make sure future contributors have the resources necessary to understand the codebase. Reading white papers is a good first step before diving into the code. Large open source projects may seem intimidating at first because of their size, but after a higher-level understanding on how the project works, looking at its individual parts will become much easier!
  3. Another way to get started is by cloning the repository of the particular project of interest and start fixing the basic bugs. Slowly, progress can be made by submitting patches and test codes. Eventually, this leads to contributing to an open source project that is going to leave a mark of its own in this technology-driven world.
  4. Before contributing to open source, look at the guidelines for contributing. Going through each and every document is a must, without it you’ll definitely fall into trouble.
  5. There’s a huge variety of projects for all different genres in open source, so choosing the right project is must. Never follow the crowd.
  6. Don’t lose hope if you struggle at first. Soon, you can master open source!

There is plenty of work to be done in open source. Be sure to let the talented students in your life know about this exciting career path.