Category

Hyperledger Sawtooth

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.

ABCs of Open Governance

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

Today, most people understand the concept of Open Source – certainly we expect most readers of this blog understand it. View the code, use the code, copy the code, change the code, and, depending on the license, contribute back changes or not.

What many people don’t get, and something we here at Hyperledger and The Linux Foundation pride ourselves on doing well, is Open Governance.

The Linux Foundation, and all of our 60+ open source projects, are not-for-profits building the greatest shared R&D investment in history. Open Governance is central to this promise.

Open Governance means that technical decisions -– which features to add, how to add them and when, among others – for a given Open Source project or projects are made by a group of community-elected developers drawn from a pool of active participants. It is as close to the ideal of pure technical meritocracy as one can get and we strive continuously to reach that ideal.

Hyperledger recently concluded the 2017-2018 Technical Steering Committee (TSC) election, and so we thought it an opportune time to explain the ABCs of Open Governance. Please note that this is one Open Governance implementation and clearly not the only way to do it, but rather one proven and effective way.

What does the Hyperledger TSC do?

The TSC charter spells out the group’s responsibilities.

The TL;DR is that the TSC is the ultimate authority on technical decisions. This includes which new projects are admitted to Hyperledger , which current projects graduate from Incubation to Active , and the rules by which each Hyperledger project will operate.

Participation in Hyperledger through becoming a Contributor and/or Maintainer is open to anyone.
Hyperledger Charter Section 4C

As a developer or maintainer, this translates into one thing: trust. You know how decisions will be made and the process by which people will be selected to make these decisions. Hyperledger is vendor-neutral and technical contributions are based on meritocracy. We will always remain immune to the commercial interests of any single company.

The TSC election process consists of three simple steps:

  1. Identification of eligible participants
  2. Nominations
  3. Voting

Who is really eligible to be on the TSC?

The charter spells out that the TSC voting members shall consist of eleven (11) elected Contributors or Maintainers chosen by the Active Contributors.

So, how do you determine an active contributor, you may ask? As part of the current election, every project maintainer and Working Group leader was asked to provide a list of all the people that have contributed to their work in the past year. In addition, a review of all code and other contributions was conducted.

This year, 424 active contributors were identified as eligible to participate in the TSC election process.

Bring It (your nomination that is)

The Linux Foundation maintains an expert staff with decades of combined experience managing the operations of large scale, Openly Governed Open Source projects.

For Hyperledger, the Sr. Program Manager Todd Benzies ensures the trains run on time.

Below is Todd’s email calling for TSC nominations:

This nominating process produced 32 candidates for the 11 TSC spots. These 32 come from 20 different organizations, across a spectrum of industries, from technology vendors to foundations to end users from a variety of industries. They include people who work at Hyperledger members and non-members and some are standing as individuals.

A policy whose importance is hard to overstate is that anyone elected to a seat on the TSC is elected as a person unbound to the company for which they presently work. Should any TSC member during their tenure leave an employer for another, this would have zero impact on their standing as member of the Hyperledger TSC.

Cast your vote

Here is Todd’s email sent to the same list announcing the nominees and opening voting.

The arrow highlights one of the things that we’ve learned along the way as a trick to the trade of running open governance well. The voting system has to be unquestionably secure and fair (something by now truly everyone can relate to…).

We use the Condorcet Internet Voting System to safeguard the privacy of this election and voting process. CIVS can only be accessed by authorized voters, who receive a unique URL tied to their email address. Voters rank a set of possible choices and individual voter rankings are combined into an anonymous overall ranking of the choices. One vote is allowed per IP address.

Results

This process yields a fairly and openly-elected technical decision making body pulled from the community that cares about Hyperledger. We know they care not because they said so, not because the company they work for has joined Hyperledger, but because they invested their time to make contributions to Hyperledger code bases. Or, as Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf says, “it’s a do -ocracy.”

Meet the New Hyperledger TSC (listed in alphabetical order)

Arnaud Le Hors
Baohua Yang
Binh Nguyen
Christopher Ferris
Dan Middleton
Greg Haskins
Hart Montgomery
Jonathan Levi (new)
Kelly Olson (new)
Mic Bowman
Nathan George (new)

If you’re interested in learning more about the Hyperledger TSC and its elected members, we’ll be kicking off a “Meet the TSC” blog series in the coming weeks. Be sure to look out for it!

