Hyperledger – Linux’s Open Source Blockchain Tools


Blockchain Technology became huge with the introduction of Bitcoin and for a while, all you could hear about was how blockchain allowed Bitcoin to exist, but now there is a lot more talk about blockchain, and very little conversation about Bitcoin. While we are constantly hearing about Bitcoin, there is one big blockchain technology that is still hush hush and that is Hyperledger.

Although, Bitcoin has lost its popularity, blockchain has been rising in the ranks thanks to all the amazing features that it offers. It is no longer limited to usage in cryptocurrency but has also made its way to security and documentation. It has become a much safer way to transfer information as well as maintain digital documentation.

This project was started way back in December 2015 by Linux, but is only making headlines now. The project has been backed and adopted by some of the biggest names in tech industry including Oracle, Accenture, Sony Global Education, Deutsche Borse Group, and many more.

So, what is Hyperledger?

Hyperledger is not a blockchain or a cryptocurrency, it is actually an open hub for open industrial blockchain development. Hyperledger is an umbrella project that includes multiple open source blockchains and related tools to help the development of blockchain-based distributed ledgers.

The website describes Hyperledger as “…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.”

While Hyperledger may not support bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, it is definitely a mine for building your own blockchain systems. The main objective of this project is to, “build a new generation of transactional applications that establishes trust, accountability, and transparency at their core while streamlining business processes and legal constraints.”

Today, Hyperledger has over 100 members that also include some of the big names in the industry such as IBM, Fujitsu, SAP, Huawei, Nokia, Intel and Samsung, financial institutions like Deutsche Börse, American Express, J.P. Morgan, BBVA, BNP Paribas and Well Fargo, and many more.

Hyperledger Frameworks

1) Hyperledger Sawtooth

Sawtooth is a modular blockchain suite contributed by Intel to the project. It uses a dynamic consensus feature enabling hot swapping consensus algorithms in a running network. It also offers a novel consensus protocol known as “Proof of Elapsed Time,” a lottery-design consensus protocol that optionally builds on trusted execution environments provided by Intel’s Software Guard Extensions (SGX). Sawtooth supports Ethereum smart contracts via “seth” (a Sawtooth transaction processor integrating the Hyperledger Burrow EVM) and also offers SDKs for popular languages such as Go, JavaScript, Rust, C++, etc.

2) Hyperledger Iroha

This project makes it easy to incorporate the framework for a blockchain. It was contributed by Japanese company, Soramitsu and is based on the Hyperledger Fabric to build blockchain applications for mobile applications.

3) Hyperledger Fabric

This is the most popular project under the Hyperledger banner and is a plug and play implementation of blockchain technology created to develop high-scaling blockchain applications. It was originally contributed by IBM and Digital Asset and offers a modular architecture with a delineation of roles between the nodes in the infrastructure, execution of Smart Contracts (called “chaincode” in Fabric) and configurable consensus and membership services.

Fabric is mainly targeted at integration projects that require a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and offers SDK for Java, Node.js and Go. It supports chaincode in Go and JavaScript out of the box and is more flexible than other blockchain frameworks on the market.

4) Hyperledger Burrow

Burrow is a blockchain client that includes a built-to-specification Ethereum Virtual Machine. It allows a permissible smart contract machine along the specification of Ethereum. Burrow was contributed by Monax and sponsored by Monax and Intel.

5) Hyperledger Indy

Hyperledger Indy is a distributed ledger that has been built for supporting independent identities. It offers tools, libraries, and reusable components for building and using independent digital
identities rooted on blockchains or other distributed ledgers. It was contributed by the Sovrin Foundation and offers key features such as self-sovereignity, privacy and verifiable claims.

Hyperledger Tools

In addition to the frameworks above, Hyperledger also includes tools, technologies and utility libraries.

1) Hyperledger Caliper

This is a blockchain benchmarking tool that measures the performance of a blockchain implementation by comparing it to a set of predefined use cases. It issues reports that show performance indicators such as resource utilization, transaction latency, and transactions per second. This is one of the first tools that help evaluate the performance of a blockchain implementation.

2) Hyperledger Cello

This is blockchain module toolkit that is looking to bring the on-demanddeployment model to the blockchain ecosystem. Its main focus is to help companies quickly adopt blockchain technologies with ease. It provides automated ways to create, manage, and terminate blockchains. Cello provides automated chain services on top of multiple infrastructures and can also provide a real-time view on the dashboard.

3) Hyperledger Composer

Composer is an open development toolkit that makes it easy to create smart contracts and blockchain applications to solve business problems. The main objective of this toolset is to make it simpler to integrate blockchain applications with existing business systems. Composer can help develop use cases and deploy a blockchain solution in weeks, rather than months.

4) Hyperledger Explorer

Explorer is a dashboard that allows developers to view information about blocks, nodelogs, statistics, smart contracts, transactions, and any other information stored in the blockchain. Users can modify the settings to view queries for specific blocks or transactions as well. The best part is that Explorer can be integrated with any platform, including commercial and open source ones.

5) Hyperledger Quilt

Quilt is a business blockchain that allows interoperability between ledger systems by implementing the Interledger protocol (also known as ILP). The ILP is a payment protocol that is created to transfer value across distributed ledgers and non-distributed ledgers.

Hyperledger is set to become the gateway for blockchain technologies and while we already have a few amazing small companies that are currently working on blockchain, the potential for blockchain is immense. Hyperledger is one of the many projects that we can expect to help make blockchain the norm in today’s world.


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