What is Hyperledger in a Nutshell?

Hyperledger was released at the beginning of 2016. It is comprised of multiple entities specializing in the tech, financial, and manufacturing industries whose ultimate goal is to build accessible blockchain solutions through a joint open-source system, or, as the Linux Foundation defines it, “to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.”

There are a variety of benefits of open-sourced platforms. For one, they present industry problems on a grand scale. Say, business A has problems addressing a particular issue when developing its Hyperledger blockchain. It can place its code on GitHub and have it examined by all the users of the Hyperledger platform.

Perhaps, business B faced the same issue when developing its blockchain and has the solution for business A. In an open-sourced system, solutions can be found much quicker. Those can address either small problems, such as the one identified in the example of business A, or large ones, such as mass adoption of blockchain technology.

Similar to Ethereum, Hyperledger has introduced its own set of systems and solutions which can be used to push blockchain development even further.

Unlike Ethereum, which uses Ether as its cryptocurrency, Hyperledger doesn’t have any form of digital tokens, an idea that was abandoned early on in Hyperledger’s development. As a result, more efforts are being focused purely on research rather than profit.

Hyperledger has been developing six different projects focused on enhancing the blockchain sphere as a whole. They are aimed at making blockchain development more straightforward and easily accessible by businesses looking to build their own blockchain.

Each of the six projects released by the Linux Foundation plays its own separate role in creating a valuable blockchain system. These six different frameworks are Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Grid, Hyperledger Indy, Hyperledger Iroha, Hyperledger Burrow, and Hyperledger Sawtooth.

Hyperledger Fabric: the Building Blocks of Blockchain

Hyperledger Fabric was developed by the Linux Foundation and made open-source to streamline the process of blockchain mass adoption. With Hyperledger Fabric, businesses have access to free tools that they can use to build their own blockchain-based systems.

Through such development solutions to many blockchains, problems can be found, providing a win-win for everyone in the blockchain sector. A win for a consumer, a win for a business, and a win for the entire blockchain sector as a whole due to more advanced toolsets available to the entities in the Hyperledger system.

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Hyperledger Grid

Utilized for building supply chain solutions, Grid includes a set of libraries and data models to accelerate the building of interfaces as well as supply chain smart contracts. Although still in its infancy, Grid’s main use comes in the form of supply chain management systems that provide linking points within a supply chain.

Hyperledger Indy

Still in its incubation stage, Hyperledger Indy is a program specially suited for the identity management and data storage purposes. Given how much identity is becoming an essential part of new technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), it is bound to be very useful shortly.

Hyperledger Iroha

Written in C++, Iroha is a platform implementation utilizing the Byzantine Fault Tolerant consensus algorithm. It supports digital asset and identity management operations. It also allows blockchain-powered applications to be written in Java, Python, JavaScript, and C++.

Hyperledger Sawtooth

Sawtooth is a modular platform for deploying, running, and building distributed ledgers. It introduces the consensus algorithm, Proof of Elapsed Time (PoET), which utilizes a unique system intended to keep resource consumption to a minimum.

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Hyperledger Composer

Hyperledger Composer is a collaboration tool for the development of blockchain networks between businesses. It accelerates the development of smart contracts and makes it easier to manage and implement them on the blockchain. It is built on Javascript and supports the use of built-in libraries, making blockchain utilities more scalable and functional.

Hyperledger Cello

Hyperledger Cello eases the management, termination, and creation of blockchains. It is used to manage the lifecycle of blockchains and maintain (as well as log) their health and analytical features.

Hyperledger Explorer

The primary function of Explorer is to develop a user-friendly blockchain search. It can deploy, query, and invoke blocks in a chain. It allows for the creation of web-based applications, which can form an important portion of a blockchain network. It is basically a blockchain browser, much similar to cryptocurrency blockchain explorers such as Bitcoin Core.