You can plug into the community at github , Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list .

Congratulations to the Hyperledger Interns and Mentors on Completed Summer Internships

By Blog, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Sawtooth

As part of Hyperledger’s mission to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, we strive to foster talent globally. One way we do this is through a summer internship program.

The Hyperledger summer internship program pairs talented university students with blockchain experts from the technical community. Each intern takes on a specific project that will benefit the Hyperledger community and his or her mentor provides guidance to help the intern be successful.

This month, interns from Mexico, Hungary, Italy, and India have completed their internships and will be returning to their university communities to use and share what they have learned.

  • Attila Klenik from Hungary, mentored by László Gönczy from Quanopt and Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE), returns to BUTE. Attila worked on contract-based business process execution.
  • Ezequiel Gomez from Mexico, mentored by Makoto Takemiya from Soramitsu, returns to Boston University. Ezequiel worked on anonymous transactions in Hyperledger Iroha.
  • Indirajith Vijai Ananth from Italy, mentored by Baohua Yang from IBM, returns to University of Rome Tor Vergata. Indirajith worked on improving and implementing features in Hyperledger Cello.
  • Nikhil Chawla from India, mentored by Jiang Feihu from Huawei Technologies, returns to Northern India Engineering College. Nikhil worked on deploying Hyperledger Fabric on Kubernetes using Hyperledger Cello.

Here’s a snapshot of our accomplished interns across the globe:

In upcoming posts about interning at Hyperledger, we’ll share details about the projects and advice for students considering an internship in open source software. We’ll also discuss the important role of mentorship.

Hello World, Meet Seth (Sawtooth Ethereum)

By Blog, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Guest post: Adam Ludvik, Bitwise IO, Casey Kuhlman, Monax

One of the dreams of bringing multiple distributed ledger projects together under a single roof at Hyperledger is that we would find ways to collaborate, learn, and grow to the benefit of all projects involved. To this end, an initial proof-of-concept integration between the Hyperledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Burrow projects was recently completed. As a result of this integration, “simple” EVM smart contracts can now be deployed to Hyperledger Sawtooth using the “Seth” (Sawtooth Ethereum) Transaction Family.

The Seth family consists of a new client, `seth`, that is used to construct and submit transactions to the network and a new transaction processor, `seth-tp`, that runs the Burrow Ethereum Virtual machine. Thanks to the modular design of Hyperledger Sawtooth, getting the Hyperledger Burrow EVM running under Hyperledger Sawtooth was relatively easy. Transaction processors run in a separate process and communicate with the validation process over a network interface. The Hyperledger Burrow EVM code was wrapped in an adapter but was otherwise left unmodified.

While working together on common ground, a cross-pollination of ideas took place to the benefit of both projects. Hyperledger Sawtooth gained an EVM implementation and added plans for the following new core features:

  • Core and family-defined Events
  • Transaction execution receipts
  • Batch injection
  • On-chain block validation rules

These core features will enrich the toolset available to application developers and enable Hyperledger Sawtooth to move the Hyperledger Burrow EVM integration past the initial proof-of-concept phase. The next step in this integration is enabling developers with existing web applications and smart contracts to seamlessly transition their work to the Hyperledger Sawtooth platform. A major part of making this transition possible will be the creation of a `seth-rpc` server that supports the Public Ethereum and Burrow JSON-RPC interfaces. The architecture of the integration after this step is shown below.

Hyperledger Burrow benefited from the integration in two major areas. First by working with the Sawtooth team and leveraging its capacity to offer parallel processing of transactions the effort represents the very first iteration towards non-serialized processing of EVM based transactions. Within the EVM community it has long been understood that one of the most important aspects of scaling is the need to move beyond strictly serial processing of transactions. The Hyperledger Sawtooth-Burrow integration is the first tangible code which addresses this giant need within the community of EVM users.

Secondly, Hyperledger Burrow has long been positioned to provide a core EVM that would then be utilized by other Hyperledger projects. This integration validates that positioning and establishes a strong upstream-downstream relationship between the Sawtooth and Burrow projects. Successful open source endeavours are community driven, collaborative efforts and this linkage between the Hyperledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Burrow teams reinforces that ethos.  

