Four Takeaways From Hyperledger Global Forum 2020

Phoenix, AZ

What a great place for an early spring conference! The weather was perfect, the city was beautiful and the people were amazing. We were also able to take in a Suns game against the defending NBA champs, the Toronto Raptors.

Concerns over the rapidly progressing coronavirus (COVID-19) may have slightly dampened the attendance numbers, but it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm. Attendees replaced handshakes for elbow bumps and lots of hand sanitizer while taking in the latest innovations at the conference.

In no particular order, here are our Top Three Takeaways from the recent Hyperledger Global Forum:

Fabric has become the dominant permissioned blockchain for enterprise

No two companies have made greater inroads towards the development and build-out of enterprise blockchain networks than IBM and Accenture. And both were ever-present on the technical and business tracks discussing the latest findings from their global implementations.

The consistent theme we heard from attendees is that Fabric continues to deliver on its core promise of modularity and flexibility. So it’s only natural that it continues to be the go-to choice for new enterprise projects. With the recent release of Fabric 2.0, it is clear Hyperledger is focused on maintaining its competitive advantage.

As one person said (who didn’t want to quoted directly)… “it’s a virtuous cycle, the more projects that leverage Fabric, the more the community gets exposure to real world use cases and has the ability to develop and harden those solutions.”

Interoperability is still key to success and the community is strong

And yet, there were plenty of presenters talking about the need for interoperability between frameworks, identity solutions, and legacy business systems.

For the development community, this means opportunity to provide tools and resources for connecting networks built on other frameworks. Also, opportunities to stay flexible within the design and implementation of specific Fabric networks to ensure future optionality.

For the business community, interoperability means continued freedom. Freedom to move forward without fear of being “locked-in.” Or investing development resources and time on a closed framework. It also means flexibility to accommodate future network partners which will become critical as networks mature and business ecosystems gravitate towards blockchain-enabled solutions.

Hyperledger Besu (or “Ethereum on Fabric”) Has Arrived

The PegaSys team was there to provide an overview of Hyperledger Besu and help usher in a new era of Ethereum on Fabric. The team started focusing on Besu’s development a few years ago when they saw very little focus on Ethereum from within the Hyperledger community. From their perspective, Fabric had a strong foothold in the enterprise community. Ethereum, on the other hand, offered amazing access to perhaps the world’s largest development community.

What seemed like a natural alliance proved difficult at times. In fact, there was discord among the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee about the Besu project. Even our own CEO had to step in to help preach inclusion in order to provide a path towards developing the best possible Ethereum-based framework.

And they have come a long way! PegaSys’s Maryam Mahjoub made the case for Ethereum for Enterprise: the ability to leverage Ethereum’s ecosystem and mainnet, quickly deploy your own network, and benefit from native tokenization.

The Kaleido team was also at HGF to demonstrate their solution which helps projects stand up networks in minutes.

We’re looking forward to seeing what sort of traction the Besu team is able to get in the coming 12 months!

Token capabilities with DAML on Fabric might be the silver-bullet for Financial Applications

Ok, we threw this one in here… because this was our main focus heading into the conference. But we think it’s fair to say our live demo impressed a lot of folks! We demonstrated the ability to issue/create, allocate and exchange tokens on an “out of the box” implementation of Fabric. The tokens were managed by a DAML-based smart contract, making the whole implementation portable by construction.

Most importantly, we did not modify a single line of code in Fabric to make it happen! The live demonstration proves companies – right now – can adopt the utility and flexibility of tokens. It also demonstrates that companies can manage their tokens through smart contracts implemented through DAML-on-Fabric smart contracts. DAML-on-Fabric is a solution we’ve been developing in partnership with Digital Asset for most of 2019.

Assets represented by tokens. logic was managed by DAML app, on a highly secure and scalable enterprise framework. Throw in some transaction level privacy and other key features from HACERA and you have the ultimate, enterprise-grade application, which can be seamlessly deployed even in highly-regulated environments.

