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Special Interest Group

Hyperledger Welcomes Capital Markets Special Interest Group

By | Blog, Special Interest Group

Hyperledger has launched the Hyperledger Capital Markets Special Interest Group (SIG) to facilitate focused technical and business-level conversations related to appropriate use cases for blockchain technology across capital markets.

SIGs gather community members from an industry segment to work on domain-specific problems and create an environment for open discussion, document co-creation and solution proposals. Hyperledger now has eight SIGs, including ones focused on healthcare, telecom, trade finance, supply chain and social impact.

Capital markets are a way to connect investors and borrowers and include the bond market (the largest market) and the stock market. It can also include derivatives. Borrowers get access to capital and investors get returns from their investment. These returns can be in the form of dividends, coupon payments or appreciation of the instruments. The downside risk is default by the borrowers as well as the reduction in the price of instruments. Borrowers are enterprises or governments and investors are individuals or public and private institutions. Capital markets are an important component of the economy.  

Blockchain, at its inception, was aimed at global uncensored retail payments through the medium of a digital currency. The original solution has since evolved into a store of value and its exchange among participants in a safe, secure and transparent manner. Many blockchain solutions have been created to cover the issuance and transfer of digital assets, futures and other derivatives. This and other solutions encompass capital markets infrastructure and processes. 

The Cambrian explosion of blockchain solutions range from public permissionless-type platforms to private permissioned. Many of these solutions are in the capital markets sector. Hyperledger houses a diverse set of primary blockchain frameworks, utilities and libraries. The new SIG helps unify thinking and solutions targeted to capital markets in Hyperledger and is a forum where capital markets business experts and blockchain technical folks come together in an open community.

The scope of the Hyperledger Capital Markets SIG (CM-SIG) includes:

  • Drawing out a front-to-back taxonomy for a generic capital market infrastructure with variations on specific product lines
  • Identifying the impact of Distributed Ledger Technologies (“DLTs”) and their place in the architecture (business, integration, infrastructure, regulation, market events, interaction between product lines) 
  • Analyzing risk calculations and scenarios including the impact of DLTs in pre-market, trading, hedging, day-to-day risk management, trading limits and FRTB
  • Tracking specific use cases, current pilots and proofs of concept, and production case studies with opportunities and risk; as well as solutions for the identified problems
  • Collecting documentation on cross-cutting architectural principles, performance and scalability, security, identity management, off-chain data, deployment and operation in regulated enterprises
  • Advancing standards in capital markets for data in flight and at rest, events and responses, privacy in light of DLTs
  • Planning and participating in conferences or meetups to connect face to face, submit papers, talks, presentations
  • Interfacing with companion SIGs like Trade Finance or Supply Chain to draw out common areas of concern and interactivity of solutions
  • Documenting functional knowledge drawn from SIGs like Telecom, best practices from  Social Impact as well as the knowledge drawn from Architecture, Identity and Performance and Scale Working Groups

The new Hyperledger Capital Markets SIG is led by the chair Vipin Bharathan, Founder dlt.nyc, a blockchain consulting firm, and vice chair Natalia Garcia, Assistant Director in Debt Capital Markets, and is composed of more than 21 founding individuals from different locations and a diverse line-up of financial institutions. SIG membership and participation has grown quickly and is open to all. We have already had several calls and are involved in some projects that the community has found interesting.

Currently we are engaged in developing and identifying :

  • Taxonomies classifying the dimensions of capital markets, 
  • Standards covering the different types of products
  • Prominent use cases
  • Challenges or obstacles that are common to DLTs and their application to capital markets use cases
  • Regulations that apply to the various aspects of this highly regulated industry
  • ROI of any particular solution, especially on intangible aspects like trust, transparency and decentralization in capital markets

Greater details on any one of these projects can be found through our projects page. CM-SIG is aimed at working together to discover correlations between these projects to deploy actual solutions from the Hyperledger greenhouse inside capital markets.

You are welcome to volunteer for any of the existing projects. We also welcome new projects, especially if they are presented before the community and have a group of committed volunteers backing them. When needed, a task force can also be created within the SIG and have working sessions to discuss specific work items.