If you’d like to learn more about Seth, visit: https://github.com/hyperledger/sawtooth-seth or join the discussion on Rocket.Chat. Also, the documentation for Seth can be found at Seth Developer’s Guide. As always, we encourage developers to join our efforts on these projects. You can plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

(7.11.17) Computerworld: Linux group pushes out production-ready blockchain collaboration software

By Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Sawtooth, News

The Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger announced today the availability of Fabric 1.0, a collaboration tool for building blockchain distributed ledger business networks  such as smart contract technology.

The Hyperledger project, a collaborative cross-industry effort created to advance blockchain technology, said the Hyperledger Fabric framework can be a foundation for developing blockchain applications, products or customized business solutions

More here.

Hyperledger’s Monthly Technical Update

By Blog, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Explorer, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Sawtooth

As our incubated projects continue to mature, we’d like to update the community monthly on the progress we make. Below are June updates on Hyperledger projects.

Hyperledger Burrow

  • Implementation of dynamic memory on the Ethereum Virtual Machine
  • New type-safe Application Binary Interface package for translating data to Ethereum contracts into packed Ethereum bytes for transaction formulation (logical requirement for Ethereum chain; but all package implementations thus far have been GPLv3 licensed, as such in tooling code not included in Burrow; this new package will be able to go into Hyperledger Burrow under Apache license)
  • Alpha of batching client for new API with high transaction throughput (> 400 tx/s)
  • Various bug fixes
  • First prototype of Burrow EVM to run as transaction processor on Hyperledger Sawtooth Ledger

Hyperledger Cello

  • A user dashboard was added to support seeing blockchain status and chaincodes.
  • The k8s support features was started with intern students; Upgrade swarm support to latest version (17.04).
  • Refine the installation scripts to support multi-os-distributions.
  • Fabric 1.0-* supported scripts was added.

Hyperledger Composer

  • We completed all rebranding activities as part of the move to Hyperledger – we moved to the Hyperledger Docker Hub organization, and renamed the Yeoman generator module.
  • We added support for modelling and publishing events from a transaction processor function, allowing client applications and existing systems to respond to events from a deployed business network.
  • We made extensive changes to our new user and getting started documentation, including reworked installation guides and tutorials which are available in the docs: https://hyperledger.github.io/composer/introduction/introduction.html
  • We delivered a set of nodes for Node-RED which allow developers to easily build outbound and inbound integration between a deployed business network and external system using IoT/MQTT, WebSockets, TCP, etc.
  • We added experimental support for invoking external HTTP APIs from within a transaction processor function, allowing external data such as share prices to be used within business logic.
  • We are currently focusing on delivering Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 beta support, complex query support (by exploiting CouchDB), and a new vehicle lifecycle demo that shows off the power of Composer.

Hyperledger Explorer

  • No major updates to report this month.

Hyperledger Fabric

  • Hyperledger Fabric v1.0.0-beta was released, and the maintainers plan on weekly releases until we have a demonstrably stable release candidate. We hope to be able to release in late July if all goes well.
  • The project’s engineers have significantly increased test coverage (+82%) and reduced its open defect count (~130 -> 22) since the 1.0.0-alpha2 release. It has been encouraging to see the diversity of contributions. It the past month alone, we have had contributions from 73 individuals representing 12 companies (including IBM) and 12 unaffiliated individuals.
  • The project is seeing a steadily increasing stream of downloads of the milestone releases with global coverage (US, Brazil, China, India, UK, Germany, France, Croatia, Russia, Japan, Indonesia, Australia and even Pakistan). There is an abundance of interest in China, India and Japan, nearly rivaling the US.
  • The remaining focus is on improving the documentation, continuing to test and fix bugs, and complete the various license, crypto-export and security scans.

Hyperledger Indy

  • No major updates to report this month.

Hyperledger Iroha

  • No major updates to report this month.

Hyperledger Sawtooth

  • Graduated to Active status! 
  • Project page new and improved, now with demo networks: https://www.hyperledger.org/projects/sawtooth
  • Collaborating with Hyperledger Burrow to integrate EVM with Sawtooth.
  • Added “State Delta Subscriptions” for pub/sub feature
  • Added Supply Chain Transaction Family
  • Providing Hyperledger Sawtooth features for Open Music Initiative Summer Lab.
  • Completed Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative badge requirements.