Click here to see the live demo we presented at HGF.

Reach out over here to contact us and let us know if you have any questions.

Tokens Can Radically Improve Your Blockchain Project, Legally!

Recently at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Phoenix, AZ, HACERA CEO Jonathan Levi presented a live demo of a DAML smart contract running on Hyperledger Fabric… deployed to an Oracle Blockchain Platform (OBP) node.  We’re going to discuss the implications of this demo in more detail, but here’s what you need to know: 1) you can develop “standardized” tokens and deploy them on Fabric, 2) you can quickly create DAML smart contracts to develop the trade agreements between these tokens, and 3) HACERA can help you run this type of solution on ANY cloud platform.

First, Let’s Talk Tokens

It may seem anathema to enterprise blockchain developers, but tokens are the best solution for transacting payments, storing value, assigning (oftentimes fractional) ownership of underlying assets, and securing private information from and for network participants.  That’s a highly divisive statement in some corners of the ecosystem because “tokens” are widely vilified for causing the ICO-Mania (and subsequent bust) in 2017.  

And while ERC-20 tokens were easy to create and distribute (and may have potentially increased the likelihood of blockchain investor scams), let’s not throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water.  The fact is, tokenization (as a concept) is already accepted as a highly efficient construct for representing real world assets in our everyday lives.

A lot of people are already working towards the creation of a digital economy. That is, allowing the exchange of digital assets that represent underlying physical assets in the real world… complete with regulatory and market constraints.

Improve Tokens Through Community 

In order to get there, we need a standardized, community-driven framework for defining core behaviors and properties of tokens and encouraging developers to adopt these standards… regardless of framework.  

If you’re struggling with the sentiment that “tokens are good,” the concept of tokenization is solid, and all that remains is a community-led approach for the development of standards, have a look at this excellent article on Medium courtesy of Paul DiMarzio, the VP of Marketing for the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. 

But let’s pause for a moment and discuss the Token Taxonomy Initiative (“TTI”, soon to split off from the EEA and renamed the Token Taxonomy Consortium or “TTC”). The TTI’s goal is to promote “token interoperability initiatives and regulatory considerations regarding digital assets and blockchain-based technologies.” Their mission is clear: develop a standardized framework for defining tokens and ensure support from the full blockchain community in an effort to make the framework as successful as possible.  

HACERA’s Levi (far-right) is Vice-Chair of the TTI and works with leaders like Marley Gray (left) of Microsoft and Ron Resnick (center) of EEA to bring this vision to reality.

  

But Fabric Doesn’t Have Tokens!

When implementing blockchain solutions, invariably there are friction points.  Tokens reduce these friction points involved with transferring associated data/information between parties in a network related to underlying assets.  Via tokens, assets are transferred between parties, governed by specific conditions (delivery of a package, etc.), and audited as required.

It’s worth noting that the most widely implemented enterprise blockchain framework, Hyperledger Fabric, does not natively support tokens.  This is not a critique of the Fabric solution, but a factual statement which may reflect the business community’s attitude towards the necessity of tokenized solutions.  Regardless, the fact remains that tokens – when implemented properly and in a standardized way – provide the frictionless scalability for recognizing, describing, assigning and transacting digital assets that no other current framework can provide.

So, what to do?  Fear not, as we have already demonstrated the ability to create standardized token definitions as proxies for “real” assets. And these tokens can be managed by DAML smart contracts running on Fabric. Most importantly, you do not have to alter a single line of Fabric code.

Introducing Unbounded SCALE™

Our solution is Unbounded SCALE™, which stands for Smart Contract Abstraction Layer for Enterprise. It seamlessly and securely supports DAML-on-Fabric across any major cloud provider (specifically Microsoft Azure, IBM Blockchain Platform, Oracle Blockchain Platform and many others).  SCALE natively supports, in accordance with its integrated DAML-on-Fabric smart contract capabilities, tokenized data transfer and privacy operations.  