We welcome your participation. If you would like to join the Capital Markets SIG, please subscribe to the mailing list and join the chat channel where online meeting details will be announced. The CM-SIG wiki page contains links to resources, activities, meeting minutes, project details and the active member directory. Find a list of all Hyperledger community meetings, including the Capital Markets SIG, on the Hyperledger Community calendar. We look forward to your active involvement and valuable contributions.

Community Spotlight: Meet Richard Bloch, Hyperledger Healthcare SIG Chair

By | Blog, Community Spotlight, Special Interest Group

Welcome to our Community Spotlight series, which highlights the work of those taking on leadership roles in our special interest and working groups. Meet Richard Bloch, chair of the Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group (HC-SIG) and founder of Digital Healthcare I/O.

Tell us about yourself. Describe your current role, your current business and background, and your involvement in the Hyperledger HC-SIG.

My name is Rich Bloch. Professionally, I have over 30 years of systems and software engineering and engineering management experience. I spent my first 10 years at Microsoft Corporation, developing Microsoft Word and Microsoft Flight Simulator. After leaving Microsoft to start my consulting groups, Business Learning Incorporated (businesslearninginc.com) and Digital Healthcare I/O (digitalhealthcare.io), I’ve spent much of my career working across a broad range of technology domains including Government (the FAA and various DoD agencies), aerospace, satellite engineering, and of course, healthcare.

I also serve as a community volunteer on the Board of Trustees as Chair, and am a Past Chair of the Foundation Board for Northwest Kidney Centers (NKC), the world’s first dialysis provider and the third largest non-profit kidney care organization in the US. In the chronic kidney disease (CKD) domain, I’m an active community speaker and advocate. In 2019, I was honored to deliver the keynote address at the Patient Engagement at UW Medicine Workshop presented by the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington.

I currently chair the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group (HC-SIG), an international membership of over 1,000 healthcare professionals interested in identifying and using blockchain technology frameworks and tools to develop real-world, enterprise-grade solutions across the healthcare technologies domain.

What is one issue or problem blockchain can solve in the healthcare industry today? 

It’s important to remember that blockchain technologies–which is a suite of complementary technologies including digital ledger technologies (DLT), self sovereign identity management (SSI), and cryptocurrencies/tokens–is less a stand-alone solution as it a set of unique technologies and protocols. So, to me, the real strength of blockchain technologies are in their universality of applicability. In an article that recently I co-authored, I liken our current understanding of blockchain technologies to the introduction of the Internet back in the early 1990s. Back then, no one really understood what the scope and capabilities were of these new and complex protocols, but we learned and grew to develop successful solutions that ran across the Internet that–today–seem commonplace and natural.

So, to answer the question of what one issue or problem that blockchain technologies might solve in healthcare today, I really can’t say. We’re right now solving many problems in the healthcare domain using all aspects of blockchain technologies–as we understand them today–and I fully expect to develop increasingly more complex solutions as we mature our understanding and use of these blockchain technologies. Some really great enterprise-grade solutions that exist in healthcare today that couldn’t otherwise exist without utilizing aspects of blockchain technologies include the Synaptic Health Alliance , which seeks to identify efficiencies in sharing provider credentialing across payer groups, and the recent collaboration between Boehringer Ingelheim and IBM to develop a more effective, higher quality, and safer clinical trials workflow in Canada.

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

I very much believe that our understanding of blockchain technologies, and even the technologies themselves, are extremely immature. Consider us at a version 1.0 in the industry. There’s tremendous room to grow here. So, even over this next year, and further into the future, my expectation is that we’ll be developing and implementing blockchain technologies that–while fundamentally recognizable as what we know today–will be significantly improved across many domains including: 

Governance: From nothing today to something tangible and operationally effective, opening up blockchain technologies to a much broader spectrum of customers and industries that simply cannot operate without established governance strategies in place

Understanding: We, as implementers, will have gained experience, and from that experience, wisdom, in how best to make use of these unique technologies

Systems: Better, faster, safer systems are on the horizon thanks to much easier systems-level integration and interoperability. Operationally, performance and scalability will be at parity to more contemporary solutions. And underlying encryption and credentialing technologies will continue to improve, making for an increasingly frictionless implementation experience.

What is the HC-SIG working on currently? Any new developments to share? 