That’s it for the updates! We encourage developers to join our efforts on these projects. You can plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

Happy coding!

 

WTF?! (What’s a Transaction Family?!)

By Blog, Hyperledger Sawtooth

As a maintainer of Hyperledger Sawtooth, I’ve been getting that question frequently to the point it’s a meme for me.

I thought it would be helpful to walk through the definition of a transaction family for anyone who may also be wondering what it is or who may just be getting started working with Hyperledger technologies.

As quick background, Hyperledger Sawtooth is an enterprise solution for building, deploying, and running distributed ledgers (also called blockchains). It provides an extremely modular platform for implementing transaction-based updates to shared state (data) between untrusted parties.

That last part is important because without special abilities to handle multiple companies changing the same database, Sawtooth, or any other blockchain, would be pretty useless. Simply put, a Transaction Family is a group of operations or transaction types that you allow on your ledger. It’s an “Economy of Mechanism” (KISS if you prefer) approach to transaction APIs. Some networks will want fully programmable smart contracts. In that case you would use our EVM transaction family we have created with Hyperledger Burrow.

Other networks will instead require fixed transaction semantics to limit certain risks. In that case you will use families of transactions that offer just those operations. A simple example is the Integer Key family which provides just 3 operations (increment, decrement, and set). With just 3 operations and no looping constructs it’s very hard to have intentional or accidental transaction script problems.

A sophisticated example that still precludes arbitrary syntax is the bond trading family in our 0.7 branch. The semantics of that family include about 17 operations necessary to trade bonds and no extraneous operations that could be intentionally or unintentionally misused.

The motivation behind Transaction Families is to allow businesses to pick the level of versatility/risk that’s right for their network.

There’s a lot of other interesting characteristics of Transaction Families that have been built into the coming Hyperledger Sawtooth 1.0…

  • they can be written in almost any language
  • they run in separate processes for parallel compute and easier upgradeability
  • there is even a Settings transaction family intrinsic to Sawtooth to enforce configuration agreement on settings that impact all nodes (like interblock time).

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.

Meet the Hyperledger Interns!

By Blog, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Sawtooth

Back in March we announced Hyperledger’s inaugural summer internship program. We put together several internship projects that span across our incubated projects (Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Sawtooth) proposed by active developers in the technical community.

Today, we’d like to introduce each intern, provide info on what they will be working on and get to know them a bit better. We asked each intern a few questions like what issue or problem they hope blockchain can solve and where they hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years.

Let’s see what they had to say!

 


Attila Klenik

Attila Klenik, Budapest University of Technology and Economic

A PhD student at Budapest University of Technology and Economic studying performance model identification and optimization of blockchain systems

Hyperledger Intern Project: Contract-Based Business Process Execution

1. What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

Blockchain (and related frameworks, like Hyperledger Fabric) can serve as a firm foundation for critical applications in nearly all domains. Being a distributed, highly available, synchronization medium, developers can satisfy many requirements of critical systems using a single middleware, not to mention the additional security provided by blockchain.

2. Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?

In my honest opinion, in five years Hyperledger Fabric and blockchain will be just as supported by Business Process Modeling as traditional technologies nowadays. Mature toolchains will support the high-level design of blockchain-based systems. Technically and legally certified domain specific templates for smart contracts and pattern libraries for process design will elevate the trust at the technical level to that of the business. Furthermore, “blockchainification” i.e. using the Blockchain technology as a substitute for sequential inter party communication in consolidating and re engineering existing applications will be as common, as it was/is with the cloud. I believe blockchain will be a dominant technology, especially in the business process domain.