With SCALE™, enterprises can quickly develop and deploy meaningful tokenized asset networks and manage trade agreements and privacy through a combination of DAML smart contracts and integrated HACERA products like DIM, Kore and Private-sea.         

Demo: Unbounded SCALE™ and the Unbounded Token Wizard

Sceptical? Please don’t take our 800+ words for it.  In the immortal words of Fred Barnard, “One look is worth a thousand words!” We invite you to watch our live demo presented at the Hyperledger Global Forum on March 3, 2020. You will see:

1. Our Token Wizard which generates tokens adhering to the latest Token Taxonomy Framework

2. Leveraging Digital Asset’s open-source DAML to create an agnostic token package

3; Live deployment of our FabToken, that is, our Fabulous Token on Fabric (deployed on Oracle Blockchain Platform).

Before you do, we thought we should mention… this demo was live and occurred in real-time. We successfully deployed a Token smart contract on Fabric running on an Oracle node in less than 3 minutes. Take a look!

If you have ANY questions… or want to discuss our token and DAML wizardry… we would love the opportunity to discuss with you.  Please contact us here!

My Thoughts On The Recent Fabric 2.0 Release

In late January of 2020, Hyperledger released Fabric 2.0 to the community at large. It was an incredible moment for me, personally, as I’ve spent much of the last few years deeply invested in the framework.

Recently, the editors at Unbounded Network – a sister site dedicated to connecting all blockchain projects across all frameworks – asked me to sit down for a short interview following the announcement. Click here to read the transcript. I touch on everything from lingering myths about the framework to the features I’m most interested in seeing in production.

If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!

The Linux Foundation partnered with HACERA to create the world’s first vendor agnostic Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals class

WE ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT OUR HYPERLEDGER FABRIC FUNDAMENTALS TRAINING COURSE IS LIVE AND IS SET TO EXPAND ACCESSIBILITY OF BLOCKCHAIN EDUCATION

SAN FRANCISCO, September 5, 2018The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced enrollment is now open for the new LFD271 – Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals training course. Additionally, Certified Hyperledger Fabric Administrator and Certified Hyperledger Sawtooth Administrator exams will be released later in the year. A Professional Certificate Program – Blockchain for Business – was launched earlier this year on edX along with a free course entitled Blockchain: Understanding Its Uses and Implications.

LFD271 – Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals

The Hyperledger Fabric Fundamentals course introduces the fundamental concepts of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, as well as the core architecture and components that make up typical decentralized Hyperledger Fabric applications. Students will work with Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Fabric Certificate Authority and the Hyperledger Fabric SDK. In addition to the reading material, the two day, self-paced course includes a set of hands-on lab exercises that guide students towards setting up a Hyperledger Fabric business network and through the various stages in the lifecycle of a decentralized Hyperledger Fabric-based application.

LFD271 is designed for developers and application developers. Developers will learn how business logic is implemented in Hyperledger Fabric through chaincode (Hyperledger Fabric’s smart contracts) and review the various transaction types used to read from and write to the distributed ledger. Application developers will be shown how their applications can invoke transactions using the Hyperledger Fabric JavaScript SDK.

The course instructor, Jonathan Levi, is a hands-on computer scientist, applied cryptographer and mathematician, as well as the founder of HACERA, the blockchain technology company. He is one of the early contributors to Hyperledger Fabric, helped shape the Membership Services (the permissioning layer of Hyperledger Fabric) and was the official release manager of Hyperledger Fabric 1.0. He has built several large-scale mission critical systems that had to be highly available, secure and fault-tolerant. Over the last five years, Jonathan has worked with several blockchain technology stacks – from Bitcoin to building the first Ethereum class with Professor Dan Boneh at Stanford University.

Original text and more information about the course and exams you can find here: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/trademark-usage.