The Hyperledger Healthcare Special Interest Group (HC-SIG) is designed around the personal and professional interests of our international membership. We maintain two fundamental tiers of engagement to keep members informed of activities within and across the SIG:

  • HC-SIG General: Our “front door” to newer members joining the SIG, as well as a more cross-cutting view of the work that we do in our subgroups and ad hoc teams
  • Subgroups and Teams: Key to developing actionable solutions within this SIG,  each subgroup and team focuses on a special area of interest driven by their respective charter/mission statement

With that said, here’s a quick summary of the work being done across our HC-SIG subgroups and teams:

  • Patient/Member Subgroup: Developing patient-centric blockchain technologies solutions. A past solution focused around the implementation of a supply-chain solution developed around the safe distribution of donor milk across healthcare stakeholders. More recently, the subgroup is investigating patient-based access to longitudinal healthcare data.
  • Payer Subgroup: Focused around the payer component of the patient-payer-provider triad in healthcare. The subgroup is developing a white paper that defines a decision support workflow for the successful implementation of blockchain solutions.
  • Healthcare Interoperability Subgroup: Our newest subgroup, with plans to develop a proof-of-concept (POC) that takes a clinical use-case and integrates the policies, transactions and interoperable, clinical knowledge artifacts (assets) into a distributed solution.
  • Academic Research Team: Developing approaches to better present blockchain technologies to academic institutions such that healthcare stakeholders that rely upon and value independent, peer reviewed journals might gain a more objective and trusting understanding of these technologies
  • Use Case Development Team: Developing use cases within the context of the healthcare industry to model blockchain technologies implementation best practices

What’s the most important milestone for the Hyperledger HC-SIG to reach by the end of 2019? 

The HC-SIG exists to engage, educate, and interoperate with our membership. While the charters/mission statements of each of our HC-SIG subgroups and teams differ accordingly, growing and maturing our understanding of membership needs, and how best we might serve them, is fundamental and primary to our ongoing success as a worldwide community of healthcare professionals.

Why should someone participate in the group? Why is it important for Hyperledger to encourage collaboration around adopting blockchain technologies in this industry?

I’m often asked this question of “why should I participate?” and my answer is always this: active membership in the HC-SIG puts you in touch with the unprecedented resource of over 1,000 people around the world who are pre-filtered to have an active interest in healthcare technologies/IT, and then filtered again by their interests/knowledge in applying blockchain technologies to this industry. It’s really a pretty amazing group of professionals who come together every couple of weeks to help one another discuss and solve difficult problems in their respective healthcare communities.

What are a few ways people can participate in and contribute to the HC-SIG? 

As mentioned before, the HC-SIG is designed around the personal and professional interests of our membership. We provide many opportunities for focusing specific interests on blockchain technologies solutions in healthcare either through our HC-SIG subgroups or our ad hoc teams. And, in the spirit of a true open access, open source community, if members don’t see something that interests them, they have full authority and leadership support to develop a new subgroup or team that appeals to them. It’s almost a certainty that there will be others with similar interests who would love to participate in that new idea, whatever it may be.

How can people get involved in the HCSIG? 

This group is run as an open community effort and everyone is welcome to get involved.  The group has regular meetings, a mailing list and a chat channel. For each of these you are welcome to join, introduce yourself, ask questions and take part in the discussion.  There is no invitation necessary and you can simply follow the information on the group wiki to learn how to get involved in the calls, the list and the chat.

Photo credit: CB Bell Media

Hyperledger Launches New Supply Chain Special Interest Group

By | Blog, Special Interest Group

Hyperledger has launched its sixth cross-industry Special Interest Group (SIG), the Hyperledger Supply Chain SIG, to facilitate focused technical and business-level conversations related to appropriate use cases for blockchain technology across Supply Chain management. The new group will cover a broad range of topics, including logistics, provenance, authentication, track-n-trace, related IoT utilization, and similar inter-related areas of interest. SIG participants will also contribute requirements to Hyperledger’s supply chain project, Grid. Hyperledger Grid intends to provide reference implementations of supply chain-centric data types, data models, and smart contract based business logic – all anchored on existing, open standards and industry best practices.

The distributed ledger of blockchain is already enhancing collaboration among shippers, carriers, and forwarders as well as producers and manufacturers, who themselves represent every industry imaginable. Blockchain is taking on a growing role in ensuring reliable tracking of goods in Logistics and Supply Chain and has the potential to help reduce delays caused by manual, often “paper-based” cross-border, settlement, tracking, and regulatory processes.