Hyperledger Bootcamps

Hyperledger offers a variety of training options on its website. The Linux Foundation also partners with the industry’s leading experts to provide training options to its users. Hyperledger has a long list of requirements for the partners wishing to offer training services, including:

  • having a good standing as a Hyperledger member
  • being an active participant in the Hyperledger community
  • hosting a landing page specifying what types of training a partner wishes to provide
  • complying with all of Hyperledger’s trademark policies

At the moment, training options are offered by Altoros, a Hyperledger general member, which offers Fabric training intended for engineers requiring the tools necessary to build apps of any complexity. Being only a one-day course, it is extremely intense and pays off for what students put into it.

B9lab offers a Hyperledger Fabric course as well. Compared to Altoros, the B9lab course is introductory and will most likely benefit new Hyperledger users.

Blockchain Educators is another option through Hyperledger. They offer courses on Fabric, Indy, and Sawtooth. They also offer a variety of consulting services.

These are only a few of the courses offered through Hyperledger, but there are also many more. Openledger also provides a variety of Hyperledger development services that aid businesses intending to build a blockchain solution of their own.

Hyperledger Global Forum

The Hyperledger Global Forum is held each year, with its first сonducted in December 2018. Given the success of the first forum, it is believed that another one will be held in December 2019.

At these forums, Hyperledger discusses various improvements that have been added to the Hyperledger system. Also, Hyperledger users are allowed to present how they are using the platform and various projects that they have developed throughout the year. It is also perfect for startups utilizing the Hyperledger system looking for a crowdfunding alternative.

In the past, there were also various workshops concerning Fabric, Indy, Burrow, and a variety of other Hyperledger projects. Prospective speakers can contact Hyperledger or those looking to host a booth at the forum can contact Hyperledger directly.

Hyperledger is also featured at major blockchain conferences throughout the year, including IBM Think, Blockchain Africa Conference, Blockchain West, Cloudfest, and many others.

Hyperledger: Real-Life Use Cases

At the moment, Hyperledger is focused on developing blockchains in three main sectors: financial, environmental, and healthcare. Let’s take a look at some of the major developments.

#1 Financial and Trading Industry

CLS is a Hyperledger-based risk management platform developed by IBM. It helps clients work through fluctuating markets by outlining the market’s history on the CLS blockchain. It can be used by stock market participants to develop safer trading strategies. The technology can also be adapted for use in other markets prone to risk, such as insurance. A full description of the project can be found here.

#2 Environmental Industry

China is one of the highest producers of carbon emissions around the globe, which is why Hyperledger is being used there to shorten the carbon asset development cycle. A common practice in the environmental sector is providing carbon emissions cost strategies.

These quotes produce theoretical prices of carbon emissions in the future. Energy-blockchain Labs is working with IBM to develop a blockchain that can provide more accurate carbon emission quotes, ultimately leading to a decrease in carbon emissions in the country.

#3 Healthcare Industry

The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has paired with IBM to develop a blockchain for the medical sector. The blockchain will be used to track health records to provide more accurate representations of the American health system.

This information, provided through the use of blockchain, can reinvigorate the currently flawed American healthcare system. According to the IBM paper, more than 70% of healthcare professionals working in the U.S. believe blockchain can be beneficial to the industry.

Hyperledger: The Blockchain Network of Tomorrow

With its valuable set of development tools, Hyperledger has come up as the quickest path to blockchain adoption. It is currently being used throughout multiple industries such as logistics and supply chain management.

The fact that it is open-source makes it even better. For Hyperledger, the idea is to bring blockchain into the mainstream by allowing users to experiment and research as one global team, which brings multiple benefits for all in the blockchain sector.

For one, it outlines all the variety of problems businesses are currently facing when developing their own blockchain systems. This also allows for solutions to be shared on a massive scale.

Ultimately, Hyperledger’s main concern seems to be the mass adoption of blockchain services. By allowing the widespread usage of Hyperledger’s tools, the Linux Foundation is significantly shortening the time needed for blockchain to be adopted throughout various industries.

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