The Hyperledger project represents an initiative that was launched by the Linux Foundation in December 2015 to build an open source platform for the development of blockchains. The Hyperledger aims at establishing a proficient ecosystem throughout which coders and entrepreneurs can meet up and collaborate to build blockchains. So, Hyperledger is not a cryptocurrency; instead, it is a specialized hub for blockchain projects that facilitates not only the development, but also the commercialization of enterprise-grade blockchain based projects.
Throughout this article, we will take a look at the current status of the Hyperledger project:
Eight Projects Incubating:
At the moment, there are eight projects incubating, i.e. under development, within the Hyperledger ecosystem. There are five blockchain frameworks in the development pipeline, in addition to three development tools.
- Sawtooth: a project presented by Intel that aims at creating an open source blockchain. Briefly, Sawtooth is a platform for designing, implementing and running public ledgers. It offers a novel consensus mechanism, known as the “Proof of Elapsed Time” (PoET), which minimizes resource consumption via targeting large decentralized validating populations. Sawtooth simplifies the implementation of permissioned as well as permissionless ledgers.
- Iroha: a comprehensive group of components and libraries that simplifies the integration of the blockchain technologies with preexisting infrastructure. Iroha is primarily focused on mobile applications and libraries. Storage and synchronization of data take place off-device, i.e. on the blockchain. Moreover, a reputation system is implemented all over the network to maximize the accuracy of the process of node verification.
- Fabric: a development framework for building enterprise-grade blockchain based applications. Fabric is designed to simplify the development of blockchain based applications and offeri “plug-and-play” options e.g. pluggable consensus algorithm, complimentary features for various user roles, etc.
- Burrow: a permissioned blockchain client that runs smart contracts in an almost identical manner to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Burrow is designed to be deployed across multiple blockchains to execute smart contracts in an application-specific manner. A node running Burrow permits the execution of smart contract applications across multiple blockchains that are compatible with each other, yet running different domains. A Burrow node is comprised of three basic components; the permissioned Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the consensus engine and a remote call gateway for the execution of smart contracts.
- Indy: a software development kit (SDK) for the Hyperledger that permits the creation of self-sovereign identities and their integration with public ledgers. SDK offers wrappers for various programming languages maximizing the possibilities for the creation of more proficient peer-to-peer identity managers.
- Composer: a frontend user interface for Hyperledger users to create and implement blockchain networks for various use cases. With Composer, you can code smart contracts and implement them on a blockchain system. Within the context of a large development project, only a handful of users would be able to modify the code of a blockchain such as Fabric, while most of the other users would use the Composer to access and update the blockchain.
- Explorer: a form of a conventional blockchain explorer that enables users to search through blocks; transactions and linked data; network information and health; classes of executed smart contracts and clusters of transactions stored onto the public ledger. The Hyperledger Explorer is designed to be compatible with any blockchain system implemented with the Hyperledger project in the future, so that new projects do not need to build a separate blockchain explorer module.
- Cello: a unique tool for managing the implementation of projects utilizing the “blockchain-as-a-service” approach. Cello makes it easier than ever to create blockchains, reducing the efforts and resources needed to build, manage and terminate blockchain based systems. It represents a form of a “kit” for blockchain services that can be implemented on preexisting frameworks on the cloud, virtual machines, bare metal or specific container platforms.
All of these 8 projects are hosted by the Linux Foundation, under the Hyperledger umbrella. The Linux Foundation supports Hyperledger via providing both legal and technical governance. Technical governance is provided by the Technical Steering Community (TSC) which is a form of open governance where technical decisions are taken by a group of developers who are elected by the community from a pool of users.