Ezequiel Gomez

Ezequiel Gomez, Boston University

An international undergraduate student from Mexico studying at Boston University

Hyperledger Intern Project: Anonymous Transactions in Hyperledger Iroha

1. What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

Growing up in Latin America where financial institutions and governments are known to be very corrupt, the transparency of blockchains immediately caught my eye. Every year the amount of money sent to Mexico in the form of remittances increases, reaching an all-time high of 26,987 million dollars in 2016. As money flows in, a lot of this money is being kept by intermediary financial institutions or service providers that keep a percentage of this money and take a long time processing these payments. Remittances rank third in the sources of foreign exchange coming into Mexico, and around 43% of the 26,970 million dollars sent every year is being sent through intermediaries other than banks. These intermediaries charge workers 3-4% of the money being sent back to Mexico, but since the exchange rate from USD to MXN Pesos must also be taken into account, the families are only receiving around 83% of the money initially sent. Given that the monthly average transfer is around $300USD, a 17% increase would give the average receiving family $50 extra dollars every month. I hope that blockchain solutions can lower the transaction fees so that the Mexican workers are better rewarded for the sacrifices of being an immigrant. Given that blockchain transactions require no intermediary and have transaction fees much lower than 17% of the money being transferred they are already fit to solve this problem. However, we need to create blockchain solutions that make this technology more accessible to the average person.

2. Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?

I hope to see Blockchain providing businesses new solutions, allowing them to incorporate new business models and businesses trusting this new technology when searching for new solutions. Hyperledger provides businesses with properly architected blockchain and distributed ledger solutions, which can be implemented into incorporate new business models and solutions that would make industries more efficient. As more companies join Hyperledger, the amount of developers actively contributing to Hyperledger will grow as well. Within the next five years the distributed ledgers built by Hyperledger projects will be used to provide businesses with new solutions and opportunities, and the expanding community of developers will work hand in hand with business leaders to make sure there is a codebase that can fit their needs. A recent report on the current state of blockchains done by McKinsey found more than 60 use cases for blockchains after surveying 200 companies from different industries, and predict that based on the current rate of evolution, blockchain solutions will reach their full potential in the next 5 years. McKinsey identified seven use cases for blockchains which could generate 80-100 billion dollars in impact. Given the amount of innovation that blockchains will bring to the table in business solutions, I am excited to be part of this revolution with the future leaders of blockchain solutions.

References:

http://eleconomista.com.mx/finanzas-publicas/2017/02/05/11-datos-sobre-envio-remesas-mexico

http://www.nexos.com.mx/?p=9109


Indirajith Vijai Ananth

Indirajith Vijai Ananth, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy

A Ph.D. student at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy studying Data Security and Privacy
Hyperledger Intern Project: Design and Implement Blockchain Clustering Platform for Hyperledger

1. What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

Blockchain can provide open standard distributed ledger technology, which will provide more open and provisioned/controlled database of moving/transferring objects. One should not need to keep a separate record of objects and their state. Stakeholders can have their relative info at any stage of a transaction or lifecycle of an object or asset.

It is also more secure so, each stakeholder can be able to keep a record for them and contribute to the distributed structure to strengthen it.

2. Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?

In five years down the line, I think blockchain will be the backbone network of several mobile applications, the core of supply chain industries, logistics and even will be a mandatory tool or technological solution of several governmental records keeping departments. With the help of Hyperledger, anyone can have their own blockchain which can be tweaked to custom built to address one’s own problem.


Nikhil Chawla

Nikhil Chawla, Northern India Engineering

An undergrad student at the Northern India Engineering pursuing a Computer Science and Engineering degree

Hyperledger Intern Project: Deploy Fabric on Kubernetes Using Hyperledger Cello

1. What’s the one issue or problem you hope blockchain can solve?

Blockchains are generally considered in technical grounds with Bitcoins (Cryptocurrency), where transaction of bitcoins is shared between the authorized parties and a ledger of those transactions is maintained among those authorized parties only. But, one of the diverse uses of blockchain I think is in healthcare where a patient has the freedom to share is medical history and other medication details, with the doctors he would want to share everything. Now, consider a scenario where a patient is being treated by multiple doctors at the same time, then, how easy it will be for the doctors to check the medical history in form of transactions of the patient. And suppose if one doctor makes an addition to his medication then it will be automatically updated in the ledger of other authorised doctors as well, and accordingly he can also make changes if needed. This is one of the significant aspect of blockchains (Hyperledger), as modernization is affecting the life force of humans, so it should be made as easy as possible for the humans to maintain their health in a modern era. Apparently, on the same concept of “Healthcare”, I along with some colleagues initiated a project named “Medcare” which was focused on a centralized system for maintaining patient’s health record and patient would authorize the doctors of his choice to have a look on his/her medical records. Unfortunately, we couldn’t give it a push due to lack of resources and time, but I assume blockchains can make it happen in a resourceful way.

