Note: This is a guest post by Mr. Michael Kordvani. Michael is very passionate about emerging technologies and writes for multiple reputed media houses on a regular basis. We are excited to share his thoughts on Hyperledger Platform with our readers. He can be reached out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Created as an initiative of the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger platform is an open-source, open-infrastructure and open-standard platform for solving several problems of permissionless blockchain technology, such as scalability, confidentiality and cost-effectiveness. Hyperledger provides simple and effective blockchain development solutions for businesses; it is not a company or a blockchain. The easiest way to define it is as a collaborative cross-industry effort or as a community where participants aim to transform blockchain theoretical capabilities into scalable frameworks and tools for blockchain developers, and practical solutions for businesses. In contrast to the Bitcoin distributed ledger that is fully anonymous and uses significant computing power to complete the distributed transactions, Hyperledger platform tightens the belt around resources by scaling the transactions in the network to a limited distribution among interested parties while providing access to particular bits of information to the relevant actors.
Benefits from Permissioned Decentralization
Unlike Ethereum, Hyperledger differentiates roles and tasks in the consensus-reaching process. Benefits for stakeholders include process improvement and customer interactions, such as cutting down processing times and fees, creating trust and an adequate level of insight into transactions without overburdening the ledger with the consensus of each part of the blockchain. For example, the current supply chain management network consists of around five or six participants with diverse roles – regulatory authorities, auditors, insurance companies, banks, vendors and buyers. They enter the network separately, each managing their own ledger to record the transactions that occur within the network. With Hyperledger, this network will get one ledger with defined roles, where some of the participants won’t need to follow the whole process.
Blockchain developers can use the toolset of the Hyperledger platform to help businesses establish confidential and reliable ledgers for recording transactions. If you want to buy a new car, you need to find a seller, follow DMV’s rules, cooperate with the law enforcement, purchase insurance and transfer the money through the bank. As a general rule, this creates extra work for the separate ledgers and problems in case of discrepancies: whose ledger will be the correct one?
While permissionless blockchain (like Bitcoin) requires anonymous proof-of-work consensus from everyone in the network, blockchain developers can apply the Hyperledger blockchain for business resources to enable selected identifiable participants to do business without “reporting” or gaining permission from everyone in the network. One typical benefit for businesses under permissioned blockchains is price confidentiality.
Open-Source Blockchain Developer Tools in Hyperledger Platform
The Linux Foundation started the foundation at the end of 2015. The Hyperledger platform now includes over 180 members where individuals and companies coordinate skills, knowledge, best practice and use cases to build blockchain frameworks. Although members come and go, the diverse community works with a few big players in the computer industry, such as IBM and Intel, but it also welcomes participants in the finance, the healthcare, the automotive and the manufacturing industry, with names like Cisco, American Express, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, American Express and Airbus among the participants. Anyone can join to contribute to the open environment and become an advocate for the open-source blockchain-based projects.
The current platform projects on Hyperledger platform are Burrow, Fabric, Iroha, Indy, and Sawtooth. Blockchain developer tools include Cello, Composer, Explorer, and Quilt. Each of the tools helps reduce effort in creating and managing blockchains, while specific tools play a role in creating collaborative blockchain business networks and aid the development of smart contracts and their application in the ledger. For example, the infrastructure Hyperledger Fabric is based on modular architecture, which any blockchain developer can use to promote the technology, as well as improve the current economic ecosystem. If you need to help a business network develop a new and reliable distributed ledger, Hyperledger Fabric is a good place to start.
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Hyperledger Fabric and How it Creates Change in the Ecosystem
IBM’s blockchain-as-a-service solution based on the Hyperledger helps companies use the technology in the cloud, avoiding cloud computing security vulnerabilities by keeping the ledger separate from the other cloud applications. SecureKey, the blockchain identity solution built on Hyperledger resources is a public-private partnership endorsed by investments of six Canadian banks. The supply chain management project with the Danish company Maersk, built on the Hyperledger Fabric platform and supported by a few other names from the food industry is made with the intention to simplify international shipping and improve global trade and cargo movement by eliminating few middlemen.
Hyperledger platform is above all a technical improvement enabling shorter transaction cycles and data access on a need-to-know basis, as well as implementation of plug-in components of choice; inevitably one of the next steps that will help blockchain developers cross the bridge to blockchain use on a wider scale.