We’re entering the era of blockchain technology. Over the coming years this distributed ledger technology is going to revolutionise the internet and the wider world. Having initially come to prominence as the operating platform for Bitcoin, it is now emerging from the cryptocurrency sphere and beginning to assert itself across an ever-increasing number and variety of fields.
But whilst many of us are only just beginning to grasp the potential of blockchain, there are others well ahead of the game. The Hyperledger Project was created back in 2015 by the Linux Foundation as ‘an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies.’
With big name tech companies including Samsung, Intel and IBM already involved with the project and financial leaders such as Wells Fargo and JP Morgan also on board, it’s clear that blockchain is making waves across the spectrum.
What is Hyperledger?
Under the Hyperledger umbrella are a number of separate projects exploring various aspects of blockchain’s vast potential. Four of the most prominent are:
Hyperledger Fabric which is exploring the implementation of blockchain infrastructure. Lead by IBM, it aims to develop blockchain-based solutions and applications.
Hyperledger Burrow is working with Ethereum to develop a permissible smart contract machine. Smart contracts are currently one of the hottest prospects in the blockchain universe.
Hyperledger Iroha is a Japanese-lead initiative aiming to facilitate the incorporation of distributed ledger technology into infrastructure projects.
Hyperledger Sawtooth is Intel’s focus project and a modular blockchain suite using a consensus protocol called ‘Proof of Elapsed Time’ (PoET) to improve the scalability and versatility of blockchain-based applications.
These projects represent a massive collaborative effort by established tech companies, finance leaders and blockchain startups to explore the practical applications of blockchain.
Hyperledger is a non-profit organisation and has been at pains to distance itself from any associations with cryptocurrencies and their development. Project Chief Executive Brian Behlendorf stated that: ‘You’ll never see a Hyperledger coin. By not pushing a currency, we avoid so many political challenges of having to maintain a globally consistent currency.’ Instead, Hyperledger’s focus is on how blockchain can be implemented and developed across a wide range of industries.
The extent of Hyperledger’s importance can perhaps best be gauged by the impressive list of members associated with it. Here is proof – were it still needed – of how profoundly blockchain is going to change the way we live and work.
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