There are many challenges to overcome before blockchain elements like DLT and smart contracts can be deployed widely in the logistics and supply chain industry. According to DHL’s research, “Likely the biggest challenge will be achieving successful industry adoption through collaboration and even co-opetition between diverse Logistics and Supply Chain stakeholders that have legacy processes and varying interests.”

The new Hyperledger Supply Chain SIG, led by chair Jay Chugh, Senior Director, Oracle Cloud, and vice chair Joshua Q. Satten, Senior Director of Blockchain (North America), Wipro Limited, is designed to address some of these challenges by bringing the collective wisdom of the community in a vendor-neutral, open source manner, using the various available components of the overall Hyperledger open-source blockchain framework.

This SIG will serve as a platform for the community to share knowledge and build collaborative efforts, learning from each other’s experiences, successes, and challenges. The potential for blockchain in Logistics and Supply Chain will be predicated by moving from concepts and pilot applications to viable deployable solutions, built on lessons learned via open collaboration.

“Blockchain is a game changer for Supply Chain transparency and efficiency. Hyperledger’s Supply Chain SIG aims to harness the collective wisdom of experts in blockchain and supply chain to collaboratively bridge the gap between real world and theory, and advance the adoption of Hyperledger blockchain in supply chain.” – Sarabjeet (Jay) Chugh, Senior Director, Oracle Blockchain, and SC-SIG Chair

The Hyperledger Supply Chain Special Interest Group

The Hyperledger Supply Chain Special Interest Group (SC-SIG) represents a global membership of logistics and supply chain professionals united in advancing the state of the supply chain industry through the implementation of enterprise-grade technology solutions utilizing the Hyperledger greenhouse of business blockchain frameworks and tools.

The activities of the Supply Chain SIG will include:

  • Identifying related reference architectures (for example  business and integration architecture, technical and infrastructure architecture), frameworks such as Hyperledger Grid, and models (OSI), use cases, current pilots and proofs of concept, and production case studies;
  • Sharing stories of successes, failures, opportunities and challenges;
  • Exploring and addressing cross-cutting architectural principles, options and decisions  like performance and scalability, security, identity management and privacy, and identity in logistic contexts;
  • Identifying existing or needed common critical software, middleware, and hardware components that would serve the particular needs of supply chain.
  • Working towards proposing solutions to the problems identified;
  • Identifying conferences or other opportunities to connect face to face, as well as submit talks or present as a group at an event;
  • Identifying the business community and building an inclusive platform for early adopters to contribute with their experiences;
  • Identifying all different protocols across supply chain to build standardization across the different parties and efforts; and
  • Supply Chain best practices, awareness of and working in accordance with such rules as customs & import export regulations.

“Addressing distributed & decentralized frameworks for enterprise and cross-industry Supply Chain management is a truly unique need that will be addressed through this new Hyperledger SIG. What makes this special is the confluence of players coming together to advance standardization and adoption including those from transportation, logistics, and major companies from just about every major industry you could think of; whether you’re in consumer goods, technology, aviation, commodities, or just about any other non-virtual business, a company’s supply chain is something that exists as the core of both of its current profitability and its future desired operating model.” – Joshua Q. Satten, Senior Director of Blockchain (North America), Wipro Limited, and SC-SIG Vice Chair

How to get involved in Hyperledger Special Interest Groups

SIGs gather community members from an industry segment to work on domain-specific problems and create an environment for open discussion, document co-creation and solution proposals. SIGs help specific vertical markets in their efforts to address problems specific to that particular community. Hyperledger now has six SIGs, including ones focused on healthcare, telecom and social impact.

Participation in any SIG is open to everyone in the community. Each group has an open e-mail list, a Chat channel, and a wiki page. Live meetings are also held regularly via web teleconference. When needed, a task force can also be created within the SIG and have working sessions to discuss specific work items.

If you’re interested in joining the Supply Chain SIG, please subscribe to the mailing list and join the Chat channel where meeting details will be announced. You also can visit https://wiki.hyperledger.org/display/SCSIG or find a list of other community meetings on the Hyperledger Community calendar. We look forward to your participation and contributions!