2. Where do you hope to see Hyperledger and/or blockchain in five years?

Blockchain is a growing technology which has the potential to affect industries like, Finance, Healthcare, Software Testing and many more. Blockchains can be used to eliminate the need of 3rd-party ledger which is currently a part of online transaction system, like, while using Paytm for mobile recharge, a 3rd party ledger is being maintained by Paytm itself for your transaction, although the transaction occurred between you and your connection provider (Airtel,Vodafone etc.). I think ideally these whole transactions must be maintained between two parties only because 3rd party ledger are a kind of vulnerability which might cause a breach in security. In Healthcare , Blockchains can bring a whole new world which is a tightly coupled secure network, where privacy of patient records can be maintained easily and at the same time it is easily accessible from anywhere, anytime, if the person has the access using a signed digital contract or something like this. In software testing, It can help to solve some unsolvable problems such as Byzantine  fault  tolerance , Two Generals Problem and so on which are currently unsolvable with a proof. To understand this better, assume a situation, where a distributed database is being maintained using blockchains, if one transaction is occurred in these two connected nodes , and one of them fails and crashes down, then, the other connected node can help us to rectify the problem and can help to avoid this situation to occur in future. Now, as the time will pass, certain new areas will also be discovered where blockchain would act as a elixir and Hyperledger being a widely renowned project which aims to develop resourceful blockchain network. It will be the only best option and Hyperledger will be equipped with all possible working technologies of that time. For example, currently it is being added with “Kubernetes Support for Fabric”.

Please help us in welcoming all our interns! It is our hope that they continue to be valued contributors in the Hyperledger community well after their summer internships. You might even want to join them working on the Hyperledger projects. You can plug into the Hyperledger community at github, Rocket.Chat the wiki or our mailing list. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter or email us with any questions: info@hyperledger.org.

 

 

 

Consensus 2017 is a Wrap!

By Events, Finance, Healthcare, Hyperledger Burrow, Hyperledger Cello, Hyperledger Composer, Hyperledger Explorer, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Sawtooth

The Hyperledger team (and 40 of our members!) spent a good amount of time in New York for CoinDesk’s annual Consensus conference last week. It was a great event with tons of excitement and enthusiasm around blockchain and its many applications. Attendees were from all walks of life – from developers to architects to financial services professionals to healthcare specialists to investors – all trying to better understand the best and most practical use cases of the technology.
The event kicked off the weekend before with the Building Blocks Hackathon at 30 Rockefeller where many of the world’s top blockchain developers vied to build the next killer smart contract app. Participants could build on top of any blockchain protocol: bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger or otherwise. And through various sponsor challenges, they were encouraged to leverage the software and support made available by our world-class mentors in order to deliver projects.

Hyperledger was a sponsor of the event. The Hashed Health development team ended up winning the Hyperledger challenge, which was to create a game using any of the Hyperledger frameworks

(Winning team of the Hyperledger hackathon challenge and Hyperledger Executive Director, Brian Behlendorf)

Jonathan Levi, an active Hyperledger community member and the founder of HACERA, won 2 hackathon challenges using Hyperledger technology. They won the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance challenge and they were one of the winners of the Microsoft challenge. They called their solution Dutchess – a secure decentralized Chess on the blockchain that allows players to use ETH to pay for an unfair advantage in a sealed-bid Dutch auction. The entry highlighted Jonathan’s and HACERA’s approach of integrating multiple permissioned & public chains.

Dutchess incorporated:

  • Public Ethereum accounts used to transfer money to a sealed-bid Dutch auction
  • Confidential transactions using Solidity on Quorum, deployed on Microsoft Azure
  • A permissioned and public identity chain (Sovrin) for registering identity tokens
  • Hyperledger Indy for implementing secure verifiable claims
  • Hyperledger Sawtooth for transaction processing and validation

The result was a mini HACERA-like workflow that provided secure, auditable, privacy preserving, that prevents impersonation, relying on self-sovereign identity and offers a non-repudiation guarantee – with a playable fun game of Chess on a blockchain.

Early Monday, the Hyperledger team then set up shop on the 6th floor of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. Crowds of attendees stopped by each day to learn more about the technology.  

