What is Hyperledger?
Blockchain is a technology that large companies worldwide are using and developing. Is that possible for them to work with the technology without native challenges? We tell you everything you need to know.
Imagine that a series of large companies and entities come together to make common development in open blockchain and promote the ecosystem. Well, that's exactly what Hyperledger is.
What is Hyperledger?
Hyperledger's website explains it:
"Hyperledger is a collaborative open-source effort to advance blockchain technologies across all industries. It is a global collaboration, powered by the Linux Foundation, including leaders in finance, banking, the Internet of Things, supply chain, manufacturing, and technology."
But, behind that description hides a simpler point. Perhaps it is easier to understand it as an open ecosystem for industrial blockchain development.
Hyperledger is not Bitcoin, it is not a cryptocurrency, it is not an IBM blockchain, nor is it a specific blockchain. The platform does not support Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, but it is powered by blockchain. There are similar initiatives, but we will see why Hyperledger is the most promising of them all.
Linux Foundation Hyperledger Project
The Hyperledger project started with a small number of developers at the end of 2015. These developers came from various sectors such as data science, manufacturing, banking, IoT, supply chain, etc. They had a common goal: to make blockchain a more accessible technology for developers and industries.
Currently, Hyperledger has an impressive list of over 100 members. The list covers a broad spectrum of well-known industry leaders. It includes mobility technology giants like Airbus and Daimler, IT companies like IBM, Fujitsu, SAP, Huawei, Nokia, Intel, and Samsung, financial institutions like Deutsche Borse, American Express, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, BBVA, and Well Fargo, as well as Blockchain startups like Blockstream, Factom, Netki, Lykke, bloq, and Consensys. Many of the world's largest companies in finance and technology meet on Hyperledger with some of the most popular blockchain startups.
Why is Hyperledger important?
When it started, thanks to the Linux Foundation in December 2015, the goal was to create an environment in which developer communities and companies joined forces to build blockchain frameworks.
The first member of the platform would arrive in February 2016, and by March of the same year, there were already ten entities that were part of it.
Currently, more than 100 members are part of the platform. They are not exactly small companies, but they cover a wide range of industry leaders such as Airbus, Daimler, IBM, Fujitsu, SAP, Huawei, Nokia, Intel, and Samsung, as well as financial institutions such as American Express, J.P. Morgan, BBVA, BNP Paribas or Well Fargo, and without overlooking blockchain startups such as Blockstream, Lykke, Factom, etc., uniting both worlds for a common purpose.
However, with so many diverse and relevant industries, there can be a possibility that it will get out of control, and there is no strategic direction to follow. A committee of leaders made up of more than ten executives, most of whom have decades of experience in Open Source projects and connections with relevant actors from various industries.
There are leaders from the Apache Foundation, the W3C, IBM engineers, etc. Therefore, the advantages of Hyperledger are not only the technology but also the number of contacts and visibility you gain.
One platform, no cryptocurrency
The main feature of this Hyperledger platform is that it does not have an associated cryptocurrency and, in the words of its Executive Director (Brian Behlendorf),
"You will never see a Hyperledger coin. we avoid many political challenges of maintaining a global currency by not developing it".
In this way, it escapes those interested in the rise of cryptocurrencies or the beginnings of blockchain and is committed to the continued development of services. Its mission is to "create an enterprise-grade open-source codebase and distributed ledger framework," as well as create, maintain, and promote an open infrastructure.
Hyperledger, as such, is a mixed bag in which each of the members proposes certain technologies under an "umbrella" scheme, where each participant can contribute their projects.
There are several interesting projects under the Hyperledger umbrella, but we can highlight two as the main ones:
Hyperledger Fabric (IBM)
This project arose from the initiative of IBM and is one of the most accepted in the market. Fabric is a plug-and-play implementation of blockchain technology, designed as a foundation for developing scalable applications with a flexible degree of permissions.
Different blockchain components such as councils and member services allow companies to build systems very quickly, using plug-and-play connections, allowing companies to put their blockchain network that scales quickly to more than 1,000 transactions per second.
Hyperledger Sawtooth (Intel)
A modular blockchain suite developed by Intel, employing a new consensus algorithm called Proof of Elapsed Time (PoeT).
Developed in Python for use cases in various fields, from IoT to finance, it supports permissioned and permissionless app launches and the new algorithm. PoET uses a new CPU safe instruction, which is present in the latest Intel processors, which ensures a safe and random selection of so-called "leaders," which can be assimilated to blockchain miners. Unlike these, you do not need specialized equipment to "mine."
To be elected as a leader, each "validator," known as a node or miner, needs to use the safe instruction of the CPU to request a waiting period. The validator with the least waiting time will be chosen as the leader.
The reward in this model is not economical. It just helps the software to run. In this way, there is no race to consume resources; the only requirement is that you have an Intel processor to participate in selecting leaders.
In addition to these two projects leaders in current Blockchain initiatives, others such as Composer, Explorer, or Indy. Each one offers its particularities, but always under the umbrella of Hyperledger.
We reviewed the Hyperledger and looked at how it works and the Hyperledger types. Hyperledger is a promising platform surrounding some of the world's largest companies and the most relevant blockchain initiatives. We will have to follow them closely and find out how these projects unfold in the future.