There are various business blockchain technologies being developed within the Hyperledger greenhouse but getting started doesn’t have to be intimidating. All projects are open source, which means that you can download and use the software free of charge without joining Hyperledger.

Distributed Ledgers

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Libraries

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Tools

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A good place to start is with the DLTs (Distributed Ledger Technologies) that you can use to set up your own blockchain network:

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All of the frameworks, except Hyperledger Indy, are general purpose—meaning that you can store whatever type of asset you want. Hyperledger Indy is a framework that is focused on decentralized identity.

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Distributed ledgers can have vastly different requirements for different use cases. For instance, when participants share high levels of trust—such as between financial institutions with legal agreements—blockchains can add blocks to the chain with shorter confirmation times by using a more rapid consensus algorithm. On the other hand, when there is minimal trust between participants, they must tolerate slower processing for added security. Hyperledger embraces the full spectrum of use cases.

All Hyperledger projects follow the same design philosophy:

Modular

Highly Secure

Interoperable

Cryptocurrency-Agnostic

Complete with APIs

Understanding use cases and applications of blockchain technology

Any business network that records transactions – and can’t depend on a central proxy that everyone has to trust, and for which those ledgers must be immutable – can be remade through blockchain technology. Some examples where blockchain has a compelling use case:

Banking

Applying for a Loan

Financial Services

Post-Trade Processing

Healthcare

Credentialing Physicians

Supply Chain Management

Tracking Fish from Ocean to Table

Banking

Hyperledger Indy offers a transformative identity solution for this use case. With Indy, applicants can share only the information the banks need to make a decision, in a way that guarantees truth, builds confidence in the lender, and satisfies pressures from regulators. Anyone seeking a loan can apply to 100 different lenders in milliseconds, without placing any sensitive personal data into a hackable database. Instead of disclosing any PII, loan applicants can generate zero-knowledge proofs that they are over 21, that their income on last year’s taxes passed a certain threshold, that they hold a valid government ID number, and that their credit score met a certain threshold within the past week. Strong, distributed ledger-based identity establishes a global source of truth, which delivers value to many parties. Applicants can give consent, and everyone can agree on when and how it was given. Lenders can conform with regulations and show an immutable audit trail. As a result, the market can operate more efficiently: Banks can offer loans with confidence, while applicants can effectively safeguard their

This use case becomes even more compelling when you consider the added strengths of other Hyperledger projects. For example, Hyperledger Burrow can turn loan applications into smart contracts, and attach them to strong identities as a seamless next step. And Hyperledger Fabric can drive a membership system by linking to the pre-existing, self-sovereign identity on the loan application

Financial Services

Several projects from Hyperledger provide features and functions that can help build effective blockchain solutions for post-trade processing. The channels supported by Hyperledger Fabric can be deployed as fully disjoint networks with separate endorser sets and ordering nodes to provide privacy and confidentiality. Restricting data replication only to permissioned parties delivers the benefits of the blockchain for data integrity and non-repudiation of transactions, without compromising data security. Reporting requirements—both internal and external—can be satisfied by including a regulatory agency and other oversight entities as members of the channel. Network segmentation enabled by Fabric’s channels can support multiple jurisdictions and regulatory regimes.

The transaction families in Hyperledger Sawtooth provide a reliable and powerful way to support post-trade activities. Building complex rules using a preferred language, and exposing only the functions appropriate to the context, enables safer smart contracts. And the option to prohibit deployment of ad-hoc smart contracts further reduces risks for financial institutions.

Hyperledger Indy’s unlinkable verifiable claims can be leveraged to report outstanding risk on a shared ledger without compromising privacy. This still enables a regulatory body to take a holistic view of the market, and to help prevent potential market crashes and major defaults. This feature can also strengthen privacy, by putting participants in control of their network identities and any attributes they choose to disclose.

Healthcare

Blockchain technologies promise to reduce one of the great annoyances of modern medical practice: “credentialing. Hospitals use the credentialing process to make sure that its physicians are competent and trustworthy. In a sense, credentialing is the hospital’s way of performing “due diligence’’ on a physician.

Credentialing provides a good use case for blockchain technologies, which can simplify and streamline every step of the process. Hyperledger Indy provides off-the-shelf solutions that would otherwise require architecting and developing new software. One significant feature: Indy implements the proposed W3C standard for verifiable claims, supporting the pairwise exchange of selected credentials.

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Supply chain

Supply chain provides a natural set of use cases for blockchain. It is multi-party. Because there are so many transactions between parties (supplier, logistics, wholesale, retail) and because the various parties maintain independent views of their transaction history there are often issues requiring dispute resolution. Because a supply chain can be very fragmented, it can be difficult to track the provenance and/or location of materials in the supply chain. There are also issues of fraud and theft of material in a supply chain. Yet, by sharing information securely and reducing risk of tampering, the participants in a supply chain blockchain powered network can reap significant rewards in terms of more efficient and accurate transaction processing.

Asset tracking touches on several issues not generally seen in ledgers for financial products For example, asset tracking requires handling diverse data types, such as the composite format required for telemetry and environmental sensing. Hyperledger Sawtooth accommodates both domain-specific data and the transaction families that operate on it, including data constraints such as verifying the calibration of a sensor. Blockchain promises a number of benefits for cross-industry traceability.

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You can drill down into more use cases by reading through the Hyperledger Whitepaper. There are also two architectural white papers that go into details on each of the frameworks with regards to consensus and smart contracts.

We have mailing lists and chat channels for each of the different projects. Be sure to also check out the various project tutorials and ways to get started contributing.

If you need more detailed help that you are willing to pay for, you can search for business blockchain products and services built by Hyperledger members by visiting the vendor directory or see which companies are Hyperledger Certified Service providers and have deep experience helping enterprises successfully adopt Hyperledger.