 

At the booth several member companies gave demos on different Hyperledger projects including Hyperledger Fabric and Hyperledger Iroha. Cloudsoft demonstrated Deploying Hyperledger Fabric on Kubernetes with Cloudsoft AMP. IBM showed Connect a Cloud, connecting organizations together on Hyperledger Fabric using hosted cloud providers of choice. Soramitsu ran a KYC/user identity demo of Hyperledger Iroha/Android app and video, and Byacco, a local digital currency currently in use at University of Aizu in Fukushima, Japan. IntellectEU together with their customer Telindus (Proximus Group) explained streamlined asset transactions through reconciliation, matching and resolution among multiple parties.

Hyperledger also hosted a Roundtable on Monday on its distributed ledger technologies, Hyperledger Sawtooth and Hyperledger Iroha, each technology had end users speak to their different use cases. Kelly Olsen from Intel spoke to Sawtooth and his user, Pokitdok CTO, Ted Tanner weighed in on how they are utilizing Sawtooth in their healthcare blockchain solution. Makoto Takemiya, CEO, co-founder, Soramitsu discussed Hyperledger Iroha as a blockchain framework for mobile applications and Soichiro Takagi, from the Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM), International University of Japan shared his experience with the technology.

(Hyperledger roundtable participants: Makoto Takemiya, Soichiro Takagi, Kelly Olsen & Ted Tanner)

In addition to the robust line-up of Hyperledger activities in the main Consensus program and on the show floor, Hyperledger hosted a series of talks that ran all day Monday and Tuesday in the Hyperledger Mini Summit room. Attendees interested in how to best collaborate and get involved in the Hyperledger initiatives and learn where they can provide the most value had their bases covered in Monday’s “Meet the Hyperledger community” sessions. Speakers included the new technical staff, and diverse representation from the Technical Steering and Marketing committees, Governing Board, Identity Working Group and our fearless leader, Brian Behlendorf, Hyperledger’s executive director.

In Tuesday’s Hyperledger Mini Summit sessions, members dove a bit deeper into the impact of blockchain technologies on their businesses with field reports on how they are using Hyperledger to solve their business objectives. Attendees heard technical insights from Norbloc on the KYC process, IntellectEU together with their customer Telindus (Proximus Group) on streamlined asset transactions, as well as Cloudsoft on deploying and managing global blockchain networks.

Our members reinforced that blockchain is not only impacting business on a global scale, but also across industries through blockchain talks from Huawei on telecom, Daimler on the industrial enterprise, Deloitte on regulation, Energy Blockchain Labs on reversing China carbon emissions, and a panel of speakers from Accenture, BanQu and Leading Directions on blockchain for good applications.

Hyperledger hosted three different panels on Tuesday moderated by Executive Director, Brian Behlendorf and Security Maven, Dave Huseby. Those panels were “The Role of Open Source in Blockchain,” “Blockchain in the Wild, PoCs, Pilots & Deployments” and “Security, Privacy and the Enterprise Blockchain.”

(The Role of Open Source in Blockchain panelists: Dan Middleton, Intel, Casey Kuhlman, Monax, Makoto Takemiya, Soramitsu & Amber Baldet, J.P. Morgan)

 

(Blockchain in the Wild, PoCs, Pilots & Deployments panelists: Jesse Chenard, MonetaGo, Ashwin Kumar, Deutsche Boerse, Ram Komarraju, CLS Group, Corey Todaro, Hashed Health & David Treat, Accenture)

The panels were very well attended and there was great discussion on all three topics. It was most interesting that identity on the blockchain turned out to be the main topic of conversation during the security and privacy panel. And on that note, we’re excited with Hyperledger Indy just recently getting accepted into incubation under Hyperledger. Indy provides tools, libraries, and reusable components for providing digital identities rooted on blockchains.

(Security, Privacy and the Enterprise Blockchain panelists: Justin Newton, Netki, Drummond Reed, Sovrin Foundation, Jeff Garzik, Bloq & Astyanax Kanakakis, Norbloc)

We ended Consensus with a member party atop a NYC hotel rooftop. It was such a pleasure to see everyone and we are extremely grateful for all the support our community has provided around this event and overall. We’re looking forward to next year’s event – we hope that you can join us!
For those interested in additional information about Hyperledger technologies please reach out to: info@hyperledger.org. As always, we encourage developers to join our efforts via GitHub, Rocket.Chat the wiki or the mailing lists. You can also follow Hyperledger on Twitter.