Hyperledger was released at the start of 2016. It is comprised of a collection of entities from the financial, tech, and software industries whose ultimate intention has been to develop solutions through a collaborative open-source system. On The Linux Foundation website, Hyperledger provides the following description:
“Hyperledger is an open-source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. It is a global collaboration, hosted by The Linux Foundation, including leaders in finance, banking, Internet of Things, supply chains, manufacturing and technology.”
The open-source code provided by Hyperledger allows people from all over the globe to access and participate in the research and coding process, in order to advance a nascent industry further as a whole. By providing the code to everyone through Github, it makes finding solutions faster and in an organized manner.
Hyperledger is presently made up of over a hundred members, with such notable names as, IBM, American Express, Accenture, Intel, SAP, Huawei, and many others. Hyperledger is presently working on six separate framework projects dedicated to advancing blockchain and its related technology, which are comprised of
- Hyperledger Fabric
- Hyperledger Grid
- Hyperledger Indy
- Hyperledger Iroha
- Hyperledger Sawtooth
- Hyperledger Burrow
This article will focus specifically on Hyperledger Fabric: we’ll look at who and why created it, as well as its ultimate goal in the blockchain industry. However, in order to achieve a deeper understanding of all Hyperledger Fabric aspects, it is vital to have a brief idea of blockchain as well.
What is Blockchain Technology?
Being a nascent digital system, blockchain was first utilized for the tracking of bitcoin trades through a public decentralized digital ledger. A blockchain’s history is visible to all parties, and can only be altered through a general consensus comprised by a vast majority of those involved with the overall chain.
It utilizes a few cryptographic algorithms to enhance secure transactions as well as transparency. Ever since its emergence in 2008, blockchain’s uses have been expanded to include the exchanges as well as data traceability. Currently, blockchain is being researched by multiple organizations and has already developed a wide variety of use cases in logistics and supply chain management.
Because of this, many industries including healthcare, banking and financial services, pharmaceuticals, and shipping have begun researching the budding technology in order to incorporate it throughout their current digital systems.
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Compared to Ethereum’s blockchain, for example, Hyperledger Fabric may be a more appropriate blockchain used for future business needs.
Hyperledger Fabric Explained
Hyperledger Fabric was first designed by Digital Asset and IBM. Eventually, The Linux Foundation was introduced to host the new project on their open-source platform.
Hyperledger Fabric functions as a library for developing through a modular architecture. Hyperledger defines Fabric with its components focused around the idea of “plug-and-play.” Basically, what Hyperledger means is that Hyperledger Fabric is adaptable. It allows users to take their current blockchain systems which may utilize Ethereum or another platform, transfer it over to Hyperledger Fabric and begin expanding it further there immediately.
This can be especially helpful for businesses currently working on blockchains as it makes the process of switching over to an open-source platform smoother. Hyperledger development, being open-source, also allows users to exchange information in a collaborative manner. There are a few benefits to this:
- Something that does not work on blockchain one may find use on blockchain two. Software developers have access to insurmountable amounts of blockchain code, so if they are working on something and running into problems, that problem may have been solved on another business blockchain.
- If a company’s blockchain is having issues, a member of the Hyperledger community may pitch in to address the problem by working on the said business’ code.
Sharing Information with Select Users
A useful feature implemented into Hyperledger Fabric is the use of Channels. Channels are private subnets of a blockchain that allow for information to be traded in a private manner.
In business, it is often important to keep various information secure, such as sales, transactions, and customer data, whether it be for the sake of competition or due to regulations. With Hyperledger Fabric, members of a blockchain have the ability to develop private channels into the blockchain code. This allows the leader of channels to share private information with a selected group of blockchain members.
Permissionless and Permissioned
One of the unique aspects of Hyperledger Fabric is that it operates on a permissioned network, as compared to the Ethereum Blockchain which is permissionless.
A permissioned network is a selective network, the one in which participants are chosen. This can be of utter importance to businesses as the data traded can often be valuable and misused if put into the wrong hands. On the opposite, a permissionless network is open to anyone, and therefore fairly ineffective for businesses.
Hyperledger Fabric: Events and Training
Currently, The Linux Foundation and its partners host a range of Hyperledger events throughout the year. They often feature top industry leaders currently utilizing the Hyperledger technology. Although the majority of events cover all aspects of Hyperledger, from Burrow to Indy, they often have many sections purely dedicated to Hyperledger Fabric.
Hyperledger Global Forum
In December 2018, Hyperledger conducted the first Hyperledger Global Forum, a four-day event dedicated to all things Hyperledger.
At the forum, multiple keynotes were given discussing the Hyperledger blockchain and its potential effects for the future. Also included were various keynotes specifically focused on Hyperledger Fabric, such as:
- “Practical Zero-Knowledge Proof Concepts on Hyperledger Fabric” delivered by Dr. Tan Apaydin of T2 Software
- “Using Hyperledger Fabric to Secure High Value Asset Documents” given by Al Brandt and Eric Vaughn of BlocLedger
At the moment, there is no word as to whether The Linux Foundation will be conducting another forum next year, but considering how successful the first one was, it can be assumed that another will be held in December 2019.
Hyperledger Fabric Training
Hyperledger has made quite a number of resources available for all Hyperledger projects, Fabric included, on their website. There are free resources dwell primarily on the importance of blockchain, on how it is going to impact the society, as well as on how to build a unique blockchain of your own.
Hyperledger have also partnered with blockchain industry leaders to create more niche courses. Hyperledger also offers a series of certifications, such as for Sawtooth and Fabric. Additionally, their courses uploaded to the Hyperledger website include presentations, webinars, videos, and sample codes. This is the route for for self-paced training where students can also benefit from the opportunity to talk to competent instructors directly.
Hyperledger also arranges bootcamps aimed to inform both amateur and veteran users about the various aspects of the Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain.
The Future Prospects of Hyperledger Fabric
Hyperledger Fabric is currently being utilized across numerous industries for the future hope of implementing it into their day-to-day operations. Here are some notable case studies:
- Energy-Blockchain Labs of China is currently utilizing it to track carbon emissions, in an effort to cut them down by 20 to 30 percent within the following years.
- Yijian Blockchain Technology Application System is currently being tested to help eliminate financial challenges in the pharmaceutical industry. It runs on Hyperledger Fabric, and is being used to help small and medium-sized retailers in China raise funds to produce different medications.
By providing an open-source platform, Hyperledger is essentially streamlining the course of blockchain adoption. Instead of hoarding information, the advancements of blockchain technology development are being made available to everyone. Organizations can work together in order to overcome the most difficult obstacles.
Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain in particular is aimed at overcoming the obstacles related to use cases, security, scalability, and functionality. As Hyperledger Fabric provides services targeted specifically to business owners, it comes as no surprise that its membership includes such large names.